Audient iD14 – Home Recording with I, The Dreamer
Hi I’m James and I play bass in the birmingham-based post-hardcore band: I, The Dreamer and I’m Matt and I play guitar and am one of the vocalist in the band. We’re going to take you through the recording process behind our debut EP as well as going through the ID14 and other Audient products that help us record it. So we decided to record this EP home because we’ve been to other studios before, external studios, and whilst we did think they were really good we felt that we could have a go at doing this ourselves. So our first experience with Audient was using the ASP8024, a big console and it was in one of the studios at university. When you finish doing a three-year course on Music Technology and you are used to using all this big gear you can’t purchase all of that over those three years and take home with you, so you got to have some form of bedroom alternatives to then keep up the same kind of standards that we were getting at university, at home. So the iD14 really did that. Ok so now if we go through the different recording processes. So the most difficult instrument for recording on a low-budget and
to record yourself is drums Because they are loud and they take up space and they need a lot of microphones to capture. We were very lucky, we got space at the University which is a very nice isolated space and what we did was brought the ASP800 down with us. So we used: kick, snare tom, tom, and overheads. On our tracks all our overheads just clean recorded cymbals with a low cut at about 600 Hertz and all the rest of the drums are a mix between live drums and boosted by some samples to give it a bit more of a nice consistent sound. So when we record Bass, we go straight through the DI and we try to put it through whatever amp simulation we’re putting on it there and then, and we try to find the tone, for Bass at least, on the spot. We just set the buffer size in Logic to as short as possible There’s no latency, its just playing along to the drums, and it’s just as tight as if you were playing through an amp. When we record the guitars, similar to how we record the bass, we put them through a plug-in simulation. We have recorded with cabs and amps in the past and but then again going back to some of these disadvantages of recording in your bedroom, it’s all about noise isolation and room acoustics when you’re recording those so I think that’s why we elected to go for a simulation over attempting to get really good cab recording. Yeah because obviously the main benefit of using a plug-in is once you’ve got that nice clean signal coming in through the DI, you can change to whatever tone you want. It’s too simple and too easy to not to if you’re in a situation like us, with limited resources and limited time. I think the most important thing for us when recording bass and guitar, is just to ensure that we get a very clean signal, and we get that with the iD14. So for vocals, this is the first time we are using a microphone in this room. So it is very important that we try to eliminate noise from outside as much as possible. We haven’t got loads of professional noise isolation gear so what we do is we use a mattress, stick that in front of Alex or me, whoever’s singing, just to try and eliminate reflections as much as possible because again we want to try and get a really clean unprocessed sound so that we can add and have complete control over what effects like reverb and delay, later. We run the vocal microphone into input 2 and then we run this little bad boy just a nice little SM58 just on the desk and straight into input 1 and we assign that as the talkback. What that means is when you hit the ID button it Dims everything in the headphones and lets the microphone come through very clearly, which is great for giving cues, feedback and just keeping everyone on the same page as what’s going on next. We tend to use two microphones we use the Rode NT2a condenser mic for clean vocals. And we use the SM7B for the scream vocals. And yeah, we just think they work really well not too expensive as well. Going back to what we’re saying we first started doing vocals in this room is we are really hard pressed to isolate vocals and reduce all the background noise that’s going on. So any noise needs to be minimized and the iD14 does really really well at keeping it clean. It’s difficult to listen with fresh ears when you’re there doing every process. So when Matt and I mix, we do separate it. So Matt gets it to a stage then Matt is no longer involved, and I do a mix of it. The outputs of iD14 give a really accurate representation of the sound coming out of your mix so if there’s anything wrong with your mixing, then you can hear it and you can correct it and there are there are some pieces of gear out there which just add that little bit of noise just listening which hide the fact you’ve got problems with your mix. iD14 has been really good for us. Just two channels both with phantom power, really good DI, speaker and headphone out which is really clear, and a good interactive interface. It’s just been easy. It’s just made our lives easier.