I finally bought some microphones, so for instrument recording I am pretty well set, at least for the level I am at, which means it is time to write some songs at last. Which means I will more than likely have to learn to play guitar (again) and bring my chord repertoire up from two to at least three.
I am adding drum tracks to some English band's demo over the next week or so, which probably sounds cooler than it actually is, and I must now concentrate on taming the errant acoustics of my studio, so that my recordings sound like they weren't done in a trashcan. Such is life.
I went for convenience over ultimate quality with my condenser mics. They are battery powered, so I don't have to worry about a phantom power supply, and they were half the price of the ones I really wanted that would have required such a thing. They sound good enough, which is all I need for now.
My dynamic mics, though, are time-proven workhorses: The Shure SM57 on the snare and the Shure Beta 52A on the bass drum. These things should last forever.
I have been listening to online samples of other home recorders, and none of them sound like the results I get. Everyone seems to be going for that tight, classic rock, dead drum sound, whereas mine are lively as hell. I will keep experimenting because I want things a little bit tighter, but I also want everything to sound like drums... if I wanted samples, I'd have gone that route.
IF I buy off-the-shelf acoustic treatment for my little space, I am looking at around $500, bringing my total equipment investment in this thing to around $1600 or so. Originally, a grand was my cap, and I have just barely gone over that at $1100. The treatment would be nice, but it's not essential at this point, and it's something I can probably do on the cheap anyway. I hope so. Even so, a fully-equipped home studio for under $2000... unbelieveable, and impossible even 10 years ago. Not too shabby.