I’m using ProTools, running on my old Powerbook. The audio interface is a Digidesign DIGI-002 Rack, inside the case below the mixing board.
The 002 has four mic pres, which I’ve used for the main hats, aux hats, overhead L and R. It also has four direct inputs, which are fed from direct channel outs or sub outs on the mixing board: kick, snare, stereo tom submix. The kick and snare are routed through a dbx 266XL dual-mono compressor, which helps tame excessive volume transients.
The tom mics are Audix D2 and D4. The snare mic is a D1, which sounds better (more woody, less pangy) than my Beyerdynamic M422. The kick mic is an AKG D112. Overheads are AKG C1000S. The main hi-hat mic is an old Audio-Technica condenser, the ATM31.
The room has been a challenge. Freshly painted, it makes a poor candidate for mounting absorptive materials. I know that a room’s upper corners are the first and most important place to treat with sound damping foam, but I can’t actually do it without leaving adhesive scars on the walls or ceiling. So, the foam placement has been a compromise; in lieu of prioritizing corners or achieving even coverage, I’ve put it where I can attach it without damage.
I’ve gotten pretty decent tones so far. I have learned a lot about the mechanics of recording in the past week, as I’ve experimented with mic placement, compression, and EQ. There’s more to know, I’m sure. But if I had to cut final takes today, I wouldn’t be held back by my gear. That’s a good feeling.
Still to do: install new mic cables with right-angle XLR jacks, to keep the cables out of my way as I’m playing; set up two new mic stands to give better control over hi-hat mic placement (the mics are currently hanging from cymbal arms, because I ran out of stands); set overhead mic pickup pattern to hypercardioid to see if that captures less room sound; change tom heads and retune; possibly change snare head. Then, of course, I have to learn how to play these five songs (two of which I haven’t even heard yet). It sounds doable… but I think I’ll be eating take-out on Thanksgiving.