#1
I know ill get utfse but i guess as new equipment becomes available new posts are needed.

Anyway, im totally sick of computer amp emulators and digital multiFX for recording directly to a computer via USB or 3.5 in.

Ive got a mesa amp and a v30 cab that i absolutely love the soound of it, and i finally have the budget and the motivation to make a mic recording setup happen.

So far I have bought a Shure SM57 microphone, ive got a brutally epic computer. I understand that I need to more things. Software and a Preamp.

My question is, which pre amp should I buy. I only need one input (guitar) and i will spend whatever it takes up to say 500 max, but would obviously be happier spending less if it is pointless to spend that much considering my needs. A few of the pre amps that i checked out come with protracks, Would this be a good program for someone new to recording to use? or is there something better for an amateur?

Basically i would like to know, what preamp should I buy, what are the pros / cons of buying a good or bad pre amp, and also what software would be most suitable for an amateur to be able to use?

I want to use it to record guitar riffs, email them to my friend so he can chuck a drum beat over it and vice versa.

Also I assume that if i buy a pre amp (or whatever the component is that i need), i dont need to buy a seperate sound card is this correct?

Thanks for your advice, much appreciated.
RG's & Mesa's
#2
Quote by e32lover
Anyway, im totally sick of computer amp emulators and digital multiFX for recording directly to a computer via USB or 3.5 in.
Chances are you've never tried the good ones.
So, what did you try?
Quote by e32lover
Ive got a mesa amp and a v30 cab that i absolutely love the soound of it, and i finally have the budget and the motivation to make a mic recording setup happen.
You know that with that budget your sound is gonna be different from what you're hearing in the room playing the amp?
I mean, it'll not be that different, but neither it will be the same.
Quote by e32lover
So far I have bought a Shure SM57 microphone, ive got a brutally epic computer. I understand that I need to more things. Software and a Preamp.
You needed to come here and ask stuff before, and you should have gotten a 421 or 441 if ya ask me.

You also don't need a pre alone, you need an audio interface, unless your "brutally epic" computer includes some kind of a good sound card.
Chances are it doesn't, but just to be sure, what sound card does it have?
Quote by e32lover
My question is, which pre amp should I buy. I only need one input (guitar) and i will spend whatever it takes up to say 500 max, but would obviously be happier spending less if it is pointless to spend that much considering my needs. A few of the pre amps that i checked out come with protracks, Would this be a good program for someone new to recording to use? or is there something better for an amateur?
What pre's did you check, just out of curiosity?

Anyway, you wanna record a guitar, you don't need a good pre, you need good converters.

Again, chances are your "brutally epic" computer isn't a mac, 'cause people with macs usually don't call their computers "brutally epic", though if I'm mistaking get an apogee duet, doesn't matter if it works with iPad's.

If I'm right then get a used RME babyface.
Or if you're positive you'll never record anything else than guitars, cheap out and get a mackie onyx blackjack.
Quote by e32lover
Basically i would like to know, what preamp should I buy, what are the pros / cons of buying a good or bad pre amp, and also what software would be most suitable for an amateur to be able to use?
Respectively, whatever you prefer the sound of, a good preamp sounds better than a bad preamp, and the DAW you prefer.

Now to dig a bit more into the answers, depending on the sound you wanna obtain you may wanna go for a pretty transparent pre, say the FMR RNP, or a more "coloring" pre, like the GAP pre73mkII.

A supposedly good preamp will have more bandwidth and more definition than a bad preamp, but preamps are inherently different and you may not like the sound of a pre regarded as good sounding for a specific application, while for a certain application you may like the sound of a supposedly bad pre.

But then again that's all theory, 'cause you want to keep it simple and get an audio interface altogether.
Quote by e32lover
I want to use it to record guitar riffs, email them to my friend so he can chuck a drum beat over it and vice versa.
Does the result have to be a good quality result?
A really good quality result?
Quote by e32lover
Also I assume that if i buy a pre amp (or whatever the component is that i need), i dont need to buy a seperate sound card is this correct?
Stop assuming, you'll agree with me that it's annoying to have a newbie coming to a place of experienced people assuming wrong stuff about something he doesn't know about after having already made questionable decisions.

The chain needs to be the following:
mic -> pre -> ADC

Audio interfaces have both pre's and ADCs, sound cards have ADCs and in most cases even pre's, though they sound bad most of the time.
ADC means Analog to Digital Converter, and it's the thing that takes an analog signal and converts to data your computer can interpret.
Guess what, if you use a bad ADC the result will be bad.

If any of the things in the chain is bad the result will be bad, and even though a bad mic will affect the sound more than a bad converter, it will still make the whole thing sound bad.
You don't wanna cheap out on that if you want a really good sounding result.
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#3
Thanks for the advice, much appreciated. In regards to the digital stuff, your right I have not used any of the good stuff, just amplitude and some digitech multi fx units, but it seems the good ones are prohibitively expensive, plus I might have some fun recording with a mic.

Like 99% of people who record their guitar with a pro setup, i wont be aiming to make any money with it, just want to lay down some tracks for my self and to share with friends etc. I know its impossible to even come close to a pro studio setup with a 100 buck mic, a laptop and a few components in between, but i bet it has the potential to sound a hell of a lot better than what Im using right now (digitech RP360)

In regards to the computer, no its not a mac, just a superfast laptop (W230ST) which obviously just has a crappy on board sound card. I had a look at some M-Audio and Focusrite units, but they all range from $100 to $1000 plus, and i have no idea the features that I need.

Is there a single unit I can buy that has a pre, adc and soundcard all in one? If so what would you recommend? Like I said none of us here are going to make a platinum selling record, I just want to get a setup that will allow me to play around and learn a bit about recording and hopefully put down some half decent sounding tracks.

Cheers.
RG's & Mesa's
#5
Quote by e32lover
Is there a single unit I can buy that has a pre, adc and soundcard all in one?
A sound card IS an audio interface.
An audio interface in the form of a PCI or PCIe card.

There are ADCs in all full featured audio interfaces.
There also are pre's in all full featured audio interfaces.

I'd get a roland duo capture EX.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#6
I'm using vocaroo.com Because u can also download it as a mp3 file
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#7
$500? You can find a Focusrite Forte for that if you look hard enough. High end converters and has the same pres as the Focusrite RedNet preamps, which are their flagship, top of the line, boxes. Tons of gain to power anything you could ever want, plus built in DAW control.

Then grab Reaper for $60 and you're set.
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#8
So these audio interfaces, the rolland duocaputre ES and the focusrite forte are all I will need, and are basically a USB soundcard that I can plug into my laptop, thats also a pre amp and D/A Converter?


Ok Sorry i just did some more research. Ill definitely get Reaper, and Ill buy a focusrite unit, just trying to decide between a few models, just a couple more q's

What is the difference between the focusrite scarlett 2i2 and 2i4?

Also what is the advantage of the Forte over the Scarlett?

Thanks again for your advice, im starting to get my head around it. I just found when researching it was like when i got into vaping, there was just too much technical information around it was hard even figure out what things are and what i need.

Cheers.
RG's & Mesa's
Last edited by e32lover at Jul 10, 2014,
#9
Audacity is the least-complex recording software (limited features) that can be fairly easy for beginners to learn. But why not learn a DAW that will give you everything you need as you grow into it?
Some Audio Interfaces come with a Limited Edition DAW. Reaper, as already mentioned, for $60 is hard to fault - you can download the full version free and try it out, pay when you are ready. All AUdio interfaces have A/D D/A converters, most (but not all) have both Mic Preamps and Instrument Preeamps as well as line inputs.
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#10
Quote by e32lover
So these audio interfaces, the rolland duocaputre ES and the focusrite forte are all I will need, and are basically a USB soundcard that I can plug into my laptop, thats also a pre amp and D/A Converter?
Well one or the other, having both would be redundant.
You just need one.
Quote by e32lover
Ok Sorry i just did some more research. Ill definitely get Reaper, and Ill buy a focusrite unit, just trying to decide between a few models, just a couple more q's
I wouldn't buy any focusrite unit.
I wouldn't buy any scarlett for example.
Quote by e32lover
What is the difference between the focusrite scarlett 2i2 and 2i4?
The 2i4 has a couple more exits and midi connectivity.
They have in common the inability of not sounding good though.
Quote by e32lover
Also what is the advantage of the Forte over the Scarlett?
The latter's supposed to sound a lot ****ing better.
Though I never tried a forte so I can't really tell.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#11
I personally think that moving speakers in a room is better than doing it digitally for the most part. I am not opposed to emulators but the real thing is still better IMO, so the OP is on the right track.

OP: Sounds like just getting one of these audio interface with mic preamp included will take care of your needs, if you don't like it you can get a preamp with more color later if budget will allow. I like to do at least 2 mics per cab, dynamic and condenser so it gets a wider sound and captures a little bit of room. Not a deal breaker but you might want to look up a 2 mic interface. On the budget side AT2020 mic is awesome and blends very well with the SM57. I record that way on my Orange TT combo all the time.
#12
OK thanks heaps for the advice,

The Panadeine, i mean Focusrite Forte looks like it will do the job but is there something similar but with 2 mic inputs? I notice the Duo Capture EX has 2 inputs but sound quality and feature wise is it in the same league as the forte? I do like the more professional look of the Roland


Cheers.
RG's & Mesa's
Last edited by e32lover at Jul 10, 2014,
#14
Note that Spambot_2, as far as I can tell, is the only regular that doesn't like the Focusrite gear.
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#15
^ aww come on that was overly drastic.
Let's say I'm the only regular who doesn't only have nice stuff to say about focusrite's stuff.

Thing is, I can't think of any better sounding interface than the 2i2 for the same features, but for a little bit of money more than that I can think of a lot better sounding stuff than that.
I also ****in hate the scarlett pre's sound.

Though there's focusrite stuff I don't dislike - I'd love to get myself a forte console
Quote by e32lover
The Panadeine, i mean Focusrite Forte looks like it will do the job but is there something similar but with 2 mic inputs?
The most similar things to the forte but with two inputs is the forte.
The thing has a breakout cable that comes with it to connect to it to give you 2 inputs, either line or instrument or mic.
You actually get 4 different inputs though you get just 2 input channels.
Quote by e32lover
I notice the Duo Capture EX has 2 inputs but sound quality and feature wise is it in the same league as the forte?
Again, I've never tried it, but just reading reviews and listening to demos and looking at specs, I reckon the forte will be hella better.
Quote by e32lover
I do like the more professional look of the Roland
Well why not getting an API a2d since you're at it?

I mean, the looks aren't something that should affect your purchase, 'cause you will probably get accustomed to the looks and if you will not you can just put a blanket over it when using it, though I would rather do that then put a blanket over the speakers not to having to listen to what's coming out of them because it's not that high quality.

Not saying that the duo capture will sound bad, though the forte will likely sound much better.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#16
I do have a Roland card (Edirol) and I hate their tech. support with a passion. I emailed them asking about some setting options on the driver *which I still don't know what they do* and they were totally clueless. It works but not thanks to them. On the other hand I have PreSonus and they are nothing but helpful. Hell, even Pro Tools when I worked in studios were better tech support than Roland. No offense but their tech support has been huge PITA, almost to the point where I'd consider most of their stuff abandonware
#17
OK Thanks, ill prob go for the focusrite forte. So its basically the same feature wise as the roland just better quality sound yeah?

Can someone who owns the Focusrite forte please tell me if the power supply is 110-230/240v rather than 110v? I dont want to have to pay double for the "Australian" version. (I know of course they make a ~230v power supply but it will cost double for the AU and EU markets) If the US version is 110v only, is it possible to run this thing from my pedal power 2 plus?

Thanks.
RG's & Mesa's
#18
According to the website it's a 5V 1A power supply, so if your pedal power has 5V plugs then you can (otherwise 5V power bricks aren't hard to come by, go to your local Jaycar). I doubt the provided power supply would be switchable though, it's most likely a simple brick like a phone/camera charger kind of thing.