Testing some new gear

I whipped up a little demo track this week, in order to test out a bit of new recording gear. It’s a bit rough and ready*, with improvised parts, but it gives and idea of the sound (not too mention the song). So here it is, followed by a run-through of what’s being used:

I’ve been using an MXL 2006 condensor mic for my demos, which I picked up very cheap on eBay, however, not having an acoustically treated room, I figured that dynamic mics were actually the way to go as they’d pick up less of the room. Eventually I’d love to get a Shure SM7, which is still on the lowish end of mic prices, but has been used on a number of famous albums. Until then, I decided on its little brother, the standard work-horse, the SM57. Thomann has a good copy, and at 30€ each I picked up a pair, and that’s what’s at work here. Specifically I’ve got them on the acoustic guitar, one the electric guitar amp (the blue guitar I built.. though it’s obvious I haven’t yet set the intonation! It’s also going through an OCD overdrive clone I built) and the vocals. A good sign is that you can’t tell that there was construction going on downstairs.. I also picked up a cheap little Behringer bass DI box / amp simulator, and it is my poor bass playing you can hear. Tone sounds decent though. Piano is direct stereo out from my keyboard, and the drums I programmed like usual, using the pop-kit soft-synth in the free Kontakt player. It’s all recorded through my Focusrite Scarlett 2i/o soundcard.

For a few hours work, with a rough mix, the sound is good. Certainly good bang-for-buck. I think it will suffice for what I have in mind, given a bit of time to set up and mix properly (not too mention get some better players &/or practice). I’ll experiment with mixing the 57 and the MXL together on vocals, but the tracks certainly sound cleaner to my ears via the dynamic, even if the tonal range is not as rich.



* I’ve realised that I probably shouldn’t put half-finished demos out in public..but that’s another post for anotherday.

2 responses to “Testing some new gear”

  1. I’m not so sure about the half-finished demo’s … the internet is full of them.

    I suppose it depends on how it’s ‘half-finished’. If there’s big changes to the song that you’d like to make (new chorus, adding/removing a bridge) then it’s probably too soon. But if it’s just that you want to polish the recording, or you’ve got some other ideas for arrangements – get it out there.

    • I’m not so sure about the half-finished demo’s … the internet is full of them.

      Yeah, that’s partially the problem..
      I think it’S probably better for me to just send stuff to a few people I trust to critique. I’m getting better at knowing when something is good vs the euphoria of having just written it. I think my writing has come a long way in the last 2 years, actually. But first impression count, and if I keep give half-baked impressions, when I do come up with something good, no one will be interested anymore, perhaps.

      I suppose part of the frustration in the past was that I was writing with no ‘outlet’ so to speak..

What do you think?