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MADDNESS! Recording with low budget gear
Old 15th November 2009
Lives for gear
Lifted's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Talking MADDNESS! Recording with low budget gear

I just recently had a 5 song project to record:

Bass Guitar
Electro Guitar

The set-up was LMFAO... you can laugh that's fine:

Behringer Eurorack UB802

FireStudio Project (8 Inputs)

ART HeadAmp4

Audio Technica MB/DK5 drum mics...with the only good mic being a kick mic.

We had SM7B...the best mic in the set-up and really cheap mics from Max (Germany rip off company that imitates other good German mics, and not in the good way), LG and Philips (Yes the Karaoke mics heh)

The objective was to record all 5 people back to back, but all of them playing the same tune together, and hearing each other.

LMFAO that was a reaaaaaaaaaaal mind twister...the outputs on the back of the FireStudio Project were busted too. Nicccceeee

We are recording in this basement with everyone being in the same room with a drummer, besides the singer, that is in the other room with a little build in window in the door, like a dog house. HAHA

Ok here we go: We probably took a good 3 hours trying to figure the **** out.

1. We plugged 8 mics into the interface for the drummer.

Went out of the interface headphone jack, with a splitter into TAPE IN on the Behringer (now the drummer is in the mixer).

3. Plugged Bass Guitar into Channel 1 Line Input of the Behringer

4. Plugged Vocalist into Channel 2 Mic Input. Now we are OUT of GAIN knobs...YES!

5. Plug Guitar into Channel 3 Line Input...now we had to adjust everyone way low, just so we can sit the guitar in the mix for everyone to hear.
I had to use EQ switches and put them to 11, and Level Gain to Max.

Take the headphone out level from FireStudio Project down, now the drums are down too. Good.

6. Plug in the keys..YES...using them EQ switches cause now it's a great wall of instruments howling through the headphones.

(This part took at least 3 hours to figure out...that day)

Ok so far so good.

Now we are coming out of Tape OUT into the ART Headphone amp, via the splitter. Got the signal.

Now we need to plug TRS cables and drag them across the room so everyones' headphones reach the ART Headphone AMP.

TRS out of Head Amp, little adapter to change TRS male into the TRS female...good...plug headphones in...hmmmmm....sound in the right ear only?

We have TRS mono cables and not stereo....AHHHHH...played around pulling headphone cable half way out....STEREO! BALLING

*DUCT Taping the CABLES so it won't slip out*

Daisy chaining XLR cables all over the place to reach everyone's mics / instruments. MAAAAAAADNESS

We have only 4 outputs on the headphones, and 6 people that need to hear the mix (including me)...plug 2 people per headphone channel. Ahhh the noise levels...

Finally all "good". Start recording.

What's that cracking sound in the mix?

Isolate the problem. Soloing every track until I find where the problem is. Hmmm Ch 5 on FireStudio Project. (Either Mic, Cable, or Input Channel) Switch cables. Problem on Ch 6. Uh-huh...so either cable or mic. Use the different mic, everything nice and clear.

Now we are down one mic, the problem is... this is a clip-on mic, and we don't have another mic stand. So we unscrew the kick mic that's using a mic stand and mount it on this clip. Now we have free Mic Stand, and we strap SM7B on the kick drum

Turn the headphone levels up for everyone...Buzzing like transformer land.

"More ME...MORE ME" ok...more Behringer gain, more Buzzing, hahaha, more main mix gain overall on Behringer for everyone you say? ....YAY more buzzing.

We are ROLLING. Like a muffled freight train.

Got the drums recorded.

Tried to record everyone by each other, but it didn't work. So we ended up recording all 4 other people together, and it worked thumbsup

Dude this was the CRAZIEST recording session I had. First off the gear limitation, second the band of 5 people where it's: "**** YOU DUDE...stop hitting the drums...before I punch you in the face"...artists drinking cognac...and the only dude singing is also their main leader and the producer putting **** together. HAHAHA...

Every day there was something else, buzz, hum, ground loops, players not ready, multiple takes...
"can I redo this"...
"I want more ME"...
"Nahhhh dude, turn him DOWN"

"yeah...... same Headphone box...but I'm a f-ucking engineer magician, I make **** happen...let's work that EQ on the trusty Behringer LMFAO"

This one day we were recording and the wire was short circuiting or something, the sound kept going out in the right ear. I'm surprised they kept playing. (Def appreciate the patience from these guys, cause the **** was getting crazy every minute)

Day 3: "Yooo dude you hear that f'ucking buzz, that **** is 3 times louder than yesterday"
"Yeah man...F-U-C-K IT! Let's do this ****!"

This is only part of those 4 days.

I learned so much from this session, and surprisingly the recording was VERY well done, regardless of all the situations. I went through so much stress, but we handled it well, and I gotta say man, this is fulfilling on so many levels, cause this was a disaster session, in EVERY aspect, and we handled that **** WELL.

Until you hit situations like this, you won't appreciate that good gear you have in your house/studio (I didn't it), this gear was not mine, but I def learned so much from it.

We engineers are an interesting breed, we are given the tools (good or bad) and supposed to make a bullet from a turd, and if you handle that **** (literally heh), you will CRUIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISE with everything else.

So don't take **** for granted, cause there are people with very limited gear and chances to make it big/make good music, and they still keep going, and that **** inspires me man.

Plus you never know what problem you may run into, until you actually run into it.

We had to isolate SOOOOOO many problems, that I probably learned more from this one session than last 6 months put together, doing the easy set-ups with my gear.

Good luck to all, and I hope this can be a good lesson for everyone, or some **** to read and laugh at.
(Cause I'm still going "WAHHHHHHT AAAAA FFFFFFFFUUUUUUCK, DUDE...????!!")
Old 15th November 2009
Lives for gear
Lute's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Wow, glad you got through it How does it all sound? Can you post a WAV or MP3 or something?
Old 16th November 2009 | Show parent
Lives for gear
Lifted's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Originally Posted by Lute โžก๏ธ
Wow, glad you got through it How does it all sound? Can you post a WAV or MP3 or something?
Thanks man, that **** was crazy

I will post it up, once I mix it. It's going to take a while though, because I'm in Europe and going to be coming back to United States this month, so I can finally start mixing on my monitors. (AWWWWWW hahaha heh)

I'm def fresh when it comes to mixing multiple instruments though. I got mad respect for English engineers, they are ****ing nice. So hats off to you guys. Best engineers I have met were English and American.

I have worked at this studio in LA, and talked a lot with Spike Stent (this guy is a Legend to me, born in London), he mixed all of Modonna's albums. I really learned the work ethic from this guy, mad respect for him.

I just googled his name, and it comes out that he mixed that new Maroon 5 - Wake Up Call record...that **** is crazy, because I was listening to this **** last month thinking...."DAAAAAMN that's a nice mix"


YouTube - Maroon 5 - Wake Up Call (HQ)

YouTube - Spike Stent
Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
Gear Head
๐ŸŽง 10 years
To be honest, I LOVE my UB802. Short and small enough to sit on a pedal board. I can run a Beta 87a into it, boost the hi's a little and run the signal through a bunch of guitar pedals and loop samplers for live stuff. Totally worth what I paid for it. The other day I ran a DVD player through the tape ins and L+R out to some powered monitors as no other equipment was available. It sounded great for what it is.

Even the cheapest of cheap gear has its place...
Old 3rd December 2009 | Show parent
Gear Head
Vikesh R M Kerai's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Spike Stent = Legend thumbsup
Old 7th December 2009 | Show parent
Lives for gear
Lifted's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Originally Posted by Vikesh R M Kerai โžก๏ธ
Spike Stent = Legend thumbsup

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