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Complete Beginner here - fancy helping me?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Conorkinesis, Mar 13, 2002.

  1. Conorkinesis

    Conorkinesis Guest

    Hi there,
    I apologise if I come across as an idiot, but I'm a musican, and not a tehnician! Please, if you the time, try to help me!

    Basically, my band just signed a deal, and we;re looking to build a PC based demo recording suite. In the deal we had a PC with 80 gigs hard drive space, 256MB memory, Pentium IIII 1.8 gig processor and a Soundblaster Audigy Platinum soundcard. Sounds good, eh? Only problem - we don;t know how to use it. We have basic experience with programs like N Track, but we have a copy of Cubase with this. The software is easy to use. My question begins...

    We'd like to record live drums straight to the PC. However, to do this, we need to use at least 6-8 mics on the drums, and therefore record 8 tracks at the same time. However, the soundcard has only 4 inputs/ Is there any sort of way i can hook up a mixing console (via USB maybe) to the PC so that the PC can record 8 tracks and separate them all into independant tracks. Otherwise, we may as well just buy a digital 16 track portastudio.

    Please help me! It's very much appreciated,
    Conor x
  2. Fredrik

    Fredrik Guest

    Your soundcard must have the ability to connect to an analog-to-digital-converter (ADC) interface with the desired number of inputs and outputs.

    If you have a soundcard with ADAT optical connections or TDIF connections, you can connect your interface(s) of choice to your soundcard and record happily ever after. ;)
    Just make sure that the interface has the same connections...

    Then, of course, you have to have mic preamps to plug into the interface. That's where your mixer comes into the picture.

    ...a digital portastudio might be good as well...

    Fredrik Lidin
  3. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    So, do you already have this computer? If so, let us know what kind it is and what's actually in it. Was it built by a local shop? Is it a Dell/Gateway/HP/whatever? At the very least, you're going to want a different sound card- I would recommend MOTU's new 896, just because it's got built in mic pre's and is firewire, so it's just plug it in and go.

    The second, and bigger, concern I'd have is who does the recording. Learning to use the tools of the recording process, even computers, is one big fat hell of a lot easier than actually making decent recordings, and if you're going to do your own demos, you probably need to find the most techy/tweaky person in the band and dub them 'recording engineer.' Let them figure out what they need to figure out, and understand that they are going to need dedicated, quality time with the rest of the band *just experimenting.* Dont' get pissed off when you spend two evenings a week recording, and it takes six months for everyone (especially the tweaky guy) to get comfortable with the process. Don't get pissed off when it's fifty songs down the road and things are *just* beginning to come together.

    Don't get me wrong, doing your own demos can be really, really rewarding, and you will have a boatload of time available at no charge to tweak, try new ideas, try new arrangements, etc. You've got a great opportunity for pre-production, so when you go in the studio there are no surprises.

    Just don't expect to *want* to hand over your first couple dozen recordings to anyone with pride. Maybe it will happen, but *expecting* it will put too much pressure on whoever you've decided is going to learn a new instrument (the studio) under the gun.

    I own a commercial studio, and I have engineered my own band *once,* and probably won't again!

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