Recording to Computer... Help!

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by VictorB, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. lucidspoon

    lucidspoon Senior Member

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    I'm an Equator convert thanks to Freddy! And I've always loved my Focusrite PRO 40. That has way more inputs and features than what you need, but even the smaller ones should have similar quality and usability. I use mine as my main soundcard all the time.
     
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  2. ChrisW

    ChrisW Senior Member

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    Another vote for the Focusrite... They're based on Neve preamps. It's what I use and I've had no complaints about them. Monitoring - I know it's not ideal as a permanent solution, but have you thought of headphone monitoring to begin with? The AKG K271 Mk2 cans are pretty damn good, and sound fairly transparent without flattering the sound. The bottom end is definitely there, and you can always check your mixes on other speakers afterwards... They're quite cheap at the moment...

    For the software, there's a program called Reaper. It was recommended to me, and I believe it takes VST plugins. Best of all, it's free to evaluate and then you ought to buy the licence to continue using it, but that's not much...

    Then, talking of VST plugins, you will want to add a few of those. My own recordings have come on in leaps and bounds once I stopped using the ones that came with my version of Cubase. They're a great starting point, but if you check out waves.com, they regularly have sales. I managed to pick up the SSL set of channel plugins for not very much... And there are a host of decent free ones too if you check sites like kvr-vst.com...

    HTH
     
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  3. VictorB

    VictorB Formerly LZF Super Mod

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    The Focusrite seems like my best bet.
     
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  4. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    These focusrite interfaces are decent little units but to say they are based on Neve pres is totally misleading. Yes Rupert Neve had a hand in designing some high end Focusrite stuff in the mid 80s but that was all.

    Headphones for monitoring? Sure....for monitoring. But not for making mix decisions.

    Right on about the waves plugins though. They are very good. And expensive. But I have to say this because I don't ever recall a discussion here about pirated software. Do the right thing and buy your software. Not only will you feel good about yourself but the other benefit will be that because it is expensive you will only buy a few select plugins....and therefore you will find yourself really trying to learn the plugin, fool with it, study the manual and get to know how to get the best out of it. Yes, I know guys that have heaps of pirated software....the thing is, when it's not worth anything to you, you don't get deep into it.
     
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  5. El Kabong

    El Kabong Senior Member

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    Another vote here for the Focusrite 2i2... I've never had an issue with it...

    For monitors I use a set of [ame="http://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-Studiophile-Active-Monitor-Speakers/dp/B0051WAM64/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439511139&sr=8-1&keywords=m-audio"]M-Audio AV40s[/ame]... they are rather inexpensive yet sound pretty damn good for their size. Again, since the woofers are so small they have the same limitations as the Equators, but once you get used to them and take that into account they rawk!

    For a DAW I generally use Reaper, but have recently started playing with the new FREE offering from Presonus which has some possibilities. For a DAW I think it basically just comes down to which layout you are most comfortable with for your own flow and which seems most logical to you, as workflow is pretty subjective.

    The best way to get started is to just dive in. Guitar->Interface->DAW->Speakers... just lay down a very simple track with no effects and then go back in and start playing with it. Notice the difference as you add effects and keep notes about what sounds good and what doesn't. In the beginning it can be a bit overwhelming as you make it through the learning curve (at least it was for me) and you'll refer to the notes quite often until you're ready to toss them.

    Its also helpful to burn a couple of those early tracks to CD and then listen to them in the car or your stereo or other places... that will show you the differences between what you are hearing on your monitors and what the final result will be. It can be quite a difference and its better to figure out what the differences are early on rather than waiting until you've finished a brilliant mix... finally burning it... and then being shocked! :wow:
     
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  6. KP11520

    KP11520 Senior Member

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    Hey Vic,

    Freddy has been guiding you the best he can based on your tight budget.

    You said two simultaneous tracks recording is all you need.

    I'd agree for the most part.... Until you record drums. Then I'd say four would be the minimum I'd use. Two overhead LDC's, SM57 on the snare and something like a Shure Beta 52A for the kick. If your Interface has decent Pre's in it and you use decent LDC's, this will decently cover your needs for a low budget.

    Some drum rooms use Many mics for all the nuances. And preamps and an Interface that can record as many channels.

    So Focusrite has some Interfaces with up to 8 preamps onboard. Maybe pick a model number and look used. Somebody might be further along and want to move up to the next step and yet took good care of their Interface. Enter YOU.

    There is also a Tascam US1800, that isn't too bad with 8 onboard preamps that will perform close to the Focusrite for very reasonable if you do a search.

    With your PC, what OS are you running? 32 bit or 64 bit? The reason I ask is when it comes time to choose a DAW, you're going to need something that mixes well and offers plug-ins for compressors, reverb, EQ's and so on, since you don't have the budget for real hardware. And you'll want to use better plug-ins that emulate the coveted studio hardware.

    You will get incrementally pregnant with this. LOL
     
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  7. ChrisW

    ChrisW Senior Member

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    I agree - I wasn't suggesting using pirated software in the slightest! But I think Reaper has a fully functional 30 day evaluation period, after which a non commercial licence is in the region of 60 bucks... I don't use it myself, as I have the latest Cubase, but it did come highly recommended to me so I did look into it... The plugins I mentioned from kvr-vst.com are just that - free, but fully legitimate, plugins. There are also commercial plugins on that site, some of which also work for an evaluation period or have limited functionality until you buy a full copy. I wouldn't ever recommend that anyone uses pirated or illegal software.

    The association with Neve - I was only referring to what Focusrite themselves say, Freddy... Either way, the Scarlett range does feature excellent preamps - very quiet. As for headphones, I was suggesting them as a stop-gap until there was more of a budget for better monitors. Headphones will probably be needed anyway, so why not make them good ones? And these AKG units ARE good... Plenty of clarity, loads of air, and a very faithful sound, especially for a closed-ear set of cans... And just as importantly, I've found them comfortable and haven't suffered from ear-fatigue either.
     
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  8. Joeydego

    Joeydego your mom is a nice lady V.I.P. Member

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    They make good stuff. Their new line of interfaces are the schizzle. Toontrack EZ Drummer will handle your drum needs for the time being. I like protools for a DAW but Reaper will do the same for free.
     
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  9. Joeydego

    Joeydego your mom is a nice lady V.I.P. Member

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    oh yea you'll end up spending WAAAAAAY over 500 by the time you're "done" (you're never done with this ****)
     
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  10. KP11520

    KP11520 Senior Member

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    VIC,

    Have we lost ya man?

    Overwhelmed perhaps?

    Keep it coming. Everybody will help get you through. :cool:

    And Noob rhymes with Boob, so how bad could it be?
     
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  11. VictorB

    VictorB Formerly LZF Super Mod

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    I'm here! Had 2 gigs, Fri and Sat lol!

    I went to GC to check out the Focusrite, they didn't have the particular bundle in stock I was looking for.. Off to Sweetwater!

    Btw, I'm running Windows 10 on a 64 bit computer.
     
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  12. KP11520

    KP11520 Senior Member

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    Hopefully you have at least 8Gb of Ram. When you use plug-ins, you'll be glad with more.

    So when looking for an Audio Interface, Check with the manufacturer that Win10 drivers are available NOW, and hopefully some reviews from those already using them problem free. And if not now, WHEN!

    We don't need your first jump to have tangles in the chute strings. :shock: OUCH!
     
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  13. Pwrmac7600

    Pwrmac7600 Premium Member

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    So I use an older Digidesign Digi003 Rack. Not the greatest unit in the world, but It works for what i do.
    For drums, hands down Superior Drummer is the way to go. I use a midi keyboard to enter my own beats, plus I use some of the built in beats and fills, of which there are hundreds if not more, and then I modify them to fit what I need, adding or taking away drums until I get what I want.
    I record my guitars both mic'ed and using line 6 stuff. I used to use strictly line 6 stuff, but nowadays I mic my distorted guitars, and use the line6 for clean, and color guitars. the combination sounds great.
    Don't try and start out with a grammy winning production quality right away. Get a unit that sounds good, and build off of that. If you don't like the mic pre's built into the interface you buy, which most likely you won't down the road. Then you can always later buy some good mic pre's.
    and as most have said, if you get software with a decent plug in bundle that is really all you will need. I have the waves platinum bundle, and it pretty much covers everything I need. But I did expand and get some of the SSL plugins and such which are excellent.
    I just wouldn't start out with to large of a bundle, because it can cause you to try and do too much initially, and you just end up chasing something that you'll never get, because you are over complicating things. Trust me I learned that the hard way, and now I really do not use too many plug ins, just the bare minimum to get what I need. A little Eq, some compression here and there, and then just some color effects for certain parts.
     
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  14. Joeydego

    Joeydego your mom is a nice lady V.I.P. Member

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    you can do plenty with an 003
     
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  15. Pwrmac7600

    Pwrmac7600 Premium Member

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    Absolutely, the only reason I said not the best unit, is because the mic pre's are pretty ****ty. at some point I will buy some external pre's. As soon as I am done buying amps....:laugh2:
     
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  16. Joeydego

    Joeydego your mom is a nice lady V.I.P. Member

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    Its old, man. Stuff has gotten a LOT better in the last few years.
     
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  17. KP11520

    KP11520 Senior Member

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    The 003 is being faded out with the never versions of Pro Tools.

    Maybe PT11 and newer don't employ all its capabilities. I'm still on PT9 so I don't know for sure.

    I bought everything to build a POWERFUL DAW workstation PC, including Thunderbolt. Spent thousands. I'm just not motivated because there is no clear Thunderbolt Audio Interface that is expandable up to many simultaneous channels and very friendly for PC with exceptional pre's and ADA converters that is obviously the leader.

    And now AVID Pro Tools (12) is playing a new game of some yearly subscription crap. They haven't worked through all the bugs in PT11 yet.

    And yet, I still prefer working with it. Familiarity is king after almost 10 years.
     
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  18. Pwrmac7600

    Pwrmac7600 Premium Member

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    I hear ya, I am still using PT9 as well because it was the last system that didn't require a ilok to run plugins. PT9 does everything I need it to do, and more. So for now I am perfectly happy being behind.
     
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  19. KP11520

    KP11520 Senior Member

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    I hear ya 2!

    I bought everything for the new PC to use the extra juice of 64 bit OS PT 11 and up offers. 32 Gb of Ram would run lots of powerful plug-ins for those larger projects. But I really like PT9 and hope 11+ brings the same success.
     
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  20. Joeydego

    Joeydego your mom is a nice lady V.I.P. Member

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    I'm still on pt 8. No issues for me.
     
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