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HeWhoIsInTheWater
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:47 pm
Posts: 246
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:00 pm 
 

So I’m starting to work on this demo for a black metal / folk metal kind of band. The instruments I plan on using are vocals [clean and harsh], guitars, violin, and drums. I am unable to acquire a drum set for a number of reasons, so I have decided to use a drum machine. I’m also planning to record digitally, so I hope to buy Reaper to use as a host to put all of the parts together alone.
http://www.reaper.fm/index.php
The drum machine/program I plan on using is the Toon Trackz Metal Machine.
http://www.toontrack.com/products.asp?item=119
I have heard from multiple sources that the drum program itself sounds, well, cartoony and unrealistic, so I know that might be a problem, but I hope to put it low in the mix as I won’t be doing much musically with it. I also know that there is a prerequisite program for it, which I plan to get as well.

I should probably mention at this point that I have never recorded before, so my knowledge is extremely limited. I am aware of certain basic points, such as how to prep an area to record, as well as how to sing into a mic. I know that the mic I have now is pretty bad (one of them Guitar Hero / Rock Band USB mics), but I’m not sure if there is a reasonably priced USB mic that would be recommended ($20-35 USD). Also I’m going for a fairly clean production with just a bit more haze on the guitars. Virtually all else is foreign to me.

Here are my main questions:
1.) Is Reaper a good host program and do you have any other comments on it?
2.) Is Toon Trackz a good drum program? Or are physical drum machines far superior?
3.) Is my microphone decent enough or would an upgrade be recommend, and if so, what model?
4.) How do I use this kind of microphone to decently record an amp?
5.) Any recording tips for an absolute amateur.

You will by no means insult my intelligence by laughing at my lack of knowledge. I know this is a demo I’m planning, so I expect roadblocks and things I will have to settle for lesser quality with. If there is anything helpful that you think of that I did not ask for, please include. Please also understand that I am capable of playing the above instruments (except for drums obviously, so that is not a problem).

Lastly, thanks for reading the long post and all of the help.
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CorpseFister
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:07 pm
Posts: 1805
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:27 am 
 

HeWhoIsInTheWater wrote:
1.) Is Reaper a good host program and do you have any other comments on it?

Yes. There are a ton of DAWs available and people will debate their merits endlessly, but Reaper is a good program and if you learn to use it well it will provide what you need.

Quote:
3.) Is my microphone decent enough or would an upgrade be recommend, and if so, what model?

No. You need to start with a quality source so a shitty mic will handicap everything you record. For a single vocal/amp mic a Shure SM57 is probably your best bet. It's very reliable, good quality, and inexpensive- there is a reason why it's a home recording standard. If you are unable to put a couple hundred bucks towards a mic and an audio recording interface you may have to settle for lesser quality, but it is worth the investment if you can afford it.

Otherwise, read through the stickies on recording and do some searches for older topics. There is a ton of advice on the basics already posted here so check that out first. :)

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Goran
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 8:32 pm
Posts: 134
Location: Belgium
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:15 am 
 

HeWhoIsInTheWater wrote:
I have heard from multiple sources that the drum program itself sounds, well, cartoony and unrealistic, so I know that might be a problem, but I hope to put it low in the mix as I won’t be doing much musically with it. I also know that there is a prerequisite program for it, which I plan to get as well.


If you want your demo to be somewhat convincing, putting drums "low in the mix" even before you've tried is a bad attitude. ;)

Instead of purchasing two programs for a plasticky sound (according to opinions), why don't you look around and buy something that sounds good to YOU?
For example, Addictive Drums has fair samples and is easy enough to figure out. There is also Steve Slate, Native Instruments Studio Drummer, ... Search Youtube for examples.

Secondly, unless you actually want to do everything yourself, even without prior experience - get assistance for things you've never done, so you can learn from people with experience. Or, try to record and mix some songs before working on the actual release and get feedback for those.
Keep reading around about all things related, and you'll be surprised at how much better you get in months' time.
There are plenty of people here that will write your drum midis or mix your tracks, even for free.
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HeWhoIsInTheWater
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:47 pm
Posts: 246
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:57 pm 
 

So I did decide on EZDRUMMER and am relatively pleased so far. Reaper, on the other hand, was a miserable failure. The night I downloaded it, the program crashed my computer, which led to a drawn out dialogue in getting a refund. The product itself is highly discouraged by myself although the customer service was pretty good. The search for another DAW is now continuing. I have it narrowed down to Traktion, Acid, or Sonar. Any thoughts on these products?
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Awblaster
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:07 pm
Posts: 435
Location: Scotland
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:02 pm 
 

Acid's pretty poor. Never used the others. I'd recommend Cubase, it's one of the major DAWs, so there's tons of support and help for it online. And I find that it's got the best editing/MIDI capabilities of any DAW.
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Goran
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 8:32 pm
Posts: 134
Location: Belgium
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:34 am 
 

Odd, normally Reaper has a very low CPU footprint and works amazingly efficient.

Anyhow, I've read very good reviews on Presonus's Studio One, which offers a complete end-to-end flow and this in an intuitive manner.

I wouldn't advise Cubase unless you've got a ton of RAM, or intend to work with a limited number of tracks.
I've heard about people copying their Cubase project to Reaper once Cubase hit the memory limit.
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Awblaster
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:07 pm
Posts: 435
Location: Scotland
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:35 am 
 

Goran wrote:
I wouldn't advise Cubase unless you've got a ton of RAM, or intend to work with a limited number of tracks.
I've heard about people copying their Cubase project to Reaper once Cubase hit the memory limit.


Never come across that before. I've only got 4GB in my laptop, and I've never had a problem - I've done mixes with 30+ tracks as well with no issues.
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Nest of Vipers - old school doom metal for fans of the Elder Gods.

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Goran
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 8:32 pm
Posts: 134
Location: Belgium
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:02 pm 
 

Of course, it depends on the VSTs... And with limited I meant less than 200, like on Wintersun's debut album. :-D
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HeWhoIsInTheWater
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:47 pm
Posts: 246
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:15 pm 
 

Well Cubase and Studio One both look very appealing, but I'm afraid I simply don't have the money at this time to invest in a program of that caliber. Any good recommendations for less expensive products?
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FearTheNome
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2003 8:41 am
Posts: 366
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:09 pm 
 

You may know this already, but you're going to really need some kind of recording interface unless you already have a fancy soundcard in your computer. Most of these come bundled with a serviceable DAW, so you'll kill two birds with one stone.

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infinitenexus
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:35 am
Posts: 1939
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:01 pm 
 

That's really odd that reaper didn't work. It works great for everyone else and uses little computer power. You can even run it from a thumbdrive. As far as EZDrummer and reaper and not spending much money, check out my music (link in sig), all of it was recording in reaper using EZdrummer and free VSTs.

Since you're new to recording, the best advice I can give you is to read this entire thread. It's long but you'll learn a ton, and what this guy says is absolutely spot on.
http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=29283
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Goran
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 8:32 pm
Posts: 134
Location: Belgium
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:00 pm 
 

infinitenexus wrote:
Since you're new to recording, the best advice I can give you is to read this entire thread. It's long but you'll learn a ton, and what this guy says is absolutely spot on.
http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=29283

Wow. Thanks for that.
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Menschheitsdämmerung CD out now (http://menschheitsdaemmerung.bandcamp.com - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVmlcwAbyuo)

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