Old guy needs help.

Hacksaw

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Looking for advice on a relatively simple audio interface bundle. I played in bands in the 80's, and set up our live sound system. 32 channel board, stage monitors, bi-amped outputs. Used Shure SM-57s and 58s. Did some recording when everything was analog tape. Now I'd simply like to record a backing track to play along with and be able to multi-track and collaborate with my ex-bandmates. Any advice on where to start.
Thanks in advance.

John
 

Ghostman

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I'd start with the DAW. I use Reaper now exclusively and tried a few of them. What's nice is that it's free to try out so you can get used to it.

Next the gear: All depends on how many channels you need. I use a Focusrite Scarlette 18i8 which provides way more than I need. I play and record at home. I can run my iphone into the interface and play along with my music files. There's two headphone jacks out so I can have different mixes. I have one headphone out mixed with my guitar signal and music so I can jam along silently. The other headphone out I have set up for recording so I don't have the iPhone mixed in that feed, only my guitar track and the playback of the DAW. The main outs I change constantly depending on what I am doing.

The DAW selection will also depend on whether you run Mac or PC. There's a few popular DAW's out there that aren't available on MAC. Either way, you can mix tracks and send them to others regardless of which platform or DAW.
 

Nard

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If you are not looking to use a computer and DAW there are several decent 8 track digital recording units out there. Depending on how much you want to spend Boss do a good range that include rhythm/drum patterns, built in condenser mics and computer interface.
 

redking

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Based on your budget, the world is your oyster for great recording gear! If you want to collaborate with your old bandmates, then I would definitely use a DAW vs. a stand-alone unit. Just makes life way easier.

Next question: Are you and Apple or PC kinda guy? If you are already an Apple guy, then you have a free DAW on our computer already - Garageband. It gives you enough functionality to get started, but once you get into recording, it only whets your appetite for more "tools" that you will need in Logic Pro X (~$200). If you are a PC guy, then certainly Reaper, or the free version of Pro Tools, or others (Cubase, etc.) are a good way to start. Once you get the hang of how a DAW works by watching a few Youtube vids, then you will have no problems based on your past experience.

Next part: Your interface - Lots of good options and starting with a two channel unit is a great way to start. The consumer version audio interfaces that most of us use contain both the actual mic preamps and the audio to digitial and digital to audio converters, so it's a "one box" solution. So many great options available - just swim through the many Youtube demos and check the prices at your favorite retailer. (Audient, Focusrite Scarlett, Apogee, etc.) The quality is so good for these units, that it's tough to make a bad choice for your first interface.

Next: playback - Do you want to listen back through headphones or monitor speakers, or both as an option? Both of these connect from your Interface, which becomes your new computer soundcard. For Headphones, Lots of great options at your favorite music retailer for monitoring headphones - you may want to avoid consumer "pleasure listening" headphones like "Beats" because the eq. will be deceptive and probably emphasize the bass and what you hear of your own playing won't be the reality of what you are recording. For speakers, I would start with self powered, 5 inch is plenty but you can go up to 7 or 8 inch depending on if you are listening in a bigger room and budget. Again, lots of great options out there (Yamaha, have heard good things about Kali speakers, etc.).

Recording your guitar: Many options - Use your tube amp with a reactive load box and Speaker Impluse Responses - one option (of many) is the Suhr Reactive Load IR - it combines both of these into 1 box for convenience. Other options - plug straight in to your interface and use plugin amp simulators, either those included with your DAW or ones you can buy separately.

Mics: You have experience with the SM57 and 58 - either or both are a great start. As mentioned above - your interface will have a built in microphone preamp.
 

Jymbopalyse

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If you want to go DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) we need to know what operating system your PC runs.


Given your past experience, I would recommend looking at Craig's List (or similar) for a used 4 or 8 track recorder.

With a lot of people moving to DAW systems, you can sometimes pickup Tascam or Zoom recorders, used, on the cheap. This sounds like it fits your bill.


Another option that would work is a multitrack looper like

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OR
1577734076034.png


I have the Digitech Stereo

and it will do exactly what you describe.


You can create your own backing tracks to play for one channel. And then while the backing tracks plays, you can also record your playing and then overdub as many times as you want. With dubbing, I actually use it to add bass and keyboard parts.

The Digitech also has a usb port that allows you to export or input as a file.
You can get backing tracks from the internet, and play them thru the looper and record yourself at the same time. You can also send the file to a buddy, for them to play, add to, and send back.


Good luck.
Let us know what you do.
 

Hacksaw

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Thanks, I use PC although I do have an iphone from work. Looks like i'm shopping.

Thanks again!
 




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