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> Equipping The Home Studio, This thread is to share hands on experience with recording gear.
Todd Simpson
post Jun 15 2010, 03:27 PM
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I've owned a few different audio interfaces and thought I'd share my experience and invite others to do the same. I just added a Tascam M-164UF to my home studio and I love it so far. It's a and 16 channel mixer/recording interface and connects via usb 2.0. There is no perceptible lag or delay when recording which is great. This device can be had for about $300 US and is an amazing value. So far It's the best interface I"ve ever had. It's PC and Mac comptitble, works with any DAW and the Mic preamps sound great especially for the price. It's not a Pro level unit Ala ProTools HD, but the gap betwen prosumer and pro continues to narrow. Here are a couple of pix.




It will let you record 16 tracks (6 with their own mic pre-amp) at once in to whatever software you are using. So if you want to record a drum kit, or just put several mics on your guitar rig, it's no problem. My previous units had one or two XLR inputs and recorded one or two channels at a time, this one has 6 xlr inputs and does 16 tracks at once. More review to follow as I continue to record with it.

This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Jun 14 2011, 04:56 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Jun 29 2010, 11:43 PM
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MONITORS / SPEAKERS For Mixing / Recording


There is an old saying "Whatever your mixing speakers are good at, your mixes will be bad at" So if your mixing speakers are really good at mid range and high range, then your mixes tend to sound flat when played on systems with a flat e.q. curve. If your speakers have great bass, then your mixes may lack bass when played on a system with a flat e.q. response.

Ideally, you want your speakers to be "neutral" without too much boom, or tweet. That way, you know what you are getting in your mix. If your speakers accentuate any part of the sound spectrum, it will be obvious when you play the mix on other systems.

I use two pair of monitors, KRK ROKIT 6 and Alesis MK2.
Both are paired to a subwoofer. I go back and forth between them when mixing which is a common approach. Mixing on just one pair of speakers can yield uneven results when played back outside of your mix room.
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Fran
post Sep 7 2010, 01:13 PM
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Yes, great thread smile.gif

I added all this info into a nice article for our knowledge base here:
http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/wiki/inde...The_Home_Studio

I'll keep an eye in case you add more info to the thread wink.gif


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Amp:
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Effects:
Vox Satchurator, Vox Time Machine, Dunlop CryBaby, Boss MT-2, Boss CE-5, Boss TU-2, Boss ME-70
Recording:
Line-6 POD X3 + FBV-Express, Pandora PX5D


GMC wants YOU to take part in our Guitar-Wikipedia!
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Todd Simpson
post Sep 29 2010, 05:44 AM
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BUYING YOUR FIRST MICROPHONES

(Link to Wiki Entry on Various Mic Types)

As you equip your home studio, you will need some Mics. A good place to start is the traditional SHURE SM-58. The 58 is a "Dynamic Microphone" You can use it for vocals, you can use it on a guitar cab (the windscreen screws off and on) you can use it on drums. Really on just about anything and it will sound good. These Mics are legendary for the durability and predictable sound quality. They run about $100 and make a great first mic. Here is a pic
Attached Image
And a link where you can grab them from Musicians Friend.com
http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/produ...WELAID=26020451

This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Sep 29 2010, 02:38 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Sep 29 2010, 02:40 PM
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ADDING A CONDENSER MICROPHONE TO YOUR STUDIO

I'd also suggest you get a "Condenser Microphone". These are typically a bit brighter than dynamic mics and a bit more sensitive. They can't take as much sound pressure (e.g. volume) as the dynamic mic but generally offer superior dynamic range and frequency response. In short, they sound a bit better. The good news is you can get one cheaper than a SM-58 and it's flexible enough to record just about anything. Just don't put it close to a drum kit or a really loud guitar amp or you can wreck it. They are a bit more fragile than dynamic mics. I have tried wads of condenser mics and for the money I love this one.

Here is a link to the product web site.
http://www.mxlmics.com/products/900_series/990/990.html

MXL-990 Condenser Microphone
(On Sale at Musicians Friend More than half off List Price)
MXL Mic On Sale at Musicians Friend.com
Here is a picture of mine in use.
Attached Image

Here is a sample of my Ibanez 7 string recorded with this mic.
Attached File  condensermic.mp3 ( 209.02K ) Number of downloads: 238


More to come!
Todd

This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: May 3 2011, 05:50 AM


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 3 2010, 03:51 AM
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WORKING WITH SOFTWARE GUITAR EMULATORS

Working with software such as AMPLITUDE or GUITAR RIG is a great way to get killer tones using just your computer. However, in order to get the right signal in to your computer you may need a specific piece of gear. It's called a DIRECT BOX. A recording engineer buddy of mine turned me on to adding at DI box in to the signal chain when recording clean and using software emulation. I couldn't believe the difference.

You see, your recording interface may or may not be dealing well with your guitars instrument level signal. Some recording interfaces like the PRESONUS MOBILE FIRE have a buffer built in to the signal path of the TRS (Combo Jacks, XLR and Quarter Inch in one Jack) that acts as a sort of built in direct box. However, some don't. If you notice that you are not getting enough gain/distortion, and there is too much noise in the signal, a direct box might be your answer.

The direct box takes your guitars instrument Level Signal and converts it to Mic Level, and converts it from HIZ (High Impedance) to Low-Z (Low Impedance) this then gets sent in to your recording interface. It made all the difference for me with my currrent recording interface. Here is a test I made after getting my direct box and using Guitar Rig 4.

Attached File  GuitarRigMonsterGain_copy.mp3 ( 1.38MB ) Number of downloads: 239


Here is a pic of the direct box I'm using (It's the unit on bottom, the top one is a headphone distribution amp). It's a Behringer rack mount unit and it's "Active" (meaning powered) as opposed to "Passive" (Unpowered). They run about $50 used at a music store or ebay. The rack mount is handy in that you can plug it in to the wall for power. Smaller units require batteries which can be a pain when the batts die.
Attached Image

This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Oct 7 2010, 01:02 AM


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SirJamsalot
post Oct 5 2010, 09:17 AM
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Todd, quick update on that microphone. WOW! I hear artifacts! REAL ARTIFACTS! This microphone is the best 50 bucks i've spent this year! Thanks for the heads up. I recorded a quick little test with my accoustic guitar. The tone really comes accross better than the 57 I was recording with.No eq, nothing - recording dry and straight in. I''m lovin it. sounds better in .wav, but heres an mp3 due to size.

Attached File  accousticTryout.mp3 ( 3.05MB ) Number of downloads: 193





QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Sep 29 2010, 05:14 PM) *
Happy to help smile.gif I've been really happy with the MXL. For the price, it's just hard to beat. It does require Phantom Power, so make sure your interface/mixer supports it. The sale price of $50 is just killer. For that price you could get two and use them in stereo. Let me know how you like it. Enjoy!


This post has been edited by SirJamsalot: Oct 5 2010, 09:22 AM


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 16 2010, 01:46 AM
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TOO MANY GUITARS, TO FEW GUITAR STANDS?


If you have several guitars in your collection, it can be a pain to keep them on on separate stands and still have them within easy reach for recording. When settting up my home studio, I wanted to be able to have all of my guitars within arms reach. The solution came in the form of the ROCSTAND multi-guitar stand. This can be had for about $75 and holds 7 guitars! Here is a link to a vendor who carries it.


http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-RCK...edium=feed&

Here is a pic of the stand in my home studio.
Attached Image

And here is a pic of the item with no guitars on it.
Attached Image

In short, this thing is way handy if you have a bunch of guitars and not a bunch of space in your home studio.

Todd

This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Nov 16 2010, 01:55 AM


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 17 2010, 02:31 AM
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Fran has taken this thread and put it in a very easy to read format in our killer Knowledge Base! Here is a direct link. Read before you buy!

http://bit.ly/equippingthehomestudio


Practice!
Todd



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Todd Simpson
post Feb 11 2011, 10:38 AM
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MY NEW FAVORITE DYNAMIC MIC (I AM REPLACING MY SHURE SM58 FOREVER) -$199 U.S. List Price (Cheaper online)

I"ve fallen in love with an obscure microphone for recording Guitar. It's called THE RAVEN and made by Electro Voice. I was shocked at this I don't usually like EV mics. Come to find out, this mic was actuallye designed by BLUE who make great mics.

It sounds AMAZING on guitar cabs, and on kick drums oddly enough. Great low frequency response. I"ll attach some examples of recordings made with it. If you play heavy music, especially detuned stuff or a 7/8 string guitar. This is the mic for you.

Here is a link to AMAZON.COM who has it for almost HALF OFF LIST PRICE!

RAVEN MICROPHONE ON AMAZON.COM

Here it is in my home studio.
Attached Image

Here is a chart of it's frequency response for Audio Geeks.
Attached Image

Here is the original info one sheet.
Attached File  Raven_Sell_Sheet.pdf ( 1.61MB ) Number of downloads: 145


Here is a link to the vendor web site with more info.
http://www.electro-voice.com/product.php?id=88

And here are some recordings. One is just a solo recorded using only the Raven. The other is a full song demo done using only the Raven for Guitar and bass.
Attached File  Nocturnal_guitars_only.mp3 ( 958.47K ) Number of downloads: 339

Attached File  Guitar_raven.mp3 ( 209.02K ) Number of downloads: 346

Here is a bit of history on the mic and it's pedigree. Makes sense now that I know all this.

"The Raven was designed by Blue around the time that Telex Communications, parent of Electrovoice, signed a distribution deal with Blue. The original branding on this mic was “EV/Blue Raven.” Since Blue and Telex have parted ways, Electrovoice retained the rights to the Raven, and are updating the branding to reflect this. The new name is simply Raven."

Read more: http://recordinghacks.com/microphones/Elec...n#ixzz1DdkpbbeR

All in all, I love this microphone and am putting away my SM57 and SM58 for good regarding guitar cabinets. This just blows them away.

Todd


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Fran
post Feb 11 2011, 12:19 PM
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Pretty cool review as usual Todd, just added it to the wiki here:
http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/wiki/inde...aven_Mic_Review

Nice sound files too.

Keep them coming!


--------------------
Guitars:
Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster, Ibanez RG2570MZ, Epiphone SG G-400
Amp:
Vox AC4TVH head + V112TV cab
Effects:
Vox Satchurator, Vox Time Machine, Dunlop CryBaby, Boss MT-2, Boss CE-5, Boss TU-2, Boss ME-70
Recording:
Line-6 POD X3 + FBV-Express, Pandora PX5D


GMC wants YOU to take part in our Guitar-Wikipedia!
Have a good time reading great articles and writing your own with us in our GUITAR WIKI!
Check the Wiki Forum to see what's going on - And don't forget to read The GMC Journal!
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Todd Simpson
post Apr 7 2011, 12:17 AM
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For those looking to get better sound out of their Guitar Software Emultaion, I"ve posted a review of crucial gear for your setup. For about one hundred Euro you can get a four channel, active, rack mounted direct box that will add twenty db of gain to your signal and make your GUITAR RIG or AMPLITUDE plugins sound KILLER!

http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/wiki/inde...O_DI4000_Review


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Todd Simpson
post Jun 14 2011, 05:03 PM
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NEW SPEAKERS / MONITORS!

JBL LSR 2325P



I"m adding a pair of JBL LSR 2325P Monitors to my setup. So far I LOVE THESE THINGS! If you are looking for a great pair of powered studio monitors, these might be for you. They are about $200 US each. They are amplified so you don't need to buy an external power amp.

Here is a link to the product page with info.

http://www.jblpro.com/catalog/general/Prod...d=280&MId=5

A buddy of mine uses the higher end line of JBL monitors with sub and room analyzer. We put these up against it and I was shocked at how good they sounded. They honestly sound like speakers that cost thousands. Review to follow.
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Sinisa Cekic
post Jun 16 2011, 10:59 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Apr 7 2011, 01:17 AM) *
For those looking to get better sound out of their Guitar Software Emultaion, I"ve posted a review of crucial gear for your setup. For about one hundred Euro you can get a four channel, active, rack mounted direct box that will add twenty db of gain to your signal and make your GUITAR RIG or AMPLITUDE plugins sound KILLER!

http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/wiki/inde...O_DI4000_Review


Exactly what I need, thanks Todd !!!


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Todd Simpson
post Jul 16 2011, 08:11 PM
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For those looking to get better sound out of their Guitar Software Emultaion, I"ve posted a review of crucial gear for your setup. For about one hundred Euro you can get a four channel, active, rack mounted direct box that will add twenty db of gain to your signal and make your GUITAR RIG or AMPLITUDE plugins sound KILLER!

http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/wiki/inde...O_DI4000_Review
QUOTE (Sinisa Cekic @ Jun 16 2011, 04:59 PM) *
Exactly what I need, thanks Todd !!!


Happy to help smile.gif This box is really the Silver Bullett of "In The Box" recording. You can leave four instruments, bass, guitar, whatever, just plugged in and ready to roll each with their own settings. Then just grab an axe, arm a track and bingo.

I"ve found that without it, it's often hard to get enough signal to a given plugin without clipping and thus your guitar plugins can lack punch/warmth etc. But with the 20 db of gain on this thing, gain is not a problem. Enjoy!

Todd

This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Jul 16 2011, 08:12 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Aug 22 2011, 12:37 AM
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GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR HOME COMPUTER/RECORDING SETUP (ADD YOUR HDTV!)

I wanted to share something I recently started doing in my home studio. I have an older 720p Sony LCD TV
that was attached to my cable box for watching TV. I decided to run my laptop video output in to it. BINGO! Now when I"m
using REAPER and have the guitar in my lap and am pushed back from the desk in order to play, I can still
clearly see all the little buttons/text on the reaper screen. Since the resolution on the TV is lower than a computer
monitor, everything is BIGGER making it easier to see everything. Even waveforms look better.

You can do this with pretty much any computer, and any LCD/LED TV! You just need an adapter and they are cheap. Less
than $20 or 10 Euro in many cases. If you are working with a laptop, squinting a bit to read text/fine tune knobs etc.,
this is a Godsend. My Macbook Pro has a tiny monitor. But using this old Sony TV has made things so much easier.

I think I"m going to try to get another one and replace my computer monitor with a TV. Just works better smile.gif

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Fran
post Aug 22 2011, 01:38 AM
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Wow Todd, your studio looks like a spaceship now cool.gif



--------------------
Guitars:
Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster, Ibanez RG2570MZ, Epiphone SG G-400
Amp:
Vox AC4TVH head + V112TV cab
Effects:
Vox Satchurator, Vox Time Machine, Dunlop CryBaby, Boss MT-2, Boss CE-5, Boss TU-2, Boss ME-70
Recording:
Line-6 POD X3 + FBV-Express, Pandora PX5D


GMC wants YOU to take part in our Guitar-Wikipedia!
Have a good time reading great articles and writing your own with us in our GUITAR WIKI!
Check the Wiki Forum to see what's going on - And don't forget to read The GMC Journal!
Go to the top of the page
 
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Todd Simpson
post Mar 14 2012, 12:51 AM
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QUOTE (Fran @ Aug 21 2011, 08:38 PM) *
Wow Todd, your studio looks like a spaceship now cool.gif


Well thanks! Spaceship METAL! smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post May 26 2012, 02:45 AM
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Thinking about Starting a hom studio? Here is a link to a post about that very topic with links and pix. For about U.S. $300 with headphones only and $600 + with Monitors and Headphones. Included in this referenced post is the link to Frans killer WIKI section about home recording! This questions comes up quite a bit as you might imagine so I thought I'd create a post that would link to the information and the wiki. smile.gif

Here is the link.

http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...st&p=586229

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This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: May 26 2012, 03:17 AM


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PosterBoy
post Jun 23 2012, 01:05 PM
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Todd can you do a comparison of the choices of Drum Software.

I'm liking what I see of Steve Slate 4 but I'm wondering how versatile it is for genres other than Modern Rock and Metal. Would it cope with acoustic folk type stuff and Americana?


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PosterBoy's Modern Riffing with Gabriel

PosterBoy's Bootcamp with Todd



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Burny RLG90 with BK Emeralds
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