ah.... the 'Cover Tunes"

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Well-known member
May 29, 2007
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i have 2 cover song submissions:

one, a true cover...
the other, a new version.

both classic rock, early 70's

both done with all guitar tracks thru a mesa MKIIb

Highway Star
this was a collab with Xenophile and myself.
this one was a blast.
a 'true' cover, with absolutely no permission. ;)

Bad Moon Rising
or http://tinyurl.com/ytpga6

this is a completely 'bat's brew'd' version.
with permission of Harry Fox Agency

What gear do I need to start acquiring in order to make recordings like that? I have no recording equipment at all.

well, the gear really is irrelevent.
anything will do.....

the Hstar tune was mixed on a home pc.
the bad moon rising cover, done on a roland VS machine.
Well - any pointers would be appreciated. Is the VS a stand-alone digital multi-track recorder?

What about the drums etc., I know you use programmed drums. Am I looking at an investment in the thousands or hundreds to get going? I've done lots of recording over the years, but always at studios (starting with 2 inch 24 track tape back in the day, and up to some of the more sophisticated stuff available today). But it's never been something I've thought about getting into on my own. Your tracks inspire me to do some of my own creating. I'm just curious really.
, gotcha!

you know, gear is always one thing...
and knowing how to record, is another.

being in pro studios is one thing, and actually knowing what to do at the board, is another.

people think it's so easy.
it takes years to get good at it tho.

i never wanted to be a 'sound engineer'....
i'm a writer.
but, out of necessity, i've learned how to engineer my own tracks.

now, on drums:
in the case of my "Trouble" album, that was done for a small independent label, and i hired a studio pro drummer.
those tracks all absolutely kicked ***.

on most of the rest of my songs, i've used a combination of a drum machine (zoom123), software (ACID) and sequencers triggering samples (that i get from.....everywhere!)

on the bad moon rising cover, i used the cheap little zoom machine!!
for certain things, it works fine.

on the highway star song, the keyboardist painstakingly programmed each beat, beat for beat, step by step, by overlaying the original drum track into sonar, then triggering samples from EZDrummer to along with the sequenced beats. he also went to the trouble to put in velocity changes and everything else you could imagine would make a drum track more 'human'... even still, you can tell it's programmed, but trying to copy someone as unique as Ian Paice on drums, would be quite a challenge...and was.

now, on recorders:
well, the Roalnd VS is a standalone product, with everything all in the box... effects, mix buss, mastering tools, everything except the means to burn the cd.
there is a standalone SCSI cd burner, that lets you create backups, and write redbook standard cd's to, but it's cumbersome and very slow.
thing is, the VS line has been ended, and you can find killer deals on used VS gear now.
totally worth it, if you don't want to dick with all the PC issues (hardware, software, updates, compatability, etc,etc)

my current system is SONAR.
much more powerful than the VS setup, it can be run on a standard PC, but really shines when married with a lot of ram, fast CPU speeds, and a decent Soundcard (soundblaster need not apply).
my minimum acceptable card, is a Maudio 24/96, which is what i use.

having a decent DAW is one thing...
having good quality Mics, Mic pres, outboard gear... is almost more important.

moreso than any other element of recording, the 'ARRANGEMENTS' are the most key item.
and that's got nothing to do with what gear you have.

but having a decent mic pre doesn't hurt!!!

there's more to be said, for spending more money on a good mic.... and then a good mic preamp... than on the actual recording platform.

the common thread gear, in all the tracks on all of my songs, is my A Designs Audio MP-1.
here's the current version:

here's my version..... the earliest, first version:


it's an original mono model, and sounds wonderful.

and i'm very aggressive with the signals on it, sometimes well into the red......
the output typically goes to a cheap little table top DBX compressor (MC-6)......
and that, goes to the digital convertor side of a cheap ART DPS, directly to a M-Audio 24/96 card via the coax, and into Sonar.
everything mixed in the box.

mics are AT4033, SM57, ADK Hamburg.

on vox, i typically just give myself a foot of distance from the AT4033 or Hamburg, and use a Pop filter to set the distance.
i sing hard, tho not that loud, so the distance helps with levels.
on guitars, i use all the mics as well, at different times, but mostly the 57.... same chain.......recorded dry.
close miced, with effects added at mixdown.

Bass is typically same chain as well, tho i use a sansamp bass di with the blend about 50%, but i drive it with a barber direct drive and tone press compressor.
Thanks, brother. That was exactly the kind of useful information I was looking for. Greatly appreciated. Now I have a base from which I can start my research into this. I really don't want to have to deal with working on a PC if I can avoid it, although it looks like that's where things eventually end up.

First thing I'm going to look into is a drum machine and stand-alone recorder. I have access to a huge array of mics (a buddy of mine is a mic snob, and uses some really nice stuff in a studio he runs - but he's into some VERY high end recording gear that is well beyond my budget or tie constraints in terms of the unavoidable learning curve). That should be enough to get things going - at least on a preliminary basis.

Again - thanks so much.
well, i haven't used my zoom 123 in ages (the moon song was the first time in almost 2 years!)...
so i've thought about selling it..

if you're interested, do some research on what it's worth now (it was only $179 new) and make an offer, i'd be happy to box it up and mail it to you...

PM if it's something you wanna talk about...
last bump before i yank em for new stuff!!
(i get easily bored, eh?!)

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