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Creating music on a budget

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Brendan, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Hey gang, I'm finally tip-toeing into the world of DAWs and all that they entail.

    What I'm having a hard time doing, and hard time discerning, is the s/n ratio with all the different brands and realistic uses of 1001 features you get, etc.

    This is all for PC, just for a bearing.

    What I'm looking into is something pretty simple. I'm not looking at a home recording studio in the sense of a regular recording studio. I'm looking at being able to record my bass (and guitar) into my computer and using digital drum sequencing to get things working. A small keyboard MIDI controller (small like 32ish keys), and that'd be about it. To this end, I'm not even sure I'd need a mixer, even a small one, since I'd only be doing one track at a time on my respective instruments, so I'm not positive it'd matter at all... would it?

    I'd like to get a PCI card with breakout box, as I hear USB boxes aren't so hip. XLR and 1/4 inputs, and something that's not gonna break. Drum and whatever else software I can figure out, it's the hardware that has me buggin'.

    Trying to balance being poor with not sounding poor, if you will.

  2. I have had good results using M-Audio's stuff for recording. You could get a Delta 66 (less than $200) which has balanced I/O, a DMP3 2-Channel Mic Pre/Direct Box ($150 -ish), Oxygen8 USB MIDI Controller ($140). I personally use a Delta 10/10 in my home studio and I have been very pleased with it and M-Audio's customer service. I have not used the Oxygen or the DMP3, but I have heard good things about them. I'm not trying to push M-Audio on you, BTW, but they do offer pretty good bang for the buck.

    Getting into home recording can be an addictive money pit, but it's amazing what you can do with relatively little money these days compared to 10 or 15 years ago. What is your budget?
  3. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    There are about 15 threads here which go into many of the different options. I would check out this site though. www.emu.com -by far the best bang for the buck.
  4. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Part of my problem, really. That, and I thought I did a pretty thorough search for the budget options. Maybe I didn't use the right words?
  5. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Shoestring budgets are a bunch of fancy pants high rollers.
  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The best budget options IMHO are the Tascam US-122 ($200; audio and MIDI interface, you'd still need a keyboard; comes with recording and sequencing software plus it's bus powered so there's no power cord) and the M-Audio Ozone ($250; no software, wall wart power supply), a keyboard with MIDI and audio interfaces built in.

    Yes, they are both USB but my advice is that USB devices are easier to get up and running than sound cards (go look at all the threads about sound card hassles!!!). For one thing you don't have to install any drivers (funny how the one in the box is ALWAYS out of date).