Starting a home studio

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by mjarema414, Nov 1, 2008.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    #1
    Since there is so much gear out there, I thought I'd write in and ask some of you. I've been thinking of getting a macbook pro for recording along with either an apogee A/D unit or a digi 002. I was fooling around with the idea of getting a Mac G5 but I thought that I could use the macbook at gigs. In addition, It sounds like many people use Logic with their macbook. What do some of you recommend for starting a home studio? I'm thinking maybe I don't need a macbook and can get a dell or something cheaper that would be just fine. However, I don't want to skimp and have to sell things off to buy better equipment. I understand good preamps are expensive along with converters. I'd like to mix using faders instead of a mouse. I know the digi 002 uses firewire which is easy but wouldn't know how to intergrate an outboard mixer. People say the digi 002 converters are garbage which makes me hesitate to buy it. Anyway, if any of you have insight on what to buy or what works well for you, I'd appreciate hearing about it. Thanks very much.
     
  2. macrumors 68030

    Drumjim85

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #2
    the first question you need to answer is what DAW do you want to work in... and that will pretty much allow me to suggest hardware..

    Yes, the 002's converters aren't great... but the 003's are much improved (still not amazing though).
    If you get into the PT-LE, i would recommend you actually get m-powered and get a m-audio interface. You'll have a lot more options, and you can get a comparable interface for a lot cheaper...
    I'd also recommend you get a sound card and controller (with faders) separately. Mackie's control universal is decent, and euphonix just released an amazing little controller (although that's a bit more expensive)

    ps. 1500th post :)
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    #3
    Well, I have limited experience with recording so I don't really know what I need. I guess since I've seen protools used the most, I'd go with that as a start. You mentioned a soundcard. Would this be in addition to say a digi 003? I thought that I could just make connections through firewire and wouldn't have to use a soundcard. How would I use a soundcard with the macbook pro? I don't mind spending some money, but I just need help with the order of operation end of things starting with a good computer dedicated to recording only. I really enjoy doing live sound in addition to playing in a band and have basic knowledge of how things work from a live sound perspective. Thanks for any insight.
     
  4. macrumors 68030

    Drumjim85

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #4
    sorry for any confusion... the 003 would be your soundcard ... its just a term i used, could also be switched for interface ...

    order of operations:
    mic
    preamp
    AD converter
    daw
    DA converter
    speakers

    most interfaces have converters, some have preamps. the more stuff you single out (not all in the same box) the better things will be, but that can also cost a lot of money.
    really good preamp:$1k really good converter $800

    SO: the 003 has 8 ADC and 8 DAC (maybe more for monitor out?) 4 preamps and interfaces with your computer/DAW (in this case Protools).

    my home setup:
    good preamp, converter, interface fedding the computer.


    but as i said before i would look at m-audio's higher end/bigger interfaces and get m-powered protools (practically the same as LE)
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    #5
    Do you have friends that have recording studios? Try out what programs they are running to get a feel for it.

    I went with the basics, Native Instuments Audio 8 DJ, Logic Studio, Rokit 5 G2, M-Audio Keystation 88es, Ultrasone Headphones and Xone headphones.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    #6
    Thanks for the help with this. Great explanation. I'll check out the M-audio stuff. I'm not sure if I'll go with a macbook or G5. Thanks again for the insight.
     
  7. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    #7
    Are you looking at a used desktop or something? Why get a G5? From what i hear the intel macs smoke the G5's.

    Definately look into which DAW you're going to want to use. Start there then that will help with your interface choices. If you're working with other musicians, check out which DAW they're using. It's always nice to be compatible with those that you're working with.

    And then when you're deciding on an interface, you need to know what exactly you're going to be recording. How much i/o are you going to really need? For some instances a 002 or 003 would be overkill. Maybe you could get by with an mbox, or a smaller m-powered set-up. I hear the apogee duet sounds really nice. If you're thinking of getting Logic, they interface very well together. But if you want to record a drums or the whole band, your going to need more than the duet.

    It's a great time to get into home recording. The cost of technology has made some really great gear accessible to everyone. Good luck with your decisions! You'll find some good advice around here if you need it.
     
  8. macrumors 68030

    Drumjim85

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #8
    another good think to keep in mind is that osx 10.6 + may (probably) won't support PPC computers, there for you'll be stuck in an older OS, and there for eventually stuck in a older DAW.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    #9
    I plan on recording drums down the road which is why I'm leaning more toward protools. The Digi 003 seems like a good unit but I'm definitely going to look into the M-audio stuff. I'm not too familiar with Logic but am interested in learning more about it before I make any purchases.

    Is it possible to put an A/D converter before or after the 003? Say if I wanted to get an apogee A/D unit, where would it go in relation to the unit itself?

    Lastly, How is the M-audio project mix I/O ? I've been checking this out online and the information suggests that the mic pres are better than the 002/003. Thanks.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    #10
    Would an apogee duet be good for recording a duo? Say two acoustic guitars/two vocals? Just wondering. From what I've been reading it seems great for solo acts or two instrumentalists.
     
  11. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    #11
    I think it would be possible, although maybe not ideal if you wanted to record both of you simultaneously. For starters, you only have 2 mic pre amps plus 2 1/4" balanced TRS inputs. That means you'd either have to have acoustic/electric guitars plugged into the TRS inputs or have another external pre amp to mic the guitars as well as your vocals. Sure it'd work, but definately not ideal. Then you only have 1 headphone output for the both of you. So you'd need a headphone amplifier as well, or a splitter adapter of some sort.

    I've heard the 003 unit is an improvement over the 002 if you're looking to go that route. There's the 003+ coming out this month too. It has 8 mic pre's instead of 4. You'd for sure have enough i/o to record the entire band with the 003+. M-powered is fine, you could get a profire 2626 which has 8 pres, and get the software for a little less than a 003. I do some research though to make sure all the m-audio drivers are playing nicely with whatever OS you'll be using.

    Logic is worth checking out if you do any midi. But PT8, which should be out in another month or two, looks to have improved greatly in the midi department. Looks kind of like Logic now:) Logic is exclusive to Mac as well, so that might influence your decision depending on what computer you decide to go with.
     
  12. macrumors 68030

    Drumjim85

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #12
    protools 8 should be out sometime this month ... (but if you buy any protools now, you'll get 8 for free)
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Location:
    Newengland usa!
    #13
    yes the apogee is a solid unit check out the reviews done on the board about it.
     

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