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computer recording advice needed..

billyg121

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,315
simply put..i need advice on setting up a basic computer recording software.first,i have a little experiance with mutitracking software..but there seems to be so much on the market now.i just want to record my guitar directly into my computer.i dont need any amp modelers or anything,and i will supply all the guitar effects needed.then,maybe software to lay down some drum tracks.all other instruments i will record direct,bass vocals etc.do i need a recording interface,or can i just run right out of the mixer into the comp?thanks for any advice.
 

Nelson89

Member
Messages
3,615
You CAN run out of a mixer into the comp, but i would never recommend that, you're best off using an interface of some kind. Since you're using software for the drums, it sounds like you'd only need a 2 channel interface, i'd be searching this forum for all the interfaces you could use, this topic comes up every couple of threads. The options are slightly different depending on whether you're using a Mac or PC.

Oh one more thing, you say you will be recording your guitar directly into your computer, are you putting a mic in front of an amp?
 

billyg121

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,315
thanks for the info.i could mic the amp or use the recording out..which is actually pretty good.its a mesa mark iv.
 

Nelson89

Member
Messages
3,615
Well although I don't really use protools myself, maybe an mbox could be just what you need. 2 channel, and it comes with the software that's better than the software that's bundled with most 2 channel interfaces. Otherwise the idea would be to buy them separately. If you're planning on doing a lot of midi work, then I would opt for a different DAW, but if it's like you said mainly audio and program drums, then mbox already comes with bfd lite which is a drum plugin with some good sounds.
 

billyg121

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,315
na..no midi work.just simple drums,bass guitar and vocals.have any suggestions for a drum machine software?i still have an old copy of cool edit pro that may work ok for multitracking etc..so i may go that route..any idea how the line 6 pod farm stuff is?it seems to be pretty affordable.
 

Moe45673

Member
Messages
6,020
Drum software is MIDI. Unless you're using prerecorded loops, which are obviously somewhat limiting, software like Addictive Drums or EZDrummer or what have you are all MIDI based, so you will be using MIDI to program your own drumbeats. I currently use my mouse and cut/paste commands to create most of my drum tracks but will probably go for a MIDI controller at some point for easier use (and to start getting more out of MIDI, like piano parts and such).

For basic recording, you want an interface that accepts instrument, line, and XLR level signals. You also want a DAW (software based, like Logic [Mac only], Protools, Reaper [what I personally use], Cubase, Sonar, etc etc). Finally, you want decent studio monitors. Best bang for the buck seem to be the KRK Rockit series. Other things like software drums, the infamous Autotune, Effect/Amp modellers, or other plugins cost extra, unless you find some free ones (they exist and are good too!) or they come with your DAW.

You'll probably want a firewire interface. Lots of people use USB interfaces problem free, but there are those who run into latency issues with them. Firewire is a safer bet. If you need to buy a PCI Firewire card (I'm sure your computer has USB slots but you'll need Firewire ones), buy one with a TI chipset.

For the record, PCI interfaces are hands down the best. For a hobbyist like yourself, they can be a little too complicated and expensive for what you need.

The MOTU firewire interface is a pretty great piece of gear
http://www.motu.com/products/motuaudio/ultralite-mk3/

I personally have the Presonus Firestudio Mobile, which is great bang for the buck
http://www.presonus.com/products/Detail.aspx?ProductId=58

The truth is, though, any 2-channel interface in that price range will perform about as well as any others, unless they have QC issues
 

kludge

The droid you're looking for
Messages
7,104
I actually don't agree on the Firewire thing, unless you're on a Mac. PCs and Firewire are just too much hassle, in my experience. Latency isn't going to kill you if things are configured correctly and you're on a simple two-channel interface.

I hate to say that, because I think Firewire is a VASTLY superior protocol to USB, but Firewire simply isn't well supported in the PC world.
 

Moe45673

Member
Messages
6,020
Agreed, FW isn't supported. The truth is, I did have an issue with my first firewire card that I bought but that was mainly due to buying the first one that I saw. Only once I read the hardware requirements guide that Presonus put out did I buy a card specifically listed in their documentation and it works perfectly.
 

KCWM

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,800
For FireWire, I bought an SIIG card from Fry's that was recognized immediately by Windows 7 and worked just fine. In fact, the fan noise was significantly reduced when using it. However, I returned it and, based off of the number of reviews and rating, ordered http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815103103 because it has a TI chipset. I should be getting the card this week and I'll let you know how it works. I will have both an Alesis Multimix 8 Firewire and a recently received M-Audio Firewire 410.

The only issue I've had was with the Alesis and a BSOD when using it. This is something that was supposedly fixed with their Win7 drivers (at least according to the documentation included when they install), but my computer still got them. I think this has more to do with my upgrade from Vista to Win7, so I did a fresh install of Win7. I haven't had a chance to try the board out yet, but when I do, I'm hoping that the problem is resolved.
 

Jim Roseberry

Member
Messages
1,676
simply put..i need advice on setting up a basic computer recording software.first,i have a little experiance with mutitracking software..but there seems to be so much on the market now.i just want to record my guitar directly into my computer.i dont need any amp modelers or anything,and i will supply all the guitar effects needed.then,maybe software to lay down some drum tracks.all other instruments i will record direct,bass vocals etc.do i need a recording interface,or can i just run right out of the mixer into the comp?thanks for any advice.

Sounds like your needs are actually pretty simple.

1. Start with a simple (yet known rock-solid) audio interface.
The FastTrack Ultra offers low round-trip latency, has solid Win7x64 drivers, provides a Hi-Z switch for DI electric guitar, provides four inputs with preamps, and works well with any well-configured PC DAW.
If your needs are even simpler, have a look at the Audiophile 192.
(You'll still need mic preamps if you go this route)

2. Since your tracking/mixing is pretty simple/straight-forward, checkout Reaper for your host DAW application. Non-commercial license is $60 and it's packed with advanced routing/mixing capabilities.

Note: Firewire works just fine on a PC. Use a good TI chipset Firewire controller... and a known rock-solid audio interface (RME, MOTU, Steinberg) and you're golden.
That said, the FastTrack Ultra and it's bigger sibling the Ultra 8R are two of just three USB 2.0 audio interfaces that offer round-trip latency on par with the best PCI/e units.
The best PCIe units deliver round-trip latency of 5ms at a 64-sample ASIO buffer size/44.1k
The FastTrack Ultra/8r delivers round trip latency of 5.5ms at those same settings.
The other USB 2.0 audio interface that delivers low round-trip latency is the Fireface UC, which delivers 5.6ms round-trip latency at those same settings.
The Fireface UC also goes down to a 48-sample ASIO buffer size, which yields 4.5ms round-trip latency at 44.1k.

Round-trip latency is the sum of the following:
-ASIO input buffer
-ASIO output buffer
-A/D D/A coverter latency
-The driver's hidden safety buffer

If you plan to ever monitor thru software EFX/processing in realtime (as you're playing), you'll need an audio interface with low round-trip latency to effectively do this.
Even if you don't think it's important now, I'd highly recommend getting a unit that delivers low round-trip latency. A year from now, you may want to play/monitor thru one of the latest AmpSim plugins (especially nice for tracking at 2AM). :)
 

billyg121

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,315
wow jim..thanks for the info.very cool.any recommedation for drum track software?
 

Nelson89

Member
Messages
3,615
Addictive drums, superior drummer, EZ drummer and BFD are the big ones. BFD is probably the best sounding one (the one I've actually got) but it's expensive and there's a learning curve involved as it's a bit more geared towards engineers. There is still a BFD Eco version though which is stripped down, but still good sounds and you can use presets instead of processing everything yourself. EZ drummer is pretty good because as the name suggests, it's just easy to use. I haven't used the others but they all get good reviews.
 

Bob V

Member
Messages
1,185
There are a few new mixers released just at this year's NAMM which have USB interfaces - in and out - so you can use a computer as a recorder or as an outboard effects processor. The Allen & Heath Zed10-FX came with a free suite of software, but I believe the Behringer USB models have some package as well. These setups will have the basic two-channels (for instance, the "main mix" or a "record" or "aux" bus) going out to the USB with a stereo return. If you want multitrack recording with multiple channels being preserved separately and recorded, then you're getting into a multichannel firewire interface. At Sam Ash, they keep those in a separate room for recording stuff, whereas the USB capable mixers are displayed with the rest of the live PA gear.

Another option for an audio interface is to use a handheld recorder like the Zoom H4, or H2 (and they just introduced a stripped down model that's even cheaper). Not only will it work as a very convenient stand alone recorder for rehearsing, but you can plug it into your computer as a USB interface using microphones (built-in or external) or line inputs.

Lastly there are inexpensive USB microphones but they're not as versatile. Bottom line is you just need a way to get sound into your computer and you could use Garage Band for basic tracking and editing.

Then again, there's that iPhone connector toy that you can plug your guitar into.
 




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