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Guerrilla Recording

Lesson 3 of 23

So What Do I Need?

Beau Burchell

Guerrilla Recording

Beau Burchell

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Lesson Info

3. So What Do I Need?


  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

So What Do I Need?

What do we need? What are important for me to fifty seven's is a must guitars I love I'll normally start with a couple of fifty seven's on a cab um I always need to fifty seven's because I'll normally start with us and air drone with fifty seven on top seven on bottom um and I would say maybe a set of small diaphragm condensers because at least with two fifty seven's and a pair of condensers, you could easily do kick snare overheads and now you have, like a decent drum set and if you feel like you're kick drum absolutely sucks because it's fifty seven um chances are you need you know if you change the head or return your kick drum because it is possible to get a good sounding kick drum with fifty seven um but, um if you still think it sucks after all that or you feel like you don't have the money to get a new kick head or you don't have the time or the energy to change the kit kat and dialing your kick sound you could sample it of and I think that probably sounds um decent vocal like, ...

um like I said in my opinion, s m seven is a great vocal like to start with um and then from there I would work with those microphones and really I guess the philosophy I've always had is don't buy gear until you feel like you've outgrown the gear that you have you know I mean until you feel like what until you feel like you're limited by your gear don't spend money on just getting something because he heard it's great or whatever you know like until you're totally happy with your you know guitar sounds or you feel like they're just the best they can be with one you know or to fifty seven's like don't worry about getting you know another dedicated microphone just for guitars you know like I feel like you're gonna that money is probably better spent on other things whether it be like re to being your actual guitar head which you know if your guitar player and you pay attention to that thing then you know that's a massive massive difference the difference between old tubes and head versus new tube is just crazy different it's like an entirely new amp amplifier it goes from being usable toe like this am sucks uh actually go from the sam sucks in his hand is great um um I would say yeah don't fall into the hole like you know one hundred fifty dollars for a u eighty seven type of thing um usually those things always end up to be a waste of money or there may be like a cool little honeymoon period where it's like wow this is like really brighter and has more bottom in and my vocal mike that I have now, but after you use it on a couple projects are a couple songs you're going to start, you'll probably start toe find that michael limitations fairly fast. Um, I would recommend borrowing as much stuff as possible. Um, and I don't know if you guys have had this experience, but for me, um, like the audio worlds kind of mean, we're nerds, you know, like we're geeks and geek out on that type of stuff, you know, I feel like most musicians and anybody that does this is that kind of just ok cool let's sneak out on stuff at least that's the way I am, um and it totally consumes you, um and I found that if you have friends that are kind of similar to us when they get something new, they are like, you'll normally get a text message or a call like, dude, you gotta check out this new like I got that is so awesome. Um, I would totally take advantage of that. Um, when your friend gets a new microphone or a new, you know, say he gets, like, a new interface or, you know, something like that definitely set up a time with your friend to where you khun go to his place where he can come to your place and show how awesome it is but bring your mic over there and you know they'll be more than willing they should be more than willing to show you how much better their stuff is than yours and that is like the ultimate great way to compare your stuff to something new and then you can really decide whether or not you need to get something like that because a lot of the times they might get something new you know can you might like they're one hundred fifty dollars u eighty seven and how much better it sounds and then you go over there and sing on it compared to your microphone and it's totally the wrong like phone for your voice um and you just saved yourself a hundred fifty bucks um and I think those air pretty important lessons to learn rather than he said it sounds great so I'm gonna get one um um oh, there isn't cool really cheap mike's that I found um I think radio shack made them for a while there pcm likes basically what that is it's like a little boundary mike and they have kind of like a little plate and you set them on the ground and, uh are you guys familiar with, uh like debate in ninety eight with a little small clip on tom likes they have a little arm and it just like it's, like literally the size of your pinky. So it's almost like a microphone that size it's like on a plate and you can set him around the room and they just pick up like, oh, everything above it or if you hang on the walls, they kind of have a really cool response, but I think our c a made some I don't know the brand of the ones that I have, but I got on ebay and they're like twenty bucks apiece and they're like an awesome secret weapon microphone. Um especially for room likes because you can just like tossing around the room, you don't need that's a great thing about until you don't need to buy mike stands, so you're saving yourself. I mean, in my opinion, I mean, I guess we'll get to that later, but in my opinion, it's worth it to spend one hundred bucks on a on a good mike stand um, because in my opinion, there's nothing worse than spending all day finding the exact right mike placement like on a drum or a guitar amp, and then you come back the next day and like, here, my stand has just sagged, and now your mike is like on the floor, so in my opinion it's really important to get yourself some great mike stands um I mean the ones that I have or cayenne em but I don't know if they still make them anymore but you'll feel good mike stand too you know it's like and I'm sure you guys play live the worst thing ever to like you're playing live and like trying to crank the thing to put it in front of you and it just keeps falling down the whole night your worst nightmare um so get yourself good my stand um but by using those microphones you can say that you know, if you're spending a hundred bucks per stand, you just save yourself two hundred books and you've got to rad room likes for forty bucks, so those are awesome and they uh the ones I have are actually balanced quarter inch outputs so they're kind of weird but it's cool because he didn't just use the d I in you know of live console but so you can use die in on your interface and you don't actually have to have like a really, uh like my phone with my people the ton of gain so you can use you kind of like you're cheaper if you have multiple mike cramps even kind of throw like you're you're like spare mike prams on those um but those are really cool likes um and then life slides running this mike's yes I do and that like right there that's awesome my bus driver like that's actually not mind but um the s ten trick is pretty cool so the end and it's ten monitor I'm again I'm explaining this stuff as if you guys don't know what it is then it's tens of just a famous it's that white wolf for that you see in all the old you know all the old studios and it's like the classic things like man you know a real studio unless you have these cheap ass monitors um so it's the young hot in this ten and you can still buy the wolf for straight from yamaha it's cost about seventy bucks um on mine I take I take a little just like a fifty dollars like guitar center steel like straight standing a little crappy stand and I j b weld um that top of the mike stand onto the magnet of of the speaker and now you pretty much have the yamaha's it's like three hundred dollars yamaha sidekick mike that they make it looks like a drum that you've seen that outside of a kick trump um but now you just have this wolf for that you can place anywhere you want it's awesome on kick drum the other place I love it is on bass guitar so if you mike up bass rig with that and his ten I mean that's another thing you you could get an awesome bass sound with a fifty seven and that and all of a sudden now your base is just massive um and it's seventy bucks so I mean it's kind of worth it to have um you do need tio have a little bit of sauntering skills because you're going to have to connect thea the two wires that come out of that speaker that would normally be coming from the cross over you know you're gonna have to connect either a quarter inch or next clark able to those um but if you can you can find all that information online to like how to make a gala and has ten will for some cake umm totally available online and I'm sure that there are dudes that have full on tutorials on how to do it but speaking of tutorials this you know engine again with the fifty seven I have a couple of fifty seven's that I've done a modification to which involves taking the transformer out of the fifty seven um it's not a completely different mike but it's a totally cool in your sound a fifty seven to me has a really cool sound but it also kind of has like this weird like faizi mid range thing to it when you take the transformer out and you just wire the capsule straight through to the output it gets rid of that weird phasing mid range and all of a sudden now you're mike has this extended top end and extended bottom and um but you have much lower output now but that's a cool trick you know like I said if you have an extra fifty seven laying around and you want like an extra color you can use that rather than buying any like uh the only bummer is that now your microphone is pretty much ruined um you can't really go backwards because what's in the tutorial you confined ton of those tutorials online but it pretty much involves unscrewing the mic snipping the cables putting that piece of the microphone has the transformer and in a big pot of boiling water you have to heat up the glue and then take it out of these big tongs you don't burn yourself and then they take out this big louis transformer take it out and then wire it straight through um it's pretty it's simpler than it sounds but um I love all that geeky modifications stuff um ok I have a slide for this guitar drums guitar sam's um I play guitar myself so um but I think I like drums more than guitars actually I could watch interment play guitar played drums all day long um guitar and I think the main thing to realize or tio think about is there's no wrong amp unless it's the wrong amp meaning that I don't think you should ever really not try an amp um for your recording unless you've already heard it and you know that it's not gonna work and you already have a kind of mentally rolling next in your head that yes, I've recorded this guitar with that cab with this this head with that cab with this guitar and I know how it sounds and it's not the right sound for this part um um I think there's just you know, let's just talk about like to kind of like circuits of guitar amps there's you know you've got your martial style circuit which is kind of your more traditional you know, very famous won't be like the jason eight hundred or the plexi you know, like that's your very like a c d c everything from what kind of like a c d c to a uh you know, super heavy rock stuff you know or I mean, the the like on the saves and translating the name that was I think that was a jason two thousand you know, that was a marshal like modern well and modified but modified marshal sound um, which you know as you're going through and controlling the controls on it you'll find is very different them I say a twin or offender style circuit um to me they sound completely different but they can both accomplish some of the same things, but you wouldn't necessarily want to track if your band is a metal band you wouldn't necessarily want to try if you and if you own us fender twin you're going to be struggling trying to make your band sound really brutal playing out of a fender twin um unless that's your thing I think it could be pretty cool to have a super heavy like sludgy band playing really heavy stuff out of the super blown out basement or something that could be pretty cool um although it's where music is that I don't think it's very fashionable right now um um the other thing to consider too is that you if you don't have like the big one hundred watt you know one hundred watt marshall head it's not really that important because what you're searching for his tone you're not searching for blowing your face you're not playing in front of you know, two thousand people where you need this big stage volume you know you're you're you're playing for a microphone and I think it's important tio you know if your aunt needs to be cranked up to a certain level to get the tone you want then crank it up you know but if you can't crank it up because you're recording like in your parentsbasement or in your bedroom and you share a wall your apartment shares a wall with like an old woman who wants to sleep all day like and you can't crank up your amp then you're forced to kind of like tried at a lower level but um you can well let me just also say that I have ah, there are some low wattage amps that air just awesome for recording I have ah like orange jim route head and I think it's it goes from seven two fifteen watts and it just sounds crushing I mean that you can put it up against any high power damp and a lot of the times that that jim route will we'll pick that in a blind test it really just depends on the guitar, the player and the part and I think that is the main thing another thing to that victory is, you know, the same thing with guitars I think that it's important for you to find your own guitar sound you know and not just use you know oh, I'm using this because I read in an interview that this band uses it and that's how I want to sound I think it's cool to maybe explore that tone but ultimately find something that's you that's going to set you apart from other people because to me those are the those of the bands that I remember you know, I mean, when you hear a bunch of bands and recordings that all sound just like everyone else it's very just disposable to me like hearing things they're fresh and exciting um cabinets closed in open back cabinets I mean, if your guitar player you totally already know this stuff but if you're a drummer recording your band you probably haven't had the chance to experience with closed versus open back cabinets um they do sound pretty different maybe to a guitar player I'm sure to a drummer it's sounds like guitar man cool on dh probably especially to a singer um uh okay um if you on ly have a a closed back cabinet and you're not happy with the sound you're getting and you're trying to do kind of like a fender ish style tone where you feel like an open that cabinet would be more appropriate I don't think it's bad to just take the back off of your cabinet you know and I also feel like it's good for you to do that just so you can at least hear the difference um it's pretty crazy how it will affect the push and the driver of the cabinet also um you know and when you turn it up more to you khun really start to feed field speaker kind of like start almost barton out more you know, which sometimes is a really cool sound um let's see um just touch on that yeah um uh I thought I had a slide for that yeah, um preempt we're gonna talk about later um compressors I think if I were to recommend one piece of like outboard compressor it would definitely be the distress sir because it's it's made by a company called empirical labs you see him in every studio I don't know I don't even think I've been in like a real studio that didn't have like a pair of distress sir is sitting somewhere they're the ones they were just like a single space black unit and have like the big white knobs on him and then a big led for how much gain reduction there is uh I think those are great for if you had to learn compression and you were fed up with plug ins and if you only had one compressor to track everything with I think that would be an awesome one to start I think that was my first compressor as well. Uh well, I was my first real compressor um really um uh they're great because the control you have on those is just so crazy it will do it will emulate a lot of different type of circuits um it doesn't do them perfect, but it will emulate them enough to where you can really figure out um you're like oh wow like I'm learning not just how to control um not just how to control dynamics but also shaped transients um, you know, you hear you hear a lot of people talking about you know if you want your drums to be you know, really slamming than then you compress them well a lot of times what they're what they're talking about is not necessarily compressing to control dynamics it's more shaping the envelope of the actual drum so if you can imagine like a wave form like you know if you know what a drone looks like within your dad w now imagine being able to kind of smash down the tail end of that and what you're essentially you're doing is you're making that peak more accentuated, you know or more more quick so if you ever heard drums when you start to compress when they start to get that little tick at the front of them and like more attack that's the type of compression you're talking about and with the distress sir, you have so much control that is really easy toe go from totally smashing it toe controlling the way form and shaping the envelope aids it's a great president start on um he cues um I'd say for outboard gear, if you're if you're starting out, I don't really think that outboard accused or really all that important I feel like it's going to be more important for you to focus on getting the sounds right at the source and really trying to move microphones rather than throwing up my kronemann just queuing it um um in the end, you'll if you can not a few things on the way in and if you can get it there just by moving a microphone and we'll talk about that, you know, throughout the class um you know, moving a microphone a couple of inches on a guitar is gonna make a huge difference and a way better difference than having tiki things and because once you start adding any key, start getting weird phase problems and you may not hear those face problems um as you're tracking, but once you start coming to mix your years like man, everything just is not fitting together, right? And like I said before, it's all a game of inches and it's all a bunch of super super boring stuff that, like no one wants to hear, but in the end, if you pay attention to those things, those are the things that you know, those of the difference in my opinion between, like, ah home recording and like a great recording because if you had the chance to be in the studio with some, you know, if you've ever seen videos of like, great producers working, you'll notice the law of the times you hear these stories especially like in the eighties when there's the budgets to do it like man we spent like three days getting a kick drum sound you know are like yeah, we brought in a truck full of drums and we auditioned five drum kits to find the right snare drum um that's what's really important but we don't really have the funds to do that for for this class so we're you know that's why I was talking a lot about borrowing things you know? So if you're able tio say you're tracking drums, be cool to people you know and you know, that's nothing is like being a good dude is going get you pretty far in well in life in general it's just better to be good dude, but if you're friends with a lot of other people within the community and you're going to track drums, chances are you probably have or not necessarily drums chances are you probably have that rich friend who like has everything you know and like, you know, freshman year in high school he was the dude that had, like the dual rectifier like full stack with, like the brand new prs guitar, you know? And I'm sure by now he has, like, tons of other really cool stuff that you could borrow you know, if you maintained a relationship so those are all good things to do like if you can't, you know if you don't have access to it by renting it, try to borrow it um um people just starting out. I know that's a big out of the gear liste um, monitoring, I was I have a lot of friends asking me what they should get for monitors, and I feel like sometimes people by studio monitors because they feel like they have tohave studio monitors. Um, I don't think that you need, quote unquote, studio monitors. I think the most important thing is to, you know, like I have here. Why do you need monitors and that's? Why I would that's what I would ask yourself before you go and buy monitors. Why do you think you need them? Um, and if it's literally just because, well, I need studio monitors toe have studio, then I think that's the wrong reason um, I have a friend actually just asked me this and this was my response. What kind of sumana should they said, why do you need them? I don't know. I feel like I need to monitors. All I've been listening to for the past eight years is my home stereo and he's like I know how my stereo sounds like in and out that's where I test all of my music and whenever I record my bands like, I always take it home and listen to it on my home stereo, and I like I know if the base is too loud I know if the vocals I note how that stereo sounds like why don't you just use that you know it well um and when you go and buy a new set of speakers there's that big learning curve it takes you to learn speakers um but I think for the if you know a set of speakers like I don't care what speakers they are you know like that's why people go out to their cars to check a mix you know because they listened to the most music in their car or like on their ear buds now um and if I would say used for monitoring whatever you're the most comfortable on because chances are you know you're not really going to get anything decent under the thousand dollars range so and most of the time people are asking you know what kind of monitor should I get I've got like four hundred bucks to spend years like dave you're not going to get anything you know like just don't buy um but if you have money to spend there are some good ones and I think it's all personal preference I would say if you are you know bent on getting monitors make sure that their monitors that you enjoy how your favorite records sound on those monitors um meaning that if you put up a record that you know sounds really good and it sounds not the way you want to hear it like if you're a type of person that likes to hear kind of like a smiley face curve um and you like to hear that top on the bottom and just banging then make sure your speakers are that way because otherwise if you're mixing on say something like this tends that don't have a ton of top and bottom you're always going to be naturally adding that in to your mixes and your mix is there always going to have too much top into much bottom because that's how you walk to hear music um so that's kind of the only thing I can recommend or the most important thing I could recommend um if you're you know if you are getting a separate dedicated set of honors that you don't have already um headphones um I would say for um I mean there's so many good headphones out there now but for theo intent of tracking I think support have closed back headphones um as well as maybe headphones if you're able to try them out or demo or borrow a friend's set um I think it really depends on one you're hearing and how deaf you are if you're one of those people that's really deaf and you have to and you love tracking with a lot of click track I think it's going to be more important that your headphones um are very well isolated for me there's nothing worse when I'm recording a drummer and I have to turn the click track up so loud that I can hear it in the overhead I can hear it in the room likes can hear everywhere um and it'll ruin your trump it'll ruin your your tracks if you're not careful about it so if you if you are a person that is uh hard of hearing then I would recommend finding doing the research, finding some headphones they're totally well isolated maybe even like those super drummer ones where they're like they're like the water filled ones and it's just like they're meant for like firing shotguns you know our whenever it is yeah so yeah um but I mean for mixing I don't really I used the uh I used these um there the they used to call you have seventy five of six is the sony seventy five or six is, um I like he's a lot because they're not terribly expensive I think you can find them on sale for like ninety five bucks sometimes um and they're they're cool to me because they do have like a lot of extended top end and um and they're not beats hate beets uh I was given the well I had a pair of beats for a while and uh I was finally able to get rid of him but search has a question yeah what's an acceptable budget we're talking about all this gear yeah what's unacceptable budget for getting started with girl on recording what does it take to actually start doing it like we don't get the monitors for example and you're just just starting out I think you know I may have a slide for that no, um I would you know, I think it's I don't so you're saying for someone that has nothing yeah right here I would say you're looking at um well how about I was asking like so what would you say like you're beginning startup costs were well tower piece I mean, we're talking like two thousand seven right on an old tower pc that I could record on and then buying the interface and then a couple microphones is probably probably ended up spending about six or seven hundred dollars and then I had oh, I didn't have monitors to start out with but yeah, I was doing the same thing like working on whatever speakers were attached to my computer that I knew fairly well totally but yeah around seven hundred dollars I think is when I started out with that's not counting any of the you know yeah, you're right that's good that's the recording said that I had at that time ok, I had more but then again I had more inputs and I could actually you know utilize his only a two month yeah, totally yeah. And what about you? My recording budget so far has been zero dollars okay, I started out on a test camphor track right in middle school and then somebody gave me an imac for free that had some weird cracks in the screen and that's still what I'm using awesome to this day and my roommate actually just bought an inbox I think it was I don't know one hundred dollars or something like a little condenser microphone pack for hundred bucks so two hundred dollars right has been for a couple of months yeah, yeah oh, my budget so far awesome. Yeah. And what about you? I'm act that I got on craigslist for like three hundred bucks with logic and then, uh fire pods never like one on craigslist ok, yeah, I got to those and daisy chained him just like him cool and then, um I had rs some fifty seven my dad gave me one I bought like three more and then a kg uh condenser yeah, and then those were I hunt craigslist everywhere. Yeah. Yeah. So I'd say like I think the imac was like three fifty or something and it's pretty much worthless now fire pods don't know during her books and then mike's um parents seven hundred to something close to that so your total is yeah, and I bought a couple compressors and stuff like that later but just just to start out um yeah I'd say around six, seven hundred bucks something that as well so yes, I mean, you know, pretty pretty wide range um and I think it really just depends you know, like I was saying like I think it's going to depend on each person and what your goal is um because you know, if you're just wanting to record one input or two inputs, your cost is going to be significantly cheaper than if you want to go to like a full eight and put you know or even, you know, foreign plates for this you know, and there's so many different options out there and but I said if you you know, I think if you if you purchase the class, those slides will be available and you can kind of go through and, you know, go over the checklist as faras like, okay, what d a w in my on and you really should just kind of I mean, whenever I'm kind of putting together, I would just call it a budget, you know, we're putting together a budget, you know, you need to look at like, what you're what you're getting if you want monitors, you know, your microphones what you're planning to do um four microphones on a drunk it. If you're just damaging stuff, I think it's fine. So you're looking at a four channel interface. You know your computer. Hopefully you can run your interface and you're your d a w on the computer that you have already. If not, then that's going to kick your expenses up like crazy. Um and, yeah, craig's list, even in craigslist is like a gold mine for audio gear. Um, and it's sad because, you know, it's, just years, totally capitalizing on people's, broken dreams, christmas, yeah, everybody gets all excited, and then they let it go. Yeah, um, and, uh, yeah, it sometimes it said, but you're able to get pretty killer deals just because, you know, the guy lost his job, and it means rent. So he's selling his interface, you know, and it's like, well, sorry, but you know now I got this killer interface for, like, a hundred bucks. But yeah, craigslist is like the way to go.

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.