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Old 05-04-2013, 08:36 AM   #1
Billwallace89
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A Few Q's vol 4 (Computer, 2i4, Soundproofing)

1 I'm looking to build a studio computer and I'm wondering the bare essentials for one.

2 What is the difference between the line and instrument switch on my inputs? I'm assuming line is for mics and instrument is for guitar/bass? Just double checking.

3 And my computer claims I don't have a soundcard when I unplug my 2i4. I have a USB mic that I want to use to record full sessions but I can't now. How do I fix this problem?

4 I know there's a lot of posts about soundproofing. But I'm just looking for a quick, cheap way to keep the noise from bothering my neighbors. I live in a quiet neighborhood and due to schedules we might have to do some overnight practices. I'm not too worried about the quality of the sound in the room, I'm just worried about bugging the neighbors.
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:37 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemicalFire
Fast CPU, good RAM, basic GFX to save the CPU from having to make Graphics calculations. Good amount of RAM (I'd say 8gb plus, the more the better.)



So RAM and anything that will take the pressure off of the RAM? I'm assuming CPU is related to RAM?
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:41 AM   #3
ChemicalFire
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The CPU is the most important part. It deals with all the calculations your pc handles.

RAM is local memory, instant access stuff. Stuff like Samples are loaded into RAM so the more RAM the more plug ins and stuff you can use.

As for sound proofing... well you can't to be blunt. Sound Proofing normally involves putting a room in a room with air and padding in between to prevent sound wave propagation, it involves major structural alterations. Just play quieter or use headphones.

And yes, Inst is for Instrument DI and Line is for Line.

They use different gain levels which is why they need different settings.
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemicalFire

As for sound proofing... well you can't to be blunt. Sound Proofing normally involves putting a room in a room with air and padding in between to prevent sound wave propagation, it involves major structural alterations. Just play quieter or use headphones.
.


All true.

However, soft furniture, curtains and deep carpets can help absorb sound
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billwallace89
1 I'm looking to build a studio computer and I'm wondering the bare essentials for one.

Depend's a fair bit on what you're recording, and what with, as well as your workflow (e.g. I tend to have a million tracks and folder tracks, so I'd probably need more power than most). Here's a basic overview of how each part will affect what for recording though:
CPU - how many plugins you can have going at once, and how fast you can render.
RAM - also how many plugins you can have going at once, especially sample based plugins.
HDD - how many tracks you can have in a session, also how many tracks you can store overall on the computer.
Graphics - as long as it's from within the past 10 years any card will do. Within the past 5 will do you on integrated for studio work.
Motherboard - just make sure it's compatible with all the parts and you're golden.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billwallace89
2 What is the difference between the line and instrument switch on my inputs? I'm assuming line is for mics and instrument is for guitar/bass? Just double checking.
The switch only affects the 1/4" jack, it switches it between being set up for DI guitar/bass, and a line level signal such as that coming from an amps line out, or a preamp of some sort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billwallace89
3 And my computer claims I don't have a soundcard when I unplug my 2i4. I have a USB mic that I want to use to record full sessions but I can't now. How do I fix this problem?
You need to select some other output device. If you're going to be using the USB mic then I would suggest that the best way (latency wise anyway) would be to set up ASIO4ALL for multiple devices and use the USB mic as an input and the 2i4 as output.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billwallace89
4 I know there's a lot of posts about soundproofing. But I'm just looking for a quick, cheap way to keep the noise from bothering my neighbors. I live in a quiet neighborhood and due to schedules we might have to do some overnight practices. I'm not too worried about the quality of the sound in the room, I'm just worried about bugging the neighbors.
You're gonna have a hard time with this. There's no way in hell you're going to get it close to soundproof, but if you get lots of sound absorbent things in the room it should help reduce it. Anything made of foam like couches and mattresses will help.
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:31 PM   #6
Billwallace89
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Wow. Thanks!
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:45 PM   #7
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1. for a computer, first you need to decide which DAW(Digital Audio Workstation) that you want to use, if you want Pro Tools you will need more computer than most over DAWs. I would recommend Presonus Studio One 2.5.4 because is made for the artist, not the engineer. It has a ton of cool features and can do a lot of the same things Pro Tools can do (ie. Automation, plugins, and Melodyne built-in). After you decide on a DAW, build a computer with at least the recommended settings. Most likely you're going to want a quad-core CPU like an i7 from Intel. You'll be looking at at least 8Gb RAM, though I would recommend closer to 16 for Pro Tools.

2. Look like that's been answered well

3. If you want to be taken seriously and get good at this, which chances are you do, sell that USB mic and by a good condenser mic. The Blue Spark would be a good choice and its relatively cheap.

On a side note, recording is expensive and cutting cost is hard, so cut corners where it will hurt you least like cables and lighter versions of software. DO NOT skimp on interface/mic preamps/A-D,D-A converters or microphones because your quality will not be what you are going for and you will have spent 500-600 dollars on shit sound when 700 could have gotten you a better sound.

4. I recommend the book Guerrilla Home Recording version 2. its $20 and EVERY home recording studio needs a copy.
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Old 05-05-2013, 11:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billwallace89
1 I'm looking to build a studio computer and I'm wondering the bare essentials for one.


Mine is a dual-core AMD x64 Windsor (about 2.5 Ghz) with 4GB of RAM running Win7. I bought it used and spent less than $200. I can record 16 tracks at once with my setup, and can play back upwards to 40 tracks at a time, with FX/processing as appropriately required.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billwallace89
2 What is the difference between the line and instrument switch on my inputs? I'm assuming line is for mics and instrument is for guitar/bass? Just double checking.


Instrument level is what a guitar, bass, etc. will put out.

Line level is what a headphone jack, outboard preamp, etc. will put out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billwallace89
4 I know there's a lot of posts about soundproofing. But I'm just looking for a quick, cheap way to keep the noise from bothering my neighbors.


You'd have better luck looking for a homeless person in a Conservative/Republican convention. There is no such thing.

Mattresses, couches, etc. will help absorb some of the reflections within the room, making it sound a little less cavernous, but will not prevent a lick of noise from getting to the outside.

Basically, your options are:
- practice quieter
- ask your neighbours when a good time is that they would not mind you practicing so much
- practice somewhere else
- spend a sh!t ton of money completely reconstructing your space.

Here is a blog post I made about sound treatment and sound proofing. The part about sound proofing is the second half. I also have some "recommended reading" at the end.

CT
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Last edited by axemanchris : 05-05-2013 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:08 PM   #9
Billwallace89
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Thanks. Two follow ups:

1. Is latency related to RAM? I can't get my latency right on the pos PC I have now. The recording lateny is fine, but when I want to monitor my inputs it's off by a hair. So when I make ths next pc I'd like no latency.

2. So the Line/Inst switch doesn't effect my XLR mics? I just switch to line when I DI my amp and inst when I DI my guitar?
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:51 PM   #10
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No latency... That's a pipe dream.


As far as what you'll want for a studio PC, something that's Intel Core i5 based is never a bad thing. Plenty of power for most everything. You don't REALLY need an i7.
8GB+ of RAM is what I recommend if you're even thinking about using a sampler.

7200 RPM hard drive, and ideally a pretty big one. Uncompressed audio takes up a whole hell of a lot of space.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneblackened
No latency... That's a pipe dream.


Yes and no. A lot of interfaces have "direct monitoring" which is, in effect, zero latency. The only problem is that you can't monitor anything with plugins on the input at zero latency. So, if you wanted, say, to record your guitar and hear it back in real time as the backing music played, that's no problem. If you wanted to use an amp simulator and hear it in real time along with the backing music, then that wouldn't work.

That said, anything less than about 20ms should be perfectly usable. If you figure that sound travels at about 1 foot per millisecond, then that would be like playing with another guitarist who is 20 feet away from you - say, at the other end of a large stage. That should be no problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oneblackened
8GB+ of RAM is what I recommend if you're even thinking about using a sampler.


If you're not going overboard, you'd be fine with 4GB. I use samplers all the time with no issues. But yes, if your music is primarily sample-based, the more RAM the better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oneblackened
7200 RPM hard drive, and ideally a pretty big one. Uncompressed audio takes up a whole hell of a lot of space.


Yes!

CT
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