Recording with low power computer?

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by metale, May 28, 2012.

  1. metale

    metale SS.org Regular

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    Hi everyone. This will maybe be moved to the FAQs section, but I could really use your help.

    I want to record, but only have my old computer at my disposal.
    Now, after searching posts here, I already installed a 2nd hard-drive, 320GB 7200rpm for the audio files, and bumped the RAM to 1GB. I'm upgrading it to 2GB right away too. So it will have

    - 2.4Ghz celeron :ugh:
    - 30GB drive running XP + Reaper
    - 320GB 7200rpm drive for recordings
    - 2GB RAM

    Now I know that this is nowhere near ideal quad-core, 8GB RAM machines. My question is: could this computer record guitar tracks with something like Pod Studio UX1 + Lepou and Lecab plugins (ok, or even pod farm) without something like 5 seconds latency, or would I be better using outboard modeling like a POD bean to free up work from the PC processor?

    I'm not about to record any album, I just want to start learning to record, to use a DAW, to use VST plugins, and lay down a few demos (like 3 guitar tracks recorded one at a time + bass track + some kind of software drums).

    I could upgrade the computer, but those 500 euros could be used for the other things I need, like a bass + good headphones + a pickup for one of the sevens, things that I can't get otherwise.

    Thanks guys. Cheers :bowdown:
     
  2. trig

    trig SS.org Regular

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    You should be fine with those specs - don't know about all of them but most vst-s have Hi/Lo definition switches if you need to use them. This frees up some CPU power.

    You'll probably have problems if you use lot of reverb/delay etc. but if its only around 3 tracks, you'll be fine. Additionally you can divide your final mix as well - mix down the guitars/drums (whatever takes the most cpu power) etc. separately and then bring them all together into one master mix with already exported wav-s.

    I wouldn't upgrade just yet :)
     
  3. metale

    metale SS.org Regular

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    I think I'm understanding, it's like having mixed sub-projects and combining them?

    I'll check into some VSTs to see if they have that definition switches.

    I'll also have to purchase licences to Reaper and EZ Drummer (is there some cheaper alternative do this one? I don't need very fancy drums for early demos, just something better that a click track :) I've read about some free samplers that we have to find samples for, and will check into that, but all this is new to me).

    I also plan to get a pair of monitors later (like HSM50s), but can't justify them now as we just had a baby and noisy stuff is forbidden at home :) Headphones will have to do it for some time. So I'm guessing for now:

    - Line6 Pod Studio Ux1 with Pod Farm 2.5
    - Lepou and Lecab VSTs
    - Reaper
    - EZ Drummer ??
    - AKG K 240 MKII headphones
    - Ibanez SR305 bass
     
  4. Heyitstahtoneguy

    Heyitstahtoneguy In the Void

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    I used to record on something along those lines. I used asio4all, set the buffers around 144, pretty good low latency, very seldom does the pop and clicks come in, but only when i have a shit ton of plug ins going at the same time. I used pod farm>kefir(cab ir loader, very good low cpu usage), and a low pass. Use that setup on 2 tracks. For your drums, Ez drummer is ok in the cpu usuage, but i usually load the track in the program, then export it in wav, then import into another session, then freezing that track to help with cpu load. So basically, 2 tracks of pod farm, a drum wav, then your bass and vocal track. Before i record i usually go through my comp, end processes, disconnect from the wifi (not necessary, but it helps in a small way), and let the daw run for a few mins before i hit record. For monitors, musicians friend has a sale for fostex monitors (might have ended already), like 160 bucks for a pair, and there are pretty good speakers for starting out. Good response, lacks in the bass section, but i used those with a combo of my computer speakers to make up for the bass. Reaper you dont have to purchase a license, but its karma if you do haha. Ezdrummer is at a good price right now, everything is pretty much mixed, just adjust the volumes of the drums. Definitely plenty of tutorials, tips, guides, etc on this site.
     
  5. metale

    metale SS.org Regular

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    Thanks.

    I don't think I will need Asio4All with the UX1, will I? It is supposed to come with low latency drivers :scratch:

    I am really going to skip on monitors for now, since I can't really use them. That way I'll also save up, so when I get them they will be good ones, and also hopefully justified, as I'll have at least have some experience recording something :)

    I've read that Lepou VSTs are cpu intensive :ugh:
     
  6. mgh

    mgh Betwixt and Between

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    use low-cpu plugs for tracking (such as Classic Reverb) then you can bump up the latency and create extra cpu headroom for adding better fx at mixdown.
    also, you can freeze tracks with audio fx on (this basically renders an audio copy and turns the fx off) meaning the LePou stuff should be fine. Again, you can always use a less cpu-hungry plug to record and add better stuff in at mix.
    but my first pc was a celeron, you should be able to get at least 16 tracks going with no probs.
     
  7. torqueofficial

    torqueofficial Torque

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    I think it is fine for recording, but when it comes to mixing, you'll have to work out the buffer.
     
  8. Drummerrrrr

    Drummerrrrr SS.org Regular

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    There are others apart from Lepou plugins such as Nick Crow's or my favorites which are TSE's. These may hog the CPU less. I'd mix down or freeze my drums, you really don't need the sampler constantly open like that. Use aux channels instead of multiple instances of effects. Print/freeze any track you've finished modifying. Reaper is very good with its CPU too which helps. Also, BFD Eco is cheaper than EZDrummer or at least was last time I checked. You can totally do some decent demos with that gear, you sound keen which certainly helps. Good luck!
     
  9. metale

    metale SS.org Regular

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    Thanks guys!

    I'll look into those. My next steps are to bump the RAM to 2GB (it won't take more, or else I would), and get an interface (Line6 UX1 it seems) and headphones.

    Then I'll dive into Reaper and work my way up. Thanks again!
     
  10. metale

    metale SS.org Regular

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    Just a bit of a follow-up. Things went waaaaaay slower than I thought.

    I'm hoping to get the extra RAM and the interface this next Saturday, along with a set of headphones (AKG K240 or something along those lines). Ideally would get a set of yamaha HM50s, but with a baby in the house, can't really use them at the moment.

    Reaper is running, and tried to lay the drums for a song I know, the way I would play them (badly). The biggest dificulty is determining rpms. I kind of tap my foot to the main kick drum to set the timing, but find myself increasing of decreasing the global project rpms several times to get it to sound right for me.

    Tried LePou plugins with one of Nolly's dry recordings (since I have no interface yet), and while I could apply the amp simulators, the lecto sounded sooooo fuzzy. The HyBrit not so much. I'm not shure I got Lecab running well. I loaded an impulse file to the 1st spot, and it appears "ON", but the sound is so raw and fuzzy. Lowering the gain just toke way sustain, but left the high end fuzz. I'll have to try it more, and possibly even trying kefir or other impulse loader to see if I get along with it better.

    By the way, with one drum track (vst addictive drums) and two guitar tracks (each with a lepou amp vst and lecab), the computer got quite a bit slower and glitchy. I hope the extra bit of RAM helps with that, but I'm still feeling that an external modeling device like a pod would really take away a big burden from the computer.

    Sorry for the long text. I really should spend less time messing with the computer and more time playing :shred:
     

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