New Music – practicing with my band!

Check out some new/old music from my band, the Freshman Senators!

So – this is my college band, formed in the 1980’s. This last year, we have started getting back together, doing what we always do best – jam and make music together.

0015733725_20So it’s been a blast! It’s also been fun attempting to record the practices. Back in the day, we simply plopped a cassette tape into a simple recorder, and got whatever we could with it.

This year, I’ve been using my Focusrite Clarett 8Pre to capture the practice sessions. The Focusrite gives me 8 channels to work with. Here’s what I’m doing (take a listen above to see how it came out):

  • 4 channels for drums (kick, snare, two overhead mics).
  • 3 channels for bass and two guitar amps, all with mics.
  • 1 channel for vocals. This gets tricky:
    • 4 vocal mics going into a cheap Behringer board
    • two outs, each going to a guitar amp used as a vocal monitor (hey – it’s what I have)
    • Headphone out of the board running into the final channel on the Focusrite, to capture the vocals.

Vocals is (obviously) the hardest, and you can hear that in the mix. Some vocals aren’t very balanced (i.e., background vocals are louder than the main vocal, one mic was a lot quieter than the others, etc). Also, I’m singing some of the songs from behind the drums, so my vocal mic is acting as a 5th drum mic. Works great … until you put reverb on the mic, want to raise the volume up for that quieter vocal mic I mentioned, etc.

Oh well. As far as a recording of a band practice goes … this is pretty freaking good!

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Posted in Playing Live, Recording

Recording Drums with Two Microphones!

In this video, I continue my series on recording drums … by doubling the about of microphones I used!

This time, I used two Shure SM57s – one in the kick drum, and one as an overhead. The overhead was positioned similarly to the mic in my “one mic” video, but raised higher, since it didn’t need to capture kick drum also.

No eq or compression on this one – just drum and mic sounds.

I think it sounds pretty good! I can hear a little imbalance in the cymbals – the ride cymbal sounds a bit loud, and my slashes are really quiet. I think they would be louder with a second overhead mic placed a bit closer to that side of my drum set.

Otherwise, not bad! (well, except perhaps for my playing).

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Posted in Drums, Recording

Changing Snare Drum Heads!

Time to change top and bottom heads on my snare drum. Here’s how I do it! I show how I remove and replace both heads, deal with the snare wires, and tune both the top or batter head and the bottom or snare side head.

Fun stuff!

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Posted in Drums

Record Drums with One Mic!

Guess what? You can totally record drums with one microphone. Even a cheap one!

In this video, I demonstrate how to record a drum set using a single cheap microphone – a Shure SM57.

How did I do it? I set it up behind the kit, by my right elbow, and pointed the mic at my bass drum. My hopes were to NOT have a really thin-sounding kick drum, and to try to capture the whole kit with a single mic.

I think I did that pretty well – listen to the drums in the video and let me know what you think.

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Posted in Drums, Recording

My Home Recording Studio Setup

In this video, I share my home studio with you. I show off my space, and my instruments, recording equipment, and microphones.

Though you’ll see lots of gear, it’s all pretty normal, simple stuff – no huge recording desk, mixing board, or a bunch of outboard gear. Just some mics, a recording interface, and a laptop!

Here’s a list of what I use (the stuff that appears in this video):

Instruments (not all of them!):

Recording Interfaces:

Microphones:

Video camera used in this video:

What’s your home studio look like? Please share!

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Posted in Recording
David Lee King

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