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Home Studio Setup - From Scratch

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Arvida, May 5, 2009.

  1. Arvida

    Arvida Guest

    Hello! I am in the process of planning out a small home studio. First, let me give some background info...I do a lot of live audio engineering, FOH, and monitors, however not a whole lot of recording.

    In a few weeks a good friend of mine is visiting and we are planning on putting two/three songs together for a demo. We don't really have the money nor are we prepared to spend time in a pro studio, since they will charge by the hour and we'll be rushed. So, I thought I would take a stab at doing something that I've wanted to do for awhile, setting up a home studio.

    The requirements aren't hefty. We want to put out a warm, full sound and will most likely be recording no more than two or three instruments/inputs at a time. We will probably do a lot of midi-keys, strings, and ambient. Drums will have to be recorded at a different location, but we should be able to temporarily move the studio to record the drums.

    We do not have much cash to work with, but I don't want to skimp.

    I have the freebie programs and Audition 2.0, but am not sure what else we may need to make sure that certain things get mixed in properly.

    What would you recommend as far as an interface and any other outboard equipment?
     
  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Outboard will mostly do bad to your audio signal.

    An interface + some free VST plugins will do the job and probably sound better.


    What mics etc. do you (if you) have available from your FoH work?

    Not having to buy 4 SM58s will save you a few hundred.
     
  3. Arvida

    Arvida Guest

    We have SM58s, Shure drum mics, and quite a few other things available from the FOH. So we should be good on stealing stuff as needed.

    You are saying that the best, least expensive option is to take things directly into some sort of interface and handle everything software side?

    What interface would you recommend if we are talking portable, 4-6 channels max? Thanks!
     
  4. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    You might just get 4 channels over USB without glitches. Firewire is a more reliable option but more expensive.
    The PC tends to hop between device X and Y with USB, but on firewire, device X can demand attention and device Y gets none - for audio this means less dropouts.

    Like being in an underpowered club and having power sag when the subs kick in, you want your amps to get the power, and the lights to dim (since noone likes those anyway :p).

    You may actually get away with a Delta 44 and a laptop..it uses a breakout box with a PCI card and I think you can get PCMCIA options too.
     
  5. Arvida

    Arvida Guest

    I'll be using a pretty powerful PC to run everything, so the PC card should be fine if that is what you feel is the best option. I'm okay with Firewire solutions as well.

    Will any of these options allow midi i/o while recording? I'm not too familiar with midi and may not even know what I'm saying, but I want to be able to control quite a few instruments using a keyboard. So, for one track recording, I'll lay strings down using the keyboard and midi samples that are on the computer. So, I'm assuming I'll have to not only send midi to the keyboard and back, I'll have to record from it as well. Then, the next thing may be bass, again using samples and the keyboard to lay down the track.

    Thoughts?
     
  6. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    MIDI is not my strong point.

    The Delta1010 LT version is a PCI card with 8 ins, 8 outs and MIDI, S/PDIF connections, word clock too. Runs about $250 if I remember right.
    It has no breakout box as such but a pair of large fan-out cables that will eventually make you wish you had a breakout box.
     

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