Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Basic Recording Setup

Had a question from tavonentertainment

"i have a problem......wen i record a video and play to a song my drums is statiky and yu cnt hear da music.......wat kind of mics are yu using and how do you hook it up to your laptop....and can yu explain plz..."

To record to your computer, you're going to need a couple of things:

1. Mics
2. Interface
3. Software

1. Mics: A basic set of drum mics will do the trick, doesn't have to be fancy. You'll run the mic cables from the mics into your interface.

2. Interface: Your interface is exactly what it sounds like...it's where your mics INTERFACE with your computer. In other words, it will transmit the sound from the mic cables and put it into a form that your computer understands (this is a really basic definition of something that can be a bit technical to explain). I use a Presonus Firestudio Tube for my interface, but there are lots of good ones out there. You can get them with one input or lots of inputs, just depending on what your situation calls for. A good place to start would be one overhead condenser mic, one snare/hi-hat mic (SM-57 always works well) and one kick mic. You can expand later to add tom mics, etc.

3. Software: There are TONS of choices out there for this. Pro Tools is the industry go to standard. It by no means is the best or easiest to use, it's just the most commonly used in major studios. If you have a Mac, then it comes with Garage Band, which for what you're wanting to do would be more than enough. If you want to buy one, the majors to choose from in my book would be Inuendo, Logic, Pro Tools, and Cubase. I run Cubase on my Macbook Pro.

Once you get past the hurdle of starting, it's not that bad. Hope this helps!

-Stephen T.


jgodshall said...

I just got into doing this myself and have one question. I'm assuming you mix the audio & video in imovie...how did you get comfortable that the drum audio file & video were exactly in sync? Right now i'm just eye-balling it but I'm hoping there is an easy way to make this exact.

Stephen said...

If you've got a mac, there's a better way to do it. Dump the video and audio into Garage Band, sync them there (make sure the audio isn't longer than the video...if it is, erase the end of it so they even up). You'll see the wave forms when you double click on the different tracks. Sync them up (there's a little view window you can look at while you're doing it to make sure they're sync'd). After you line them up, ERASE THE TRACK FOR THE ORIGINAL SOUND FOR THE VIDEO. This will leave only the video and audio track. Then go to "Share" in the top bar, "Export Movie to Disk", pick "Full Quality", and then name it something like "song.sound.mov". After it's done, find the video, click and drag it to the Movie folder, then drag to iMovie Events Folder, then drag it into the event you created ("Song Project" for instance). Open iMovie and it should load the video. Doing the drag and drop instead of importing into iMovie will save you HOURS of importing time...don't have a clue why it works that way, but it does. Hope that helps!


jgodshall said...

I'll give it a shot, thanks!

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