Yet another home studio thread

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by kernel666, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. Hey all
    Well, I was searching through older threads but I couldn't relate to any of the situations mentioned in them. So I'm posting this.
    -I'm looking to build a very modest, but decent home "studio" to record some projects. Most of them only include bass, guitar (acoustic/electric) and voice.
    -I'd like to add drums, so Im looking for a good drum program, where I can actually write the drums, not one of those that automatically puts down the drums for you. Something simple yet versatile (Something like Guitar Pro, where you can easilly write tracks for drums, only something with more quality, or that uses real drum samples preferably).
    -Then Im thinking of getting an M-Audio recording interface (maybe the Fast Track USB) or a decent soundcard (SoundBlaster Live 24bit), or both. (Also, I have a GT6B, does anyone know if I could use it instead of a recording interface for bass/guitar - using the bypass setting to get a decent signal)
    -As for software, Im thinking of Cubase SX, or Cakewalk.

    My PC is an Athlon 3200+XP Processor, 1GB Ram, Onboard sound (in a Packard Bell Quasar II MoBo).
    Im using Windows XP.
    Also, I have a Shure SM57 that I'd use for acoustic guitar and voices.

    TIA :)
  2. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    Sounds like you have it figured out except for the drum program. Fruity Loops is "simple yet versatile" and cheap. Try it out.
  3. A Mackie Spike w/ Tracktion software is pretty ok too. :smug:
  4. I just tried Fruity Loops and it seems to synthesized, electronic. Im looking for something that would get me drums that sound more "real". Im gonna try tracktion now..
  5. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    FXpansion's BFD. Awesome program.
  6. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    Cut to a click and hire a real drummer. A good one. A good drummer makes a recording come to life.
  7. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    Acid Pro might be a viable option for you. Drag and drop sampled loops anywhere. It doesn't get much easier than that. Of course, Cakewalk makes a program called Drag and Drop Drummer, and the samples are really good as far as I can tell. The biggest drawback I found (the reason why I don't use it) is that it's difficult to really sync the samples up in Cakewalk itself.

    Also you might check out a MIDI synth called WinGroove. It's a little dated, but it still sounds great, IMHO. You can then write all the drums in MIDI (assuming you have a decent MIDI program) and move on from there.

    You might consider also doing the MIDI thing and then using samples to replace the bass and snare.
  8. frankosaurus


    Feb 27, 2002
    San Jose
    A couple things to try for drums.

    Battery-- a VST plugin that lets you map drum sounds to MIDI triggers (or to a MIDI file that you create). If you don't mind tweaking it, you can get some realistic-sounding drums by using multiple samples of the same instrument. So your snare hits, for example, would sound slightly different, giving it a less mechanical sound. You can also adjust the decay of the sounds to get a more realistic sound (for example, if you hit the tom 3 times quickly, only the last hit should sustain). Battery comes with bunch of different drum kit samples, plus you can find packs for sale or free on the internet. Not as easy as fruity but maybe worth a look.

    Groove Agent-- another VST plugin. Uses real samples of drum patterns. This basically has a bunch of predefined beats that it plays for you. You can adjust the tempo and level of embellishment/fills. It's not as configurable as laying out the drum tracks manually, but might be what you need if you're just getting started-- it can help you get some ideas.

  9. Check out Cubase SE. I have SX - which is the full-blown version but its quite expensive. The SE version is very reasonably priced and has the MIDI and Audio capabilities that would allow you to do what you want.

    Cubase allows you to use plug-in effects such as compression, flange, phaser etc etc etc... There are millions of free effects out there and many of them are VERY good.

    There are all sorts of good freeware sound banks out there too.

    Natural Studios has recorded a great sounding drum-kit called "NS_Kit 7" - both a free and purchased version. The Free version is fantastic... and its Free!


    - Andrew
  10. UPDATE
    Well, I went to get the M-Audio Fasttrack USB unit, but I saw the SoundBlaster Audigy 4 Pro unit on sale at a good price, and bought it.
    It is an audigy sound card, with an external "hub" thingy, which has 2 line in inputs (where Id plug my mic/guitar/bass), midi out and midi in, and a whole bunch of other connectors. Another good thing was that it came bundled with Fruity Loops and Cubase LE.
    This thing works great, i really like it, very high quality stuff. Ive been messing around with Cubase and its pretty good, its got nice effects. What do you think? Should I stick with this setup, or go get the M-Audio unit?

    Thanks for the input, I'll try the plugins you guys have mentioned to see what fits me best.
  11. battery is nice but if you want it to sound like real drums nothing beats "Superior" or "drumkits from hell" they are just amazing.. those are plugins aswell.. if you program them good it' very hard to tell that it is a drummachine.. takes up alot of ram though, i ran Superior on a G5 with 1gb ram and it could hardly take it.. ain't to expensive either somewere arund 200usd