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pc based studio recording setup

Discussion in 'Recording' started by apodos, Feb 8, 2004.

  1. apodos

    apodos Guest

    I'm fed up with my Roland digital 8 track recorder; the zip drive constantly crashes and I've lost more than one song............so......I want to convert my studio to a PC based system. The problem is that I know nothing about recording with a PC. I know that there are many easy to use systems and I'll look into which one is best for me. My questions, though, are more simple and embarrassing: When I record with my Roland, I hook my instrument cables directly into the recorder; what do I hook my instrument cables to when recording via PC? Do I need to get any equipment in addition to the PC recording software?
     
  2. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Yes you will need a mixer and a sound card.

    You should do a search of the archives and I am sure you will find lots of information that you can use.
     
  3. apodos

    apodos Guest

    Could I use my Roland digital recorder as a mixer only and play through it to the PC?(just wondering if I need to spend money on a mixer)
     
  4. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    Yes, you'll need a seperate mixer so you can monitor what's going to and from your sound card. IMO, I think the Roland 8 track wont cut the cake as far as mixing is concerned (monitoring maybe). Too many varibles to contend with.
     
  5. mjones4th

    mjones4th Active Member

    Well you don't _really_ need a mixer....

    I don't use one. At least not any more. All the major software sequencers (like Logic, Cubase, Samplitude) have built-in software mixers. And you can use something like the Samson C Control, to have the routing capabilities a mixer gives.

    But it all depends on your working style. Your main concern is gonna be the soundcard (and that's where you hook your mics/instruments up), since the playing field on the software side is pretty level (meaning they all pretty much can do what you need)

    For instance, do you have several synths, or do you record several live tracks simultaneously? You'll want a soundcard with several inputs. Do you use external effects units? You'll want a card with at least 4 inputs and 4 outputs. Do you record one track at a time (ala one man band)? A soundcard with two inputs and two outputs will suffice.

    But make sure to take future needs into consideration as well.
     
  6. apodos

    apodos Guest

    Mark Jones,
    You said what I wanted to hear. I don't see the point of a mixer. I do the one man band thing. I want bare bones software which will simply give me unlimited tracking capabilities; I don't need much else in the way of software. I want a good sounding sound card with two ins and two outs............That said, if you were me...........what would you buy if you wanted to come in under the $400 mark or so for the software and the sound card?
     
  7. mjones4th

    mjones4th Active Member

    hehe not always a good thing.

    If you wanna stay under $400 and don't need frills, you might want to consider a soundcard that comes with a cut down sequencer (MOTU and M-Audio come to mind, not really hi quality, so they say, but...)

    Or you might blow the whole load on an RME Digi 96/8 PAD. (RME hs a great name, and many endorsers around the internet) And then pick up the latest copy of Computer Music Magazine and get their freeware Computer Muzys sequencer.

    go to an internet store like zzounds.com or audiomidi.com and have a look-see. There are plenty of options.

    One important concern though, if you're foregoing the mixer, is the ability to monitor your synth, guitar or microphone. The Samson C Control I mentioned earlier, gives you this facility, or option two is a feature which most of the big name sequencers have called software monitoring. Software monitoring allows you too hook up your synth/microphone/guitar to your soundcard and play it directly into the software mixer within your sequencer and send that signal back out to the soundcard outputs to the speakers. That's very important for the one man band type. I know Logic has this feature and I'm pretty sure Cubase/Nuendo and Sonar have this feature, but you'll need to check with the other smaller sequencer manufacturers.

    hope this helps.
     
  8. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Yes, Cubase SX can do it one of two ways:

    1) By through the program itself. This way you can hear realtime software effects but the signal will be delayed according to your card's latency value - not an issue with a modest ammount of plugs and any of the cards mentioned in this thread.

    2) By controling your soundcard (ASIO Direct Monitoring). In this method, the signal is not routed through your software, rather your card is controlled by your software. There is no latency with this method, but also no realtime effects.

    Also, Sonar can do type one software monitoring, but i'm not sure about type two.
     
  9. Kent L T

    Kent L T Active Member

    Which model Roland do you have?
     
  10. apodos

    apodos Guest

    Kent,
    I have a Roland VX840EX
     
  11. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    I have a question. Would there be any benefit to having a digital mixer (along w/ the soundcard) if you're using it partially for patching hardware synth & basic inputs? I know it would double up as a control surface for the software too. And I mean I have a lot of hardware. Any opinions?
     
  12. apodos

    apodos Guest

    Mark, and/or David,
    You mentioned that software monitoring would be feasible with Cakewalk Sonar and a soundcard in the following format: play instrument/mic into soundcard which feeds to computer software which in turn records the sound and feeds sound back to the soundcard for monitoring......right? Well, I've done my best to wade through the product descriptions of computer software sites(specifically Cakewalk) and I find no mention of this "software monitoring" feature. The cakewalk site has a nice chart which lists and compares every feature of Sonar and Home Studio but I must not be very smart because I can't find software monitoring as a feature(maybe it's disguised with some other name that I don't recognize). Can you guys help me? And do you know if software monitoring is available in Cakewalk Home Studio?(Sonar is more expensive than I'd hoped and I don't need the features that it has over Home Studio).
     
  13. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Yes, Cakewalk Home Studio has software monitoring such that you can monitor with software effects.
     
  14. doctorfish

    doctorfish Guest

    If you don't need midi and have an ASIO soundcard, Sony's Vegas can monitor through software and effects.
    Vegas

    Although, to buy Vegas 4 you'll go over your $400 limit. I think most of the professional audio apps will be at least that, if not more.

    Dave
     
  15. apodos

    apodos Guest

    gonna go with:A-Cakewalk Home Studio 2004($90)
    B-Echo Mia Midi($180)
    Total=$270 with shipping

    I'm on my way into the world of PC......for under $300.........if you don't count the $1200 PC itself........anyway thanks for the advice
     

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