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Author Topic: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]  (Read 8424 times)

Khaoz

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What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« on: January 19, 2009, 06:34:31 pm »

I have a band, and i would like to record a couple of our songs, at home.

What I'm working with:

Software:
-Sonar 8 PE


Hardware:
-Dell Dimension E520 PC. 2GB RAM.
-New sound card being bought today. (name coming soon)
-Gemini DJX-05 Head Phones.
-Line 6 75 W Amp.
-Gallien-Krueger (?)W Bass amp.
-Tama 5pc-Drumset. w/ 6 Cymbals.
-2.1 Sound.

Now my question is:

I want to build a small home recording studio, set in my small room, just for the purposes of recording me and my band, nothing professional.

I would like to know (the bare minimum) i need, hardware and software wise, to get at least an average sound from the band. I don't have money for drum mics so preferably one or two mics that can do it all. (fairly well).

Thanks in advance.


-KZ
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Bill_Urick

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2009, 07:36:59 pm »

Yep.

That's how it STARTS!

What interface are you using with Protools?
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Khaoz

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2009, 09:07:23 pm »

Actually i think i need to scratch off pro tools off the list, i have to return it to the friend that lent it to me, all i have is sonar8 now.

All i need to know what  do i need to start recording?

#1 I got the computer.
#2 I got the program.
#3 Got the instruments.
#4 .... what else do i need?

- maybe a pre-amp? i don't know what i need from there on.

just the bare minimum nothing fancy.
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Bill_Urick

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2009, 10:40:36 pm »

You'll need an audio interface, perhaps with mic pres included, to get the instruments recorded into sonar.

How many different things do you want to record at the same time?
Drums? Guitar, bass, vocals? That will primarily determine what kind of interface you need.

What is the sound card you bought today?
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Good sense is, of all things among men, the most equally distributed; for everyone thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that those even who are the most difficult to satisfy in everything else, do not usually desire a larger measure of this quality than they already possess.

Khaoz

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2009, 12:15:12 am »

Well i was just thinking of recording every instrument separately, as for the drum set, i was thinking, ONE very well placed microphone, since i do not have the money for the whole microphone set.

and as for the soundcard, the one i have currently is SigmaTel, which is incompatible with SONAR 8, so today i was supposed to get a soundcard, but didn't have the time,  so i am getting one tomorrow (1/20/09). Don't know which I'm going to get. Any suggestions?

So this is all ill need?

Computer + Software:
connects to -->
Audio Interface:
which connects to -->
Microphone:
which records -->
Any Instruments:

I am looking to record, a Bass, Electric Guitar, Drumset, (2 sets) of Vocals. All separately.

What are my cheaper options (with the most quality)?

This is in terms of Audio Interface and mics/cables.

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Bill_Urick

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2009, 07:49:43 am »

I think Sonar should work with any decent ASIO interface.
Go to a local music store and find some name brand (M-Audio?, Eiderol?) interface with at least two mic pres, two line ins, two line outs and 1 or 2 headphone outs. It will probably plug into a USB port on your computer.Make sure you can return it if you have problems.

You won't need a new sound card.

Do you have any microphones already?
Do you have any monitor speakers?
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Good sense is, of all things among men, the most equally distributed; for everyone thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that those even who are the most difficult to satisfy in everything else, do not usually desire a larger measure of this quality than they already possess.

Khaoz

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2009, 03:25:36 pm »

I currently do not have any microphones, as I've been recording with a voice-chat microphone xD ,  ad the only speakers i have are the ones that came with my computer, 2 speakers and a bass box.

anything you recommend?

Hey Bill, do you mind if we talk by a messenger? so we can talk a little quicker?  Something like msn , yahoo, aim, messengers? Ill be glad to send you my messenger email or screen name by private message on the forums.
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Bill_Urick

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2009, 07:28:43 am »

Roldy,

Disregard the email.
Check your PM.
(Private Messaging, top of the page.)
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Good sense is, of all things among men, the most equally distributed; for everyone thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that those even who are the most difficult to satisfy in everything else, do not usually desire a larger measure of this quality than they already possess.

Vertigo

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2009, 11:57:55 am »

I think the question at this stage of your game is whether you want a quality recording or a quality studio. If the former, then it's probably worth your while to eschew the DIY route and go into a decent studio.

If you're shooting for the latter, then about $10-15,000 gets you into the game with minimal (but decent) gear. But be aware that it will probably be at least a year before you've mastered your gear well enough to put out a quality recording.

Of course if this is just a "jam to tape" or demo sort of thing and quality isn't a major concern then feel free to experiment and just enjoy the music.

But know that you've come to the right place if you're looking to get serious about recording Smile

-Lance
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Jim Easton

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2009, 02:26:06 pm »

You will need an endless reservoir of money, time and talent.  

Buyer beware: once you start up this road of addiction, their is no turning back. In your every waking moment the "Gear god" will have you under a trance reading forums long into the night. Pinching pennies to get that next fix.

Turn back while you can Khaoz.
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MagnetoSound

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2009, 10:17:32 am »

Jim Easton wrote on Sun, 25 January 2009 19:26

Turn back while you can Khaoz.




Werd - I sold all my drugs to buy gear! Very Happy

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It can also knock me back and make me sit there and cry like a little baby. This shit is as powerful as any drug!!!
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C.Cash

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2009, 01:39:07 pm »

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guitarbth

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2009, 11:07:59 pm »

Get a 8 channel mixer (mackie, yamaha, behringer, etc.) and a 2 channel m-audio usb interface. Go to radio shack and grab 6-8 mics... they use to have some $25 mics... or borrow some from a church and/or friends. Then set up the band as if you were practicing. Put four mics on the drums ( 2 overheads, 1 snare, 1 kick). Put a few mics on guitars and vocals. Bass amp probably has an output on the back so go direct into the mixer with that, but keep the amp on while playing. Same for keys... Then from the L and R main outs of the mixer, plug into the line inputs of the M-Audio interface. Hit record, count off, and do your thing... You might just capture something magical.

Hope this helps..

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JDNelson

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2009, 07:20:10 pm »

If you're looking to just mic up your band and let 'er rip this might be a cost-effective way to go: http://www.motu.com/products/motuaudio/8pre/

Eight channels via FireWire into your computer and SONAR plays nice with the MOTU drivers.

MI

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2009, 09:56:26 am »

You've got a $500 software program and no interfaces, no mics no preamps/console....

hmmm
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trock

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2009, 02:26:28 pm »

When I started I had an M-Audio 410 fw interface. i think they are still out and go for 300 bucks?

it was really solid for me

has 2 pre's on the front, and ins and outs on the back, anda nice software interface to control it on your pc

so my setup was

Mic(s) ->410 fw->PC/Sonar back out the same fw ->410 ->monitors

very simple and easy to use, ASIO, 44.1/24.

after that initial 300 dollars i have spent well over 20K over the years on various and sundry things that have shiny lights, knobs and meter things

beware
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Jesse M

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2009, 02:46:05 am »

I don't think the mbox can be beat for the price, especially with an education discount.  You get the recording interface AND the software, not to mention endless tutorial videos and expert advice.  Sonor is much less common and still requires a good sound card.

btw if your sound card doesn't support ASIO, many people have luck with the free ASIO4ALL drivers.

JDNelson

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2009, 02:12:46 pm »

Jesse M wrote on Tue, 24 February 2009 23:46

I don't think the mbox can be beat for the price, especially with an education discount.  You get the recording interface AND the software, not to mention endless tutorial videos and expert advice.  Sonor is much less common and still requires a good sound card.

btw if your sound card doesn't support ASIO, many people have luck with the free ASIO4ALL drivers.

But PT LE is cripple-ware, isn't it?  Limitations on how many tracks and no PDC, etc. Seems like a poor relation to PT HD.  

garret

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2009, 10:09:20 pm »

Sonar has a $100 "home studio" version which shares the same audio engine as the $500 Sonar Producer Edition.

You don't get many bundled plugins, and you are "limited" to 64 tracks.

That plus a nice interface and you're set.

Or get an Mbox if you can live with PT LE's limitations.

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hrasco

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2009, 11:14:19 pm »

I believe he stated he already owns Sonar. Software is not the isssue. Dollars are.

Rock bottom, low dollar; if you are running XP 32bit buy a used M-Audio MobilPre USB. Although there have been problems with Vista and XP 64bit and it is only 16 bit/48 capable, you can pick one up on eBay for $40 to$90 and it will work fine on the right OS and sound pretty darn good (16 bit is CD quality). Buy two genuine Shure SM-57's and you are at your starting point. You will get the best education you could hope for on your own by learning to mic a drumset (or a guitar amp) with only one or two mics.

Save your money and buy more mics and and small mixer as you are able to afford it.

Getting genuine 57's on the used market is getting iffy because there are reportedly counterfeit mics being sold on the internet. They don't cost that much brand new, however. Buy used ones if you trust the seller.

Patch the output of the soundcard into a decent stereo system. Don't use your dinky computer speakers. Of course you will want to improve your playback system as soon as you can afford it.

Enjoy.
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Synth Tuba Tech

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2009, 01:21:30 pm »

Early on, I invested a bit of money in a pair of Audio Technica AT-4033.  They're $350-400 each, street.  I was recording everything as stereo spaced pair, through a Mackie 1402, to DAT.  

Now I record to Pro Tools, and my mic and preamp closet have grown a bit...  And I'm still using the 4033s on a lot of stuff.  If you can't afford them right now, try the 4040 which is a little cheaper (and a newer design).  

Use a stereo pair of 4033s as overheads, and add a kick mic.  I've been using the EV Raven for miking kick...  It's $150, and also works great on guitar amps!  (Note, it does NOT have the hyped low-end of a Beta 52 or other kick-specific mics.  Very neutral sound.)  An SM-57, SM-58, or Beta 57 are pretty much the definitive snare mics, you can use 'em on just about anything, and they're relatively cheap ($100-150).

The studio is a bottomless pit into which you will perpetually throw money.  Wink  
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hargerst

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2009, 03:06:56 pm »

The real question is what do you wanna do with these recordings?  If it's just for listening to practices, that can be done pretty cheaply.  But if you want to do decent demos or CD sales in clubs, you'll need about 4 mics for drums, guitar, bass, and vocals, and the ability to record at least four tracks simultaneously.  

A couple of Niaint overheads (about 30 bucks each), a used Shure SM57 for snare (about 50 bucks), and a used AT Pro25 for kick (about $75) will get you off and running.  You can then use the Shure to record guitars and vocals, and the AT Pro25 to record bass,
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Bodoc

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2009, 07:58:31 pm »

Get yourself:

1.  Acoustic treatment -- if it sounds lousy, it will record lousy.  Lots of sources for DIY material

2. A Zoom H4n -- it can serve as a front end for your DAW.  As well, it can accommodate 2 other mikes giving you true 4 channel recording (including its own good mikes).  Just feed the 4 channels into your DAW.



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Bill_Urick

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2009, 08:11:32 pm »

Khaoz's only posts here are the four in this thread, ending on  January 20th.

I don't think he's interested in our advice anymore, but who knows.
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Good sense is, of all things among men, the most equally distributed; for everyone thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that those even who are the most difficult to satisfy in everything else, do not usually desire a larger measure of this quality than they already possess.

Steve A

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Re: What do I need for a cheap home studio? [Request]
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2009, 11:33:11 am »

I'm new here but I have been reading intently... I have another thread on here but have been reading the suggestions here as well.

Thanks for everyones input.

Steve
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