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Thread: Beginners Setup

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    Beginners Setup

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    I'm interested in getting into this whole digital recording thing and I'm looking for some help on what I should get to for a starter setup. I am running an AMD Athlon 2000xp with 256 mb pc133 ram, Maxtor 60 GB 7200 rpm HD & Soundblaster Live X-Gamer card. Software wise I have Cool Edit Pro 2.0 & Cakewalk Home Studio 2002. I also have a very old Shure mic (not sure of the model). I have a budget of about $500(canadian) to spend over the next few months.

    After doing a little bit of research I have come up with this list to start with. A Delta 44 soundcard ($250), Shure SM57 mic ($140) and a Behringer UB802 mixer ($100) as a good starting basis. Could you please give me some suggestions on whether this is a good way to go and make any reccomedations. Also since I have to spread out the purchases over a few months, could you reccomend what I should buy 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.

    Thanx for your guys' help in advance.

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    Also does anyone know any pros and cons of a USB based interface and possibly reccomend some hardware with price as an alternative. Thanx.

  3. #3
    Phyl Guest
    We need to know more about what it is you are trying to do.

    Are you going to record just yourself or a band? This tells you how many inputs you need.

    What instruments are you recording? This tells you what kind of mics you need.

    All of the equipment you listed is fine, it's just a matter of deciding if it will fit your needs.

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    I do not know as much as many of the guys and gals here, but I would suggest you look at the stuff from Aardvark. Specifically the Q10. It will give you a bunch of stuff you will need:

    1. 8 preamps (4 with phantom power)
    2. software mixer
    3. 2 direct lo z inputs for direct bass recording
    4. some free tracking software to get you going.

    It is a nice place to start and not too hard on the pocket book.

    Jim

  5. #5
    Phyl Guest
    The Q10 is a great unit - I own one - but it costs about $830 american. That's significantly over the $500 budget mentioned.

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    Sorry for the lack of info guys and thanx for the advice so far. I am just recording myself, primarily bass, guitar and vocals. Hope this helps narrow things down abit. Thanx in advance for the help.

  7. #7
    Phyl Guest
    The equipment you have suggested sounds fine. A couple of suggestions:

    1) If you are recording electric guitar, the SM57 mic is fine. If you are recording acoustic guitar, look into a condenser mic. See the mic forum for recommendations.

    2) Put as much RAM as you can afford in your computer. I'd recommend filling it up. RAM is cheap and is probably the most effective thing you can do to insure your computer doesn't bog down during recording and playback.

    3) Get another hard drive. Put your recording software on one drive and all your audio files on the other.

    Good luck, and don't forget to post some music in the MP3 clinic!

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    This seems like a good thread to jump on since I am more of a newbie than is KilRoy. I am a 1960's ex-hippie who wrote a bunch of songs, then put away the guitar and got a job. Now I'd like to record some of the oldies for kids and grandkids using only my two acoustic guitars and do simple two part harmony vocals by myself. If I understand the jargon, I want to put down 4 tracks (two vocals & two guitars) of sound and mix them to get a CD. (Boy do I feel ignorant!)

    I notice Kilroy has some software already on board on his computer. I have nothing. So... where Phyl says Kilroy's equipment suggestions sound good, does that mean the suggested equipment, PLUS the software already on board is good? Or maybe the better question is: If I'm starting from tabla rosa, can you folks list a starter package to get my croaky old voice on plastic? $1000 - $2000 is available for the spend. (A list of "you can't go wrong with this stuff" would be the ticket.)

    Thanks for any good advice.

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    IM sure you could easily get started on that kind of budget. If you want to record on your computer, you'll need to look into multitrack software. There are tons....i personally like Ntrack, but there are others like cakewalk, and Acid. Try out some demos and see what you like. You'll need a good mic, probably a large diaphram condensor mic will do if you are just recording acoustic and vocals. I youll only be recording one track at a time you can go into the line in on the soundcard, for better quality or more tracks though, you could get a preamp, and look for an audio soundcard (audio interface) with as many inputs as you need and some outputs for your monitors. ALso get a pair of nearfield monitors (get powered ones) so you can accurately hear what you have recorded. I believe thats all you need. Hope that helps.

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    boodaddy -

    if you plan to just record vocals and guitar, then you just need a 2 channel preamp, 2 channel soundcard, recording program, and mic(s). you only need two channel stuff cuz you can just overdub your singing for harmonies and same for guitar parts. if you needed to, you could record guitar and vocals at the same time, due to the 2 channel signal chain.

    i'd highly recommend:

    soundcard: M-audio Audiophile 2496 - $140
    preamp: M-audio DMP3 - $160
    mic: Studio Projects B1 - for vocals and acoustic guitar $80
    Shure Sm57 - $90
    since the B1 is a condesnor, it will be effected greatly by the room dimensions, reflections etc. you should try using a dynamic like the ubiquitous SM57 as well.

    program: n-track should do $60

    i really like Cool Edit pro, due to its extreme ease of use in multi tracking and wave editing. more pricey though $250

    so all in all, you should be able to buy a very functional setup for well under $1000

    good luck!
    *sob

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