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Beginning a small home studio. Need help!

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Nexus555, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. Nexus555

    Nexus555 Guest

    Hey guys how's it going? I play the guitar, some madoline, some bass, some drums and I'm purchasing a Roland SH-201 synthesizer for Christmas. My recording background dates back a few years ago. I had an older version of Cakewalk and recorded through a regular mic. To be honest, it didn't sound that bad!

    Now I want to upgrade. My friend has Cakewalk Studio 7 and is giving it to me for a good discount. He had troubled figuring it out, but thankfully I know how to record tracks and tweak sounds.

    My questions are about Cakewalk's hardware. I was looking at the SONAR Power Studio 250. I've noticed that you can buy the Power Studio on ebay. Since all that I have is Cakewalk Studio 7, can I purchase the hardware on ebay and would it complement/work with Studio 7?

    Also how does the SONAR Power Studio 250 work? Do I plug my guitar/bass/mic directly in there, or do I plug it through my guitar amp and then into the hardware? Or is there some other way?

    Does anyone use this hardware? Does it record well?

    I'm really just wanting a decent recording set up. I do not want to spend thousands upon thousands for something extravagent. I would like plugging my equipment through the computer, to eliminate random noises coming through the air with respects to micing an amplifier (guitar.)

    Any clarifications, help, suggestions, comments and so-forth are welcome to better my understanding!

    Thanks,
     
  2. KoskoArts

    KoskoArts Guest

    I'd say look into Presonus gear like the Firestudio. It seems to have a lot of fans.
     
  3. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    That's a lot of questions. Why not try Cakewalks website? I bet they have the specs for the specific item you are looking into. I'm pretty sure they use Edirol interfaces. I know nothing about them and I know no one who uses them.

    I recently purchased a Mackie Onyx Satellite for just over $250 after tax. I sold my Digi 001 to buy it. Compatibility issues. At any rate, I can honestly say that for the price, it has the cleanest gain I have ever heard out of any built in preamp. That is, it's very quiet and sounds very open compared to most of the other interfaces in it's price range. (I've owned quite a few).
     
  4. Nexus555

    Nexus555 Guest

    Well my most important question at the moment right now is guitar and/or bass recording. Are there any devices that allow you to plug a guitar directly into your computer? Or do you have to mic the amp? I was looking at firepod, and it looks like a good piece of equipment with a bunch of tracks. Though it seems you have to mic everything still, which I have no problems (that's how I did it a few years ago, but with a crappy computer mic.) I just thought with today's technology that it'd be feasable to record directly into the computer (Guitar>processing pedals>firepod input) rather than retrieving the sounds through the amplifier with a mic.

    I will need only 3-5 mic tracks tops anyways, for when I record drums. However when recording guitar, synth, bass, vocals, etc., I like to press play (and listen to what I have via headphones) and play along with that and record tracks individually. There should never be any reason for recording 8 tracks at once (unless of course I form a band and we want a live mix.)
     
  5. Nexus555

    Nexus555 Guest

    Well my most important question at the moment right now is guitar and/or bass recording. Are there any devices that allow you to plug a guitar directly into your computer? Or do you have to mic the amp? I was looking at firepod, and it looks like a good piece of equipment with a bunch of tracks. Though it seems you have to mic everything still, which I have no problems (that's how I did it a few years ago, but with a crappy computer mic.) I just thought with today's technology that it'd be feasable to record directly into the computer (Guitar>processing pedals>firepod input) rather than retrieving the sounds through the amplifier with a mic.

    I will need only 3-5 mic tracks tops anyways, for when I record drums. However when recording guitar, synth, bass, vocals, etc., I like to press play (and listen to what I have via headphones) and play along with that and record tracks individually. There should never be any reason for recording 8 tracks at once (unless of course I form a band and we want a live mix.)
     
  6. casper

    casper Guest

    I think the presonus interface is a good choice. If you just use the built in mic pres on the presonus with a sm57 or E609 mic you should be able to achive a good sound.

    If you are looking into alternative to micing bass and guitars, look into Line 6, Guitar rig, or Amplitube. These are amp/cabinet simulators. A lot of newer newer multi FX pedals have incorporated this feature into there products.
     
  7. hummel

    hummel Guest

    The interface in the Sonar Power Studio 250 is made by Edirol (UA25). It's a USB-based interface. You can buy the interface without the software for around $250 (but not from Cakewalk). If you want a similar Firewire interface (Firewire is prefered by most people), you could look at the Edirol FA-101. But, both if these interfaces only provide 2 pre-amps.o, if you want to record up to 3 to 5 simultaneous tracks from drums, then neither these nor the Firebox would be suitable.

    There isn't much available with 4 pre-amps so you'd have to jump to 8 preamps: something like the FP10 (the new name for the Firepod) or the Alesis IO|26 (the IO|14 does have 4 preamps). These units provide an option for an instrument connection from a guitar which could bypass the need for micing the guitar (or course, the would lose any sounds produced by the guitar amp).
     
  8. Nexus555

    Nexus555 Guest

    I think I'm going to go with the Firepod. I understand now why people still mic the guitar, opposed to running directly in. I'm sure amplifiers will give better and more realistic sounds than computer over-dubs. I have a 76 Custom Les Paul with Fretless Wonders.. So I may end up choosing to mic the amp, because the warm, thick tones that come out of this baby is amazing.

    However I may just have to wait and see. I only have a crappy Crate amp with a 12 inch speaker (not a tube.) It's actually not as bad as most people say, but it isn't the greatest either. So I may end up recording a song both ways and seeing which one fits me the best. Overall the firepod does look the best, especially for my situation. Sorry for my ignorance in the original post.

    I still have a lot to learn. The other day my dad said he was going to buy me the Roland SH-201 synthesizer for Christmas (I thought I was getting it for myself.) So if he does end up getting the synthesizer I want, I may just have to get myself a firepod for Christmas! I won't be able to get a suitable amp for another year or two (I have a fiance and anything over $500 is pushing it bad!!) Maybe I can save some money and come next tax season try to get something good. I've always had a good guitar, though never a decent amp.

    One last question: Besides the obvious slight risk of fraud, are there any risk of buying a Firepod off of ebay? Does this equipment lose any performance as a few years go by? I'm all for buying used stuff and not wasting things, so if I can get a used one off of ebay, cost less and save it from being thrown away, I'd much perfer that route. Any suggestions on this matter?
     

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