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Guerrilla Recording

Lesson 2 of 23

Getting the Right Gear

Beau Burchell

Guerrilla Recording

Beau Burchell

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Lesson Info

2. Getting the Right Gear
Beau lists the basics and offers tips on getting a full sound with minimal equipment.


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Introduction and Overview Duration:11:29
2 Getting the Right Gear Duration:30:05
3 So What Do I Need? Duration:35:39
4 Single Mic Demonstration Duration:37:49
  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Pre-Production Duration:21:10
2 Getting Drum Tones Duration:27:27
3 Recording Shells and Editing Duration:41:52
4 Recording Cymbals Duration:34:34
5 Tracking Bass Duration:22:31
6 Tracking Guitar Duration:19:30
7 Guitar Overdubs and Doubling Duration:30:12
8 Mixing Guitars Duration:25:07
9 Recording Keyboards Duration:21:04
10 Replacing Tom Samples Duration:17:55
11 Takeaways: Dos and Don'ts Duration:24:45

Lesson Info

Getting the Right Gear

First off we're gonna talk about spending here on the right gear and not wasting your money um in coming up with this way had talked about you know, most people now are using, you know, computer and like a little in her face and gear like that s o I feel like you kind of have to start with the d a w and work backwards for instance if you wanted to use um actually not in the d a w I think he would want to start with you or I think I put that in there wrong you may want to start with your interface because if you're interface on lee has thunderbolt for example, you're probably going to be stuck with a mac computer or if you're interface is on ly supported on a pc then you're really about the pc um so I would start with you know, to see if I'm okay well let's just say we're gonna start with the d a w but you know what I mean? Um hard drives um solid state versus a t a I love solid state drives today I'm using just a regular you know, spittle spending driver whatever it's called um the sol...

id state drives were just so fast, especially when you get into high track counts if you if you're doing a project the one thing I noticed when I get tracks from bands the track themselves, there's always like eighty to ninety tracks, and I don't know why it is but it's, almost like every new vocal line has a new track because they punched in or the vocals are overlapping lines that they can't do things or, you know, all man it's really cool. I tracked, you know, eight microphones on this guitar so that you would really have a lot of options and, like, cool. You also ate guitar tracks. They have sixty four tracks of guitars now, you know, um, so if you have hi track counts definitely recommend a solid state drive, because once you get up there, you're going to be the time it saves even though it's only a matter of seconds before you hit record to play and you're waiting, you see little pinwheel death, and then it starts plying it's for me. It's way better to have the speed. Um, back against p c I think that's just a personal preference I use mac. Um, just because I've been using it forever. Probably the same reason why use pro tools? I got pro tools when it was on. I want to say, like, version for I think or maybe five, so I've been with it for a long time, um but I think it's all preference and depending on what your goal is you know if you were doing I know a lot of guys that do electronic music and they love ableto um even more rock capacities and able to now but for me I'm just used to pro tools you'll probably I if I had to recommend one I would recommend pro tools meaning because it's getting cheap and if you are going to end up handing your stuff off to someone else to mix it or um say you got the opportunity to send your session off to a friend who is in there in a studio and hey man we have like an extra fee ours and we have drum set up if you want to track some drums on a session sure send it over and you can open it up on any system and it's going it's gonna work um external versus native processing I guess I'm talking about with clients and mainly plug ins and instruments you have the ability now to believe that for a while but you have your you're either processing things on your computer is interviewing the processing which is you know like your main processor or attn my studio have like hdx pro tools rig which means there's a dedicated card that handles all of the processing for audio plug ins and I believe the playback engine is also is also on the hdx card um but I think for the budget that we're talking about I don't know I think that most people are going to be able to afford that so I think you're going to be on a native rig um plug ins um I always think is funny to you is uh whenever I get sessions from bands that track themselves, I always see um waves plug ins on everything obviously it's because everybody steals um um I mean, I don't know a single person that's working at a home studio but can afford a thirty five hundred dollars like plugging package um I understand why people use it um I uh personally I like other plug ins mainly because everyone else uses those um I think it's kind of important to find your own sound um I've never been a person that kind of throws up presets on things and is like, cool man like seal the drums I'm done, you know, I think it's important to actually, um, find plug ins you like and use things because you like it don't use it just because your body likes it. You know? Um otherwise you're just gonna be stuck with his sound rather than doing your own sound, and if you're thinking about doing this maybe as a career and getting to that point where you're gonna be recording other bands hopefully would want people to come to you because you have your sound not you're just not using the presets of someone else I just I feel like it creates more of a value for you as a producer and something that you do rather than um you know, like what's the difference between you and my friend like you guys both have like the waves every I think I don't I don't know why I would want to go to your studio um so you know make it make yourself your own person in your own producer um interfaces there's so many of these out here I think it's going to be that's going to be a very difficult thing um you guys all recall right? What do you what do you use a priest on its firepower ok and that's how many inputs? Eight but I have two of them daisy chain so it's sixteen okay called exactly what I have you guys and what are you what are you on? I actually use a program called reaper okay and use my built in mac microphone ok and I can make it sound ok but I'm recording it brain cells okay right now, right. And are you noticing a difference between in the fidelity? Yeah, definitely okay, yeah, and reaper is another one that I forgot to uh you know, I probably should mention cause that was free right yeah, which is great um you know and I think there's another one called f l studio um but I mean and that's where I mean like I probably should have done a little more research in that but I'm just going to electronic e you can record wavelike yeah, you can not able to sort of um ok sorry about that tension so within within your audio faces you have all sorts of different types of converters when it comes like a portable rig I use apogee stuff um it's I'd say it's probably a little more on the pricey side but when it when it really comes down to it you know, like I said it's a game of inches and if you can hear in my opinion if you can hear a difference you know when you're comparing something I would say it's worth splurging the extra bit you know and like not going to starbucks for a month you know and like putting that money towards something in audio um I mean, I went through I mean, I don't think for the whole beginning time of me kind of starting tracking bands and doing music I think I'd lived on just mean I lived like a super poor person just so I could buy more audio gear you know? It was like, hey buddy want to go get some food or something? No man sorry like I'm saving up for a microphone you know, like why like I mean top rahman like this is more important to me so um so I get really bad tangents um so within your audio in her face a lot of them now they have kind of like all in one thing um you have your pre empt which kind of try to explain all this stuff in a way that you guys will probably understand but you know, someone else may not understand it if you're like totally just getting into it and you're wondering how do I get my microphone to show up as a way for him on a screen and these are all the things that you need so your microphone converts you know, sound into let's just get a total dumb guy now my phone converts sound into electricity um that is at a certain impedance which if your guitar player you know impedance by you know your head and your cabinet you always want, like kind of match impedance and you have the wrong impedance things get a little funky um so your pre amplifier takes that electronic current and takes it from a microphone impedance to a line level impedance um from there you have your eight a d converter your eight a d converter is kind of like a translator it translates sound from electricity into one's and zero's um kind of like making up digital words if you have I'll say the better eight a d converter you have it's almost like the more fluent you are in that language so you can imagine a translator trying to translate you know, like english, arabic and it's like well, I got most of the words right and that's it's kind of the equivalent of a bad eighty d converter and I don't want to say bad but you know that's kind of what you're experiencing when you're going from your mac input tio better eighty d converter you know and then the higher up you go it's like all of a sudden you're you're talking with a person that's just completely fluent in every language and it's just exactly how you meant they understand sarcasm and everything so you're just you know and then and then it multiplies too because if you're coming back out to react guitars you have another translation that occurs from your deed a country of digital back to analog converter so you know, the worse you are at understanding that language it's almost twice as bad when you come back out um later they were going to get deeper into all this stuff I'm kind of going quickly over things um let's stay here overall interface you know, so you're pre amp unrated do your deed a converter all's within this interface this big thing or what you see on the screen is your quote unquote interface um it's got can I talk about this in a way that is not just something like um this is the way that everything outside of your computer or your digital workstation gets into your workstation and then back out um it usually happens the usb firewire thunderbolt um uh proprietary ports even um and like I was saying before if you're if you have like a thunderbolt on ly interface you're stuck with mac and that's kind of what I was talking about that before um and propriety reports like pro tools some people really hate pro tools for this you know, if you buy if you're working on a pro tools hd or or native rig you're you have to go in to your computer via, um a certain type of connection um this unfortunately does not support that connection and it costs all sorts of money to get those connections and then you're stuck with those connections and on ly boxes that can support that connection um but in the end I think those devices are you know, like those inches or better if you can hear the difference then I would go for it um okay moving on microphones tons of different types of microphones um we'll talk about different types of microphones possibly what they're used for let's start with dynamics right now um dynamic microphones they usually are the cheapest microphone I don't think that means they're the worst microphones I am a huge fan of fifty seven I love it I could probably track a whole record of fifty seven's um later on I think today I'm going to be showing you um as I'm like a kid I place a pair of fifty seven's right next to a pair of u eighty seven which is considerably more expensive and their large different condenser which most people think is going to be way better but I'm going to show the difference and a b so you can actually hear it right in the same performance same everything and you can judge for yourself whether or not you feel like you need to spend another forty five hundred dollars on overhead microphones um but the point is is that you can make him work sometimes you don't need to spend a million dollars on things that people tell you need to spend it on spending where you think you need it. Um if you're not sure if a microphone is a dynamic microphone or condenser um you can normally tell if you don't have phantom power supplied to fan powers forty eight volts supplied through the microphone line most the time has done through like phone line now wasn't always but if you don't have your fan of power turned on and your microphone works it's usually a dynamic microphone probably that's probably the only way I can tell you for sure that's like kind of a dummy check without you know people will and if and same thing if it's a condenser mike phony don't have the phantom power on it's not gonna work that's how you know um connects microphones almost kind of along quickly here um I would say generally condenser microphone they're gonna have like a larger feel to it um at least the better ones um a lot of cheap condenser mikes I kind of don't feel like it's worth spending the money would gravity's fifty seven um especially when we start going in and talking about, you know, mixing and once you start processing things uh the cheaper microphones kind of have a tendency to kind of full and just it's almost like you're you're mag they bring out all like the worst parts of the microphone and the performance rather than the cool parts you know and granted it's it's debatable whether or not people can actually hear that or if you can hear it or someone else can hear it um I hear it and I can you can usually tell right away like especially when you get a vocal and sometimes you'll hear vocal tract only cheaper condenser mike and you get like this kind of weird like hashey speedy top in especially the yeses and I don't ever try to be try to eke use some of that out, you know and then it just loses all the top end of the vocal and you can never get it right um a lot of the times that the better condenser mikes you just hear the top in and it's like wow that's perfect I don't even need to do anything that s is perfect it doesn't sound all like fizzy and distorted it just sounds smooth and clear and like just creamy great but then again way more expensive and I'm gonna try to show you kind of how to get around that and little tricks you can do to kind of to kind of fake it. Um see, um like I said, they do require a fan power there's large diaphragm condensers and small different condensers they for the most part of the same thing but you know, they all totally sound different and we'll kind of get into some of that I'm gonna be tracking some stuff with the, uh with we have a large diaphragm condenser here and we also have a couple like small pencil there's um polar patterns um cardio it is probably the most common polar pattern that you're going tio come across basically, that means is it picks up almost like in a comical way, so if your diaphragm is here picking up out the front of it you're going to get pretty good side and rear rejection from that um that's why a lot of the times on drums and guitar cabinets um and a lot of live microphones that you'll come across our very like you know uh cardio and face you know? Because if you have say you have a a drum here and you wanted to pick up your drawing you pointed at it you know I mean it's almost like you're looking at and that's what it picks up um there are I guess if you think it's almost like a flashlight you know I mean so cardio it is going to be kind of like a broad like not too focused and then look at something like a hyper cardio and it's almost like a laser beam um but the downside of the hyper cardio it is now you because of the way they have to manipulate the capsule, you'll get some like rear bleed eso if you have something behind mike or depending on where your drums are maybe advantageous or not depending on how you're using it um and I apologize for a lot of the stuff might be boring to you, but I'm kind of trying to cater some people that may not know some of this as well ok figure eight um a lot of ribbon mike's aa lot of ribbon mike's have uh figure eight I think almost all really likes already have figure eight the cool thing about figure eight is it has this crazy um like this crazy sort of proximity effect as you get closer to approximate effect is the closer you get to something you'll get kind of like this unnatural rise in low end um I'm sure you guys have experienced this when you're tracking guitars you know, like if you put a mic right up on a cabinet you get like pretty rad like just big bottom in and then you start moving it away and then it gets real thin um that's approximately effect figure eight microphones have almost like an enhanced approximately effect um and when I say figure eight it's figure it because it as you're looking down at the microphone it literally looks like an eight or like an infinity sign yes so it's almost like to cardio heads back to back so you get it picking up the same in the front as it does the back. Um like for instance, if you wanted to record two singers singing at the same time, you could put a microphone and figure eight that's why you see like some of the seventies videos you know are like things that you know what it's like you see this condenser microphone is like one guy singing the side of one guy singing the other side and you may have felt like what an idiot you guys seen in the back of the microphone you know um but it's actually picking up both sides if it's in figure eight um but some of these figure eight uh because of that crazy proximity effect that you can get you can use that artistically if you have that's why a lot of the times the guy you'll see like a guy you'll hear about people saying oh man like a royer one twenty one ribbon mike on like a guitar cab just sounds so huge and fat it's because the closer you get to something that has this big bottom and that it gets and you can really use that if you'd like a thin sound and guitar to kind of beef it up um and then on the directional is exactly how it sounds it's just picks up I get a big sphere it picks up everything um and generally uh if you have microphones that you can switch the polar patterns with I would really recommend playing with them a lot because it's pretty crazy how you can switch the polar pattern and it almost sounds like a completely different microphone like if you have a condenser microphone and you flip it if you throw it on like a guitar cab or on vocal and you flip it from figure eight tow omni you should hear pretty crazy difference and in the whole kind of like making the most of what you've got, um type of thinking you basically just doubled your mikes your mike selection by just by switching the polar pattern um where as you may have reached for another mike you know if it's too it's too bright so they didn't figure eight or cardio lloyd you know if it's too dark try putting a nominee you'll lose all that bottom is israel bright um and I want to say as it goes in the army you lose a lot of like the proximity effect too, but I haven't done it in a while so I can't really don't quote me on that try it yourself um common microphones have a slide for this um pictures of some pretty common microphones that I'm sure you guys all ran into fifty seven's I think that's a six o to um it looks like a sixty eight to one this is one of the new ones which is a nine oh, something I'm not that current. Yeah yeah things that six to, um that's him seven another great uh, mike phone all the way around. If I had to have just two microphones to track a record I could probably get by with just those two um and essam seven yeah, and with the prices of those like fifty seven's like less than a hundred bucks right it's like one hundred bucks yeah yeah I'm sure you could probably haggle guy at the music store and say intelligent sucks and you want to make a sale you know what is it that some seven cost for people out there think three fifty around there yeah, I think all these like under the five hundred dollars more I think and that's kind of what we're gonna try to focus on um you know things that are affordable um not you know anything you have to worry about like oh man like I don't want to let my friend borrow that so I want you to drop it um s m seven I would use I mean I have one I have crazy amounts of mike's that go all the way up to, like ten thousand dollars for a single microphone and you'd be surprised how many times the sm seven beats you know, those crazy and expensive microphones and what it really comes down to is just listening um sometimes you'll throw up a microphone on someone and actually a lot of the times I throw I start with like my most expensive mike and I throw it up and it just like me with this is just not sounding how it does and then you throw up a different microphone as a different character and it's like that's it you know um and it really is just about not caring what you're using but just listening to the result so it really is all about whatever sounds best I don't care what it is is just whatever sounds best and you really just have to use your ears keep trying everything you have um and you know borrow things if you don't have it um so here's some more microphones um beta fifty two cool kick drum like um the seat electronics x one at the bottom yep yep and then s e one is cooler like pencil condenser mike's um and in the sand has a four twenty one um that's a pretty like recognisable micah's well, I think you pretty much see that you know he never looked at pictures of miked up drum kits you pretty much always see those on tom's you know and I always think about like the little phaser like star trek phaser mike's you know they look like to me um a little tip about those though and this is more just if you have these mikes you already know but if you ever go see so learn and you're using these mikes on you're not familiar with them on the back of the mike you can see where it out the back kind of the tail end of unlike not the clip but the back side of it on the top where you plug in the mike there's actually a twisty um setting all there and it on one end it says m and on the other one is s and then in between there's a bunch of clicks and basically it's for music and speech and if you make the mistake of having it on the s setting, you'll notice that like a ton of bottom end is just gone from the microphone and if you're making up tom's or a kick drum all of a sudden you like this mike sucks um so make sure you have it on the music setting all of a sudden it goes from like sucks too this is awesome um so something to pay attention to, you know, write that down in your book make sure you check that I have definitely made that mistake before gotten overwhelmed by, you know, setting up you know oh my gosh, I consent of twenty room likes that this guy has I want to focus on those and then I'm dialing in tom sounds and like yelling at the drum tech like these tom's just have nobody what's going on and then you know, I go out there and check it out hey guys, I'm really sorry I made a stupid mistake of you know, and then it comes back on you because you're the person that supposed to be checking a lot of stuff way have a couple questions in the chat room yeah brand like the manufacture of this mike's just blow through those repairs you want me to start from the top? Yeah ok so sure makes the seventy seven top left yet top right sure makes the sm seven san heuser makes the six o two I believe that's the microphone um ari twenty electoral voice electrical I say it's funny like after you do this for a while you just like that you know who makes it it's alright twenty and I know the model numbers by nolan manufacturer going yeah um the shore beta fifty two um sure makes the baby to studio electronics makes the x one which is the bottom left uh they also make the sc one days which is the top right and then san highs there again makes the four twenty one but I believe now this the nd for twenty one and gave three or something like that you know, um another thing about those mikes some people really you know you might hear your friends saying all man, I've got a vintage for twenty one or a new new for twenty one like in your new for twenty one sucks, you know and if that's the case then ask him to let you borrow it and you know and figure it out and hear the difference yourself um another cool thing I did um in this presentation is for the drums attract a whole bunch of different drum might configurations and if you've ever looked up on the internet about how to record drums, especially kick drum, I find that the first thing I always find it some old dude on they're talking about, like, man, you just need a vintage, a k, a g d twelve on the kick drum and that's. All you need is the best microphone ever. So I used a vintage d twelve so you can hear how it sounds. And then I compare it to a new for twenty one and obeyed fifty to um and I don't think that information is available on the internet to find. I tried to search for it, and you can never find the exact same kit in the exact same room. Tune the same way with the exact same player just straight up swapping the mike out so you can hear the difference in just the microphones. Um, so it's kind of cool to hear, because now I guess it kind of just lets you know that, like not everybody on the internet is, you know, everyone's bias, you know.

Class Description

Find out exactly what you need to get a great recording on a super tight budget in Guerrilla Recording with Beau Burchell.

Beau is a vocalist, guitarist, producer, and founding member of Saosin – his discography includes credits on songs from The Bronx, From First to Last, and The Bled. In Guerrilla Recording, Beau will show you how to walk into any recording situation and make the most of it.

Whether you are making do with with 1 mic, 3 mics, or a fully staffed studio – Beau will help you focus in on the details that will really make a difference on your track. You’ll learn best practices for recording vocals, guitars, drums, and bass on the cheap. Beau will also talk about workflow and how to listen to your track to make sure you captured the best sound.

You don’t need a big budget and high dollar equipment to get a quality recording. Learn the gear and techniques you need to get the sound you want.

Featuring a live studio tracking session with Beau and Seattle band Lo, There Do I See My Brother


a Creativelive Student

A lot of great info here! Awesome getting to see Beau's workflow and hear his thoughts on the methods he uses. Would love to see him do a class on micing guitars, bass and show his methods in more detail/time. He gets some of the best raw tones in the game. Feel like this was more of a great overview and would like more time for details seeing as he is a very knowledgeable dude. Thanks Beau for the great class and for sharing this info with us.