MISHASUCKS.NET/GEAR_GEEK: RECORDING DRUMS ON A BUDGET AND MORE
You asked and Misha answered. Today, the Periphery guitarist/mastermind and #20 on our list of the Top 25 Modern Metal Guitarists, tackles more MS reader-submitted questions about gear, guitars, and more. This week: Misha’s preferred method for recording guitars directly to a computer, the best way to record drums on a budget, and how Misha created the sexy synth/drum loops on the Periphery and Animals as Leaders albums.
I’m trying to “graduate,” if you will, from running an 1/8 inch headphone cable from my Line 6 Pod into my computer’s line-in port for direct recording. I was thinking about buying the Line 6 UX2 TonePort, but can’t I just use my pod through an interface, like an M-Audio Fast track or something? Basically what I’m asking is, where should I go from here? If I remember correctly, in the videos of your home setup you were also running a Pod at some point. How did/do you do it?
You have two options. You can actually use your Pod as an interface, granted it may not be the fastest or best thing in the world, but it is free, and if you do choose to graduate to an interface you can just plug in via 1/4 inch or XLR. The Periphery album was recorded with an AxeFX plugged into my Presonus Firepod with 1/4 inch cables.
Misha, in your estimation, what’s the best way to record drums on a budget? I’m thinking of getting a Focusrite Saffire in the future along with a Samson 7/8kit. Any opinions?
Although this is always a point of contention with opposing opinions on what the “right” way is to do things, I still believe that companies such as Toontrack have developed products that sound so good that if you are trying to record on a budget (or for free, like our debut album) there is absolutely no better way to do it. Get a program such as EZ Drummer or Superior 2.0 and either program it directly or hook up an electronic kit and have your drummer perform so you can edit the MIDI. The thing is, to get a really good miked drum sound you cant really get away with using mediocre gear; you need nice mics and nice preamps, and MOST importantly you need a good drum room (which is often the very opposite of a good room for miking guitars or vocals).
So I believe that on a budget, getting a good drum program and working with that will get you the better drum sound.
How did you create those atmospheric backing (drum)synths on your songs and on the AAL album? With FL Studio? I want to know because they are the sex.
and Etc asks:
Yeah, I’d love to hear an in depth explanation of how you go about doing the glitchy/electronic stuff on that album.
It was a number of things on the AAL album. I believe it was a combination of the various kits and hits in Hypersonic and Reason, and sometimes I would export sections I had programmed or just drum loops and would manually chop them up/manipulate them from there. Just trying different things for different songs and keeping them if they enhanced the parts.
For the Periphery album, Jake actually did most of that stuff, and a lot of the sounds were things that he recorded and then manipulated and loaded into a sampler in addition to using a similar approach to mine.