View Full Version : Getting into recordin` gimme ur thoughts
07-31-2003, 06:38 AM
I walked into a music shop and asked the guy about getting a budget recording setup. For versatility sakes I choose the computer based setup (new sound card with midi port, software, mixer, various cables) over the 4 track recorder.
Q1: Computer is more versatile than the 4 track right? (Despite the price difference for whole recording exprience)
I went to two big shops in the city to compare prices and get different opinions.
The setup suggested by the bloke was:
Software: Cubase SX $500 approx.
Mixer: Behringer UB-802 Mixer $145
Sound Card: M-Audio Audiophile 2496 $475
Approx Total: $1160 in Australian bucks.
Damn is this the going rate to get equipment?? :rolleyes:
Q2: Is this a good setup for a beginner? If you know anything about these products or had expriences do share... and if you know any other good setups do tell.
My capped cable connection enables me to do some research tonight till tomorrow when my bandwidth capping gets lifted :( I'd like to check harmony central and so on...
07-31-2003, 07:18 AM
iīd suggest if you are REALY serious about recording, then get a Macintosh G5 (will be out soon)
M-Audio makes VERY goood soundcards, but iīd go with the M-
Audio Midiman instead.
As for the software i was always and will always be suggesting Logic Audio Platinum. this proggy is far better than anything else - even if the die hard cubasers say otherwise.
however - what you need will be large Harddrives and ALOT of RAM - 512 mb at minimum!
with that soundcard you wont realy need a mixer because it has 10 inputs and 10 outputs, almost zero latency and a built in mixer.
07-31-2003, 07:46 AM
Aiya~ so much choices...
Azrael, when you said SERIOUS, as in serious enough to spend more money? The stuff you suggested, are they dearer than the ones I've listed? Or are they similiar in price but have better functions?
I'm wondering if the shops are trying to con me or they're just trying to find cheap working combinations for a setup.
07-31-2003, 08:56 AM
well - serious as in "i want to make a living out of it" or as in "i want it to sound PERFECT"
as for logic audio platinum go to http://www.emagic.de/products/ls/platinum/index.php
(be aware that fro mversion 6.0 upwards it is only awailable for macintosh! - but version 5.5 will be more then suffficiant for professional PC usage!
the soundcard should be at about the same price as the one you named
memory should be self explainatory
a powermac G5 will be at about 3000 bucks w/o monitor.
plus i forgot ot mention one of the ost important things:
Studio-Reference Speakers! plus a decent amp! donw waste money on cheap crap - you will have to spend quite a bit on good equipment.
of course - if you just wanna record your self for fun, then a normal PC with a cheap soundcard and desktopspeakers will do
[Edited by Azrael on 07-31-2003 at 08:58 AM]
07-31-2003, 09:07 AM
Yeh, well its definitely not for living but for the fun of playing guitar. Perhaps perfect is more like it.
That another thing I forgot to add which you addressed. The amps to connect to PC hmmm I saw a friend who's just into listening to music he had like a stereo of some sort. This idea ain't cheap doh :(
07-31-2003, 10:03 AM
If you are just starting out I'd go the way of the self contained DAW.
Iíve just got a second hand Korg D1200 which I use as a front end to my recording set up. I paid 600 USD on eBay and it is a lovely bit of kit, it is portable and self-contained and contains all the effects (amp simulators, compression, reverb etc) you need to do a really good job. You can upgrade as much as you like at a later date and it contains lots of nice sounding presets.
The computer is a great tool though id not start with it ! Test the water before spending mega bucks.
For more info on the D1200 check out http://www.korgboards.com it is a really cool place !
Hint recording guitars direct is definatly the way foward, teh D1200 has a dedicated guitar input which means you can bypas amps totally...great for recording at 3.00 am
For an upgrade check out thr line6 pods, Im using a pod pro conected via an S/PDIF output (which byapsses the pres in the korg) It sounds great !
[Edited by Dr_simon on 07-31-2003 at 10:06 AM]
07-31-2003, 01:11 PM
PCs are expensive, complicated, have compatibility issues, require configuring and are not portable unless you spend the extra million dollars required for a lap top. On top of this you have to worry about drivers and operating systems. They can be a nightmare. They are ultimately more powerful and more versatile than even the most powerful standalone DAWs but that is something for whey down the road.
600 USD for a studio in a box which will fit onto a PC later if you want. It also offers a plethora of virtual out board gear (EQ, compressors, reverb) for no extra cost. If you want to expand then you can ad a PC with all its whistles and bells plus you will have a conceptual understanding of:
A) what you want to do,
B) how to do it
C) what is required to do it
D) how to use these things
I use both.
The D1200 is specifically designed for the guitarist who wants to start doing recording and for the price it is fantastic. It is not going to turn your pad into Abby road over night but hey......
07-31-2003, 11:22 PM
Thanks for the insights, I really appreciate it. Recently I've been interested in mechanic of guitars, now i'm onto becoming an audio geek :)
Yeh I initially wanted to get into recording because so many people tell me how good the investment is. Both the fun of able to record yourself plus you can clean up your technique. Also I do agree with Azrael in wasting money on crap. I told the guy at the shop about having drums and midi tracks as well and he told me to get the mixer.
I do feel more comfortable with PC approach cos of all the graphic interface and so on but wouldn't mind if I get one of those console looking ones Doc is recommending.
With the soundcard how is it connected with the computer? Thru fat midi ports? I saw soundblaster audigy which has ports in the front of the computer and M-audio seems to have all the ports at the back (correct me if i'm wrong)which could get annoying.
[Edited by andy82 on 08-01-2003 at 01:11 AM]
08-01-2003, 06:17 AM
Donít get SoundBlaster, their audio to digital converters are a joke, they use nasty chips and you pay through the nose for the name. They are real K-tell soundcards! I have two sound cards, my primary on is an RME-Audio Digi96/8 PAD (400 USD) and it sits next to a SoundBlaster live 5.1. I A/B them regularly and the difference is night and day!
You also donít need a state of the art computer. Macs are nice but very expensive (I use both Macs and PCs). I have a PC at home and you can probably get better for about 600 bucks (dell deals or something, shop around) Iím using 512 Mb Ram, 1.8 Celeron, 120 GB HDD (get the fastest spinning, best access time you can, even if you have to rip out the one that comes with the PC and stick in a new one ! If your budget will stretch to it a second monitor and video card is also nice and will allow you to "float" windows with a program like SONAR XL 2.2 (400 USD)...yum !
In terms of hooking stuff up Iím using S/PDIF out of my Pres/pods into the Korg (thins bypasses the pres and ADCs on the Korg which although are entirely respectable are not as good as the ones on the Pod/Focusrite) and then USB for transferring .wav files from the Korg into SONAR & Wave lab. This system works well, I spent a weekend working on drivers and latency (going S/PDIF direct into the soundcard which was a pain but got it all worked out in the end, I have my latency down to single digit milliseconds...oh yeha !)
Unless you are recording acoustic drums, donít bother with a desk, especially not a Behringer as the mic Pres and the wiring are dreadful noisy / sound bad. If you must get a desk go for a Mackey or similar. If you are only recording your self and overdubbing, spend the money on a single or duel channel mic pre. I have had both the ART TPS (200 USD) and the Behringer Ultra voice pro (120 USD) before getting my Focusrite (~1000 USD). Both will improve your sound and give you a good bang for your buck.
Monitors, don't skimp here, Currently their is a huge debate raging whether it is better to mix through really good stereo speakers (which will color the frequency response of the mix making it very difficult to get an even mix that will sound good an all different types of speaker) or flat response speakers. Theory dictates that the uncolored speakers (flat response) are easier to work with however the counter argument states that as moat people will listen to your music on colored stereo speakers it is better to mix on them. This argument is largely academic if you are not using an acoustically "nice" room as this will color the sound whilst you are mixing also!
Donít try to mix using headphones, you will get it sounding great, play it over speakers and be very disappointed! Iím using Alesis M1 Active Mk 2 (400 USD). They are not bad considering the acoustically compromised room I use... I also have a spectral analyzer program (free where) so I know where my weak / hot frequencies are!
08-01-2003, 08:12 AM
Studio-monitors vs. Stereo Speakers
There is no comparison. Studio monitors are way better when your going through the mixing phrase. Studio monitors are perfectly produced for this phrase, Stereo speakers are meant for listening to a final product. If you don't have the money for monitors (cause boy they are expensive) you can use stereo speakers for the mix, but if you can use both that's even better. Mix down til you get a sound you are happy with, then try it on stereo speakers. If both turn out to be satisfactory, that's your mix. If not your should be able to see the problem and then fix it. As for headphones (not even 1000 dollar headphones), never use them to mix with. Notice I said mix with, because they do come in handy. They're great for finding very subtle noises that shouldn't be in the mix. Maybe a noise gate didn't cut out a little fuzz or maybe a punch-in is a little off. Stuff like that. Headphones are like your magnifying glass, since putting your ear up to monitors or speakers is quite awkward. The problem with headphones in your not hearing the mix in an acoustic environment (which changes the rules of EQ, etc.). As for acoustic environments it good to have studio monitors in a sound room. Stereo speakers if possible in a ordinary room, like a bedroom or living room. That way you know exactly how an average listener is going to hear it. Car stereo's I wouldn't recommend because their frequency response is shortened.
As for software, everything is mentioned although you can download some free stuff that is actually really good. Free demo of newer software so you can try it out first, before buying. hereís the website: http://www.hitsquad.com, also CNET downloads. As for soundcards, M Audio is great and cheap.
[Edited by noticingthemistake on 08-01-2003 at 08:15 AM]
08-01-2003, 11:44 AM
ControversialÖ..well I did say it would be ! I have a friend who is a mod over at Korgboards (mike launchpad) who mixes on, swears buy and does a really good job with JBLs.
Me, I have voted with my feet and Iím in flat response land !
08-01-2003, 11:58 AM
Originally posted by trendkillah
Actually, what is the worst imaginable listening environment, yet, it's where most people listen to their music? Yup! Cars! This is exactly why listening to your product in a car is a very good test. If it sounds good behind the wheel, you've probably done a pretty good job.
It's not the listening environment that is the problem. It's the frequency response on car stereos, the lowest frequency they produce is 60hz. That's still to high for your low end. You can run into the problem of having a low-end rumble. Bad because lower frequencies require more power to produce so you may have too much there and since the car stereo won't pick it up you will think it's ok. Then when you put it on a regular stereo you end up with your higher frequency pushed back (sometimes behind) because of that extreme low-end. Then all of a sudden you have lost that transparent sound of your recording. Car stereo's also have a problem with higher frequencies, I'm not sure exactly where they cut off, but they definitely don't reach anywhere near 20khz. Bad because that where the "room-sense" sound is (15khz-20khz). Room sense is the frequencies where you can here the acoustics of the room the band recorded in. So you won't be able to balance the room-sense acoustics with the acoustic of the room your stereo is in. Your right in the fact if you listen and judge on an ok stereo system, and it turns out awesome. It will sound better on a better stereo or better acoustically fit room. Same applies if you can get it to sound good on a regular stereo you can be sure it will sound good on a car stereo. I'd check on a home stereo first, a car stereo should be one of your last options.
vBulletin® v3.0.17, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.