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Old 06-16-2021, 04:43 PM   #1
Rhonin
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Default how many inout channels is enough to record a band?

i dont think you could record a whole band very well with 8 inputs
even if you only use the vocals for scratch tracks

im trying to fingure out a set up to record my band
im still not sure about how many people are in it

could easily look like this
6 tracks for drums

bass amp
bass di
guitar amp
organ di
organ amp

3x vocal mic

thats conservatively 14 inputs just for bed tracks

i figure if i can buy firewire i could save a bundle though
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Old 06-16-2021, 05:50 PM   #2
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I started with a Behringer UMC1820,

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...udio-interface

and when I got up to using six of the eight inputs for my drums, I added a Behringer ADA8200 for another eight inputs.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...rophone-preamp

About $450 brand new for both. I'm totally loving the low latency and solid smooth performance I'm getting out of this uber cheep gear.

My rig.

https://sclkssl.ssl.hwcdn.net/63/img...205_809123.jpg

.
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Old 06-16-2021, 06:13 PM   #3
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i made do with 8 for a long time, as long as you don't track everything at once

5-6 drums
1-2 bass
1-2 guitar

then everything else as you go

alternatively, you can do 4 for drums - kick, snare, then a stereo mix of the other drum mics for the next 2 via an outboard mixer. takes a lot more work up front but saves on channels.
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Old 06-16-2021, 06:13 PM   #4
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(presently on 16 channels though and it's a lot nicer!)
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Old 06-16-2021, 06:15 PM   #5
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also, there are many classic drum recordings that only used 2-3 channels.

e.g.
* 1 kick, 1 overhead (think: beatles)
* 1 kick, 1 snare, 1 everything else (think: U2 - achtung baby)

Quote:
DRUMS: Robbie Adams recorded Larry Mullen's kit with only three or four mics, hardly bothering with details like stereo spread and control: "The most basic setup is a mike for the bass drum, one for the snare and one overhead. The kick mic may be a Neumann U47, placed maybe a foot and a half away. I use a Shure SM57 on the snare, and an SM58 for overheads. When Larry plays a double-headed bass drum I might also place a Sennheiser 421 at his side. Sometimes I might stick an AKG 451 pencil mic on the hi-hats. I'll compress the shit out of the overhead mic, just to pick up loads of room. Occasionally I might also use an AKG 414 as an ambient mic, placed high above the kit. A lot of this approach is to do with Flood. He's bored with all this traditional, big stereo nonsense. This way of miking gives you a far more sonically interesting result which can be applied in many different ways. The drums on songs like 'Stay' and 'Babyface' were recorded like this."
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Old 06-16-2021, 06:24 PM   #6
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You can probably get away with 10 by going to one for bass and organ and 4 for drums (kick, snare, overheads). The other 4 mics are more for safety but if you are able to experiment, I'd start with 10 - I mean it's possible to do it with two but of course no mixing is available - that doesn't mean you shouldn't try two as that can often sound great in the right room.

I can technically do between 28 and 30 analog tracks simultaneously, I've tested 28 to make sure it works. I've done a few full projects with 18 inputs. I have it all racked up in 6U racks and a lunch box so I can take it wherever I want if I want to record remotely...

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Old 06-16-2021, 07:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhonin View Post
i dont think you could record a whole band very well with 8 inputs
even if you only use the vocals for scratch tracks

im trying to fingure out a set up to record my band
im still not sure about how many people are in it

could easily look like this
6 tracks for drums

bass amp
bass di
guitar amp
organ di
organ amp

3x vocal mic

thats conservatively 14 inputs just for bed tracks

i figure if i can buy firewire i could save a bundle though
Getting 16 or so channels - and decent quality ones even - is more affordable than it's ever been. You can aggregate multiple interfaces that at least have digital inputs to clock with or you can add mic pre + ADC units to an interface with ADAT inputs.

Today with no more money and 8 inputs?
I'll assume the drums are kick, stereo overheads, and then snare, tom, floor spot mics.
Keep all those.
Bass DI
Organ DI

You're learning the arrangements well enough to perform without vocals.
Or cobble a scratch vocal monitor together with some old little mixer kicking around.
We're re-amping to record the amps with mics later.

If that organ "amp" is actually a leslie... shit.
The DI is a scratch track then.
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Old 06-16-2021, 08:08 PM   #8
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If you wanna record a band with 8 inputs you just record the drums first.

To retain the live feel, guitar and bass through DI and headphones while recording the drums works well. You can still replace them later too, but this is the easiest way I know of to record a typical band on an typical 8-channel interface with without a bunch of mic bleed or other compromises.

But you also have to be sure to have at least some quiet tapping during any silent parts, so overdubs will know when to come in on time. Sometimes bands do this by visual cues and that's not going to exist for re-tracking.

Another way is to have a dedicated second mixer just for drums and send the stereo mix to the interface.
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Old 06-17-2021, 02:10 AM   #9
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I would go:

ORTF overheads
Bass drum
Snare

Bass amp
Bass DI

Organ amp or DI (depending on how much of the sound is in the amp)

Guitar amp

Then overdub vocals

If the organ is stereo then I'd drop either the bass amp or DI (again, depending on how much the amp is part of the desired end sound).
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Old 06-17-2021, 02:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
I can technically do between 28 and 30 analog tracks simultaneously, I've tested 28 to make sure it works. I've done a few full projects with 18 inputs. I have it all racked up in 6U racks and a lunch box so I can take it wherever I want if I want to record remotely...
that looks like a fun setup!

and yes, as others noted - you can get 16 channels *cheap* these days, at totally usable quality.

i personally went with a focusrite scarlett 18i20 mkii and a focusrite octopre as an adat bridge. these show up used pretty often, the drivers are solid and the interfaces are clean. i did some loopback tests and they are very tidy.

for my home setup, i have two channels of high-end valve preamp (peach m196sx) and the rest is line-in from synths. it's all racked up so i can run it remote, and i have another case with 10 more decent preamp channels for colour (but it weighs like 30kg, so i have to *really* want to use it).
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Old 06-17-2021, 05:22 AM   #11
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Default gear gear gear

so from what ive heard about a/d converter quality going for more inputs is very cost effective if you buy cheap gear

that bheringer set up is a great value

its easier to find a 8 channel interface
the 16 ones have some weird set-ups

i dont really know how to put two 8 channel inputs together
that would be around 600-800

makies onyx 12channels is 1200 it looks like its built well

my plan is to but an older firewire since they should be cheaper
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Old 06-17-2021, 05:27 AM   #12
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Default reframe the question

so if I ask the question
"what can I achieve with a band in a recording set up"

i probably get different answers

like probably just keep the bass and drums
record the organ midi for editing

do the guitarts and vocals as overdubs

the idea being
improvise an idea
build a structure

about 45 min

1 hour to record the beds
ppl do overdubs at home

then try to get the whole thing gets edited together
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Old 06-17-2021, 05:29 AM   #13
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Default drum micing

so my engineer will do 5 as least

1 kik
2 snare
3 ride/floor tom
4 stereo x/y patters
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Old 06-17-2021, 06:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dub3000 View Post
(but it weighs like 30kg, so i have to *really* want to use it).
Ha, same here!
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Old 06-17-2021, 06:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhonin View Post
i dont really know how to put two 8 channel inputs together
that would be around 600-800
ADAT lightpipe usually. They'll both need to have it.
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Old 06-17-2021, 06:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhonin View Post
so from what ive heard about a/d converter quality going for more inputs is very cost effective if you buy cheap gear

that bheringer set up is a great value

its easier to find a 8 channel interface
the 16 ones have some weird set-ups

i dont really know how to put two 8 channel inputs together
that would be around 600-800

makies onyx 12channels is 1200 it looks like its built well

my plan is to but an older firewire since they should be cheaper
Look up aggregate device config.
You make an aggregate device with your OS audio utility app. You add the individual interfaces you wish. Then select the aggregate device in Reaper.

There's a 2nd critical step. Sync'ing the sample rate clocks. You need interfaces with either word clock I/O or at least a digital input to connect for clock. (Digital audio carries sample rate clock.)

Or...

A single interface that has an ADAT input. You connect a stand alone mic pre + ADC unit with ADAT output. Then select the ADAT port to clock from.

See how the sample rate clock thing works with multiple digital devices? Take note of that if you go down this path.

You could scare up 16 channels of mic inputs and ADC on Ebay for $300 - $400.

Mic up the band like I suggested above and you'll be playing together live to get a real recording free of that "recorded the drums by themselves first to a click track" stiffness. Then overdub vocals. Then re-amp the amp needing instruments. Mic up the leslie with 3 mics and overdub new organ. (Assuming there's a leslie.)
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Old 06-17-2021, 07:33 AM   #17
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I'm using two lightpipe ADAT cables with my two units for sync/clock. The first one coming out of the UMC1820 audio interface is sending clock to the second unit, and the second ADAT cable sends audio back from the second expansion unit back to the UMC1820 audio device.

What that achieves is the primary audio device gets to remain in control of the clock like it would if it were the only unit, and it can be changed by REAPER to run at whatever sampling rate you choose.

Using only a single lightpipe ADAT cable can also work, but will force a fixed sample rate that is hardware switch selected on the second unit. The ADA8200 I use only offers 44.1k/48k if you use it as the master clock.
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Old 06-17-2021, 08:00 AM   #18
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Default the 16 channel ones only have 8 xlr ins

oh jeez im getting confused

so an adat cable goes btween 2 units like

ART TubeOpto 8 Tube Microphone Preamp 8 Channel
and
Behringer UMC1820 U-Phoria USB 2.0 Audio Interface

thats 16 xlrs + line ins
about $875

is that the basic idea

this is the most you can get out of one unit for cheap
Tascam US-16x08 USB Audio Interface $399
8 xlr ins 8 line ins

https://reverb.com/ca/p/tascam-us-16...saAoZSEALw_wcB
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Old 06-17-2021, 08:25 AM   #19
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That Tascam unit doesn't appear to have an ADAT interface so it couldn't be expanded.

The ART mic pre would probably link up with a UMC1820 though. I considered the Presonus Octopre because of it's mic inputs being on the back rather than the front, but the $199 price of the ADA8200 and it's Midas mic pres convinced me to go the cheeper route.
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Old 06-17-2021, 08:44 AM   #20
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Default good combo?

ART TubeOpto 8 Tube Microphone Preamp 8 Channel
adat cable
Behringer ADA8200 8-channel Microphone Preamp
about $700

2 Behringer's $400

thats 2 pretty afforable alternatives
with a full 16 tracks

thats prob 4 more tracks than i need but cant beat the price
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Old 06-17-2021, 08:52 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhonin View Post
ART TubeOpto 8 Tube Microphone Preamp 8 Channel
adat cable
Behringer ADA8200 8-channel Microphone Preamp
about $700
Both of the above items are only expander units that rely on an audio interface with an ADAT input to function.

A UMC1820 or similar unit like a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 or PreSonus Studio 1824c is needed to be the primary audio interface that can then be expanded by another eight channels over ADAT.
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Old 06-17-2021, 04:06 PM   #22
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Default bit of a snag on the cheap part

ART TubeOpto 8 Tube Microphone Preamp 8 Channel adat
$625

Behringer UMC1820 U-Phoria USB 2.0 Audio Interface
$499.00

Behringer ADA 8200
$417

these are the prices in Communist Canada where we get a 30% gouge
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Old 06-17-2021, 06:20 PM   #23
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Check out Presonus Digimax FS too. I think that was the cheapest extra 8CH with ADAT when I was looking.
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Old 06-18-2021, 07:10 AM   #24
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What 8 channel interface do you currently have, @Rhonin?
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Old 06-18-2021, 07:24 AM   #25
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Default i dont

Im just getting back into music after a 6 year break serr

all i have is my instruments
ive been trying to build songs in reaper
like one track at a time
its not working out

playing live i figure i can get bed tracks down in about hour+half
then edit the rythm section into a song
and do overdubs for vocals

it might be an effective way to make music

but it means the drums have to be properly miced
and bleed free
i can take the line out from my bass head

the guitar and organ will need isolation in the recording room though

reaper its a little technical for me
im trying to simplify things

also,..musics like a social activity
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Old 06-18-2021, 07:42 AM   #26
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You could shop used on Ebay to get started.
A MOTU 8 Pre with firewire I/O goes for as low as $350.
Like this one: https://www.ebay.com/itm/25501334144...UAAOSwSzNgw2pq

It has the firewire I/O you are looking for. It had ADAT ports. So you would be able to add a 2nd audio interface later on and sync to the sample rate clock via the ADAT port. Or add a stand alone mic pre + ADC with ADAT output.

Don't take that as an "end all be all" suggestion. Just an example of what's out there.

Yeah, it turns out that it takes magnitudes more time and effort to record things to a click and part by part if you want the end result to sound real.
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Old 06-18-2021, 08:34 AM   #27
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Y'know...it's easy to think buying new gear will make everything click into place but in my experience, either you're making music on a tin can because it's all you got or you're just thinking about making music.

Better to look for other people first before buying the gear to accommodate recording them. They might have some to share.
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Old 06-18-2021, 09:08 AM   #28
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Default i dont have a problem finding people to play with

theres a rehearsal space in town with a digital board id be playing there
and recording off that if it wasnt for covid

im doing what i can to find people to play with but
i always found prople arnt interested untill you already have something goig og

im going to have to hire session musicians for a while
if i want to get results that i can turn into a song

im just trying to plan ahead so im prepared
and know what im doing
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Old 06-18-2021, 09:15 AM   #29
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Default could i use this to build a 2 interface set up

this has 4 xlr in and 4 line in and possibly adat bridging

could i connect an 8 channel preamp to it (with adat out)


Apogee Ensemble Firewire Audio Interface - $350

https://images.craigslist.org/00k0k_...2U_600x450.jpg


*serr im paying in CDN $$ ..after shipping/duties and taxes everything you order o/l is twice as expensive
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Old 06-18-2021, 09:56 AM   #30
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I have some Apogee units. Their AD and DA stages are VERY on point just like people say. I have an AD-16, Rosetta 800/192, and an old PSX-100.

20 years ago there was Apogee, Prism, and a couple other boutique AD/DA circuit makers. (It's the analog stages of those circuits that vary between units by the way. Not the digitizer chips.) The stock stuff was notably inferior.

That gap isn't there anymore. Nicer analog stuff still shines for sure. But that gap isn't there and paying $1000 per DAC channel can't be remotely justified anymore. Keep that in mind.

I like my Apogee products but...
The firewire interface part of the Rosetta is 2nd class compared to the MOTU interfaces. The analog stages are clearly better. (I also have MOTU units that are over 15 years old now. With their AD/DA stages from back then.)

For example, I can't aggregate the Apogee Rosetta and the MOTU 828's together and run them at 96k. The aggregate device config works at 48k and 44.1k though. (Yes, connecting sample rate clock with word clock and everything!)

I hear other complaints of 2nd class interface connectivity from Duet users too.

That's a really good price if you need every AD and DA stage in that unit.
But you'd kind of need all those line in/outs and want to have a plan for them. Otherwise you might get more bang for the buck (like increased stability with aggregate device configs) with something else.

The sort of budget Focusrite units get regular complaints about stability in aggregate device config too. RME get the highest accolades. Then MOTU.

And again, don't rule out getting a stand alone mic pre + ADC with ADAT output for expansion. This avoids aggregate device config across multiple audio interfaces.


I had one of my two MOTU 828 mk3 units go down some months ago. MOTU used to have a flat fee repair program for $100 for these which they stopped with the pandemic just a couple months before mine died. Which was pretty frustrating, frankly! I bought an RME Digiface USB. I can connect all my Apogee devices via the ADAT ports. And they support both SMUX (96k) and whatever they call 192k SMUX. It replaced the main use of the 828 mk3 (an input for the AD-16) and gave me further cross compatibility across devices. Seemed like the thing to do. I also question if I've experienced a couple faults with the firewire card in the Rosetta recently. The RME can replace that connection if I wish.

If there's any point in that ramble, it's how to take inventory of your current device's I/O and do targeted shopping.
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Old 06-18-2021, 12:04 PM   #31
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Default thats a head scratcher for sure

my take away is that some combos limked by adat arnt going to work well
together
something about motu being good?

my serious problem is price point though i cant buy at usd
and i dont think $600 cnd for an art pre amp is "value for money"

the only actual budget interface i found is

Tascam US-16x08 16 in/8 out USB Audio/MIDI Interface
$500 cdn

thats 8 xlrs and 8 line ins

https://images.reverb.com/image/uplo...ar9mdfumxq.jpg
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Old 06-18-2021, 12:26 PM   #32
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You can find examples of aggregate device configs that don't play nice. Nothing around using an ADAT port for sample rate clock sync specifically though. More the device's drivers and/or the OS class compliant drivers.

If you went with a stand alone 8 channel mic preamp + ADC unit with an ADAT output for expansion, I'd be surprised if that didn't just work 100% with everything. (Some ADAT ports will be limited to strictly "ADAT" protocol, which is 44.1k or 48k sample rate only. It's technically called SMUX at 96k.)

Go with the wind a little with this. If you already had an interface and all you needed was to add some channels, the aggregate device option is welcome. If you find an outlier that doesn't play nice, you haven't lost much and you can make a return and regroup as it were. Starting from the beginning and needing 16 channels? I wouldn't recommend buying two different brand interfaces and starting with that. That's all.

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Old 06-18-2021, 02:46 PM   #33
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ok that makes a lot of sence

im suprised theres not just a stand alone 16 channel interface

seems overly complicated running chained
do I have to set the clock

i thought a could save money on firewire
but theres suprisingly little second hand interfaces

still clueless about what to buy
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Old 06-18-2021, 03:03 PM   #34
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If I read correctly, the Tascam unit can do 8 mic plus 8 line inputs at once. A review I saw on that unit was a drummer using 10 mics on his drums. Eight from the built in mic pres, and two more using a Mackie stereo mixer feeding the first two line inputs.

That said, I've seen both negative and positive reviews on the state of their drivers.
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Old 06-18-2021, 06:46 PM   #35
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Default and the winner is

m-audio
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Old 06-19-2021, 08:21 AM   #36
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Quote:
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m-audio
Which unit?

These are some of the cheaper interfaces made. They get complaints for both sound quality and driver performance. Sometimes you get what you pay for.

It's at least a real product though. It could work out to be a fine starting point and lead you to some great productions. There's a level worse. The no name stuff (either literally no brand name or some name you've never seen before and will never see again 6 months later) sold at Amazon/Wallmart/Best Buy.
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Old 06-19-2021, 09:19 AM   #37
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Default its the only choice?

M-Audio ProFire 2626 Firewire Audio Interface Black
Mint $260 cdn

https://reverb.com/ca/p/m-audio-prof...BoCUkoQAvD_BwE

there ant may interfaces that dont have stupid extra connectors
getting any kind of quality (presonus $800, audent $1200)
ya i cant justify that for an interface

so the m-audio 8 channel interfaces just give you what you need

so its a start and quality inst going to be an issue for a while
since i dont even have a band

this isnt necessarily an endorsement of m-audio its just the only interface that makes sense

never heard of these guys before
https://www.rspeaudio.com/Radial-SW8...al-sw8-usb.htm

Last edited by Rhonin; 06-19-2021 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 06-19-2021, 02:01 PM   #38
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Coming into this thread very late (been very busy with things that have to take priority unfortunately....).

Just a thought on the original question; depends upon the size of the band as well as it's composition. There are some very big bands out there (of the rock/pop variety to be very generic) and then you have the dance/big bands (thinking of the modern Glenn Miller -you remenber!-type).

Band really means more than a just small group?
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Old 06-19-2021, 03:00 PM   #39
Rhonin
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Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 251
Default song production

the idea is to try and write songs in the studio
so would at least have to get the rythm section down
cut up what we come up with into a song structure
and do the leads and vox as overdubs

so really a bare bones set up to begin with
drums
bass
organ
guitar

i cant go with less than 5 channels for drums though
i can di the bass and organ

we can wear cans in the room to keep the drums clean
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Old 06-19-2021, 03:44 PM   #40
numberthirty
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 495
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Related -

https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=254269
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