Three types of musician you'll prefer to work with in the studio, and one type that you won't
What basic equipment do you need to make professional recordings?
How to set a graphic equalizer
Recordings of acoustic guitar by Audio Masterclass students
Demonstrating the Waves J37 analog tape emulation plug-in and comparison with a real tape recorder
How would you set microphones for a teleconference? This is real sound engineering in practice.
How much mastering does a Pink Floyd soundalike band need?
Click removal at the start of a track
Recordings of speech by newly-starting Audio Masterclass students
How complicated do your monitors have to be?
Subscribe to access our latest, up-to-the-minute articles with hints, tips and adventures in audio in the weekly Audio Masterclass Newsletter.
Question from an Audio Masterclass visitor...
"This may seem like a stupid question, but, I am trying to start a small recording studio for starving musicians to record their first demos below the current rate that other studios in my area are charging. The question I have is, how do you record an entire band and keep all of the bands' inputs, guitars, bass, drums, etc., separate and on their own track? I have Acid Pro and a 16 ch x 4 analog mixer. The soundcard I have is a Creative Soundblaster Live 5.1. Will I have to buy a different soundcard or buy a more up to date mixer to do what I want to accomplish? I have been a working musician for 20 years and this is a new venture for me. I know the old analog way was to put the outputs of the mixer straight to the inputs of the recorder. But with the DAW, this is very hard to accomplish. Any advice will be greatly appreciated."
Firstly, there's no such thing as a stupid question. You have to be careful about the answers sometimes though ;-)
This question is an oddly common one, perhaps because equipment manufacturers assume that everyone knows the answer already, and therefore knows what equipment to buy.
The answer here is in your choice of audio interface.
Many audio interfaces, such as the Digidesign Mbox 2, have two analog inputs. That means you can record up to two signals at the same time, from two microphones for instance.
[Actually you can use the digital inputs of the Mbox 2 in addition, but let's not over-complicate things.]
You could record an entire band, if you had a mixing console.
You could connect every microphone and direct inject to the mixing console, providing it has enough channels, and mix the band into stereo as they perform. You can record this to your computer through the two inputs of your audio interface.
This will work. However...
To achieve what is expected of a modern recording, you need to be able to put each instrument on its own track. The advantages are...
And to be able to do this you need...
It is probably more convenient if the microphone preamplifiers and audio interface are combined into the same unit, as in the Mark of the Unicorn (MOTU) 8pre, which has eight inputs. You can use two to give you sixteen inputs, which is just enough for a typical band. Make sure that your recording software is compatible though. That is always an important check to make.
In summary therefore...
To record a band playing all at the same time, you need a minimum typically of sixteen microphone preamplifiers and sixteen channels of audio interface. You can achieve this with, for example, the MOTU 8pre. Other interfaces are also available.