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Thread: recording with pc (absolute beginner)

  1. #1
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    recording with pc (absolute beginner)

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    I want to record a few songs with my band.
    But I don't know how. I thought of recording first only drums and bass, then both guitars and finally vocals. Is this a good idea?

    My second problem is, I don't know what to use.
    We have a Behringer MX-2642, it has 4 subgroups, 6 aux-sends, and direct outs on the first 8 channels (mono channels), 4 stereo channels, 4 aux-returns.

    I want to record it with my pc (AMD Athlon XP 1600+, 256 mb ddr ram, 80 gb HD).

    Can anybody help me (tell me programs to use, tutorials or anything other).

    (I'm sorry for my english)

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    The Behringer will be usable as a front end, so you don't need any audio interfaces with built-in mic/instrument preamps.

    You can get an eight-channel soundcard and some good recording software and record the band playing live. Or you can get an interface with fewer inputs and record parts in a few passes. For micing a drum kit you'll be better off if you can separate the parts of the kit to a few channels, so I'd suggest a 4-channel interface is a minimum. That way you can keep the snare and kick on their own tracks and the other parts of the kit on two more channels and have reasonable control during mixdown.

    Lots of candidate hardware and software applications out there...

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    Recording with pc

    NoUse,
    Howdy from Texas!
    Welcome to the world of computer recording. You will no doubt receive more advice than you can possibly wade through some of it seemingly conflicting as well.
    First of all I would like to say there is no "one right way" to do what you are seeking to do, with that in mind I will gladly give you "my opinion" of what I would do.
    I am making the following assumptions in making my suggestions. Anywhere my assumptions are wrong, my advice may be as well.

    #1) Recording in general will be a limited interest / hobby with no real big plans to become Commercial in the near future. That you want it as simple and painless as possible, as close to live / analogue-type multitracking in its simplicity and don't plan on intense or elaborate editing and processing.
    #2) You have limited funds and are not interested in buying tons of equipment / outboard gear.
    #3) You have limited facility (recording at someone's house)
    #4) Your musicianship level is beginning to intermediate.
    #5) The end use of your recordings is mainly for you, your friends, and possibly as a demo to get a few gigs.

    The basic recording process goes as follows: (overly simplified I'm sure)
    a) Tracking /Recording each instrument
    b) Editing /Cleaning up mistakes
    c) Mixing down to final stereo wave file
    d) Printing to final media (cassette, CD etc.)

    The bare essentials you will need in addition to the equipment you have listed are:
    a) a multi-channel sound card. 4 to 8 channels would be best because of tracking (acoustic?) drums. Stay away from "Sound Blaster" type cards because they rarely offer true simultaneous recording and playback. This may be your singularly most expensive purchase ($150-$500 US), but it will also effect the quality of your sound the most.
    b) A multitracking software program. There are many wonderful programs out there and many a forum war has been started over the issue. For the simplest most bang for the buck software I suggest n-Track by FaSoft (approx. $50 US) I have personally used this program and I must say that it has much more than the basics you will need and the learning curve is not bad. I don't think n-Track has the ability to burn direct to CDR so you may have to use whatever software came with your CD burner. (I assume you have a CD burner in your computer?)
    c) Headphones (closed cover ear type is best) and something to power them. This can be as simple as using a couple of stereo receivers hooked up to the aux-sends of your mixer, or it could be as nice as a dedicated headphone amp .(I bought one of these for about $150 US)
    d) Speakers to listen to during mixdown. This is a very sensitive issue which I will not get deep into, but for a non-commercial venture you can possibly get by with something you already have (computer speakers / headphones?) ( I hear a war starting!)
    I assume you have microphones.
    The idea you had about how you were thinking about proceeding with recording is a very good way to proceed. (more on that later if you want)
    If you get a sound card with less than six inputs, I would probably use a combination of direct outs on channels 1 and 2 of your mixer to inputs 1 and 2 of the sound card, and then run the balance of your output through your 4 sub group outs to your remaining inputs on your sound card so you can go direct with vocals - bass - guitars, but sub-mix your drums on the remaining channels. Generally speaking the direct outs of your mixer will be less noisy than sub or main outs. I would then run the first two out puts of your sound card into 2 tracks of your mixer in order to listen to the recorded tracks when you are adding more tracks. The volume of the previously recorded tracks can then be adjusted in the headphones by adjusting those channel's aux send going into headphone mix (typically aux send 1). Make sure when you are tracking, that whichever channels you are monitoring from the computer are not assigned to any of the subgroup outs otherwise that music will be accidentally added to whatever you are trying to record.

    I know I have only scratched the surface of all aspects of a recording session. But I am afraid I am boring you to death, and possibly not answering your real questions. If you would like more information about something specific, or perhaps walk you through a basic recording session feel free to contact me at: tmix@bigfoot.com or through this bulletin board.

    Tmix
    T-Mix Recording Studios

  4. #4
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    If you're on a budget, check out these shareware/freeware programs....

    http://www.hitsquad.com/smm
    Peace...

    spin

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    Just in case you need it.......

    http://www.audioed.com.au/glossary_free1.html

    (glossary of terms)

    Peace...

    spin

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