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home studio from scratch

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Tom_Foolery, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. Tom_Foolery

    Tom_Foolery Guest

    So i am a guitar player, i also play drums though. I am looking to start recording some demos. coincidentally i am in the market for a new computer and i think I've settled on a macbook pro. is this a good one for recording. i only have a minimal amount of info and i don't really know where to begin.

    for my drums set i have a basic 5 piece set, 2 thin crashes, china and a splash, and obviously hi-hat. what mixer should i get. what mics should i get. i'm looking to spend around 500 on all of this. and for guitar should i record directly into the mixer or record through a mic and amp set up.

    my questions don't end here but that's all i'll ask for now. please reply and let me know what you think
     
  2. sirchick

    sirchick Active Member

    The OS (unless its vista) is not important unless like 10 years old which its not lol..

    what is ... is your rig... any computer now is miles better than what studio's had in the past and they could get great results.

    What is important is:

    Ram
    Processor chip
    Sound card (get a good proper one not ones that come with the pc they have too much latency and they aint got such great clarity)
    Sell your graphics card and put a cheaper one in, if you only want it to be a music studio least that'll pay for your audio card. Unless you are a gaming fan.

    Other stuff id recommend:
    Big hard drive
    External one for back up also
    Recording with mic's not digital input unless your really good at getting the level's correct but mic recording is a good way to start. You will also get your amp's sound using mic's and its rawness with mic than digital i find... i find digital input has a loss of life in its sound but then thats person choice.
    A good amp too!

    Mic - shure sm57
    Mixer depends i dont even have one and i get results with the software ones.
     
  3. hummel

    hummel Guest

    If you go with a Windows computer, stay away from Media Center Edition - many interfaces don't support it.

    If you go with a MacBook Pro, you should be 'good to go' without having to change the hardware. Top up the RAM (2+Gig). An external 7200 rpm firewire disc would also be good.

    You need to think about whether to get a mixer or an audio interface. Many people are now skipping the mixer and buying something like the Presonus Firepod. This connects to the computer via Firewire, has 8 pre-amps which can be recorded as 8 separate tracks on the computer and can a great job of recording drums, etc. It costs around $500 but includes the base software to get you started (Cubase LE).

    You might also find it useful to read this on-lien series of guides about recording: http://www.tweakheadz.com/guide.htm
     
  4. Tom_Foolery

    Tom_Foolery Guest

    thanks for your comments i'll definatly check into that stuff
    isn't the firepod (FP10) a mixer, and as much as i would love to have that i also need to purchase the mics cables and stands, a monitor, good headphones, and i may be wrong but i thought logic pro was the program of choice. and not to forget about my new computer, i was checking out the presonus firebox, 2 xlr and 2 1/4", but i've been told that you shouldn't use an xlr adapter to transform the 1/4" into 2 more xlr inputs is that true and if so why
     
  5. hummel

    hummel Guest

    1) Firepod/FP10 is like a expanded version of the Firebox with 8 pres. It isn't a mixer but an interface.

    2) Yeh, mics, cables, etc. all add to the price :(

    3) The Firebox only has 2 pre-amps (connected to the XLR inputs). The 2 1/4" inputs you mention expect line-level signals. You couldn't plug a mic directly into them (even with an adapter). You would need to buy an additional pre-amp and connect the extra mics to that first.

    4) If you are in the US, the best value for an 8 pre-amp unit at present might be the Alesis IO|26. It's in the $400 range and has a $40 rebate if you buy before the end of September. That would give you 8 mic circuits plus a bunch of expansion possibilities. I've been looking at buying one but the prices in Canada is around $600 :(
     
  6. Tom_Foolery

    Tom_Foolery Guest

    i live in Toronto so that is not really an option, so in that case what is a mixer, because i thought it was what you plugged all your mics into and then plugged into the computer. and I've also been told about ADAT, actually i was asked if i had an ADAT input on the back of my computer, and I'm not exactly sure what that is. and one more thing is there any reason i would ever use a 1/4" input for recording through an interface.
     
  7. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    $500 is pretty tight.
    To record drums, 4 mics is about minimum - kick, snare, and a pair of overheads. Optional mics on floor toms and hihat.

    So figure 4 mics, small mixer for mic preamps, software, mic cables, mic stands & drum clamps, and a 4 or more channel interface.

    Some mixers have a digital out for recording - some offer only stereo out, some offer multitrack out. My mixers are purely analog - multiple microphone inputs which I can mix to stereo outputs for doing live sound. I feed my mixer outputs (direct outs for each channel) into an Echo Audiofire12 or a Motu 24i to get multitrack recording into my computer.

    If you can double your budget to $1000, you'll have a much easier time meeting your needs with new equipment purchases. If you buy used you could get up and running, partially meeting your goals (but not completely) if you buy used gear that has room to grow - adding more microphones, stands, accessories, maybe better software in the future.
     
  8. Tom_Foolery

    Tom_Foolery Guest

    from what i've gathered i don't really need a mixer though i could just use one on the computer. right now my big concern is choosing the right interface, for now i will probably start off with the basic shure sm57. but i will get another in months to come, and i know the more mics for recording drums the bettter but for now since i don't really have any experiance recording i should just spend a little money to see if i should invest more. and besides a lot of good drums have been recorded with 1 and 2 mics
     
  9. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    You are correct that you don't need a mixer, but you DO need a mic preamp for every microphone, and a mixer is often the most economical way to get a bunch of preamps in one box. If you buy an audio interface that includes mic preamps, then you have it all covered, but you won't get many channels if I/O that fits in your $500 budget.
     
  10. VonRocK

    VonRocK Active Member

    The MacBook Pro is an excellent computer. Get a Presonus firebox, two mics (an SM57 and a 58 perhaps is a good place to start), and two XLR mircrophone cables. Use Garageband, which comes with the computer's operating system. THis will get you up and recording TWO channels at a time, and of course you can lay as many tracks down as you want, one or two at a time.

    The firebox will give you TWO channels to record at the same time. The FP10 will give you up to TEN channels to record at the same time. Both of these items are called an 'interface', and include a 'pre amp' for each microphone input, as well as Analog to Digital/Digital to Analog (AD/DA) converters. The pre amp allows you to use the microphone by amplifying the signal. The AD/DA converters convert your analog signal produced by the microphone into a digital signal for your computer. These interfaces use firewire to connect to your computer.

    There are a many interfaces to choose from, and they all vary in price and quality.

    You mentioned that you have a limited amount of information and don't know where to begin. Start reading these forums and use Google. There is a TON of information available on the internet about home recording. There is also a TON of different ways to do this, and a TON of different opinions. Start doing some work.

    Also, you are in Toronto, so you have plenty of music stores to visit. Go to a BUNCH of them, and start asking questions. Get a number of opinions, and don't worry about the fact that you know nothing of this process. There is nothing wrong with not knowing.
     
  11. Tom_Foolery

    Tom_Foolery Guest

    Thanks V rock you answered all my questions pretty thoroughly. in this case though i might as well save some money and get an interface with 2 XLR and forget about the 2 1/4 " inputs which i really have no use for
     

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