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Suggestions on Ramping up Home Recording for $1500 + $1500

Discussion in 'Recording' started by I_Uh_Umm, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. I_Uh_Umm

    I_Uh_Umm Guest

    I've been reading around, but everyone has a different budget & goals, so any advice on ramping up a home studio by these params is appreciated!

    This is a hobby which will hopefully produce enjoyable recording of music from jazz-pop to rock to funk/fusion. I'm not wed to all-in-home recording, but I'd like to do single tracks and tweaking at home where possible. Much of my sound will be synth/samples, plus some acoustic instruments and vocals, but I don't mind single-track recording at first.

    Current hodge-podge o' Stuff:
    PC-based hardware (ample).
    Power conditioner - Furman S5500.
    Phones - Sennheiser HD600, but no amp ("amps??!!, we don't need no stinkin' amps!!")
    Stereo digital recorder - Edirol R09-HR (FWIW - surprisingly good quality up to 24x96k)
    Yamaha Mo8 Synthesizer (samples 'n patches)
    (Bose Classic tower PA and home stereo)

    Budget - I can spend about $5k over the year, but for now looking for suggestions on two rounds of $1500 each. Here's my assumption so far:

    first $1500? Lay down DAW, acoustic recording path and headphone monitoring so I can learn while I earn:
    1. Interface plus pre-amps (on/off board)
    2. Inexpensive mics (Shure SM...)
    3. DAW software (leaning towards Sonar, but Reason-Record seem possible)
    4. Headphone amp (Rane HC6?)
    5. some acoustic treatments

    Second round of $1500?
    6. Monitors
    7. Better mics?
    8. ? (spandex, hair dye...)

    Many Thanks! :wink:
  2. BobRogers

    BobRogers Distinguished Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    Good outline. The first step is the choice of DAW software since that will put constraints on the choice of interface - particularly if you go with ProTools. Do you have any preferences here?

    Next step will be the choice of interface. The big question there is the number of possible inputs. If you want to record a full drum kit or multiple musicians you probably want something that will do 8+ channels. If you are just layering vocals and single instruments over synth beds then you can get away with 2-4.
  3. I_Uh_Umm

    I_Uh_Umm Guest

    I'm inclined to go with Sonar Producer for $400 (but many are keen on Reason/Record's recording ease of use but I don't know if I'm sacrificing much on production capabilities). So that leaves $1100 for interface, mic(s), headphone amp, and acoustic tx. I'm looking for some product suggestions and "expertise" on balancing these purchases on my budget.

    One simplifying factor is that I can wait on final mixes until I've spent the $3k; initially I just want to get tracks in and start learning.

    As for the interface, I don't know the price points between 4 / 8 channels. I can wait on recording an entire drum set, but I'm thinking a min of 4-6 channels, to get some synergy between multiple performers (I know this brings up sonic isolation...). I'd also like to go 24x96k, and I have firewire. Thanks! :wink:

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