I'm a Computer Recording Dummy

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Josh O, Feb 1, 2008.


  1. Josh O

    Josh O Member

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    Yes, dumb I tell ya. Here's what I've got. I have a very simplistic setup to just lay down some rough tracks at home. I have a Behringer Eurodesk UB1202 mixer, two mics going into it as well a Boss DR-3. I'm running the main outs of the Euro to my old Kenwood stereo to use it as a cheap monitor setup. I'm also running the tape outs via RCA cable to y-cable to 1/8" going into the line in on my computer's stock sound card. I have Cakewalk Sonar Home Studio 4, I bought it last year. I will say the sound card in my computer is typical crap integrated into the motherboard of my Sony dekstop. It's approx. four years old. I appear to have competing sound type cards with this computer as it has RCA ins to be able to dump video/audio feed into some specialized Sony software. In the hardware profile, I have a Soundmax Digital Audio card and also a Sony MPEG encoder card.

    Anyways, I gravitated to these RCA jacks the computer has and they didn't work. I ran the drum machine, got the levels set, came through the Kenwood just fine. No sound going into computer, so I switched to the 1/8" line jack on the basic sound card. Drums came in loud and clear through my computer speakers. I figured I was in busines!! Go to try and record the drums in Cakewalk, nothing. You can hear the drums coming through on the computer speakers so I know the sound is coming into the computer just fine but I'm getting no level indication on Cakewalk, no recorded sound. I'm used to the Sonar setup as I used to have Guitar Tracks 2 and I konw about arming, setting up the levels, etc.

    So I do some research, talk to Karl P. as he's got his computer setup pretty well going and the first obvious culprit was competing sound cards between the Soundmax and the Sony MPEG encoder board. So I disable each one and the Sony MPEG card does nothing, the Soundmax on its own gives me false hopes I'm in business as I get a little level showing up on Cakewalk but it's kind of low (-18) and adjusting levels in Cakewalk and also my mixer doesn't help to be as loud as possible without distorting the signal. So I try recording anways, I get squat, I can hear a faint and I mean faint, garbled, distorted and speed altered playback of the drums I recorded.

    When I run an audio wave profiler through Cakewalk of my sound card, the highest sampling rate I can get is 44.1KHz with a suggested buffer size of 185.8 msec. I'm rolling as a WDM driver, I remember futzing with the software when I first got it looking into the whole ASIO and MME drivers, getting a little confused and I finalyl just gave up. I realize that the sound card is a POS, giving me terrible sampling rates and latency issues. Coupled with that, I can't really even get a signal that I know is coming into the computer through to Cakewalk to record.

    Well, I'm back to wanting to lay down some rough tracks, working on stuff for the band and I can't get Cakewalk to play nice. I think I need a either a better interface between my mixer and my computer or just get something that takes the mixer out of the picture. Whatever it is I do, I want to do it on the cheap (like less than $150) so the likely choice is a PCI card like the M-Audio and Emu offerings.

    If I didn't have the mixer or Cakewalk, what would be a decent setup to be looking at for a modest price, say $200?
     
  2. Josh O

    Josh O Member

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    Picked up an M-Audio Fast Track USB interface box but I'm not digging it already, as soon as I hook it up, it overrides my internal sound card which I still wanted to use for my computer speakers. I think I need to move away from computer recording as it wasn't my intent to make this machine a dedicated DAW and get something standalone.
     
  3. Karl Paecht

    Karl Paecht Member

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    Got a Tascam 4 trk for ya:) You can still buy cassettes.
     
  4. Josh O

    Josh O Member

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    You think you funny ehh??? ;)

    I'll take the Korg D16 off your hands though!!! :dude
     
  5. Josh O

    Josh O Member

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    The Boss BR-600 is looking very very tempting.
     
  6. Josh O

    Josh O Member

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    So my original post said "I'm a Computer Recording Dummy". I should emphasize the word "DUMMY"!!! I bought a Boss BR-600 last night and just I was pulling it out of the box, I was still a PO'd that the Cakewalk Sonar program I spent over $100 on last year was going to waste so I dug back into it, my computer setup, my mixer setup etc etc and came up vicotorious. After disabling the mpeg encoder card again and and -ahem- plugging into the "right" jack on the soundcard, I got a strong signal from my mixer into Cakewalk. The damn input jacks on the back of the computer are labeled like absolute crap and it turned out I was jacked into the microphone input jack and not the line input jack that Cakewalk was looking for. I could've sworn I had already verified that good but I guess I didn't. DUHHH!! Well, much level changing had to be done with mixer to keep Cakewalk from over peaking and distorting the signal but all in all, I got what I needed. The sound quality could definetely be a helluva lot better, the sound card I have is limited to 44K and is WDM driver based but for now, it affords me the ability to do some rough recording.

    So the moral of the story, I'm a:horse
     
  7. jefesq

    jefesq Gold Supporting Member

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    BTW try the cakewalk forums. Generally good and quick reponses to problems like this and usually someone's been thru the exact one that you have.
    http://forum.cakewalk.com/default.asp
     

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