#1
Would like to hear what other people do on their quest to creating good music. What equipment do you use? Interfaces, soundcards, instruments, mics, computer programmes...

How are you going to make sure all the different sections of a song are going to be recorded in the best quality and, rather importantly, in time? More specifically, which programmes are you going to use? I use Reason to write scores using its provided soundbank. I use GuitarPro to write guitar scores and even add some basic drums, strings and bass. But how would I put these together and record vocals and real instruments and incorporate them into one score? What about programmes to correct real recordings since mistakes are bound to occur during audio recordings?

Just throw ideas at me.
Last edited by BadBanshee at Oct 24, 2011,
#2
I use:

Roland UA-25X for my soundcard input
POD X3L for my guitar/bass/E-violin/E-Piano/vocals/E-Drums etc direct input to the UA-25X
Roland E945 for vocals
Roland HD-1 as a drum kit, it's the cheapest E-drum kit that has usable drum sounds even if they are not very adjustable
KORG SP250 piano, nice key weighting design and sounds without being ultra expensive. I often run it MIDI to use computer-based synth patches.
I generally record through Ardour or Reaper - both are free.

This is the cheapest setup I have used that gets a low latency and good quality of sound. With direct input it is easy to manage the levels and tones of all the instruments but you cannot do a live recording with a group and only a UA-25X/POD X3L - from the sounds of it you will be layering tracks yourself anyways. The POD gives you a broad selection of tones for any electric instruments you run. If you do acoustic recordings it will be more expensive as well as more difficult.
Last edited by Vlasco at Oct 24, 2011,
#3
MXL V88 as a mic for guitar and bass and a EMU 404 soundcard, spend about 250 euro's (I think). I record with Cubase 5 and have no external effects.

I'm kvlt as hell.


(kvlt meaning cheap)
#4
My gear is pretty simple - triton / la 610 "pre's" into a presonus firetube studio into my pc. I use acid 7 w/ a stupid list of plugins. My friend refers to it as "skywalker ranch"

My first setup was just a tascam 4 track, my second was a boss br8
Last edited by z4twenny at Oct 24, 2011,
#5
Quote by Vlasco
I use:

Roland UA-25X for my soundcard input
POD X3L for my guitar/bass/E-violin/E-Piano/vocals/E-Drums etc direct input to the UA-25X
Roland E945 for vocals
Roland HD-1 as a drum kit, it's the cheapest E-drum kit that has usable drum sounds even if they are not very adjustable
KORG SP250 piano, nice key weighting design and sounds without being ultra expensive. I often run it MIDI to use computer-based synth patches.
I generally record through Ardour or Reaper - both are free.

This is the cheapest setup I have used that gets a low latency and good quality of sound. With direct input it is easy to manage the levels and tones of all the instruments but you cannot do a live recording with a group and only a UA-25X/POD X3L - from the sounds of it you will be layering tracks yourself anyways. The POD gives you a broad selection of tones for any electric instruments you run. If you do acoustic recordings it will be more expensive as well as more difficult.


When you use a soundcard/audio interface to record, what programme do you use to open and work with the saved recording? Just thinking about the easiest way of combining some recorded audio with a track made with Reason and making sure they're both in time.

Also, what's a PodXL3? A google search brings up observatories lol.

I'm considering whether it might be a good idea to invest in a proper synthesizer piano with its own internal soundbank. A decent one seems to sound better than what I can achieve with Reason, plus if I ever get into a band and need to play on stage, I think a synthesizer would be much more practical and reliable than a MIDI keyboard connected up to Reason. What do you think?
#6
Quote by Keth
MXL V88 as a mic for guitar and bass and a EMU 404 soundcard, spend about 250 euro's (I think). I record with Cubase 5 and have no external effects.

I'm kvlt as hell.


(kvlt meaning cheap)


Lol yeah I'd rather start of with something minimal because I'm one of those people that can get overly enthusiastic about something and buy unnecessary things that I might only use once or twice. At the moment, all the proper editing stuff that sound guys deal with looks just too complicated and I dunno if I will ever be able to understand what they do.
#7
Ardour and Reaper are the recording programs.

The POD X3L is a floorboard that simulates amplifiers, effects, and the such. It allows you to not use an amp while recording which is much easier to do and get a good sound from than mic'ing an amplifier. LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Line-6-POD-X3-Live/dp/B000VJZOKG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1319497847&sr=8-2

A good synth is MUCH better for live playing but anything with MIDI input does well enough for recording if you can find some good patches out there for free.
#8
Quote by z4twenny
My gear is pretty simple - triton / la 610 "pre's" into a presonus firetube studio into my pc. I use acid 7 w/ a stupid list of plugins. My friend refers to it as "skywalker ranch"

My first setup was just a tascam 4 track, my second was a boss br8


What are Pre's? Yeah I'm noob lol.
#9
Quote by Vlasco
Ardour and Reaper are the recording programs.

The POD X3L is a floorboard that simulates amplifiers, effects, and the such. It allows you to not use an amp while recording which is much easier to do and get a good sound from than mic'ing an amplifier. LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Line-6-POD-X3-Live/dp/B000VJZOKG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1319497847&sr=8-2

A good synth is MUCH better for live playing but anything with MIDI input does well enough for recording if you can find some good patches out there for free.


I knew it was Line 6 but I put that into google and still, observatories lol. This is a MultiFX pedalboard, like the Roland GT-10 right? I didn't know you could plug a guitar straight into that and then that straight into an interface..

Thing I find most frustrating about using Reason is when I want to play something pretty complex on the keyboard. Being classically trained to play piano, latency is an issue that just can't be resolved on my computer. That's part of my attraction to real synthesizers.
#10
There isn't much you can do about latency live, you would need a real instrument. Yes you can plug those floorboards into an interface.
#11
Quote by z4twenny
my second was a boss br8


Hey I used to have a BR8! That reliance on zip discs
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#12
I have a very cheap (by music standards) set up. more for hobby then anything serious.

hardware:
Audio-Technica headphones and Audio-Technica studio mic (for acoustic recording) about 120 bucks each
xfi sounblaster fatality card about 120 at the time i bought it.
guitar rig kontroler 3 (foot pedal that u can bind actions, or effects to) and the guitar rig input box.

software:
windows 7
guitar rig 3
cubase 4
fruity loops

instruments:
Fender deluxe players stratocaster.
Ibanez RG series
Clavanova piano (connects to guitar rig and is completely compatible.

I use the piano for drums (or a drum machine) and bass lines. I play guitar for everything else. I have mic for singing and acoustic recording.
Blues, classical, metal. Who says you cant love all 3?
#13
Quote by AlanHB
Hey I used to have a BR8! That reliance on zip discs

Drove me nuts, also since it was so "new" of a technology at a time it didnt really interface with a pc. The cool part was bouncing down to 16 tracks. All the older numbered songs on my profile like "invita minerva" and "still here" were done on it.

To the guy above, a pre is a preamp, it boosts the level and often colors the tone slightly. The triton is a mic pre iirc and the la610 is a compressor but i rarely use it for actual compression.
#14
Does anyone know, if I buy a synthesizer with its own sounds, can I digitally record its own sounds onto my laptop through an audio interface/soundcard using a programme like Ardour or Reaper? Also, will I be able to record and then correct certain notes, e.g. make it louder, change it's position, add effects, just like I would be able to with Reason?
#15
Quote by BadBanshee
Does anyone know, if I buy a synthesizer with its own sounds, can I digitally record its own sounds onto my laptop through an audio interface/soundcard using a programme like Ardour or Reaper? Also, will I be able to record and then correct certain notes, e.g. make it louder, change it's position, add effects, just like I would be able to with Reason?

if you record it's audio output (which yes you can) you won't be able to fix the notes later on. If you record the MIDI of it you'll be able to fix the notes and also send it to your said synth and get it's sound when you Render your mix or when jsut listening (does it make sense?)
#16
Quote by BadBanshee
Thing I find most frustrating about using Reason is when I want to play something pretty complex on the keyboard. Being classically trained to play piano, latency is an issue that just can't be resolved on my computer. That's part of my attraction to real synthesizers.
Are you using asio drivers?
#17
I prefer to keep things simple. My recording kit includes:
Tascam 2488 MkII
Shure SM57 mic
Zoom RT323 drum machine
Plus all my guitars etc.

All easy to use and avoids spending too much time at the computer so I can focus on actually playing guitar.

Standard process is to record drums first, then bass, then rhythm guitar and put lead tracks & vocals on last. Most of my songs these days start out as back tracks to jam along to (after 20 years of playing I've only recently started to learn how to play lead) which is why it's usually the rhythm sections which are done first, although recording these parts first is also the easiest way of ensuring other tracks are recorded without going out of time.

This kit provides all the capability I need to produce quality recordings of the 'real' instruments and creates the final product right through from initial draft to finished version written to CD.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
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My SoundCloud
Last edited by GaryBillington at Oct 27, 2011,
#18
Quote by Jesse Clarkson
Are you using asio drivers?


I've heard of these. Are they meant to eliminate latency? Well I haven't bought any kind of upgrade to my system so I'm guessing I don't have it. Otherwise how would I check?
#19
Quote by GaryBillington
I prefer to keep things simple. My recording kit includes:
Tascam 2488 MkII
Shure SM57 mic
Zoom RT323 drum machine
Plus all my guitars etc.

All easy to use and avoids spending too much time at the computer so I can focus on actually playing guitar.

Standard process is to record drums first, then bass, then rhythm guitar and put lead tracks & vocals on last. Most of my songs these days start out as back tracks to jam along to (after 20 years of playing I've only recently started to learn how to play lead) which is why it's usually the rhythm sections which are done first, although recording these parts first is also the easiest way of ensuring other tracks are recorded without going out of time.

This kit provides all the capability I need to produce quality recordings of the 'real' instruments and creates the final product right through from initial draft to finished version written to CD.


What computer program do you use to record the stuff you play?

I've always been sceptical of those drum machines. Always thought that if you were going to go with computer generated drums, might aswell use something like Reason or Fruity Loops.
#20
Quote by Vendetta V
if you record it's audio output (which yes you can) you won't be able to fix the notes later on. If you record the MIDI of it you'll be able to fix the notes and also send it to your said synth and get it's sound when you Render your mix or when jsut listening (does it make sense?)


But if I record by MIDI then I will *not* be able to use the sounds from the keyboard synthesizer itself, is that right? I would have to go back to using Reason.

Would have thought that there was a computer programme out there that could record a keyboard synthesizer's audio output that could be edited afterwards...
#21
Quote by BadBanshee
What are Pre's? Yeah I'm noob lol.

Pre-amps?
Professional lurker since 2009.
#22
Quote by BadBanshee
What computer program do you use to record the stuff you play?

I've always been sceptical of those drum machines. Always thought that if you were going to go with computer generated drums, might aswell use something like Reason or Fruity Loops.

I don't - all recording & mixing is done on the Tascam 2488. Like I said, it takes you all the way from the original draft idea to a finished product. I've looked at software DAWs in the past and didn't like them.

The drum machine is a useful tool, I use it as a metronome when practising as much as I use it to programme drums for a song, so for me it's better to have a specific piece of kit for this as my PC is in a different part of my house to my guitars (that's also one of several reasons I don't use software for recording). I find it easy to use, the drums themselves are sample recordings so they sound as genuine as programmed drums can sound and programming new patterns and new songs is a simple process. Have to admit though, editing songs once you've programmed them would be easier using software.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
Last edited by GaryBillington at Oct 28, 2011,
#23
Quote by BadBanshee
But if I record by MIDI then I will *not* be able to use the sounds from the keyboard synthesizer itself, is that right? I would have to go back to using Reason.

Would have thought that there was a computer programme out there that could record a keyboard synthesizer's audio output that could be edited afterwards...

No, think of it this way, when you play your keyboard it sends the midi data to its builtin soundbank/repository and the latter generates the sound. When recording what you're doing is sending a copy of that signal to the Reaper which records it as midi, then when you play it back it sends your recorded midi back to your synth which generates the sound and sends it to your reapers audio input. You still won't have the audio file but you'll be able to do anything to it (think VSTi only a hardware one) like add additional plugins and whatnot, then when you're ready to render your mix it'll record your synths output already and you'll have the final version with the sound you setup. I hope this makes sense. I'm doing the same with my VSTis only that I use them from my computer not a separate synth


and actually I dont know of any program that can do stuff like that.
#24
Dude the best site ever if you're starting out is this one http://tweakheadz.com/

the guy is a home recording advice guru. You will learn anything you need to know and it will tell you everything you should consider.

Your audio interface is important. the main thing is considering how many in/outs and what kind of in/outs you will need. i prefer the standalone interfaces thant he PCI soundcards.'

They have built in converters and some have preamps etc but those can always be ugraded later if you need or want to but you can't get more in/outs without buying a new interface. i have a motu ultralite - it has more imputs than i currently need but I've used more than I initially thought i would when I have friends around and I'm plugging in a few guitars and mics it's great.

As for DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) I used to use Cakewalk Sonar on my PC but I am on a mac now and used Garageband but now use Logic.

I use a motu ultralite as an audio interface into my imac with logic.
I have superior drummer on there as well for some drum sounds.

I use my guitars and amps through my interface - I sometimes mic them up but keep the mic close and the amp loud because i don't have great acoustics.

I sometimes just go through the amp and then from the line out on my amp straight into the motu line in - no mic. ( I wish sometimes i could do both at the same time. but my amp won't let me.

Other times I will go from the guitar straight to the motu line in and use the preamp to boost the signal and add amp effects in Logic.

When on my acoustic it is acoustic/electric so it also plugs in. So i mic it up and I plug it in to the motu so that I get two audio tracks whenever I record my acoustic guitar. One from the mic and one straight from the guitars pickups that I can mix and play with to get some nice sounds.

I don't have any recording up here though. All I have here was done years ago and was just messing around with various experiments so unless I post something you can't hear my set up yet.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Oct 28, 2011,
#25
Quote by BadBanshee
But if I record by MIDI then I will *not* be able to use the sounds from the keyboard synthesizer itself, is that right? I would have to go back to using Reason.

Would have thought that there was a computer programme out there that could record a keyboard synthesizer's audio output that could be edited afterwards...



Then you just plug it into the interface using an instrument cable instead of the MIDI cable.
#26
Quote by GaryBillington
I don't - all recording & mixing is done on the Tascam 2488. Like I said, it takes you all the way from the original draft idea to a finished product. I've looked at software DAWs in the past and didn't like them.

The drum machine is a useful tool, I use it as a metronome when practising as much as I use it to programme drums for a song, so for me it's better to have a specific piece of kit for this as my PC is in a different part of my house to my guitars (that's also one of several reasons I don't use software for recording). I find it easy to use, the drums themselves are sample recordings so they sound as genuine as programmed drums can sound and programming new patterns and new songs is a simple process. Have to admit though, editing songs once you've programmed them would be easier using software.


So with this Tascam 2488, what form does the finished form come in? Does it write it onto a CD in mp3 for example?
#27
Quote by BadBanshee
So with this Tascam 2488, what form does the finished form come in? Does it write it onto a CD in mp3 for example?

Yes - like I said, it does everything from start to finish, including burning the finished track to CD.

All the songs on my profile were recorded and mixed using multitrackers (the first time they came anywhere near my PC was when I ripped the CD created by the multitracker), although the only 2 I've finished since buying the Tascam 2488 are Interlude and Witch Hunt. The rest were done on a Fostex VF-80.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
Last edited by GaryBillington at Oct 31, 2011,