ALERT: Information Overload

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Porterv, Feb 7, 2004.

  1. Porterv

    Porterv Guest

    I'm new to the recording game. Okay, okay, I know you've seen too many of these... I know I've read most of them myself (for that I do apologize). However, no matter how basic the replies are after reading them I'm always left with a sense of, HUH?!?!?! So, I figured I would ask the question yet again and maybe, just maybe, this time it will be different and I'll understand what going on :D .

    Okay, enough with the explanation, here goes I have an extra bedroom that I'm able to use as a studio. The dimensions are 14' x 14' x 10' (give or take a bit). The walls and ceiling are concrete and it has a hardwood floor. On one side the room (approximately 2/3 of the wall) there is a large glass door leading out to a balcony.

    As for my hardware I have the following:
    One condenser mic for vocals ( Rode NT1)
    One mic for recording my guitar (Shure SM57)
    Computer specs are:
    · Intel Celeron 2.5 GHz processor
    · 128 MB RAM
    · 40 GB hard disk drive
    · Standard soundcard (cam with system)

    Also, I will be running SONAR recording sofware.

    Finally, I’ve already purchased some acoustic foam, which I plan to strategically cover certain portions of the walls (i.e. not covering the entire room with it). I would also like to put something in the corners such as rigid fiberglass or something like that, but I’m not quite sure yet.

    So, after making a short issue excruciatingly long :p !!!!!

  2. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member

    Mar 19, 2001
    New Milford, CT USA
    Home Page:

    Your computer is probably up to the task, and Sonar is a wonderful program. But you'll probably need a better sound card than what came with the computer. Most built-in sound cards have a lot of hiss and are generally mediocre quality. And yes, you should get a small mixer too. At the minimum you'll need a mixer for its mike preamps, and to have a volume control for playback.

    > What should I do with the corners? <

    You should ask over in the Acoustics forum where we discuss this stuff every day. Also see the Acoustics FAQ, second in the list on my Articles page:

  3. Porterv

    Porterv Guest

    Thanks, Ethan for that advise. I'll definitely look into getting another sound card. Any recommendation what type of sound card would be good to start with?
  4. jeeper

    jeeper Guest

    I believe Ethan is a Sonar user like I am here and he probably will agree with this thought. With only one 40GB hard drive in your system you will need to watch out for filling it up to the point that Sonar will give you dropouts. If you do not already have a CDR in that machine then I would recomend that you either get one or get a DVD R for data archive and backup. If you are not that good with PC hardware then maybe an external drive that runs off your USB or Firewire port (if you have firewire) may be your route.

    Read up on Sonars ability to create a backup file with all audio and other needed files. (Keyword here is Bundle file in help or the manual.) This will enable you to backup and restore projects as they become a hot topic for you.

    As you become more advanced with Sonar and equipment purchases get you where you can consider going to a dual display graphics card and two video monitors. I use that here with Sonar and typically I have track view on main monitor andplug-inson secondary allowing me to simply mouse from one item to the other while viewing both. Float item from Icon dropdown in upper left of plug or console view needs to be selected before you can drag to monitor two though.

    As far as specific equipment recomendations go I can not make any because I have no concept of the marketplace in your country. If you key your purchases to non Euro countries money values you might come out way ahead.

    Good luck and BTW I bet you'll like Sonar.
  5. Porterv

    Porterv Guest

    See, NOW some of this stuff is starting to make sense :p ) working here in Italy; so, don't worry about recommending any purchases in US dollar, 'cause the Internet's a wonderful thing!

    Again, thanks for the recommendations thus far and please (everyone) keep 'em coming!!!!!
  6. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member

    Mar 19, 2001
    New Milford, CT USA
    Home Page:

    > Any recommendation what type of sound card would be good to start with? <

    There are a lot of them having a lot of features to choose from. For basic 2-channel In and Out I've had good luck with the Audiophile 2496. I'm sure there are others you can get with similar high quality.

  7. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    Vince, MAudio (Same company makes the Audiophile Ethan mentioned) makes the Delta 1010, which is an 8x8 i/o card, will allow you to track 8 at a time, about $700. There's also a stereo i/o channel for midi, effects, etc....You might also check your computer to see if there's another IDE channel to allow you to install a second drive. I store all my audio files on my D: drive. That way (even though I back everything up on extra externals and DVD) if the C: drive crashes, it won't touch the projects. Get a big one, 120G or larger.
  8. bgavin

    bgavin Guest


    I see a glaring hole in your computer system. You did not mention Windows XP, but you did mention a 2.5 GHz Celeron, so I assume XP is loaded.

    128mb is *NOT* enough. Win2k/WinXP requires 128mb just to load the operating system. If you want to do any work with the system, other than thrashing to the page file, a minimum of 256mb is required. Memory prices are low, so 512mb is advised. Don't skimp here.

    If you have ample RAM, you can reduce the page file size and force Windows to run mostly in real memory and less in virtual memory. This is a huge performance increase.
  9. jeeper

    jeeper Guest

    Some reason I did not catch that 128MB of ram here. Good point.

    Vince I've also sent you a PVT msg check it. What I said there went a little long so I copied and pasted it to a pvt rather than post one that long.
  10. moles

    moles Active Member

    Jan 5, 2004
    Winnipeg, MB
    Regarding which soundcards you should be looking into: I've had the pleasure of owning an Aardvark Q10 for the past 6 mos or so. I highly recommend looking into it, although I must say I'm not a whole lot more experienced than you probably are in this game --(got my Diploma now though :c: )
    Why--->It's the only one I know of that has preamps (mic in) on all 8 inputs, plus just about any other feature you'd want.( Phantom power, two DI like channels for guitar, inserts, swithcable -10dBu +4dBv out levels, etc.) Long story short, you don't REALLY need a mixer. The newer Digi002 has 4 pres on it now I think...and about the same price I guess. Sorry if I sound like I'm advertising, I just really dig working with it.

    So I'm curious if anyone else out there with more experienced ears than I has an opinion on the Aardvark pres?
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