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Summer Rock Studio Build

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Summer Rock Studio Build

Postby Nielson95 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:43 pm

Hopping into it. My father in law recently got himself quite a nice drum set and is on track to building himself a custom drum riser and turning his basement into a bit of a studio this summer. The man is an architect so he has it all planned out in a very fine detail. When I get my hands on his 3D design for the room I'll post it here. He has some sound engineers from work helping him out with the room acoustics, so he has that covered. He has 3 sons that are each a proficient pianist, bassist, and guitarist (almost like he's been planning this for a while). I'm a banjo player so I don't really fit rock band mold. Anyways, he came to me and wanted me to do some research into the type of audio equipment he would need to put the whole thing together. That's why I am coming here. Neither of us really know what he needs. He doesn't want to spend money he doesn't need to but he also wants to get it done right the first time.

questions I have:

1. From what I understand, he is planning on putting some big speakers behind his band set up and would also like to get a monitor for each instrument. Is a monitor for each instrument over kill for a basement setting?
2. What kind of speaker set up would you use?
3. Does he need an individual amp for each instrument (guitar, piano, bass)? or can he use a single amp with a channel mixer and then run it all through the speakers set up behind the band? What channel mixer would you get?
4. what are the benefits to multiple amps?
5. what amps should he look into getting?
6. If multiple amps are required, should he bother getting a channel mixer?
7. He would like to eventually record in the basement, but he doesn't necessarily need recording equipment immediately (spread out the purchases) what equipment would you use for recording? Does knowing he wants to do some recording change any of the above answers?
8. Types of microphones needed (voice, drums, etc.)?

His opinion on the budget is basically he doesn't want to spend more then he needs to like he's not building a Warner Music Group studio and he appreciates good sound but he's not an audiophile that needs the very best of the best. He does however want it done right with no regrets in the end.

Thanks for any input. Hope to make this the coolest mid-life crisis ever.
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Re: Summer Rock Studio Build

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:38 pm

I assume they already have amps and such that they would use when rehearsing or gigging? Depending how many singers there are in the band I would use those amps, no mics on the drums, and, if one singer, one channel of vocal monitoring (which could be as simple as single active/powered PA speaker using a mic straight into the mic input most have). If they have more singers a small mixer and, maybe more than one speaker might work. I rehearse in my tiny basement studio with my trio, guitar, bass, drums and three vox, and have done so with five (the trio plus keys and acoustic guitar and two extra vocals). I do have a mixer in there as I also record but the biggest benefit is having some reasonable acoustic treatment to tame the room's own reverb and flutter echoes. The treatment cleans up the sound in what would otherwise be a pretty horrible sounding room and means rehearsing in there is a pretty pleasant experience as long as we don't get carried away and play too loud.

Above all don't be tempted to mic drums or backline, you really don't need that for rehearsing.

When it comes to recording it depends on who is acting as recording engineer and what experience/knowlede he/she has. But, keeing it simple has a lot of merits. Come back here when the time comes with a specific idea of what is required and ask that question.

HTH

Oh, welcome to the forum and have fun. I played in a band with my son on bass for a number of years, it was great fun..
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Re: Summer Rock Studio Build

Postby Nielson95 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:30 pm

Thanks for the reply Sam. It would make sense that that his boys would have the amps already. One of the main points of this build is that my father in law wants it to be mobile for gigs. Given this, he wants some pretty powerful stand speakers that he can play with in the basement but also take with him on gigs. Any advice on how to get these up and running or even what he should consider getting?
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Re: Summer Rock Studio Build

Postby Watchmaker » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:00 pm

The way my band approaches it is we use my Yamaha MGP16x for five vocal mics and we also have three small acoustic guitar amps going into the board too.

This lets me add a touch of reverb to the vox and spread the guitars around a bit so we can all hear them.

This is being sent to a pair of JBL PRX812s which are on the floor, wedge like, to keep them out of the plane of the vocal mics. We do our best to keep them in the blind spot of the SM57's and SM58's in use.

I am extremely pleased with this set up. Easy to use, feature rich, and enough power to let us play out in smaller venues if need be.

But to answer your questions,
1) speakers behind the band probably not great, depending on volume and arrangement. See above for an alternative approach.
2) use wedges in small spaces
3) having each instrument in it's own amp is an approach I favor, if for no other reason than control. Kindness to the amp is also a consideration and helps enforce separation.
3.b.) I got a mixer with several mic pres (important), each with its own phantom power (not so important) that also has eq, compression and effects (important)
4) control, tonal flexibility, bitchin' ness
5) can you narrow the question?
6) yes, depending on volume, arrangement and musical style the mixer can aid in getting a good balance. It can also create havoc
7) See #5, 7 B) I would recommend room treatment first if recording
8) for live vocals I always recommend the sm58 but 57s do in a pinch. There are a great many perfectly acceptable mics, none with the reputation for consistency and reliability of the 58 though.
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Re: Summer Rock Studio Build

Postby Watchmaker » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:19 pm

oh, one more thing. I believe that buying more than you need is generally a good idea as it's easy to outgrow limited functionality quickly. But you don't need to buy cutting edge or expensive. Most of the mid-range gear available now is light years better than what was available even ten years ago. If you're tech savvy, there's a lot of stuff with apps than can add to the feature set and let users control things in remarkable ways.

That bunny trail may not lead to joy though. For my money, I'm looking for flexibility and reliability above all else so that eliminates entry level gear and top end gear - and live, no one in the audience will know or care.
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Re: Summer Rock Studio Build

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:37 pm

Nielson95 wrote:Thanks for the reply Sam. It would make sense that that his boys would have the amps already. One of the main points of this build is that my father in law wants it to be mobile for gigs. Given this, he wants some pretty powerful stand speakers that he can play with in the basement but also take with him on gigs. Any advice on how to get these up and running or even what he should consider getting?

The ideal rig for rehearsing in a small room is different to the ideal gig rig. Rehearsing in a domestic environment requires low volume so you have to accept compromises if you want to use the same gear on gigs. The best setup depends on the type of gigs they hope to do but without knowing what those gigs are expected to be or the band's full line up it's difficult to advise. Let us know what the plans are and the budget and we'll be able to make some suggestions.

But, for rehearsing I'd suggest starting with a monitor setup that can work as a vocal only FOH, my suggestion (which I use myself) would be one or more Yamaha DXR10s (I have 3), one will do for rehearsing, two will cover vocals in a smallish room (50 - 100 audience if you don't need heavy metal volume levels) three will give you a single monitor as well as the FOH.
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