Wanting to start recording but unsure what I need

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by BusinessMan, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. BusinessMan

    BusinessMan SS.org Regular

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    Hello everyone. I've been playig guitar on ad off for the past 8ish years and have never had a way to actually record ideas (aside phone recordings or jamup pro which i've used for quite sometime). When it comes to hardware for recording into my computer I'm unsure of what I need after an audio interface and DAW. Can anyone please point me into the right direction? I've been looking at the scarlett 2i2 interface but I don't know what I need past that.


    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    EDIT: Also any DAW suggestions would be great
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
  2. Chi

    Chi Niverlare

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    How are you planning to record? With amp sim VST's ? If so then all you need is an interface, as you've mentioned, and the DAW.

    As for the interface, the Scarlett's are very decent I've heard. As for DAW I can always recommend starting with Reaper, as you can "try it for free" infinitely if you don't want to spend the money or can't. Reaper has tons of tutorials on YouTube and is in general very well received even among "pros", as it offers pretty much all the options that come with the top-of-the-line DAWs such as Pro Tools.

    After that you should read into Amp-Sim plugins, depending on what type of production or what kind of genre you're going for. Some are very, very good for their price, but I'm no expert on those since I'm using a Line 6 Pod for my recordings.


    It's important to spend time with the DAW and get familiar with it, get into a workflow, mess around with it until you feel comfortable.

    At this day and age, getting high quality recordings out of budget VST's and plugins is relatively easy. Mixing and Mastering is a whole other deal though, it's as much of a learning process as playing an instrument, but when you can do both, your possibilities are pretty much endless and only your creativity is the limit.
     
  3. BusinessMan

    BusinessMan SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for your help. As I said, I'm not sure where to begin so I'm not too sure. I was looking into reaper and there's another free one I've read about called cakewalk by sonar (something along those lines). So to answer your question yes I suppose I'll use amp sim VST's.

    How do I use the amp sim's is the next thing :lol:
     
  4. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Sonar/Cakewalk is not free though. Arguably Reaper isn't "free" either, but I don't imagine other DAWs use the same very-open trial that Reaper does.

    There's tons of advice for people in the "starting to record and don't know what I need situation", so a quick search could yield some useful existing information/discussion. It's a question that gets re-asked pretty constantly.
     
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  5. BusinessMan

    BusinessMan SS.org Regular

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    I remember reading an article that sonar was free. Guess that changed
     
  6. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Maybe they have a trail now that they didn't have previously? Definitely was never free that I'm aware of. Their pricing seems to be more reasonable than I remembered. (As long as you ignore the weird 8 track limit on the lowest tiered license.... that's a weird one.)
     
  7. groverj3

    groverj3 Biologist/Guitarist

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    I would just buy Reaper's $60 license. That's what I did, and you get continued updates. Honestly, you have to be pretty far down the rabbit hole to need more than that.

    That interface will probably serve you well. Personally, I think recording direct is the easiest way to go. Whether using VSTs or through some piece of outboard gear (Helix, AxeFx, Kemper, etc.). Hell, I still use a GSP1101 direct into Reaper and it works great.
     
  8. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied :: 2077 ::

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    Check out Studio One for a DAW. It's one of the easiest to use, imo!

    If you get a presonus interface you can upgrade to the pro version for a bit cheaper since they usually come with the artist edition (unless that has changed).
     
  9. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I have a Presonus interface, so Studio One is my DAW of choice. I like it better than Reaper, although Reaper can be used to edit video as well, which is handy. Early on, I tried Audacity, and I didn't like it at all. It took me a half hour just to figure out how to record audio. When I got S1 up and running, I was in business in seconds, and you can do a lot more advanced stuff with it.

    You'll also need a guitar and a cable, and then if you are direct recording, you will need a good Amp simulator and cabinet simulator. Studio One comes with an amp/cab sim that's really stupidly easy to use, so I suggest starting with that, then upgrading S1 to accept third-party VST plugins, and then try LePou or whatever to see what you like best.

    Here's what I recommend to start:

    Guitar: Whatever you like using
    Cable: Anything decent, probably at least $20. Cheap cables will buzz
    Interface: Either the Focusrite or Presonus should be good
    DAW: Studio One with VST support
    Computer: Pretty much anything will work, but you will want to consider using this particular workstation solely for recording.

    EDIT: Oh, and you'll want good monitors or at least nice headphones to start out. Monitors will help a lot with mixing and mastering, but headphones are okay for recording.
     
  10. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Sonar might have a free 16 track-max version or something. I'd recommend either using whatever comes bundled with your interface, or Reaper.

    You're going to want some sort of recording interface, though. Depending on what you plan on recording, your number of inputs could vary from anywhere from 1-2 tracks at a time if you just need to record one instrument at a time and don't need to do live drums, to 8 or more tracks at once if you want to record a live drum kit or several musicians at the same time. The Focusrite Saffire series is popular around here for price-to-performance, so that's a good place to start.

    If you're going to record direct, then you need a good VST amp and speaker sim - the LePou stuff is freeware and pretty good in my (limited) experience, and that and a couple decent cab IRs (I wouldn't even know what to recommend) will work well enough. If you want to record a live amp, then you want a mic stand, a mic cable of maybe 10-20', and a SM57 - there are other options out there, but the SM57 is an industry standard mic for guitar cabs, anywhere from pretty good to usable on a huge range of other instruments, and $99 new.

    You'll also want something fairly high fidelity to listen on - a good set of headphones, or a set of monitors. Of the two, you can get really flat headphones for way less than really flat monitors, so that might be the better place to start.

    Other than that, though... Assuming you already have a computer, really, just a decent interface, cables, mic, and mic speaker. And of course something worth recording, but that's the tricky part. :lol:
     
  11. unclenono

    unclenono SS.org Regular

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    I think Sonar is now "Cakewalk by Bandlab" and it's free if I'm not mistaken. Reaper is what I started with though and is a fantastic program. It's a very powerful program, plus it's got themes you can download if you want to change the appearance. I'd suggest a Scarlett Solo or 2i2 for an interface, they're great for the price. If you're tight on money, and don't want to record using an actual amp, there are a few free plugins that are actually fantastic (check out LePou, Ignite Amps and TSE Audio). There are a ton of free cab IR's out there too. See if you can find the God's Cab and 7 Deadly Sins IR collections.
     
  12. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    This is news to me, will need to look into this.
     
  13. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    If you have a Mac, Garageband is totally free and works awesome. It even has built in amp sims which aren't bad, as well as several different "drummers" with different kits and midi grooves. And it's unbelievably easy to use - much less of a learning curve than Reaper.
     
  14. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    For budget amp Sims, peavey revalver mk3 is usually really cheap and it sounds great, especially for high gain stuff. Plus it has a built in IR loader
     
  15. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied :: 2077 ::

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    https://audio-assault.com/ these guys have regular sales and their stuff sounds pretty great especially if you get it on a $5 sale :)
     
  16. dimensional audio

    dimensional audio SS.org Regular

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    I use the following:

    Reaper - amazing DAW, I would argue underrated, and very cheap

    Focusrite 2i4 - good interface, very cheap

    I don't have the best speakers but I use reference mixes a lot and I know how things should sound. I would argue it is way more important to understand how your speakers SHOULD sound vs how the music on them sounds unless you have the most expensive, flattest speakers ever

    For plugins, you can get really great results with free stuff. I use fabfilter and t-racks a ton, a bit of ozone 5, very few waves (not worth the money if you catch my drift, besides h-delay). With those you can get an entire mix going. You can use lepous plugins for amps and cabinets, or something like revalver or tsex50 (highly recommend)
     

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