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Basic computer recording setup recommendations?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by trumpus, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. trumpus

    trumpus Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2005
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Hey all,

    I'm a guitarist/singer/songwriter, and i am a complete newbie to computer recording, but i was interested in suggestions for a moderately priced and easy to use computer recording setup. The only recording experience i have (on my own) is with a Tascam analog 4-track (which i've since sold). Right now, all i have, equipment-wise is an SM-58 mic and my guitar rig. I even sold my mic stand and cables (but kept the mic, figuring i'd need it again eventually).

    I am mainly looking for a small setup that will allow me to record ideas/personal jams for my electric rig (either direct or mic'ing my amp) and acoustic tunes with 1 or 2 vocal tracks and 1 or 2 guitar/mando/banjo/bass tracks) - very simple, just something to get my ideas in a form i can listen to and share, with a good, beginner/intro into the world of computer recording.

    I have a new Dell Inspiron 8600 laptop (sorry, no Macs here), so i'd need something that would work well with this...

    I am looking for suggestions for:
    - a USB/Firewire interface with basic software
    - 1 or 2 microphones to mic an acoustic guitar, vocals, and/or the room
    - an inexepensive pair of studio monitors - nothing fancy, just a way to hear what i record out loud.

    I have been looking at the M-Audio Black Box - i know it's role as an interface isn't it's strongest point (the effects and drum tracks are a more important part) - but the price is right and figuring i'm not playing with a band - it seems perfect. A friend just picked one up and uses it for a simiar application - and loves it.

    Any other ideas?

  2. Stevo57

    Stevo57 Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2003
    Northern Calif. Bay Area
  3. gassyndrome

    gassyndrome Member

    Sep 12, 2005
    sunny Australia
    I have had a Digidesign M-Box for a couple of years, and it pretty much sounds like what your after. A couple of inputs (switchable to line, mic or instrument level), decent preamps, Pro Tools LE - plus you can always use your session files on bigger PT systems, with perfect compatibility. With Rewire you can integrate it with Reason, Reaktor or whatever other programs float your boat. Cool little thing :)

    I believe theres a new version out now, with added effects and things in the package. Anyone care to comment on the M-Box 2?
  4. flatfinger

    flatfinger Member

    Mar 26, 2005
    $an diego
    I have enjoyed using " Tracktion" from mackie, It's marketed as being eaisier to pick up and and I would reccomend it because it's only got one screen. If your computer literate, you can click around and get started quickly. Ther are nuggets buried in the help pages however. Anytime you get new software theres going to be a learning curve. I feel that in the year or so I've had it , It's been a good start , before moving on to the Pro tools type of stuff.It's also a much smaller investment( $150, Bundled w/ some goodies) should you ultimatley not have the time or get burned out.


    Just My $.02
  5. Tone Disciple

    Tone Disciple Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2005
    Deep in the Heart of Texas
    Stevo57 -

    Thanks for the recommendation! Lots of good stuff on this site.

    My question was similar to the thread's original theme - I just got $500 for my birthday (several sources) and want to be able to record and possibly post sound clips here and elsewhere. I have two laptop PC's with Windows XP and about 512 RAM in each. So - I was wondering - MBox II w Pro Tools LE? Would I get lock up often because of low RAM or have issues with the interface. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I only have USB on both laptops, no firewire.

    Still interested in the original thread - what would you guys do with your $500?

    Wanting to work more on improving my playing than diddling with the computer -

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