What Is It I Need?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Aldwyn, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. Aldwyn

    Aldwyn Member

    Messages:
    248
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Columbia, Maryland
    Ok, I want to change my studio up a bit. Here is what I have now:

    PC with WinXP, 1.44GHz CPU, 384mb of memory (going to upgrade to the max 512k)
    Sound Blaster Live!
    M-Audio Delta 44 which takes my mixes to an
    Alesis R100 Amp
    1 Pair of Alesis Monitor Ones (The old, non-powered ones)
    1 Pair of M-Audio StudioPro 3 monitors in the SB:Live!
    Sonar 3.1.1 Producer
    Alesis QS6.1 for MIDI
    Boss DrRhythm 770 Beat Box
    a couple of MidiMan MultiMixer 6s to hook all of this gear together
    PODXT
    A recently bought a Tascam US-122 Audio/MIDI Interface
    Boss BR8 Digital Recording Studio

    Currently, I am recording into the BR8, and then sneakernetting the ZIP disk from the BR8 over to the PC, convertingit to wav, and then loading it into Sonar for effects and mixdown.

    This is a pain. And I would like to record directly to the PC.

    What do I need to take the BR8 out of the equasion? What can I get to make my set up more effecient? A mixer? A control surface? Some other type of audio/midi interface?

    In the end, I think what I would like is something that has mic preamps built in, and the ability to interact with Sonar... that is, I would prefer to do my fading via sonar (or in sonar via a control surface). This device would need to allow me to plug in several items at once (like audio out from the keys, audio out from the beat box, vocal mike, guitar mike... etc...)

    I have been doing some research, but cant really figure out if I should be mixerless, or if I should get a mixer. Drop some of my things (like the R100 and the Sound Blaster), and or replace them with something newer? Etc...

    Any help you folks with some knowledge of these things wish to share would be apperciated!

    Oh... and I am not sitting on a pile of money. I have about $700 total at the moment to spend on upgrades. [​IMG]

    Peace,
    Aldwyn
     
  2. garfight

    garfight Member

    Messages:
    260
    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    tennessee
    i.ve been using an m-audio delta1010lt and an old mackie 1604 for my cheapo home recording setup and it works very well.it sounds like for the price range you are looking in that is gonna be your best bet.
    if you find a good enough deal on the mixer you would have some dough left over for a mic or some ram and you will be able to take all the other stuff out of the equation
     
  3. UnderTheGroove

    UnderTheGroove Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,256
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I would look into replaceing your Delta 44 with an audio interface that has mic pres. There are quite a few options out there depending on your budget. I use the RME Fireface 800, and have been very happy with it. M-audio, MOTU, and others also make interfaces with multiple inputs and include mic pres.
     
  4. straticus

    straticus Member

    Messages:
    3,101
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2003
    Location:
    Nevada City, Ca.
    The PreSonus FirePods are getting real good reviews. So good in fact, that I have a brand spankin' new FirePod of my own sitting right next to me. I'll be hooking it up for the first time later today.

    It has 8 sweet sounding mic pre amps and comes with Cubase LE but, from what I hear, works well with Sonar. Sweet interface, sweet price at $599. on the street. Plus there are some really nice package deals being offered right now.

    Here ya go http://www.presonus.com/firepod.html
     
  5. Aldwyn

    Aldwyn Member

    Messages:
    248
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Columbia, Maryland
    Thanks, guys... apperciate the input!

    The PreSonus is sort of what I am looking for, I think. What did you think of it now that you have had a little time to play with it?
     
  6. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

    Messages:
    2,178
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Aldwyn,

    You need a preamp that will connect to the Delta, preferably one with phantom power. I wouldn't concern myself with more than a couple of channels on the preamp, you could even get by with one. For $100-$200 you can get a decent preamp, spend $200 on mics if need be and have some change left over.

    You're wasting Sonar's capabilities by not using it to both record and to generate midi instrument sounds, especially drums and keyboards. 1.44 ghz is a little slow for a processor used for heavy daw work, but you can probably record 15-30 audio tracks per project depending on the use of plugins for effects. If you pile the effects on it will eat up the cpu cycles quickly.
     
  7. cranqued

    cranqued Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    449
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2003
    Location:
    Over hills, far away
    +1 on the preamp suggestion. I haven't tried it, but lots of people like the RNP and use it alongside preamps that cost much, much more.
     
  8. straticus

    straticus Member

    Messages:
    3,101
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2003
    Location:
    Nevada City, Ca.
    I haven't hooked mine up yet. Was planning on doing that yesterday but was too busy. My band is going to record here on Monday so I guess I'd better get to it soon!

    So, I haven't used my FirePod yet but I have a friend that has one and he gets great sounding tracks from it. Super easy to get up and running and very stable. I was using an Aardvark Q10 but they're out of business now so I'm switching to a company that's still operating. I was getting really nice sounding tracks with the Aardvark and, from what I've read, the PreSonus sounds even better. If the PreSonus sounds better than the Aardvark (or if it even sounds as good) I'll be very happy with it. I plan on getting another FirePod and chaining them together for a total of 16 inputs at once. If you plan on ever recording a band your in (making a band demo, etc.) you're going to need the 8 XLR inputs the FirePod comes with.

    I would suggest buying one from some place like Musicians Friend that gives you time to try it (45 days with MF) and send it back if it doesn't work for you. Don't know why it wouldn't work for you but you pretty much can't go wrong with a deal like that.:AOK
     
  9. Aldwyn

    Aldwyn Member

    Messages:
    248
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Columbia, Maryland
    I actually have been really unhappy with the soft synth sounds I get from Sonar. At least with the ones that actually come with Sonar Producer. I do a bit of blues, so I need a good horn section for some of my tunes, and so far the horns in the soft synth sound no better then the rinky dink GM sounds out of my Sound Blaster: Live!.

    My goal at some point in the first half of 2006 is to buy a new module like the Ronald Fantom XR or a Korg Triton. This will end up serving two purpouses... 1 is that it will upgrade my midi controled tone capabilities above the Alesis QS6.1's patches, and 2 will not eat CPU cycles like a soft symth will! At the very least, it will tide me over for a couple of years until I can shell out the money for a new PC that can handle the soft synths which have the great sounding tone banks!

    I am pretty happy with my mics at the moment... I use the old standby SM58 for micing my amp, usually, and an Audio Technica AT4040 for vocals, and acoustic micing. Sometimes, I combine the two (and/or add a SM58) to get more depth.

    Thanks again, everyone!
     
  10. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

    Messages:
    2,178
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Cakewalk provides the basic tools only, but you're really only limited by the loops/samples/soundfonts used, some of which must be purchased. For drums I use the free SFZ soundfont player from RGC Audio (now owned by Cakewalk) with soundfonts purchased from Sonic Implants. The drum sounds I'm getting are superb.

    There are several great free synth plugins available, namely Synth1 and Organized Trio. I'll complile a list of free plugins if you'd like.

    Bass guitar has posed a problem. I tried using soundfonts and synth-generated bass, but the results were far from satisfactory. I ended up buying a bass guitar and using the H&K Tubeman as a DI preamp for bass tracks.
     
  11. Aldwyn

    Aldwyn Member

    Messages:
    248
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Columbia, Maryland
    If you have those free synth sites handy, I would be much obliged for a listing!

    I do have some samples I have purchased... mainly bass and drums... which I tend to use on my recordings (as loops, though) rather then the beat box.

    And I know what you mean about the bass. Even with a simple I-IV-V pattern, the bass starts to go askew. Like in this tune... (Like an Old Brown Shoe) where the bass and drums are both loops.

    Thanks!
    Aldwyn
     

Share This Page