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westhemann

recording equipment

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Unless you have a wide-screen monitor, you don't have the option of 1280 X 800; however, regardless, that resolution would be fine. You could theoretically even go 800 X 600, but it WOULD be uncomfortably cramped. Anything 1024 X 768 or higher is fine.

Greg

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What about screen resolutions suitable for Cubase, Sonar, etc? Is 1280 x 800 too small?

Nope, it may make you lay the mixer or other things over the tracks on occasion but realistically that should be plenty of desktop. I run the dual I do because I want to view tracks on one monitor and mixer, bus, transport...etc on the other. Just a requirement I wanted not needed.

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I'm also getting into recording, of course I have to get a new computer (UGH!) which I won't be buying from a dealer. I'd rather buy the parts and get my friend to put it all together. I looked and searched through some of the other threads and got some useful information.

I got cubase (forget which version :D ) and my friend has another 20 programs he's willing to lend me :D . Anyways, here's what I am looking at so far.

Presonus Firepod

Rokit 5 monitors

and a Shure SM58 for vocals and a SM57 for acoustic instruments such as acoustic guitar, violin, etc.

I'm told this is all I'll need. I am debating the firepod though because I don't have a drum set, however I may want to lay drum tracks down anyways with a friend I know. I hate being confused lol. Does this setup seem okay, am i missing anything, anything you would recommend? Thanks everyone.

-Jamie B)

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i'm having mixed feelings though about the firepod. i'll be using 2 inputs at the most but when it comes time to lay drums down it'd be nice to have, so i dunno what to do.

I've heard theres some problems with the firepod. Anyone have it or used it? One of the problems I heard is with direct monitoring. I have no clue what that is, so any help would be apprciated.

-Jamie

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Dunno about the Firepod, but I tested the Rockit5's at a music store and they were spectacular value-for-money.

Greg

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My friend tells me that direct recording "sounds terrible" unless runned through a mixer first, but i'll be getting cubase and it has the online mixing. He says you can control the pans, volumes, and levels before being recorded, whereas on the cubase it's afterward. He also said that i should not buy a condenser mic if I'm not going to have an external mixer.

Is direct recording bad like my friend says, or not?

If it's terrible, will the online mixer correct this?

Is my friend right about the condenser mic and external mixer?

Thanks!

-Jamie :D

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Is direct recording bad like my friend says, or not?

Your direct signal will sound very dull and muddy compared to what you think a 'clean' guitar sound should sound like through an amp. Fear not! This isn't so bad, it means that a full spectrum of frequencies (including some muddy gunk at 200-300 Hz) will be in there! It's good stuff!

On the other hand, your friend may have been referring to mismatched impedance, which IS bad. If your soundcard's inputs are 'line level', you will not be able to simply plug your guitar into them. The Firepod and such devices DO have a pre-amp for instruments and microphones, so the 'bad sound' in that case would be like the above paragraph describes.

If it's terrible, will the online mixer correct this?

The mixer inside a program like Cubase can help 'correct' this. However, what you REALLY need is a virtual amp, if you want to record direct. It will give your signal the proper frequency response, distortion, etc.. There are some good commercial options, and some fantastic free options, too. When you get your VST-compatible sequencer (ie. Cubase, Tracktion, Most others) I'll help you track down some amp sims.

Is my friend right about the condenser mic and external mixer?

Yes and no. He's right that you need external gear for a condenser mic. Condenser microphones operate using what's called "phantom power" which means that 48 volts are sent into the microphone via the mic cable. The power source is usually a mixer that is capable of supplying phantom power (any small mixer except the most basic of basic will do this), but you can also get phantom power from a small pre-amp or microphone direct box. A small mixer is probably the most flexible option, though, and it's not all THAT expensive. (see Dugz Ink's inexpensive recording gear thread)

Hope that helps.

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thanks Grep P for all the info. I think the best thing to do is to put the microphone a few inches in front of my amp and run that into the firepod.

However, what you REALLY need is a virtual amp, if you want to record direct. It will give your signal the proper frequency response, distortion, etc..

i think cubase has a few of them, and i believe one of them is known as steve vai :D

The presonus firepod uses phantom power, so would I then still need a mixer or no?

If phantom power is still needed what about building one of these; http://www.till.com/articles/PreampCable/ along with the phantom power box?

Thanks again Greg P. You've been a great help so far!

-Jamie :D

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i think cubase has a few of them, and i believe one of them is known as steve vai :D

The presonus firepod uses phantom power, so would I then still need a mixer or no?

There are no REAL Virtual Amp's shipped with Cubase that I'm aware of. You can buy them but are not included unless you consider something like DTube that basically only incorporates the harmonics of tubes. The overdrives and such included are not particularly good.

If the firepod has phantom, you're good to go.

Edited by Gorecki

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Just agreeing with Gorecki.

Cubase = no amp sims

Firepod = good to go, no mixer needed

If you find you need a small mixer later, you can always add one, but you won't need one to start off with.

If you buy Tracktion 2 (not out yet, but should be released this month), it comes with the same Amplitube LE that comes with Protools. It has 3 amp sims: Marshall JCM800, Vox AC30 (no top boost), Fender Clean (not sure which exact amp).

I'll be honest with you, Amplitube isn't my absolutely favourite suite of amp sims ever, but it's a good starting point. There are free Marshall and Fender sims done by Simulanalog that are a bit better, IMO. Haven't seen any free Vox sims around, though. :D

Greg

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thanks a lot Greg P and Gorecki.

I have to get a new computer of course, and i've read some of the previous threads and all. here's what im getting so far, and its possible that it could all change. This computer's basic useage is recording and surfing the internet. No games or downloading music or dvds....

MICROSOFT® WINDOWS® XP HOME

Intel® Celeron™ Processor (2.40 GHz, 128KB L2 Cache, 400MHz FSB)

1 Gb DDR memory

250 Gb SATA hard drive

15" flat panel LCD monitor

CD reader/burner

3D sound card

Is this enough to handle everything? A retail clerk at a music store told me that Presonus Firepod is an external soundcard, so I don't need a really expensive soundcard installed on the computer, just basic internal for PC bleeps and stuff. Is this correct?

I was thinking for headphones of getting the Zalman surround sound headphones

http://www.quietpc.ca/headphones.html

The only problem I am thinking that could occur is I would have to go into the control panel every time I'd want to use either the Roki monitors, or the Zalman. Is it possible to have them both going at the same time? Thanks.

-Jamie

Edited by sepultura999

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thanks a lot Greg P and Gorecki.

I have to get a new computer of course, and i've read some of the previous threads and all. here's what im getting so far, and its possible that it could all change. This computer's basic useage is recording and surfing the internet. No games or downloading music or dvds....

MICROSOFT® WINDOWS® XP HOME

Intel® Celeron™ Processor (2.40 GHz, 128KB L2 Cache, 400MHz FSB)

1 Gb DDR memory

250 Gb SATA hard drive

15" flat panel LCD monitor

CD reader/burner

3D sound card

Is this enough to handle everything? A retail clerk at a music store told me that Presonus Firepod is an external soundcard, so I don't need a really expensive soundcard installed on the computer, just basic internal for PC bleeps and stuff. Is this correct?

I was thinking for headphones of getting the Zalman surround sound headphones

http://www.quietpc.ca/headphones.html

The only problem I am thinking that could occur is I would have to go into the control panel every time I'd want to use either the Roki monitors, or the Zalman. Is it possible to have them both going at the same time? Thanks.

-Jamie

I wouldn't get the surround headphones unless it's just for enjoyment. For recording, unless you're doing 5.1 separation of your signal.. those headphones would be a nuisance.

A friend of mine uses Behringer Truth powered mons with his video suite.. Those things sound incredible.. they are 279 for the pair and they will crank and sound completely transparent. Excellent value for a powered near-field.

As far as phantom power.. I have done a decent amount of acoustic recording on the cheap and I have 2 methods.. All involve a little 12 channel behringer mixer that cost me a whopping 99 bucks. It has pretty decent sounding preamps and I paired it with a behringer B-1 condenser mic. Great acoustic sound. If it's solo guitar and needs to be really detailed i'll use that rig.

Most of the time, when acoustic is part of the mix.. I use my baggs para-di and go straight into the mixer. I have a baggs i-bram pickup in the guitar and that things sounds as close to a mic as i've ever heard and i don't have to worry about it picking up my breathing, road noise, etc.. like the behringer does (i don't have an actual studio so bg noise is a big deal to me)

That firepod looks neat. I've wanted to ramp up more in the digital recording area, adn that might be a neat way to go. Drums are always my sticking point. I am a drummer and would like to be able to record live, but I use drum tools with Acid to get my drum tracks. Since they are real acoustic samples I can get a very realistic drum track if I take the time to mix stuff up, customize fills, etc..

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Ok...i've just read through this topic (yes all 11 pages O_O) and i'm a little confued.

I'm on a budget of lets say £1000 (roughly $2500) . Now, i have the PC which can handle the software etc. but...what hardware would you suggest i should look into getting. I will be recording a full band (drums, guitar, vocals, etc.) I just want something that won't make the recordings sound muddy and...well...flat.

Sorry if this had been asked but...like i said, i am slightly confused at all the information and hardware...

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That question's too all-encompassing. There are so many questions that would need to be asked and answered, but for 1,000 squids, I don't think you're going to go very far unless the individual band members already own some of their own microphones, etc. Also important to consider: are you doing it for fun and to keep a 'record' of your accomplishments, or do you want to try making full-on indie releases with your gear? You can probably afford to spend more on your gear if it's going to be for full productions (using the budget you would have used for studio time), but there's no point spending TOO much if it's primarily for fun.

Your biggest cost will be (or should be) your monitors, microphones, and mic pre-amp, if you want to avoid crappy final product.

Take microphones, for instance: you could mic a drum kit with 2 overhead mics if that's what you really wanted to do; however, it's better done with around 5 microphones, usually different kinds with different specialized functions. An entry-level set of drum mics could end up costing a third of your budget and that's only for entry level. If it's vocal-based music, you probably want at least a mediocre microphone for your lead singer, too, which will cost another 80 quid just for the most entry-level of acceptable microphones (example, the Studio Projects B1). None of these will be well served by an el-cheapo pre-amp.

Guitars-- mic'd or using virtual amps like the POD? If they're mic'd, you'll need to come up with some sort of makeshift isolation area so that the room reflections don't mess up the signal (though, in the right room, they could actually help).

I don't want to get much more into it than that because there's a world of tips out there. The reason you're feeling confused is probably because you're trying to mate the advice in this thread (which is primarily for people doing it for fun and recording one or a few instruments at a time) with your own personal (and different!) needs.

Greg

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The recordings will mostly for fun and to play around with basic stuff just to get a taste of it really. Also, so we can jam and record a couple of things so we can work on them on a later date.

We could mic up the guitars in one of the out-buildings or stables. Infact, we were going to turn the old practice room (double garage) into a little area we can record things, but what would be the best way to record, a computer or a recorder?

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We could mic up the guitars in one of the out-buildings or stables. Infact, we were going to turn the old practice room (double garage) into a little area we can record things, but what would be the best way to record, a computer or a recorder?

This is leading back to what Greg was saying where in so many words, you can make a lousy recording with the best equipment and a reasonable recording with as little as 4 analog (tape) tracks being bounced and a cheezy mic with some eq work.

What you've just suggested is a 'Live' environment recording ability..meaning, you have a band you want to record which suggests at least two audio inputs (and possible tracks) per instrument. This suggests ~10 inputs (and tracks) mic's, cables, audio interface & software that can handle it. Clearly in excess of $1,000.00. Or, if you can even come up with 10 mics, cables a low cost mixer and a sound blaster card will get you some serious milage.

The above is not an absolute suggestion, just a comparison for scope. :D

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I just wrapped up recording of a few songs with my band. The guy who recorded us did it for free; he's a friend of my basist. He went to berkley and studied recording. His setup is currently worth $15k. He's using Pro Tools LE with a lot of effects pluggins. He has a roland 32 channel external midi controller to have quick access to faders and what not. He's running it on a Mac that has about 2 gigs of RAM and at least 100 gigs of Hard Drive storage. He has a Joe Meek stereo compressor(ammaaaazing!) and some other odd and end rackmount effects not worth mentioning. He was using a Newman Condensor. Interesting thing to point out: he uses a metal wind screen in place of the traditional fabric one. Apparently it attenuates less high frequencies. By the way, he records at 48bits(I believe, it might have been less, but it was deffinitely more than 24. maybe 32?). He said that even though computers will only read 24bits, the music will still be noticeably clearer when played since there's more information to begin with. I'll post a link to the songs when he finished mastering them. Considering how good it sounded before he started fiddling with the levels and any effects, it should turn out quite well. My band is just doing this for kicks before we part ways for college in the fall.

Edited by thegarehanman

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Recording is awesome. :D

It's hard to try recommending something that will be less than a grand, if you want to be recording a live jam session. That's too many microphones and variables to worry about, and it's a bit out of the scope of my experience. I'm more knowledgable for recording one or two musicians at a time, and I know a bit about mixing technique. But when it's live and the signals are bleeding into one another and you have a big mush, I don't know quite as much as I'd like. :D

Greg

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I have a bit of an idea how glad i'll be i have the recording. we're actually quite popular in our town. we're right outside of new orleans. so i have all of the newspaper clippings and different flyers that were put out for our gigs. I figure the cd will also be valuable in auditioning for bands at LSU too.

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I didnt read the whole thread, but...

I demo stuff and write riffs using a preamp with speaker emulation plugged into my sound card and a copy of a program called Audacity, which is freeware. Its easy to learn and very simple to record riffs on. My whole band uses it to do overdubs on top of riffs to come up with melodies and harmonies and like I said, its free!

Its also great for editing. like a free version of Cool edit!

Audacity homepage

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I feel stupid for asking this. Can you plug a Behringer UB1222FX in to the computer?

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The simple answer is "yes". However, there are 2 basic questions you should be able to answer before you do so:

- What is your soundcard?

- What functionality is the mixer offering that you believe will be useful to you (I have a mixer, not at all dismissing them, but it's important to know WHY you want one)?

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