#1
I want to furnish my music room with a recording setup for my band. I've been trying to keep the costs of the band low, so I'm looking for advice on a budget recording setup.

This would also include computer software for editing. I can't seem to find much cheaper than $500. I was looking at Apple's Logic Express (I think that's what it was called) since I need to upgrade my shitty old computer for education purposes as well anyways, lol. I was thinking iMac with Logic Express, and cheap recording equipment.

My band is inexperienced, so some good advice would go a long way for us Thanks!
Matthew 6:33

Uniting the World, One Bridge at a Time.
#2
I think you can find Pro Tools for less than $500. I'd still go with the mac though, I've got one. I like it more than any pc I've ever owned.
#3
Yeah, I've been reading a lot of musician advice blogs for ideas on promotion and marketing, and the different Apple products have a lot of nifty features for working with a band. I also plan on getting an iPad (or some tablet, at any rate) to work with some ideas with them.

Does Pro Tools have a version that will work on a Mac? If I could get a cheaper, I'll just buy it separate from the computer.
Matthew 6:33

Uniting the World, One Bridge at a Time.
#4
Quote by Bridge_H
Yeah, I've been reading a lot of musician advice blogs for ideas on promotion and marketing, and the different Apple products have a lot of nifty features for working with a band. I also plan on getting an iPad (or some tablet, at any rate) to work with some ideas with them.

Does Pro Tools have a version that will work on a Mac? If I could get a cheaper, I'll just buy it separate from the computer.


Yeah, It'll work on a mac. I've been looking into getting it as well, its the industry standard but I don't have it yet either. Google it, a bunch of different versions will come up, it can get a little confusing though. They don't all come with every feature. Good luck.
#5
Ok, people are gonna come in and start saying this so i might as well be the first.

Firstly you don't need anything made by Apple to make good music. Just because it has the apple logo on it, it doesn't mean it'll make your songs sound any better and if you're on a budget you don't wanna be paying more than you have to so stay away!

"I was thinking iMac with Logic Express, and cheap recording equipment."
NO. If you go all out on a Mac and get shitty, cheap recording equipment you'll end up sounding a hell of alot worse than if you level it out, budgeting! I'm not against Macs, i'm against people thinking that they'll automatically make their recordings sound amazing with cheap recording equipment and a Mac.

The main things you wanna focus on are Mics, Software, an Interface/Soundcard and a computer. For computer i highly recommend a custom-built PC as you get a heck of a lot more for your money. Look at some companies that make their own. I got mine from an eBay company called VIBox and for the money it's a brilliant computer. They can sell these cheap due to low overhead costs.

As for Software i don't recommend Pro Tools if you're on a budget (just because it has the word 'Pro' in the name it doesn't mean it'll sound better). I highly recommend what people around here consider to be the standard budget DAW, Reaper. You can keep it on a perminant trial or pay $40 for a License (which is very good considering what you get for the money!).

With Soundcard/Interface look at what you've got left from your computer upgrade/purchase. M-Audio do some great budget soundcards/interfaces. I personally use the Fast Track Pro and am very happy with the results i get from it. It's no £10,000 Pro Tools HD Mixer but like i said, if you're on a budget it's pretty good. Line6 also do some pretty good budget interfaces, theres loads out there, try using the search bar.

If you're a bedroom band i highly recommend looking in VST Drums or getting them recorded at a studio and bringing them home. Mic'ing up a drumkit can be expensive and use up alot of room. My personal favourite VSTi is Superior Drummer. Some other good ones to look into are Steven Slate Drums and Addictive Drums. EZDrummer seems to be quite popular too but i'd avoid it personally, but it's a matter of taste really.

Onto Mics. For recording guitars you can either go DI through your Soundcard/interface and into a VST amp simulator (like what i and a lot of people around here do) or buy a mic for recording guitar amps for electric (Shure SM57 is the standard), or if you're doing acoustic then look into a Condenser Mic (you'll also want a condenser mic for recording vocals.) Bass is the same. Although mic'ing up bass amps is quite different to mic'ing up guitar amps. You'd need a large diaphram dynamic mic like the AKG D112.
Last edited by Afroboy267 at Apr 2, 2011,
#6
Quote by Afroboy267
Ok, people are gonna come in and start saying this so i might as well be the first.

Firstly you don't need anything made by Apple to make good music. Just because it has the apple logo on it, it doesn't mean it'll make your songs sound any better and if you're on a budget you don't wanna be paying more than you have to so stay away!

"I was thinking iMac with Logic Express, and cheap recording equipment."
NO. If you go all out on a Mac and get shitty, cheap recording equipment you'll end up sounding a hell of alot worse than if you level it out, budgeting! I'm not against Macs, i'm against people thinking that they'll automatically make their recordings sound amazing with cheap recording equipment and a Mac.

The main things you wanna focus on are Mics, Software, an Interface/Soundcard and a computer. For computer i highly recommend a custom-built PC as you get a heck of a lot more for your money. Look at some companies that make their own. I got mine from an eBay company called VIBox and for the money it's a brilliant computer. They can sell these cheap due to low overhead costs.

As for Software i don't recommend Pro Tools if you're on a budget (just because it has the word 'Pro' in the name it doesn't mean it'll sound better). I highly recommend what people around here consider to be the standard budget DAW, Reaper. You can keep it on a perminant trial or pay $40 for a License (which is very good considering what you get for the money!).

With Soundcard/Interface look at what you've got left from your computer upgrade/purchase. M-Audio do some great budget soundcards/interfaces. I personally use the Fast Track Pro and am very happy with the results i get from it. It's no £10,000 Pro Tools HD Mixer but like i said, if you're on a budget it's pretty good. Line6 also do some pretty good budget interfaces, theres loads out there, try using the search bar.

Onto Mics. If you're a bedroom band i highly recommend looking in VST Drums or getting them recorded at a studio and bringing them home. Mic'ing up a drumkit can be expensive and use up alot of room. My personal favourite VSTi is Superior Drummer. Some other good ones to look into are Steven Slate Drums and Addictive Drums. EZDrummer seems to be quite popular too but i'd avoid it personally, but it's a matter of taste really.


Listen to this guy, he knows his stuff, and made a lot of good recommendations, pretty much what I would of said.

Get a computer that is dual or quad core, and has at least 4 GB of ram and you should have more than enough processing power. I've seen people make professional sounding songs using a 10 year old computer with 512 mb of ram.
#7
Awesome advice man! Thanks a ton!

I'll look into the company that makes your computer. Is there anything special I should go for, or just the basics? I wouldn't think sound editing would require a lot of speed.


EDIT: I found Reaper's website; it says $150 for the full license and $40 for the discounted. Is there that big a difference between the two? I can't find anything on the website that says what you get/don't get in one or the other. I'll probably take the $40 one anyways (pinching pennies, lol) but I just wanted to know what comes with what.
Matthew 6:33

Uniting the World, One Bridge at a Time.
Last edited by Bridge_H at Apr 2, 2011,
#8
Quote by Bridge_H
Awesome advice man! Thanks a ton!

I'll look into the company that makes your computer. Is there anything special I should go for, or just the basics? I wouldn't think sound editing would require a lot of speed.

Is Reaper a direct download program?

No probs.

Go for atleast dual core, 4GB RAM and a good size harddrive. To give you an idea of the prices heres my spec:
AMD 640 Quad Core 3GHz
8GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM
ATI 5450 Graphics Card 1GB DDR3
1TB Harddrive
Wireless Card
£396

You can probably get something suited to your needs for a good price from them too.

And yeah, it is. http://www.reaper.fm/download.php
#9
Quote by Bridge_H
Awesome advice man! Thanks a ton!

I'll look into the company that makes your computer. Is there anything special I should go for, or just the basics? I wouldn't think sound editing would require a lot of speed.


EDIT: I found Reaper's website; it says $150 for the full license and $40 for the discounted. Is there that big a difference between the two? I can't find anything on the website that says what you get/don't get in one or the other. I'll probably take the $40 one anyways (pinching pennies, lol) but I just wanted to know what comes with what.


There's one program, two licenses. From Reaper's website:

"Fair pricing
There is only one version of REAPER. We offer two licenses, depending on how you use it.

$150: full commercial license.
$40: discounted license.

(Read about the future of REAPER pricing.)

You may use the discounted license if any of the following is true:

You are an individual, using REAPER only for personal use.
You are an individual or business, using REAPER for commercial use, and the yearly gross revenue does not exceed USD $20,000.
You are an educational or non-profit organization.

Buy REAPER here"

So, unless you're planning on make more than $20,000 per year on your music, then you're fine with the discounted license.
#10
Wait, so it's the exact same program regardless of the license? How do they know people aren't just getting the discounted license regardless of how much they make?

Not complaining, but I think that's odd, lol. Anyways, it'll probably be a few years before that would be a problem anyways. I'm glad to see that this is going to cost a lot less than I was thinking
Matthew 6:33

Uniting the World, One Bridge at a Time.
#11
$100 video camera + YouTube + http://www.flv2mp3.com for free mp3s of your videos.
Quote by laid-to-waste
look nigga, if you're chillin with 5 bros and 2 hos, you're gonna wanna pay attention to all of em equally. not moon over the hos forever and laugh at every shitty thing they say and just stare at them all night, like some of my mates do.
#12
Quote by Bridge_H
I want to furnish my music room with a recording setup for my band. I've been trying to keep the costs of the band low,


Whoa! Wait a sec! Are YOU buying this, or is the BAND buying this? If it is the band, you guys all need to sit down and very carefully discuss the following:
-is everyone *actually* really cool with all the band recording gear living at your house?
-what if someone else in the band wants to use it?
-what if one or two of you quit the band?
-what if the band breaks up?

Quote by Bridge_H

so I'm looking for advice on a budget recording setup.

This would also include computer software for editing. I can't seem to find much cheaper than $500. I was looking at Apple's Logic Express (I think that's what it was called) since I need to upgrade my shitty old computer for education purposes as well anyways, lol. I was thinking iMac with Logic Express,


I seriously almost laughed out loud at this. Budget... Apple... Mac....

I'll second what Afroboy said about this being a good place to trim your budget. My band did our CD on my computer that my kids are now using - a 1.8 Ghz Celeron machine with 512MB RAM running WinXP. Each song was upwards to 36 tracks of 24-bit audio, with processing as appropriate.

In other words... any off the shelf system you can buy will be adequate. But of course, the more you spend, the more power you will get.

I'll disagree, for the most part, about his point about getting one built. It used to be true that building your own was cheaper, but we bought a computer about a year and a half ago for family use, and when I broke down the price and what was in it - especially considering that it came with Win7 - and I couldn't even come close to that price building a similar one myself with Win7.

Quote by Bridge_H

and cheap recording equipment.

My band is inexperienced, so some good advice would go a long way for us Thanks!


At this point, let's determine your goals.

What do you want to record? (are you looking at doing live drums, for instance?)
What do you intend to do with the recordings? (evaluating rehearsals, selling your CD at gigs and on iTunes, giving out to friends just for kicks....)
How much is your budget overall, including the computer, software and all related gear?

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#13
I'm buying it for myself and my band is going to use it, if that clears things up This will be out of my own pocket, so I'll be keeping it if anything happens with the band. I also have other band friends who are interested in using the equipment if I get a simple set up.

I know budget and Mac don't go together well, lol! Main reason I was thinking about that was because I need a new computer for school and other things as well, not just music. It would probably be the one area I would splurge in since my college will be paying for it, not me. Everything else needs to be cheap since it's out of my wallet ^^; But if building a computer could get me one that works that well for that cheap, then I'd throw the Mac idea out the window in a heartbeat, lol!


What do you want to record? (are you looking at doing live drums, for instance?)
-Live drums, but they may be recorded out of my home to get the best sound. Drums are too important to potentially mess up. Depending on the equipment, it'll mostly be used for demo songs/tapes, but I'd like to be able to produce the best quality recordings as I can.

What do you intend to do with the recordings? (evaluating rehearsals, selling your CD at gigs and on iTunes, giving out to friends just for kicks....)
-Demo tapes for helping us book shows (being able to show people what we sound like), handing out to fans to get them interested in our music, helping us promote ourselves. If we could get good quality within this budget to where we could actually sell the music, then we'd definitely make CD quality songs to sell on iTunes or CDs at shows, etc.

How much is your budget overall, including the computer, software and all related gear?
-The computer will be paid for by my college, so I'll leave that cost out. For everything else (and please don't mock me if I'm way off on price here, because I've never bought this kind of equipment before and have no idea how much to expect price-wise) I'm trying to keep it around/less than $2,000.

That $ is just what I have available now. Like I said: I have NO clue to how much this equipment costs, so I could possibly be way under. If it's more than $2,000, then I can increase that amount to make sure I can afford the bare budget essentials.

So yeah, best quality for budget price, and if I'm being ignorant on my expectations, then a reasonable dollar amount and what to buy list would be an amazing help for me
Matthew 6:33

Uniting the World, One Bridge at a Time.
#14
How's this... from something I posted a couple of weeks ago...

You have a respectable budget to start with. Assuming that you may well choose to upgrade your interface sooner than later, you might want to buy something you'll be okay with replacing in a year or two once you decide you want to start doing drums. An interface that will do justice to the other gear you're going to get, and that will do drums, will blow about half of your current budget.

Other than that, get stuff that you're not going to want to replace any time soon. Why buy twice when you can get what you need the first time? I can't think of a good reason.

A good vocal mic for your budget would be a Rode NT2000 or the Rode NT2A. They're both very versatile (variable polar patterns, etc.) and sound great. If you ever upgrade, it will be to a mic that will blow your entire current budget and then some. The ones I suggested are in the $400-$500 range.

For guitars, check out either an SM57 or a Sennheiser e609 (or 906), or a Sennheiser e835. Each can be had new for about $175 or so, or used for about $100. The e609/906 mics are designed specifically with guitar cabs in mind, while the e835 makes a killer vocal mic for live work. It beats the pants off of an SM58. As far as the SM57 goes... it's one of those mics that everyone should have at least one of kicking around.

If you go with Reaper for software (about $40 for a licence), and an interface that clocks in around a couple hundred dollars, that leaves you with about a grand.

Add a second of those recommended three mics for a good alternative, and/or for multi-miking applications and get a couple of stands and some cables and what-not.

That leaves you about, say, $700 for a pair of monitors, which will get you something that will turn out reliable mixes for a good long time. If you upgrade them at all, it will be to something really spectacular.

A friend of mine has a pair of Yamaha HS80M monitors which are right about exactly in that price range, and they're great. They're even better than mine, which are no longer available, that I bought for about the same price.

I have these:

http://www.yorkville.com/products.asp?cat=35&type=71&id=26

The closest replacement that is in production seems to be the YSM6 model, but aren't as easy to find.

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=YSM6#q=yorkville+YSM6&hl=en&prmd=ivns&source=lnms&tbs=shop:1&ei=nzaaTYi3LMmB0QHgyO30Cw&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&cd=5&ved=0CAoQ_AUoBA&biw=1024&bih=677&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=9fa3ce63015aec7d

Keep in mind that, when pricing monitors, that they are often priced individually, so that link above is not $215 for the pair, but for each one.

How's that for a start?

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#15
That's very helpful! Thanks!

Mics are a lot more expensive than I thought they'd be, lol! But if it'll last, then it's worth the money.

If you go with Reaper for software (about $40 for a licence), and an interface that clocks in around a couple hundred dollars, that leaves you with about a grand.

Is there a particular interface to keep an eye out for?
Matthew 6:33

Uniting the World, One Bridge at a Time.