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Building New Studio, Need Advice!!!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Recording' started by colincancer, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. colincancer

    colincancer Guest

    ok, i am planning on building a portable recording studio and need some pointers.

    first, i am planning on buying a mac notebook exclusively for recording. it has a speed of 2.4 ghz with a core 2 duo processor, 250 gb hard drive and 2 gb of ram. i want to do multi-track recording (probably with cubase le4 to begin with) but was told there would be latency and would have to get the mac book pro (which is 1000 more.) is this true? if not should i get an external hard drive, more ram, etc?

    I am also planning on getting a Tascam US1641 (http://www.zzounds.com/item--TASUS1641) for the audio interface. to me this sounds like a good choice but would like opinions. also when i do get a mixer does it matter if its a digital or analog with this interface?
  2. hueseph

    hueseph Distinguished Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    You DON'T need a mixer. You may consider a control surface.

    Latency has more to do with your interface and drivers than your computer. Personally, I don't like the idea of USB 2.0 for reliable multitracking. I know there are other USB interfaces coming out now claiming 8 or more simultaneous inputs but AFAIC firewire is trusted and proven. That and the Tascam looks cheap and if it's anything like the other US series, it probably is.

    If I were to buy an interface for a portable use, I would want to make sure it's not going to break down on me or fall apart if someone sneezes or a drumstick flies at it.

    I personally don't think that a Laptop is necessarily the only way to go for a portable unit. A good tower and lcd montor, even an Imac would be easily as portable and since I would likely end up bringing a rack anyway(likely with the interface in it). The laptop would be lighter sure but diproportionately so compared the other gear I'd likely bring along anyway. (cables, stands, DI's, Mics)

    You might want to consider doing this at home for a while before you start "hiring" yourself out. You need to know the gear lest you look like a tool in front of your client.

    You NEED an external hard drive. You don't want to be writing audio to your system drive. Another reason why I don't think a Laptop is necessarily better. Laptops are also easier to steal.
  3. Space

    Space Distinguished Member

    Jun 26, 2007

    That is just wrong.
  4. hackenslash

    hackenslash Active Member

    Jun 9, 2008
    People's Republic Of Mancunia
    ^^ My thoughts exactly.
  5. colincancer

    colincancer Guest

    thanks for the advice hueseph, im gonna look into a tower but am worried about damaging it since it will be for portable use.

    you said firewire is trusted and proven but i read that usb 2.0 is 20% faster than firewire. what im looking to do with this i setup is to start with my friends bands for free and then move on to smaller projects but i would use 6-8 mics at a time at the most. would there be latency for that?

    also im not going to be buying a mixer/control surface right away but my question was if i did buy the tascam would it matter if i bought a digital or analog mixer. (ie if i bought a digital would i need a d/a converter)

    also you said the tascam looks cheap, could you, if you were in my situation, recommend a different interface around the same price so i can compare it.

    and lastly, how big of an external hard drive should i get? and could i go for a smaller hard drive in my computer if i have an external hard drive?

    sorry for my ignorance, just trying to cover all the bases before i make a decision.
  6. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    for my mobile rig I bring my tower if I am doing a lot of tracks. The computer and monitor get packed into a large bin with pillows on all sides. I never worry about it.
    For an audio interface I use 3 Delta 1010LT for 24 analog channels. And a mixer for the pre-amps and headphone mix. I have no latency issues with the 1010LT.
    Most digital mixers will serve as an A/D and have an analog path as well. Mackie seems to make the most popular one here, but I haven't used one, so can't really comment.
    Instead of an external drive you could use 2 internal drives. Cheaper and one less thing to pack up.
  7. hueseph

    hueseph Distinguished Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    A mixer is really pointless unless you insist on adjusting the eq before it goes to disk. The preamps are pointless because your the Tascam or whatever you purchase already has preamps. The faders will be useless unless the mixer is also a control surface. Likely, if it is also a control surface, it already has an interface built in.

    Yes USB is technically faster but firewire has a faster continuous throughput and a wider bandwidth. If you loook into any of the higher end interfaces that are not pci or pcix, they are all firewire. USB 2.0 is relatively new in comparison and has yet to prove it's stability. I don't like to move to a platform until it has become standard. When MOTU or Digidesign move to USB 2.0 I might consider making the change. I don't think that time is coming any time soon.
  8. Brien

    Brien Guest

    "also when i do get a mixer does it matter if its a digital or analog with this interface"

    If you are going to get one anyway, get analog.

    I guess you want a reason why. Well, some next question down the road is bound to be about warming up the sound so having an analog mixer for going out of the box is a step in a direction ;)
  9. hueseph

    hueseph Distinguished Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    I'm all for "warming" up the sound but I don't think we're going to accomplish that with the budget we're talking here. There's no more warmth in a $300 analog mixer than there is in a $300 digital interface.

    $300 would be better spent on a single half decent mic pre than 12 on a half cocked mixer.
  10. Greener

    Greener Guest


    This smells like a pot of Gumbo someone is stirring.

    When you look into the Gumbo you have to read the chunks. It's the appearance and disappearance and the space betwixt chunks that initiates thought.
  11. Brien

    Brien Guest

    hueseph must think we are spending his money ;)

    I thought the op had the questions.

    edit: the user formerly aka Space.
  12. EricUndead

    EricUndead Guest

    It is funny that you used the word "Space"........
  13. Greener

    Greener Guest

    I was going to capitalise it but that would have been to obvious.
  14. colincancer

    colincancer Guest

    ok, i'm not getting a mixer any time soon so theres no need fore debate.

    i've been looking into it and i think im gonna go with a pc desktop. i will prolly customize it myself but want to try to keep it under 2000 $ but run really well. any suggestions?
  15. Brien

    Brien Guest

    It wasn't debate.

    I was actually having fun at the OP's expense.

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