Entry level recording gear

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Landy67, Jan 20, 2013.


  1. Landy67

    Landy67 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Location:
    The Peoples Republic of MA
    Does anyone have a recommendation for a basic recording setup? I would like to be able to record a couple of people playing (instrument and vocal) so maybe something that could record 4 inputs at a time.

    I would like to be able to take the output from the effects loop on my amps, pedal's and I also have a guitar amp with a dedicated recording output.

    I would also like to be able to over-dub/punch-in to fix my mistakes (I make lots of them :)

    And if it makes a difference, I use a PC, not a Mac, so whatever I get has to work with my current computer.

    Thanks in advance for the advice.
  2. Joe Louvar

    Joe Louvar

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA USA
    Almost all the recording software will work (Protools, Logic, Cakewalk, etc) even free software like KRISTAL http://www.kreatives.org/kristal and you need a good A/D interface, headphones, monitors, etc and microphones if you plan to record vocals. Start with finding a interface within your price range - they can very from as little as $50 into the thousands $$$$.
  3. atomicdog

    atomicdog Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    It depends. What's the purpose of the recording? To evaluate practice? If so, you could use Zoom H2 or a similar flash recorder. Or are looking to create a demo? A Tascam four track is inexpensive a does that well. Or a commercial grade recording?
  4. Landy67

    Landy67 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Location:
    The Peoples Republic of MA
    Nothing commercial, I'm just looking to record jam sessions with my brother, and be able to record tracks that I can share with internet friends. I'd like to be able to work on a song by recording a part, and then send it to someone to add to it, etc.

    Strictly hobby level, but I want it to sound good when I'm done.
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  6. UncleFluffy

    UncleFluffy Gold Supporting Member

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    Mar 8, 2009
    Location:
    California
    Disclosures:
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
  7. Landy67

    Landy67 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Location:
    The Peoples Republic of MA
    I guess I need to base my budget on the important things... Is there a "Crappy Bassist with Expensive Recording Gear" club I can join? :smug:

    I don't need to go crazy with a setup, but I'd rather have an easy to learn/use device rather than a bunch of cobbled together bits and pieces. I have a copy of M-audio Groove Lab, and I never learned to use it. I need simple.

    That's why I like the looper pedal. One button you press with you foot and volume. Simple.
  8. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    Willow Street, PA
    Disclosures:
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    Got an iPad/iPhone?

    Multitrack DAW is only $10, and is expandable to 24 tracks!!

    Sure, you'll need an interface and some other little things, but the average cheap digital recorder is right around $300, so it works out about right, provided you already have the iOS device.
  9. Landy67

    Landy67 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Location:
    The Peoples Republic of MA
    No, I don't have any Mac products. Strictly PC/Android

    The only software I have is Audacity and Ableton Live Lite 4, and the only interface for guitar/bass is a Line 6 GuitarPort DI with Gearbox for the FX.

    I had a neighbor who had a recording deck that was pretty cool. You could plug in bunch of instruments, and record them all as separate tracks, and when you went back to fix something later, you could recall the settings for the track when you recorded them, so all you had to fiddle with would be the tone on the guitar to get the right sound back.

    When you were done you could save the tracks out to a CD-RW. I lost track of the guy, so I don't know what it was he was using.
  10. Chromer

    Chromer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Good news, you already have the expensive part, the computer.

    So you need an audio interface, DAW software and some way to hear what you're doing.

    Multi-input Interface... Akai EIE or Saffire 6 might be a good start.
    DAW - I really like Reaper, it's phenemonal value for the price. But Ableton Lite is a fine place to start since you already have it.
    Monitoring - Nothing wrong with headphones, but don't trust their low end.
  11. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    Line 6 toneport is a great way to start
  12. Landy67

    Landy67 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Location:
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    OK, so I'm actually thinking of something like this. I can plug a foot switch in to control it, connect a couple of instruments, and I can record acoustically. Plus it has a drum machine built in.
    [​IMG]

    Is this overkill? I want to record electric and acoustic guitar, electric bass, mandolin, hammer dulcimer, and voice. I want to be able to record a jam session, and this thing's even portable. (minus the speakers)

    I'm thinking that I can record and use what I've recorded without messing with it on the computer, but if I want to add tracks, I can take it to the computer then.

    Good idea? Bad idea? Is this a decent unit?
  13. longfinger

    longfinger

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    Montreal, QC, Canada
    At the same time?

    That unit looks really neat. 4 tracks of simultaneous recording too.
  14. Chromer

    Chromer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    You already have a fantabulous drum machine inside Ableton... Just dive into the tutorials, plug into the Line, and experiment. You'll figure out what's needed and what is superfluous pretty quickly.
  15. nick98338

    nick98338

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    Location:
    Graham, Washington, USA
    A real big question is how many individual sound sources do you need to record *simultaneously*? If you want to adjust (volume, panning, effects) of each of those sound sources, and you are recording them all, at the same time, then you need an input to your recording device for each individual sound source. Each instrument is a separate sound source, and each voice is a separate sound source. The needed inputs add up, quickly. The more inputs you need, the more the cost. Listed instruments were: "electric and acoustic guitar, electric bass, mandolin, hammer dulcimer, and voice" That's six sound sources.. presuming only one voice. You would need six inputs to your recorder to record them all at the same time.

    Now, if you don't really need to record each sound source, individually. Or, if you don't need to adjust the recordings later, then you can get away with fewer inputs. Less money.
  16. Chromer

    Chromer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Heck, if you're afraid to commit, one track of "electric guitar" can eat 5 or 6 inputs by itself... DI, Amp Out, a couple near mics and a room pair... Adds up quick.
  17. UncleFluffy

    UncleFluffy Gold Supporting Member

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    Mar 8, 2009
    Location:
    California
    Disclosures:
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
    I just picked up an Alesis MultiMix 16 combo mixer/interface for about the same price as the Boss unit you're looking at. USB mixer with a separate PC input for each mixer input so that everything ends up in its own track rather than just getting the final mix.

    Haven't had a lot of experience with it yet, but looking good so far. Not road-worthy but solid enough for bedroom use. They come in 4, 8 and 12 track versions as well.
  18. Landy67

    Landy67 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Location:
    The Peoples Republic of MA
    Don't ya just hate having to learn stuff just to buy a new toy?!?

    The more questions you ask me, the more I have to learn... Here's what I'm trying to accomplish:
    1) I want to be able to record myself playing one of the above listed instruments in a format that I can send to my brother, my music teacher, or anyone else willing to take the time to listen to a total amateur.
    2) I need to be able to be able to "punch-in" corrections, because I'm really trying, but I'm still just an amateur.
    3) Wouldn't it be really-really cool, if I could start and stop the recording with a foot switch, so I didn't have to edit all the dead space out of the beginning of every track?
    4) When my brother, or my neighbor, comes to play, it would be cool, if I could grab the entire session, voice, guitar's, or whatever we end up playing.
    5) Recording at my brother's place, music lessons, neighbors, or the hotel room when I'm on the road would be awesome! (I'm on the road every week)
    6) I love the sound I get from my Genz Benz Streamliner, Egnator Rebel, and Peavey Studio Chorus. I want to be able to record from any of them, and have it sound the way I hear them in the room.
    7) Some of the pedals I use are great, and I'd love to get those tones recorded.

    I'm willing to learn to use editing software, but I really don't want to drag a laptop, and an interface, and a microphone, etc everywhere I go. I'm a spontaneous person, and I like to travel light.

    So, today, instead of concentrating on work, I spent some quality time playing with my Tascam DR-30 hand-held recorder. When I connected it to the effects loop return on both amps, I got so much static, and the volume was so low, I couldn't use the recording's from the device. If I use it to record using the built in mic's, it picks up any sounds in the room (chair creaking, dog's barking), and I can't fix errors.

    Does that help with recommendations? Is the Boss unit the right way to go?
    1) It only has one guitar/bass input that can be recorded with the built-in FX.
    2) It only has one Microphone input with phantom power.
    3) It records 4 tracks at the same time, but they are all labeled "line in." Is that the same as the effects loop return?
    4) How do I get the output from the effects loop out, if I'm using the pedals in the effects loop?

    Is that a good start?
  19. My name is Mudd

    My name is Mudd

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    Location:
    Nowhere'sville, man...
    If it helps any...I just bought one of these and had it up and running in less than half an hour, but with a DI connection only (mic's are up next).
  20. Filipus

    Filipus

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    Jan 29, 2013
  21. aasti3000

    aasti3000 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    If you're really on a tight budget get a Roland VS-1680. It has multiple bass and guitar amps pre installed to find any sounding amp you need and 8 inputs. They are all over ebay for $200-$300.

    Here...check it out.

    http://www.rolandus.com/products/details/484

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