Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Absolute beginner in need of setup advice!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Absolute beginner in need of setup advice!

    Sign in to disable this ad
    Hi all,

    I'm trying to set up a pretty basic home recording studio (just recording vocals and classical guitar). I have a regular PC laptop, a Rode NT1A condenser mic and a Xenyx 1202 mixer. Anyone willing to forgive my ignorance and let me know what else I need? I have a general idea, but it would be really nice to make sure before I go out and make bad-purchasing-decisions.

    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Age
    40
    Posts
    238
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    28912
    what are the specs of your computer and what software are you using?
    is your recording and mixing space acoustically treated?
    do you plan on eventually expanding to record drums, electric guitars, etc?

    the Rode NT1a is a great start.

    for acoustic and vocals, a monitor with 5" or 6.25" woofers should be fine. check out Wharfdale 8.2a, KRK Rockit RP-5 and RP-6. However, if you plan on adding other elements such as bass guitar, drums, etc then you're better off with a set of monitors with an 8" woofer. Expect to spend up to $500 here.

    I'd also replace that Behringer mixer with an audio interface. that will act as your mixer and soundcard for your laptop. A Presonus Inspire ($150) is a good start in this area.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Age
    32
    Posts
    368
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    53046
    I love Behringer, and I have many of their gear.
    However using a Rode NTK through a small behringer mixer... humm...
    Get a decend one channel pre-amp with included USB/Firewire interface instead.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Southeast Florida
    Age
    64
    Posts
    4,635
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
    Rep Power
    4732883
    My obligatory standard reply that I keep in Wordpad:

    First off, immediately get a good beginner recording book (spend $20 before spending hundred$/thousand$) that shows you what you need to get started and how to hook everything up in your studio:
    Home Recording for Musicians by Jeff Strong - $15
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/076...books&v=glance
    (Wish I'd had that when I started; would have saved me lots of money and time and grief)

    Good Newbie guides that also explains all the basics:
    http://www.tweakheadz.com/guide.htm
    http://www.computermusic.co.uk/page/..._beginner_pdfs

    21 Ways To Assemble a Recording Rig:
    http://www.tweakheadz.com/rigs.htm

    Also Good Info:
    http://www.theprojectstudiohandbook.com/directory.htm

    Other recording books:
    http://musicbooksplus.com/home-recording-c-31.html


    Plenty of software around to record for free to start out on:

    Audacity: http://audacity.sourceforge.net

    Kristal: http://www.kreatives.org/kristal/

    Other freebies and shareware: www.hitsquad.com

    Another great option is REAPER at http://www.cockos.com/reaper/
    (It's $40 but runs for free until you get guilty enough to pay for it...)

    Music Notation and MIDI recording: Melody Assistant ($20) and Harmony Assistant ($80) have the power of $600 notation packages - http://myriad-online.com
    Demo you can try on the website.

    And you can go out to any Barnes&Noble or Borders and pick up "Computer Music" magazine - they have a full studio suite in every issue's DVD, including sequencers, plugins and tons of audio samples. (November 2006 they gave away a full copy of SamplitudeV8SE worth $150, November 2007-on the racks Dec in the US- they're giving away SamplitudeV9SE. It pays to watch 'em for giveaways...)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Age
    66
    Posts
    302
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    26867
    The mixer u r using is an insult to the mic u are using. I'd look at a good preamp with USB or Firewire interface to go to your computer. Not trying to insult you or anything...it just takes a pretty expensive mixer to match the quality preamps you can get for $500 - $1000.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    588
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    55610
    Quote Originally Posted by pigeon_sandwich View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm trying to set up a pretty basic home recording studio (just recording vocals and classical guitar). I have a regular PC laptop, a Rode NT1A condenser mic and a Xenyx 1202 mixer. Anyone willing to forgive my ignorance and let me know what else I need? I have a general idea, but it would be really nice to make sure before I go out and make bad-purchasing-decisions.

    Thanks so much!
    My 2 cents:

    Take the mixer out of you input chain and put it in the output chain. Maybe use it to monitor you mix while tracking for headphones and adding some reverb to sweeten things while tracking. Also never tell anyone again that
    you own any of that brand equipment.

    You gonna need 1 or 2 small condensers your rode is not going to get you the sound you want for a classical guitar not by itself. There are some inexpensive MHS mics you will mentioned everywhere on this forum get yourself one of those.

    Your going to need a firewire audio interface like a Motu, RME, those are
    pretty good middle of the road units.

    Also you'll need some software such as Cake Walk Sonar? or Pro Tools
    I think some the M-Audio interfaces have Pro Tools LE included that would
    save you some cash if you can live with the M-Audio hardware.

    You'll also need a pair of monitors, and bunch of good cables depending
    on what your hardware requires. Better had some power conditioning
    for everthing to plug into.

    Do you know what time of chip your fire port uses in your laptop if is not
    a Texas Instrment chip you may need a PCMCI card that has this chip in
    it because the fire audio interfaces can be real finicky about what they
    are plugged into. You'll also want to make sure you have atleast 1GB in
    your lap top and a nice fast cpu.

    Other than that you just need a good place with good acoustics to record in.

    That will get you on your way then you can start looking into the fun stuff.
    Expensive mics, pres, compressors, plugins

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    I told my friend that his anus was so big, that he had to get a restraining order for the local caving club.
    Posts
    579
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    427
    Why go out and change your front-end system before ever hitting record? If you can return the mixer, maybe you would be better off doing that and upgrading to a stand-alone interface more suited to multi-track recording, but if not, don't go out and buy new stuff before you even know why. Just grab a mic cable and a stand if you don't have those, and then some cables to hook the main out of your mixer to whatever kind of line in you have on your laptop (see below). Check out Reaper or some other cheap/free audio software. Set up what you've got, plug it in, hit record. Read all that you can about recording, mic placement (CRUCIAL! one of the first big eye-opening revelations in recording, at least for me, is realizing how much of a difference it makes), etc.

    Before you know it, you'll be wanting to switch to a better interface with more channels, and buy more mics like everyone's saying. But go ahead and try it with what you've got (unless you can easily return it without losing anything on your mixer investment and can afford to spend a little more off the bat, then that might be a better idea afterall). Then you'll have a better idea what you should upgrade to, because you'll start saying "I really want to ______, if only I had a ______", or "how can I improve ____ in my sound". If you've got cash to blow, you can start spending it right away, but if not, I say get started, and you'll soon find things you want from your gear that it won't give you - then you'll know what you need, and plus you'll have gained some studio skills at that, which make more of a difference than anything you can buy.



    Regarding cables:

    If you're only taking one channel (mono) of output from the mixer, just use any old 1/4" cable and an 1/4" to 1/8" adaptor.

    If you want to keep a stereo signal coming from the mixer to the sound card, you'll probably want something like this http://www.musiciansfriend.com/produ...ble?sku=333030 to turn left and right 1/4" outputs to a TRS stereo 1/4" output, and then something like http://www.proporta.com/F03/i/headph...or3_5to6_5.jpg to turn the 1/4" TRS to 1/8" TRS. Regarding the "Y" cable, it's important that on the split end, the "tip" section of the TRS goes to one cable, and the "ring" section goes to the other.... in other words, you want stereo to split mono, and not just a "splitter" y cable that will put the same thing on both ends. The whole point of this cable is to take two separate left and right signal jacks, and combine them into a single stereo jack.) Perhaps you can find something that will get directly from split 1/4" to stereo 1/8", or any number of other combinations.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. I need advice on a studio setup
    By circleone420 in forum The Rack
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 04-23-2006, 15:56
  2. beginner recording advice
    By backroomdj in forum Recording Techniques
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-04-2006, 08:14
  3. Advice for Monitoring Setup..?
    By Slowjett in forum Recording Techniques
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-28-2005, 10:26
  4. Need advice on live setup
    By HollowMan1975 in forum Keyboards and Sound Modules
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-11-2005, 18:03
  5. Beginner Home Recording Setup!
    By thecongo in forum Free Ads for Music/Recording Equipment
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-02-2003, 17:15

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •