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Computer recording/play along

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by CerealKiller, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. CerealKiller


    Jul 29, 2008
    Norfolk, VA
    OK...I'm fairly new to this, so bear with me here. I've read through numerous posts through search and am more confused than ever.

    What I am shooting for (on a semi-limited budget)........

    I have Band in a Box and Sibelius on loan. I am looking at purchasing a good set of speakers for my computer. I'm not looking for surround sound, so right now I'm leaning towards the Promedia 2.1 system.

    I know I'll need a soundcard too, but am at a complete loss. The M-Audio 2496 is highly mentioned, but the connections confuse me. It doesn't look like the Promedia system would connect to it. Also, I guess the idea would be to eventually to plug in my bass to it for recordings/play-along. I have read that BIAB requires a card that can handle soundfonts, so possibly a Soundblaster Audigy....but can I plug my bass into it? Is two soundcards out of the question?

    I'm looking at getting a good set of headphones to run through it too like the M-Audio Q40 or Equation RP-22X.

    Also, would I need a synth???

    I have a Peavey TKO115 amp, if that can be incorporated somehow?????

    I'm open to all suggestions, but looking for those that do not involve a ton of wiring adapters.

  2. MargoBaggins


    Sep 8, 2008
    Leeds, UK
    Hi Killer :)

    Ok, ill try help you one question at a time.

    Im not sure who makes the Promedia 2.1, but i have had a look around and it looks like a little 2.1 satelite system with a small sub. these sorts of packages are ok, but you tend to find they dont have a very flat frequency response and are a bit biased like hifi speakers. What sort of price range are they? I would suggest a small pair of active speakers - these are taylored to studio use and normally give a much flatter response, therefore a much more true representation for your recording.

    the m-audio card is good, but in the same price range in the emu 0404 which offers (imo) much better conectivity (all jacks.)
    2 sound cards, that are different, is not really recomended, it is ok with big DAWs like logic or cubase as you can use dif. inputs and outputs off them etc. but im not sure how something like biab would cope with this. its also unnecassary confusion!
    I wouldnt suggest a soundblaster card, they are mainly made for multimedia/gaming and not really taylored towards audio work.
    You mention you might also want a synth....have you considered an option that kills all birds with one stone? You could get something like the line6 toneport kb37 (this is an example of one option - but one taylored towards guitarists/bassists.) this works as a soundcard, a midi controller and also provides an easy means of connecting your bass up to your pc, and minimal cabling as its all in one unit. this isnt a synth, but it provides you with a keyboard you can use to control VSTi's (Virtual synth's.) - there are quite a few keyboard/sound card combos, but the line6 comes with some fairly alright amp modelling software.
    Headphones - depends how much you want to spend. Beyerdynamic dt100's are industry standard, but a little OTT for home use, though they do offer good isolation. Senheiser make nice headphones, a little bass bias'd though.

    I think for you, a set of active speakers, keyboard/soundcard and either of those headphones you suggest should suit you fine - but with headphones i always like to go try out a couple of pairs rather than get them off the web.
  3. Joel S.

    Joel S. Reserved for future witty use...

    Jul 9, 2008
    It really really depends on what you're wanting to do, as you didn't specifically mention your goals in the OP. Are you just recording to jam along, come up with ideas and practice? Or are you looking to compose some tunes and have pro sounding stuff to throw on a website or burn to CD.

    When I record my bass, I use my Line6 Bass PodXT Live. It's got a USB connection for recording, and I can even plug my headphones right into it to hear what's coming from the laptop.

    As far as headphones, I can safely recommend the Ultrasone HFI-700s.
  4. CerealKiller


    Jul 29, 2008
    Norfolk, VA
    Thanks for the replies so far. I will definitely look into them.

    To answer the question, I'm just looking for a set-up just for jamming & practicing. I'm not looking to do any professional distribution yet.

    Question about the line6 equipment. Will latency be a problem with the USB?
  5. MargoBaggins


    Sep 8, 2008
    Leeds, UK
    no. there are alot of usb audio solutions. they often offer a much more hands on approach over pci sound cards, and in some respects much more user friendly.
  6. Let me take a stab at this...

    I do exactly what you're looking to do at home. Here's what I use:

    http://www.zzounds.com/item--ALEMULTIMIX8USB--excellent little USB board that I run into the computer, which has BIAB set up on it. Run the bass amp direct out to the mixing board. Plug headphones into mixing board, so everything is controlled from there, including BIAB.

    Don't worry about new soundcards. BIAB has programs installed on it to handle the latency issues--and if you're just playing along and not recording, it won't matter.

    For better sounds, instead of paying for a new card and hunting down soundfonts (tried that--too much trouble!), BIAB sells Coyote Forte sounds directly from their site. They are much cheaper and sound incredible! Much better than any of the Soundfonts I was able to find, and Forte is instantly downloadable from BIAB.
  7. pendergasta

    pendergasta .- .- .-. --- -. / .--. . -. -.. . .-. --. .- ...

    Jan 7, 2008
    North Carolina
    I use a Line6 Toneport GX ($70) together with an ART MP tube preamp ($30). Other than my mics and computer/software, that's the extent of my recording setup.
    I think the Toneport GX offers a GREAT value for the money, especially for your first foray into recording.
  8. CerealKiller


    Jul 29, 2008
    Norfolk, VA
    I don't know about that board. Reviews on Zounds completely thrashed it....

    This does sound like a more simplistic approach to what I want to do...and less expensive. I listing just popped on my local criagslist for a pair of JBL 8 monitors. Paired with a good mixer, I should be set.

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