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Author Topic:  Home recording package
Clinton Zimmerman


From:
Memphis,Mo
Post Posted 13 Feb 2017 4:45 pm     Reply with quote

I am new to home studios and was wandering what route to take. Would like to start with something of fairly good quality. so far all i have is a mixing board that could work as a interface. Would like some opinions on what is good equipment such as headphones,laptop,and ect.can spend up to $1000 Thanks guys for any info.
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Rick Schacter


From:
Portland, Or.
Post Posted 13 Feb 2017 9:16 pm     Reply with quote

The equipment that you'll need all depends on what you would like to accomplish with your recording gear.
Songwriting or recording a full band?

What kind of mixer do you have?
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Clinton Zimmerman


From:
Memphis,Mo
Post Posted 14 Feb 2017 4:29 am     Reply with quote

Hi Rick.I have a mackie profx 22, and i will probably just be recording backing tracks for myself,but i might do other recording later on.would like software I wont have to upgrade later to be more professional. Thanks Clint
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 14 Feb 2017 5:45 am     Reply with quote

how do you know your board can act as an interface ? A mixer is not an interface unless it has the ability to communicate with a DAW ,a PC and/or a MAC. Don't assume anything.

A mixer is a mixer. An interface is an interface. many interfaces these days also act as preamp , not as a mixer.

here is the layout, put simply.

Instrument > Preamp > Interface > DAW

The DAW should have two primary views, the RECORD view which is also called the EDIT view and the MIX screen also called the MIX view. As you can see, the MIX is at the end.

You can MIX in the edit view but it's to convoluted so we use the MIX view which is just the faders and effects for each track recorded.

You can probably use your MIXER as a preamp, providing it is clean and has enough gain ahead of the interface.

If your mixer is reasonably new it may very well have the USB or Firewire ability , along with drivers for the PC/ Laptop to communicate with a DAW.

Check out REAPER , it's a free download with a cost of $60 if you like it. See if you can use your mixer as an interface with the appropriate driver. A good place to start. If you can't, you can grab one of several interfaces either with 2 INS or 4 INS pretty reasonably. Perhaps a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 would fit the bill. You can use your mixer as a preamp ahead of the Focusrite.

best to you !
_________________
<b>Steel Guitar music here >>> http://www.tprior.com/five.htm</b>

Emmons Steels, Fender Telecasters
Pro Tools 8 and Pro Tools 12
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Clinton Zimmerman


From:
Memphis,Mo
Post Posted 14 Feb 2017 7:56 am     Reply with quote

Thanks tony my mixer does have usb port, but a interface may be better suited for the job. Can anyone piont mein the right direction for a laptop what kind,size,and ect. Thanks Clint
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Rick Schacter


From:
Portland, Or.
Post Posted 14 Feb 2017 8:02 am     Reply with quote

The Mackie Pro FX has a USB connection, so you'll be able to connect it to your computer.
I'm not sure if you'd be able to record to more than two tracks or not.
If you're only able to record to two tracks, that might be an issue.
It is possible to record a live band straight to two tracks if that's what you want to do.
It will limit your possibilities at mixdown though. Maybe that's not an issue for you though.

As Tony said, Reaper is a good DAW to use if you don't want to spend a lot of money.
Not only is Reaper inexpensive, but it's extremely stable and it doesn't require a super powerful computer to run.
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post Posted 14 Feb 2017 8:39 am     Reply with quote

Zoom R16 to record the tracks. Reaper to edit and master them. No recording latency issues and just an average PC or laptop needed. $400 for the R16, $60 for Reaper, spend the rest on headphones and laptop or PC. You will likely never need to upgrade such a system.
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Clinton Zimmerman


From:
Memphis,Mo
Post Posted 14 Feb 2017 9:46 am     Reply with quote

Thanks guys
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Rick Schacter


From:
Portland, Or.
Post Posted 14 Feb 2017 11:05 am     Regarding choice of computer Reply with quote

Clinton,

I agree with Tony and Greg regarding the Zoom R16.
I own one too. As a DAW controller, it's worthless, IMO.
But as a stand alone recorder, it's a very good unit to use.

As Greg mentioned, just transfer your tracks by using the SD card or connecting the unit to your computer with a USB cable. It's easy.

The only thing I'd like to add regarding your choice in a computer is this:

If you are somebody who likes to use virtual instruments as well as software FX plugins, then you will need a more powerful computer than someone who only records audio tracks.
For virtual instruments and FX plugins, the faster the processor, the more RAM, the better it will work.

General rule of thumb:

Buy as powerful of a computer as your budget will allow.
It doesn't necessarily have to be a new computer either.
I've seen plenty of nice used computers on Craigslist.
It's worth at least taking a look at, IMHO.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 14 Feb 2017 12:52 pm     Reply with quote

While I have no issue with the Zoom R16, I have one and love it, if you only need 2 or 4 tracks to record to the DAW, I would go the interface route and use the DAW for everything .

If you go with Reaper, it has the EDIT screen , you can see everything on your Laptop or PC monitor ! rather than the small R16 LCD screen. Use the power of the DAW would be my take. I'm not taking away from what Greg does and does very well.

Regarding your mixer, having a USB port doesn't actually mean the DAW will recognize it. You will need to learn that, load the driver, tell the DAW it's there, see what happens.
_________________
<b>Steel Guitar music here >>> http://www.tprior.com/five.htm</b>

Emmons Steels, Fender Telecasters
Pro Tools 8 and Pro Tools 12
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Clinton Zimmerman


From:
Memphis,Mo
Post Posted 14 Feb 2017 5:36 pm     Reply with quote

Looks like several guys are useing multitrack recorders which was my original plan. was going to get a tascam dp 008 or 24 and presonus studio one.
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post Posted 14 Feb 2017 5:53 pm     Reply with quote

I started with a Yamaha 16 and then a 24 track workstation. They work well for recording tracks but not so well for editing and mastering. Later on if you want to add in more tools like EZDrummer, Band In A Box etc you will be much better off in a DAW like Reaper where you can more easily do edits, master a final mix, add stereo reverb, add plug ins, fix pitch errors, visually see what is going on. Either way you will have a learning curve but you did state that you wanted to avoid having to upgrade later. The Zoom/DAW approach is far more powerful and less frustrating to use when you quickly learn you want to do things the stand alone digital workstation can't do.
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Clinton Zimmerman


From:
Memphis,Mo
Post Posted 14 Feb 2017 6:20 pm     Reply with quote

Would the zoom and the reaper daw be better than the tascam and the presonus daw?
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post Posted 14 Feb 2017 6:53 pm     Reply with quote

Actually the Zoom may be overkill just for grabbing tracks and something like DP-008 or above may save you some money. I am just more familiar with the Zoom.

I know the Zoom preamps are a bit noisy and I had to spend $150 on a pre-amp to boost the S/N ratio up and eliminate the noise. I mostly record live tracks on the Zoom while playing back my drum (EZDrummer) , bass (real) and rhythm guitar (real) tracks on the Zoom as a reference.

So there's lots of ways to grab the tracks as long as you can playback enough of your rhythm track as a reference. In some cases I might want to hear a bunch of other tracks while I adding a harmony track or just to know when to come in. So having a track grabber that can play back at LEAST 8 tracks at one time is handy.
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Clinton Zimmerman


From:
Memphis,Mo
Post Posted 14 Feb 2017 7:00 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks Greg I appreciate the info I will probably go with tascam and reaper daw.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 15 Feb 2017 2:28 am     Reply with quote

just remember that the Tascam products DO NOT record in wav or MP3 format , they need to be converted before you can export them to any DAW. I know this as I bought a DP-008 for my daughter. Nice easy recorder to use but only records 2 tracks at a time in the TASCAM proprietary format . If I recall, it can convert files on board but takes a while.


The SD card/wav file format of the Zoom recorders is where you want to be if you are going to be exporting files to any DAW. That was the #1 reason I purchased my Zoom R16 and the #1 reason I still own it !

I think it's the best $399 (new) piece of plastic in the world that records 8 tracks at a time ! Smile
_________________
<b>Steel Guitar music here >>> http://www.tprior.com/five.htm</b>

Emmons Steels, Fender Telecasters
Pro Tools 8 and Pro Tools 12
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Clinton Zimmerman


From:
Memphis,Mo
Post Posted 15 Feb 2017 4:29 am     Reply with quote

Thanks Tony I wasnt aware of that.
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post Posted 15 Feb 2017 7:04 am     Reply with quote

The Zoom supports both SD card and USB thumb drives in wav format. I bring my drum tracks into the Zoom as wav files via USB thumb drive. When finished on the Zoom I pull the SD card out of the Zoom and load all the tracks onto my PC. The SD card reads and writes much faster than the USB drive. I don't use any of the DAW control, edit or drum functions of the Zoom. It's strictly a track grabber!
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Douglas Schuch


From:
St John, US Virgin Islands
Post Posted 15 Feb 2017 11:39 am     Reply with quote

Count me in for another Zoom R16 vote. I don't do much recording, and have never used all the tracks, but the price break for half the track capability just was not worth it. One thing the multiple tracks allow is you can run your instrument direct to the Zoom, and also to an Amp that is mic'ed. Then, after recording, you can choose which you prefer. Maybe you prefer the mic'ed amp, but you really nailed a cut... but a Motorcycle roared by right in the middle of it. You still have the direct track if you want it with no outside noise.

For my simple projects I've always been happy with Audacity, which is a free download. If I did more, I'd probably up the ante and the learning curve and figure out Reaper, but for starting, just download Audacity and start playing around.
_________________
"Country Music is three chords and the truth". Harlan Howard
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 15 Feb 2017 3:32 pm     Reply with quote

Greg, just wondering out loud, why don't you record your tracks with Reaper direct thru an interface ?
_________________
<b>Steel Guitar music here >>> http://www.tprior.com/five.htm</b>

Emmons Steels, Fender Telecasters
Pro Tools 8 and Pro Tools 12
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post Posted 15 Feb 2017 4:10 pm     Reply with quote

Guitars and studio equipment is in one room, large screen PC is in another where it used for many other things. Also with the Zoom there is no latency, computer freezes, pops , clicks and simple transport controls. With an average PC I have thus not had good luck recording tracks. YMMV. This setup for me has zero issues of any kind!
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Clinton Zimmerman


From:
Memphis,Mo
Post Posted 15 Feb 2017 5:53 pm     Reply with quote

How do you add drums to the mix, I dont play drums so can I add a drum pattern and put intros and fills in some how?
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Rick Schacter


From:
Portland, Or.
Post Posted 16 Feb 2017 10:36 am     Reply with quote

Clinton,
It's possible to add drums to your recordings by either using a drum machine,virtual drum software or purchasing loops.

Here are some examples:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SR16

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/AD2

http://www.drumsondemand.com/products/country-drum-loops-basic?gclid=Cj0KEQiAuJXFBRDirIGnpZLE-N4BEiQAqV0KGuYnzqdRpXYw4ucZqbFt_aCid9sQ0nznCvYZj_s9P2YaAi5m8P8HAQ


You could also get a copy of Band In A Box and use that.
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post Posted 16 Feb 2017 11:11 am     Reply with quote

The Zoom has built in drum patterns and the editor for them is pretty useless.

I create the drum patterns on my PC using EZDrummer inside of Reaper, save them as a wav file, copy them to the Zoom, than add my real tracks to the Zoom as needed. Sounds like a lot but it takes about 3 minutes to get the tracks from Reaper to the Zoom.

No matter what way you go, you will have to learn some new software and acquire some new skills! My way of doing it is just something that sound good to me and is easy to implement. There are many ways to do this, different from my method, that also will work just as well as suggested by Rick above.
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Douglas Schuch


From:
St John, US Virgin Islands
Post Posted 17 Feb 2017 5:17 pm     Reply with quote

Biggest reason for going with the Zoom over an interface is latency. Maybe newer computers are better in this regard than when I was checking it out 5 years ago, but 0 latency in a package that is totally portable is hard to beat. Want to record you or someone else live? The Zoom easily can be set up to mic the room, get a patch from the mixer, or with more effort, mic/direct feed up to 8 instruments, all with 0 latency.
_________________
"Country Music is three chords and the truth". Harlan Howard
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