#1
Hopefully I'm posting in the right area, if not please direct to the right spot.

Well today the cops got called on me...again..for the third time. Apparently my music was to loud ( 1.5 volume on my 50 watt Mesa Boogie Express. Clean channel) and I figured Id use the money I had been saving for recording equipment.

I used to record at an acquaintance's house. All he used was a laptop, a Line6 tone port and Ableton software. I figured id do the same. I really liked his set up because it required no amps. Simply plug your guitar (or bass) into the UX2 and use the amps and effects it provided. I'm new to this whole recording thing. Ive been reading around this forum for things needed and I just wanted some of your opinions,advice and help.

I have 1,500 saved, I dont really want to use it all, but I will if I have to. I want to be able to record guitar, bass, and I believe ABLETON has a drum machine.

What I planned on getting:
Line 6 POD studio UX2
(http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Line-6-POD-Studio-UX2-with-POD-Farm?sku=250004)
Ableton Suite (I'm going to download this, **** buying it)
Maybe a Desktop
and an HDMI cable so I can connect my computer to my TV.

Question/Concern: Ive been reading around and something that users keep mentioning is space and what software computers are running.
I have a laptop (HP running Vista) but its my school computer so I dont want to run recording software on it (I hear it takes a lot of space). So what do you all recommend I do?

Line 6: I hear these are problematic because of ^^^ and other issues. What are other recommendations for plug and play recording devices that also have built amp and effect choices?

Id really appreciate all your help. I dont want anything that takes up to much space. I plan on moving into a dorm or apartment for Uni. Once again thanks for all input in advance.
#2
I definitely recommend getting a desktop. It won't take any more space then a corner somewhere in your place and you'll have your own computer so you don't have to focus on doing anything to your school laptop. Since your using the line 6, the only thing I recommend is what I say to any one recording. GET A BIG HARD DRIVE. You will notice your songs start taking up a lot of space, so get a 1TB hard drive and you won't have anything to worry about (unless you never delete anything, it adds up after a while). If you don't know anything about computers, don't try to do it yourself. Find a place you can choose the specs on your computer (pretty much any retailer will let you, dell, HP, toshiba, etc.) and make sure you get a 1TB hard drive.
#3
Don't download that stuff illegally. Ableton is a legitimate program that isn't all corporate greedy and overpriced garbage *coughdigidesigncough* so pay for the damn thing. You can buy Live Intro for $99 and it's ALL you need right now. I have spent close to a thousand dollars on legitimate software, and I suggest you do it too.

If you're not going to pay for your DAW, just get Reaper and use the trial mode for a while then shell out the $60 if you like it. That also does everything you need, in fact Ableton does WAY too much for you, especially the suite. Unless you're making electronic music, you don't need all the features it has.
Telecaster - SG - Jaguar
Princeton Reverb, Extra Reverb
P-Bass - Mustang Bass
Apogee Duet 2 - Ableton Suite
Last edited by Sid McCall at Jul 18, 2010,
#4
Don't download the software....you will be yelled at by others for stating that BTW.
Instead, look into a program called Reaper. At just $70 it's well worth the price.

The UX2 is a nice start and should work just fine. The amp models have gotten quite good with the PodFarm upgrades. Just be sure the video card can support the resolution of your TV so it doesnt stretch or do any funky things. I run HDMI out from my laptop to my 52" screen and it seems to work ok but scales down. I since replaced that with a desktop machine with DVI - HDMI converter cable and that works much better.

If you have 50GB of free HDD space left you'll be just fine. It will take quite some time to fill even that up.
If needed, you can get an external HDD and run that in via USB2.0 or Firewire.

The Line6 used to be buggy when vista came out...I should know, I tested it early on with my new system running vista. But these days it seems to be just as stable as any other setup out there.


Laptop vs Desktop.....
Well if you're going to be mixing and using more than say 20 tracks of audio and VST instruments...I would say go with a desktop. The problem with laptops is they mostly pack a 5400rpm drive in them which slows down the read and write times quite a bit. A Firewire drive may speed that issue up a bit more and I still suggest using one...but overall, a nice new computer with SATA connection drives can go up to 3GB/Second and are mostly 7200rpm.

I've personally always liked working on desktops more than laptops as the screen is larger and you get a side by side keyboard/mouse combo. I would say spend around $400-500 on a desktop if ya can. You don't need anything crazy and most stores like Dell have factory refurbs which will save ya some money.
Last edited by moody07747 at Jul 18, 2010,
#5
Quote by Sid McCall
Don't download that stuff illegally. Ableton is a legitimate program that isn't all corporate greedy and overpriced garbage *coughdigidesigncough* so pay for the damn thing. You can buy Live Intro for $99 and it's ALL you need right now. I have spent close to a thousand dollars on legitimate software, and I suggest you do it too.

If you're not going to pay for your DAW, just get Reaper and use the trial mode for a while then shell out the $60 if you like it. That also does everything you need, in fact Ableton does WAY too much for you, especially the suite. Unless you're making electronic music, you don't need all the features it has.


What is a DAW? I dont plan on making electronic Music. I really liked the way ABLETON looked and acted (I never used it, but I watched my buddy. It seemed good). I guess I will get Live then.

Thank you for your responses.

So I am going to go with a desktop for sure. Since you both mentioned Hard Drives I figured id go with a 1tb external hard drive ( http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Western+Digital+-+My+Passport+Essential+SE+1TB+External+USB+2.0+Portable+Hard+Drive+-+Black/9522322.p?id=1218118265681&skuId=9522322&st=external%20harddrive&contract_desc=null)

Next question: I was thinking about going to a computer store and just buying a basic crappy desktop. Nothing fancy, after all I'm just going to run Abelton and internet (as well as the line 6 program). I figured I dont need anything good. Which dell would you recommend (please nothing to expensive)?

Once again. Thank you for all your help and advice.
Last edited by MrGuitarGuy01 at Jul 18, 2010,
#6
a DAW is a Sequencer...basically the program you work with to organize and route/record the audio on.
- Sonar
- Audition
- Cubase
- Pro Tools
...


That external drive spins at just 5400rpm, try this one:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Seagate+-+Expansion+1TB+External+USB+2.0+Desktop+Hard+Drive+-+Black/9238121.p?id=1218065495073&skuId=9238121

Just be sure not to move any of these drives around while they are in use. Doing so may cause errors or break them. This applies to laptops too, technically you should not move them at all when spinning....but everyone always does...LOL
Last edited by moody07747 at Jul 18, 2010,
#7
Quote by moody07747
a DAW is a Sequencer...basically the program you work with to organize and route/record the audio on.
- Sonar
- Audition
- Cubase
- Pro Tools
...


That external drive spins at just 5400rpm, try this one:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Seagate+-+Expansion+1TB+External+USB+2.0+Desktop+Hard+Drive+-+Black/9238121.p?id=1218065495073&skuId=9238121

Just be sure not to move any of these drives around while they are in use. Doing so may cause errors or break them. This applies to laptops too, technically you should not move them at all when spinning....but everyone always does...LOL


Thank you for that link. That's a lot cheaper than the one I was going to get. If by move you mean relocate the HD to another position while the computer is in use, or pick up the HD, then yeah...I never really planned on doing that. I planned on plugging it into my desktop and never moving it again. That hard drive should have everything I need to run my DAW?

Once again, thank you for the response and helpful information.

EDIT: Also what cheap desktop can you recommend?
Would something like this be good? http://cgi.ebay.com/Dell-1-Fast-2-4-GHz-Desktop-P4-Win-XP-PC-Computer-Pro-3-/310234740163?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Desktop_PCs&hash=item483b6e75c3
Last edited by MrGuitarGuy01 at Jul 18, 2010,
#9
Dell is a nice brand and I've been using both them and Acer for years without any huge issues. If you buy used, go though the Dell outlet as you'll get warranty and a basically new computer. Most of these people open the box and look but change their mind so Dell cant sell it as new at that point so they sell them as refurb.
http://www.dell.com/outlet

I suggest the Inspiron 560 or Studio - 540
Both will work just fine, but you'll want to upgrade the studio from Vista to W7 64bit.
#10
Those computers are expensive! $5-700 dollars! What are other options?

Also thank you for the advice. What difference does the bit make? The higher the bit the better?
#11
32 bit is common with XP and Vista users but most stores and such are pushing 64bit windows these days....why?...I have no clue!

32bit is more stable and works out great for just about everyone.
however
those who use their computers to do things like 3d rendering and video editing will want more RAM so they go to a 64bit OS. With 32 bit you are limited to 3.75GB of memory which is plenty.

lower end computers like Acer will work just fine too, look at a local bestbuy or whatever for some lower end costs. Just don't trust the sales reps too much as they are mostly looking to sell and not knowledgeable of what the systems are capable of and are best for.

I got my Acer Aspire T180 3 years ago for just $300 and upgraded it over the years which probably makes it about a $550 computer these days however it is able to edit video and render 3D animations and such.

You'll be hard pressed to find a fairly good desktop for under $450. eMachines has a few lower priced ones out there but I'm not a fan of their computers. On the other hand, PCs are just about all the same these days...
#12
since we're on the topic of computers, I thought I'd throw in my 2c

if you happen to know anybody who can build pc's, this is a big bonus.. otherwise get on google, its pretty straight forward.

I'd suggest an AMD system as it will be alot cheaper.

Cheap case > $40 incuding PSU

Cheap Motherboard > ASRock N68-S $49

Cheap CPU > $113 amd quad core 630

2gb ram ddr3 > $60

1TB Hdd > Samsung 1TB $89

MSI ATI HD4350 512M PCI-E 64-bit GDDR2 HDMI Video Card $39


All up thats costing ya $390 for the PC (no screen kb speakers or mouse, these are your own choice)


buy your software and your choice of interface or guitar pod thing if thats what you'd prefer.

Good luck.

oh, a similar pc from a shop will cost you over $800 at least.

if anyone wants to flame prices go to www.msy.com.au <they are on there. and in Aussie Dollars.
#13
Thank you both for your input. So it looks like I have to buy a 500 dollar dell just to run 2 programs? And I'd still have to buy that External Hard drive for it?
#14
Actually building isn't a better option these days if you are buying all the parts.

Risks include:
- you don't get support from anyone if the system doesn't work or one part doesn't work. Most of the time they blame the other companies...sadly...
- Parts in the end will equal out to the price of a $400-500 computer so there really isn't too much of a savings.

Dell and others buy in bulk and get discounts for that. IMO, the best way to get a computer these days is to buy from a known source and get it premade.

AMD used to be the better between Intel however these days Intel makes far better processors and they are not all the more expensive. The Dual core units are common in most low end desktops and laptops and those that need more power can bump up to the new i3, 5, or 7 line.

Cheap components in a computer generally don't work out too well...

But all the above are just my thoughts and opinions.


If you buy a new dell, don't worry about the external drive. You can't install programs and such to the drive and plug it into another computer to work on it at any other computer anyways.
Overall, I would say just go spend your money on a Dell.
#15
Quote by moody07747
Actually building isn't a better option these days if you are buying all the parts.

Risks include:
- you don't get support from anyone if the system doesn't work or one part doesn't work. Most of the time they blame the other companies...sadly...
- Parts in the end will equal out to the price of a $400-500 computer so there really isn't too much of a savings.

Dell and others buy in bulk and get discounts for that. IMO, the best way to get a computer these days is to buy from a known source and get it premade.

AMD used to be the better between Intel however these days Intel makes far better processors and they are not all the more expensive. The Dual core units are common in most low end desktops and laptops and those that need more power can bump up to the new i3, 5, or 7 line.

Cheap components in a computer generally don't work out too well...

But all the above are just my thoughts and opinions.


If you buy a new dell, don't worry about the external drive. You can't install programs and such to the drive and plug it into another computer to work on it at any other computer anyways.
Overall, I would say just go spend your money on a Dell.


Well you seem very knowledgeable. So I'm going to take your advice. If this isnt to much of a problem can you write down what Im going to need for the desktop such as Hard drive space, video cards, memory and all that? I just dont want to be ripped off by the salesmen.
#16
A Dell with specs like this one should be fine.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Dell+-+Inspiron+Desktop+/+Intel%26%23174%3B+Pentium%26%23174%3B+Processor+/+4GB+Memory+/+500GB+Hard+Drive/9846086.p?skuId=9846086&id=1218183110027

- Intel Processor
- 500GB+ HDD (7200RPM)
- 4GB memory/RAM
- Windows 7 32 bit would be ideal if you can get it however most places are paid by Microsoft to only offer 64bit windows.....it's not the end of the world but may give ya some issues so to get a 32bit system.

Get a cheap mouse/keyboard and toss in a monitor as you only get the tower in these deals. I use a 20" Acer X203H which goes for around $100 and I love them for the price. There are plenty of other options out there but generally I suggest going wide screen LCD these days.

As for the trial anti-virus programs, uninstall them from the start and just install Microsoft Security Essentials. It's free and less bloated than all the other programs out there.
http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/

Also I'll plug my fave podcast/radio show of all times and I highly suggest it to those who know know much about computers or todays tech happenings. It's by Leo Laporte "The Tech Guy" and he has his TWiT netcast network as well as a radio show every weekend from 2-5pm EST.

twit.tv
That's his website, check it out everyone
Last edited by moody07747 at Jul 19, 2010,
#17
Quote by moody07747
A Dell with specs like this one should be fine.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Dell+-+Inspiron+Desktop+/+Intel%26%23174%3B+Pentium%26%23174%3B+Processor+/+4GB+Memory+/+500GB+Hard+Drive/9846086.p?skuId=9846086&id=1218183110027

- Intel Processor
- 500GB+ HDD (7200RPM)
- 4GB memory/RAM
- Windows 7 32 bit would be ideal if you can get it however most places are paid by Microsoft to only offer 64bit windows.....it's not the end of the world but may give ya some issues so to get a 32bit system.

Get a cheap mouse/keyboard and toss in a monitor as you only get the tower in these deals. I use a 20" Acer X203H which goes for around $100 and I love them for the price. There are plenty of other options out there but generally I suggest going wide screen LCD these days.

As for the trial anti-virus programs, uninstall them from the start and just install Microsoft Security Essentials. It's free and less bloated than all the other programs out there.
http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/

Also I'll plug my fave podcast/radio show of all times and I highly suggest it to those who know know much about computers or todays tech happenings. It's by Leo Laporte "The Tech Guy" and he has his TWiT netcast network as well as a radio show every weekend from 2-5pm EST.

twit.tv
That's his website, check it out everyone

Wow. Thank you so much for your help. I'm not going to buy a monitor. I'm just going to buy an HDMI cable and connect it to my 32' LCD Hdtv. Figured Id save money that way and have a big ass screen to look at (I think it will be cool too ).