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Need help setting small home studio up

Discussion in 'Computing' started by jmd87, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. jmd87

    jmd87 Active Member


    Well over the years I have tried a few methods of computer based recording from Lexicon omega's to Motu stuff and its never been very successful now Im going to atempt again after having a good thing about it lol. Im 21 so go easy on me but I do know quite a bit about music stuff as I love it (i play guitar and sing aswell)

    I want to do midi (keyboards/drums etc) and instrument recording (guitars/bass and maybe drums now and then). I shall tell you what equipment I have so you get an idea of what i have :)

    I have a core 2 duo PC with 2 gigs of RAM and a few big sata harddrives.
    I have An edirol UM2 for the midi which is veryt reliable. I have a few modules like drum units/ emulator ESI 4000's and some roland stuff. I have a Lexicon Omega which is unreliable/ 2 Motu something and others (forgot the model but are my dads lol) Had nothing but trouble with these things!!! / And just bought an Edirol M-16DX which has proven to be the best so far!!! Then I have a yamaha amp and JBL monitors but im not worried about that part!

    On the software side im running windows XP and I Have Cubase SX3 and Cakewalk sonar 8 producer and would want to know which is better and why please :)

    Now what id like to do is be able to program the midi tracks the send it to say the drum units which would go into my mixer and then back into the computer so it can be recorded! No I always had trouble with the Lexicon omega and Motu with it working ok then it would suddenly start skipping and becoming distorted etc...I tried loads of different computers but always the same thing!whether it be old ones or new! (im very computer literate as I work in computers (programming/web design etc etc))

    Can any help me set this up the best way please?

    Many thanks
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    The problems you experienced require that you set up your computer a lot different than the way in which you have used it for your other work. That equipment has worked perfectly fine, with a multitude of different computers over the years. It's not computer programming. It's audio. Much has been written about proper computer setups for these types of applications. You're going to try again with similar results to what you have experienced in the past. That is, unless you find out how to properly set up your computer.

    Check out previous threads here at Recording.org
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    "and would want to know which is better and why please"

    Regardless of what software you compare, the software cannot be ordered into a rank of "great, greater, greatest" - personally I find that Kristal, with it's relatively limited feature set, works for my needs - Remy there needs no software as she mainly mixes with an analog console (I believe) - plenty more people out there will mix with Cakewalk, Sonar, Reaper, Tracktion, ProTools, Cubase, Logic, Audacity - YOU choose the software which has the most suitable features, price and layout that YOU want.
  4. jmd87

    jmd87 Active Member

    Hey thanks for the replies!

    Thanks RemyRAD: I know it is VERY different from programming or using programs like Maya so I know about that. We had long "talks" with Motu and never got anywhere with them they said the computers were setup fine and the MOTU was sent back and they said there was nothing wrong with it. They then blamed it on the fact it wasnt a MAC lol The Lexicon was just the worst piece of hardware ive had! Lexicon do amazing echo but that kinda let them down...I sent it back to be fixed 3 times (broken ribbons/pots/wiring alsorts) and gave up in the end.

    My dad looked at it as he has big studios but none of the equipment involves recording to a computer He uses things like Alesis HD24's and things like that and he couldnt understand why the MOTU with its rave reviews never worked lol but anyway ignore the MOTU!

    But heres something i thought was weird is that I Never got those problems on Cakewalk or Adobe audition at all It was only on Cubase I seemed to get it (minus the lexicon broken parts! and never tried the motu)

    Ill look around to see if theres anything ive missed :)

    Should I use a seperate computer to control the midi stuff or should it work fine controlling the midi and audio recording/playback off one computer?

    And thanks Codemonkey Ill just try them and see what happens :)
  5. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Obviously you can't try them all - but I suggest you look into the features of each, and search for demos of the ones that interest you.

    Kristal can't do midi - neither can Audacity - so if you want midi, rule those out.
    Some people say that certain interfaces look cluttered, so if you like things clean, I'd suggest bringing up some screenshots of stuff and you can tell from those if you like the interface.
    (Reaper, and I expect others as well, is skinnable)

    Oh, as for the PC thing - it's best to NOT run anything else while recording. Especially not working off the same hard drive. If it suddenly demands resources, it could cause skips in your recorded files.
  6. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    I've had what Codemonkey mentioned happen. Not fun.
    Fortunately, it was a "gap" more than an audio loss, so with careful nudging of tracks, I was able to make it sound normal and seamless.
    (This still took almost an hour)

    Unfortunately, I use Windows Vista, and am having trouble finding the crap that's running in the background.
    I use a Firestudio, so I HAVE to have an internet connection to periodically update the drivers.
    I guess I need a pro to tailor my machine??
  7. jmd87

    jmd87 Active Member


    Thanks again for all the replies :)

    Yeh I had the resources problem a few times when starting out althought it held up very well i was watching TV off the computer whilst recording and only ever dropped/skipped a few times then it went tits up when i changed computers lol!

    As for Vista I stay well away from that now i spent so long trying to get it to work etc etc never got anywhere..I've tried Cubase SX3 on Windows 7 Beta and that works very well and very fast which is surprising.

    Also a friend of my has a Apple minimac which as good specs would that work better with computer recording? I've read people have recording 30+ tracks of audio flawlessly on the little macs? Is this true ?

    Many thanks

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