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setting up DAW based home recording studio, need advice!!!

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Tory, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. Tory

    Tory Guest


    I am trying to set up a home studio and have some questions. Like many novices, I went into Guitar Center with a little bit of knowledge and made purchases based on their suggestions and my budget. Now, I am trying to figure out if I really have the equipment I need for my purposes and if I need to buy a new computer, etc.

    Previously, I have been recording in other studios, but due to time and cost, I would like to start recording my own material to pitch to venue managers and quality enough for local radio stations. I would like to set up a computer based system to record acoustic guitar, vocals, and some percussion (djembe, shakers, etc) for multi-track recroding.

    I will admit I am not gear savvy, but I am very serious about recording and would like an expert opinion and whether I have the right equipment and the best way to set it all up. The following is the list of the equipment I have with as much detail is possible.

    CPU: Dell lap-top: Dell T7500 @ 2.2GHz, 2G of RAM, Windows XP. It has one 1394 connection. This is my day-to-day computer in which I have a bunch of programs like Word and Photoshop as well. I have read that having other programs on a computer used for recording audio can cause problems, .crashing etc

    Interface: M-Audio FireWire Solo with 2 inputs for guitar and vocals and 2 sets of balanced and unbalanced line inputs.

    External drive: To record audio I have read you must have at least 2 hard drives. I have an external hard drive I was thinking of using for audio. It’s a Buffalo Drive Station Combo 4 USB 2.0/FireWire External harddrive with 1.0 TB, rotational speed 7200 RPM, seek time 11 ms, 8 MB buffer speed.

    Software: Pro-tools M-Powered for PC

    Mike: Sterling Audio ST55 FET Condenser Microphone, shock mount, mike stand, metal pop filter, XLR cable

    Thanks you in advance for your help!

  2. jg49

    jg49 Distinguished Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Frozen Tundra of CT
    I would imagine that your computer is up to the task, the problem with trying to record on your everyday computer is that you really should tweak the computer for recording and that is by turning off wireless, anti-virus and so on. Might want to read this thread it is a sticky in the music computer forum
    A USB external hard drive 7200 rpm should be fine to record to especially since you will not be recording more than two tracks at once.

    Your interface is comparable to others in that price range. Your choice of a condenser as a first mic might offer you some challenges as condensers are more sensitive to the space you are recording in than dynamics but it is certainly a useable mic. You might want to consider getting a SM57 or 58 at some point.

    Set up is simple, mic or instrument plugs into interface then firewire to computer USB to external drive. Just nbe certain that your projects files are being stored on the external drive.

    Your biggest hurdle in making great recordings lies in the fact that you don't have any experience recording. Getting great recordings is more about technique then gear. A great engineer can make very good recordings on mediocre gear while a mediocre engineer will make poor recordings on the best gear. So at this point jump in get wet and be prepared to learn how to swim LOL.
  3. steppingonmars

    steppingonmars Active Member

    Mar 6, 2008
    Brandon, MB Canada
    Your setup is fine and you don't need another hard drive, unless your doing 30 tracks of congos ;)

    Read this though


    I set it up like this and can run full plugins on 30+ tracks at about 1/2 cpu power without crashes on a simular system as yours, althoug my computer is only used for recording and not hooked up to the internet

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