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looking to get started in computer based recording

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by supernaut, Sep 1, 2003.

  1. I want to do some simple recording on my computer. I will mostly be recording bass, but want to be able to record other things too. I will most likely be recording one thing at a time. I have looked around and there are some USB based recording gear and also PCI cards, the firewire stuff is a little spendy for me. I don't want to spend more than $200. what would you recomend.
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
  3. that looks pretty good. so then would I just have to get a adapter so I could plug a 1/4 cable into that?
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    You probably can't plug your bass directly into that card - there's only a line in, not a mic in. Some active basses have a strong enough output, but most do not.
    You can use your (pre)amp's line out or FX send and a adaptor (phone->RCA).
  5. rygelxvi


    Jan 6, 2003
    M-Audio just came out with a pretty cheap firewire unit. But if you don't go firewire go PCI, you'll get less latency and better quality than USB. The soundcard is really the heart of a good recording. This will determine the quality of your recording. If your just looking to get some ideas down don't wory about ho much you spend, but if you want a good quality recording spend the money.
  6. Hi supernaut,

    Can I point you in the direction of this thread? http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=95531. I hope it answers some of your questions. Please feel free to add to it if it doesn't. We're trying to set up a FAQ for recording and using computers. So far we haven't gotten very far with it (apologies to all) but if we can merge some of the beginners issues in one thread then we might be able to make it easier to reference. :)

    For beginner's information on recording on computers check out www.computermusic.co.uk and have a look at their tutorials. Also this link has some really excellent topics about computer recording, optimising operating systems, what you want to look for in soundcards etc. It's a great resource. http://sound-on-sound2.infopop.net/2/OpenTopic?a=frm&s=215094572&f=514099644

    By the way, I've heard some people are actually experiencing teething troubles with the new MAudio Firewire interface. It's really new, so it may be wiser to leave it a couple of months until they sort out drivers etc. and iron out the early problems.

    USB has generally higher latency than most PCI cards, and some USB devices restrict the input and output depending on the latency and recording quality you set. For example some 6 in/out cards will only let you use all in/out channels simultaneously at 16bit/44Khz. If you want higher performance then it restricts you to 2in simultaneously etc. Check out the specs carefully and try to download manuals first to check out how these things work.

    Although Soundblaster cards may be good for very first time beginners, their performance in terms of noise and recording quality isn't as good as some other comparable (pricewise) soundcards.

    It's a bit of a lottery... All the best though.
  7. ufo


    Jun 3, 2003
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    (I thought I posted this before, sorry if this is redundant, but my last post didn't take...)

    I've got a great alternative for PC recording- I use the ZOOM PS02 recorder (see www.samsontech.com). It's about as big as a walkman and records digitally- it's got a great set of editable effects built in as well as drum patterns.

    This thing kicks butt!

    All of my recordings have been recorded with or re-mastered with the ZOOM PS02. It records onto smart cards, the same kind you use in digital cameras.

    You can get them these days for 100-150$, a card reader for your PC is like 30$, and a 64MB card is like 60$, so you can get the whole deal for 200 bucks.

    Check out my recordings, all done with the PS02, at my web site


    You can take files recorded on the ZOOM and turn them into .WAV files, once you do that, you can import them into almost any mixing software.

    You can also take .WAV files or .MP3 files, convert them and move them to the ZOOM (i do this if I hear a track that I want to plya along with- I'll move the MP3 to my ZOOM and play along with it, all while having the ZOOM in my pocket! Don't need to be tied to a pC!)

    I am working on a new recording which you will see at my site called "Fur Planet"- it's with 3 other PS02 owners around the globe, they send me the files, and I mix them. It's a neat device.

  8. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Hey Supernaut! I record piece at a time myself. That M-Audio card is what I'm looking to get eventually. The MP3s on my website are mostly recorded in "Cakewalk Guitar Tracks" (the better 'pro' version sells at MF for $99)

    I like to line out of my Ashdown into my SoundBlaster 16 (yeah it's a ****ty card, but it's working fine for me at the moment). But on my MP3 page tracks 11 through 15 are just 1/4 to 1/8 adapter into the line in of the sound card.

    FYI: I'm recording on a junk machine I pieced together. AMD 300Mhz + 128mb + 6gb with the sound blaster 16.

    Yup it takes a life time to mixdown... but hey, fancy computers aren't always needed.
  9. japhy4529

    japhy4529 this is only a test... Supporting Member

    I have heard good things about the Tascam US-122 USB Audio Interface. You may record up to two tracks simultaneously (choice between XLR or Line/Guitar Level on each channel), plus each channel has an Insert (for a Compressor, outboard EQ, etc..). I believe it also comes with Steinberg Cubasis and Gigasampler software. The price is around $200. Check it out.

    If portability is important to you, then check out Zoom or something like it. If quality is important to you, then check out something a bit more robust (Tascam, M-Audio, M-Box, etc..).

    There are definitely latency issues with some of the older USB devices. However the newer models seem to have addressed that issue quite nicely.

    You have a price range in mind, so just go out and do as much research as possible.

    Good luck!

    - Tom

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