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Recording Studio Discussion on everything recording based, such as mixing, mastering, mics, monitors and other gear.

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Unread 11-29-2010, 01:41 PM   #1
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Recording on a computer question

I know this is a noob question, but i'm really having issues getting in the door...

okay, so far i've made a couple (miserably) failed attempts to create a recording set up, which has left me feeling a little weary of this method of recording...

I first attempted to record direct using a 1/4" to aux jack into my computer's mike input, and though i managed to get the computer to deliver me sound through my speakers, i was unable to get the multitracking software i had installed recognize the signal on any significant level, and none at all when i was recording. I investigated ASIO patches and ways to know if my computer was ASIO compatible, to no avail.

I then considered the somewhat light investment of the micro br, which, bless its heart, is a solid little device, but is succumb to the typical setbacks you would expect to find in such a tiny little device.

I then considered apprehending the "Roland V-Studio 20", as it offered a free multi-tracking program, and a hardware component, of sorts. after installing the programs multiple times, I was unable to record, as the program would crash every time i attempted to open the software version of the hardware interface. My computer an '02 running XP, so i figured i'd try installing it on my dads comp, an '09 running Vista. again to no avail. the program would open the software interface, but recording was choppy and basically un-usable, even on the 09 running vista. after seeking assistance from rolands help lines, I found no solution, and promptly returned the device.

My question is thus: how can i be sure I'm getting a capable setup, as i've run into so many problems, i've lost faith in the conventionality of a PC setup. Though by now we've all seen the works of Tesseract and Mr. Mansoor come to great fruitation, how can I get this same level of production?

I'm currently using a Vox Tonelab st, which i'm fairly certain would function as a pre-amp, and that's the extent of my setup.

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Unread 11-29-2010, 01:43 PM   #2
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Get a Mac. It can be hard to find VSTs and drivers for interfaces, but I'm finding more and more recently that you get what you pay for, which is why Macs cost more.

What happened to Jeff? Funny how he dropped off the radar now that the entire Western world disagrees with his right wing bullshit.
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Unread 11-29-2010, 03:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scar Symmetry View Post
Get a Mac. It can be hard to find VSTs and drivers for interfaces, but I'm finding more and more recently that you get what you pay for, which is why Macs cost more.
I'm going to disagree.
Not because I dislike Macs or think PCs are better. I just think that advice is a little misleading and biased, that's all.
I really see no necessary advantage with either system, and I'm a fluent user of both.
The success I've seen with both Mac and PC lead me to only choose between the two based on their UI. I use a PC laptop at home because I prefer Windows UI.

I've run successful recording rigs on 4 off the shelf PC desktop systems without issues, and am now using a custom built laptop from ADK Audio.

I don't know what the problem is with your PC setup and why you have so many issues..Sorry I can't help there. If you are going to get a new system, I'd probably advise to stay with PC as it's what you're used to and it's just as reliable.
I use Firewire interfaces, currently using a Presonus Firestudio which I've used on 2 systems with zero issues or setup. The one problem with Firewire interfaces is the whole Texas Instrument chipset issue (look into that if interested). I had no problems on my old PC which was not TI chipped, but many people do. That's why I was nervous to get a new system from a shop and went the custom built route. I did originally consider Mac, but since 2 years ago they aren't using TI chips either, so I wouldn't get one to use a Firewire interface. PLENTY of people are experiencing just the same issues as PC users due to this.
If you're looking into a new system, I recommend a custom audio PC/laptop. If you don't need high spec you should be able to get one for around 800-1000.
If not..then I don't know what to suggest to fix your current issues. All I can think about your problems with the Roland was that latency settings were not correct. Latency settings in your DAW can change any interfaces performance from unusable to perfect.
I don't know what the Vox Tonelab is but if you have a way to get this into your PC I presume it would be very usable.
In answer to your level of production regarding Bulb etc...Most of it is just mixing experience. You'll be able to get decent results with pretty much any guitar gear providing you spend plenty of time working on production techniques.
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Unread 11-29-2010, 03:06 PM   #4
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Jeez, do I really have to put "IMO" after everything for someone not to pick apart what I say?

I shared my experience with the guy, that's all I can offer.

What happened to Jeff? Funny how he dropped off the radar now that the entire Western world disagrees with his right wing bullshit.
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Unread 11-29-2010, 03:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scar Symmetry View Post
Jeez, do I really have to put "IMO" after everything for someone not to pick apart what I say?

I shared my experience with the guy, that's all I can offer.
Sorry - I didn't mean to come off as if I was picking apart your advice!
It's just that I read the "Get a Mac" and "Get what you pay for" as Macboy superiority and anti-PC I guess it's just what I'm used to from all the Mac-only guys I know!

Like I said - I've nothing against either system but because I use Firewire interfaces I would not trust to buy either a PC OR a Mac from a shop. I've read far too many bad experiences.
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Unread 11-29-2010, 03:25 PM   #6
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Ah no, definitely not. I get annoyed by fanboyism too, but lately I've found that my laptop has a lot of issues when it comes to recording and my friends MacBook Pro has none

I've been a PC guy up until now sheerly for ease of use, but I'm starting to think that a MacBook could be just what the doctor ordered.

What happened to Jeff? Funny how he dropped off the radar now that the entire Western world disagrees with his right wing bullshit.
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Unread 11-29-2010, 03:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scar Symmetry View Post
Get a Mac. It can be hard to find VSTs and drivers for interfaces, but I'm finding more and more recently that you get what you pay for, which is why Macs cost more.
for certain things, such as creating aggregate audio devices (ie if you have an interface AND usb mic and want to use them both at the same time), mac is light years ahead and supports this natively (and windows only has ASIO4all, and no native support, which doesn't work so well with my firestudio).

However, i just priced a PC i was going to home build, dual-eight core AMD opterons 2.8 ghz (for a total of 16 cores) around 1000 dollars total.

The 12-core mac tower (and we aren't talking macbook here), is priced at 3600

also, there are a lot of windows-only freeware VSTs.

edit: upon searching for a few seconds i quickly learned that you can dual-boot OSX leopard and windows on the same box.

moral: definitely build your own comp, dual boot mac and windows, get the best of everything, for 1/3 the price of a mac
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Unread 11-29-2010, 03:36 PM   #8
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iv had a PC running XP for a good few years and still works just as well as the day i bought it so the argument between PC or Mac is pointless IMHO

Just get a decent DAW (cubase for example) and learn how to use it properly. And get a good audio interface.
The guitar side of things can be done with preamps or like what i do, a multi FX pedal board with Speaker emulated outs. just record direct from that.
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Unread 11-29-2010, 03:38 PM   #9
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There are pros and cons to both. I was wrong to offer up Mac straight off the bat, I'm just finding that perhaps PCs aren't for me... who knows, I may miss the VSTs and switch back!

What happened to Jeff? Funny how he dropped off the radar now that the entire Western world disagrees with his right wing bullshit.
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Unread 11-29-2010, 03:40 PM   #10
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"lost faith in the conventionality of a PC setup"? It sounds like you haven't even tried it yet and you've already lost faith?! Most of the users here are using a PC to record. It can't be that difficult.

If you already own a PC, basically, you should be up and recording for very little money (if any at all), with not much hassle at any stage. Tell us what your system is (soundcard*, processor, RAM, that kind of thing) and we can help. Many users here have a very basic system and are recording happily and with good results.

*The soundcard might be your problem here (sounds like it from your brief description), and it's likely to be the only thing you have to pay out for. You can buy one very cheaply that will do exactly what you need it to. After that, you can use Reaper, LePou and Nick Crow's VST amp sims, and various cabinet simulations all for free. And all the help you need with them is right here on this forum, without the need to call an expensive helpline.

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Unread 11-29-2010, 03:45 PM   #11
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Things to look for:

Plenty of ram, DDR3 preferably; Faster processor, a top of the line i7 920 would be bitchin, but the core2 duos are still sweet, quad core is where it's at for me, but it's all up to how you manage everything; lot's of HDD space, or get external HDDs, what would be sweet it to have the OS on a SSD and another HDD for programs and one more HDD for all session files/samples; firewire 800 is cool, but USB 3.0 is starting to catch on, just a matter of waiting for the rest of the world to catch up to you, or ride along.

Those are just a few, there are more, but that starts to come down to price and taste.

PC vs Mac is a debate that will not go away for a while.

I say build a hackintosh, dual boot Win7 and OSX with a vanilla kernel, so you can update. Also, building allows you to to pick and choose EXACTLY what you want, and cut the shit you don't.
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