Total noob about home recording, need help

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Ham sandwich, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. Ham sandwich

    Ham sandwich Junior Member

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    Sep 5, 2015
    Ok, so as the title states I am a total noob when it comes to home recording. I would like to record some stuff at home and have been reading/researching but still have questions so I figured I'd post here......any help I could get would be most appreciated so thanks in advance!

    Here's what I have and what I want to do:
    guitar(s)/bass guitar
    some pedals and a Digitech effects pedal

    What I'd like to do:
    Lay down some guitar and bass tracks.
    Somehow throw in some drum tracks


    Well, where do I go from here?

    I have 2 kids so setting up a mic in front of an amp for recording may not work at times, what are my options?

    Will buying something like the Zoon r8 multitrack recorder work for what I want to do?

    One site I was reading seemed to have a multi step set up such as an audio interface, DAW software, plugins.

    What's the best course of action and is there a primer I can read somewhere? Thanks in advance for helping to clarify some stuff for me.
  2. dmoss74

    dmoss74 Senior Member

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    Jun 6, 2015
    realistically, your best bet is going to be a pc (or laptop) daw-centric setup. that will include an interface of some kind, maybe a mic (for when you can use it), a daw (reaper has a very lengthy free trial period), and some plugins, or hardware based guitar effects (for when you can't use a mic).

    your main amount of time will be spent on the learning curve, if you've never done any of this before. it's not rocket science, per se, but it can get quite involved, if you want to get really nice sounding recordings.

    plus, you'll need some kind of drum software, or learn how to use free loops for drum tracks. i think there are some free drum samplers/modelers, but the better ones cost some dough.

    you should first set forth a budget, and then work from that to determine what it is you can get to begin with.

    something computer based will be the best bet, as you can do pretty much everything in it, from tracking to mixing, mastering, and formatting.
  3. DotStudio

    DotStudio Silver Supporter

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    Nov 13, 2015
    What kind of amp do you own? Does it have an XLR out? My Mustang III has a direct XLR out so you can record with headphones. I bought the Scarlett 2i2 audio interface which comes with Ableton Lite, but you could also use Reaper or another free program and I believe you can do drum tracking with available plug ins (someone else would know better). I recorded the track in my signature using a guitar, mic, 2i2, ableton, and an electronic drum set with absolutely no idea what I was doing. :laugh2: Not great, but not bad for a first try. The DAWs are pretty intuitive nowadays. Good luck :thumb:
  4. Jymbopalyse

    Jymbopalyse Senior Member

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    Oct 3, 2016
    Are you wanting to actually get into mixing songs or just record tracks that you can play along to.

    I have a Digitech Jamman Stereo looper. Each loop can be as long as 22 min. A two track recording studio actually. I plug a digital drum into Line 1 and Guitar into Line 2. You can over dub bass and keyboards in after. It has USB, to export WAV files back to the PC.

    If you like ZOOM products check out the ZOOM G3. It's a digital amp and effect sim. I can layer any combination of guitar sound I want into the looper. It also has USB connectivity and comes with CUBASE for DAW recording.
  5. Pwrmac7600

    Pwrmac7600 Premium Member

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    Jun 17, 2014
    You'll also need some kind of monitoring setup, be it studio monitors, or headphones. I would truthfully recommend both. Headphones can get a little fatiguing on the ears after prolonged usage, plus there are just times when you want to get louder and listen back through monitors so you can hear the sound in the room, as opposed to isolated by headphones.
  6. Pop1655

    Pop1655 Premium Member

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    Aug 25, 2014
    I clocked in here because I'm one too and hoping to learn.
    I'll share that so far the focusrite 2i4 and reaper are my pics.
    Reaper was my third one to try and the easiest for me to use.
    I think the 2i4 was money well spent.
    I'm not there yet, but I can see daylight.
  7. RandyRhoadsLesPaul

    RandyRhoadsLesPaul Senior Member

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    May 17, 2015
    You can even go simpler.

    Guitar Cab > Mic > Audio Interface (I use Komplete Audio 6) > Cubase or Garageband.

    You can even go direct into an interface if you do not want to use the mic and amp; however, you will need to find an amp matching software to lay over your clean sound. Cubase has some presets. Garageband does too, but it is ok. You can get the free version of Cubase (Cubase AI Elements 8) which has al basic features for beginning recording.
  8. spitfire

    spitfire Senior Member

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    Sep 21, 2009
    There's a lot of ways to do this, and no best way. Some people want the least expensive, others the most flexible, others expandable so on and so forth.

    Since you don't want to have to use mics, you need some way to model the guitar and bass amps. Some modern amps like Fender Mustangs do this and therefore put out a line out that you can record (though I would think that would lack speaker cabinet simulation).

    These will certainly have a line-out signal you can feed in to your PC sound card or other audio interface. Some may even have some sort of USB interface.

    Another possibility is an external modeler like the Line 6 POD series. These interface via USB and provide both modeling and audio interface. It's actually not a bad way to go to get started. Pretty easy to get up and running.

    Another, very common approach is to run guitar amp modeling software on your PC. I prefer Amplitube, there are other choices. In this case you will have to get an audio interface to plug your guitar into, I don't think there is an appropriate input on a PC sound card. I like the Focusrite Scarlett series of USB audio interfaces.

    I think any reasonably fast PC can run Amplitube well, but since the PC is doing the simulation, it is CPU intensive.

    There are standalone recording devices, but their main advantage is portability. So I'm assuming you'll do this with your PC. To that end, you need recording software. Just about any audio app has some sort of recording ability. I even think Amplitube can do this.

    Others are programs like Band in A Box (also Garage Band, I think). These have some recording ability, but will create drum lines themselves, as well as bass, piano and other things if you want.

    I really like Band in A Box for making backing tracks quickly. Just put in a chord progression, select a style and you can have really good sounding backing tracks. While you can record in it, I prefer dedicated recording software. But it's easy to export MIDI or audio from Band in A Box.

    I use Reaper for recording (digital audio workstation = DAW). It's inexpensive ($60 I think), and is fully functioning yet as easy to use as anything, well documented, and very popular.

    If you're not interested in the Band in A Box route, I'd get EZ-Drummer. It's not too expensive and you can create drum tracks quickly.

    If for example you used Amplitube for amp modeling and EZ-Drummer (remember there are many other choices, but these are popular), both will provide you with what are called VST's. Within your recording software, such as Reaper, you insert these VST's in the FX chain of the given track. A VST can be simple effect, like reverb, or more complicated effect like an amp modeler.

    But, a VST can also be a virtual instrument, like a piano, synth, or drums. The VST makes the sounds, but the track contains MIDI notes rather than audio recordings. MIDI data in to the VST, sounds out.

    DAW software will come with some VST's for reverb and basic effects and even virtual instruments like pianos and drums. But VST software is an industry of it's own. If you get into this, you'll likely want to add on some better VST's. While you can find free stuff online, there is all sorts of modestly priced VST's. But, you could literally spends 10's of thousands of dollars on the large professional libraries.

    Anything you put together will give you trouble at first. There's nothing to be done about that, but fight through it and climb the learning curve.
  9. steelehead

    steelehead Senior Member

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    Feb 20, 2011
    your first thought should be cost,

    next what do i want to do=-stated record bass and guitar- and some type of drums
    are you looking to expand?
    are you looking to mutlitrack recording- how many and if so simultaneous? cost

    what interface do you have on your pc?
    example do you have firewire- or only usb- or do you have a good sound card- you can add a sound card- to your pc and record =some have stereo mic input

    DAW i use to use protools i use a mixcraft- less then 100 bucks-good interface and vst programs for pc-

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