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  #1  
Old 01-18-2010, 04:11 PM
taylorman197 taylorman197 is offline
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Default First Desktop Recording Studio Gear

Hi! I'm planning to buy my first desktop recording studio gear. Does anybody have any suggestions on what i should buy? I've looked at a couple of m-audio and lexicon models from $75-$400. I'm leaning towards buying just the entry level ones but afraid to outgrow it fast. Any thoughts?
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:24 PM
wcap wcap is offline
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I've recently gone through these decisions. Don't have time to write a detailed response at the moment, but in brief I'll say that I got a Presonus Firebox (supposedly better sound quality than the lower end M-Audio interfaces (?)), a Rhode NT1-A large condensor mic (supposed to be a lot of mic for the money, with very low background noise), and a Rhode M3 small condensor mic (got for $1 in a promotional deal along with the purchase of the NT1-A).

I'll try to remember to come back to this to give more of my rationale when I have more time to write.

Meanwhile, you might take a look at the "Recording in Progress" subforum over at http://www.tdpri.com . This is a pretty active forum with some very helpful and knowledgeable people. Here is the link to that subforum: http://www.tdpri.com/forum/recording-progress/

There are also some very knowledgeable people here at AGF (I'm not one of the experts).
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:47 PM
taylorman197 taylorman197 is offline
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thanks a lot for taking the time to answer my question. i'll be checking out that forum right now. thanks!
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:49 PM
DupleMeter DupleMeter is offline
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Depends what you what to spend and what your goals are. If you want to get top quality recordings, I would forego the cheap and just save up to buy good stuff and buy once. In that case I would suggest a Metric Halo ULN-2 (if you have a Mac), and a pair of Neumann KM-184s. Metric-Halo makes some of the best interfaces in the business - and aren't well known in the home recording circles because they are so geared towards high-end professionals...and the KM-184s are just great on guitar.

If you just want to get something cheap & serviceable: the m-audio or lexicon would be fine with a Rode or maybe a pair of Oktava MC-12s.

I think the lexicon & m-audio interfaces come with Cubase or something similar...but you may want to look at other options. I'm a big fan of Digital Performer. I've heard good things from those who use Logic...but they mostly praise the MIDI sequencing & virtual instrument aspects. I've heard Logic can be a bit of a dog in the audio editing department.

I used to have a ProTools TDM system, but got tired of being Digidesign's b*tch, having to cough up big money for updates that were always way behind my systems updates and left me holding onto older OS revisions with potential security flaws and putting up with their draconian end user philosophy. Also, unless you go TDM/HD the Pro Tools LE stuff is overpriced and you end up married to very mediocre hardware.

So - that's my $0.02...for what it's worth
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:26 PM
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I'm not sure if recording with your computer is the best way to go. I do, but I got better sound from an H-4 before I wrecked it accidentally. The H-4 has two internal mics and two XLR inputs for external mics. What is nice about the H-4 or any other stand alone portable recording device of the same quality is that you free yourself of the background computer noise.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:49 PM
taylorman197 taylorman197 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DupleMeter View Post
In that case I would suggest a Metric Halo ULN-2 (if you have a Mac), and a pair of Neumann KM-184s.
I just checked this and this is way beyond my budget right now but it's still good to know what's out there. And thanks for all the additional info that you put in here. I'll be reading more about it when I get home. Thanks!
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:57 PM
taylorman197 taylorman197 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBman View Post
I'm not sure if recording with your computer is the best way to go. I do, but I got better sound from an H-4 before I wrecked it accidentally.
Hi TBman,

Are you talking about zoom h-4? Would I be needing extras to be able to upload it to my computer if ever? Thanks!
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorman197 View Post
Hi TBman,

Are you talking about zoom h-4? Would I be needing extras to be able to upload it to my computer if ever? Thanks!
Yes, the Zoom. There are other models available now. Not much as it comes with the USB cord. You might want to get a larger SD card for it. I used to record with it, then transfer the stuff to my computer and then load tunes into my recording software to edit. The internal mics sound pretty good also, btw.

If you get a Zoom H-4 the first thing you do after reading the manual a few times is to turn up the gain on it as the factory setting is low.
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:36 PM
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I just purchased a Marshall MXL 770 condenser mic, stand, and a Yamaha Audiogram 6 with bundled Cubase AI. I use my laptop. I think it's a good set up for the non-professional, but part of me is kicking myself for not getting the Zoom H4. There are distinct advantages to the point-and -shoot technology.

Steve
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:30 PM
taylorman197 taylorman197 is offline
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i checked the h4 in amazon and found out that they came up with an updated one (h4n) for the same price(!). it's within my budget but still more expensive than the m-audio and lexicon entry level that i'm looking at. i'll read more about it and maybe decide in a week. the thing is, i'm really new at this and have no idea about anything that you guys are saying yet. thanks for all the input though...
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Old 01-21-2010, 07:01 AM
DupleMeter DupleMeter is offline
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The zoom is okay for a quick & dirty recording, but doesn't leave a lot of flexibility for things like overdubs and tracking additional instruments.

I used to use one for quickie recordings of an idea when I didn't want to go to the computer and setup a couple of mics. Now I have a little 4 track app on my iPhone and use that instead. I've even used a zoom as a backup to a live recording rig (I do location recording) - but that was more out of curiosity than actually expecting to give that recording to a paying client. It was mediocre, but my recording rig is very high-end...so that isn't a fair comparison.

I would rethink the zoom option unless you only want to make a live stereo recording of yourself with no overdubs or additional tracks.
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:26 AM
dweezil dweezil is offline
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I'm using the M-AUDIO Fast Track Ultra and getting very good results with it.
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:34 AM
taylorman197 taylorman197 is offline
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Okay, since I'm really new at this and don't know the difference between Cubase and Digital Performers or GarageBand first hand, I've narrowed it down to the M-Audio Fast Track US44010 and Lexicon Alpha just to get my feet wet, so to speak. Both are around $80. I figured if I decide to upgrade later, I'd probably lose half of the value at the most which is not that bad. I'll think of it as continuing education expense. My question is, would I have any problems using those two with a PC? Seems like Apple is the preferred computer of choice of musicians.
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:25 PM
dweezil dweezil is offline
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My Fast Track Ultra works fine with my PC running XP PRO SP3 (and Cubase 4 by the way).

Of course you could get a Fast Track for $50 from this very board! I think the US44010 is discontinued is it not? I might be wrong.

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=174467
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