need advice on genral studio equpment

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by mxecho, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. mxecho macrumors newbie

    mxecho

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #1
    Hi, i'm kinda new to the music recording/editing scene, and I recently got a 13.3in macbook with the 2 ghz cor 2 duo in it. After a short time I noticed that I have a bass and this shinny new computer so I put 2 and 2 together and deiced that my friends and I need to hang out more to record some stuff. this leads me to my question. What equipment would give me the most bang for my buck, and would be the most helpful for a handful of up and coming musicians? I have about $500 to spend for now hopefully more very soon.
     
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #2
    The very first question to ask is WHAT will you be recording. Vocals? How many at one time. Guitar? Will it be direct input or will you want to mic the amp. Keyboards? If so will you record MIDI or use the line-out or SPDIF What about drums? Do you have real drums or electric? What will be playing all at once? You have to make up a list. What space will you use? Must the system be portable?

    One idea is to start small and work up but to do that you have to plan ahead buying a system that has an growth path.
     
  3. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #3
    A good start would be the Alesis Multimix USB. While it would ideally be Firewire based, it does the job and does it very well considering it's cost.

    It'll allow you to connect all the common types of mics (dynamics - your usual 'SM58' type and condensers - your Rode NT1-A etc).
     
  4. mxecho thread starter macrumors newbie

    mxecho

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #4
    Im not sure on all the details but i do know this. it will be live most of the time some times one at a time, real drums, keyboard will most likely use the line out along with all the other instruments, i do have a piano to account for and 2 or three vocalist. The system would be nice portable but i would enjoy better quality than portability. The one wonderful thing is my Recording Area believe it or not theirs more to why i decided to do this. I have a recording studio in my barn. To tell the truth its not any more but a little bit of sound proofing it ill be back to what it was. Im set up with a drum riser, monitors, the previously stated piano, my ibanez sr300dx and martian prototype acoustic still beautiful, and a ton of miscellaneous instruments from a Jew's harp to an autoharp. That's about all i can pull off the top of my head. Thanks

    P.S. when it comes down to it my buddies are helping out equip the place we hope to pull together a few grand along with any equipment they have mostly cables, mics, and instruments.
     
  5. CalumC macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #5
    You definitely want a firewire interface if you're recording that many people live at once, and unless you're willing to spend a serious amount of money, it rules out digidesign and as such Pro Tools as your DAW. I'd go with logic personally, but virtually any DAW will be fine. I recently bought an Alesis IO14, which has 4 xlr/line ins and an adat in for future expansion. I'd say that to keep it simple, you'd want 8 xlr ins so that you can record live (there is the Alesis IO26, 8 xlr, 2 adats). Having said that, once you get into recording more, you might actually find yourself doing more overdubbing than you originally thought and might get away with the 4 ins. Depends on drum kit preference as well, you can get a drum kit sorted with 3 microphones if you position it right.

    If you have got monitors then you obviously want a decent set out of outputs, then you can send different outs to each monitor should band members want that. If you are using monitors properly, that also means you could use keyboards for midi and be able to hear it in the monitor mix.

    Good luck.
     
  6. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #6
    "serious" is subjective, and i reckon it would apply to PT HD, but do you mean to say that PT-M and PTLE are "seriously" expensive when compared to Logic?
     
  7. CalumC macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #7
    I mean in the sense that if you want to record 8 instruments at once using pro tools, you're going to be paying a lot, compared to logic. I only know this in UK £, and there is the student discount, but still. Brand new, the digi 003 rack with i think 4 xlr and adat in costs around £800-1000 or something like that, and below that its the mbox 2 pro, which only has 2 xlr ins and spdif which for the OP is virtually useless. In an ideal world he'll be buying a full mixing desk going to Pro Tools HD but we'd be talking upwards of £3000.

    However, your point, ignoring what I just wrote, no PT isn't that expensive per se, I have serious problems with the pricing of their mbox line based on what is offered in the interface. If they added an ADAT in to the pro then I'd be happy.
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #8
    This is good. Your $500 budget was otherwise totally unrealistic. Mics alone cost at least $100 each or much more

    What you need is a Firewire audio interface with about 8 XLR inputs and some software. Seeing as this is an Apple forum there will be a bias to Logic. Logic Express 8 now sells for $199. Yes they make a "studio" version but you will not be adding loops and what not so "express" has what's needed.

    The interface will likely come bundled with some DAW software. Use it if you like but there is a large learning curve on any software. You will invest so much of your time in learning that you had best to learn what you like and want to use and not worry about saving $200. 100 hours of your time to come even 1/3rd of the way up to speed is worth morethan $200 (I hope.)

    People will argue this but all of the 8 input fire wire interfaces are about the same or close enough that you can buy based on featur list and brand preference. But then I'm far from an expert on this

    One more thing: There is a lot to learn. Start SMALL. Try a one mic setup first then add a second. Recording a drum set two guitars, keyboard and a few vocalists is a job for someone with lots of experience.

    What you might do is buy a small interface, one with two XLR inputs then later expand it. You can use several interfaces al at nce on the same FW bus
     
  9. mxecho thread starter macrumors newbie

    mxecho

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #9
    The problem with that is my computer lacks a firewire port the only option is a firewire to usb cable and that is not 800mbps.
     
  10. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #10
    you're not going to be able to get 8 channels over USB.
     
  11. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #11
    OP -- here's the best advice i can give you...

    pick your software first, then your hardware. head down to your local Guitar Center and try out PT, Logic, Cubase, Digital Performer, Live -- whatever they have installed and running.

    ask for someone or someones who are familiar with the software to give you a tour. see what you have to do in each program to set up for record, record a take, edit the waveforms, and set up for a mix. see which programs make sense to you and which don't. do NOT buy a program that confounds you, frustrates you, or seems like a PITA.

    buy the one that makes sense to you and suits your workflow. only then should you consider which hardware to get.

    there's nothing worse than dropping a lot of money on something that gets in your way when you're trying to be creative.
     

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