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Thread: Want to start a home recording studio what do i need

  1. #1
    Richie is offline Newbie
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    Hello Guys:
    I'm new to the whole recording studio I know i want to be a recording engineer and want to start a setup at home but i need help from you guys on what equipment do i need to get like Computer...Beat Machine....midi interface...etc... I love hip-hop & reggae.
    please help me I know you guys don't really like newbies Thank You
    P.S Don't have Alot of money but willing to make things happen.



    [This message has been edited by Richie (edited 03-26-2000).]

  2. #2
    Enigma.XI is offline Newbie
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    Well, I guess it depends on who you ask. I personally suggest an AMD k6-3 or Athalon processor. You don't need to overkill the megahertz, right now, a 400 to 500mhz system is pretty good. You will need to take into account that AMD's are not tested on a lot of sound cards (as I've recently learned) and sound card selection is very important.

    A fast hard drive is a must, and you'll need a good amount of Gigabytes for studio work. I've seen some get by on an 8 gig system, but I suggest a fast 20-40 gig system simply because it won't limit you for a long time. Keep in mind, with the PC, you can start small and work your way up, so a mega-system is not necessary, you just need fast components.

    I say 128mb of RAM is a must, but the more, the better.

    Software? I'm partial to Sonic Foundry Vegas Pro...but some swear by Cakewalk...especially for the MIDI side of things...

    Good monitors are also a must, after all, if you can't hear exactly what's been recorded, your final mix may suffer when the listener actually plays it back. Either get an external amp an wire a pair of studio monitors to it, or get powered monitors to run out of your sound card. The new Alesis powered monitors are supposed to be pretty good, I use JBL's and I absolutely love them.

    Whatever you do, if you're serious, buy Professional gear, don't get hardware made for audio entertainment (Sound Blaster sound cards or Altec Lansing Pc speaker systems) you and your music will only suffer because of it...

    I am new to PC recording, but I build computers and manipulate programs pretty well, so I'm in some of the same boat as you are...good luck.

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    I agree with everything but the AMD issue. The athlon is a good processor, but as mentioned, there are some hardware issues with certain soundcards. (not with the processor itself, but the chipset, so these problems *may* disappear)

    The AMD K6-2 and K6-3 are worthless for most multimedia applications. You're pissing your money away. We can go into the various reason AGAIN...but let's not. Do a search in this forum.

    Right now a PII-400 can be had for $129. A Celeron 400 Slot 1 can be had for $70. There's no reason to go with an AMD to save 30 bucks.

    The faster your processor, the more freedom you'll have with DX (and other various) processors/effects.

    Slackmaster 2000

  4. #4
    BLISS is offline Senior Member
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    Talking

    Richie, whewww an engineer, your gonna need a mixer first, well let me run it down, what you may need. You like Hip Hop & Raggae, o.k.

    Computer- 128 meg of RAM or better PC/MAC
    (your choice)
    Mixer -- very open Mackie is the cheapest
    MPC200 - (8 outputs)drum machine,sampler
    the most used in Hip Hop
    Keyboard --very open, if you want a sampler/sequencer
    Software -- for your computer, you wont be able to do nuffin if you dont have software
    Cubase, Digital Performer, ProTools etc..

    instead of a computer, you can get a harddisk recorder VS 1680, 880 etc.. after you get most of this to be an engineer/producer cause with all of this you will learn how to produce also, to engineer sessions, you may need to read a lot of books or go take a class, cause engineering is by ear but also by time committed dedication. and that's that yo! hope this gives you a visual of what to do. One..


  5. #5
    Cliff is offline Junior Member
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    I'm not generally one to nitpick but there are many mixers out there that are cheaper than mackies. Now if you said it was the cheapest that sounds good, I might agree with you on that. Also since most of the sounds in rap and hip hop are sampled, he may be able to get by with something like a dual preamp and bypass a mixer all together.

  6. #6
    Richie is offline Newbie
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    Thank Guys
    That help alot but won't i need a midi interface to transfer the signal to the computer how about a sound card, monitors.
    More help is need Thanks


  7. #7
    nodark is offline Junior Member
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    I'm a newbie as well and a cheap one at that. For a soundcard, I'd suggest the Wave/424 from www.gadgetlabs.com (it's the cheapest 24/96 soundcard with ASIO2 drivers that I've found) and check the e-dealz as well. The card and Alesis Monitor One speakers for under $600. For sequencing software, I'd suggest Cubase. Many say that Cakewalk is easier but Cubase has more "options" such as the VST instruments like Reaktor and Retro I would suggest the Abit BP6 motherboard running dual celerons as a base for your new system. I've seen places on www.pricewatch.com advertising the board and two 533mhz for about $380. The only drawback is that you'll have to use NT or Windows 2000 to be able to use both processors and unfortuneately, the previously mentioned card doesn't have Win2k drivers yet and you'll need an amp for the speakers. I've contact the tech support and they stated the drivers were due sometime late spring (whenever the hell that is?).
    Hope some of this babble is of use to you...

  8. #8
    Enigma.XI is offline Newbie
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    Question

    Well, not to nitpick, but about the AMD issue. It can go either way. The Pentium will DEFINITELY be tested on more hardware, but as for speed...

    1. The AMD is capable of more floating point operations than the pentium, which makes a ton of differences with multimedia issues.

    2. The AMD k6-3 has level 3 cache, which means, if you buy a board with level 3 cache, you have more cache, which translates into more speed. With the AMD, you get an internal 256KB L2 write-back cache operating at the full speed of the AMD-K6-III processor and complementing the 64KB L1 cache on the K6-3. It also has a multiport internal cache design, enabling simultaneous 64-bit reads and writes to both the L1 cache and the L2 cache and 4-way set associative L2 cache design enabling optimal data management and efficiency. This all translates to a maximum combined system cache that is unsurpassed in the desktop PC industry.

    The AMD-K6-III processor's total internal cache size is 320KB (64KB internal L1 cache plus 256KB internal L2 cache), while Pentium III processor's total internal cache is only 32KB (the size of its L1 cache). The L2 cache of Pentium III is external, runs at half the processor speed, and is limited to 512KB. In addition, the AMD-K6-III supports an external L3 cache capability, while Pentium III does not.

    The Pentium is limited to a 512kb cache, while AMD has a total of 2048kb available...

    BUT, again, most people have pentiums already, so don't throw away a pentium based machine, unless you REALLY want an AMD and you've got the bucks to blow. And MAKE SURE your sound card has been TESTED with whatever processor you have.

  9. #9
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    Hmm dude, sounds like you know how to read spec sheets....

    You are correct that the PIII didn't originally have a full speed L2 cache. In fact, it was pretty much a PII at higher clock speeds (both AMD and Intel are guilty of releasing bogus chip revisions). Coppermine PIII's have a full speed 256K internal L2 cache.

    You are correct, though, in stating the the K6-III processor has a larger, faster ("tri-level") caching scheme than the traditional PIII processors, and will perform somewhat better in non-multimedia business applications.

    But all that aside. Who cares? Nobody here, because cache has little to do with performance when it comes to applications that require great FPU support. The K6 series does not have a faster FPU, and I'd like to know where you heard that. A Celeron will outperform a K6-III when it comes to realtime sound processing.

    You might have meant the Athlon, however.

    Slackmaster 2000

    [This message has been edited by Slackmaster2K (edited 03-28-2000).]

  10. #10
    Gabriel is offline Junior Member
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    It never ends, does it?

    There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with using a AMD K6-2 or especially K6-3 for recording!! You're right, it doesn't have a better FPU than the Pentium III, but I have never had any problems or complaints using my K6-3/450 for recording. Not to say there is anything wrong with Intel's products, but to say the K6 line is 'worthless' for multimedia??? Way out of bounds there.

    That notwithstanding, I wanted to let people know that they don't have to go with overpriced Intel processors to get the job done. For most of us, it's all about price.

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