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recording gear update. Need advise.

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Rickthebassguy, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. Rickthebassguy

    Rickthebassguy Active Member

    I need to update my recording gear and need suggestions. I have an old G4 and 7.4 protools. Need to get in touch with this decade ha. I only do my guitar and bass parts here so fairly simple needs. Not sure what computer to actually get or what interface etcetera. I should have paid more attention during the last 10 years as we made our CDs in those big studios. Now I need to record my parts at home for an independent release and want to be cost efficient with excellent quality. Advise?
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I'm guessing this is an electric guitar rather than acoustic, and that you already have guitar amp(s) that you would need to record using a microphone. Similarly, for the bass, do you need to put a mic in front of a bass cabinet or is it always DI? Do you already have microphone(s)? Do you have an acoustically-treated recording space?

    The big thing here is budget. Given a guitar + amplifier as pair that you like the sound of for a particular track or for the whole disk, you need to think of the acoustic environment-microphone-preamp also as a combination, and it's never going to sound the greatest until all of them are good in themselves. So how much is already done and how much do you have available to spend on the rest?

    The Shure SM57 is a reliable standard microphone for miking amp cabinets, but there are others that would give a different tone and you may prefer under your conditions. As for interfaces, they range from $100 to many $1000s. If you are never going to need more than a microphone XLR input and a DI input, then you could consider a reasonably simple two-channel interface box, although more channels would give you flexibility. Tell us more about what you are prepared to spend and we can make some suggestions.
  3. Rickthebassguy

    Rickthebassguy Active Member

    Thanks for the reply......Let me explain where I am already. I use an Avalon U5 DI in addition to many bass and guitar amps. I record one track at a time almost always. I have very a very decent Focusrite ISA 220 mono channel strip and several mikes including a Neumann TLM 193. So I am totally fine for high quality signal source. I also have a great multiple room setup for isolation for my guitar cabs. So my question is actually what to get to replace my old G4 Mac and my Digidesign 002 rack. I have been using Protools 7.4 as that is the last update possible with my current old computer. Also my needs are fairly simple as I do one track at a time. Rarely two at a time. But I do need quality and have only experience with this current system. I thought possibly an Mbox Pro with a new laptop of some sort?
  4. Rickthebassguy

    Rickthebassguy Active Member

    I see your location is the UK. I work there fairly often as we are somewhat well known there. The Walter Trout Band. I am the bassist.
  5. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Now this is all what we dream of : low cost, high quality ! Those are kind of incompatible ain't they ?
    To better help you, we need a bit more information about what you already have and what/how you want to record and also what kind of budget you want to spend.

    Pro recording can be done at home but some attention to gear and environement are to be consider.
    A good recording is the sum of ; Room acoustics, Instrument / Amp(s), good performance, mic(s) and placement, preamp(s) and interface/converter.
    If we fail at any step of this recipe, the quality of the recording will be dismished.

    For exemple, if you are to record your guitar with 2 cabs with 4 mics, I would go with a ISA428+ optional converter with any interface that has a ADAT cause you would not be using the internal converter of the interface, it can be something afordable.
    The ISA preamps are not the cleanest but that sound good on guitars and they have instrument input to record direct (bass or guitar)

    Another exemple : if you will use a maximum of 2 mics, you could use a RME Fireface UC, clean pre, nice converters, direct monitoring...

    I can go on and on, but without budget, I can't focus on excellent quality or affordable.. ;)
  6. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Well, by the time I finished my post you already answered my questions.. ;)
    So you need a interface with good converters and a computer..
  7. Rickthebassguy

    Rickthebassguy Active Member

    Correct. Just need to know what is an acceptable interface and a good match computer to get quality results.
  8. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I think the RME UC is still a good choice if you go FireWire.
    When I think of good converters, because that's what will make a difference...
    I think of Lavry, Mytek or Lynks but they are expensive.
    Turning to affordable interfaces the common problem is that the line input usually goes through the preamp circuit and will affect the sound.
    It is hard to have data about which interfaces offer inputs that goes strait to the converter as stand alone converters do.
    I use a UA 4-710 that has 4 preamps and 4 line to converter preamps, those are sent to a Focusrite saffire 56 via ADAT. The Saffire 56 inputs have that exact problem, inputs goes through the preamps..

    Let me check if I can find some interface that have a direct path to converters...
  9. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I found this : http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/HiloUSB but it's expensive
  10. Rickthebassguy

    Rickthebassguy Active Member

    Very nice piece for sure but definitely out of my budget as I need a computer also. I will only be recording guitars and bass. The guitar sounds will be typically very distorted. The bass will usually be through the Avalon U5. With this as my parameter I am not sure what I actually need to select in today's gear. I will never need lots channels or big mixing capabilities as my task is merely to record 6 or 8 guitar and bass tracks. Then the real studio guys will take it from there. The results from my old digi 002 are sonically acceptable but I want to be able to work in today's world of operating systems to avoid difficulties of dealing with very old hardware and software when things go wrong.
  11. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    You have nice sound sources The Avalon and ISA are good pre. It would be a waste to put them through a 200$ audio interface's preamps.

    What exactly is your budget ?
  12. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    This seems quite nice but MAC only : http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/TAC2 at 399$
    By the way, I have no affiliation with sweetwater, it's just a good price reference ;)
  13. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I think that you need to determine whether or not you plan on upgrading to a 64 bit version of PT, or, if you are going to stick with your older version, as this will be a big factor in what computer you should be looking at.

    Modern Macs and PCs will run virtually any DAW Platform, but newer computers are almost all 64 bit OS architecture, and if you decide to stick with your older pro tools version, there is the possibility that some of your current PT plugs/processors won't work while using an older DAW program with a newer computer.

    My advice would be to base your decision not upon the program you currently have, but instead on the computer that will give you the most power and expandability - for both now and into the future..

    Locking yourself down to a 32 bit production system is instantly limiting yourself - and the programs you can use - because no matter how powerful of a computer you get, no matter how much RAM you have installed, your computer will only ever use a maximum of 4 gig of that amount when working in a 32 bit audio program. The less RAM your DAW has available, the more your system will be taxed, and the greater the chances of crashes, freezes, limited track counts and plug usage, stuttering, etc. that you will encounter while working in your DAW program.

    I would advise you to look into a modern PC; a 64 bit system, with a 3.5 ghz Quad-Core CPU, at least 8 gig of RAM (but make sure the new computer allows RAM expansion), and enough HDD space - say, 2TB - to store your projects. Then, check on updating your PT situation to a 64 bit platform - although - there are many very good DAW programs available these days... you don't necessarily have to stick with Pro Tools as your platform. Reaper, Studio One, Samplitude, Sonar and Cubase, as well as several others... I'm simply saying that you do have choices. ;)

    It sounds as if you are sitting well with mics and preamps.

    However, I would recommend that you make sure to check the connection format of your current audio capture device - USB or Firewire compatible - most are USB, but not all...some i/o's are Firewire.

    If you find that your current audio capture device is FW and not USB, this isn't a deal breaker, even though most PC's have gotten away from FW, you can easily ( and inexpensively, around $60 U.S.) get a PCIe Firewire card to install, you just need to make sure that your new computer has at least one open PCIe slot that you can use for the FW card.

    If your audio device is USB, you'll be good to go. Most modern PC's come resident with at least 4 USB ports, and I've seen some with as many as 8.

    I don't think you need a full blown version of PT to do what you described, but things arechanging fast, and I would try my best to hedge my bets by getting a modern computer. No one can see into the future, but you do your best to get something that will remain powerful enough to do what you want, and to expand your production styles as well. If you can get 4 - 5 years out of a system, you're doing well. ;)


  14. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Since there is no mixing that will be done and the track will be sent to be mixed else where, I guess any DAW could be used, even free ones like Reaper
    just my 2 cents ;)

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