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I really need help with Preamps + Sound Interfaces...Planning a Home STudio!

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by EricAllen, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. EricAllen

    EricAllen Active Member

    I really need some Good Advice & Help with Planning a Home recording studio. This seems like one of the best forum on the Net for studio setup and gear , so I feel like you guys can Really Help me..

    I`m trying to set up a Studio in my Room so I can record music, mix and Master. I know the acoustics in a Bedroom are far from ideal, but I don`t have much choice. It`s either up here, or down in my Hollow, echoing basement.

    The first and only thing so far that I`ve ordered Online is the Mic. It`s an Audio technica 4033 CL, Link Here: Long & McQuade - Audio-Technica AT4033/CL - Studio Mic

    I heard good reviews for it`s use in Hip hop, rap, rnb, soft rock, etc So I believe it will suit Me Well. Maybe I am wrong, Lol. But it`s sitting on my desk, so that ship has sailed..

    I`m also Planning on ordering Two Krk Speakers, I`ve heard raging reviews and after hours of research am set on them: Long & McQuade - KRK RP-5 G2 Powered Monitor (Next paycheck:D)

    Of course I`m getting a Mic stand, pop FIlter, and an XLR Cable for my Mic. But, here is where I am Lost...I am confused about what `Preamp`to get and what Soundcard...or sound interface. I THINK I`ll need both? From what I've researched, I was planning on purchasing This Behringer Mini Mixer with Preamp: Amazon.com: Behringer UCA222 U-Control Ultra-Low Latency 2 In/2 Out Usb Audio Interface with Digital Output And Massive Software Bundle: Musical Instruments . My primary use for my mic is to Record Vocals for Songs. But I would also possibly like the capability to hook up Instruments as well.

    I Really don't know if what I showed you above is what I need. I don't want a Real Beginner set up I wanna start around the intermediate level If i can. But, I'm not sure if this will even Work. Or even how to hook the mixer up to the sound interface....Lol.

    Is this an Ideal set up? And if not, is there an audio interface that has a preamp in it Like M-box (I think)..that you would Reccomend? I was looking into protools and Would not mind learning on it. Also, If I get headphones, where Am I going to plug them in? The mixer?

    If anybody could be humble and help me out I'd really appreciate it, just trying to get this project Off the Ground.
     
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Hi and welcome!

    The AT4033A is a good all-round choice for a condenser mic, but you may have problems with room reflections in a sonically untreated environment, and you will need a pop shield if you are using it for vocals. You may find that a dynamic mic such as the Shure SM58 would give you better control of the acoustics.

    What's your budget for an interface/preamp? Does your computer have FireWire ports or just USB? I would earnestly suggest that you look at the low-cost program Reaper before you put down appreciably more cash for other software products. If you are considering ProTools 9, that does allow 3rd party interfaces, so you don't have to put up with the DigiDesign or M-Audio hardware offerings. I would also avoid the UCA222 and almost everything else from that particular manufacturer.

    A respectable starter USB interface would be something like the Lexicon Lambda, the Focusrite Saffire 6 USB or the Mackie Onyx Blackjack. These all allow you to plug in headphones and/or powered monitor speakers.
     
  3. EricAllen

    EricAllen Active Member

    Thanks for helpin me out Boswell!...I did some research into those Pre amps that you recommended, like the Interfaces. I think I'm set on the Amazon.com: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB Audio Interface Featuring Two Focusrite Pre-Amplifiers, Saffire 6 USB: Musical Instruments (Focusrite Saffire USB). What i Don't know is, do i Need an audio interface as well coupled with this, or is this JUST what I need? Will I need something like
    the UCA222 coupled with the Focusrite USB?

    Also, If i get a set of KRK monitors, do they actually plug into the Focusrite sapphire? And what about my Headphones to listen while recording? Everybody has been telling me to get Reaper, It looks like it's easy to Learn on and a good program.
     
  4. EricAllen

    EricAllen Active Member

    Another quick bit of info , I am currently running a PC : Buy the HP Pavilion p6627c BT457AA Desktop PC at TigerDirect.ca (link to my home computer Window 7 64biT) One of my main concerns is that my PC audio card is probably crap..just dont know if the Sapphire will replace the card?
     
  5. Spase

    Spase Active Member

    The Sapphire will interface the microphones with the computer. It has microphone preamps (to raise the level of the microphones signal to line level) as well as converters (to change the analog mic signals into digital bits).

    The KRK speakers will also plug in to the Sapphire after the computer converts the digital bits back into analog audio. The KRKs have amps built in, so you just send them a line level signal. I am not really familiar with the Sapphire, so your best bet if you get it is to thouroghly read the manual and try everything, then come back here with anything that you can't figure out.

    Also, Reaper is a very good and inexpensive package to use for recording and mixing and even mastering your tracks. It is a very nice and complete package.
     
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Most interfaces also bundle very worthy software whether it is Reaper or Cue base or any of the other numerous variants. The Sapphire is a worthy product. You might want to look into one of these inexpensive mixers by Mackie/Barringer/others that have an internal USB or FireWire output connection. You see, that makes the mixer your computer sound interface device as well as a mixer that can be used, stand alone without the computer should you so require that use. Think, coffee shop performances. And so you have the condenser microphone and you will also need a dynamic microphone such as the venerable SM58 for $100 US. And even if the mixer only features a 2 channel USB interface, you may in fact be able to run more than 2 microphones should the need arise. These should not be thought of in terms of strictly entry-level devices. These are viable professional audio products that provide very reasonable professional results when utilized correctly. Some of that requires trial and error and plenty of time. Remember less is more. Simple is better. Don't play with knobs if you don't have to. Your laptop's soundcard will be active unless you disable it in the BIOS. When not deactivated, it will actually be available to be utilized, say, for your headphone output. And the higher-quality interface output feeding your KRK's (I have 2 pairs). These changes can be made within the software. Of course nothing is perfect and you can experience some compatibility issues. Latency & routing can become a little dicey. It's all fun and it will all contribute to becoming a better engineer. So great minds think alike. Now off you go.

    Gooder is always better
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     

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