Is it possible to get my current recording equipment/software to work together?

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by Nairbog, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. Nairbog

    Nairbog Active Member

    (I'm new to the forum and new to recording in general, so I apologize in advance if I ask some dumb/nonsensical questions or use incorrect terminology)

    Background: I've been a guitar/ukulele player for 6 years, and recently got a keyboard (Yamaha PSR E423) as a Christmas gift and wanted to start composing more elaborate pieces using a keyboard, mic, and computer software. My goal was to be able to record everything (guitar/uke, vocals, keyboard) onto my PC in one program and start composing for fun. I ended up getting a mic and recording box (that came with software) for my birthday but after tinkering quite a bit, I'm worried that there is no way to use them together to record, at least with the software that came with the recording system. I'm hoping someone might be able to offer some advice as to the cheapest way to salvage my current equipment to work more holistically, whether that's new software or maybe something I overlooked using my current setup, which is:

    Keyboard: Yamaha PSR E423 which only has USB output, no midi
    Mic: Shure PG48 analog
    PreSonus Audiobox USB (has two analog inputs for my mic and guitar, then midi in/out, speaker/phones hookup, and connects to my PC via USB)
    Software: "Studio One 2" (came with my Audiobox)

    Unfortunately I was under the impression that my keyboard had a midi out port, which would have allowed me to have my keyboard, mic, and guitar all hooked up to the Audiobox so I would have everything I needed to easily record with the included software. I was mistaken, and I've been trying to find a way to get the program to recognize my keyboard to no avail. I do not think the software is meant to interface with anything other than the Audiobox itself, or at least I've not been able to find a way and there is no mention of being able to use a USB keyboard with it in the manual. That said, my hope is that there's some other (hopefully decent) software I could get that would interface with the audiobox *and* my other USB ports, since the alternative would be trying to replace either the audiobox or keyboard, neither of which I can still return.

    I do not care whether or not the software is "professional" quality, as I am just in it for enjoyment and as a creative outlet. If anyone has any advice on the best way to go from here, I would really appreciate it. Keep in mind my budget is pretty limited, otherwise I would just try to replace the keyboard or the audiobox. I am willing to consider that as a last resort but I'm really hoping there is another way. It would also be helpful to hear opinions on what you'd recommend to someone like me if you were starting from scratch and had a few hundred dollars to work with i.e. is using something like the presonus audiobox with a relatively cheap midi keyboard best, or simply trying to go all-in on USB connections (one for guitar, mic, and keyboard)?

  2. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    I don't see any reason that hardware can't all work together. Perhaps your guess that the software only sees MIDI through its own hardware is correct. The USB on the keyboard transmits MIDI so it should be possible to do what you intended with different software. The first suggestion that comes to mind is to get Reaper and see if that will interact with all your hardware. It's fully functional recording software that's free to try out and only $60 or so to buy. Being fully functional also means it's a bit complex, but I think it will work for you. If that doesn't do it there has to be some software that will.
  3. Jenson

    Jenson Active Member

    If the keyboard has an "audio-out", or "headphone" port ( it must ), you can run that into your Audio Box.
  4. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty sure the OP wants to record MIDI.
  5. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    The keyboard has a usb output which sends midi. Go to your preferences in Studio One and find the midi settings. Locate your keyboard and make it active as your midi input device. Now create an "instrument" track. Insert a VSTi(nstrument) into the track and you should be good to go. If you search for "free VSTi" you will find that there are hundreds of freely available instruments out there. Some of them are very good. Others not so good but Studio One should have at least a few good ones.
  6. Nairbog

    Nairbog Active Member

    This worked like a charm. Can't believe I didn't figure this out before, thanks!

    Thanks to the others for the help as well, I appreciate it.
  7. Nairbog

    Nairbog Active Member

    I had one more question about this. I was playing around with it last night and using my keyboard as a midi controller using instruments included with the program worked like a charm. However, I'd also like to record using the voices built-in to the keyboard itself, is this possible? I realize I could just connect it to the audiobox via the headphone port and record the audio, but I'm wondering if there is a way to use it as a midi controller but switch between the keyboard voices and the software instruments as needed. My experience so far is that even though my keyboard was low-budget, the sounds are generally higher quality than those included with Studio One, at least the ones I'm interested in. Studio One seems to have a lot of nice dance/house/electronica type sounds but the stuff I'm most interested in are the piano, strings, choir, and organ sounds and the ones that came with it seemed very low quality.
  8. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    The only way to get the sounds from your keyboard is to use the audio connection. The USB/MIDI connection will only pass MIDI data. It should be possible to record MIDI data through the USB, edit it as MIDI, then send MIDI back out from your software to your keyboard (using it like a sound module) and record the audio output back into your software.

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