My long awaited DAW.

Discussion in 'Computing' started by CDBray, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. CDBray

    CDBray Guest

    Here's my first ever DAW. I have very little idea of what I'm doing.

    Computer: Pentium 4 3Ghz DDR2-533 operating in single channel memory mode. 500mb Ram. XP pro. 200 gig.

    Starting with Reaper software and EZ Drummer...

    Audio interface: Echo Mia

    Mixer: Mackie 1402 vlz (

    For all I know, I'm missing something critical. Will this get me started? Is the Echo Mia any good?

    Any advice would be great. I've waited a long time to do this and it's very important to me, as many likely understand...
  2. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    If I may offer some ideas. The topic heading you have chosen, in the context of your post, could be a question as easily as it could be an expression of excitement.

    I have seen this post roll by a few times and still do not know to which it refers.

    Are these items you have purchased or that you are looking into making a purchase on.

    Ethan Winer isn't really known for pushing gear, that I am aware of. So if that is the only place you have developed an idea of what gear you think you need, then it may not be quite the end of your hunt:)

    Some more information about what it is you are trying to achieve with this gear, your goals and such, would go a long way in getting better response from far better responsible persons than I.

    Or is that me?

    Good luck,
  3. CDBray

    CDBray Guest

    81 views. I guess I'm not clear.

    I'm just trying to get an idea of the basic skeleton of a DAW. I want to record Strings and Vocals in Reaper (at first) with EzDrummer. Just like 100,00 other people...

    I have all the gear I mentioned in my first post. I have rooms full of Gibsons, audio gear, synth's, Moog's... I can GET anything I want...

    But I don't know what I need, and I can't seem to find a basic guide or framework. Everything is written in a product-heavy manner, or assumes a more advanced reader.

    I can't imagine this is such an unusual question. Maybe just a link?

    If I walked up to you in guitar center, you'd probably politely give me advice, right?
  4. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Frozen Tundra of CT
    I don't know much about midi in general so with that in mind, here is my take on your equip. XP works for your Mia and reaper, your processor seems to be with in the minimum guidelines, RAM barely so. I have just found that exceeding the recommended requirements of manufacturers is a good idea. Reaper requires:
    Recommended system: Multiple processors, Windows 2000/XP/Vista with 1GB RAM, >1GB free disk space, 1280x1024 in 16.7M colors, ASIO sound drivers

    Minimum system: 500mhz processor, Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista/WINE with 128MB RAM, 10MB free disk space, 800x600 in 256 colors or higher, Windows compatible sound hardware
    So you are nowhere near the recommended specs for this software, it says it will work though. So if you are planning on doing multitrack work with plugins you might find it is restrictive.
    You will probably want to tweak XP
    You should be recording to a seperate hard drive external or internal.
    Do you need processor or RAM for the keyboards (MIDI) or is all that already accounted for before your DAW?
    If you already have the stuff, nothing like doing for experience and then check back with ??'s.
  5. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    I thought I did?
  6. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2008
    Rainy Roads WA USA
    If you have all the gear and can get anything you want....why not just start recording with your system and get into it!

    There are plenty of recording books for techniques check out your local library or go to Amazon and buy a book....or go online....either way it sounds like you have what you need to so I'm not sure if this is what your looking for?
  7. CDBray

    CDBray Guest

    Thanks all.

    I think its hard to see things through the eyes of a beginner.

    YOU know what you need to record something. I've been searching for a list of the pieces I need. It seems I have everything...

    When I look at a house, I understand every piece that goes into it's construction. I can buy the material and build it.

    When I look at a recording setup, I see a bunch of mystery stuff. I don't know what I need. Or what I will prefer.

    What I tried to do was provide the list of materials I HAVE, and ask if it was a good start, or if I was missing some obvious thing, like: "Hey, you can't use that stuff without a ____". I see people citing tons of equipment and I don't know what it is.

    again, thanks.
  8. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    What you have is a good start.
    What you require is more time starting with it.

    True some of the online "big box" stores sell "cookie cutter" setups, it may not be the best value for anyone other then the big box store.

    At some point, each one of the pieces you have, has gotten a good review and has worked well for someone in some configuration. The task is getting them working and getting to work :)

    In many respects I am just a beginner too. I have just been "beginning" for a lot longer.
  9. Upgrade your Ram to 2GB and you will have a LOT more processing power to do the things you want to. If you can get a matched pair of dual channel (if supported) you'll get a tad more power. Otherwise, you are OK. My own system is close to those specs and I haven't needed to upgrade yet, but for vsti work (i.e. using Ezdrummer or vst synths) you might need to freeze tracks as they can get pretty CPU intensive and chew up a lot of system resources.

    Also good advice about recording audio to a seperate HD. Internal HDs are inexpensive these days.
  10. intchr

    intchr Guest

    It's not an unusual question my friend, it is however a very difficult one. In reality, each musician that owns a project studio tailors it to suit their needs. It starts with a computer most times (which you have), an audio interface for getting live sound into the computer (which you have), and software to record with (which you have). You have the skeleton of a proper setup and even further, I would intimate to you that you're pretty much ready to go.

    My best advice for you would to be to start recording with the gear you have as you've got enough to start, learn your software and how to optimize your recording setup, then fill holes as needed. I don't know how CPU-hungry Reaper is but I'd wager that your first discovery is that once you get a lot of tracks down that your P4-based system will start to drag a bit. I think you'll find as well that you'll want to expand Reaper's arsenal by adding plug-ins/VSTs to help you further hammer things out. One piece of advice that I can tell you is that you're definitely going to need an unbiased sound source to listen to your mixes on -- I would start researching monitors that are in your price range, then look up reviews on them, ask around to see if others have used them and then buy from a store that can promise you a return policy for if you're not happy. Just do yourself a favor, buy the flattest set of monitors you can find. There are some brands, the Event line from 3 years ago for example that are anything but flat and these do nothing but hurt you.

    And last, does that Echo Mia support MIDI inputs? MIDI devices almost always work their way into the equation, whether it's a keyboard to use on softsynths, a controller to map faders and knobs to in Reaper's GUI, etc... you can do it all with a mouse, but those items make things a little easier when properly integrated so I'd investigate that.

    This isn't an unusual question, it's just a question that has too many variables, most importantly being what exactly the person behind the keyboard is actually looking to do. I mean, you're gonna do much more than record some strings and vocals -- I do that with every song I produce. :) It's about the sound that *you* are looking for, and what will be convenient and inconvenient for you.

    Just dive in, start identifying needs and wants through logging some work time, then come back when you need to find out how to make something easier, better, louder, etc...

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