I've looked through all the forums and this seems like the most appropriate place to put this.

I have a midi keyboard, some guitars, and I would love some advice on good software and general technical advice and how to get my ideas in my head into reality.

Any help would be greatly appriciated. Bear in mind im clueless to most stuff involing computers, so treat me like an idiot lol.
Well, this guide is invaluable, so read that (at least the intro). Once you have, come back here.

For software, there is a big sticky at the top of the forum with a list of them. I use REAPER and it's perfect for me. Audacity is as simple as you can get, and it has it's own thread for questions.

If you just want to get your ideas on your drive, than you can either get a cheapo mic (I used one that came with my webcam) and record your amp, or you can get a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter (here) and use your line out. Either way will yield horrible quality and big latency, though.

Instead you should get either a mixer and a good soundcard, or get an audio interface. (I decided on the AI route, and I'm getting the PreSonus Firebox). All that is in the Tweak Headz guide.

This is probably a lot of info to digest (the guide was like Chinese to me when I first read it) so make sure to look on it. Hopefully moody07747 or someone else will be here to expand on this.

All that was a bit scary to tell you the thruth.. The guide was ok up until the second, in which I felt out of depth again. Thanks though lol I know that sounds sarcastic but its nice to know someone cares!

It feels like all this technology mumbo is holding me back
Basically you want to record audio and use your MIDI keyboard to trigger sounds from software, correct?
If so, an audio interface is the best way to record audio. Most interfaces today even have on board MIDI in and out ports so you can easily link your keys to that.
The audio interface is a high end sound card made to record and will give low latency monitoring.

I suggest getting an EMU 0404 interface. You will be able to link your keyboard to it to use MIDI and it has audio inputs to record mics and instruments.

Software (sequencers):
Audacity is very simple and easy to use/learn however it has it's limits
Cakewalk Sonar, Reaper, and Cubase are all higher end programs which take some time to learn but are well worth it in the end.

As suggested above, read though Tweak's Guide, (a few times if you feel unclear on some parts.) This guide has thought me quite a bit.

Sometimes having someone there to show you how to work on a program or hardware helps better than text on a screen so if you have not already, see the UG recording videos.
Last edited by moody07747 at Nov 12, 2008,