New to recording/my gear choice

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Impastato, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. Impastato

    Impastato Guest

    Hey I'm new to recording and i was just wondering exactly what i needed to start recording my own stuff at home. I write a lot of music and i play various instruments Guitar/bass guitar/piano/drums/saxophone/trumpet ect; Music is basically what i love to do ;my passion. I'm fairly young and i want to start myself off into music as career if possible

    So i did a small amount of research and this is basically what i came up with to start recording. I figured I'd go with an interface with 8 pre amps for recording drums

    M Audio profire 2626

    M Audio Studiophile BX8a Deluxe Monitors

    Pro tools Software

    And then of course various mics. Am i missing anything or is this basically all i need to start? or anything i should add later on?
  2. ocdstudios

    ocdstudios Active Member

    I use a Tascam-us1641 8 pres plus two hi-z plus 4 line level (14 REAL inputs) I can do an entire band at once with it.

    just my $.02
  3. RedStache

    RedStache Active Member

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    I think Logic is better for home recording, but that depends on having a mac. ProTools is fine, too. Just a little fussier about the hardware. When you go DigiDesign, you have to go DigiDesign all the way (hardware and software). So you want to check the ProTools site for the version you want to use and make sure you get what is compatible. As an example of this, we have an M-Box 2 that won't work with our ProTools M-Powered and a ProjectMix that won't work with ProTools LE. Everything is from DigiDesign, go figure. There are other programs out there, I am just more familiar with Logic.

    The interface sounds fine to me. I haven't gotten to use one of those yet but we plan on putting two of them into our set up. Presonus Firestudio is a good bit cheaper but it won't work with ProTools. Basically if you really want to go ProTools, be careful what hardware you buy. Check the web site! Check the web site! Check the Web Site!

    I suspect others will open up the options nicely, but you might find it helpful to post some info about your computer and budget.

    Rock On
  4. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    The items that you are considering are fine. The interface ships with the correct version of Protools.
    A major consideration besides the obvious mics, cables, etc. is the computer you propose to use for recording. Digi's stuff is only supported if their specs are followed, check the website very carefully. Your recording computer is best if it is a dedicated unit and not your everyday surf the net, gaming, word processing comp. as it should be streamlined for the recording process, antivirus, networking, wireless disabled and more depending on the OS you are using. It should have a second hard drive to record to and some plan for backup storage. Another consideration is where do you plan on recording? The space you are using needs hard consideration. Are you going to multitrack live? Headphones and headphone amp are needed for multiple players to overtrack. Solo tracking requires only one set and the headphone output on the interface should suffice. There really is more but that should get you started.
  5. Impastato

    Impastato Guest

    So the profire 2626 comes with protools?
  6. RedStache

    RedStache Active Member

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    I don't think so. The profire works with ProTools M-Powered. That seems to sell for $ 249 most places, sold separately. I think it's the LE version that comes free with certain hardware.
  7. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Sorry I misread the spec sheet, my bad it does not come with it but works with Pro-Tools M powered.
  8. Impastato

    Impastato Guest

    so after i get the interface/software. the monitors and all the mics i need. What is the next piece of gear i should get? or should i get stuff to make my sounds sound better. Like stuff to put on my walls and such.
  9. RedStache

    RedStache Active Member

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    I think you should pick out your interface, choose a software to go with, pick out a decent inexpensive condenser mic like a CAD, and start recording. I think at that point you'll be into it and learning as you go and you'll better understand what to do from there.

    I wouldn't worry too much about room treatments or buying too many mics right away, just get started and go from there. I personally work on my own and I work with a guy who has far more resources than I have. While he has tried to be careful and ask advice along the way, I know of at least one piece of equipment that really didn't work out for him. That is why I favor a more reserved approach to getting started. I think you are doing pretty good so far, but maybe it would be good to get enough to get started and then add as you go. Just my opinion, which may or may not work for you.

    Another thought about taking some time is that you will gain knowledge of your tools if you take the time to realize what they do for you. For me, this means I try to use up what I have before I add. Then when I do add, I have a better understanding of the difference the new tool makes. But then I am hard headed that way. I still think that learning to work with less makes us all that much better when we have more.

    Those are just my thoughts. I'm interested to see what others say.

  10. RedStache

    RedStache Active Member

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    By the way, can we ask what computer set up you plan to use?
  11. elxicano

    elxicano Guest

    Just have to echo what was said by RedStache and
    jg49... Read the (Digidesign) website!

    Make absolutely sure that your chipset and specs are FULLY supported before going the digidesign Pro Tools LE/M-Powered route. If you don't do this, you seriously can be VERY sorry.

    A non supported system can result in sound dropouts and full stops of audio playback/record. So again... check on the Digidesign website before purchasing.

    Now, I can't vouch for Logic, but I still think you should explore other options than Pro Tools if you haven't already. Choosing the right program for you can depend a lot on just how much experience you already have with recording programs/workflow and exactly how much time you are willing to invest into learning the new software.

    My personal experience is that there are better workflows in other recording programs. That's not a knock on the program... it's just my personal preference. :wink:
  12. Impastato

    Impastato Guest

    I'm running windows xp

    Running 2 gigs of ram
    2 hardrivers
    Video card /e-geforce 8800 GT
    quad core processor

    I did look into other interface and i personally like the profire 2626

    [url] [/url]Looks really nice but it doesn't have the number of mic inputs i need.

    I also looked at
    Small Business Administration but it's like 1200. I could afford it but do i really need to spend that much on an interface?
  13. RedStache

    RedStache Active Member

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    The saffire pro brings to light a point that I know I can comment on! Note the 'advertised' ins and outs, 16 ins and 8 outs. That's true ins and outs, but, to go from guitar/drums/vocals/etc you need the a/d converters. That's the part of the interface that converts those mic and instrument inputs from an analog signal to a digital signal. I have been confused and watched my guy confused by just this issue. So how many a/d (analog to digital) converters you have equals how many mics and such you can record at once. The extra inputs typically come from other digital sources, meaning things that have already gone through an a/d converter. As you contemplate what interface to buy, you have to account for one converter for each analog source you want to record at once. I actually had my drummer, believing he could use up to 16 inputs, set up 10 mics on his drums! While I had interfaces totaling up to more than 16 inputs, for various reasons I couldn't get them all to input at the same time and we had to cut to 8 mics.

    My understanding about S/PDIF is that this is digital, but usually only two tracks. For me as a beginner, this actually posed some extra learning curve, not insurmountable, but frustrating when I was just trying to get started.

    Then there is ADAT or 'Lightpipe' connectivity. I know the profire offers this. My understanding is that ADAT is a standard that could allow you to 'crossover', like from one brand to another, should the need arise. I don't know the limit of ins and outs through ADAT, but I do understand it works in a factor of 8 (8, 16, 24) and I think it is common in these cases where there are more ins and outs then there are a/d converters.

    When using digital inputs, I found that attention has to be paid to enable or 'unmute' the digital signal coming in so that it can be heard and/or recorded. This was the problem I ran into with our ProjectMix as I didn't know that. Did I mention I tend to learn things the hard way?

    My understanding is that the Profire is pretty good, and will work with probably any software. Remember it is ProTools that is stinky about hardware. In fact, ProTools will not open without the proper DigiDesign hardware installed and operating.

    A little cheaper option is the Presonus Firestudio Project. I guess I favor that one and that is why I keep coming back to it. It won't work with ProTools, but it does offer 8 ins and outs, costs a couple hundred less than the Profire, and 'daisy chains' with its own kind for more a/d converter inputs.

    It sounds to me like you have a great computer for the purpose. Remember you need to run the OS and Apps on one hard drive and record the files to the other hard drive.

    There are a number of different software options, as I understand things. I think the two 'biggies' are Logic and ProTools, but I really don't know that for sure. I am interested to see other input about that and everything I am saying as a matter of fact. I actually have little experience, much less than my desire to feel like I know something as a matter of fact. I am hoping that by stating what I think I know here I can be corrected and maybe learn something. :)

    Once you get the hardware/software purchased and installed, the next thing I would recommend is that you learn and understand the software mixer (separate from the recording app and specific to the interface) for whatever interface you purchase. Most interfaces have limited LED metering, the better place to set levels is actually in the software. The interface mixer software is actually a topic in itself, but experience makes me want to point it out to you. I learned about it after some 'stumbling' without the knowledge.

    So that is what I think, and I am anxious to find out what more experienced people think about all that. Hopefully my post will help us both learn something! :)

    Rock On!!!

  14. Impastato

    Impastato Guest

    I noticed that that the profire 2626 doesn't have any midi inputs. If i wanted to use anything with midi, would that be a problem? or could i get some kind of add on thinger. What exactly is the in A/ Out A , In B/ Out B optical on the profire for? I currently have cool edit pro 2.0 on my computer. Would that work with the profire 2626 , or would i have to get pro tools?
  15. RedStache

    RedStache Active Member

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    Well, remember that MIDI is actually a data input and not a sound input. In Logic, part of the MIDI editing is called 'Piano Roll', just like the old player piano rolls with the punch marks. Basically MIDI data plays whatever software instrument you select. If you have a MIDI keyboard, for example, and the sound you want is in the keyboard, you have to use the analog output of the keyboard to get that sound not the MIDI.

    That being said, if your keyboard doesn't already have a usb output there are several different usb controllers/keyboards from $100-$200 that will 'play' you software instruments.

    The A in/out B in/out are two different ADAT ins and outs. So the Profire can take in 8 analog signals plus 8 digital thru one ADAT plus another 8 thru the other ADAT plus it actually does have a midi port so you have that input as well, all at one time. If you read on the 'Full Features' page they mention the combined midi-s/pdif- word clock connection and included breakouts.

    As for the software, I cannot guarantee compatibility but I can say that your PC will recognize the Profire with the proper drivers installed and I'm pretty sure that cool edit will take whatever your computer is getting. Also at the bottom of the 'Full Feature' page they mention 'Bundled Software', so you might be getting another program with the Profire. You do not have to use ProTools with the Profire.

    Hope this helps.

  16. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Cool edit should work but with a piece of gear as advanced as this interface you should really get a real DAW, Cubase, Protools, Sonar, Reaper, etc. I don't know if Logic is PC compatible I was of the understanding that this is an Apple only app but not sure. One of the reasons for getting a quality DAW at this point is as you climb the learning curve of recording you will be mastering all the skill sets you will need. Cool Edit is quite limited. If your computer or any of your other gear does not presently have optical inputs/outputs you really don't need to bother yourself with this. Suffice to say it is another way to interconnect devices sort of similar to firewire or ADAT (I think it is actually another form of ADAT using fiber optics instead of wiring.)
  17. RedStache

    RedStache Active Member

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    Yeah, the optical in out is ADAT. I think the significance of that connection is that it will probably interconnect with other brands of gear. You're paying for it though, so you might want to consider that.

    Logic is Apple only. So it is really not a consideration for you. But jg is right about all the other options for DAW software. I think the only restriction to consider about the DAW software is that ProTools will only work with DigiDesign hardware/interface.

    If you want to use ProTools, the Profire is right for you-buy it. If you DON'T want to use ProTools at all, consider other interfaces like the Presonus for less money.

    To me, that's the bottom line . . . .

    Rock On

  18. Impastato

    Impastato Guest

    Ya i kinda want to go with protools, so i think i will go with the profire 2626, seems like a really good interface for what i want to do.

    Quick question.. Do egg cartons work for sound treatment? A lot of musicians i know around my area say they work and they've used them for sound proofing; and I've hard a lot of rumors that they help with acoustics? My theory is that they don't really work? but you can put them up to make a space between the wall and then maybe put a blanket over top of the egg cartons? to create a gap? thus making the blankets more effective? I also heard moving blankets work and any heavy blanket really. This stuff true?
  19. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Pacific NW
    Are you going to be hanging a lot of eggs about your recording area? Because that is all egg cartons are good for unless you intend to fill every cavity with acoustic foam which greatly increases the overall cost but doesnt get you the kind of results a comparable actual acoustic product will.

    Heavy packing blankets trown over office cubicle dividers is quite another thing but again you must weigh the price for performance in order to make it work. If its all free then its a bargain.

    Again, egg cartons do NOT work.
  20. Impastato

    Impastato Guest

    Ok So i have ordered all the stuff i need to start, but i don't know what mic to start with. I was thinking something along the lines of a sm57; but i really don't know. Should i get a condenser mic?

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