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Need help starting music studio...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Drawn_Away, Mar 12, 2005.

  1. Drawn_Away

    Drawn_Away Guest

    All right, I am going to be setting up my music studio so I can record guitar, both electric and acoustic, piano, both MIDI and regular piano maybe, and vocals. I want to have capabilities to record drums but won’t need enough inputs to record all at once, just enough inputs to handle the mics for recording drums. I need help in deciding which way to go with recording. I have a pretty nice computer,
    · AMD Athlon XP 2800+
    · ASUS A7N8X Deluxe Motherboard
    · 512MB Corsair PC3200 Memory (Would add about a Gig and a half if I decided to use computer for recording)
    · 80GB Hard drive (Would get more)
    · 24x10x40x CD Burner
    I was set on recording with a digital multitrack recorder until I heard about all the possibilities with a computer. I have Adobe Audition 1.5 on my computer but I had to record by plugging directly into the mic port on my computer. What I was thinking was having a digital multitrack recorder with capabilities of transferring to my computer to edit from there. I plan on getting a Studio Projects B1 Microphone. I was thinking of using my computer, if it’s fast enough, I don’t even know, but I would want the physical feel of using a board to set levels and volumes. I looked at the Tascam FW1884 FireWire Controller Audio/MIDI Interface at Guitar Center as well as the Digidesigns, which were pretty expensive. I just need help in deciding whether I should just stick with only a Digital Multitrack Recorder, use my computer only, or how I would be able to use my computer along with a physical control center. Any help would be greatly appreciated and if needed I can elaborate on what I want to do. Thank you in advance, Alex.
  2. Drawn_Away

    Drawn_Away Guest

  3. drumist69

    drumist69 Active Member

    Feb 26, 2005
    North Carolina, USA
    my 2 cents...

    I'm pretty new at this game too. Here's my take. If you're just looking at doing this for YOU, not setting up a commercial studio, I think you computer is fine, but you should definitely add the ram, and also another hard drive, at least 120 gigs. I don't use a "physical" control surface, so I don't know about which one and yada-yada, but if you're happy with your software that's a great start. As long as you're going to be recording one instrument/track at a time, I think your system with just the ram and drive upgrades will work fine. Have you looked at the cheapy Tascam USB controlers? I think one has four inputs/preamps. I've heard those will do fine for a home studio, but you may want to get better outboard pre-amps down the road. Hope I was of some help!
  4. fontane

    fontane Guest

    Using your computer is fine. If you wanna go portable, get a nice lap top or possibly alesis masterlink...

    as long as your machine is built correctly with the right parts you should be ok... get decent software... cubase sx, one of my favs sonar 3+ or if you can afford it - nuendo...

    with a pc with amd or p4 along with 2gb you should be good to start... just make sure you get a decent audio card to boot and then maybe upgrade to a motu 896hd? is that the right model?

    anyways, dont get caught up in the portable multi-track - in my opinion they are too cheap to be worth any commercial project, your clients will feel better knowing your running on something they are familiar with...
  5. o2x

    o2x Active Member

    Mar 17, 2005
    How much do you want to spend???

    Your machine is fine. Add another HD for audio and up the RAM. If you want the feel of a board then get one. Analogue or digital it's up to you. An 01V96 thorugh a MOTU 828 will give you good results. 96k Digital transfer, half decent DAW control, plus mic and line inputs on the desk.

    I think this will give you much better options with regard to expanding your setup later on.

    Your Mic choice is a good one. I dont think you'll be disappointed. Although have a look round for a Rode NT-1. I think it's a better all rounder. Slightly more procey, but worth it I think.

    Software - Well it's hourses for courses here. My choice would be Nuendo, but others might disagree. Get demo's of a few and give them a go.

    All in all, this would give you much greater flexibility than a stand alone Multitrack machine. In my opinion they are fine for carting around and knocking out a few tunes in a hotel room, but are so limited in every other aspect.

    Have fun.
  6. kingfrog

    kingfrog Active Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    I think you should get your budget together first and foremost. Then it will be easioer to get opinion on all the gear you will need with that budget on a signal chain from mic to monitors.

    Im n the process of doing the same. My current setup is as follows

    PC w Pentuim 3 3.0 on Asus board
    1 40 and one 80 gig internal 120 MB external FW/USB
    1 gig ram
    Aardvark L6
    Mackie 24-4 VLZ
    Mackie 1402 Pro VLZ
    Monitor Ones powered by an Alesis amp with Yamaha 10 inch active sub.
    Rode NT2 Akg 414 SM57x2 Ndym 457
    Joe Meel VCQ1 Pre amp
    ART Pro VLA
    3 Midiverb 4
    1 microverb III
    1 Quadraverb +
    1 Yamaha REV500
    Delta Lab 256 DDL
    MXR delay DDL
    Digitech guitar processor
    digitech vocalizer

    Alesis QSR
    Alesis DM5
    Roland U220
    Proteus 1
    Proteus 2000
    Korg triton
    Alesis Qyadrasynth
    ESQ 1
    Korg Poly 800
    Washburn cherokee
    Martin Dc1 E
    Epiphone everly Brothers
    Claptom Blackie Stratocaster
    Gretch Super chet
    2 Alesis 3630
    Behringer Ultrafex

    Edirol 8x8 midi unit
    Ashly Parametric EQ
    3 patchbays
    AAPc volyage conditioner

    MOst is being sold and Im looking at the Tascam you mentioned as well as the Motu 896HD (althtoug I wont be recording at 96Kz) with A light pipe 8 channel input
    Meek Twin Q
    or Brick

    Event Precision 8s or Warfdale actives or Yorkville actives

    I do video editing on a P4 3.0 with 2 gig ram using the same set up.
    It has an Echo Gina sound card and Audigy Platnium

    Dell 8600 and Sony TR3 notrbooks for remote recording using Echo indigo I/O cards and Soundcraft folio notepad Mixer

    Sonar 4 Producer
    Sound forge Vegas 6
    Sound Forge Sonic foundry 7
    DVD archetect
    DART Pro
    Acid 5
    reason 2.5
    wavs golden and Mastering bundle
    TC electrnics bundle
    timeworks bundle
    T Racks
    Nuendo 2.5
    Cubase SX
    Opcode Vinyl
    B4 synth
    LM 4
    and more softsynths

    All mid range studio gear gear can be bought for around $7k used and new.

    I have a few more rack pieces but I dont use them..(Just fill in th holes LOL.

    Not bad for the gear and good recordings can be had.

    You need a budet though
  7. Drawn_Away

    Drawn_Away Guest

    Thanks for all the feedback people. It has helped in narrowing down what I plan on getting. I am about to order the Studio Projects B1 and I am going to look for a GIG of ram and another hard drive within a week. I am thinking a 160GB, 7200 RPM. Now my main question that I want to clear up is if I get physical controls instead of just using my mouse and keyboard, it would be something like a Tascam FW1884 right? But if I got that, does that mean I still have to get a different sound card than the one that is onboard or does that take care of it for me? If I decided to use just my mouse and keyboard, should I ge something like a E-mu 1820 Computer Recording System? I was hoping to have a board I could use to control everything so that it looked like a multitrack recorder but of couse ran through my computer but I am not sure which way to go. I don't want to spend more than $1200 or so on this part. Is the part that cost so much money the actual physical control station? Because I could manage with just using my mouse or something if it was going to save me a lot of money. Any suggestions on what to get from both sides that would work well with my computer as well as what else I would need to get if I got that?
  8. kingfrog

    kingfrog Active Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    If you go with the TAscam you don't need a card..just a firewire input.

    I am investigatin that piece as well, READ the TASCAM forum first though. It may give you pause....I did and am a little hesitant to go with that unit..but as you know most happy people do not report happiness...but the unhappy people always do at every opportunity.
  9. Drawn_Away

    Drawn_Away Guest

    What other units are there that are similar to the Tascam? I know there are the Digidesigns but those are pretty expensive.
  10. Drawn_Away

    Drawn_Away Guest

    What other units are there such as the Tascam mentioned above that are the same idea around the same price range. I want something with which physical knobs are present such as the Tascam but I was wondering which other units are good.
  11. kingfrog

    kingfrog Active Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    Yamaha 01X.......but mLAN is not ready for primetime
  12. Hey guys, Just wanted to chime in. I have the Tascam FW-1884 and I love it. Takes a little time to get to know it, but it is everything I expected from it. Just like it was stated, usually on the support forums, you just hear the bad stuff, which in a lot of cases are user inexperience as opposed to a problem product. When I was shopping, I also checked out the Yamaha 01X, and was far more impressed by the FW-1884, but that is just my opinion.
  13. kingfrog

    kingfrog Active Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    What is your set up? I was thinking about buyng that Tascam but the forum posts really scared me off it. For $1000 and the time spent in the learning curve I want something that will be fool proof.

    Cause I can be pretty foolish ya know...
  14. My setup is pretty basic. Running a Dell box with a 3.4Ghz cpu, 1 gig of Ram and duel SCSI 15000 rps HD's. I installed a firewire card (don't remember, but it may be a Belkin). Windows XP SP1. I use this for a DAW only, so I disabled my nic's, because I don't want an internet connection. Turn off any services not neccessary. I use Cubase SX 2.2. My Tascam FW-1884 works flawlessly. You just need to make sure you have the latest firmware and drivers for the 1884. Never had an issue with it. The only thing is the learning curve because it can do a lot of stuff, but you should be able to use it right away, and learn the features as you go along
  15. Drawn_Away

    Drawn_Away Guest

    Hey what about the Firepod 10 channel i/o with cubase? http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/fg=61/g=rec/search/detail/base_pid/184131/?c_tid=topseller I think this may be just what I need. I was going for the phycial controls but now I decided I would just need a rackmount because as far as I understand, this will do just as much as something like the tascam, it just doesnt have the physical controls because it is supposed to be in a rack. Could i get just a mixer later on to control everything as far as the levels and stuff? Is this a good thing to buy for me considering all the things I listed in the beginning of this post, would this be enough and good for me ya think?
  16. Drawn_Away

    Drawn_Away Guest

    Is this a good thing for me to get?
  17. Drawn_Away

    Drawn_Away Guest

    Any Comments?
  18. kingfrog

    kingfrog Active Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    I don't know whaat to say as I am torn as well between seperates and all in one. I do hesitate to go with the all in one solution. One goes down. Dead in the water, The fFireface seems like alot of money when there are less expensive solutions. But I rarly go for the TOL of anything.

    I have even been looking at the EMU stuff ......uh oh.
  19. Drawn_Away

    Drawn_Away Guest

    So does the firepod not sound like a good solution? I am thinking I may just get that, a studio projects B1 mic, I already have a computer as stated before, already got a mic stand, i need new headphones but other than that i should be pretty good. Would I need anything special if I got the Firepod, it runs through the unit itself right so i wouldnt have to get a new soundcard or anything, the onboard soundcard would be fine right? Im thinking the only disadvantage to getting the firepod is not having the physical control surface that you wouyld have with the tascam or something.
  20. asianbob

    asianbob Guest

    i've been working with my new firepod for about two days now and i can tell you i'm very happy with it. i'm using it with a laptop, and the only other equipment i use besides mics, instruments, headphones, etc. is a 6 channel headphone amp. the version of cubase included with the firepod is great, and i'm already starting to get the hang of this setup (i have no previous experience with recording and very limited experience with other audio). i intend to do pretty much the same thing as you; record drums, guitars, midi, etc, and it from what i can tell it will all be very straight forward with this setup. granted, everything has to be done via mouse clicks and keyboard commands, but cubase's mixing and editing features are great and it's all worth it in my opinion. by the way, you don't need another soundcard or anything. that was one of the awesome things about this setup was how easy it was to put together and get up and running. once i had the drivers and cubase installed, it was just a matter of plugging the firepod into the firewire input of the laptop and following some simple installation dialogues and i was ready to rock. the firepod is extremely user friendly (so far...knock on wood) and it recieves my enthusiastic recomendation.

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