For The Recording Guitarist. Part 1

An introduction to how to get your music to the listening public. We start off with what goes on in your bedroom.

10
Okay, this "series" of sorts, is a way to help musicians who want to get their music recorded, make it sound good and get it out to the people. Today is going to be the down to earth basics of what you must do to be a home-based recording artist. So this article is going to be focused on tech and technique and the basic gear you need to start recording. First off:
  • The Instrument Most of the people on this website (I assume) play guitar, bass or drums, or your three modern musical standard instruments. No doubt there's also people who play other instruments, but fear not, this article will try to be as broadly accepting as possible. I'm gonna be blunt: your 100 Squier Strat isn't going to cut it. You need to make sure the instrument you use is to a certain quality so that you can achieve the best sound. A minimum spent on a good guitar for this sort home recording deal should be 350/$550 and upwards, making sure that it's the right guitar for you so you don't spend more money buying more equipment.
  • The Computer Practically all music studios of any kind use a computer (or computers) to record music; it's just the done thing these days. Again, you don't need to spend tons and tons and tons on a high end computer to be able to do this properly, but a 200 Dell desktop from 2007 won't do, and laptops are out of the question (they can't handle the processing at all). A decent desktop ranging from 500 and upwards should do, as long as it has 4GB or more of ram (to handle all the input and output going in and out of the computer). My computer is a Dell XPS8000, 800, and it can run every program and piece of hardware I need perfectly without problems. One thing to suggest though is this: Do Not Buy A Mac, they only have one added benefit to a PC in this case, and that is the ability to run a certain kind of software (which I'll get onto later). Of course, if you already have a Mac/iMac/Mac Pro (MacBook Pros are adequate too, much better than PC laptops) then don't worry, you can still use them for recording, but you still paid 300% more than you needed to for a computer.
  • The Amp For guitarists/bassists/other musicians using amps, make sure it's of a high quality and more importantly, a valve. Line 6 Spider is a no-no (unless it's the valve). Again, doesn't matter what amp it is, but a decent cab/head combo is at least a smidgen under 1000 (then again, I don't know how many brands do good cheap valve amps). A Nice Easy Way To Circumnavigate High Amp Prices, Is Searching Online And In Shops For B-Stock Or Used Goods. Most of these goods are factory fresh with aesthetic defects or minor problems that had to be fixed and usually sell for a fraction of RRP if you can find a dealer. Good sites for this sort of thing are the usual: eBay, Gumtree, Craigslist etc. But also try Sweetwater.com, Guitarguitar.co.uk, Guitarcenter.com and Andertons.co.uk (or your local, and order through them).
  • The Interface What's an interface, you may think. A digital interface is the key component to getting your instrument into your computer. An interface comes with the necessary ports needed to direct your signal into your computer, which may just be your normal 1/4'' jack for a direct signal or XLR jack for your microphone (depends on the interface). The interface is also an external soundcard, so you can use it to upgrade the sound coming from your computer for any reason (gaming, just listening to music, etc). Interfaces vary greatly in price but all of them do the same thing (baring cheaper models), the main difference being the quality in sound, the features they come with and how much of one thing you can do (most cheap interfaces have two "In" ports, either jacks or XLR's, while higher end ones can have up to 8 "In" and "Out" ports). However, even a cheap interface such as the Line 6 UX1 (don't bash, its good) or Digidesign Mbox 3 provide good quality sound.
  • Your DAW A DAW is you Digital Audio Workstation. Basically, it's the software you use to record everything in. There are 3 well known pieces of DAW software that the pro's use: Logic Pro, Pro Tools and Steinberg Cubase. These are also all down to preference, although most people will be locked out of using Logic Pro because it is Apple software, so it is only available on Macs. Logic Pro is the most diverse of the three. You can record, compose, automate Midi, add music to videos, mix, master, loads of things. Is also the easiest software to use, as everything is very openly laid out and the manual is incredibly in depth (it's a few hundred pages long, too). However, it is expensive and (although I don't condone this) very hard to crack, and is limited to Mac's. Pro Tools takes the basic elements of Logic - Recording, mixing, mastering, or the actual music stuff - and makes it its main focus. Like Logic, it Does have software instruments and Midi control, but is not as expanded in these areas, and is focused more on pure recording. The sound engine (which is, ya know, the sound engine) is also better, so recordings come out sounding nicer than on Logic. It is also cheaper for students: You can have the industry standard for 220 with student discount. Cubase is rubbish in comparison, but if you don't have enough money for the previous pieces of software, its a good option for those on a budget. You can do the same basic things, more or less, as Logic but you may be limited overall in what you can do in comparison, and the sound isn't great. Other DAW's tend to be more geared towards composing electronic music (which is not the same thing as music production, so ignore deadmau5). These are Ableton Live, which is very user unfriendly, Reason/Record, which is very very useful as synth software over recording software, and Fruity Loops Studio, which is essentially Baby's First DAW (still competent though).
  • The Peripherals These are some specific things that are basic and don't need much attention, or will be discussed in later articles: For those without good amps or are saving money, try guitar emulator software. Most emulators aren't too expensive and are essentially amp modelers inside your computer. The good ones are Pod Farm, TH2 Overloud and Peavey Revalver. Bear in mind, that really good sounding tones require more RAM/CPU and good quality interfaces. The good thing about emulators is their directness: you can just plug in your guitar to your interface and play. The downside is, your tone will be purely digital, which although can sound good, is still a preference factor. Emulators will be discussed later. Cables are a big thing too: You can never have enough. Depending on how big the size of your room is, 5 to 10 foot cables are good, and you should include XLR-to-XLR cables, quarter inch/guitar cables and shorter speaker cables. To be honest, they're just cables, but make sure to take care of them. I mentioned "In" and "out" ports: Your "out" will be one of 2 things, or both if you're going for a full band approach. These will be Monitors and Headphones. I have got articles more on this stuff later, so bear in mind that for the best sound, good versions of each will be needed, and to start off with, just get a good set of enclosed headphones, I highly recommend Sennheiser, who have more models than a lads mag. Microphones: Also play important roles depending on what instrument you play and your budget. Again, I have lots of information on this topic for other article, so don't worry. Just to add, the universal standards for recording electric guitar are the Shure SM57 and SM58 mics (the only difference between the two is preference in sound). So yeah, more to follow, hope it helped. ~Epi
  • 48 comments sorted by best / new / date

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      dr_shred
      Speaking as an audio engineer, you may wan't to make your "series" less opinionated and more factual. For example you say "it has to be a valve amp", that's not true at all. You can record a guitar through any type of amp and still get a killer tone. Also a lot of companies use the mac (industry standard) due to them being uniform and it reduces the risk of incompatibility between studios. I've used pro tools on both mac and pc and the only difference is the hotkeys tbh, you also want a cpu capable of hyper threading as this will reduce system load. Pro tools and Logic are roughly the same price (not taking into account student pricing as you will have to pay for the full version after 4 years if you want updates). Finally if you are interested in modelling software two of the best modellers i have come across are the Waves GTR and the avid 11rack (this is actually an external interface that is designed specifically for guitarists and comes with incredibly good amp/stompbox sounds in it and comes with a full version of pro tools 10).
      Dory77
      Seems fairly biased regarding what brands/products are out there. Many people argue that Macs are much better for music recording purposes, yet this guy is straight up saying don't get one? Also the hate for Cubase? I know it isn't the best DAW, but I made a fair few recordings with my piano teacher through Cubase and it sounded really good. Certainly not as awful as what this guy is saying it would be like in comparison to ProTools etc. Friends of mine used ProTools for an EP and the improvements on the Cubase sound were pretty negligible, even though they'd spent a lot more time getting the recordings to sound good.
      EpiExplorer
      JohnMerrick wrote: hey EpiExplorer are you gonna hate on this article too?
      I'm gonna hate on my own article?
      Hell Kaiser Ryo
      I myself use cubase and it does absolutely not sound like shit and it is not rubbish. The author of this article seems to be quite biased indeed.
      ChemicalFire
      As a regular of the recording forum on this site. It is my firm believe that this article is completely balls.
      DisarmGoliath
      Don't mean to offend, but this is far too biased, leaves out quite a lot of information beginners should find important, and you don't appear to know enough on the subject to do it justice. My opinion, of course, but unless the other articles in the 'series' are better, I don't think this deserves to be front page on UG.
      EpiExplorer
      Dory77 wrote: Seems fairly biased regarding what brands/products are out there. Many people argue that Macs are much better for music recording purposes, yet this guy is straight up saying don't get one? Also the hate for Cubase? I know it isn't the best DAW, but I made a fair few recordings with my piano teacher through Cubase and it sounded really good. Certainly not as awful as what this guy is saying it would be like in comparison to ProTools etc. Friends of mine used ProTools for an EP and the improvements on the Cubase sound were pretty negligible, even though they'd spent a lot more time getting the recordings to sound good.
      I know, but mainly the point was to open the options up, the main thing to take in to consideration is preference, I just added the opinions to let people know what one side feel about a certain product, but yeah, I should cut down on that.
      AussieThrash
      This is great for people in the UK, but if you're in Australia, you're gonna have a bad time. For instance, I have recently wrote a few songs and was going to record them, but I have been having hassles. So I had a look at this and I thought, well I can't afford this. For example: Note: all these are second hand item prices, and the Australian dollar buys 0.776 Euros. Guitar: for a standard Gibson Les Paul, $2,500 to $5,000. Computer: Dell, $1,900 Amp: Marshall 60watt valve, $890. Interface: (new) $500-$600, if the computer doesn't come with a decent interface. DAW: Reason 4 2012, $340. So if you're like me, an Aussie who wants to record their music, you're looking around $6,130 AUD ($4,756 Euros) at cheapest. When yours is about, say, $3000 Euros. A fair amount cheaper. Is there any suggestions for ways I could reduce the cost? Like could I use my LTD EC-50 or should I really get a better guitar? And could I just use Audacity, as it's free and easy to use?
      metalrr5
      Does the DAW really affect the audio quality that much? If that's the cause, i would assume every professional would be using pro tools, why would u record something with cubase if it sounds like shit? but pro's use logic and cubase so yeah
      DrButterfunk
      "Cubase is rubbish in comparison" "One thing to suggest though is this: Do Not Buy A Mac" WTF Mate. Nice way to lose credibility. Keep you're ignorant biases to yourself, it makes you sound like you're 12. All this article did was mislead musicians wishing to get into recording. One thing I would suggest is this: delete this article and never make another one!
      shinin54
      I didn't really find this helpful. Speaking as someone with a good amount of time around different studios, this is terribly misleading. First of all, Cubase is not "rubbish" at all, and I know many people that have it as their preference. Therefore, it shouldn't be viewed as a cheap alternative. Also, Mac computers are quickly becoming the industry standard, so advising people to simply not buy them is misguided and stupid. People should buy whatever computer on whatever OS that suits them. Also, it's not advisable to imply that anything that comes out of Pro Tools will automatically sound better than Logic. At this point, I think that both DAW's are at a very equal position, and people normally choose them based off preference. Basically, I think you need to learn to write a little more objectively, and less out of your own niche. Although what you've done may work for you, you cannot just assume it is the right way for anyone.
      alex94kumar
      I record my music on a portable recording mixer, save the .wav files on an SD card, put it into my HP dv7 laptop with 6gb ram, import the files to Adobe Audition , edit sound files to my likings, add mastering/EQ/etc, and boom. I have a decently acceptable demo-quality sound. (I pirated Adobe Audition but that's beside the point)
      thf24
      Good article, except that the part about PC laptops not cutting it is misleading. I've never had any issues whatsoever making quality recordings on my Dell laptop; negligible latency and all that. Granted I have a pretty nice interface and my machine is no lightweight, but my point is it's not like it can't be done.
      K!!LsWiTcH
      Dory77 wrote: Seems fairly biased regarding what brands/products are out there. Many people argue that Macs are much better for music recording purposes, yet this guy is straight up saying don't get one? Also the hate for Cubase? I know it isn't the best DAW, but I made a fair few recordings with my piano teacher through Cubase and it sounded really good. Certainly not as awful as what this guy is saying it would be like in comparison to ProTools etc. Friends of mine used ProTools for an EP and the improvements on the Cubase sound were pretty negligible, even though they'd spent a lot more time getting the recordings to sound good.
      i didnt think he was very biased at all. he didnt really diregard them so much as say they are limited because proprietary software and price. and also ive used cubase and didnt find it user friendly at all. it also tended to not work with the hardware it came with (tascam interface). so i kind of also hate cubase. reaper is also a pretty good daw especially because you can evaluate it for free for eternity
      boosted928
      I honestly don't this this was taken in the right direction. This is less about recording for everyone and more "Get studio grade gear". There's much cheaper ways to get decent recordings. If you want great to amazing recordings, then go ahead and shell out.
      AeolianSeventh
      danresn wrote: Cables do make a huge difference in sound, ask any sound engineer. ... No-one uses an sm58 to record guitar, its just not done.
      A: The only way to hear a difference between hundred-dollar cable and ten-dollar cable is to already know which one costs more, so long as they're the same length. B: Bleach. Every guitar track on the album was recorded with an SM58. I guess it is done.
      KG6_Steven
      I read through part of this article and stopped. Lots of improperly spelled words and, in my opinion, a lot of bias. You stated that laptops are out of the question. I disagree. There are laptops out there with the horsepower to track and run the necessary DAW software. You also stated that the amplifier had to be a tube type. While a tube amp is the only type I buy, I'm sure you'll find plenty of recording studios and artists who might disagree with you. I'm not crazy about SS amps, but that doesn't mean they can't be used for recording. Articles should be free of grammatical and spelling errors. They should also be free of bias - present the facts, man. Let the reader decide whether they want to use a tube amp, or not. Do your research. Laptops CAN be used for DAWs. How does a good quality RAM and CPU effect tone? You suggest using 5' and 10' cables. If I used cables that short, I'd have to have everything so close to my desk, that I'd trip on it. My small studio is, well, small, and I still have 18' and 25' cables. Also, you failed to mention anything about TRS cables. You did quickly mention XLR, though. My audio desk had and uses lots of 1/4" TRS cables, as well as XLR and TS cables - Present all the facts. Also, you mentioned the pros use Cubase, but then called it trash. Not so fast, cowboy. Cubase isn't all that bad. The pros also use Studio One, as well as other programs. Myself, I use Studio One 2. Again... please make sure you state all the facts.
      jkielq91
      Awesome, thanks. Though generally stuff I already know, you elabroatd on it well. My main guitar is a Jackson Dinky, worth around 500. I am saving up for an amp, and do use software amp simulators like you said. Some can sound pretty good, but are not so sensitive to dynamics in playing, or different levels of palm muting. High gain sounds are often not so easy to work with either, but are passable. Mac's, I find, are the best computers for this kind of thing.
      lockwolf
      This article is absolute shit. Basically, the only thing I agree with in this article is that Cubase sucks. Other than that, my grandpa could write a better article and hes buried 6 feet under.
      scotty_burford
      This article is poorly written and makes claims that in reality cannot be supported. Cubase, Logic and Pro Tools are all used in high-end studios. The final results are not achieved by the software but by the recording engineer and then mixing engineer. Pro Tools and Cubase are comparable in price. Cubase offers much the same in terms of functionality that Logic does. There are many good reasons for buying a Mac for a DAW. It can be argued that there are very good reasons for not using a Dell for recording, given issues with PCs and compatibility.An SM58 is not a universal standard for recording a guitar. Not all guitarists use valve amps. Not all valve amps are good anyway! Bass players typically use solid state amps. I strongly urge you to do some research and know your subject before you start dismissing products that you clearly have no idea about.
      godisasniper
      You had a chance there, and you blew it by being so opinionated. It's not about the tools, it's about what you can do with them. My guess is that a truly skilled producer could do a really great recording with my setup of a modded Squier Jagmaster, a few pedals, a cheap amp, and Audacity. I've done half-decent recordings with that gear, and I have very little skill.
      danresn
      This article is crap, laptops now are most certainly capable of running software and it is often worth paying the extra money for an apple laptop. Apple feature a better returns help policy, they often get free software updates and best of all, they almost never crash. The price of logic is actually wrong, I can get logic for $210 australian, far less than the 220 euros you quoted. Cables do make a huge difference in sound, ask any sound engineer. Reaper also isn't geared towards electronic music, it comes in with a similar vein to protools and cubase, which by the way is far from bad. In fact a could of the studios around my residence prefer cubase because of its interface. And their is no difference in sound quality between the DAWs, this is rubbish. No-one uses an sm58 to record guitar, its just not done. Also saying that pod farm is a good emulator offends me.
      carlmagnus9
      Agreed, very subjective opinions in this article. Dont buy a mac is a really shit advice, a lot of the major studios today use Macs and I don`t think they would use them if they sucked.
      DarkWolfXV
      Man, you forgot about Reaper, its quite good DAW too and doesnt break the bank because its cheap. And this artice is quite poorly written.
      thelostroom15
      Surprisingly after one negative comment all users got negative saying that the article brings wrong information. People, there will be no 100% accepted by others answer, some of the points were great, and it is up to u to elaborate ur opinion, but in a more friendly manner..
      JCmarshall13
      I would have to disagree with about 90% of this post. For starters, it's not so much the gear that matters as it does the player...simply put, a great player can lay down amazing tracks with a squire and a practice amp, but if you give a bad player a $4000 LP and a sick amp, they're still gonna sound like crap. Remember folks, the player is 95% of the sound. Also, a DAW has 0 effect on the sound, it's all to do with your A/D converters and pre-amps. DAW's are essentially computer versions of tape machines(meaning the recording part, obviously tape adds a wonderful color to the tracks, DAW's do not).
      Kueller917
      As some people have said, the opinions leak through a bit too much in the article. I recorded a friend's guitar tracks the other day. He didn't have a valve amp so we just got a good setting on his solid state with nice mic placement. I use Reaper even though it's widely considered as a cheap alternative (but it works for me the best). And I recorded with a laptop because my laptop (i7, 8gb of RAM...) is more powerful than my desktop at the moment (until I upgrade). So I guess to the beginning recorders it's good to try out with your budget gear and get a good sound out of it. Eventually it would be nice to invest in some higher end gear but thinking that high end gear is NECESSARY for a good recording will only limit you.
      Kapalen
      metalrr5 wrote: Does the DAW really affect the audio quality that much? If that's the cause, i would assume every professional would be using pro tools, why would u record something with cubase if it sounds like shit? but pro's use logic and cubase so yeah
      Yes it does. For one, remember that sound is subjective, and cubase doesn't sound like "shit", I've seen people bring very nice and expensive Cubase rigs into pro studios so they didn't have to use the pro tools setup there. Also 99% of pros do use pro tools, and one reason for that is ease of transfer between users. More than pros use pro tools, they use Macs. When I was younger I thought this was dumb too. I worked at an ad audio agency, and they worked on a project for Windows, so all the work had to be done on a PC. The engineer said it was the worst experience of his life because of how poorly pro tools runs on windows. Personally, as someone who used PCs until really getting into audio, I finally switched to Mac, and it just runs smoother. Does it sound better? Yeah, I think so, and I know a lot of people who agree. Switching was the right decision. People saying they can run all sorts of stuff and not have problems are missing some info. Running on a computer that can't process fast enough, or as fast as possible, are most likely losing digital info in their audio. If you're not running audio on a solid state drive, connecting via firewire, and maximizing processing, you're not getting the best sound. And valve only amps? I see why you would say that, but I wouldn't throw it down as a hardfast rule.
      jon93971
      I use my 3-year old Acer laptop to run multiple audio interfaces for multitrack recording using Sonar HS 6. I also record outside using the same setup additionally running multiple high-end condenser microphones on phantom power for over an hour and a half using the stock battery. I have had absolutely no problems CPU-wise with my laptop. Hell, I can somehow run the above setup, Adobe Photoshop CS5, Firefox and a number of older games before it slows down too much.
      Reaper/chaos
      so... im not hatin... but i have a Peavey Raptor, and a Behringer Practice amp and a laptop with Fruity loops and i record music without a problem. I can either record or i can create a beat for the drums (which i completely despise but there are NO drummers near me)But i can set up as many mics as i need i can plug up my guitar without a problem or just record it though a mic (takes practice for quality) But im just sayin, i looked at this for maybe a couple of good tips on settin it up... Like if you put plastic SOLO cups in your walls it makes them sound proof. Or you can put your headphones up to your pickup on your guitar and play music out of your amp. (BTW if you play around with this on a pedal board its a good way to give your voice effects that actually turn out very nice!) but... i wasnt looking for a Column to tell me i need 100000$ *exaggeration 0f the month!* to record some music...
      Twistedrock
      ChemicalFire wrote: As a regular of the recording forum on this site. It is my firm believe that this article is completely balls.
      Amen. It's all bullshit. What guitar you use comes down to what you like. Not how much you're supposed to spend. I use my Squier Affinity Strat with Irongears more than any of my other guitars, because it's the guitar I have the strongest connection with, and feel most comfortable playing. And you forgot THE most important thing about recording. You can polish a turd but it'll still smell of shit.
      EpiExplorer
      metalrr5 wrote: Does the DAW really affect the audio quality that much? If that's the cause, i would assume every professional would be using pro tools, why would u record something with cubase if it sounds like shit? but pro's use logic and cubase so yeah
      Preference, its all about preference. The audio engine is better in Pro Tools, but Logic has other qualities to compensate. Basically these 2 balance each other out in good bits and bad bits.
      EpiExplorer
      alex94kumar wrote: I record my music on a portable recording mixer, save the .wav files on an SD card, put it into my HP dv7 laptop with 6gb ram, import the files to Adobe Audition, edit sound files to my likings, add mastering/EQ/etc, and boom. I have a decently acceptable demo-quality sound. (I pirated Adobe Audition but that's beside the point)
      Yeah, I should've added that peice too. My opinion on it is, best of a bad bunch, its good for multitracking and audio analysis, but its severely limited in its overall capabilites, doesn't do MIDI very well.
      BOYERxBREAKDOWN
      Too many opinions, I was turned off at the third paragraph. No one needs all that to record some rock 'n' roll buddy.
      Shornifier
      Hrm...was gonna say that your stuff is all opinions and stuff...guess it turns out I'm not the only one thinkin this dude. You might wanna write 'raw' stuff and not your thoughts on it...you could, but then you'd have to title it 'My thoughts on recording..blah blah' I use my laptop for recording with all my equipment; no problemo. And just sayin, there's nothing wrong with Squier strats... Don't mean to hate; just saying dude...just sayin.
      HaydenHohns
      @AussieThrash: I'm Australian and you can definitely get pro results if you're an instrumental guitarist. I use Pro Tools with an MBox ($400), Line 6 Pod HD ($400), Agile Septor 725 ($700 including shipping and hardcase) and Superior Drummer ($300). That covers everything (Pitch shift guitar for Bass) for the bedroom instrumental guitarist. Add more for microphones obviously if you want a vocalist or acoustic guitars but that covers the bare essentials and is enough to get you started in the recording world. Good luck!
      Leather Sleeves
      Like most commenting here I take exception to this article. Your typical audience isn't going to be able to tell whether you used a tube or solid state amp. If you're trying to make really impressive home recordings that rival the studio then your advice might be useful but you can still get pretty close with a lot less and most people won't notice the difference.
      dr_shred
      AussieThrash wrote: Is there any suggestions for ways I could reduce the cost? Like could I use my LTD EC-50 or should I really get a better guitar? And could I just use Audacity, as it's free and easy to use?
      Hey man I'm in Australia as well, you can definitely use your EC 50. Just set it up right and get the best sound ( to your ears ) you can possibly get out of it. For an interface try look around on gumtree or your local musicians forum (for example mine is perthbands) and see if anybody is selling a second hand mbox or line 6 ux. I've seen second hand mbox's go for like 200-300 bucks some of them even coming with pro tools. You could use audacity but your limited in what you can do with it, which is why I will suggest to you the king of open source DAW's ardour (http://ardour.org/) it has a similar lay out to pro tools can do most of the stuff pro tools can do but its freeeee.
      dr_shred
      forgot to mention that ardour is only for unix based os's (linux/mac) for windows try MU.Lab or traverso
      handsomemac
      Considering Mac computers are the recording industry standard, and so many musicians record on Macs (U2, Springsteen, McCartney, Foo Fighters, Cold Play, Radiohead, need I list more), I'm not taking this writer's advise farther than just to say this article is quite useless. Get off your "I hate Macs" and get real. I don't care what computer you use, just use it well. Same with instrument and amps. What a useless and misleading article. I expected more from your website.
      V8v8v8
      On a budget using my setup as an example: DAW: Reaper + Free Plugins = USD50 Guitar: Fender MIJ rebuilt w/Kinman pickups) = USD1200 Interface/Amp: NI Guitar Rig (Interface & Amp/FX Emulator) = USD400 Mic: Shure SM58 (Mic) = USD100 Add a decent set of monitors (I'm using SE Munro Eggs = USD3000), setup a room to record in and you've enough to output a reasonable recording. I also would be attentive with cabling, afford the best you can, cable and connectors for both your instrument and speakers (and only use instrument cables for instruments and speaker cables for speakers - sounds obvious...) I'm avoiding the computer bit as a PC laptop will work for basic stuff & live use (I can get 6 instances/tracks of guitar rig running on Reaper before it starts to glitch & I do use this setup live!) - I will admit, trying to mix/master using a few more CPU demanding plug-in's absolutely killed the laptop though =(
      Heat-13
      Hey, thanks for posting the article, although to be honest I didnt find it terribly useful. (although i have hopes for the continuation of the series) As for the point of the article, yeah sure everyone knows you need good gear. However its not as essential as you would put it... Certainly isnt the case for valve amps, there are a lot of good solid states out there that will do all the tricks. Also sometimes modelling amps are a life saver in the studio. I would certainly hope that having even begginer gear won't discourage people from recording, as a lot of the guys out there simply do not have 1.5k to spend on gear imo... Like for example i'm heading into the studio with my band this weekend. Between us we got SG epi, platinum warlock, squier p bass, Roland Cube 30x and a set of begginer drums. And i bet they will sound ok to anyone but an audiophile (roll on the your distoriton sounds too digital comments :p) As we're a student band we simply cant have better gear for the time being...
      TerryFinn
      Hell Kaiser Ryo wrote: I myself use cubase and it does absolutely not sound like shit and it is not rubbish. The author of this article seems to be quite biased indeed.
      He stated that it was rubbish in comparison, not that it was actually rubbish. He stated that it could absolutely be used, if the budget does not any of the aforementioned DAWs.
      NytePhantom
      Reaper, anyone? Exceptionally versatile and feature-laden for a fraction of the price of Pro-Tools. No mention of Amplitube, but Revalver is a recommendation? Really? And btw, dude, I record real-time, high-quality on my Alienware laptop w/ near zero latency all day long. It is spec'd out better than most desktops.