Multitrack recording

I used to have one of those Tascam Portastudio 464, 4 tracks mixer/recorder with wich i had a great time doing "home" mutitracking but i sold it a couple of years ago....

Now,I'am planning to get a new computer...probably Tbird on A7V, 256mb of RAM, at least 20 gig IBM hard drive...

My question to you people is; In order to do just about the same with my new computer,(but just plain home recording) what sound card would you recommend I use (i know i will probably have to use an outside mixer as well...small Mackie or else...)?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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  1. First, great! we need more people doing this.

    Second, do yourself a favor, steer clear of the consumer based MULTIMEDIA sound cards, they have their uses but home recording is not one of them.

    The company I suggest going with is Frontier, their home page is below.

    Also, the e-mag below will be very helpful.(sorry about that freakin URL, I have no idea what is up with that!),0,42,0&bhdirex=&bhcont=lan&siteid=15&magazineid=33&bhkbps=533942

    Have Fun!
  2. Well, once you get past the Sound Blaster options (which I wouldn't recommend for any kind of serious audio recording), you have lots of options, but it gets expensive quickly. One fairly resonable option are the MAudio cards by midiman ( They're kinda new to the industry but right in the thick of digital audio, their gear is solid, but not yet too high priced. I think their basic card is around $500. All the big audio recording hardware companies (digidesign, motu, etc.) make PC compatible gear, but very, very pricey. Echo is another company ( that makes solid, reasonably priced digital audio recording hardware. There're lots more; get a copy of electronic musician and you'll get a mouthful.

    You don't *need* a mixer: you can use the virtual mixers that come with the cards. They work alright, but I use a mackie for convenience: it's a pain to keep clicking between various windows when you're trying to get your levels set. [edit: unless you get a card with multiple inputs, you really will *need* a mixer, unless you plan to record one instrument at a time; then you just need a preamp. A little mackie is really just the way to go.]

    You'll need some software to actually record with, and presumably, you'll want to do some multitrack editing as well. The within-reach top of the line for PC is Emagic's Logic Audio, but that's a confusing and pretty expensive (about $800, but I found if for $500 here bit of software to just jump into. More reasonable but still strong would be Sonic Foundry's Vegas for a multitrack editor and Sound Forge for a wave file editor. Sek'D's Samplitude has a confusing interface IMHO, and there's also Cubase by Steinberg which a lot of PC users swear by. Actually, Steinberg may be your best bet. Another thing to look at is CoolEdit Pro by Syntrillium; both a multitracker and good wav file editor. One thing to watch out for when you're buying all this stuff are the 'light' or 'xp' versions of the software. Personally, I'd just buy the real thing; it's too frustrating when you find certain functions disabled right when you want that certain sound.

    Hmm. That should be enought to get you started. You really can use your pc as the basis of a very profession recording studio. Good luck, and get a copy of Electronic Musician asap.


    Never cut what you can untie. -Joubert (1754-1824)<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by haughki on 03/10/01 12:35 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  3. As far as software, I feel it would be slander not to mention two of the best. Cakewalk and ProTools
  4. I agree 100%. I'd say Pro Tools is really the industry standard in many ways for high end home recording, and with the introduction of the Digi 001, it's even kinda affordable. And while Cakewalk sometimes gets a "low end" rep, it has amazing functionality for the price, and it's been around forever. It may come down to just what type of recording you do most, what specific features you really need, what your personal preferences for UI are . . . seems like lots of folks just stick with whatever they happen to be most comfortable with.

    Never cut what you can untie. -Joubert (1754-1824)
  5. If cost is a concern, ProTools does have a free version available for download, I have not used it and I am sure it's functionality has been limited but for free, hey, how wrong can you go?

    If you have a good internet connection, head on over to

    and click the Free Pro Tools logo to download, they also have an order form to order it on CD, I believe they would charge shipping and handling on that though.
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