In 2018 most userfriendly/affordable/quality interface for recording REAL drumkit???

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Gmork, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. Gmork

    Gmork SS.org Regular

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    Whats the consensus in 2018?

    -12 to 16(ish) inputs for full drum set up .
    -Quality Build that should last many years to come.
    -Budget around $1000 (Canadian)
    -User friendly/plug n play .
    -USB2 .
    -available at L&M preferably.
    -sounds halfway decent .
    -Of course ill be recording the entire band when all is said and done just fyi.

    Does this exist in this day and age?

    Im kinda new to interfaces so the more plug n play it is, the better . i currently use a steinberg ur22 which ive been getting along with nicely but i want to upgrade so i can record a drum kit (for my bands ep)

    Thanks a bunch for any insight folks .
     
  2. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Focusrite Scarlett OctoPre (8 channel preamp with ADAT digital connection) daisychained to Scarlett 18i20 8 preamp interface. Should be bang on your budget, 16 mic preamps in total :)
    You would have the 8 interface mic preamps available as inputs in the DAW, and then 8 digital inputs available from the interfaces ADAT too, which would be receiving the digital signal from the OctoPre.
    Essentially your input list will look something like
    Mic preamp 1
    Mic preamp 2
    Mic preamp 3....
    ADAT 1
    ADAT 2
    ADAT 3 and so on.

    I don't recall seeing an interface with 16 dedicated mic preamps in a long time. Digital expansion is nice and flexible.
     
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  3. Gmork

    Gmork SS.org Regular

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    Hmmm you lost me at digital input lol . I just want to be able to plug in actual mics .Does it have at least 8 mic pres?
     
  4. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    The interface (which communicates with the computer) 18i20 has 8 microphone preamps. You can record 8 mics with it. But it has more inputs than that (hence the "18i" name) - It also has a digital ADAT input which can accept digital audio data - 8 channels of it. And SPDIF which can accept another 2 digital channels - total of 18.

    So you expand it with the Octopre, which is not an interface and cannot connect to a computer, but has another 8 mic preamps and outputs digital audio over ADAT connection. Total of 16 mic preamps :) If you were to find a 2 channel mic preamp outputting SPDIF, you could connect that too for 18 mic preamps.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
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  5. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    All what @Winspear said.

    The Focusrite 18i20 (2nd gen) has 8 mic inputs and 2 SPDIF in/outs and can be expanded via lightpipe to more 8 mic inputs with an additional pre-amp strip like the Octopre.

    In other words/images:
    This audio interface connects to your computer - http://us.focusrite.com/usb-audio-interfaces/scarlett-18i20
    [​IMG]
    It has 2 mic inputs at the front + 6 at the back, 8 direct outs + 2 main outs, MIDIs, USB, SPDIFs and lightpipe connections (to expand input connections)

    Then, you add the Scarlett Octopre via the ADAT (lightpipe) connection, which is an 8 channel preamp strip. - https://us.focusrite.com/adat/scarlett-octopre
    [​IMG]
    To gain more 8 channels with mic input.

    This will give a total of 16 mic inputs to capture your drums.

    If you happen to have triggers and/or a drum module, you can also record MIDI data via the MIDI input. I think the SPDIF ports are used with synths. I use mines with the FX processor, so the signal is kept with minimal AD / DA conversions...

    I'm not sure about the value of the Canadian Dollar against the Euro, but this should fall well under €1000 new.
     
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  6. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I use a PreSonus 18 channel interface in conjunction with a Behringer ADAT interface. ( https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...97747a31ArGxCPYygdtsDK5eXxjSfYvBoCxWwQAvD_BwE ) The ADAT is used to expand from eight XLR inputs to 16 XLR inputs. I can record 18 channels simultaneously, but realistically, only 16, since two of the inputs are RCA and pretty crappy to use for anything that ends up in the recording, although they can be used for routing.

    Any interface with 8 XLR inputs and an ADAT expansion port (optical) should work the same way. It's amazing, for me at least, how quickly 8 inputs get filled up with drums.

    My go-to set up has been:
    1. Large diaphragm dynamic mic (Sure Beta 52 or AKG D112) for kick drum
    2. SM57 or EV Snare Drum Mic (out of production) for snare
    3. SM57 or similar for Hihat
    4-5. Two overhead small diaphragm condenser mics overhead
    6-7. Two large diaphragm condenser mics at a distance for room sound. These are optional if you want a very dry sound.
    8-11 or 12 or 13. Clip on small dynamic mics for individual toms.
    14-16 leaves you some wiggle room in case you want an undersnare mic or a second kick mic or if you are going to want separate mics on the ride or china or whatever effects percussion.

    I've always been happy to have a couple extra channels to play with extra mics rather than ending up wishing I had 4 or 5 more channels to get everything I feel I really need to have mixing options later.

    I've played with some minimal setups with like kick and snare and two room mics for when I had only four inputs, and you can get some good sound that way, it just really doesn't give you any flexibility.
     
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  7. Gmork

    Gmork SS.org Regular

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    Actually yes we trigger our kick, so good to know that will be covered as well even with just the scarlette .
    You overestimate the canadian dollar lol. Total for both of those (before tax) is $1430!
    But still a good deal for everything id be getting! This is precisely the type of thing that financing is for . and hinestly for the time being i could get away with just the scarlette .
    Hey thanks a lot you two .
     
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  8. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Nice setup! Yeah, there are some surprisingly great sounding minimal mic setups but even 8 is a squeeze for a modern sound especially on a bigger kit. I'm receiving recordings from a certain drummer right now that are set out with 2 kick mics, stereo overheads, stereo room mics, snare top and bottom (that's 8 already), hihat, ride, and 5 toms.
     
  9. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Missed the Canadian part haha oops! That Behringer above would be a good shout vs the Octopre to save some money, but if you can push the budget it would be nice to know all 16 preamps are identical I suppose :)
     
  10. Gmork

    Gmork SS.org Regular

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    So the focusrite has 8 mic pres and a bunch of other inputs .if not mics what are all those other inputs used for?
     
  11. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Usual fare for something at that price point is 16 XLR+1/4" hybrid balanced inputs with preamps, an RCA in for a mixer or tape deck, and an optical I/O for ADAT. That's why they all have the number 18 in the model number. :lol: Then there will be tons of outputs, which are nearly as handy as the inputs.

    During my first foray into interfaces, I thought that the concept was kind of utilitarian and boring, but once you start dealing with recording live drums, you start getting really excited about I/O. :lol: I've done some live recording of local bands with my rig and used every input and every output in my entire rack simultaneously. I was quite blown away by how my little computer was able to handle that much.
     
  12. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    Most RCA connections on these audio interfaces are DIGITAL connections - SPDIF in/out, so don't plug them into your HiFi system as an audio phono player.

    I'm not aware of existence that a mic preamp could convert it's signal into digital SPDIF but if there is, 2 more mics to add.

    About the Focusrite 18i20, the 18 means 18 inputs while the 20 means 20 outs MAX. These are sorted out like this:
    Onboard:
    • 8 mic inputs with the front 2 doubling as instrument input.
    • 2 channels SPDIF input/out put or stereo in/out.
    • MIDI in/out to record/send synth and MIDI data.
    • 10 mono audio outs + 2 headphones
    With a preamp strip like the octopre it adds up
    • 8 mic inputs (with or without instrument inputs)
    • 8 channel direct out (depending on the hardware)
    As far as pricing goes, if you go for 2nd hand market, you'll find valuable hardware within your budget.

    About recording your drum's trigger via MIDI, you MUST have a trigger-to-midi hardware piece, like a Roland Vdrum something. If the trigger is audio signal into the DAW/FOH/Mixer, you'll lose a mic channel on your interface.

    About Focusrite, they have a customer program that gives FREE or very nice deals on VSTs every month or so, so thumbs up for these guys!

    IF 16 mic inputs are not enough, then USB audio interface is not your thing. Try a thunderbolt / firewire or the new Ethernet PC connections for portable systems. They'll be obviously more expensive.

    @bostjan had one of those presonus, pretty cool unit until it burnt out with a PC I had before. Took it for repairs and was quoted more than for a new unit... choose to go Focusrite that day.
     
  13. Gmork

    Gmork SS.org Regular

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    Ive decided to go with the focusrite 18/20 as well as the octo pre add on.

    I was looking at something else when looing for prices too! For both the total is $1250 before tax. Close enough to my budget to warrant the octo and benefits that come with it .
     
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  14. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied Arium Addict

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    Knowing how to tune a kit properly will go further than mic placement, I believe. Even with 1 mic you can get a pretty solid take if you know what you're doing.
     
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  15. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Absolutely. My first solo record, I recorded drums using two mics. It makes mixing go a lot faster, since there really isn't much to adjust, but if you want to pull the snare up or something, you're SOL.
    On the flip side, I've seen people do dozens of mic's on drums and it ends up being a nightmare when it comes to mixing. I usually try to bus toms together as early as possible, then bus everything except kick and snare into a stereo track If you find the perfect mic placement you could probably get the perfect setup with four mics, I think.
    If your heads are tuned to the key of cheap, then it won't sound great no matter how many mics you use, IMO, but you can still trigger.
     
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  16. billinder33

    billinder33 SS.org Regular

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    16 channels (including mic preamps) simultaneous DAW input, great brand-name manufacturer... only $1200.... These are amazing times we live in!!!
     
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  17. RustInPeace

    RustInPeace SS.org Regular

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    I picked up a Motu 8Pre used for $150 bucks. You can link 2 of them together.
     
  18. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Those go that low new? I knew they were relatively inexpensive, but ... wow, that's cheap! :yesway: Do they work okay/any issues? Which DAW do you use with them?
     
  19. RustInPeace

    RustInPeace SS.org Regular

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    It was used deal. They come in either firewire or usb2.0. Mine was a firewire model so I had to pick up a TI chipset firewire card for $30. Havent had any issues so far.
     
  20. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Really, ANY decent 8-preamp interface that can record up to at least another 8 channels via ADAT will get you there, as will any 8-preamp interface that will let you daisy-chain a pair of them together to run in conjunction. On your budget, Presonus is probably worth a look, too.
     

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