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Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by spidersbass, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. spidersbass


    Nov 29, 2004
    Downtown L.A.
    alright, i'm going to school now to become some sort of recording engineer, so far i've learned nothing other than audio theory i already learned in physics class back in the ol high school days about waves and troughs and what not.

    here comes the question:
    i want to record multiple tracks (entire drumset, guitars, bass, vocals) through a mixer and some compressors and effects, straight into the computer into a program, most likely Tracktion just cuz its so easy, and then be able to do over dubs and delete entire tracks that just sucked the first try. someone said i need a thing known as an "interface" or some **** like that. what kinda "interface" would i need, money isn't an issue, just keep it under a thousand.

  2. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    Wellll, if I had $1000 for recording, I'd get this:
    That is, assuming you have a desktop and know how to install a PCI (pretty simple stuff).
    If you have a notebook, I'd get this:
    They are both very high quality units. If you want to save some money and have almost as good recording, get an E-mu 1818M or 1616M depending if you have a PC or laptop.
  3. Brad Maestas

    Brad Maestas Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2003
    Oakland, CA

    Simply put, an 'interface' is the I/O for your computer. It usually has A/D and D/A converters so you can record and playback your digital audio. It's also very common for them to have any number of microphone preamps as well. You'll want to invest in the best converters possible and there are many levels of converter quality in today's affordable units. My first rig was a Digi002, Powerbook and an external FW800 hard drive. The 002's converters are okay. Nothing special. I recorded Tomasz Stanko at Birdland with that rig and apparently ECM felt it was good enough to release. Some of your decision will depend on whether you've got a tower or laptop, PC or Mac though that is becoming less and less of an issue lately.

    I think my next portable multi-track rig will be two MOTU 896's, as suggested by Plain Old Me above. Dave Holland's engineer has a killer 896 rig. He has two 896's in a rack and a 12" Powerbook. He doesn't even bother with an external hard drive because he's dedicated that computer to recording only. He doesn't use a fancy DAW, either. He just uses the included CueMix recording software. So far, all of Dave's "Live at Birdland" shows were done with this rig and if the 896 is good enough for ECM, it's good enough for me!
  4. as above: get Pro Tools LX with Digi002or the MOTU 896
  5. Pfff...! You don't need an "interface" just do what it says in my sig... ;) And pocket the grand.
  6. mattm0805


    Oct 13, 2004
    Go get a MBOX2 and it comes with PROTOOLS LE. The MBOX2 only has 2 inputs. But if you have a S/PDIF preamp you could have 2 more inputs. I think the MBOX2 is a good place to start. Digi also has rack interfaces with 8 ins, which costs around $1000. Protools is relatively easy with a little time spent on it and it is more universal. meaning you can walk into a major recording studio with your harddrive and go right to work.

    Here is the number for Music Center inc: 800-697-9393. They have the best prices around and they are the nicest people to work with.
    An MBOX2 from Musicians Friend cost $450. From Music Center I got mine for $400. $50 saved is not too bad.
  7. Brad Maestas

    Brad Maestas Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2003
    Oakland, CA
  8. spidersbass


    Nov 29, 2004
    Downtown L.A.
    i've got that book already, Modern Recording Techniques. my computer is a Compaq with 512 MB Ram and 80GB hardrive. i really dont' know much, at all, about computers. and i dont' know what an I/O is. i'd like to invest into the cheapest (in price) tower from Mac or anything really to get Tracktion running on it. i'd need a G4 with OSX v10.3.9 and 256 MB RAM. as for the interface, i dont' now if i'd need something more "up to date" than that.
  9. I/O stands for in/out

    as for 256 mb of memory, i suggest a lot more...right now i am running on a gig of memory, and that works pretty good.

    if you are going ot record with your compaq, i'd suggest adobe audition, thats really easy to use. Also what kind of sound card are you running?
  10. spidersbass


    Nov 29, 2004
    Downtown L.A.
    the sound card is whatever came in the computer. i've just been using the computer for the usual: porn and talkbass. so i haven't added anything to it
  11. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
  12. spidersbass


    Nov 29, 2004
    Downtown L.A.
    blisshead, that looks about what i'm looking after. one thing though, it says on the site it has 18 inputs and 20 outputs, but on the picture of it i only see 6 of each. i'd need to record an entire 7 piece drumset plus 2 overheads, plus scratch guitars, bass, and vocals, all at once. then do overdubs. how am i gonna do that with only 6 input connections?

    another question, can i add to that? i mean, can a connect 2 of those 1820M's and have supposedly 36 inputs? (or of what i can see, 12 inputs?)
  13. dalley


    Jul 6, 2005
    You really do not need a mixer (unless you need the preamps and additional monitoring capabilities) and it would probably be wiser to apply your comp & effects "in the box" non-destructively after recording.

    If you are going the PC route, RME makes some great interfaces but they might be out of your price range. I currently use the Echo Layla 3G (8 in/out, 2 decent mic preamps & good AD/DA converters), which is great and can be had for $500 brand new ...
  14. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    they count every possible configuration, which is a tad of a strectch IMO... (TRS, etc.)

    I plan on adding a firepod to mine. the Emu has firewire, so it's no trouble to connect.


    People who know how to connect a cable to computer :) give it really good marks.
  15. spidersbass


    Nov 29, 2004
    Downtown L.A.
    alright, i looked at a bunch of different products. the ones that caught my eye were the EMU 1820M and the Mackie 400F. here's one thing that bothers me though that neither of them have: they have 4 of the "these" kinds of inputs and 2 of "these other" types of inputs and more of "these other different" types of inputs. is there one where there is at least 8 certain ONE TYPE of input, so that i can connect an entire drumset and scratch guitars? it can be either TRS or Mic cables or whatever. also it would be cool if you can connect 2 of of these certain interfaces together for a total of 16 I/O's (i'm learning my vocabulary) and connect even another one for 24 I/O's and so on...
  16. spidersbass


    Nov 29, 2004
    Downtown L.A.
    actually, that FIREPOD looks about exactly what i'm looking for!!

    another thing though, i guess its a newbie question, i really dont' know, but this is another important feature that i really need. can i connect 2 FIREPODS together to get 16 channels? then another one for 24? and so on...

    one more thing, can someone please give me a quick explanation of what exactly this magical thing called "firewire" is? i see a lil connection for it on the front of my computer, but have NO clue as to what its used for, and never cared until i see it on all these interfaces.
  17. lomer


    Mar 20, 2005
    Perth, Australia
    "Firewire" or or IEEE-1394 as its also known is alot like USB, it's basically just another interface like USB, Serial etc for you to attach peripherals to.... It started out being mainly for Multimedia due to the fact it began on Mac's but nowadays lots of ppl have it as standard.

    And a bit of technical info, firewire can also interface with the PC at a cool 400MB per/sec making it quite fast, i've even heard reports it's faster than USB2.0 due to the way it handles traffic.
  18. spidersbass


    Nov 29, 2004
    Downtown L.A.
    cool, thanks a lot lomer

    as for my other question, nevermind, i've found the answers here:

    i also found a very interesting pic that kinda made my whole life easier

    so pretty much, i just need this FIREPOD and i can do all this crap i wanna do? obviously i'd still need mics and guitars and **** to connect them up.

    wow, i thought i needed a lot more other crap, turns out i just need this firepod thing and i'm up and running... (here's where someone comes in and tell me, "no, your gonna need this, this, this, and that to get a good sounding recording")

    one more question: each input on this firepod will be its own track in the Cubase recording software thats included, right?

    thanks a lot
  19. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Pretty much you would. I personally wanted some of the features the EMU had, and as already had a couple of mic pres and a mixer it made sense to go that route for me. OTOH, you can start with the firepod and move from there if you find you want something else later. I think Cubase offers a pretty good upgrade program from the LE software the 'pod comes with, at least they used to.