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Old 12-11-2012, 11:31 PM   #1
LadyA
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Recording on computer, a couple questions...

This is my first post here, so forgive me if these questions have already been answered somewhere else here. I searched for a little while and couldn't find anything so far.

I'm setting up a computer to record guitar (just for fun, not anything professional or super high quality). I'm using a DigiTech RP350 effects pedal (user manual HERE). It can be connected to the computer via USB. This is the exact way I'm setting it up (diagram straight from the manual):



My questions are:

1) Does it matter what kind of computer I use for this? In this case, it's just going to be an old Dell Inspiron 530s (slim line tower) and it only has 250W power supply and integrated audio. I'm not going to fry it am I?

2) Instead of the stereo monitors (as in the diagram), can I use either regular computer speakers, or a single guitar amp? And neither would fry anything?

I'm no electrician and am OCD about safety (haha), and since I'm setting this up for a family member I want to make sure it's going to be totally fine.

Thanks for any help with answering these questions. :-)
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:35 PM   #2
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1. It depends on what program you are using to record with. Pro tools, Sonar, Fruity loops, etc, check their specifications.

2.your best bet would be to use headphones.

Id talk more but im on my way out the door, ill be sure to check back later and help out when I have the time.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:48 PM   #3
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1)You'll probably be fine. Unless you're running a lot of other programs or a lot of plugins/tracks in your DAW, then you should be alright.

2) Yes, computer speakers would work, though you would probably be connecting them to the headphone out, and not the XLR outs. A guitar might work, though if you're safety OCD, I probably wouldn't try it. A guitar amp is expecting signal from an instrument, which is a weaker kind of signal than that being sent out to speakers.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:49 PM   #4
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Thanks, Tim! The program they have is Sony Acid Music Studio 9. The computer meets all the requirements it asks for in order to run that program, as far as which operating system and how much memory and hard drive space is available. Is that what you mean?

Also, about the headphones being the best bet, is it because they would sound better, or is it about them using less power?
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:53 PM   #5
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Awesome, thanks, choasmoon, too! I'll scratch using the guitar amp, then. Don't want to take any chances. Yep, looks like the only plug that would work to attach computer speakers would be the headphone out. The other left and right outputs are the 1/4" plugs.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyA
Thanks, Tim! The program they have is Sony Acid Music Studio 9. The computer meets all the requirements it asks for in order to run that program, as far as which operating system and how much memory and hard drive space is available. Is that what you mean?

Also, about the headphones being the best bet, is it because they would sound better, or is it about them using less power?



Not really because of less power. Typically for recording and mixing your own music to get to CD you want a pair of studio monitors (speakers) but unlike traditional speakers like guitar amps or computer speakers, Monitor speakers are geared toward editing and mixing music with your computer program. Headphones come closest when it comes to computer speakers (listening to music) or a guitar amp (more treble frequency)

studio monitors have a neutral frequency, I got a pair of Alesis M1 520 monitors for 200 bucks to edit my music on pro tools. but they also work as kickass speakers for listening to music


Ill be glad to help all I can, I just have a low budget home recording studio, I do my own raps and guitar work, nothing professional but it doesnt sound like its recorded in a tin can either haha.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:38 AM   #7
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1. You won't damage a thing. Just make sure that your computer can handle the software or it might crash.
2. You can do any of that. You can connect the 1/4" jacks to an amp (or amps), you can connect the XLR to speakers/mixer, you can connect headphones or computer speakers to the 1/8" jack. I've done all those with my BP355 (Bass version of the newer model). If you want good sound make sure you have the jacks set to "Amp" mode and the XLR to "Mix" mode (that also controls the headphones).
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:23 AM   #8
LadyA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timcrow420
I got a pair of Alesis M1 520 monitors for 200 bucks to edit my music on pro tools. but they also work as kickass speakers for listening to music

After reading that, I starting looking at prices online and looks like I could actually get a small pair of desktop Behringer MS16 monitors for only $70 if I wanted. Maybe I'll just get those instead of using the computer speakers or headphones. I should have looked into monitors before asking, I guess I just figured they all would be way outside my budget so I didn't even bother looking. $70 will work, and the recording is just for a hobby, nothing fancing, so they should be fine. Looking at the back of the Behringer MS16, it doesn't use XLR inputs. So I guess it'd still plug into the headphone out on the effects pedal, just like computer speakers would?



Quote:
Originally Posted by chatterbox272
You can do any of that. You can connect the 1/4" jacks to an amp (or amps), you can connect the XLR to speakers/mixer, you can connect headphones or computer speakers to the 1/8" jack. I've done all those with my BP355 (Bass version of the newer model). If you want good sound make sure you have the jacks set to "Amp" mode and the XLR to "Mix" mode (that also controls the headphones).

Nice, glad to hear! Especially since you have just about the same effects pedal and have tried all those setups personally. I can always use computer speakers then if I change my mind about buying those $70 monitors.

Thanks, everybody! Glad I registered here. Even though this is a setup I'm doing for someone else, I'm a guitar player myself, so I'll have to visit here more often. First time registering for a guitar forum.

Last edited by LadyA : 12-12-2012 at 02:25 AM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:02 PM   #9
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nice, yeah Behringer has a good reputation to their name, I know their mixers are great. let me know how they work!
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:29 PM   #10
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You may need a pre-amp device otherwise the guitar sounds may not be what you expect e.g flat and boring because the way instruments record.

Bang for Buck the Line6 Pod Studio GX is hard to beat as it also comes with Podfarm software amps and effects.


http://uk.line6.com/podstudiogx/

http://uk.line6.com/podstudiogx/sounds.html

It also has a very high quality sound card/chip built in.All the songs in my sig link are done through it including Bass and vocals.

HTH
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:43 PM   #11
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So much fail in the last two posts... and that's ignoring the whole bumping of the thread without much need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timcrow420
nice, yeah Behringer has a good reputation to their name, I know their mixers are great. let me know how they work!

Seriously? Behringer has a funking terrible reputation - it's a reputation even worse than they deserve! Behringer are alright, for entry-level gear... a couple of the products are even rather good (the X32 is allegedly really good, and lockwolf said his Truth monitors are great), but they have a very bad reputation for shoddy quality control, and I can attest to the quality of some of their outboard gear - lots of live sound guys take their graphic EQ's on the road for mid-level and lower tours, because they may sound crap but they're cheap and easy to replace when they inevitably take a knock. I've seen loads of them with the faderheads missing, and a lot of their desks (particularly the Eurodesk series) have really noticeable crosstalk between the channels; which leads me to my next point...

Their mixers are probably their worst product, to generalise an entire range. With the exception of the X32 digital mixer they've recently released, which is more than likely down to the fact they bought Midas and another prestigious company (I'm thinking Allen & Heath but have forgotten), and moved a lot of their technology into the desk, they are renowned for being some of the worst mixers on the market.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheppola
You may need a pre-amp device otherwise the guitar sounds may not be what you expect e.g flat and boring because the way instruments record.

Bang for Buck the Line6 Pod Studio GX is hard to beat as it also comes with Podfarm software amps and effects.


http://uk.line6.com/podstudiogx/

http://uk.line6.com/podstudiogx/sounds.html

It also has a very high quality sound card/chip built in.All the songs in my sig link are done through it including Bass and vocals.

HTH

1) The Pod Studio is not the kind of preamp anyone should desire for recording. Also, the Digitech pedal LadyA owns already has preamps, hence the fact it functions as an audio interface.

2) The only reason anyone should consider a Pod Studio GX is for Podfarm (which is an average amp sim, but its saving grace is the effects available). The device itself is pretty nasty, compared to most instrument inputs on dedicated audio interfaces.

3) The sound card (by which we'll define as preamp and A/D converters) is often bashed on here for being particularly low quality. By no means is it 'very high quality' though, regardless of the actual standard - it's an entry level device, so they will not have spent very much making it, given it comes bundled with commercial software typically bought separately. You may be able to get results you are happy with, but it does not mean the device is 'very high quality'.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:52 PM   #12
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You need to make sure the drivers for the Digitech are supported in your operating system. As far as recording software, you can try Reaper which is free/trialware that you can use indefinitely, setup in there, mostl ikely the Digitech will show up as ASIO driver after you run the install software/CD for it.

As far as the monitoring situation - I'll look at the manual and see if you can go via headphones or if using monitors you need powered monitors, see if there is something that operates with XLR cables.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyA
After reading that, I starting looking at prices online and looks like I could actually get a small pair of desktop Behringer MS16 monitors for only $70 if I wanted. Maybe I'll just get those instead of using the computer speakers or headphones.
Just to be clear, those Behringers aren't studio monitors in the proper sense, but they're definitely better for mixing than normal PC speakers!

'Proper' monitors start at around $200 right the way up to $10,000+. Yup, mixing is serious business


For a little more you could get a set of M-Audio AV30s (or ideally AV40s).
I've seen the AV30s for $75, and they're a bit smoother and fuller than the Behringer, I think they're the best mixing speakers in the price range.
You could consider the Akai RPM3 too - the sound won't be anything special but they hook straight up to your PC via USB and have a basic interface to record guitar etc.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:14 PM   #14
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The M-Audio cheapies are not bad for the price, I'd recommend them over this.
I think it was the AV30s:
http://www.sweetwater.com/c405--M-A...Active_Monitors
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:27 PM   #15
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Actually, to be completely honest I would never mix on speakers that cheap. I'd rather use a set of Audio Technica ATH-M40fs headphones.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisarmGoliath
So much fail in the last two posts... and that's ignoring the whole bumping of the thread without much need.


Well said DisarmGoliath. Ya'll need to experiment more - that's what recording is and that's the fun of it...
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:03 PM   #17
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I'd agree with One, I'd pick a pair of AKG K-99s or 240s instead and mix on these instead of the speakers but honestly, anything that you're used to work with. I had a buddy that achieved great results on an old Hitachi boombox as his reference monitor. He knew what to expect cause that's what he listened to all his favorite records on.
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