Hi folks! I'm in a band who have tended to half home record stuff ourselves, and for the important stuff we would head to a decent studio. We started off on 4-track, then 8-track and most recently the Zoom HD16CD but think it is time to step up into the computer age!
Whilst I realise you probably won't get a million dollar glossy production from a basic home set up, I am hoping we can get good clean recordings on a computer without having to worry about bouncing tracks!
OK, so I will admit that I find the different options are quite daunting but I think basically what we are looking for is....
A) A computer - Yes, we need to buy a specific one for the band and ideally a laptop for flexibility. Ideally for under £400 but with enough memory etc to handle the job, and also does the soundcard quality matter if I use a interface?
B) An interface - This is the bit that I really was clueless about but I think I am narrowing down the options. I need to know literally how to get the sound from our drums/guitars/vocals etc into the computer! I've heard direct to a good soundcard might be the best way but is this an option with a laptop? With this option, would I need to buy a mixer or something to get all the live drum tracks onto the computer? The 2nd option I see is a firewire interface, and the 3rd is a usb 2.0 interface.
C) A DAW computer program - I think at first we will get a basic version then if need be upgrade later when funds allow.
After reading about a bit my preferred option at the moment is to buy a laptop (not really looked into that side yet... any recommendations?), and a Tascam US-1641. Whilst I know many people seem to recommend firewire over usb 2.0 and there may be a small risk of latency issues, on the whole from the reviews I have read it seems to be a good unit which would do the job in a simple way and has enough inputs to record drums without a mixer etc. A bonus would also be that it comes with Cubase LE4 which may be ok to at start off with, and if not I am thinking of trying out the $60 Reaper program. Is there a firewire alternative to the Tascam US-1641 (with enough inputs to record drums live and in the same price range)? We are hoping to get the whole set up for under £800 (don't worry - we have mics and instruments already!)
So, any thoughts or recommendations on this? Am I missing anything? I'm very much a noob when it comes to these things so any help is genuinely appreciated!