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#171170 - 01/03/02 11:02 AM Re: Home Recording Studio
Fran Carango Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 8756
Loc: Levittown, Pa, USA
Was not Dara,it was Darren..
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#171171 - 01/03/02 02:26 PM Re: Home Recording Studio
harosha Offline
Member

Registered: 01/02/02
Posts: 193
Loc: Chicago, IL, USA
Hello all,

Well, it took me about 3 years to put together my home studio, I asked the same questions on different forums and news groups and got really good responses, based on those responses and a lot of research, this is the setup that I now have:

PC: PIII, 850Mhz, 512MB RAM, two hard drives (one for audio only and the other for applications), Plextor CD burner, Windows 98SE.

Audio/Midi interface: ECHO Gina for audio and Midiman 4x4 USB for MIDI.

Software: Cakewalk Proaudio 9.0 for midi and digital audio sequencing. Cubase is pretty good too. I use SoundForge 5.0 and Cool Edit Pro for mastering.

Synths: Roland XP60 and PSR640, I orderd 9000pro two days ago, looking forward to get it sometime next week. I use Roland MDB-01 for bass and some drum sounds (very realistic bass sounds!)

Mixer: This is probably the most important piece of equipment in your setup, I think. I currently have Yamaha O1V digital mixer, this is probably the best investment I have made. Excellent piece of gear with 16 channels expandable to 24. Awesome effects, decent compressors and pre-amps. You could go the analog route but you will end up paying more for a decent mixer and effects combined. If you do decide to go analog, I would suggest Mackie. You could also use your computer for mixing but I like out board mixers.

MIC: As everyone suggested go for AKG3000, it is an awesome overall mic. Another good one is Rode NT1, which is probably cheaper than AKG.

Mixdown: I currently use Tascam CDRW700 cd recorder for mixdowns, you could use your computer to do that, but again, I like doing it this way since I can mix on to a CDRW and listen to it a few times to decide whether I want to keep the mix or mix it again. For a while I was using different minidisc decks, they were pretty good, but there was definitely some loss in sound quality.

Monitors:
I use Alesis Montor 2. There are a bunch of good ones. If your budget permits, go for Mackie monitors.

I am in the process of sound proofing my home studio. The thing I like about my setup is that once all the instruments are connected to the mixer it is all digital and there is practically no loss in the sound quality. Hope it helps.

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#171172 - 01/03/02 04:44 PM Re: Home Recording Studio
B2 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/09/01
Posts: 217
Loc: Westfield, Massachesetts, USA
Harosha,

Thanks so much for taking the time to respond with such detail. There's nothing like ideas from people who have "been there and done that". I get so much from reading other peoples lessons learned and recommendations. I don't expect you all to make my decisions for me, but having a whole bunch of ideas and opinions really points me in the right direction and gets me started in the education process. Did you ever consider a digital recorder? seems like alot of people utilize the mixer then feed it into a PC. I take it the effects on the mixer are retained in the PC when you transfer it. Would it not also be possible to record directly into your PC and then add the same effects with one of the software programs you already have? I also notice you master with sound forge and cool edit. Why not mix with these also.? What about outboard mixers do you like better than the software? If you have time, feel free to shoot back. If not, thanks again for your complete answer. By the way, Your set up must be effective because I just listened to the MP3's of your new album on your web page...awesome stuff...it really sounded great...Love those eastern instruments!!!Best of Luck in your future endeavors Brian

[This message has been edited by B2 (edited 01-03-2002).]

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#171173 - 01/03/02 05:16 PM Re: Home Recording Studio
harosha Offline
Member

Registered: 01/02/02
Posts: 193
Loc: Chicago, IL, USA
Thanks B2 for checking out my site. No, I really never considered a digital recorder, the reason is that the computer based recorders are so easy to upgrade and are a lot more powerful depending on what kind of software and hardware you are using. You can upgrade the software, get bigger hard drive, add more RAM, add a faster burner. I guess it is a matter of preference and budget too.

I normally record dry audio tracks into cakewalk (no effecs), then I apply effects during mixdown, either with in cakewalk, or from my mixer, what ever sounds good.

The reason behind using an outboard mixer is that it is really easy with all the knobs and faders etc... again it is a matter of preference, you should be able to achieve the same results directly within the PC as well. Same thing with the mixdowns, you really don't need an out board deck to do mixdowns, computer is just as good. I like to do a few different versions of my mixes on re-writable cds before I decide to keep the one that I really like and then send that one to PC for further processing.

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#171174 - 01/04/02 05:29 AM Re: Home Recording Studio
B2 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/09/01
Posts: 217
Loc: Westfield, Massachesetts, USA
Well, I'm beginning to see what Scott said earlier (Pandoras Box), this is truly an open ended subject with endless combinations. It seems many of you and others I have read about in the home recording arena prefer to record directly into your computers via sound card, and then the variations abound. Some mix/edit/master all within a specific software. Others record, lets say with cakewalk, then mix and edit/master with sound forge. Still others record into sound forge or cakewalk and then send the rough data to a mixer to mix down, then in some cases back to the computer for a final scrub. It appears that some software is better at mastering and mixing than others, yet some are better for recording at times. Great Scott...my mind is a blur....but strangley enough, this appears to make sense....I guess it's alot like flying fighters, we all will fly the same mission, but utilize different computer modes and heads up display settings to optimize the way our individual brains analyze the data. everyone 's brain takes a different path to draw the same conclusions, in our world, the conclusion is the music on the CD. Thanks for all your inputs and ideas. If there are any last words, please send em my way. If not, I'll see you all on another thread. B2

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#171175 - 01/04/02 11:17 AM Re: Home Recording Studio
shiral Offline
Member

Registered: 03/10/01
Posts: 146
Loc: IL, USA
Brian,

just a few things...

Adding dbx 286A to the signal path of the AKG 3000 gave me a quit a bit more control over the signal. It has a mic preamp with phantom power, a high pass filter, a compressor, a de-esser, an enhancer, and an expander/gate.

The set up I had was not a noisy one (the signal path was AKG 3000 -> dbx 286A -> Mackie 1402 VLZ Pro -> YAMAHA SW1000XG) but the noise was not zero either. Behringer denoiser improved S/N significantly. It has two denoisers (more like noise masks). I inserted one between the preamp and the compressor in dbx 286A and the other at the insert point of Mackie 1402 VLZ Pro.

Also, if you are going for a PC set up, make sure you don't connect any slow drives like zip's to the same IDE connector to which the hard disk, onto which you dump .wav files, is connected. Doing so may degrade the perfomance really badly.

BTW, AKG C3000 seems to have been the choice for almost everybody. If I remeber correctly AKG redesigned C3000 and it is now C3000B.

What I like about out board gear is the ease of control in real time. What I like about on-board hardware and software is the ability to save almost every setting in your project file.

Happy New Year and Happy Recording!

Shiral

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#171176 - 01/04/02 11:27 AM Re: Home Recording Studio
B2 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/09/01
Posts: 217
Loc: Westfield, Massachesetts, USA
Shiral,
Thank you!!!! As of this time, I don't know what the heck you just said to me...but soon, I will. It's this kind of info that is valuable to a beginner like me. It's fun learning the terminology and technical end of things. It sends me down yet another path towards understanding this whole business. I noticed the AKG 3000 was quite popular, and yes, the newest edition of the mike is the "b"model. Best of luck to you. Happy New Year B2

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#171177 - 01/04/02 03:18 PM Re: Home Recording Studio
shiral Offline
Member

Registered: 03/10/01
Posts: 146
Loc: IL, USA
Brian,

Sorry, I did not mean to confuse you. Sure, you'll soon understand what I said. There will always be somebody to help learn something.

Good luck!
Shiral

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#171178 - 01/04/02 08:37 PM Re: Home Recording Studio
Beakybird Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/27/01
Posts: 2154
I like the Aardvark Direct Pro 24/96 audio card. You don't need an outboard mixer with this. You can plug an XLR mic in and get phantom power too! You can monitor your voice and get reverb, compression, and eq without putting it in the mix. It also has a headphone output and midi in and out.

Larry

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#171179 - 01/05/02 06:22 AM Re: Home Recording Studio
Big Red Offline
Member

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 125
Loc: Canada
For my two cents worth I'm of the Mr. Bulk line of thinking (with a bit of Scott Yee thrown in). Here's my set-up.

Korg i30, in which I carefully build the whole backing track. This then feeds out to my trusty old Tascam 244 on Track 1 (true, once it's in there I've no room for manoeuvre; that's why I take time with the initial building of the backing in the i30). The I add the lead vocal with my EV stage mic on Track 2 and any harmonies on Track 3 by using my Korg ih, playing along in real time with all the voices muted on the i30. Next I balance the backing/vocal mix and put all the vocal on to a regular cassette (I'm a bit old school, I don't have a CD burner) via an Alesis Microverb. It's all a little 'Jurassic', but it works for me.

This sort of thing is always a 'dreams vs. wallet' exercise anyway. But no matter what, it's fun, and there's no price on that.

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