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> Recording Gear, Starting From Scrap
The Uncreator
post May 31 2007, 10:32 PM
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Ok, the current gear i have setup for recording will not work for any reason, it just doesnt, it keeps sayin i have a malfunctioned USB Connection, even after i bought a new USB Cord and tried all 12 USB Connector ports on my computer, it still doesnt work.

So...

What are some of your suggestions for Recording Software, Starting from scrap, everything new, the software, the interface, everything. ive heard alot of good things about pro tools, so im pretty sure im gonna use that as the software, but ive also heard alot about Cakewalk, anyone know about that? Pros and Cons of it?
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Andrew Cockburn
post Jun 1 2007, 03:39 AM
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QUOTE (The Uncreator @ May 31 2007, 05:32 PM) *
Ok, the current gear i have setup for recording will not work for any reason, it just doesnt, it keeps sayin i have a malfunctioned USB Connection, even after i bought a new USB Cord and tried all 12 USB Connector ports on my computer, it still doesnt work.

So...

What are some of your suggestions for Recording Software, Starting from scrap, everything new, the software, the interface, everything. ive heard alot of good things about pro tools, so im pretty sure im gonna use that as the software, but ive also heard alot about Cakewalk, anyone know about that? Pros and Cons of it?


Hmmm. Can of worms warning ....

Pro tools is supposedly the best professional package out there, I have never used it. It used to have a high cost due to the fact that you needed to drop $2000+ for hardware that would run it (I'm talking just about the interface now, not including the PC etc). Now they have a new entry level package called Pro Tools M-Powered, meaning you have to buy an audio interface from M-Audio (now owned by DigidesignI believe), for a couple of hundered bucks, then pay $300 for Pro tools the program, a cut down version (I could be off base here, but I was talking to a guy whoa has this exact setup just today).

There are many very respectable alternatives out there now. I use Cubase, Logic is very good and there are others. I recently discovered a virtually free program called "reaper" that is 75% as functional as cubase for $40 vs $700 for CUbase. And its the right 75% to do great multitrack recordings, and add sequence drums and anything else you could want.

Any of these options are capable of producing CD quality output (the rub is that you need to be a good enough performer, engineer, producer and master-er to get the best out of any of them) - the point is that the limiting factor is more likely to be you than the package.

Pro-tools may be the best top end when you buy the expensive hardware, but I am not convinced that it is the most cost effective way to go unless you are in the industry.

Another thing to think about is that the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) isn't the be all and end all - you need to think about additional effects, and probably virtual instruments to get a fully functional environment, all extra $$$$

I would suggest you investgate the alternatives and look at your budget before deciding on ProTools, definatley look at Reaper (I would have suggested Cubase LE before I learned about reaper, you really can't beat it fo $40!)

This post has been edited by Andrew Cockburn: Jun 1 2007, 03:44 AM


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The Uncreator
post Jun 1 2007, 01:41 PM
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Well, that whole M-Audio package is what i have now, the interface alone cost me $100, and it just wont work, i have that reaper thing as well, but i cant seem to get the M-Audio interface to work with it. ive spent days on days trying to figure it out.

I looked at reaper and it looks promising, what kinda interfaces and such do you use with it? and dont worry about the budget thing, if it costs a few hundred im willing to save up for it. and im gonna be learninf from my uncle about mixing and producing, him and his band do it alot and can make some high quality stuff.
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Andrew Cockburn
post Jun 1 2007, 02:08 PM
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QUOTE (The Uncreator @ Jun 1 2007, 08:41 AM) *
Well, that whole M-Audio package is what i have now, the interface alone cost me $100, and it just wont work, i have that reaper thing as well, but i cant seem to get the M-Audio interface to work with it. ive spent days on days trying to figure it out.

I looked at reaper and it looks promising, what kinda interfaces and such do you use with it? and dont worry about the budget thing, if it costs a few hundred im willing to save up for it. and im gonna be learninf from my uncle about mixing and producing, him and his band do it alot and can make some high quality stuff.


Cool smile.gif

Well that sucks about the M-Audio interface - one question - did you install the ASIO drivers? That's pretty important, and not always obvious.

I currently have an EMU1221m - I picked that because the AD converters are supposed to be high quality. It also has an ADAT in/out which means I can add 8 channels if I need to (it only has 2). It works fine with Reaper.

I'm thinking though that for the future I might get a Firewire based interface with 8 in/out, MOTU do a couple, and Focusrite do a nice one, they seem to come in at around $800, the upside is that with 8 channels you could record a band live, actually 16 would be better as you can use 8 mics just for the drums if you want to do a proper job, and the 2 boxes I mentioned also have ADAT in/out, and you can get an ADAT expansion box to hook up for about $300 from behringer - a relatively cheap way to get multiple channels.

One thing to think about though, is spending some decent money on Mics - I just spent $600 on a tube mic for vocals and accoustic guitar and I am amazed at the difference over my previous $200 mic (both are capacitor mics).

Anyway, I could go on for hours about this stuff - let me know if you have any specific questions!


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The Uncreator
post Jun 2 2007, 12:02 AM
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Man, thanks for the input, this is helpin alot, and yeah, i installed the ASIO Drivers, but after i install them, my computer says, new programs found, ready to operate, then 15 minutes later, it says unrecognized and stuff, thats the part where im hung, if you know a solution to that, let me know.

Anyway, thanks for all this, and one more thing, i know you dropped $600 for mics, but do you know any decent ones for the $400 range? thats about what me and my bandmate have to drop on mics.

Once again thanks for the help smile.gif
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Andrew Cockburn
post Jun 2 2007, 01:15 AM
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QUOTE (The Uncreator @ Jun 1 2007, 07:02 PM) *
Man, thanks for the input, this is helpin alot, and yeah, i installed the ASIO Drivers, but after i install them, my computer says, new programs found, ready to operate, then 15 minutes later, it says unrecognized and stuff, thats the part where im hung, if you know a solution to that, let me know.

Anyway, thanks for all this, and one more thing, i know you dropped $600 for mics, but do you know any decent ones for the $400 range? thats about what me and my bandmate have to drop on mics.

Once again thanks for the help smile.gif


Can;t help with the hardware problem, sorry, I ahven;t seen this before ...

$400 is kind of in between a good cardoid mic ($200) and cheaper tube mics ($600).

Depends how many you want and what you are doing with them - voclas are diffent to micing drums, are different to micing a guitar amp - let me know what you want to do and I'll try and make some suggestions smile.gif


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Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
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The Uncreator
post Jun 2 2007, 08:09 PM
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90% if the time we are going to use them for the guitars, and most of the time the guitars are going to be de-tuned, i dont know if that will affect it at all (i cant see why, but if it does, let me know smile.gif ).

And im thinking we are only going to need one mic per guitar, so were probably gonna use 3 mics.
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Andrew Cockburn
post Jun 2 2007, 09:20 PM
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QUOTE (The Uncreator @ Jun 2 2007, 03:09 PM) *
90% if the time we are going to use them for the guitars, and most of the time the guitars are going to be de-tuned, i dont know if that will affect it at all (i cant see why, but if it does, let me know smile.gif ).

And im thinking we are only going to need one mic per guitar, so were probably gonna use 3 mics.


Well if you are miking guitar amps, you can get away with the old standby the SM57 although I never tried one - considerations for that are really that they can take the levels you throw at them.

If you are miking acoustics, that's another ball game - the better mic you get the better the results. I'm a fan of Rode mics (http://www.rode.com.au), and I have been using an NT-1a for my acoustic, with very good results, thats a $200 mic. I would also say that this would be a good quality way of micing up a guitar amp.

I recently upgraded to a Rode K2 and the difference is amazing on vocal (haven't really tried it on guitar, but a friend did and the results were similarly astounding). A big part of this is the fact that the K2 has an omni directional pattern, as opposed to cardoid (like the nt1a). This gives the mc a more open and less congested sound, owing to the way they make mics with cardoid patterns(basically an omni with baffles). Plus the fact that the K2 isd a tube mic really helps as well. The higher end tube mics add enourmous subtlety that is great for vocals and acoustics, but probably not necessary for micing AMPs.

So there you have it - unless you are playing acoustic (and I'm guessing you aren't) I'd reccomend something like the NT1-A for a great high quality all rounder at about $200 a pop. SM57s if you want something cheaper and more rugged.

One possible gotcha - whatever you are recording this with you need phantom power for the NT1A, plus a microphone amplifier. Some inputs come with them, some don't - I'm not sure what interface you have now, and it sounds like you need a new one, so make sure it comes witn mic amps and phantom power, not all do.


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ezravdb
post Jun 2 2007, 10:24 PM
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ok, I have a quick question too:
How do I record my pod xt live sound in reaper?? XD
I already setup the pod xt as my default recording smile.gif


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Andrew Cockburn
post Jun 2 2007, 11:23 PM
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QUOTE (ezravdb @ Jun 2 2007, 05:24 PM) *
ok, I have a quick question too:
How do I record my pod xt live sound in reaper?? XD
I already setup the pod xt as my default recording smile.gif


You need to install your ASIO drivers first. Then in Reaper you select ASIO as your playback subsystem in Options|Preferenced|Audio|Device and immediately under that you should see an option ofr the PodXT.

When you do this, all audoi from reaper will play back through your pod so make sute it is hooked up to an amp or you are using headphones.

Then, create a new track, arm it (with the R icon), press the record button on the transport and play away - works great for me smile.gif


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Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
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The Uncreator
post Jun 3 2007, 03:35 AM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Jun 2 2007, 04:20 PM) *
Well if you are miking guitar amps, you can get away with the old standby the SM57 although I never tried one - considerations for that are really that they can take the levels you throw at them.

If you are miking acoustics, that's another ball game - the better mic you get the better the results. I'm a fan of Rode mics (http://www.rode.com.au), and I have been using an NT-1a for my acoustic, with very good results, thats a $200 mic. I would also say that this would be a good quality way of micing up a guitar amp.

I recently upgraded to a Rode K2 and the difference is amazing on vocal (haven't really tried it on guitar, but a friend did and the results were similarly astounding). A big part of this is the fact that the K2 has an omni directional pattern, as opposed to cardoid (like the nt1a). This gives the mc a more open and less congested sound, owing to the way they make mics with cardoid patterns(basically an omni with baffles). Plus the fact that the K2 isd a tube mic really helps as well. The higher end tube mics add enourmous subtlety that is great for vocals and acoustics, but probably not necessary for micing AMPs.

So there you have it - unless you are playing acoustic (and I'm guessing you aren't) I'd reccomend something like the NT1-A for a great high quality all rounder at about $200 a pop. SM57s if you want something cheaper and more rugged.

One possible gotcha - whatever you are recording this with you need phantom power for the NT1A, plus a microphone amplifier. Some inputs come with them, some don't - I'm not sure what interface you have now, and it sounds like you need a new one, so make sure it comes witn mic amps and phantom power, not all do.



Hmmm....Well we actually have some stuff thats played on 12 string acoustics, but its more towards just distorted guitar usually, out of say, 10 of our songs, 4 will have acoustics....so im goin to look at the NT1-A and interfaces with Phantom Power and such. and ill check out the K2 Tube Mic for the acoustics, ill only need one seeing as only about 40% of the stuff we play has acoustics.

This post has been edited by The Uncreator: Jun 3 2007, 03:35 AM
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ezravdb
post Jun 3 2007, 09:44 AM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Jun 3 2007, 12:23 AM) *
You need to install your ASIO drivers first. Then in Reaper you select ASIO as your playback subsystem in Options|Preferenced|Audio|Device and immediately under that you should see an option ofr the PodXT.

When you do this, all audoi from reaper will play back through your pod so make sute it is hooked up to an amp or you are using headphones.

Then, create a new track, arm it (with the R icon), press the record button on the transport and play away - works great for me smile.gif


this may sound pretty stupid but, whhere do I see a R icon? rolleyes.gif

thanks for your help btw


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Andrew Cockburn
post Jun 3 2007, 02:10 PM
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QUOTE (ezravdb @ Jun 3 2007, 04:44 AM) *
this may sound pretty stupid but, whhere do I see a R icon? rolleyes.gif

thanks for your help btw


When you have created a new track, the "R" icon is right under the track number.

Except I just noticed in the default color scheme its a green dot, not an R icon - sorry for that (I'm using one of the skins).


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Igorrr
post Jun 3 2007, 04:07 PM
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@The Uncreator

What kind of amps do you guys play? In case they're 'standard' combo amps I'd actually recommend using software amp sim solution such as Revalver MKII, Amplitube 2 or Guitar Rig 2.

Concerning the Sequencer Software I use Cubase 4, never tried Reaper but reading that it reaches 75% of Cubase, I'd really think about using it, thinking that I blead a lot of money into Cubase.

About Pro-Tools, IMO Pro-Tools LE (the one that comes as M-Powered or with the M-Box or Digi-00X series) is not to be confused with Pro-Tools TDM where you have hardware processors involved.
A friend of mine uses PT LE and loves it, I find that it misses some features specially in the virtual instrument and MIDI region.
Sonar from Cakewalk has become pretty strong and if they keep up the pace they're definitely going to beat Cubase (if they didn't already...)

Well all in all if Reaper is really that good it would be your best start.

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ezravdb
post Jun 3 2007, 08:39 PM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Jun 3 2007, 03:10 PM) *
When you have created a new track, the "R" icon is right under the track number.

Except I just noticed in the default color scheme its a green dot, not an R icon - sorry for that (I'm using one of the skins).


thanks works fine now smile.gif


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