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Laptop as a digital recorder...

Member for

21 years 2 months
Hi there

Im new in this forum, but i've seen that their are many gurus out there, and i could have some help of them.
I have a laptop: P4 2.4, 352MB RAM, 30G HD WinXP Home running Cubase SX, with my M-Audio Duo.

I would like to start recording rock bands with my laptop.

So the idea was: Recording the drums with 8 mic's, and if possible a guitar and a bass via DI at the some time, routing in Cubase the guitar and bass to Aux to the drummer's headphone, while recording.

I've been cheking the net for equipment and their are many options of gear, but mostly very expencive. So i give an idea to start what i would like, and hopefully you respond with your knolege.
The setup must be as portable possible, so i was thinking in a 2 rack gear: a Rack audio interface (firewire or PCMCIA) with 10 ins (2 of them could be XLR preamps) and 8 out's with ADAT in/out and a Rack AD 8 mic preamp with ADAT out.

Another thing is, since the Hard drive of the laptop is 4200 RPM, if i get and firewire 7200 RPM 8Mb is going to resolve anything in the record stage and in the mix.

If not asking to much, could you advice some 8 mic kit drum for a good price (like SM57. D112)
and a versatil vocal mic (perhaps C1)


Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Tue, 07/29/2003 - 11:49
RME makes a great solution for laptop recording: the multiface audio interface; add the laptop card to this and you're rolling. The multiface has 8 analog ins and outs plus it has and 8 channels of ADAT in and out. All 16 channels can be used at the same time. So if you were to record 10 channels at a time, you could use the 8 analog ins and get an 8 channel analog to ADAT mic pre for this. Focusrite has the octopre and the more pricey ISA 428. PreSonus has the Digimax. All of these boxes have 8 channels of mic pre and have an ADAT out. With that setup you could do a lot of mobile recording so long as your computer could handle it. I'll let someone handle the drum micing, but I've had great success with the Audix D6 for kick. Of course, Shure SM57 for snare.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Fri, 08/01/2003 - 13:39
I have that very same setup.

The digimax with the litepipe going into the adat input of the multiface. Then I have 8 analog inputs left over and two spdif.

so...about $1000 for the rme
$750-$1200 for the digi..depending on the model.

You'll have the 8 inputs which you could hopefully use to take direct outs from the FOH mixer. This is the hardest part and takes some coordination with the sound guy. Some are hesitant to let you plug into their gear, and when you do their levels will probably be too low or too you may be best to just get another 8 mic pre's and mic everything your self.- RME is just now releasing the OctoPre and the QuadPre....,$600 for the quad.

Someone makes a mic splitter so you could use the house mics and plug them into your preamps and have the control you need.

hope this helps...
btw rme stuff is very stable. I have never had a crash while recording...normally 8+ tracks.
Dell inspiron 8100 1.6ghz.

have fun

Member for

19 years 7 months

sdevino Sat, 08/02/2003 - 05:48
You will need an external hard drive to keep up with 16 channels. The 4200 RPM internal drive is good for up to about 8 channels.

For externals you just need a 7200 RPM, drive the 8mb cache is not useful for audio (but it won't hurt either if its all you can get)

As far as drum micing goes here is my suggested 8 mic setup.

1-2 - overheads in spaced or coincident stereo pair. Use the 2 best mics you have. Anything from a large diaphragm cardiod to very small diaphragm omnis.

3 - Kick. Many many choices. Use something that is cardiod and can handle high sound presure level and sounds good. Find a place somewhere out in front of the kick that sounds good. D112 is ok, RE20 is great, KSM44 is great, Beyer M88 is awesome.

4 - Snare: a good cardiod that sounds right for the style, drum and drummer. SM57 to Earthworks SR77 and anything in between.

And maybe an ambient mic. That leaves 6-8 for bass, guitar and vox!

Alll other mics are optional. Tom mics are good if you want to use them to trigger samples, but not necessary and will make your mixing much tougher. I would stay away from excess drum micing until you get lots of experience.

Hi hat mics are pretty much a waste. I have never wanted to turn up the hi hat on anything I have ever recorded. 99% of the time I throw that track away.

In general most of your drum sound should come from the 2 overheads. Use all the rest of the mics only as needed.