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PC recording for $1000 or under

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by yomchi247, Apr 24, 2005.

  1. yomchi247


    Sep 6, 2004
    Hey, I'm looking at building a project studio with a budjet of around $1000. I don't have any experience with pc recording, or recording in general, so I'm looking for some advice in what direction to head.

    I don't mind if I have to read manuals or take some time to get acquainted to programs or anything. Also this is just a beginning budget. I plan on expanding more in the future, so any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  2. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca

    Do you already have a computer?
  3. One of the main things to do is buy a new soundcard. The stock soundcard these days has one input, and it sucks.

    Look around for a sound card with 4 or more inputs, as only being able to record one track becomes really tedious, really fast. I can't imgaine recording drums on anything less than four tracks. When you find the soundcard you want, look at its specs, and what they recommend for processing and memory requirements.

    Next, find the recording program you want. I'd recommend Cubase for PC, and Logic Pro for MAC. The only problem is that those programs do cost major funds, around 500$ for Cubase and 1000 for Logic Pro, but once you own them (or "acquire" them :) ) you'll be in love.

    Good luck with the studio!
  4. Josh Ryan

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

    Mar 24, 2001
    Depending on your needs some of the soundcards ship with older versions of certain programs, for example the EMU cards ship with an earlier release of Cubase , which for straight ahead recording is very capable.
  5. yomchi247


    Sep 6, 2004
    Haha yeah, I have a computer :) I have an AMD Athlon 3000+ with 512 mb ram (upgrading to 1g soon) and a 120g hard drive

    I was just looking around on some sites and was checking out a couple things.

    What do you think about the Firepod 10 channel I/O? It comes bundled with Cubase LE for $600 from musicians friend, and received all 9+ scores for the review.

    What about the Mbox with protools? It comes with pro tools LE, and some plug ins, but only received 7+ scores for the review.

    Are these a viable option, and if so, what else would I need with them to work?

    One last question...what is the difference between one of these, and getting a new sound card?

    Sorry, but I'm really new to this so I really appreciate the help
  6. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    don't know about firepod

    MBox and pro tools have a somewhat big learning curve, and some people get put off by the compatibility issues.

    many soundcards don't have very good sample rates, or the rate clocks aren't reliable, or they just all-around stink. There are a lot of really good ones, though.

    as far as being new goes, don't even worry about it, just keep asking questions :)

  7. yomchi247


    Sep 6, 2004
    How do I find out what my sound card sample rate is?

    and if it isn't good/great do I have to get a different sound card even if I would go with a firepod/mbox?
  8. protoz


    Nov 30, 2000
    Do you know what your sound card is?

    If you don't have anything special I would look into a recording soundcard but if you are a gamer thse cards don't offer very good hardware accellerated sound.

    I have an Audigy 2 ZS and I've been kicking around how to do some home recording as well
  9. If you're really serious about it, take a look at Digidesign's line of stuff, they're the people who make Pro-Tools. Another option is looking into M-Audio, they make high quality sound cards with up to 8 input/ouput channels, and are considered to be among the best sound cards.

    As for your computer itself, it's more than enough to do any pro-recording, I too am surprised at the minimal requirements to do high quality recording.
  10. PaulWeapon


    Jan 17, 2005
    A firepod for $600 might be nice, but 8 mic inputs are kinda useless without 8 mics!
  11. yomchi247


    Sep 6, 2004
    haha yeah, I guess that's a good point.

    What about drum mics though? Would this setup work well for recording drums?
  12. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    I would assume that you could pretty easilly record drums with 8 inputs. My band did it with 5 over Spring Break and it sounded pretty good.
  13. xbradx


    Oct 25, 2004
    Bloomington, IN
    i'm kinda in the same boat here, the singer in my band and i went in together and bought a sweet mackie 16 channel mixer with the extra mic pre-amp attachemnt for all 16 channels and have been thinking about getting one of the 8+ line in audio interfaces in either pci or firewire format. basically, enough line in's that i can still use the mackie mixer, but have enough inputs on my pc to record a full drumkit properly. the ache:emelie recording i did for our demo(see purevolume link below) last year was done with that mixer with the main L/R outs running into the L/R analog ins on my Audigy2ZS since with Sonar i could split the L&R inputs to 2 seperate channels. basically, i had to record the drums live to one stereo track, then just overdub everything else one or two at a time. doing the drums that way is a pain and obviously didn't turn out quite as well as hoped(but has still gotten us 90k+ plays :hyper: )
    but yeah, i was thinking about either the firepod or Edirol FA-101. probably looking to spend in the $400-500 range.

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