What's the best home studio!

Discussion in 'Digital Audio & Recording' started by besty, Nov 22, 2002.

  1. besty

    besty New Member

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    Hi everyone. I thought I'd start this thread to find out what all you guys are using to record at home. And on what budget! I'm in Australia and things aren't as inexpensive here as you lucky ones in the States.

    So Who has what and what is the finished product like?

    I had a freinds VS Roland machine with a CD burner built in and found that worked very well.

    My dilemma is this. Do I spend the money on a all in one unit like a Roland VS series or any of the other million out there. Or do I go for the computer based Pro Tools, Cubase, Cakewalk avenue!

    I'd love to hear your comments on what you all use and what works best before I head out and spend my hard eared $$

    Cheers

    Besty
  2. eldridge

    eldridge New Member

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    I was in the same situation as you, however I came up with an odd solution.

    I'm using a Roland studio with an external CD burner, a MAC G4 with Protools, a PC with Cool Edit, and a myriad of instruments and mics.

    But I never use all of them at the same time. I have lots of recordings that just use the Studio, while others I stick to my PC or MAC.

    So basically the best recording system is whatever works for you, your budget, and your style of music!
  3. lostdave

    lostdave 'EVIL' Mod

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    HI Besty,
    I went thru the same thing about 18 months ago...
    I went PC.
    I bought the STaudio C-Port 10 ins 10 outs ( 8 of whicch are analog)
    And recently bought a Digital Desk (which cooked itself on the weekend...NOT HAPPY JAN)
    I also have a myriad of outboard FX, ADAT etc etc etc ......

    The only reason I keep the ADAT is for doing live recordings. The plan was to use that with the digital desk for recording gigs....but the digital desk also doubles as a control surface for use in Sonar and nuendo.

    The all in ones such as the VS series and the Fostex VF can also do this. It comes down primarily to How many Channels do you need to record @ once...How much you can spend .....how many Mic Pre's you need etc etc etc.

    My C-port will be for sale as soon as I get my Desk back ..I am going to run 2 ADAT Cards in My PC so that way I can have 16 Channels comming from the PC into the desk + another 16 Channels in the desk For FX returns and the like for Mix down.

    What sort of Budget do you have?
    Do you want to record @ home or do you want to be abl to take the gear anywhere?

    These are the questions you need to answer

    Dave
  4. besty

    besty New Member

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    I'll mostly be recording at home so a PC setup would probably do me fine. I like hearing what you guys are using though. Gives me some more food for thought! thanks
  5. tavenger5

    tavenger5 Mr Admin Guy Staff Member Admin

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    Alesis ADAT LX20 w/ Edit Card
    Alesis AI3 - A/D D/A converter
    Alesis Studio 24 board.
    Alesis MidiVerb4
    Alesis MEQ230 (sold)
    Behringer Composer Pro Compression
    Behringer Patch Bay
    AKG k240 headphones
    Shure SM57's (3)
    Shure SM94's (2)
    AKG D112 (bass mic)
    AKG C3000 (vocal mic)
    Sony Tape Deck
    Cubase VST 32

    ... and millions of cables. I haven't recorded in a while due to the fact that I'm in college. My gear is getting old. I need an upgrade. Especially that shitty sound card! Bah!

    Edit: Dave, what kind of sound cards are you using for the ADAT's?? I could use one!
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2002
  6. lostdave

    lostdave 'EVIL' Mod

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    I am using the Staudio DSP24 ADAT...

    Only 8 In and oout for the ADAT...
    Had I thought about it a bit more for about an extra US$100 i could have picked up a creamware 2 X adat (16 in 16 out) but I know the ST audio gear and I know it works well in my system..
    The Digital desk is(was) a god send.

    THe routing abilities of this desk are amazing....
    I can (for instance) have the 16 analog ins route them to the ADATS AND to FOH....and actually run them as two seperate Mixes...one for the ADAT and one for FOH..and each individual mix is available @ the touch of a button...HOW cool is that :D

    Dave
  7. nixta

    nixta New Member

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    Hi Betsy,

    I'm from Ossie land too :)

    Regarding your initial question...........It really depends upon what you sort of music you are interested in recording for the next 5 years (5 year plan), whether or not you will be recording acoustic sounds (eg: vocals, guitar etc.) and your budget.

    I have a mobile studio that allows me to perform live, record acoustic sounds (like previously mentioned) anywhere and everywhere and I can also master CD's then and there on the spot ;)

    You gotta love the power of technology!
  8. Velvets_Angel

    Velvets_Angel New Member

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    Besty:

    I have a MIDI Studio Setup
    I use a PC with 1.2Ghz AMD Processor, 512 MB RAM
    WIN98 OS (preferred for # of MIDI port access)
    SB Live Platinum 5.1 Sound Card
    Internal CD Burner

    Software includes:
    Cakewalk PRO Studio 9.0
    SONAR 2.0
    Vegas 3.0
    WAVelab
    and more.....depending on what I want to do

    Gear is connected to the PC using a MOTU MidiExpressXT 8X8

    Other Recording Gear:
    Yamaha PSR-520 Keyboard (yeah I know)
    Roland JV-2080 Sound Module
    BOSS DR-770 Drum Machine
    Roland VS-1880 Digital Recorder w/ Plextor 12X4x10 CD Burner
    Behringer MX9000 Mixer
    Behringer Truth B2031 Studio Monitors
    Shure SM-57
    Shure SM-58
    NADY TCM???? Condenser Mic

    This is a rather expensive setup, but these equipment were accumulated over time. I started small and added as $$$ became available. The only problem is that I don't have that much time to use the equipment.

    But, like Nixta said...your setup depends on what you want to do and what type of music you are recording and of course the $$$ you are willing to spend to get it done.
  9. besty

    besty New Member

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    Great. thanks again everyone. It is helping me alot! Sounds like most setups are working for you guys! So like everyone says. Check the budget ECT and just ake the plunge! I'll keep you all updated on what I buy!
  10. lostdave

    lostdave 'EVIL' Mod

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    Don't forget to check out the buy sell swap forum Besty......Ya never know what you may find in there ;) ;)

    Dave
  11. besty

    besty New Member

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    Thanks dave. I'll go for a look now
  12. lostdave

    lostdave 'EVIL' Mod

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    I have now put my C-Port up for sale if anyone wants to look @ it...Price is very reasonable....Check the Buy sell swap Forum.

    Current Price New is $1100 and this on is 10 MOnths old

    Dave
  13. bensongrey

    bensongrey New Member

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    Right now I am using a Korg D12 (12 track digital - $900) with a built in CD burner(unfortunately $400) and I use CoolEdit 2000 on my PC for post production. I'm happy with the setup.

    If you want to here a sample of the quality I get goto www.headcornerstone.com --- goto the music section and download the "even there" mp3. I don't know if that version is as good as what I'v burned on CD, but I am happy with it. That song was recorded on a Roland VS880 and mixed down on a Mac, though the setup I have now gets just as good or better quality.

    The Korg can import/export wav files wich means no degraded quality by using RCA or other audio cables.
  14. microb

    microb New Member

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    I have been using Cakewalk 9 and several analog interfaces to the PC. I am about to move to the Mac with a MOTU 896 and digital performer. Pro tools limits creativity. I like the "chunky"ness of audio vision but you can't buy it anymore. so next best thing is performer I think.
  15. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am New Member

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    Hi Betsy!

    I think a PC setup is the most flexible. On the hardware end, look at products from M-Audio (the Delta series) and Aardvark (the Q10 is a great entry level multichannel card). As for software, look for one of the less expensive scaled-down Cakewalk products.
  16. jon-paul

    jon-paul New Member

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    Hi Betsy

    Well there is no contest. I live in England and i am currently doing a degree in music production and i have to say PRO-TOOLS there is no beating it this is an industry standard studio software and is used in thousand of real studios across the world. and with a budget of about £700 (dont know what this is in australian dollars) you can have the software and hardware to run a complete 32 track recording studio (XP only) if you are only running windows 98 or ME then you can get a free version of this software which will run on any sound card. forget the rest this is the best for both Mac and PC.

    hope this is helpful Jon-Paul
  17. Dr Chemikill

    Dr Chemikill New Member

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    Hello besty,

    I do a lot of home recording but only use the PC.Eveything I do is done on Cakewalk Pro 9,thats drums,keys and any other instrument I need except guitar and vocals.This is why I love MIDIBuddy so much.
    Nearly every track I do ,be it mine or a cover,starts as midi.
    I know its not as good as the proffesional set up but Hey! it works for me.

    As for recording our band well we just do it at home and then take the PC to to the practice room to record the drums(thats if he does NOT want to use the midi click track !!)

    Cakewalk vs Cubase ?? Try `em both but I think Cakewalk is more like a studio.Making it better.

    Have fun whatever you choose cause thats what it`s all about.
  18. gms

    gms New Member

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    I think that a PC is the way to go!

    I use a Dell Dimension 4400 w/ 512mb RAM, a separate 80gb 7200RPM drive for audio ONLY! a 40gb HD for OS and the rest.
    Windows XP Home running in NON-ACPI mode (very key to eliminating weird pops and so on!)
    M-Audio Omni-Studio with Delta 66 card (I used to do 96/24 but I've found it's faster and sounds nearly as good doing 44.1/16)
    M-Audio SP-5 self-powered monitors
    SoundBlaster Live! (came with Dell) and Altec-Lansing w/ Subwoofer desktop speakers ($50 extra on Dell) for checking mixes...
    Cakewalk SONAR XL 2.1 (for all recording needs!)
    (definitely use the Timeworks EQ and Compressor! heavy CPU but sounds great when you cannot afford WaveArt plugins!)
    SoundForge 6 (for tweaking audio clips, mastering and conversions)
    ACID 3 Express (sometimes for fooling around)
    WinLAME for MP3 creation
    MS Media Publisher to create WMA files
    I use a Kurzweil PC88 for my "performance midi" and the piano roll in Cakewalk for had edits. Nearly any reasonable velocity capable keyboard will work for midi inputing.
    A large 19" monitor so most of what I'm working on is visible!
    (note: I've tweaked the XP setup for performance rather than looks and I also switch off my network (disable) and misc. tray applications so that they don't introduce CPU burn...) there are a number of web sites out there that talk through setting up XP on a DAW (do a google to find them).
    lastly I have a single large (1") condenser Mic (Audio-Technica AT3035) for vocal and acoustic inputs. A plethora of guitars for guitar stuff :). I use the AmpSim and Revalver DXi Synth for guitar sounds. (I actually don't have many plugins that I purchased besides what came with the SONAR product: I did buy LiveSynth Pro - excellent for using soundfonts (I bought some additional soundfonts from Sonic Impact but in general free ones and the ones bundled with SONAR cover most bases; SpinAudio VST-DXI wrapper - works great! cheap!) -- the rest of my plugins are all freeware (VST and DXI) or came with the package.
    So all-in-all, my complete studio cost (is the US) about $2500
    ($1300 for the Dell, $1200 for all the other stuff but the keyboard was $600 of that so...)
    My next step is to optimize my room. I've been checking out some of the acoustic treatment sites and I think it'll cost me about $1000 to get the right room sound (bass traps, some misc deadening, some proper monitor placement via a proper desk :) so I'm going with what I have, using my monitors, headphones, PC speakers, my wife's PC speakers (small laptop ones...), my car (using a cassette mix) to gauge the mixes.
    probably the most important thing you can do is to learn to use what you have to it's best capacity and you'll probably come away with a sound that is non-offensive at worst, and pretty darn good most of the time. for instance. I try to keep the number of tracks down to under 20 and many times down to 12 so I don't get too much going at once, then I use a limted number of effects (light reverb and delay on entire mix; EQ and light compression on output) then go back and tweak tracks that don't seem to sound right or collide. This keeps my CPU under 75% most of the time and since the soundfonts typically sound right, I don't mess with them much.
    anyways, that's my 2¢ (US :)...
  19. besty

    besty New Member

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    Thanks for that. Very informative! I think I can get something going with what I've got and a good sound card! Thanks all!!
  20. jmb0000

    jmb0000 New Member

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    pc running cubase vst32/reason 2.
    audiophile 2496 soundcard
    tannoy active monitors
    soundcraft spirit sx mixer
    novation supernova 2
    novation drumstation
    novation bass station
    roland mc505
    panasonic midi controller
    shure sm58 mic
    2 technics
    pioneer djm600 mixer
    stanton final scratch
    thousands of vst plug ins.

    its not what u have but how u use it!

    check out our test website - http://joeyb49.tripod.com/

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