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Ideas for basic home recording

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Justinvs, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. Hi everybody!

    I'm trying to think of a Christmas present for my daughter. She's 21, computer savy and very musical. She plays keyboard, ukulele, learning bass and sings, and I think she would have fun writing and recording her own music to her iPad or laptop. (21 Pilots and Imagine Dragons are among her favorite bands, so she's definitely into that type of DIY music) Any suggestions for basic gear to get started? She already has access to all my mics, amps, etc, so primarily I'm thinking of DI boxes or interfaces, mixers and such to put her tracks into the computer. Not sure if she has any recording software on her iPad, yet, so suggestions there greatly appreciated, too.
  2. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    Narrow your search down to interfaces and a pair of monitors for starters. I would go with something like the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.

    A DI or mixer is probably not needed right away if at all.
    Inky13 likes this.
  3. Thanks!
  4. Does she have a laptop or desktop computer? I don't like the iPad much for recording and I like having a dedicated computer for music-making but kids these days can do everything on a tablet.

    My suggestions would be:

    1) A decent interface (one with decent preamps. two channels should be enough)
    2) A decent pair of nearfield monitors

    Don't worry about the software just now. One usually has to try various DAWs and see which one works for you.
    Inky13 likes this.
  5. Cool. Thanks for the advice!
  6. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    iPad should have GarageBand for iOS on it - it’s free and pretty easy for a newbie to figure out. She’ll need some sort of interface to get sound into and out of the iPad. IK Multimedia’s iRig is one such device.
    Justinvs likes this.
  7. Inky13


    Nov 13, 2016
    Buffalo NY
    M Box or any decent interface. A pair of powered monitors.
    If the laptop is a Mac, use that with GarageBand.
    IOS GB only has eight tracks. Even a pair of headphones will get her going while looking at speakers. And dad has all the front end goodies. I wish my parents had mics and cables when I was 21!
    Alik, DirtDog and Justinvs like this.
  8. Thanks you guys! This is exactly the info I was looking for.
  9. Brio


    Mar 10, 2013
    Kansas City
    I’d add a comfortable pair of headphones like the AKG 240 and would also recommend Ableton Live Intro ($79 on Reverb atm).
    Justinvs likes this.
  10. Behringer makes a recording dock for i-pads and it's fairly inexpensive (about $100.00)
    Focusrite makes a very nice interface called the i-track dock that is very simple to use with garageband and yields great results
    Justinvs likes this.
  11. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    If the choice is iPad or laptop, go with the laptop unless there is a real compelling reason otherwise. The iPad is good for tracking but is miles behind any decent laptop for everything needed to bring a song together.
    Justinvs and Inky13 like this.
  12. I personally would prefer an iPad. And I'm a software engineer. But Notebooks and DAWs on a notebook just distract me from focusing on music. I'm much more creative with Auria on my iPAD than with Logic on my MacBook.
    My personal opinion:
    If you want to write music and have the possibility to record it, but you're a musician first and don't plan to become a mastering engineer or sound-engineer - rather use an iPad.

    Now to something completely different: Did you think about a Looper? Most of them record on SD-cards so if you want to, you can get your tracks into a DAW. As she is a multiinstrumentalist, she might have a lot of fun with a Looper.
    And it gives you - not in a bad way - instant gratification. You just start with some chords and 2 minutes later you improvise to that chords and hear both. And if you have made a mistake, you start recording the next track to the loop...
    I started with a Digitech Jamman Stereo and later bought an EHX 45000. The EHX is a bit expensive but in many ways is not just a looper, it is a four track recorder with an extra stereo track and it has midi.
    I had a lot of fun with the Jamman. The 22500 from EHX looks interesting too and has an inbuild mic-preamp like the Jamman.
    Boss is one of the most well known makers of Loopers.
    This is recorded with a Loopstation from Boss (No mouse involved, no plug-ins, no sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-menues on a notebook.

    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
    DirtDog and Justinvs like this.
  13. That's definitely a thought! I have several loopers myself, and they're practically the only thing I do recording on.
    DirkP likes this.
  14. Badwater


    Jan 12, 2017
    Check out Presounus AudioBox. It comes with a DAW called Studio One 3 Artist. It's a full feature DAW with digital drums, fx, MIDI, and the ability to control it all with a keyboard controller. With this set up, just plug and play, and use a keyboard controller to create beats, drum tracks, synth loops, and any type of synth music. No need for extra plugins. And the digital/audio quality is very good (studio quality). And it comes with a bunch of loops and samples to experiment with.
  15. Thanks for the reccomend!
  16. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Feb 28, 2021

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