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Newbie looking for some advice

Discussion in 'Recording' started by oysterhead, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. oysterhead

    oysterhead Guest

    Hey all,

    I'm planning on getting into recording quite heavily, and may have a great space to work come November and I was looking for some advice/opinions.

    I only plan on recording instruments (guitar, drums, bass, vocals, keys, etc.)

    I have no use for midi or drum machine programs. just plain old instrument recording. With that said, I've thought about 2 major purchases. 1, a Presonus 8 XRL input firewire interface (I can't remember the exact model name). and Cubase 4 Essentials.

    I figure my needs are simple, and those seem like good choices.

    Any advice/opinions are much appreciated. Thank You.
  2. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    PreSonus FP10 (FirePod) by chance? Or FireStudio (Project). If you get any of the PreSonus line products they will come with Cubase 5 so save your money on Cubase 4. These are great stepping stone pieces and will challenge your abilities while teaching you the basics. The upside is that it will actually sound good. What mics do you have/planning on buying?
  3. oysterhead

    oysterhead Guest

    Yeah, it is the PreSonus FP10. I'm looking on musiciansfriends.com and it says it comes with Cubase LE 4, not Cubase 5.

    I'm planning on getting a Shure SM58, a Shure drum mic kit with 3 SM57's and a Beta 52 kick mic, and last but not least (and probably first) a Rode NT2-A.

    I'm also planning on getting a stripped down computer with a good motherboard, sound card, processor, 500 GB hard drive and 8 GB of RAM and a good pair of monitors.

    This is all based on a consultation with a friend who knows a thing or two about home recording. I realize that there are infinite possibilities and everyone has different ideas, but I was wondering if what I have planned is a sound (no pun intended) investment. Im hoping that the total budget will fall between $1500-$2000.

    Thanks again.
  4. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    It sounds like you are on the right track. Add to your list a good FireWire external hard drive because you should never record to your system drive. Then all that is left is technique, technique, and technique. Fortunately for you there is plenty of advice around here about technique and you are encouraged to ask as many questions as needed :cool:

    I approve your gear list, you seem to not have the typical newbie mindset. You know...CONDENSER!!...MIXER!!...PREAMP!!!! Or maybe your friend slapped you into the right direction :lol: whatever the situation is, the only thing left to improve at this stage is you.

    BTW, my bad about the Cubase thing, you are right.
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I'd keep my eternal HDD on USB. Interface stays on the firewire.
  6. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    You didn't mention it would be a laptop so, I would go with a second internal hard drive. SATA will always be faster than any USB or Firewire peripheral. Save some money buying at an OEM supplier rather than a retail shop. NCIX is a good place to look or NewEgg.

    Make sure you check all your components for compatibility with your hardware and software. Do this first because all of the other gear will be worthless if your system has issues.
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    +1 Hueseph. One good way to find out if you have problems is the DPC Latency Checker.


    Hueseph is absolutely correct that a second internal hard drive on it's own cable and port will be faster than either firewire or usb.
  8. Gerkass

    Gerkass Guest

    i would say give midi a try, cause keys are probably the hardest to record
    of all the instruments,,especially a pure piano sound, only prob with midi is trying to find the right software to get the right piano sound,,
    and i remember trying to record a piano track on a roland rp101 and was at it for a good few weeks, trying to play it perfectly and in time, and it was a complete nightmare, prob due to perfectionism but its especially irritating trying to put out of time bits into time,..........
    i then tried midi,,,got it done in a day!
    just had to find the right piano plug in.
  9. MuayThaiKid

    MuayThaiKid Guest

    #1) Gerkass is right man. If you want to maximize your productivity you have to keep an open mind to midi. Put simply, MIDI editing means the difference between doing something in 15-20 takes and doing it in 2-3 takes. Every true DAW has MIDI editing capabilities. This is going to be crucial for ya.

    A great quote from the world famous Rich the TweakMeister: "Those that succeed as home electronic musicians understand MIDI. You can try to get by without it, but it will dog you at every turn."

    It's soooo easy to learn and to work with. Just do it!

    #2) 8 gb of ram is really good if you're gonna be recording huge track counts and/or vast amounts of effects. Howeva', the most important use for ram in a DAW is for soft-sampling... you know... that midi stuff ;) If you don't plan on mixing 50 channels of audio or film scoring with orchestral samples, the 8 gb of ram are overkill to the highest degree. Also, bear in mind you, for 100% sure, need to run a 64-bit operating system to address more than 4 gb of RAM. Vista 64 or XP 64... which some DAW's and most plugins (including Pro Tools 8 and Waves products) will not run on.

    Spend your money on a good processor and motherboard. And/or better gear.

    #3) The FP10 is great. I use it everyday without a hitch, great preamps, 8 XLR inputs switchable to 6 line level inputs + 2 instrument level inputs, 2 extra line inputs on the back of the interface. But, don't plan on using it with Pro Tools... cuz you can't. PT works only with Avid products: Digidesign and M-Audio interfaces. Anywhoooooo, the FP10 is fantastic solution for recording drums which calls for 6-10 mics. You can get two of 'em and record a whole band simultaneously.

    #4) Mics:
    - 57's are great all-purpose mics.
    - The SM58 has IDENTICAL electronics to a 57 with an internal windscreen and diff chassis, so keep that in mind if you're thinking of buying one. I would recommend gettin' something else if you're gonna already have three 57's.
    - for drums: 421's are great on toms, the D112 is the king of bass mics, 57's and i5's are popular for snare top
    - for drum overheads this is one awesome solution: MXL 603 with the mod... http://www.oktavamodshop.com/product_info.php?products_id=119&osCsid=6a22g83mk60ie55jcevcte4eu5

    If you want more specific advice, please ask away.
  10. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Don't forget about proper sound isolation and sound treatment both for the studio and the control room.
  11. MuayThaiKid

    MuayThaiKid Guest

    tru dat
  12. frnk

    frnk Active Member

    Check this out despite what anyone says, the VS2480 is the best investment I made. Because where can you get a 24 track digital track recorder with dedicate dynamics on all tracks, can record 16 at once, (16 inputs) that's a hole band man. You can also take it to record live shows and edit later. You can also add plug ins from UA, T-Racks, Autotune and many more. It may not be as fast as the more modern DAW's but its ole faithful, 0 down time. Do me a favor just read up on it yourself before anyone tries to knock it. You don't have to have fancy toys to make fancy recordings. Read Paul whites articles and books. I use to think I had to have a 5,000 dollar studio but I don't and would love to challenge anyone within that range. Beside the 2480 ran about 4 grand new. Read the sound on sound article for the facts.
  13. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The HD24XR if a better option for an actual dedicated recorder.

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