Home Recording

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Quap, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. Quap

    Quap Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2008
    Lubbock, Texas
    I'm going to have a lot more free time in the future. (My wife is divorcing me :crying:) So I might as well channel it into recording some music.

    I would need to start from scratch including a computer.

    What is the best budget set up for bass, vocals, and guitar?
    JamesNC likes this.
  2. tfer


    Jan 1, 2014
    iPad, interface of your choice and GarageBand.
    el jeffe bass and getbent like this.
  3. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    Assuming you already have the instruments and cables for them:

    One microphone. I suggest a reasonably-good-quality cardioid dynamic mic. $100-200, used.
    One microphone cable (XLR male-to-female). $20
    One microphone stand. $20 used.
    A computer with a Windows OS. You can get a quite adequate used computer for a little over $100.
    Headphones. The choices are endless, and a reasonably-good set can be had for $50.
    A USB interface between your sources and the computer, such as the FocusRite Scarlett 2i2. $160.
    DAW (digital audio workstation) software - Reaper is free and good.

    Have a look at Recording 101 - collection of articles
  4. Quap

    Quap Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2008
    Lubbock, Texas
    Any iPad?
  5. Quap

    Quap Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2008
    Lubbock, Texas
    Would a Chromebook or Surface work? or does it have to be a laptop desk top type deal?
  6. tfer


    Jan 1, 2014
    Pretty much. iOS 13 ends support for iPads built before 2013.

    GarageBand is available for free on all iPads however.
  7. Kriegs


    Feb 14, 2018
    This is a great place to start :thumbsup: https://ehomerecordingstudio.com/home-recording-studio-essentials/
  8. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    You could use a Chromebook. But the Chrome OS is essentially a browser on a lightweight machine. The Chrome OS only supports online recording options, which is essentially a DAW within your browser. I can think of three problems with that:
    1) audio files are very large, and if your internet connection isn't great, you may have a hiccup in the middle of recording your best take;
    2) again, audio files are very large, and Chromebooks aren't made for storage of big data.
    3) you may be limited in your choice of interface.

    If you are tech-savvy, you could go with Linux, saving a few bucks on the operating system. Regardless, you will have best stability with a "laptop desk top type deal."
    equill and The Owl like this.
  9. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    I use my surface pro 4 for mobile recording. It just needs an input for your interface. I have a USB interface so it works great.

    Reaper is good cheap multitrack recording software.

    Focusrite Scarlett series interfaces are sturdy and have instrument level inputs so you can plug a bass or guitar right into it.

    I'd suggest a decent large diaphragm condenser mic wland a pop filter for recording vocals and acoustic instruments. Audio Technica, Rode, and many others have decent mics for under $200.

    You might also want some powered studio monitors. M-audio, JBL, Mackie, many others have good low cost options for 5 or 6 inch speakers. Don't go for the 8. Unless your room is very large you don't need it.

    The mic stand would be the only thing I wouldn't buy used. People tend to overtighten them and adjust them without loosening them first.
    MonetBass, The Owl and Supadope like this.
  10. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    What's your budget? By the time you buy the software, master the virtual libraries, purchase hardware goodies, buy mics and live sound capturing gear, upgrade the computer, and of course sound treat your recording studio, it will probably cost more than your ex-wife.
    Tommy V likes this.
  11. dannylectro

    dannylectro Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2010
    Hartsdale, NY
    Single best tool you can have to start building a home recording rig is an iMac with all the memory you can afford. It comes with GarageBand, an incredibly powerful & versatile DAW. Add a Focusrite Scarlett (at whatever level you can afford), a pair of decent headphones, and you are on your way. Over time, add a decent, cheap condenser mic (Audio Technica and MXL offer some decent entry-level mics), monitors, and a cheap M-audio keyboard...
  12. Skybone


    Jun 20, 2016
    You could also pick up something like a Line6 HD500x second hand, and then purchase the HD Bass add on pack, which will give you tons of different sounds for both bass and guitar. Because of the USB, it will also act as your Audio Interface for recording.

    You could even set up a patch on it to act as a Vocal Mic preamp.

    Of course, you could buy a Helix or other high end amp modeling interface, but you can get the HD500x for a relatively good price just now, and they still sound really good.

    IIRC, the Zoom B3n comes bundled with Cubase LE (well, the B3 used to).
  13. Jay Corwin

    Jay Corwin Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I wouldn't recommend a chromebook. I have one, and I've tried. The apps are all cloud based/browser extensions. You won't get what you're looking for unless they have significantly improved since I last looked into it.
  14. cattrax


    Oct 17, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
  15. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The OP did say "budget setup", so I'd suggest a Focusrite solo interface ($100) which comes with recording software and whatever Windows laptop you can get on sale at your local WalMart, Staple, Office Max or Best Buy (under $300). You may already own a mike if you've been gigging, if not buy one. Same for a set of headphones. That is all you need.

    For a little less money, you could go computer-free with something like a Zoom R8 for $300 which would replace both the interface and the computer. It can be used later on as an interface if you decide to go with a computer later.

    You can buy cheaper interfaces as well, Behringer has one for $40. Pretty much all interfaces come bundled with recording software.
    Kro, AGCurry, Tommy V and 2 others like this.
  16. If you're using an imac or macbook currently then yeah garageband is a great entry point and easy. If you're using windows (like the surface you mentioned) Reaper is great too. I second those recommending a focusrite scarlett but these days the behringer stuff is worth a look if your budget is super tight.

    Don't go down the studio monitor route unless are ready to invest in acoustic treatment, a good pair of headphones will serve you better up til that point.

    There are also a tonne of great free plugins for whatever you're trying to achieve.

    I wish you all the best with your writing and recording! Hope you'll share the results with us all.
    cableguy likes this.
  17. JaketheB


    Dec 5, 2015
    Bjork recorded many albums using a Shure SM58. She once had a custom made Neumann and decided to go back to the SM58.

    If it's good enough for her...?

    I'd also recommend Prosonus Studio One as a DAW. Would be willing to give you 1 of the 5 activations I have, if you want it? I have the full Professional suite.

    ^^ If you save money on the above it may be good to go for a mid to upper range interface. My Saffire Pro 40 is good but has some issues with low gain.

    Recording bass I use a Countryman 85 DI (passive bass/active DI) and the same with guitar (I trick the guitarists and ReAmp later).
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
    MattFrost likes this.
  18. I use the USB out of a Behringer 4 channel mixer into a refurbished laptop running Reaper.
    Works great, fairly cheap total cost.
  19. Allan Allan

    Allan Allan Guest

    Mar 25, 2018
    Leo Smith and Ripper75 like this.
  20. rodak


    Jun 14, 2005
    +1 for Reaper (even if you decide to buy, it's only $60). There are tons of videos on Youtube showing how to use it to do most anything you'll need.
    As for an interface, the Behringer UMC404HD will take four line/mic inputs and send them to USB. You can usually get one for about $100-ish. I caught a sale last year and got one for $70.