#1
I've never really understood how the setup goes to recording onto your computer. If you buy recording software/hardware, what else do you need to have? Let's say I want to play metal; would I need pedals to make it distorted or would the software do that?

Part two of my question is: What would someone recommend to me for recording software and equipment? For now, let's keep the budget at $500. Something of good quality, easy to use (software, pedals, etc.) and let's think about recording vocals as well as guitar and keyboards. And while we're on the subject of keyboards, how about some synthesizer recommendations?


Thanks ahead of time.
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#2
Well you could always get an interface that has some mic pre's, so then you can just mic up a distorted amp. You can find plug-ins online that can do some amp simulation, but if you can record an actual guitar it'll sound better.

As for software and hardware, you can get an MBox
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Digidesign-Mbox-2-USB-Audio-Interface?sku=240479
which comes with Pro Tools LE, and you'll be able to update/install version 7.4. You can do mic and line inputs on that box, as well as MIDI. I currently have the MBox Mini, which is basically the same, but only a single mic in and 2 line ins, and you can usually get one from Guitar Center for $250, and I think about the same but a little more online.

And for synth, the only program I really have any experience with is Reason, which you can just have the keyboard as a MIDI controller that plays the synth sounds you can make on it. My MBox came with a free Digidesign version of Reason, so that one might come with it as well.
#3
Quote by SonataFanica
If you buy recording software/hardware, what else do you need to have? Let's say I want to play metal; would I need pedals to make it distorted or would the software do that?


If you buy the software, you'll need either hardware to interface with the software (like Line6's Pods with the Gearbox plug in, or MIDI interfaces/keyboards with software synths) or you can try using the keyboard. If you want to play metal, the plug in can do the trick, alone.

However, if you plan on going live, I'd recommend getting the full-on interface (like a Line 6 Pod 2.0/XT/X3 and the Live versions) as they often have effects return and receives for your specific pedal, which is useful if you want its specific sound.


Part two of my question is: What would someone recommend to me for recording software and equipment? For now, let's keep the budget at $500. Something of good quality, easy to use (software, pedals, etc.) and let's think about recording vocals as well as guitar and keyboards. And while we're on the subject of keyboards, how about some synthesizer recommendations?
Thanks ahead of time.


Hard to keep it at that low price. If you're a student, you may qualify for educational discounts...ask the vendor for details. Kontakt is supposed to be the premier software synth...yet there are often free/inexpensive ones on the web that are quite good. Look around on the internet...and Electronic Musician magazine often highlights these in Download of the Month (my school subscribes to this, so I get to read it for free and refer to it often here).

As for interface, look into a Line 6 UX1...it has good amp models and is $130. You can get a versatile microphone like the SM58 for vocals (it worked for the Clash in their album London Calling, plus it's great live). For condenser microphones, you'll need a preamp. That's $230. Then a good USB keyboard to interface with the synths is around $150-300 (look at M-Audio's Axiom and Oxygen offerings...a 25 or 61 key keyboard is sufficient).
#4
Hardware is always better than software.
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#5
^ Except if space or cost is a concern. Other than that though...nothing's better than the real thing.