Need advice on getting set up to record (500-600 USD budget)

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Thread: Need advice on getting set up to record (500-600 USD budget)

  1. #1


    Join Date: Dec 2012
    Location: Florida

    iTrader: 0

    Need advice on getting set up to record (500-600 USD budget)

    Recently I've been writing some (pretty rudimentary and sloppy) death metal, and I've been having so much fun with it that I want to invest some money in getting my stuff to sound better and turning them into complete songs. I've set aside about 600 bucks to pick up an interface, a mic for vocals, and guitar/drum VSTs in the near future, and I'm curious if y'all have any input on how best to tackle this given my budget.

    Here's what I'm looking at:
    -Focusrite Scarlett Solo - I'm taking them at their word that the second gen models have fixed the input gain issue for higher output guitars.
    -Shure SM58 (plus mic stand/XLR cable/pop filter) - I know fuckall about vocal mics but this one's cheap and I've seen a few people say it's common for death metal growls. Really open to suggestions here.
    -Bias FX+the metal expansion: I've got some DIs in Reaper for stuff I'm writing, and I've tried them with the demos for Bias, Amplitube, Guitar Rig, S-Gear 2, and Thermonik. Of those, I've preferred the sounds I've gotten out of Bias. Metal expansion cause both are on sale at Reverb so why not.
    -EZDrummer 2+2 expansions: My experiments in free drum sounds have gone pretty poorly, and from watching drum software on Youtube it seems like EZDrummer is pretty user friendly for getting workable drums down for song ideas. You can get it on Sweetwater with two expansions for 250, and I'm kind of curious which of them you like the best.

    All of the above costs about 550 USD, and I've set aside 600 bucks to make this happen. If you'd get different stuff on a similar budget (or if I'm missing something obvious and important), please let me know.

  2. #2


    Join Date: Oct 2016
    Location: Corpus Christi
    ME: Ibanez 540S & S540
    MB: Ibanez SG200
    Rig: Blackstar Core 40

    iTrader: 0

    I have a Scarlet 2i2 that rules.

    My SM58 is over 25 years old, has been used onstage over a 100 times, dropped, kicked, stepped on, spiked into the stage, dropped into a bus pan full of beer and left there for about 15 minutes, used for speed metal, thrash metal, punk, crossover, spoken word, amp/drum recording and death metal and still works just as well today as it did when I bought it. Can't go wrong with an SM58, no matter how hard you try.

    I used Beta Monkey drum loops, but I know some of the others on here have better options/recommendations for drums. Here's a link to what I've been able to do with my Sabers, a Blackstar, SG bass and the above mentioned swag.
    Tone Chasers Anonymous ô - Iím not just a member, Iím the President.
    Donít expect much, itís not like Iím a rocket surgeon.

  3. #3


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Glasgow - Scotland
    ME: Suhr M5
    MB: Squire Jazz
    Rig: VHT Pittbull + Axe FX II

    iTrader: 3 (100%)

    if you can put more money into the interface to get more i/O do that.

  4. #4


    Join Date: Dec 2012
    Location: Florida

    iTrader: 0

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    if you can put more money into the interface to get more i/O do that.
    I could probably swing a 2i2/2i4 or similar. My thinking with the Solo was that it has an instrument input and a mic input, and that does everything I was thinking about doing (vox, laying down guitar/bass tracks into a VST). What're the advantages to more I/O?

  5. #5


    Join Date: Feb 2010
    Location: Laramie, Wyoming
    ME: Jackson AT Pro
    Rig: Rivera K Tre

    iTrader: 15 (100%)

    I would skip BIAS FX and get Recab/Thermionik, although in all honesty there is a bunch of free stuff that does good tones as well. I definitely wouldn't take BIAS FX over the free stuff.

    I would skip EZ drummer 2. EZD I does the exact same thing, you're just loading samples, and if you're on a budget I wouldn't spend $200+ on something that can do the same thing for $30.

    Focusrite stuff is awesome, I had one of their units forever.

  6. #6


    Join Date: Dec 2012
    Location: Florida

    iTrader: 0

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCoy View Post
    I would skip BIAS FX and get Recab/Thermionik, although in all honesty there is a bunch of free stuff that does good tones as well. I definitely wouldn't take BIAS FX over the free stuff.

    I would skip EZ drummer 2. EZD I does the exact same thing, you're just loading samples, and if you're on a budget I wouldn't spend $200+ on something that can do the same thing for $30.

    Focusrite stuff is awesome, I had one of their units forever.
    Of the amp sims I tried Recab/Thermonik was my least favorite - like to the point where I was wondering if I had it set up wrong. I've still got a demo for the complete collection going, if you've got a patch/settings you're into I'd love to listen to it.

    I'm down for saving money on drums, where do you get EZDI for 30 bucks?

  7. #7


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Glasgow - Scotland
    ME: Suhr M5
    MB: Squire Jazz
    Rig: VHT Pittbull + Axe FX II

    iTrader: 3 (100%)

    you want as many options as possible because guaranteed, what you think you want to do is about 1/10th of what you will actually end up wanting to do.

  8. #8


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Brighton, UK
    ME: Stuff
    MB: More Stuff
    Rig: Extra Stuff

    iTrader: 11 (100%)

    There's some free version of something called Get Good Drums. I grabbed it, but it wouldn't work with the free version of Kontakt that you needed to run it in. I did find a thread on another forum that said it was being fixed in a couple of weeks, which has probably happened already.

    I'd also skip paying for amp VSTs. All the free ones sound awesome. Unless they lack some functionality you really need, I'd stick with the free shit all the way.

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