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Thread: Complete beginner to Recording

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    Complete beginner to Recording

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    I am a complete beginner to recording and was looking for some advice (as all the websites seem to be speaking a different language). I'm not looking for anything too complicated, just want to be able to record vocals and acoustic/electric guitar, edit and mix it a bit on the comp (maybe add more synthesised instruments if possible).

    Back a few years ago when I was in a band, we used Cubase, and that is basically the sort of thing im looking for. Talked to a few people and they said Garageband was the best affordable software. However, as I dont have a Mac, this would involve me getting a cheap one of ebay.

    So basically if you could give me advise on everything from Mics to software it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Aled

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    Try Reaper.

    And welcome to HR!
    Newest endeavor: Playing drums in a live band version of 7 Door Sedan's music.
    __________________

    "Do yourself a favour just shut up, read up then put up." --muttley600

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    My obligatory standard reply-for-newbies 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)
    You can also pick up this book in most any Borders or Barnes&Noble in the Music Books section!

    Another good one is: Recording Guitar and Bass by Huw Price
    http://www.amazon.com/Recording-Guit...5734124&sr=1-1
    (I got my copy at a place called Half-Price Books for $6!!)

    Barnes&Noble or Borders are great places to start --- they have recording books and you can go get a snack or coffee and read them for FREE! Don't pass by a good recording book --- this is a VERY technical hobby and you REALLY want to start a reference library!!!

    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

    Still using a built-in soundcard?? Unfortunately, those are made with less than $1 worth of chips for beeps, boops and light gaming (not to mention cheapness for the manufacturer) not quality music production.
    #1 Rule of Recording: You MUST replace the built-in soundcard.
    Here's a good guide and suggestions:
    http://www.tweakheadz.com/soundcards...ome_studio.htm


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

    Audacity: http://audacity.sourceforge.net (multi-track with VST support)
    Wavosaur: http://www.wavosaur.com/ (a stereo audio file editor with VST support)\
    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 $50 but runs for free until you get guilty enough to pay for it...)
    I use Reaper and highly reccomend it...

    Music Notation and MIDI recording: Melody Assistant ($25) 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 FREE 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 gave away SamplitudeV9SE. It pays to watch 'em for giveaways...)

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    Thanks

    Thanks for the help, there is plenty there to read. I was having a look through the 21 Ways To Assemble a Recording Rig link you sent me. The basic package they recommend there: The Firebox, Mic and Midi controller setup. Would that be enough to get me started? Also, I have read about the midi controller, but I dont really understand, why is it a keyboard? I want to record acoustic guitar through a mic. So what exactly is the midi controller doing? Also, no I havent bought a sound card, although this seems like an essential, so I will do that. I am planning on running this system through my laptop, will the soundcard be external?

    Thanks for you help

    Aled

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aled_King View Post
    Thanks for the help, there is plenty there to read. I was having a look through the 21 Ways To Assemble a Recording Rig link you sent me. The basic package they recommend there: The Firebox, Mic and Midi controller setup. Would that be enough to get me started? Also, I have read about the midi controller, but I dont really understand, why is it a keyboard? I want to record acoustic guitar through a mic. So what exactly is the midi controller doing? Also, no I havent bought a sound card, although this seems like an essential, so I will do that. I am planning on running this system through my laptop, will the soundcard be external?

    Thanks for you help

    Aled
    If you just want to record acoustic guitar, you will not need to worry about MIDI controllers. The firebox and a mic will be enough. Most people will record acoustic guitar with two small-diaphragm condenser mics. I use a pair of Rode NT5's, with one around the 12th fret and one around the bridge. I pan the one around the bridge to the left, and the one around the 12th fret panned to the right, giving me a good stereo image (more about technique here).

    A good option for you to start would be to get a MATCHED pair of Naiant X-M microphones here: http://www.naiant.com/studiostore/microphones.html They are handmade by by the owner Jon O'Neil. They sound incredibly good for the price. A matched pair will cost you $160.

    If you want to stick with one mic for now that can do guitar and vocals, I would look into a large diaphragm condenser, since the x-m's won't sound too good on vocals.

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    In that setup, the firebox acts as your soundcard. You'll need to invest in some monitors to properly hear what will be coming out of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by solaris1982 View Post
    In that setup, the firebox acts as your soundcard. You'll need to invest in some monitors to properly hear what will be coming out of it.
    True, but if you're just getting started and you're looking to cut costs, headphones will suffice. However you will be itchin' for some real monitors.

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    Okay, so as a basic starter. If I get a firebox (with cubase), and a condenser mic then that will suffice for basic recording. But if I want to hear what is actually being recorded a monitor would be needed? anyone got any advise on monitors? So when do you need a midi controller? is it only when recording instruments not through a mic?

    Thanks for all your help - it's greatly appreciated

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    I think you may be misunderstanding the statement about the monitors. The monitors will give you a accurate sound. Unlike most bookshelf speakers or sound system speakers which are made to help things sound good. This is a good reason why most who use consumer speakers as monitors, thier song sounds different on other systems (I.E. car stereo, home theater setup). I just bough a pair of M-Audio BX8A's for $300. They are a bit boomy but they seem to work nice. Im in a totally different genre though so take a look at some monitors online and check out some reviews. If you have a local store, try and do some side by sides to see which you like. Bring in some music that is close to the style you will be doing to get a good read on accuracy. I guarantee you will hear things you've never noticed before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aled_King View Post
    Okay, so as a basic starter. If I get a firebox (with cubase), and a condenser mic then that will suffice for basic recording. But if I want to hear what is actually being recorded a monitor would be needed? anyone got any advise on monitors? So when do you need a midi controller? is it only when recording instruments not through a mic?

    Thanks for all your help - it's greatly appreciated
    The monitors will be needed for mixing, not for recording.

    You sound like you need to start from the beginning. I suggest you do a LOT more studying; Head over here and click on the "Studio Reference Book Catalog" graphic to browse an online catalog of great texts available on the subject, including a whole section on "Getting Started".

    And while you're there, check out this series of articles on monitor selection.

    G.
    [SIZE=1][B][COLOR=DarkSlateBlue]Glen J. Stephan,
    SouthSIDE Multimedia Productions[/COLOR]
    [COLOR=DarkGreen]RECORDING RESOURCES AND INFO SITE:[/COLOR]
    [URL="www.independentrecording.net"][SIGPIC][/SIGPIC][/URL][/B][/SIZE]

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