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My rig for recording is pretty weird to say the least

I run my guitar through a BOSS ME-6 Multi Effects processor, which is run into my main computer (500 MHz Celeron w/ 15 GB HDD), and use Quartz Audiomaster Free (it can only record 4 tracks of audio unless you use a little trick) to record all my tracks. I just use different patches for different tones and EQ's for all the different instruments.

For drums I use a Pentium Pro 200 MHz with 64MB of RAM to run the PDrums program for Windows (though I have used a 486 with the DOS version, which is suprisingly much more stable and usable, and I get to pick a cheap computer keyboard that has better action for my "drumming").

Anyway, the ME-6 goes into the Celerons line-input, and then I just swap instruments through the input on the ME-6, allowing me to add effects and keep full EQ control without having to rely on the computer.

As long as I don't overdrive the sound card with my effects unit, I can get CD quality audio, and I usually store them in Wav files that come out around 100-500 MB in size, so for this rig, a large hard drive is quite necessary.

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One song is 100+MB??? Can you have a guitar going through a normal stand alone effect then into the computer? How much will it cost to do all that? Or is the software downloadable for free?

Sorry about the typo in my above message, files average 10-100 MB in size, I was thinking of the directory of files I was looking at (around 315 MB for all my current WAV files of music), however, the file sizes are large because there is no data compression. Mp3's cut out most of the signals un-audible to the human ear, and streaming is even less. The size is dependant on bit rate and sampling rate. If you have a 44.1 KHz sampling rate at 24 bits, thats CD quality audio in a WAV file, and thus a 3:40 second song is around 30-60 MB.

As for the question about my effect. I use the headphone output jack (the ME-6 has a nice sound through there). The Headphone output jack is in stereo (just like the line in on my Turtle Beach Montego II sound card), and I just patch it with a small stereo cable, which is nice because the ME-6 (as with most digital effects processors) have some nifty stereo effects. Most of my patches have an Equilizer setting setup on them for the tone I want, and then I just sweitch between them.

As far as cost, unless you don't already have an Electric guitar, it's only the cost of the pedalboard. I usually run other effects before the pedalboard, but I don't use them regularly (eg. My Danelectro food pedals (Chili Dog Octave and Tuna Melt Tremelo), my DOD Super American Metal, and a DOD Compressor (which is kind of moot as the Multi-Effects unit already HAS a compressor and a distortion pedal effect). A good effects unit can run from $25.00 for something really well used and beat up to around $1000 if you want to run a rack rig like Steve Vai or Edward. I just stick with midrange digital effects processors, they are more than adequate from my experience.

The software for Quartz Audiomaster is free, unless you want one of their more advanced packages (which have more audio channels, but if you are going to create standard WAV or MP3 audio files, it makes more sense to get the free package). They have another program that works more like a 4 track tascam machine but I have had no luck in getting it to work. The link for Quartz Audiomaster Free is down here.

Digital Sound Planet (home of Quartz Audiomaster Freeware)

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