Would like to build a pc recording studio

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by born4this, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. born4this

    born4this Guest

    Hello everybody,

    I am a newbie in desperate need of advice.
    I would like to put a pc recording studio together. I was told all I would need is an Imac g4, firewire, protools, speakers, and a mic. Does this sound accurate.

    I need help. I am a female rapper who needs to get a studio together like yesterday.
  2. jdsdj98

    jdsdj98 Active Member

    Jun 8, 2002
    Denver, CO

    No, that does not sound accurate, but unfortunately, it is becoming a common question.

    First off, welcome to RO. You'll find a ton of useful information here to steadily improve your recording abilities and recordings.

    You have been told a big lie, essentially, but it is a lie that many musicians and "recordists" believe today. Yes, your very short list will allow you to record music and burn a CD when you're done, but it is by no means all that you need for a studio, and it will not yield a great sounding recording.

    The 4 things missing from your list are a good sounding room that has been acoustically treated (the actual STUDIO of the setup), experience, someone (sounds like it will be yourself??) that knows how to use all of the equipment and software that you purchase to the fullest of its potential, and then lots more experience.

    It's very difficult to point you in the right direction without knowing how much experience you have. Spend some time searching here at RO and on the web regarding different types of microphones, microphone pre-amplifiers (you'll need one for the microphone), studio monitors, acoustic treatments, and recording software. Take some time to research and learn about your options before you spend money with high expectations, only to be let down by the results. Check out this section of RO to read up on basic concepts of recording, and maybe ask some questions there once you have more specific questions regarding specific aspects of recording.


    Good luck.
  3. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    Apr 21, 2005
    Well it'd be hard to build a pc studio with a mac but I think I get what you need. You can still get Imac g4's but only used. Depending on what you can spend you can go with an Imac G5, a DigiDesign Pro Tools LE 002r(rack version), maybe some behringer truth 8" monitors, and a Studio Projects mic, all this would give you the ability to put vocal tracks down. You could also hook a drum machine up to to digi and give yourself a full blown hip hop studio.
  4. Lex1

    Lex1 Guest

    protools mbox

    might i recommend the protools mbox. many independant hip hop heads are buying this these days. the only problem with it is that you can only record 2 people at a time

  5. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill Active Member

    Jan 10, 2005
    Near Clagary
    Home Page:
    Geez, why don't you ask something simple, like what market forces caused the stock market crash of 87, or should we push ahead with stem cell research, or what does Revelations really mean...?

    Anyway, the person who told you this may, in certain circumstances, be at least partially right.

    If you buy any new Mac, it comes with a program called Garage Band, which would have a whole set of drums, grooves, bass, and other instruments already in it, as well as the ability to record your voice. If you wanted quick and dirty you might get by with that rig, a microphone, a pair of speakers. Others here could probably answer to whether or not you needed a separate pre amp.

    It would likely be your most economical option, especially considering the style of music. Maybe the guys here can speak to whether or not Garage Band would provide much of what a hip hop vocalist might need?

    If you wanted to step up a notch from there, once you have the computer, you can add more powerful software, as well as other goodies later. But this gets you going, gets you some experience, and gets your voice on 'tape' as it were.

    Reasonably good, yet cheap mics are to be had in the Studio Projects line, and also KEL mics($100-300. If you need a seperate pre amp, the guys here have been extolling the virtues of "The Brick" by Groove Tubes($450 I think).

    By the way, this is aimed at those recommending Pro Tools. I thought that it did a lot less with midi and virtual instruments than others, like Cubase and Logic. If one were doing hip hop, wouldn't one likely be producing a ton of stuff in the digital world, as opposed to acoustically? And therefore wouldn't one want maybe choose other options that are more midi friendly, at least when starting out and minding the budget?

    Jest askin'

  6. mixing_nic

    mixing_nic Guest

    Hey Whats up!
    Thought i'd add my piece of pie to this thread.
    The advice u were given was great but it would have been good if they could give abit more advice..
    Personally i'd suggest enrolling on a 3month college nightcourse or somthing in music tech. Deffinatly good to teach you the audio tech basics!
    SAE Uni do something called EMP, electronic music producers.. it's a part time course and they teach you every thing you'd need to know to get some good sounds.. anyway equipment!
    My personal suggestion would be a second hand Mac G4 dual processor. Their alot cheaper than the new G5's and plenty powerful enough. Grab a copy of Logic Pro 7 from Apple. Yea, not cheap but for making music it does it's money worth. In Logic Pro u get numerous synths, plug-ins, samplers and in the Pro 7 u also get Apple Loops.. this bit of logic really does kick ass.. Loads of pre-chopped loops of drums, music, instruments that you can tempo change REALTIME!!! and change to any groove you have.
    With logic there is alot bigger choice as to what interfaces you can link into it with aswell. Unlike ProTools where you have to buy their gear Logic u can plug most things into, such as a Moto interface.
    If your set on something like ProTools i'd try and get a copy of Propellorheads Reason v3, a computer MIDI sequencer for mac or pc with some great synths and samplers.

    Microphone wise.. really depends on your voice. A good starting mic for any recording will always be a Shure SM58 and possibly Shure beta 57a. The 58 is great for vocals and can work well on instruments the 57a is a newer version of the legendary sm57. Very similar, just abit more robust with a wind shield.

    The room you do all of this in is obviously very important but what i'd suggest is get something like Logic to get your beats and music together. Lay down some preliminary vocals then go to a small local studio to lay down final VOX.
    Monitors.. if budget is low grab some good headphones. I've been mixing on my headphones for a while now and aslong as every now and again you can referance your mix through some decent speakers to hear where the headphones don't really give a clear sound then adjust all your mixes from there to fit the headphones lacking area.

    Hope atleast some of that was of use...
  7. Atlas

    Atlas Guest

    I have been recording hip hop since 1998 and have tried all sorts of things on a very tight budget. Really, if you are getting your beats from somewhere else like a producer or beat records, then all you really need is a mac that has garage band, a sound card or interface, and a mic. You can simply record the beats into track 1, then record your vocals and overdubs. Simple. I don't know how much the cpu unit will cost but you can get an MAudio Mobile Pre and a Shure Beta 87 both for under $300 total, even less used. THis way you are just using your computer as a hard disk recorder, and Garage Band also has some effects that can get your ears used to hearing the different sounds.
    This will give you a listenable sound and you can even make some demos. I have heard a lot of MC come out with albums that sound worse. Look at Busdriver and Rifleman...

    If you also want to produce then you will need a more expensive setup. I would look at Reason and Logic. You can use reason's easy interface, two samplers, two synths, and drum machines, to create beats, using Logic's sequencer or it's own. Almost everyone I know that makes beats does it this way, augmenting Reason's limited capabilities with other soft synths and live instements.
    You can bring the price of these way down if you can find a way to bootleg these programs, and some plugins. It is not hard to do if you can get a little creative. Not entirely ethical, however, I also don't know of anyone who hasn't done at least some bootleging. Ask your friends and producers.

    THe bottom line is hip hop is simple.
    THe beat can be made somewhere else, and you need to be able to record your vocals only. Also, becasue of the electronic nature of Hip Hop, you don't have to be able to play the music in real time. You can record, augment, cut and paste,and loop everything you need to. Everything has com a long way from my old 4 track Tascam tape machine and my ROland SP 202.

    Atlas :shock:
  8. Atlas

    Atlas Guest

    PS... Why is everyone always jumping straigt to Pro Tools. It isn't even really that great, and way too expensive for someone who is just starting out!!!

    Atlas :shock:
  9. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill Active Member

    Jan 10, 2005
    Near Clagary
    Home Page:
    I'm with you Atlas, on the PT thing, I was just hoping somebody in that camp could clear things up a bit regarding midi. I had heard that it rocks for audio, but sucks for plug ins and midi instrument management, so that would be the reason for me to steer clear of it, especially considering the style of music.

    A big 'no no' on the recommendation to bootleg though. Maybe people are doing it, but I'd not recommend it as a route to go. I guess more and more they will have the USB key like my Cubase does. You couldn't bootleg it if you tried.

    I wonder what 'born4this' did...Are you still out there???

    Cheers mates
  10. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    Apr 21, 2005
    Why does everyone think pro tools is so expensive. Relatively its right there with everything else. And not everyone makes the jump to pro tools right away I started with cubase and I thought it sucked. I researched ptle found it to be far easier to work with and much more stable and the plug ins do not suck at all in fact the free 7 band eq they let you download is so nice I prefer it over my waves eq's. It is lacking in the midi department, that I will give you.
  11. born4this

    born4this Guest

    Thank You for all of you replies

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