Recording equipment for a newbie

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by tongpo2000, Dec 4, 2005.

  1. tongpo2000

    tongpo2000 Guest

    Hey everyone. I'm looking into purchasing some recording hardware for my band. We want to be able to record our own music and get a decent quality.

    My question is what hardware do we need to do this. I know we need the mics, cables, and a computer, but what do we plug the mics into to get the recording on to the computer???

    I know we would need software like pro tools or somthing, but i have no clue as to what hardware is needed.

    so if anyone can help me out with a list of what we need and maybe some recomendations. i would really appreciate it!
  2. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Nov 25, 2005
    Hi, cool. What is your budget? It's pretty well impossible to make meaningful recommendations without knowing that. :cool:
  3. tongpo2000

    tongpo2000 Guest

    about $1,000 bucks at the moment.
    I really don't even know how much to save, or how much any of this
    will cost. We have the computer, a couple mics, and cables. thats about it right now.
  4. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Nov 25, 2005
    The first thing you need is a good soundcard. Opinions vary on this topic, here's mine. If you only need "2 inputs at a time" maximum then I recommend the Emu 1212m, I use one, they are fanatastic. If you read up on them you'll find that they have marvellous DACs and great sound:

    Simply cannot be beat in terms of quality for $200. Now, if you need more inputs, i.e. to record your band live then I recommend the Emu 1820m which has tons of high quality I/O on the rear panels, headphone outputs, Phono in, and a ton of other stuff. I just ordered one:

    Depending on how much you have left then the next plan will be mics and preamps. I would recommend the Focusrite Octo-pre I think if you are recording live, that give's you 8 pres plus two in your card for a total of ten.

    So if you've bought the 1820M and the Octo pre, that's it for the $1,000 but you'll be set up to record. You can rent a great vocal mic for the weekend cheap for big sessions. If you can get a few more dollars I would recommend first getting some decent quality cables, and then a really good vocal mic. Opinions vary on that but Rode has some affordable stuff which works well for example including a $500 tube mic:

    If you don't have software then that has to be considered also. Cubase is about $700 or so I think. You can download "Audacity" for free to get you started multitracking. There are quite a few high quality free plug-ins out there such as SR1 convolution reverb, Fish Filets ( de-esser, compressor, gate), FAsoft Par1 and Par3 EQs, etc.

    Start with a basic setup like that and then your next moves will be self evident, probably you'll want a good basic set of studio monitors next such as the Event TR8s for $500. Anyhow that's my opinion, and not meant to negate anyone else's opinion. Audio gear is very personal and everyone has their own experiences. :cool:
  5. tongpo2000

    tongpo2000 Guest

    Thanks Calgary. That was really helpful!

    If anyone else want to throw their two cents in feel free
  6. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    Apr 21, 2005
    Go to and read tweaks guide. Its extremely informative and will teach you how to get going pretty much step by step. He also gives several examples of various recording rigs from real cheap to super expensive.
  7. mepex

    mepex Guest

    The site looks pretty cool, but it does seem to only explore the PC/Mac + soundcard/external hardware option. You mention that you need a computer in your original posting, but that isn't actually true- there are many standalone digital recording boxes out there. I personally use the Yamaha AW16G:

    This is a totally self-contained unit that will do tracking/mixing, and burning audio CDs. Another advantage is that it's very portable, so recording a gig, or changing the recording location is much easier than lugging a full computer around. I've been recently thinking about moving to a laptop + digidesign rig, but even that will be much more gear to carry.

    One big disadvantage to getting one of these boxes is that you are pretty fixed in the capability (the 16G has only 16 tracks) and if you want to expand, you'll need to buy something else. Plus the interface on a recorder box is a little b/w LCD display with special buttons, versus a nice color PC monitor and keyboard.

    Lots of other manufacturers offer boxes similar to the Yamaha one, so look around and read reviews if you want to explore that option.
  8. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    I go along with the "all-in-one" box idea. You might even find a used one, of slightly older technology, that will work great for you(They've been around awhile), AND be MUCH easier to use than trying to set-up a "system"...

    Keep in mind that even if it's not "great", when you get something down you really like, you can rent a little time at a "pro" studio for the(You've already worked-out the bugs and understand a bit of the recording process, so it'll go quick) "finished" product...

    Best option, wherever possible is to make music or make recordings. Combining the two is a heck of alot to ask.

  9. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Nov 25, 2005
    Notice that "Tweaks Pick" for PC is the 1820m. Ta-dum!
  10. xian

    xian Guest

    Two more strong points for an "all-in-one" recorder.

    First, you can probably find a place to rent one and this will give you a try-before-you-buy situation. Heck, you may be able to get away with just renting, doing your project, and saving a ton of cash.

    Second, most multi-track recorders will have VGA out and mouse-in, so you get a much friendlier interface to work with.
  11. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Nov 25, 2005
    Anytime you can rent something before buying, that's a great idea. You can also rent recording PCs, preloaded with software. :cool:
  12. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Another vote for the all in one. You can get some pretty sweet packages form Musicians Friend for about 1G. Personally I think it's a faster way to get your music done. Less configuration and software issues. No viruses. Lots of good reasons to go that route. You can always import your work into a daw if you need to do some more critical editing.
  13. MilesAway

    MilesAway Guest

    you can find a Digi001 system in the $200 range these days. It'll provide you with plenty of I/O (8 analog + ADAT), 2 preamps and ProTools LE software. From there, you've got $800 left for mics, cables and a couple cheap preamps.
  14. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    Tracktion 8)
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