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Beginner Recording Set-up

Member for

21 years
Hi everyone,

I've been wanting to make a proper recording studio in my house for quite a while now, the problem is, I don't really know where to start! I would like to produce electronic based music (synths, drum machines etc) but once in a while, I would like to do some accoustic stuff (I play guitar and I'm a singer - I would also like to use sampling on my songs with singers).

It's probably best I take you through what I currently have:
Arcam FMJ A32 amplifier with PMC OB1i speakers,
Yamaha MiDi keyboard from 2001 £300,
Creative Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro Sound Card,
Cheap £30 Stag mic (don't ask!)
Really nice £2000 Vista PC (built by myself ). :lol:

Apart from the hi-fi system and the PC, I guess the rest needs updating.

I was planning to do a setup consisting of synths going into a mixer or good stereo soundcard (best quality available please) and into a sequencing programme such as Cubase or whatever. Is this what I would do to produce my own music in the same sort of style as Progidy, Massive Attack, Paul Okenfold, Van Halen (and plenty more). I would also need a mic for recording accoustic stuff and samples.

I would appreciate it if anyone could help me set-up a er... set-up! Budget is around £2000. Many thanks!!!

-oh, ps...vintage stuff gets the full 8-) from me!!! Love the stuff!!! I've always wanted a Linn Drum Machine and an old Oberheim OB-X!


Member for

21 years

Member Wed, 07/02/2008 - 22:40
And Vista still limits you as there are some products that have not (and likely never will) had updates to Vista. Plus performance of a lot of plugins and some DAW software is still flaky. Cubase 4.1.x and above and SOnar 6 or 7PE are supposedly 'certified' to run under Vista. Drivers for audio interfaces and MIDI devices is more of a problem.

This is why most of us who are producing a lot of audio/MIDI work are still on XP !

Member for

19 years 10 months

Kev Thu, 06/26/2008 - 14:27
based on the synth and drum machine idea
chose a system that allows you to run the soft synths and midi editing you want

then add a small interface with the analog features you want
many of the USB two channel devices may satisfy you

the number of analog records at once is something you need to decide
IS two enough ?

the number of external midi devices will influence the what you need from a midi port

the biggest choice will be the over-all software DAW you chose
and how is interacts with the soft synths you want to use
and this may influence which hardware you use

you have already said you want to have
" Really nice £2000 Vista PC (built by myself ). "

so a MAC is out ?
no Logic or Digital Performer then ?

Cubase is popular
... I use PT (that means running their hardware) with a 10 ch midi port for the EXTERNALS
don't loop them ... it's just not worth it ... each unit on it's own port gives you much better control

oh !

Member for

13 years 9 months

Codemonkey Thu, 06/26/2008 - 16:56
Mic = need preamp. One single preamp, plus some decent converters to get the signal into your PC.
There's a Fire___ box? pod? studio? something, which connects via USB or firewire and has 2 preamps which should be sufficient. *There are alternatives* Even if you only use one preamp, the unit will have 2 proper, low noise outputs with which to feed your "monitors" which you use to hear your mix (we don't talk about HiFis here).

What's the state of the hard drives in your PC?
Size, connection (IDE etc.)?
You don't want to be recording audio or reading audio data or samples from your Vista drive.