New member here - need advice

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Spike1956, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. Spike1956

    Spike1956 Guest

    Hi All,

    My name is Spike and I'm a guitar player of many years. I also have alot of expereince with PC's, both in building and repairing.

    I have a several goals regarding recording at both home and at a band's rehearsal spot.

    First I'd like to decide on software (sequencer) for my PC, something that is simple to use. I've tried Sonar 6 and Cubase SX3. Had some succes with each but both seem very difficult to learn. Which usually isn't a problem for me as learned to be profient in Photshop, Dreamweaver, UG NX and SDRC Ideas Cadsystem, even worked with Linux, UNIX and of course all versions of windows. I'd like to find some really good tutorials, the start with the basics.

    My equiptment is as follows:
    guitars (many, but the Guilds are my fvorites and my T-5)
    bass (1)
    cheap casio keyboard with midi
    GNX 3 gitar workstation
    amps (Mesa, Fender ... all tube)
    mics (PG58 and PG57) (3) SM-57's on order
    mixer (Behringer 1204FX)
    powered mixer (Crate 6FX)
    Moniters (Wharfdale Diamond pro, Rokit KRK-5, Large unpowered pair too)
    Drum machine (SR-16)
    Tascam (US-122 - junk)
    PResonus Firebox - Firepod on order
    Edirol midi keyboard on order
    PC with Intel duo 2 core, 2GB, ~700GM sotrage, big mother monitor.
    Somesoftware that came with some of the audio hardware .ike cubase le, gigastudio.

    AS you can see I think I have a good start for home recording with several people. But I am going to want to do 8 racks simultaneous of this band I'm working with. So I have to think about a laptop to do the job.

    I guess I'm just looking for advice or recommendations. And if I ever figure out why I need midi when I just recording audio I'll be amazed. I've read tons of articles and it just don't sink in. A guy at work explained that it allows you to tweak notes that are wrong etc, and I said that must take a long time, he said yep.

    IF you got this far ... thanks,

    Look forward to any comments.

  2. casper

    casper Guest

    You don't have to use Midi if you dont want to. It is a tool that can help arrange rhythm and synth tracks. It is especialy usefull when creating complex arrangements. It allows you to manipulate the tracks after they have been recorded. For example say you lay a midi violin track you just recorded. You decide you would rather have a cello for that part. Rather than re-recording the track you can just assign a cello sound to that track. You can manipulate tempo, key changes, trigger external midi devices... It's a powerful tool that can really speed up the recording process in the right situation.

    You have got plenty of good equipment to work with. If you can deal with making your desktop system mobile look into getting a 19" rackmount PC case and one of those SKB type rack enclosures to transport your stuff. You could even rack the firepod and any other equipment that can be rack mounted. They have drawers available for cables and adapters also.

    If that isnt a viable sollution the HP business laptops are a good choice. with the Firepod and Cubase Le you should be good to go.

    If your looking for other programs besides Cubase look at Reaper, and Tracktion 3. Reaper is donationware and Tracktion is a complete audio recording software. The main attraction of these programs is the work area is all in one window. You dont have to navigate through various windows and menus. Whatever you decide on I would suggest to look at the demo software before buying.

    Here is a good site I have refered to for information on recording:
  3. Spike1956

    Spike1956 Guest

    Hey Thanks Casper,

    Lots of great info in your repsonse. I have spent wuite a bit of time at Tweaks site. If it wasn't for that guide I'd never got as far as I have. Helped alot with setting up my original home studio. Especially using at ALT3-4 bus on a mixer.

    Eventually I want to learn how to use midi with synths and drums and be able to add those sounds to my recording. But first I want to be able to do a good job with audio tracks and then tackle the midi later. So I need to learn how to record, mix and master. I do a fair bit a reading both online and some books but I seem to learn best if I can get some audio in the software and then refer to tutorilas and books to get to the next step. A year ago when I first started messing with this I never realized how huge audio recording is. It is a really big area with alot of content, but if I take a little at a time I'll get there. This forum is a great resource that I just found. Been on tweakks for a while.

    So I'm thinking about gettig the HP laptop so I don;t have to lug around a rack. Do the business ones have more horsepower for this type of application than the mutlimedia entertainment ones? I was thinking they don't but I'm not really up on the new processors.
    Also my software choice is probably going to be either Sonar 6 or Cubase. But this is where I'm having trouble deciding. First I want something powerful enough to be able to handle any future demands. I also want it to be intuitive. I would like to find one that the majority of PC users (from this forum maybe) are using. Last night I was playing with Sonar and put down some guitar track and attempted to add a VST plugin so that I could hear that plugin as I played and recorded that track so it would record as I heard it. No luck with that but I didn't have that probelm with Cubase. Tracktion looks really good. It may be my best choice, I'l be trying that demo.

    Again, thanks for the response.

  4. casper

    casper Guest

    The Business class HPs are more focused on reliability then power. I wouldn't say they are slouches either. You want to stay away from the multimedia and gaming PC's they don't make good DAW's. At the moment XP Pro is the most stable OS for DAW configuration. The business laptops can be configured with XP. One thing when getting a laptop make sure it has a TI firewire chipset. There are a lot of interfaces that are not playing well with other firewire chipsets. Most of there HP models have it. There are a few laptops out there that have TI chipset You could do a search on that subject here or on the net. ADK is a reputable DAW mfg that you could look into also. Here are some specs to shop for:
    -Intel Core2Duo 1.6-2.16 mhz FSB more important
    -Memory- 2GB Better performace with plugin
    -IEEE 1394 firewire OCI compliant TI chipset
    -Get an external USB drive 7200rpm to write just audio. The laptop HD is too slow=glitches lockups.
    -XP Pro OS
    -15.4 to 17.0 wide screen anthing less is hard to work with. Nice if there is a port for external LCD.
    Thats mainly whatt to look for.

    I wouldn't be concerned with future demands as much as the ease of the workflow. You really want something that is going to be easy for you to use. The Cubase LE that comes with the Firepod should be enough to lay down all your recorded tracks and mixdown your material. In the meanwhile it doesn't hurt to demo out other software too.

    Best Wishes
  5. Spike1956

    Spike1956 Guest

    Thanks again Casper!

    Looks Like I can try this in a week or so. I did some recording on my Desktop with Cubase LE this weekend and it mostly went ok. Two guitars and a bass. I can't say the results were great by using miced amps, they were much better directly into my firebox. I have so much to learn. I'll be looking for a laptop soon.
  6. casper

    casper Guest

    Yeah it is tough to get the mic setup right. Try positioning the close mic in different spots in front of the amp cabinet to experiment with the sound a little. You need to get the levels right on the amp and gain for the mic chl. In addition, you might want to position a second mic a few feet a away to catch the ambient sound of the room. This sometimes helps to get a larger sound. You can try placing the amps in different positions of the room to see how that effects your sound. Sometimes bass direct blended with the miced cabinet can sound good. depends on what you are going for.

    Your right there is lots to learn, but once you find out what works write it down so setup will be easier the second time around.
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