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Home Recording Beginner - Rack? Setup?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Sweetnighter, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. Sweetnighter


    Sep 4, 2004
    I'm something of a novice home recordist, and I have some questions. For starters, this is what I have right now:

    HP w/ 256MB memory 633mHz Intel Pentium III processor
    E-mu 0404 Soundcard
    UB1202 Behringer Eurorack Mixer
    Behringer Truth B2030A monitors
    Korg MS2000B Analog Modeling Synthesizer/Vocoder
    MXL V57M Large Condenser Microphone
    Behringer Direct Dox
    Aria SB-40 Fretless Bass
    Cry Baby Wah Wah Pedal
    + a box of miscellaneous 1/4", RCA, and XLR cables and adapters

    As a birthday present I got $250 in giftcards for Sam Ash (since thats the only thing i asked for :) ) but I'm not really sure where to go from here. I know I need to get the Shure SM57/58 mics, but I plan on getting those used off of eBay since they are so durable and its not worth $200 to get them new from Sam Ash. Although my I don't know anything about it, I would like to start getting some rack equipment, a la compressor, limiter, multieffects processor, amplifier, etc. If you were in my situation, what would you do?

    My other question relates to the physical arrangement of my recording area. Right now, with the E-mu card in the back of my computer, and my desk up against the wall of my room, its very very very inconvenient to get to the ins and outs of the soundcard. I'm also stuck in the corner of my room, and I'm running out of space. My monitors are just sitting on top of my desk, both of them to the right of where I sit in front of my keyboard (how dumb). Basically, with everything jammed in the corner of my room, its hard to plug things in anywhere in any way. What should I do? Ideally I'd like to convert our guest room into a little recording area, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to. Any suggestions there?

    Thanks in advance! :bassist:
  2. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Kinda hard to say what you would be adding to that but as for your setup I'd say that if you are using a corner, try to put a corner-format workstation there so you can get a monitor on each side, and run a set of patch cables from the back of the PC to the top of the desk and label them. For most stuff you can leave the soundcard connected to the mixer. I mean, if space is an issue, the spend the $250 on a cheap/good corner desk, a pair of monitor isolation pads, and some bins to organize your stuff into so it isn't in the way.
  3. Sweetnighter


    Sep 4, 2004
    Thanks. I've been doing some research myself, and I have a few more questions:

    1) What is the difference between an amp and a preamp? Which should I get for my rack? Whats a cheap one I can get?

    2) What are the essential pieces of a studio rack? How can I get them at a low price for decent quality?

    3) Whats a good mixer that I can run MIDI or digital along with audio through for a low price?
  4. Dr. D

    Dr. D Loaded For Bear

    Jan 13, 2005
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    1) an amp is a power amp, and it powers your speakers. It takes a line level signal and boosts it to speaker level output. a preamp takes a low level (guitar input or mic input) and boost it to (line level) for the power amp to use. you need both.

    2) depends on what you are trying to achieve, I am running a 4100 watt system, and it is what I need for any situation. you may not need this.

    3) You can not run midi through a mixer. Midi is a control signal not an analog sound signal.


    If you need them for your rack, I have a compressor limiter , and a peavey deltafex unit Brand new I do not need pm me if you are interested. Both pieces are new and have only been used once. both in the box.
  5. Sweetnighter


    Sep 4, 2004
    If I have active monitors, then I don't need a separate amp, correct?

    And I know how MIDI works, I just want some kind of interface so I can change in-out-thru stuff without having to crawl behind my computer and my synths all the time.
  6. PaulWeapon


    Jan 17, 2005
    Well, you haven't mentioned what it is you're trying to record yet, so I have no useful advice. It looks to me like you already have a bunch of decent equipment. Are you unsatisifed with your recordings?

    Looking at your list, I would buy more RAM (or just a better computer) and mess around with software plugins to see what compressors, etc. actually do. THEN I would consider buying equipment to fill a rack. What software do you use, by the way?