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More Hardware recommendations... :)

Discussion in 'Recording' started by sleuthfoot, Aug 22, 2001.

  1. sleuthfoot

    sleuthfoot Guest

    Ok, another question.

    At present, I am considering a P4-based DAW with an Echo Layla and Nuendo. Someone recommended I go with an RME card, preferrably with an ADAT converter.

    I am curious to know what that is/does, and, if the Layla is lacking in some way, what other cards could/should I consider.

    What should I be looking for when purchasing a mixer/recording card (what is the technical name for these cards anyway?!?) for my computer? I'm not sure I even know any brand names other than the ones I have managed to find online. Can someone recommend some mid/upper-mid level recording cards for PCs?


    Thanks again,
    Lipid
     
  2. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Layla cards are nice indeed..I think they sound great and handle well in a system. There have been some issues with the Layla cards and Win2K machines but I got mine working with no problems(then again I'm a complete computer geek!!)
    The Layla will be nice since you have 8 analog ins and outs as well as an optical 8 channel interface that can be used at the same time. Plus SPDIF, word clock and MIDI. Layla cards can be stacked in a system so that any software can use all cards at once.
    RME cards are known for great sounding converters...the 9652 card is three optical ins and outs but no analog ins or outs. you need a seperate box for that. You can use multiple RME cards just like the Layla boxes as well. The cards are called PCI recording systems or hard disk recording interfaces. I dont think there is a main term used for them...saying PCI card is good enough tho.
    You should look for what you need...do you want to spend money on a mixer that will allow you to take your analogs inputs and send them out optically? Hoy many channels do you need to record at once? If you you need just 8 at once analog then the layla will be fine..if you need 8 analogs and just one optical in then the layla will be fine...if you need 3 optical ins and outs then the RME will be good for you. Just remember..RME doesnt have analog ins...just optical..you need a seperate converter box to get analog into the optical ins..or you get a another RME card..there are several cards made by RME..
    check out their website
    http://www.rme-audio.com
    give me some specifics as to what you plan to do and I'll tell you what you shoudl possibly get
    Opus
     
  3. sleuthfoot

    sleuthfoot Guest

    Opus,

    Thanks for the info.

    Right now, my situation is pretty simple. I have been playing music for quite a while. I have tons of ideas in my head that I want to try and get on to a recordable media. I have had minimal experience in the recording field (a Tascam 8-track on casette, micing, etc), so I am unsure as to what all I'll need for the DAW.

    For now, I realize that I will need/want a few basic things: the computer for recording, the recording/mixing card and software, and various external componants and effects (reverb, compressors, EQ, etc). From what I have gathered, external componants are generally preferred over the software-based, digital effects. For now, though, its strictly computer, recording card, Nuendo (or whatever) and Microphones. I'll add on as I go.

    As far as the "digital" recording side of things goes, I just don't know anything about the hardware at all (other than the basic basics). I dont know what dis/advantages optical ins/outs have, nor does any of the other techno-jargon make sense. I don't know if I even need an ADAT, or if I even want one. I don't know what advantages having a timeclock gives, or even how to use them... on and on and on...

    What I want is an above-average introductory setup that I can use to start recording and, in the long run, get these ideas flowing out of my head and on to CD or whatever. I have a strong suspicion that recording will also facilitate the creative process and take me in directions I have not yet gone. Right now, I am really counting on advice to help me with the initial purchase of the hardware that I need. I am sure that I will figure out what all I need as time goes on and I get to use the recording stuff more, but for now, I just need to know where to start.

    Ideally, this starting setup would be composed of mid/upper-mid level products. If there is any "must-have's", I want to know about them (like optical ins/outs, etc). However... at this point I don't really need or want anything that will simply save me a few mouse clicks here and there... I just want the basic, quality stuff - but, at the same time, I want those basic componants to have room to grow later (eg, if I need more optical outs/ins, then I may elect not to go with the Layla, etc).

    I guess what I am trying to say is that this setup will definitly be growing and I want to have the most flexible, best-sounding foundation to grow on. That is what is most important to me.
    Oh, and YES!, money is definitly an object, but an overcome-able one at that.

    Also, since I am really in this solo, I would like to know more about DSPs, or other types of things that can generate "Virtual Instrument" types of things... I would really like access to some kind of Drum Kit synthesizer as well as a vurtual Synth/keyboard package. I have access to guitars and bass's and their cooresponding amps.
    I see that Steinberg has those VST packages, but I am unsure as to what they do, or if they are even what I want.

    I don't really need any advice on Mics. I can check those out at the store... they're pretty straight forward.

    I hope all that made sense!!


    Thanks again,
    Lipid
     
  4. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    You made perfect sense!!! If I were you I would not take the RME route and go with an analog input source such as the Layla card. Get yourself a Mackie mixer with an 8 bus..something like the 24x8 board would be sufficient enough. This way you could use your outboard gear to use as inserts and so forth when recording or mixing down. As far as software goes Nuendo is really cool and you dont have to spend 25+ grand to get a Pro Tools equivilent system. 1200 or less gets you the software then another 800 or less gets you the audio interface. The computer...well you could buy a prebuilt from HP or Dell but I really dont reccomend it..they dont build the systems to spec for audio recording. I would reccomend getting a custom one made for you that is made for recording audio...I could build a slammin system for 1500 that would rock your world!!
    Dont worry about new terminology with Optical and Adats..if you dont use ADAT's then dont worry about it...they are on the way out as it is anyways. Tape based systems like that are starting to become obsolete and will be relics very soon!! (thank god I say!!)
    As far as drum machines in the computer...REASON!!! I use that in combination with nuendo and the stuff I come up with is untouchable..plus I can make a beat so fast compared to say an MPC machine!! Virtual synths are awesome too...such as the B4 or Pro52 or Waldorf PPG...these can make a production studio out of your computer..seriously!
    The must haves are what I mentioned above..Mixer, computer, audio interface, software and some outboard gear! Plain and simple! If any of this confuses you please tell me...I am here to help in any way.
    Opus
     
  5. sleuthfoot

    sleuthfoot Guest

    Nah, its not really confusing me... :)

    I think I feel secure with the system I am building (P4 1.8Ghz, 512 MB PC800 RAM, 2 Ultra160 10kRPM HDs, Asus MB with 400Mhx FSB, Plextor SCSI cdrom and cd-rw, probably the echo layla). The only thing I am unsure of is the recording hardware... in this case, the Layla. I think it is a good product, but I am unsure if it is what I "need". I suppose it will definitly be good enough to start off with.

    Also, speaking of the mixers, etc... I was wondering what mixers will work *with* Nuendo.. in other words, will the faders on the mixer interface with the faders in Nuendo (so I dont have to use the mouse or whatever for mixdown)? Would I need to buy some type of special interface card for the mixer? Are there only a few mixers that would Interface with Nuendo, or will most work like that?

    Also... thank for the drum synth recommendations. I appreciate that. I will look in to those packages... the way you talk about them, they sure sound right up my alley.

    Thanks again for all your input.. I really do appreciate it. Hopefully, whenever I get my hands dirty with this digital recording mumbo jumbo, I can help out around here too... lord knows I will be getting all I can out of this forum until then!! :D

    Thanks agin,
    Lipid
     
  6. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Glad to help in any way! As far as mixers go...
    If you want motorized faders check out the Sac2K
    http://www.radikaltechnologies.com/English/Products/products.html) or the Houston, which is made by Steinberg. I myself use a Tascam US428..it's a great compliment to Nuendo. Mouse useage has been cut down to around 20%
    There are more and more templates being made for control surfaces every month. Some people use the O1V.
    Opus
     
  7. EdWray

    EdWray Active Member

    OPUS,

    Did you have to do any tweaks to get Win2k to work with Layla? I'm itching to do the upgrade from Win98 because I don't like the way memory is shared between processes in Win98 but have been hesitating because of the beta status of the echo drivers. Also, are you using NTFS or DOS partitions and are there any advantages of one over the other? Thanks!
     
  8. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Tweaks I do for Win2k....set most of the services to Manual..not Automatic..I do not use a network or connect to the internet viw my audio machine. Turn off use transition effects in the display properties. that's about it really! For the layla I did not have to do any tricks to get it working properly..the drivers seem fine to me. The only problem is that I need dual processors to run Win2k more efficiently..that's what Win2k was made for really. I'm using NTFS..it's a faster read for the OS and plus you can shut down your system by pressin the power button and no need for Scan Disk anymore! I do not use any partitions at all...dont believe in it. One drive partitioned does not make it multiple drives..just makes the mechanism work harder
    Opus
     
  9. EdWray

    EdWray Active Member

    Thanks for the tips. I can see why dual processors help Win2k. Does nuendo also operate as a multi-threaded app with all theplug-insand such?

    We are using VST 5.0 which sounds like crap so far but that must have more to do with being very new at this as well as extreme lack of quality input gear than the app. We still depend on the VST plugs that came with the package instead of using outboard boxes for signal processing. What are your recommendations for add-on plugins?

    I am also a believer in single partitions on my hard disks as well. Best would be a stripe set for read-write speed I'm thinkin, several upgrades later.

    It might be a while before I get a new mobo after dropping all that up-front cash getting started. We need other stuff first, like decent mike pres and a compressor or two, maybe an eq box and a mixer. Doesn't seem to be an end to it. I will have to live with what I have for now computer-wise. Performance seems acceptable for what we are doing so far as long as there are no operator errors causing the system to crash. I guess I will wait for Win2k if single processor is a problem. Maybe next year. Thanks again opus. I'm really diggin this forum.
     

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