High quality audio recording - getting started

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Plymouthbreezer, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #1
    Alright. So, a great deal of my friends are involved in the local band scene, or solo recording. Recently, a number of people have approached me asking me to record them and help produce their stuff. Now I can always learn audio software, but I have lots of questions. First off, I'm thinking I'll need a new computer that can run some processor intensive software (all my current computers are 3 years old or older). I might buy an Intel iMac (17") or a new iBook (13" model) for the time being until I get enough money to buy a MBP in a few years. Either way, I'll still need to buy software and cables and other accessories. What exactly I need I have no clue. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #2
    high-quality means money. it means mics and preamps and converters and a treated room and a trustyworthy monitoring chain. it also means experience.

    it has very little to do with the computer.

    how much you ready to drop on this project? ten grand? fifty?
     
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #3
    Some of the biggest records in the business were recorded on Power Macintosh 8600's/9600's, so the machine's power is not the determining factor. Any G4 Macintosh should be enough to run the recording software. What gets tricky is when you want to run a gazillion soft synths, reverbs and effects simultaneously. Its a matter of scale and expectations.
     
  4. Plymouthbreezer thread starter macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #4
    I guess I should have specified that I do have a somewhat limited budget. I also don't need super fine quality, just something good enough to not be crappy.
     
  5. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #5
    you need the basics. start reading all the audio recording magazines around in the bookstores. they will have ads, reviews, articles, and tips on startup to professional audio recording. This will get you start and throw you in the "culture" of it all. Plus seeing all the ads and software out there will give you good material to research. While at the book store I'd look for any books on the subjects. Search the internet as well. There is a lot of technical jargon and theory that goes into audio recording. For example, the difference between 16 bit and 24 bit audio. another example is which sounds better tube-based or transistor based amp? basically, you just need to do some homework, and figure out what you need.
     
  6. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #6
    those are better expections on a limited budget and certainly doable. i suggest you start with the primer.
     
  7. Plymouthbreezer thread starter macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #7
    Thanks for the link! That'll help get me started. :)

    So here's a question...

    PCMCIA Sound card for my TiBook, or USB interface (could be used on all my computers)? What would be better?
     
  8. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #8
    "better" is all relative to your needs, which we don't know. one place to start is with simultaneous channels. if it's more than 2, USB won't cut it.
     
  9. thumper macrumors 6502

    thumper

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    Location:
    Under the Sea
    #9
    For Budget Recording, heres what you need

    Buy yourself an Mbox.
    the Mbox is great cuz you get Protool with it and
    a bunch of plugins... all youll need really for your budget recording.
    [​IMG]

    then buy yourself a cheap mixer.
    Behringer are the KINGS for budget recording.
    and to be honest, it doesnt sound that bad for what your paying for.
    the number one song right now on America Top 40 Daniel Powert "Bad Day"
    was recorded in his little apartment in vancouver with this stuff and it sounds
    pretty good... not to mention it was mastered in a real studio... but it
    just goes to show ya.
    [​IMG]

    Next youll need Mics.
    "Apex" and "studio projects" are AMAZINGLY awesome for cheap mics!
    [​IMG]

    even the biggest studios are using these mics now.

    So there you go, a working studio and its under $1000
    perfect for a budget recording.

    all you need now is some experience so you can look as cool as
    this guy... .. girl.. ... guy.. ya i think its a guy
    [​IMG]

    Buying the gear is the EASY part...
     
  10. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    As for the computer, save quite a few bucks (and get more ports/options for ins) by buying a used G4 tower. I've recorded off a G4 (and now a modded G3 tower, upped to a G4 550mHz) for years. The only real difference is patience, waiting for tracks to write to disc from cache (this can take a while, but not hours, more like 30 seconds to a minute). I've never had any problems, and the signal is just that--a signal. So better to invest in solid mics and good software than waste money on a G5, as it's really more power than you need.

    By the way, we do all our recording using an old version of Cubase running on OS9. And it works just fine, we even do a lot of mixing in it (though we like mixing through analog gear a lot more than digital plug-ins, so we run out and back in).

    I work in the industry (NOTE: I'm not an engineer, at least not full time), and almost every studio that I've been to runs on a Mirror Door or earlier G4, none of them bothered jumping up to G5, which turned out to be real smart as the Mac standard won't be PPC anymore, so they'll need to upgrade hardware in the next couple years to use the newest software.

    Point is to find a set up that works and use it until you can't anymore. With the current level of software and hardware, it seems unnecessary to buy above a G4, especially if you aren't planning on making a career of it. Just my (very long) two cents. :)
     

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