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A few questions from a new member

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Strauzzie, Sep 4, 2002.

  1. Strauzzie

    Strauzzie Guest

    Hello all -

    I've just stumbled upon this site today, and I must say I'm impressed. The knowledge that you guys share is a great tool for learning.. I have a few questions for the community, let me know what you all think:

    I'm currently using a P3/700MHZ with 428 MB Ram, 60GB HD, and recording through a SeaSound Solo. However, I've had some serious problems with playback through the Solo, and on my most recent project, I suffered dropouts while editing 12 tracks of audio. Its quite frustrating, so I'm ready to step up and get a new system and dedicate it to recording. I'm looking for suggestions on the following topics:

    1) Is it necessary to use SCSI HD's for robust multi-track audio editing?

    2) Whats a good alternative to the SOLO interface? I've been looking at some of the Digi boxes.. and I've heard some good things about the Layla. I want to get rid of the SOLO because of the playback problems, and the lack of XP drivers.

    3) Which software package do you recommend? (Cakewalk Pro Audio vs. Protools.. etc..)

    Let me know what you guys think,

    thanks in advance.

  2. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Welcome to RO!! Yes, knowledge sharing is exactly what we do here and it's a great community for this exact reason!

    Your first questions...SCSI...
    No, SCSI is not needed to get robust audio recording or editing...SCSI seems to be a thing of the past for the home project or even pro end users. Western Digital has some 8MB buffered drives that outperform SCSI very well...SCSI does have it's advantages with the ability to hot swap but IDE is now available for that as well...

    Software...that depends on what your needs are. Everyone will chime in and say that one software package is better than the other but in the long run it's up to you as to which one is better for you.
    You need to ask yourself what is it you need to get done? How many tracks do you usually do? What sample rates do you work at?(well, obviously with the SeaSound it must be 48 tops!) Do you need MIDI? Or just audio?
    I myself recomend Cubase SX as it's a great software with lots of features..Sonar tends to have a lot of problems and compatibility issues with certain cards and it usually takes some time to get it up and running smoothly...Cubase, you simply open it and set it up in two minutes with only one page to do this under..Sonar you need to open 3 or 4 windows to tweak before starting than you have to create a template to work on...just my experience with it...
    The Layla is a great card...multi-client, excellent sounding converters(obviously not the most amazing but for what it does it's fine)
    Other cards to consider are RME based cards but generally you need another converter to get into those cards as they are all digital..they do have add on cards that are analog but that's another PCI slot taken up.
    The SeaSound came and went like a warm summer breeze(uh oh...did I just plagarize Bad Company! :D
  3. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Distinguished Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    Here is my 2 cents:

    Hard Drives: Trust *anything* and *everything* Opus tells you about computers! You don't need SCSI!

    Software: Go with Cubase SX...it is just fantastic. Trust us on this...don't go with Protools, you are just limiting yourself as a home studio user. You can't afford to get the real Pro Tools stuff with all theplug-ins etc...go with SX, you'll be much happier in the long run. Sonar is also OK, but imho, SX blows it away, but there are a lot of Sonar users on this board that love it.

    Hardware: Layla is *great*, but does not have mic pres (I use it with a PreSonus DigiMax unit that gives me 8 mic pres). I love the Layla, but remember, no mic pres. I am actually using the A/D converters in the Presonus unit btw...

    Good luck, and welcome to RO!!!
  4. Blutone

    Blutone Guest

    Welcome to RO. And, uh, yeah Opus is "DA MAN". Many of us here at RO will sing his praises long after we've danced on his casket... LOL. :c:

    (Dead Link Removed)

    Well, right now I'm stuck with the soundblabber audigy. I just spent 4 grand on a guitar rig and I'm afraid that getting the Layla 24 would push Mrs. Blu to violence...LOL. Eventually that's what I'm going to go with.

    ::SIGH:: Software...The neverending debate. Sonar has been good to me. It does take some time to setup and tweak just right, but once you're there, it's sweetness. If you go that route, go with 2.0 XL I've used earlier versions and the 2.0 XL audio drivers are soooo much smoother. One thing to consider though, Sonar is DXi based. I don't have a problem with this as I only record audio.
    Sonar is really the only software I can comment on. Mainly because I haven't got off my lazy arse and played with Nuendo(I know Opus I know)...LOL. I'll get around to it someday. Opus and DH are both very well trusted advisors here at RO. So, you probably wouldn't go wrong with Cubase SX. One thing we all seem to agree upon is staying away from Protools. It just sounds hollow in comparison.

    Keep postin'=Keep leanin'
  5. Strauzzie

    Strauzzie Guest

    Opus, DH, Blutone -

    My gratitude goes out to you three. Thanks for the info.. You've given me alot to think about, and now its time for the rebound questioning :)

    My primary interest in music composition is more electronic than organic, and therein I don't do alot of simultaneous multitrack recording.. probably the most inputs I would need in a card (right now) is about 4. Would getting the Layla right now be a bit overkill for my needs? I can see myself getting into more live music recording in the future, but by then would the Layla be outdated at all? Are there better options for me? I need, like I said, around 4 inputs, MIDI support, and as far as outputs go, enough to power the monitors.

    Also, what is your collective opinion on controllers? Opus, i think i saw on your site that you use a Tascam controller? How has that worked out for you? How do they work (i.e. connection wise).

    Next subject: samplers.. hardware vs. software.. your opinions?

    Finally, based on the system that i described as having before, do you guys think if I stripped it down to the bare essentials, formatted and started from a clean slate that it would be powerful enough to do perform to my needs (n the immediate future at least)?

    Thanks again!

  6. eclinton

    eclinton Guest

    One of the best deals going for the home studio at the moment is the Roland VM3100 studio package. Roland just discontinued this package in favor of a new one with the lastest mixer. The 3100 version is still available. Try Synthony.com.

    The package includes the R-Bus PCI interface, which is continuing in production, so the computer side of the package will be supported for a long time to come.

    For about $500-$700 you get 8 channels of I/O (record on 8, play back on 8 separate buses), a 12 channel digital mixer with built-in effects, and a copy of Logic Audio. The mixer works nicely as a controller for 16 channels in Cubase, Sonar Logic or whatever.

    I prefer Cubase SX. If you go with Sonar make sure you do regular backups, if you know what I mean.

    peace, the dog
  7. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Atomic Dog...
    The VM series boards are nice but very limited in the modes you can use it in. It's limited to one bank of Midi messages at a time if I remember correctly. Also why would you want to go with a dicontinued product? Hmmm!!! :p
    As far as what to do...
    Since you are not doing heavy audio recording your system will probably do fine but plug in counts will be very low. So going with a higher processor might be in your best interest. See if you can upgrade it to a PIII 1Ghz...
    The Tascam US428 might be the best option as that has four inputs, Midi and a control surface built into one unit! A great package indeed and it works wonders with SX...fully compatible in all aspects of the program.
    Samplers...Sample Tank is a killer program for that type of scenario...great sounding samples and works right in SX instead of having to open another program...
    More later on this
  8. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Distinguished Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    I hate to sound like Opus' little pet, but once again, he is right. The TASCAM US-428 will give you 4 inputs, a MIDI interface, *plus* the control surface, all in one nice and neat little package! It does include mic pres, but does *not* have phantom power for condensor mics, but it sounds as if you are not going to be doing too much in the way of live mic'ing initially anyway.

    Good luck!

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