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Starting completely from scratch with $2-3k budget, what should I buy?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by IFTN, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. IFTN

    IFTN Guest

    First, some information about myself. I play guitar/keyboard and recently have been getting into singing/songwriting too. While visiting a friend I was able to record a track in his room - he has a pretty decent set-up of equipment he's accumulated over the years - and liked how it sounded. I have a bit of spare money so I thought what better to do then get my own set-up (FWIW here's the track, I don't want anything super-special just to be able to record up to this quality - IFTN - It's Not The Same - SoundCloud). Please note, I am completely clueless about recording and have absolutely no experience with it at all.

    What I have already:
    - New laptop with decent specs + dual monitor (have FL Studio 9 and am getting Reason soon)
    - Cheapish acoustic guitar (an Epiphone that cost about $250, hasn't got a pick up or anything)
    - Good electric guitar & amp
    - Keyboard (has 2 sockets for MIDI out and MIDI in so I guess I can do something with that, but again, I know nothing about MIDI etc)

    Things I had in mind:
    - Microphone
    - Good quality headphones
    - Perhaps a better acoustic guitar
    - Perhaps a drum machine
    - And obviously all the other important stuff that I don't know about yet (A sound card whatever that is? My friend had a few little pieces of equipment on his desk that leads from the mic/guitar went into before going into the computer)

    So, what should I buy to get started?

  2. bjboyd

    bjboyd Active Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    As you posted this a few months back, you may be well on your way.
    I'd recommend a standalone recorder that doubles as a USB interface. I recently purchased a zoom r16 (8 track), which I can I record straight into and mix and master on, or use as a USB interface that records directly into my computer (onto garageband), but it does come with cubase LE4 and should be compatible with your existing PC software. You save your music to a SD card (upto 32g in the Zoom)... which is heaps. You can also record multiple instruments/mics at the same time due to the multiple inputs. Boss put out a BR800 (from memory), which is a similar product, except the boss comes with a built in drum machine. Both machines have effects units, which is ideal for your electric guitar. I think the Zoom r24 also has a built in drum machine. You could always add drum loops to your mix (or use the drum effects on your keyboard).
    I don't record vocals, but the r16 has been easy to use with both guitar and keyboard and although there is only 1 guitar input it's really easy to transfer tracks. The sound quality is also pretty good. These units should be available under $ 500 US.
    All the best with your recording
    The portable recorders are also great if you want to record a gig, or just record somewhere different. The Zoom is also pretty lightweight.
    I use some AKG monitor headphones and you can spend heaps, but don't necessarily need to. Look for "monitor" headphones.
    Good luck with it all
  3. iandyha

    iandyha Active Member

    Feb 21, 2011
    For 2k you can get a lot.

    my suggestions:
    1. API lunch box with a 500 series preamp ~$900
    2. Head phones - Sony mdr 7506. ~$80
    3. Monitors HS50 or 80ms ~$350-500
    4. Microphone AT 4040 or ROde NT $~250-400
    or you could go a little more pricey for the microphone.

    should end up being being around 2k.

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