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Need help setting up from scratch

Discussion in 'Recording' started by kaushpaul, Jul 16, 2003.

  1. kaushpaul

    kaushpaul Guest

    hi guys,

    i'm a newbie to this newsgroup...i'm basically trying to set up a small studio at home for hard disk recording...i have practically all the software under the sun and will be using Cubase SX or Nuendo for multitrack recording...will be using Acid and Fruity for loops...have a whole bunch of VST and DirectXplug-inssoftware...any other software that i need?...i'm mostly trying to figure out the minimum hardware i need to start working on a project...don't want to spend too much as yet but don't want to compromise on quality a heel of a lot either...the nature of my projects will mostly be for dance/techno type music...

    what i have now is just a PC, some cheap mics, and an ART Tube V3 mic Preamp...i'll be recording the vocals at home so what is a good mic with a budget price?...also looking to do the progamming, sequencing, mixing, and possibly mastering at home...what else will i need?

    another major thing i need advice on is the soundcard...will be working with MIDI so has to support that...someone recommended the MOTU 828...reviewed it but feel maybe all the features if offers are a little too much for me at this point...are u familiar with the MOTU 828?...wanted to know what are my other options...

    was looking at Audio-Technica ATHM40FS flat headphones for monitoring...but i was told that even with flat headphones, u don't get the right sound b'cos headphones are pressed against your ear...so i'm looking at studio monitors...need recommendations on that...something within the $200/pair budget range...

    also, i have a Yamaha PSR-270, which is a very basic keyboard (MIDI enabled)...how do i get this connected to my PC to start basic programming (the MIDI out cable from the keyboard gets plugged into what??)...

    any/all other suggetsions welcome! :)
     
  2. i love the MoTU 828, wish i had waited and bought the mkII, but it may be overkill for what your describing. if your only recording vocals or overdubbing one instrument at a time a decent stereo sound card (m audio 24/96 or something similar from echo, aardvark, etc..) would be much more cost effective.

    mic selection depends very much on your voice and personal preferences. i guess i'd start with studio project or maybe mxl for a low cost vocal mic, but you really just need to find a store that will let you sing into a few different mics and listen to the results. use your mic preamp during the auditions if possible.

    for monitors, the ART SLM-1s cost about $175.00 new. you'll need to add an amp if you don't have one allready( an old stereo reciever will work if the budget is really tight). i can't think of any powered monitors i'd recomend for less than $200.00 dollars, but there are a lot of people here who have listen to quite a few more speakers than i have.

    if you have a standard audio card in your PC, you can connect the yamaha with gameport/ midi adaptor. most computer or electronic stores should carry them. you could also go with an edirol um1s or m audio dou, both of wich cost less than $50.00.
     
  3. i love the MoTU 828, wish i had waited and bought the mkII, but it may be overkill for what your decribing. if your only recording vocals or overdubbing one istrument at a time a decent stereo sound card (m audio 24/96 or something similar from echo, aardvark, etc..) would be much more cost effective.

    mic selection depends very much on your voice and personal preferences. i guess i'd start with studio project or maybe mxl for a low cost vocal mic, but you really just need to find a store that will let you sing into a few different mics and listen to the results. use your mic preamp during the auditions if possible.

    for monitors, the ART SLM-1s cost about $175.00 new. you'll need to add an amp if you don't have one allready( an old stereo reciever will work if the budget is really tight). i can't think of any powered monitors i'd recomend for less than $200.00 dollars, but there are a lot of people here who have listen to quite a few more speakers than i have.

    if you have a standard audio card in your PC, you can connect the yamaha with gameport/ midi adaptor. most computer or electronic stores should carry them. you could also go with an edirol um1s or m audio dou, both of wich cost less than $50.00.
     
  4. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Kaushik, Welcome to R.O!!
    As I understand it, if it's midi you want, then motu's got the mojo! :roll: With the midi and the keyboard, what is it you want to accomplish? Are you looking to trigger samples in your computer with the keys, or are you looking to play the keyboard with the computer?
    As for mic's Studio projects, audix, rode, and avlex all have a good assortment of quality condensers to suit your needs. I would go to your nearest pro audio shop and see if you can loan or rent a few within your budget to make a decision on what it is you like.
    Mixing with headphones can be tricky mainly because of the way the stereo image is percieved. It can be done, and it's better to mix on a good pair of headphones than it is to mix on a crappy pair of speakers.
    For inexpensive monitors i could suggest the tannoy reveal. Cheap, and they seem to be good.

    With all of your budget concerns, I think it would be a good idea to visit the acoustics forum and find out what you room needs for treatment. This is very important and should not be overlooked. Rod, ethan, and wes have a vast amount of knowledge, as do many of the members in that forum, and you will get great infoin no time!

    Steve.
     
  5. Ras Judah

    Ras Judah Guest

    Greetings Kaushik,

    I too use Acid (Pro 4) and Fruity (3.56) amongst other things. My soundcard is a MOTU 2408mk3 (no MIDI) and it works very well for me.

    My MIDI controller (PC-160A) is connected to my PC via my game port using a Midiman interconnect - they produce two versions; one with male MIDI connectors (1 in, 1 out) and the other with female connectors. I got mine from Studiospares (UK supplier) for about £20 but I would imagine that you could pick one up for $20 or less from your side of the pond.

    Anyway, if you don't require multiple i/o, you could do worse than look into an Echo Mia (or even the new(-ish) MIDI Mia). I've not used one myself but I've heard very good things about them (especially for the price).

    As far as monitoring's concerned, I'd agree that your acoustic environment is of paramount importance. However, if you play your recordings through as many different systems (e.g. Hi Fi, in-car, friends/neighbours Hi Fi, etc.) as you can, you can 'hear' any problems (and there's bound to be some) that your mixing environment has and adjust accordingly. Not the ideal solution, but a lot cheaper than acoustic treatment.

    As for your mics, I'm in the same boat there (only on a lower deck - I only have one mic) and would suggest that you audition as many mics as you can get your hands on. Are you the vocalist? If not, try to bring your vocalist with you when you do the auditions as different mics have different levels of suitability for different voices.

    I would also suggest getting a small, second-hand (or new if you can afford it) analog mixing desk. This will making routing and monitoring your signals so much easier.

    HTH
     
  6. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Acoustic treatments can be done quite economically. Curtains hanging on the wall can control reflections, bass traps can be made with sono tubes, and loose foam. Fibre glass panels can be purchased for pretty cheap, they do a good job on bass and low mids, depending on the thickness.
    The amount of treatment you will require, will depend greatly on the dimensions of your room, and the materials you neewd to use to treat it. For every product available that you would purchase in order to make improvements, there are do it yourself plans, as well as materials substitutes that work O.K.
    I would look into things a little more by starting with the dimensions of your room. Ethan Winer in the acoustics forum has designed a handy little program that calculates the first ten room modes based on dimension. It's very quick and painless, and will give you a good idea on where you stand acoustically.

    Steve.
     
  7. kaushpaul

    kaushpaul Guest

    Thanks. I lloked at the mAudio Audiophile card and think that should be enough for what I'm planning to do. I'm doing my recordings on a laptop for the moment. Should I get a USB or PCI interface soundcard? Should I just get a desktop for my audio venture or is a laptop sufficient?

    Thanks again

     
  8. if your laptop is working for you, there certainly is no reason you have to buy a desktop. that said, i much prefer the upgrade and expansion options of a desktop system. if you do stay with the laptop, usb may be you best bet. echo is now shipping a stereo pcm/cia audio interface and RME has a few higher end pc card options too, but these are generaly more expensive than usb. i'm a mac user, so i really can't offer any advice on driver compatibility for usb audio and your software of choice, but do be careful. usb audio isn't always the most reliable.
     

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