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What should I get/do I need?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by saxnbass, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Alright, so I know I need some hardware and software. I would like some recommendations, and please keep in mind that I'm almost 18 and therefore don't have oodles of money, but am willing to spend a bit. I would greatly appreciate links to items you suggest to online stores (preferably Musician's Friend). OK, here are the things I really want to be able to do:

    Record multiple tracks (one at a time with real-time playback while recording new track without bleeding over) (and two or three tracks at the same time into 3 different track slots in order to post-recording edit and work on each track (EQ, Levels, Effects, etc.))

    High Quality

    Recording voice and being able to pitch correct (I'm not that good of a singer) and vary pitch (for harmonies)

    Mixdown into a popular music format (MP3) in order to make discs

    Thanks for your help in advance.
  2. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help:
  3. u2Fletch


    Oct 17, 2006
    Yuba City, CA
    Do you have a fairly late model (not slow) computer? If yes, then I would recommend checking out Audacity. (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/) It is freeware, so it meets your budget needs and is very capable. You will just need to spend some money for a decent mic. You are stuck with recording one track at a time, but you can work with as many open tracks as your computer can handle.

    I have not tested Audacity with a vocal track to see how well the pitch shift functions work. Might be a problem there.

    My "low budget" setup uses a Fostex MR-8 digital recorder ($250) which can record 2 tracks at a time. I then like to upload all the recorded tracks into Audacity to do the final mixdown. I like the MR-8 since it is easy to use and has a MIDI sync capability with my sequencer, keyboard and drum machine.


    Line6 Variax 705 Bass
    Bass POD XT Live
    Cort 5 string fretless
    Avatar B210 NEO cabinet
    Peavey GPS 1500 power amp
  4. Cakewalk Home Studio is a great program for PC with your criteria. I've used it for years and like it over many other programs.
  5. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    I own the following gear already:

    My main computer is an Apple MacBook 2 GHz
    I have a license for NTracks for PC
    A Behringer Mixer (fairly large) around 16 channel, EQ and effects built in
    Shure SM57 Mic
    Alesis DEQ-830

    I guess I need an interface of some sort and a good program at least. Remember the multi-track at once recorded to separate tracks and the pitch correction. The multi would be nice, the pitch correction (for vocals) is a big one though.
  6. I'm using a Macbook as well. I use a Motu ultralite interface. With your macbook, you can use the Garageband software that came with it for starters. It's a pretty decent begginer multitracker. Then an upgrade to Logic Express($299) or Logic Pro ($999), or MOTU's Digital Performer 5 ($599) is also a great program.
    Here's a couple of links for some good interfaces.

    And with your mixer, you can use direct outs to go into the balanced inputs on the back of these interfaces. (like for drums)

    Presonus Firebox

    MOTU Ultralite
  7. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
  8. Danimal00

    Danimal00 Dealer: Sweetwater

    Feb 28, 2006
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Sweetwater Sound Senior Sales Engineer
    Most Firewire audio interfaces are going to give you a higher real time recording track count as Firewire has a higher bandwidth than USB. Most USB interfaces are limited to 2 inputs at a time.

    I think that the Presonus FireBox is a very solid solution and the mic pres are pretty decent too. It would give you your 4 inputs at a time. It does come with CubaseLE, but you could use GarageBand, Audacity, or pretty much whatever program that you wanted with it.

    For Pitch correction and harmonies, Melodyne Uno is pretty good.

  9. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    I'm not on a super low budget, so I am willing to spend money on quality gear that I will have for a long time.

    I'm liking the Logic programs (probably Express for now in order to have more money for hardware).
  10. If cash isn't too tight, jump on one of the MOTU units. They're almost bulletproof. the ultralite ($549ish) has two mic pre's (with phantom power) and 6 TRS inputs on the back to plug in channels from your mixer, so you can do 8 tracks simutaniously. It also has midi in/out, and a host of other goodies.
  11. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    How well would Logic Pro 7.2 run on a Mac Mini?

  12. I think it would do fair. Get as much ram (2gb for the mini) as you can, the biggest processor, and a good sized hard drive.

    An external firewire drive at 7200rmp or more is good to for putting projects on.

    The problem for computers is not nec. running the main program, it's running some of the plugins and VST's.

    Like I said, I'm using a Macbook with 2ghz processor, 2gb ram, and use a firewire HD. And I use a MOTU interface. I have had no problems at all.
  13. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    You using Logic Pro or Express?
  14. On my laptop I run Express, and on my tower I run Pro. I like to record on my laptop, then dump it into pro at home to do my tweaking.
  15. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    What "tower" do you use? G5?
  16. Yup, but I have a 3.0ghz Mac Pro coming in time for Christmas!
  17. I like Tracktion. It's available for Mac, easy to learn, surprisingly powerful, and only about $150 at MF. It's not Logic Pro, which might be overkill for your needs, but it's no toy. I've heard of several people using it successfully with a PreSonus Firepod interface, which would probably be all the interface you'd need. For pitch correction, Melodyne ought to work. Antares AutoTune is another program that does something like this, but it might be more $$.

    As for Logic, I had it back when they still did a Windows version (i.e., before Apple bought it). It was powerful, all right, but I found it hard to learn and get comfortable with. Obviously that's not an impossible task, because many people do learn it quite well; I'm just saying some people (I know I wasn't alone in this) might find it a bit tricky at first. You should give some thought to what exactly you want to do, how much time you want to spend learning the program, and so forth. You might not need the biggest, baddest, most powerful program on the block.

    I see you have a license for nTracks. Have you played with that yet? That might even be all you need for now, if you get a good interface.
  18. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    I have played with NTracks, it's alright but I personally want something a little more. I haven't tried it with an interface yet, but we shall see. I really prefer doing things on a mac. As for how "how much time you want to spend learning the program, and so forth." I'd really like to get a really good program now and just update it as new updates come out. Expensive up front, but usually cheaper in the long run.
  19. Good point, but keep in mind that from one point of view, it only gets to be cheaper in the long run if you actually use the advanced functions that you pay the extra $ for. For example, Logic Pro is about $1000. If you never, ever use it for anything you couldn't do equally well or better with some $250 program, then you might as well have bought the $250 program in the first place.

    It all depends on what you're trying to do. Your goals actually sound fairly modest. It's your money of course, and good luck to you whatever you decide to do, but it would seem to me you don't really need to spend $1000 on an audio/MIDI program to achieve the goals you've stated.
  20. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    That's currently, I will have the program for a long time, obviously. I am planning on being a music major and make a living playing bass, so I will probably end up needing something powerful, when that day comes, I'll have it and know how to use it.

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