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Old 01-13-2014, 12:51 PM   #1
solidhadriel
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Need some help figuring out a few things

Hey guys, I'm looking to start recording my own songs.

I don't have drums, and I don't have any room for drums. With that said, I'd like to record drums and even bass as well. Is this something a midi can do?

I have a windows PC and I have no knowledge of using MIDIs or synths.

Can I do drums and/or bass with a midi (and does anyone recommend any in particular?)

Right now I have my guitars plugged into my Windows PC through my RockSmith USB audio cable. I think I need an interface (DAW?) too..

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:49 PM   #2
MatrixClaw
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There's an interface sticky at the top of the forum that will educate you on how you're going to record audio. For your DAW, I'd suggest you download Reaper. Its trial will last forever, though after the period, if you like it - you should buy it. It's only $60 and it supports a great, professional, program and community to continue to improve its software.

As far as bass goes - You can get the Mesa 400+ Zombass from Signals Audio for free on his website. Drums, download Kontakt Player from Native Instruments and the Factory Selection, both are free. Then Google Sennheiser DrumMic'a and load it up into Kontakt inside of Reaper.
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:10 PM   #3
solidhadriel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatrixClaw
There's an interface sticky at the top of the forum that will educate you on how you're going to record audio. For your DAW, I'd suggest you download Reaper. Its trial will last forever, though after the period, if you like it - you should buy it. It's only $60 and it supports a great, professional, program and community to continue to improve its software.

As far as bass goes - You can get the Mesa 400+ Zombass from Signals Audio for free on his website. Drums, download Kontakt Player from Native Instruments and the Factory Selection, both are free. Then Google Sennheiser DrumMic'a and load it up into Kontakt inside of Reaper.


Thank you MatrixClaw, i'll be sure to read the thread. I'm currently using Audacity and its been working great for multi-track recording for me. Is there any advantages in your personal experience you see going to Reaper over Audacity? I have no knowledge of reaper (but I will certainly look it up after I write this.)

Thanks again..
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:18 PM   #4
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Yes, there are HUGE advantages of Reaper. Audacity is okay if you're doing basic audio work for video or just laying down ideas for songs, but it's extremely limited as far as editing and mixing is concerned, once you start adding more tracks. Also - I'm pretty sure it still doesn't support writing and editing MIDI, so you can't even use virtual instruments in it (ie: you can't do what you want with bass and drums with it).

Reaper is a full-fledged DAW package that has all the same features of others such as Cubase, Pro Tools and Sonar, that cost $5-700.
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I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:46 PM   #5
solidhadriel
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I have tried using VSTs in audacity over a weekend and it did end in frustration.. I do not mind investing money into this either.

Right now I have a Blue Snowball USB mic that I got years ago (when they were first introduced) and it has done me well, but now I'm thinking of going the XLR route and getting... http://www.musiciansfriend.com/reco...rophone-package

I also have no idea what interface to go with.
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:10 PM   #6
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TBH, those MXL mics aren't any better than your Snowball is. I wouldn't waste the money on an interface and those mics, unless you just need more inputs or are wiling to invest a decent amount of money on monitors.

Yes - Audacity will run VST plugins, but I'm pretty sure it won't run VSTi (instruments). Reaper is a great starting point, if anything. I own Pro Tools 11, Cubase 6, Audition CS6 and Studio One Pro 2, and still prefer to use Reaper for almost everything, because it's just what I'm used to at this point.
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Quote:
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maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





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Old 01-13-2014, 03:24 PM   #7
solidhadriel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatrixClaw
TBH, those MXL mics aren't any better than your Snowball is. I wouldn't waste the money on an interface and those mics, unless you just need more inputs or are wiling to invest a decent amount of money on monitors.

Yes - Audacity will run VST plugins, but I'm pretty sure it won't run VSTi (instruments). Reaper is a great starting point, if anything. I own Pro Tools 11, Cubase 6, Audition CS6 and Studio One Pro 2, and still prefer to use Reaper for almost everything, because it's just what I'm used to at this point.


Matrix you've been an extremely great help! I'll be downloading Reaper when I get home later today.

As far as doing virtual drums and bass, do I need a "synth" or in Reaper, can I use my PC's keyboard as a sort of "virtual instrument"?

I also found the reaper users guide and I'm going to read it..
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solidhadriel
Matrix you've been an extremely great help! I'll be downloading Reaper when I get home later today.

As far as doing virtual drums and bass, do I need a "synth" or in Reaper, can I use my PC's keyboard as a sort of "virtual instrument"?

I also found the reaper users guide and I'm going to read it..

Your virtual instruments will be run inside Reaper - Check out the things I mentioned before, Kontakt Player w/ Factory Selection, Zombass 400+ and DrumMic'a. All free, and they will all load in Kontakt inside Reaper, that'll give you a good start for drums, bass and even some pianos, synths and other things (with the Factory Selection).

As for writing MIDI, you can set up Reaper to do it with your computer's keyboard, but I always found this weird. I just insert a blank MIDI track and use my mouse to click note directly onto it. It'll seem a bit daunting at first, but it's a very useful skill to have, so stay at it! If you want - You can buy a MIDI keyboard which will help speed up writing a bit, though. I have one, but never really use it; I'm faster with the mouse at this point
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote:
Originally Posted by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.





www.SanctityStudios.com
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Old 01-13-2014, 04:12 PM   #9
solidhadriel
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I've tried that clicking thing once before when someone showed me FL Studio, and I just couldn't get used to it. it didn't feel "natural", ha. I'd prefer being able to tap keys with a keyboard... But thanks Matrix! You've given me a lot of useful info to go over / research / learn. Can't wait to go home and try them out!

Last edited by solidhadriel : 01-13-2014 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:35 AM   #10
solidhadriel
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Just wanted to say I spent all night trying to learn Reaper and I've got Kontakt finally working. So happy.

These VSTs and DAWs are completely confusing, and I consider myself a rather intelligent guy. I guess I'll have to reconsider how smart I really am.

Thanks again for all the help Matrix! I really appreciate it, and I've spent all day learning a ton of new material.

Last edited by solidhadriel : 01-14-2014 at 02:36 AM.
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:55 PM   #11
Rickholly74
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For about $40.00 you can get Cakewalk Music Creator 6 that has lots of really good virtual instruments and it can handle all you midi needs. I have been working live with midi tracks created in Cakewalk (starting with Cakewalk version 1 for DOS) for more than 20 years and the available sounds in Music Creator 6 are excellent. Roland bought Cakewalk/Sonor so the sounds are the up graded Roland Sound Canvas instruments. You can download thousands of free midi songs from the web to get started in understanding midi and how to edit and use it. I suggest finding a song with a similar feel to one you want to create, then look for a free midi file of the song online and download it. Bring the midi track into Music Creator and strip away all the other midi instrument tracks except the drum track. Adjust the tempo so it will work for your song then find a decent section cut and loop the midi drum track and you have a very usable drum tack for your song. Music Creator also has a large bank of pre-set drums loops if you just want a good sound and quick start. You can also look for a cheap keyboard with midi capability (they all have it, even a used $50.00 Casio at a garage sale has midi) and you can use the keyboard to create digital bass tracks and other sounds in the software. I agree with a lot of the suggestions posted here. If you have a good computer available you can get a pretty decent recording set up uing a lot of available free or very low cost software on a very limited budget. No need to start with Pro Tools, Sonor, Adobe Audition, Cuebase or any other high end and high cost software till you get your feet wet with the free or nearly free stuff. Good luck.in
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:15 AM   #12
solidhadriel
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Hey Rick, I appreciate the advice! I'm currently using Reaper and learning every day as I go.. Lots of good info here!!
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