Your recommendations for 4-track percussion recording.

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DjCoolLemonade
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Your recommendations for 4-track percussion recording.

Post by DjCoolLemonade » Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:33 am

My first post -- exited to have found this knowledgeable place, hello to everyone.

For the past year I have gotten into recording usually very percussion heavy music in my bedroom with a Tascam Portastudio 424mkII. I've worked my way through several mics, but I still have to find out how to get a more detailed bongo sound than just a rounded boom boom-sound. I tried the SM57, some budget vocal mic, and recently the Electro-Voice 635A. The best results have been with the latter for its roomy and somewhat detailed sound, but I feel I want to step my game up a bit, perhaps using some preamps.

I would be very exited to hear your 4-track grade percussion mike-up techniques and microphone/pre-amp recommendations, so please come forward. I do not have any kind of money, so budget minded suggestions would be appreciated.

Big thanks,
DjCoolLemonade

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Post by kayagum » Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:35 am

Which "budget vocal mic" specifically?

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Post by DjCoolLemonade » Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:46 am

I really don't know, I just borrowed it from a friend and it had no logo or mark except from an engraving from the sound company who used to own it, so I can't be more specific. Sorry.

Thanks for your attention.

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Post by swelle » Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:57 am

"Percussion" is a little vague - a tambourine, conga, guiro, maracas, glockenspiel would all be different. That said, a small diaphragm condensor is pretty good for all those things.

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Post by DjCoolLemonade » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:11 am

Percussion is pretty vague, yes.

I specifically was vague, because I need something that will deliver decent sound with most things within the category of percussion, not one super-duper high end bongo microphone.

And it might just be a small diaphragm condensator mic, can you recommend any?

Thanks for your reply.

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Post by kayagum » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:15 am

DjCoolLemonade wrote:I really don't know, I just borrowed it from a friend and it had no logo or mark except from an engraving from the sound company who used to own it, so I can't be more specific. Sorry.

Thanks for your attention.
I was just trying to figure out if it was just a handheld dynamic, or something more like a condensor.

Condensors will probably help your situation (it will pick up more of the attack), but then you'll need phantom power- which I don't think the 424 mkII provides, but most standalone preamps do.

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Post by dsw » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:55 am

If you want to go with a condenser mic but don't have phantom power, there's an Audio Technica Condenser mic that uses a battery (so you don't need phantom power) called the at8031. Or maybe consider the AT822 which also has battery powered phantom and is actually a stereo mic. It's not designed for studio so much, more for live recording ( a lot of tapers have used this mic ) but it might work for you.
A stereo pre-amp would be more useful in the long run especially if you are planning on moving away from cassette at some point.

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palinilap
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Re: Your recommendations for 4-track percussion recording.

Post by palinilap » Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:51 pm

DjCoolLemonade wrote:I would be very exited to hear your 4-track grade percussion mike-up techniques and microphone/pre-amp recommendations, so please come forward. I do not have any kind of money, so budget minded suggestions would be appreciated.
I've been really impressed by the M-Audio DMP3 stereo preamp recently. $160 new. MXL and CAD make some good budget condensers that would suit you well. Lots for sale on ebay.

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I'm Painting Again
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Post by I'm Painting Again » Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:07 pm

a more detailed mic and higher resolution preamp..some trial and error..

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thieves
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Post by thieves » Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:51 pm

there are some good mic suggestions in here, what i'd also suggest is try tracking the percussion fairly hot. you've got the advantage of working with tape and the disadvantage of working lo-fi. tracking the percussion really loud should help capture more of the decay of the instrument and add some compression.
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Post by DjCoolLemonade » Fri Mar 28, 2008 4:23 am

Thanks for your excellent suggestions - I am learning a lot.

Eventually I will be moving onwards from tape, so investing in a preamp is probably a good idea. What should you look for when purchasing a microphone preamp for budget lo-fi bed-room use? And whats is so exiting about the M-Audio DMP3 preamp, exactly?

If you want to hear what kind of thing I am into, you can download a copy of a lo-fi audio magazine I am publishing monthly, just to get all the odd sketches and demos that turn up out in the open. It's called "Lo-Fi Punch":
http://download.yousendit.com/94C6E84900070FF4

thieves, that's a good and simple suggestion. Turning the gain knob up is certainly cheaper than purchasing new gear, and I hadn't really though about using it in that way. Excellent.

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Post by percussion boy » Sat Mar 29, 2008 2:13 am

I like the AKG 3000B condenser mic for percussion on a budget. Should be cheap used, they're not in with the in crowd right now. Needs phantom power tho'.

It's good for the "crack" and the "boom."
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Post by rwc » Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:38 am

Anything the akg can do the AT 4033 can do better in the same price range in the used market. :D

For your price range, make the preamps. If you do really want phantom power and quality stuff you won't be replacing down the line, some seventh circle T15 stuff is great.. uses a time tested THAT chip that was used in that record-producer.com shootout for the preamp that owned the LA-610.

If you find out you don't need them later you can probably sell them for more than you make them for. Shit like that passes the test of time. If you're stupid like me you'll buy some 8 channel presonus bullshit, grow out of it, and barely be able to get two hundred bucks for a box that's made to be replaced not repaired, that doesn't really have a place in a "serious" studio if you ever go that route down the line.
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percussion boy
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Post by percussion boy » Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:06 pm

rwc wrote:Anything the akg can do the AT 4033 can do better in the same price range in the used market. :D
The two mics aren't alway the same price used though -- if the wind's blowing right, you can score a 3000b for less than $150. At that price, it would make a nice percussion mic, if not as good an all-rounder as a 4033.




[edited for tact]
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Post by kRza. » Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:44 am

I'm doing a record right now where the basic tracks are ALL done on a cassette 4-track. Then mixed out of the tape outs to my DAW. I'm loving the way it's sounding.
I'm just using one mic on everything. The same SM57...& it's sounding killer. Granted it's got that "4 track" sound....but that's what I'm after and that's what your going to get regardless of what mic you use on your percussion.
You will get maybe some better clarity...but once you start bouncing...forget it. Your actually better off using something like the 57 that will punch through so that it's 'tone' (congas, whatever) aren't lost.
My 2 cents.
Embrace the fact that your using a 4-track & all it's cool lo-fi goodness. Don't beat yourself over the head like I did when I was 16..."why doesn't this sound like the new CD I just bought?".

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