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Need advice for home recording

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Funkateer, Jan 23, 2003.

  1. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    I posted a specific question about the Korg D1200, but have subsequently realized that I should request more general guidance from this group.

    What I want to do:

    Basically one-man-band recordings plus some collaborations with my son. May eventually need to record my son's rock band.

    What I've got:

    Roland RD600 digital piano - midi in/out
    Boss DR670 drum machine - midi in/out
    Behringer MX802 mixer
    EBS Drome bass amp
    Studiophile BX-8 powered monitors
    Art Tube MP Studio V3 preamp
    Shure SM57 mic

    Hard requirements:

    Easy backup capability - USB interface
    Ability to upgrade software via the net - USB interface
    24 bit capability

    Specific question. Which way to go:

    So far, the two most attractive approches are :
    1) cheap laptop (would need to buy) with USB and CD-RW plus Korg D1200 or similar with USB interface. What software would I want to run on the laptop in this case?
    2) expensive laptop (or desktop) with USB/firewire/?? based outboard digital recording hardware. Again what software would I run? What about hardware?

    Any specific advice on these choices, or anything else you think is relevant to my decision making would be greatly appreciated
  2. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Sounds like you're doing the same kind of thing as me - one-man-band type recordings.

    Is there a specific reason you're looking at computer options rather than digital audio workstations? I can't tell you much about doing it on a computer, but I can tell you this, you'd need a good sound card, one designed for multitrack recording, with the appropriate inputs and outputs etc and decent A->D converters. As far as software goes, Pro Tools is a popular choice, and an industry standard. I can't tell you how good it is. Were you thinking of getting a Mac or PC? For a long time Macs have been the computer of choice for this sorta thing - over PCs - they've had faster processors, much more stable operating systems, faster hard drives etc. PCs are sorta catching up though - IDE drives are getting much faster (and have always been cheaper than the SCSI drives used in Macs), and processor power is increasing all the time. However, although I don't know much about recording on a PC, I do know that Windows is an unstable beast!

    You say you want 24-bit quality - I don't know how this comes into the sound card equation.

    However I can strongly recommend the digital audio workstation option. I've used the Yamaha AW4416 (Yamaha's top-of-the-line 16 track DAW), and I've recently bought myself a Roland VS2480 (Roland's top-of-the-line 24 track DAW). They're both very good machines. They both do 24 bit audio, and have CDR/W burners built in (unless you buy the versions without the burners built in!) - is there any reason why you wanted USB for backup and software upgrade purposes? Both of those machines will back up projects onto CDRs or CDR/Ws, and you can download the software upgrades and install them via the CD drive. I don't know if you have to do that via the drive, or whether you can do it over a wire - I haven't investigated the possibility of connecting them to a computer yet, but I'm aware it's there.

    Price is gonna come into the equation too, I assume. The AW4416 & VS2480 are expensive machines. The VS2480CD (the version with the CD drive) has an RRP of £2999, and I think the AW4416 is somewhere around the £2000 mark.

    But both Yamaha and Roland do lower priced models, such as the VS1880 and VS1824 etc. I don't know whether these have the 24 bit capability or not, or whether they have CD drives or not.

    Check out www.yamaha.com and www.roland.com

    Though, seeing as you've already got a mixer, you might want to look into standalone digital recorders. They certainly should be cheaper than DAWs. I know Yamaha and Roland make these, but I don't know any details.

    Hope all that helps.
  3. wallyburger


    Jan 13, 2003
    Detroit MI
    Check out musiciansfriend.com in their recording section. There you will find a number of reasonable options for recording via a labtop. I have an old Sony Vio that I use with Cubase VST software and a Tascam 488 USB interface / controler. Nice set up for recording and digital mixing. With your Behringer mixer used for it's pre amps you will do fine. Musiciansfriend also has a good selection of multitrack recording software packages from many venders. Pick the software first to see what you need in a labtop. Generaly speaking a laptop with 500 mhz processor and up with a 20 gig 7200 rpm drive and 256 meg ram will do well. You will need a USB port. Firewire is good if you want to expand and use external hard drives as wav files used in recording are rather large. Most external A/D converters are USB. Also find Home Recording Central on the web. www.dbmasters.net/hrc/index/php Very good home recording forum.

    Good luck! I have a home project studio that I absolutely love. It took about three years and 7K to assemble but I can turn out pro recordings and am starting to use it for profit. Next to performing it is just the most fun on the planet.
  4. BigTed


    Jul 1, 2002
    San Diego
    Why go laptop? If your seeking mobility thats understandable, but with a full size workstation it's a lot cheaper and you have alot more options:

    -SCSI Hard disk controller
    -Multiple hard disks
    -24/96 Soundcards that won't break the bank & have more than a couple I/Os
    -low-noise fans

    If your stuck on a laptop though, Echo audio offers a PC-Card adapter for their Layla-24 series digital converters, and Midiman offers their "Duo" or "Quatro" which is USB, but I've heard that USB has considerably more latency than PCI cards. Both are 24bit / 96kHz.

    Echo Audio