What you need and How to Record to Computer

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by skit_skittson, Mar 14, 2002.

  1. I'm very very new at recording, actually I've only recorded on a four track. What sound cards and/or programs would I need to record music onto my computer so that I can make my own cds or whatever. Also what other equipment is necessary. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks. Long Live the BASS!!!
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    This will be a little short, since I should be in bed really (2 AM here in good ol' Germoney), I'll add things later or others may also post valuable info.

    1. Soundcards:

    I recommend getting a decent card with ASIO drivers, since they usually offer better sound and audio recording capabilities.
    ASIO is a driver interface introduced by Steinberg (the makers of Cubase and Nuendo), which offers low latency (amount of time the PC needs to process audio, e.g. play a sound) and additional functionality for audio recording such as direct monitoring).
    Very good entry-level cards are Midiman/M-Audio's Delta Audiophile 2496 card (200$), Terratec or Hoontech.

    Consumer cards for gaming are ok too, but you'll eventually find that they lack audio quality and/or recording functionality. Gaming features like 3D sound are useless for audio recording, as are consumer DSP (digital sound processing) features like on the Soundblaster cards. Those won't be usable in audio sequencer programs and don't sound good.

    Stay away from Creative Labs cards like the SBLive or Audigy. The audio forums worldwide are full with complaints. CL advertises them as recording cards, but they're really cards for gamers.

    2. Audio sequencer program

    These work like a mixing desk with a multitrack tape.

    If you can afford it, get an ASIO-capable one.
    N-Track www.fasoft.com is a good but cheap program, other good beginner choices are Steinberg's Cubasis www.steinberg.net or the smaller Logic versions www.emagic.de

    3. Mixer/preamp

    You need a preamp to get your bass signal up to line level in order to connect it to the line in of the soundcard.
    You can use the line out (or effects send) of your bass amp and/or a DI box or a small mixer. A stompbox, e.g. a stereo chorus in bypass, also works.

    4. Connecting it all

    bass -> amp (line out/FX send) -> line in of soundcard (line out) -> your stereo (e.g. CD or AUX IN)

    You can find some info and tutorials here:


    More tomorrow or so
  3. Zirc


    May 13, 2001
    Los Angeles
    I have an idea that I have yet to try (but I'm pretty sure it will work none the less) because I need an active band to help me with it.

    But anyway:

    1) Use your singers PA system
    2) Use 4 mics to mic the bass amp, guitar amp, singer, and drums (drummer can get his own freakin drum mics if he wants the drums to sound better)
    3) Get a little 1/4 to "mic input on sound card jack" (I THINK 1/8, not sure) converter (from radioshack of course) and plug that from the speaker jack in the PA amp to the mic input on the soundcard
    4) Use a recording program (we use Cool Edit Pro) to record

    I think this is the cheaper way to do it, but hey, it's prolly better than what we were doing (putting a single mic in the center of all the amps)

    I'm pretty sure you'll crank out a decent (nothing compared to pop or rap, but that's all butchered and computer generated) recording using the method above.
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Use the line in, not the mic in.

    The mic in has a cheap mic preamp built-in that will affect the sound and add noise. Since you get line level from that PA there's no need to use the mic in.
  5. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Not a good idea! Sending a powered signal to either the line or the mic in will net you an unusable recording level.
  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I didn't even see that - DON'T DO IT.

    line out -> line in - that's the way to do it.
  7. From what JMX said, how much do soundcards and audio sequencer programs run?
  8. Mr. AllodoX does it this way :

    Amp DI-out -> Soundcard's line-in ( made a cable for XLR -> 3.5mm Jack plug )

    Then i use Cool Edit Professional for recording, run the resulting .WAV thru some custom-built ( Visual C++ rules :D ) filter-programs like a denoiser, compressor, exciter, equaliser and perhaps even my kick-butt octaver-program. and then i put the .wav to mp3 or cd or whatever i want :)

    p.s. I'm working on a complete program with all the filters in it. and it will also feature a software-like resemblance of a bass-pod ( amp + speaker sim )
  9. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Good soundcards start at 200$.

    You can get Cubasis or N-Track for 50-60$
  10. I'm looking for a cheap, simple way to do this while still getting a somewhat proffesional sound out of it. Like JMX was referring me to. That idea sounds good. I would like help on this and not for this thread to become a "Tell Everyone's setup" thread. That wouldn't help me at all. Thanks.
  11. danqi


    May 21, 2001
    On a sidenote:
    I only have an active bass, a combo amp and my laptop. Is it better to connect the bass directly to the computer to record it or would you recommend using the fx loop send thing?
  12. How is the Digital Sound Planet. What else would I need if I got that?
  13. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Never used it, but it looks decent.

    You'll need a soundcard, your PC, a stereo of some kind so you can hear the stuff.
    You can try to plug your bass directly into the soundcard, but better use a DI box, the line out or effects send of your amp, or a mixer in between, so you get a line level signal for the soundcard.
    That's it.

    You'll only need a microphone for vocals or if you really want to mic your amp. You'll need a little mixer with built-in mic preamp for that.
  14. I use my mini disc to record, always. then i feed it through my soundcard into acid and there we go.
  15. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    Allodox your software project is really interesting, keep us informed!
  16. istaticl


    Nov 29, 2000
    Prescott, AZ
    Do MIDI cards have the same type of 1/4 inch jacks as say an amp and guitar have, or do you need to have special adapter cables?
  17. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    MIDI cards have MIDI jacks and are for MIDI only.

    Consumer audio cards usually have 1/8" (3.5mm) stereo jacks.
    semi pro cards have cinch or even balanced XLR (Canon) jacks (pro cards).
  18. istaticl


    Nov 29, 2000
    Prescott, AZ
    I got the card and I cant get any sound to come out of my speakers. Are there any common mistakes I might have made? Also what is a DAT. Thanks Also on the Audio Delta Control Panel, on the Monuitor Mixer tab, I can see the eq move in the H/W in coloum. Any help is greatly appreaciated.
  19. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Unmute all channels and pull up the volume.

    Go to Patchbay/Router and change the setting in the left column (H/W out 1/2) to Monitor Mixer.

    Also check the audio mixer in Windows control center -> Multimedia, sometimes the Wave channel is muted there.

    There's a manual for download at www.midiman.com

    DAT is a Digital Audio Tape format, with 48 kHz sampling rate and no compression (unlike MD or DCC).
    It never really caught on on the consumer market, probably because the record industy didn't want it - easy digital copying, but it's used a lot for recording and mastering.