View Full Version : Home studio
02-28-2005, 07:49 PM
I want to have a small home studio can you guys give me some tips or start up equipment i need? currently my budget is $500 i just want to have a semi professional sound. I have with me a medium-end machine atholon 1.7ghz 512mbram. My sound card i might upgrade to like an emk11 or something, but i have a Creative sound blaster audigy 2. I have Sonar 4 producer Edition(pretty pricey, but oh well was a gift from one of those rich uncles). An fender strat, plus an epiphone les paul special 2( has a nice humbucker feel). i have a line 6 pod 2.0, plus a spider 2 112 75watt amp. Some altec lansing speakers. and top it off a nice pair of Grado sr60 headphones. So i would like some advice.
oh yeah guys ever heard of kamelot, there pretty decent for metal, beats listening to someone growling or talking about how life sucks.
02-28-2005, 08:13 PM
Get some nice flat response near field monitors. Don't try and mix on headphones unless you are quite experienced. Im not saying it can't be done it is just much more difficult using headphones. Similarly the computer speakers like stereo speakers color the sound. Not good for mixing.
A reasonable large diaphragm mic and some sort of preamp with a channel strip that has a deesser and can supply phantom power is not a bad idea. It is even better if it can plug directly into your sound card or computer via something S/P DIF or fire wire / USB.
Best of luck
02-28-2005, 08:22 PM
Well, it's hard to say and depends on how much you want to do with the studio. If you plan on doing the one-man-band thing, you'll need a basic MIDI keyboard and a bunch of VST instruments.
For drums you'll need something that can use .wav files or import other formats like Akai etc... For bass, you'll need a decent sampler if you want to get anything close to a real bass sound. Alternatively, buy a bass guitar for from a pawn shop and mix the two together when necessary.
You can also use a sampler as your drum machine.
If you want to do loops you'll need something like ReCycle... probably one of the best purchases I ever made.
You'll also need a decent mic for vocals... the standard is usually the Shure SM58 or 57.
I found most of the money for the studio goes into VST effects and instruments. For instance you'll need a decent reverb and compressor plus some other goodies like a De-Esser, echo, and a sonic maximizer for harmonies if you want that 'sparkly' sound.
For mixdown and mastering you'll need something that will take all your finished tunes and boost them, eq them and equalize the relative volume from one song to another. There are package products like t-Racks which are hard to learn but once you spend a few months with them you get used to how they work.
You're basically talking a whole lot more than $500 but if you just start with the things you need most and gradually add on, you should do pretty good.
If you just want the basics, all you really need is a guitar, a small mixer, a decent sound card, recording software and a midi keyboard.
For VST stuff get a good vsti synth like Absynth or a sampler like Reason and a decent compressor with a decent microphone.
02-28-2005, 08:43 PM
ahahah some tough vocabulary ahead of me, no i don't sing. Mainly just instrumentals but i will give it a shot tell me al little more about the mixer, and what is a cheap sound card i can get for a $200 budget? Yeah i have some sort of purple wire i bought at radio shack, thats connected to some black large guitar twangy(excuse me for my inaccuracy). the wire is then fed from my amp phone line(only other output), or my line 6 pod 2.0, then it is sent to my microphone port on my sound card. Oh yeah are there any good tutorials on the net covering step by step basics in sonar, other than the help stuff?
02-28-2005, 08:51 PM
For a basic mixer try Behringer. All you need is something like a 4 or 8 track with some basic EQ settings.
For the sound card, I'll let somebody else answer that. I just use whatever is built into the Mac & it seems to do a decent job.
02-28-2005, 08:58 PM
awsome thanks, what is a vst? When i installed sonar it came with stuff like cakewalk home studio vst, and dreamstation vst, and soundforge etc? little confused can someone explain? is it like to finalize the tracks after completion? To compress my tracks, i usually use the sonar effects, and noise reduction.
How is this mixer http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=home/search/detail/base_pid/631236/
sorry for asking all these questions just want to get started on this :D
02-28-2005, 09:04 PM
VST's are plug-ins like reverbs, compressors, amp simulators, echoes.. just about anything you can think of.
VSTi's are also plugins but the 'i' stands for instruments. So it's stuff like synths, organs, samplers.
I've got a bunch of pics of stuff in this tutorial:
You won't be able to hear the examples unless you register but the pics and description should give you a decent idea.
02-28-2005, 09:23 PM
man this paying stuff is so annyoing, but site needs to live. Yeah before i saved some of those files anatomy of a multitrack, its cubase, but thanks so much for the help.
02-28-2005, 09:31 PM
Actually I was referring more to the VST stuff.
On the later pages there's some good screen captures of a PSP Vintage Warmer, Reverb, Pro-52 and a couple of other things that'll give you a good idea what VST's actually are & what they look like.
02-28-2005, 10:00 PM
I like the Compressor, verbs and EQ in Sonar and if you need anything else there is always Waves Gold. Expensive but with that and Autotune there is not much you cant do.
I prefer, when ever possible to use good old fashioned audio rather than VSTs and Midi (even if it is recorded direct) and get the source as close to what I want as possible. However with drums this is difficult. I guess you will just have to experiment and see what works for you.
ALso, you maybe better off with a one or two channel pre amp / channel strip rather than a mixer. Mixers are great for mixing lots of things together however unless you have lots of things going on at once, they can end up being largely redundant. Check out second hand Behringer voice master pro for big bang for buck. I use a Focusrite Platinum Voice Master Pro and love it however it is a little more expensive.
SM57s and SM58s are a great choice however if you have the channel strip a Behringer Large diaphragm condenser will sound not only different but also really nice on instruments as well as vocals. My current fave mic is a Shure KSM44. It is not a U87 but is about 5 times cheaper !
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