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Home Studio Set Up

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May 17, 2005 11:02:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

After some research I am about to invest in the following (unless
warned otherwise) to set up my home studio (having previously only
messed around with a cassette portastudio):

M-Audio 2496 Audiophile Sound Card
Behringer UB1204FX Pro Mixer

My PC is an AMD 64 3000+ with 512Mb, on-board sound etc.

I'm waiting to receive a second hand Boss DR-5 that I've just obtained
to link up with this and I already have a (really old) Yamaha YS200
Synth, which I hope I can just use as a MIDI controller keyboard. Some
of the sounds may be still worth playing with, I don't know.
Suggestions? I hope to MIDI all this up and sequence it using Cakewalk
Home Studio 2002 - should it all work together OK?

I also want to put a mike and an electric guitar through the mixer, and
I need some advice on how this will pan out. Do I run the guitar
through my amp (via headphone/line out socket) before going into the
mixer, or do I plug it straight in? The amp is a Roland VGA-3.

I expect to be able to run the outputs from the mixer to the 2496, and
also my domestic amp for monitoring. Do I run to the amp from the
mixer, or the sound card outputs? Or both?

Does all this sound reasonable? Is there anything else I need? Am I
falling into any noobie traps or pitfalls that I should avoid? Mainly
I just want to record myself with guitar and backing from the DR-5, and
maybe the YS200 and some stuff from the computer in reasonable quality.

While I'm at it - can anyone explain if/when/why I would need a powered
mixer rather than a passive one such as the 1204FX? I expect that is a
pretty stupid question but bear with me I'm a quick learner.

I think that about covers it. Any comments or suggestions gratefully
received.

Thanks.

More about : home studio set

Anonymous
May 17, 2005 7:49:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"MrD" <Myster_dee@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1116338558.947287.217890@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...

> After some research I am about to invest in the following (unless
> warned otherwise) to set up my home studio (having previously only
> messed around with a cassette portastudio):
>
> M-Audio 2496 Audiophile Sound Card
> Behringer UB1204FX Pro Mixer
>
> My PC is an AMD 64 3000+ with 512Mb, on-board sound etc.
>

I'd consider a card with more inputs, such as the M-Audio Delta 1010LT.
This has two microphone and eight line inputs; so you will be able to
record up to ten independent tracks simultaneously, without having to fiddle
around routing things on a computer or mixer.

You may find you do not need the Behringer mixer. You probably wouldn't use
its effects anyway - with software recording, it's more foolproof to record
without effects, then apply them at mixdown time. There are lots of
software effects available (including some for free) and cakewalk doubtless
has EQ and so on. Still, mixers are a convenient way to set gain levels and
so on, and to make connections (though you could also use a patchbay.)

Anyway, you can either use the mixer's direct outs, or just plug everything
into the sound card or patchbay, eg

Channel 1: Microphone 1
Channel 2: Microphone 2 (or miked-up guitar)
Channel 3: Guitar (DI output from Roland)
Channel 4: Bass guitar (go on, treat yourself to an OLP bass with the money
you save on the mixer ... :-)
Channel 5/6: Stereo keyboard
Channel 7/8: Stereo drum machine
Channel 9/10: spare

To record say bass guitar, you just select record in Channel 4; I've not
used Cakewalk Home Studio, but I'm confident it will let you record some
channels while playing some or all - just the thing if you have some
musician friends round. So to record bass and guitar, just hit record on
channels 3 and 4, and so on.

The 1010LT also has 10 outputs; you can use two of them for monitoring

Tim
May 18, 2005 12:56:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Thanks Tim. I looked at the cheaper Delta cards (66 and 44) but they
don't appear to have MIDI so I had discounted them. The only thing is
the cheapest I can find the 1010 for in the UK is £159.99, which is
slightly more than the 2496 and the Behringer mixer together (£60 and
£96 respectively).

Does this just achieve the same result, using the mouse to mix on
screen instead of knobs and sliders on the mixer, or is there some
other benefit to the 1010 over the 2496 + mixer?

Anyone any comments on using the YS200? Is it too old to be any good
or should it work fine as a controller?

Any help with the stupid question about powered mixers? If the mixer
is not powered, does each source going into it need to be amplified
before the mixer?

...and is it better to monitor from the mixer or the sound card?

Thanks.
Related resources
Anonymous
May 19, 2005 9:10:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Tim Martin" <tim2718281@ntlworld.com> wrote in message
news:jooie.8876$yY4.3938@newsfe5-win.ntli.net...
> > M-Audio 2496 Audiophile Sound Card
> > Behringer UB1204FX Pro Mixer
>
> I'd consider a card with more inputs, such as the M-Audio Delta 1010LT.

Or at least a more pro card like the Echo Mia, ESI Julia, Delta 44, etc.

> This has two microphone and eight line inputs;

NO, it has 2 mic/line inputs, six line inputs and 2 digital inputs.

>so you will be able to
> record up to ten independent tracks simultaneously, without having to
fiddle
> around routing things on a computer or mixer.

If he's only recording himself, 2 channels will be fine. More channels does
allow you to record a group of people though.

> You may find you do not need the Behringer mixer. You probably wouldn't
use
> its effects anyway

It does provide for zero latency monitoring WITH effects that need not be
recorded. Many singers like to hear some reverb at least.

>Still, mixers are a convenient way to set gain levels and
> so on,

And provide some gain when necessary.

> Anyway, you can either use the mixer's direct outs, or just plug
everything
> into the sound card or patchbay, eg
>
> Channel 1: Microphone 1
> Channel 2: Microphone 2 (or miked-up guitar)
> Channel 3: Guitar (DI output from Roland)
> Channel 4: Bass guitar (go on, treat yourself to an OLP bass with the
money
> you save on the mixer ... :-)
> Channel 5/6: Stereo keyboard
> Channel 7/8: Stereo drum machine
> Channel 9/10: spare

There is *NO* 9/10 line in on the Delta 1010, so just as well it not needed
:-)

> The 1010LT also has 10 outputs; you can use two of them for monitoring

And once again 8 line outs plus two digital.
You can also feed all 8 outputs to a mixer which allows easier real time mix
monitoring.

>>I also want to put a mike and an electric guitar through the mixer, and
>>I need some advice on how this will pan out. Do I run the guitar
>>through my amp (via headphone/line out socket) before going into the
>>mixer, or do I plug it straight in?

Either mic the amplifier or use a DI box to connect the guitar and
mixer/soundcard input.
Preferably do both at once and you can mix the two later as desired.

>>While I'm at it - can anyone explain if/when/why I would need a powered
>>mixer rather than a passive one such as the 1204FX? I expect that is a
>>pretty stupid question but bear with me I'm a quick learner.

You will need a powered mixer or separate amp to drive your monitor
speakers. If you only need headphone monitoring, then a non powered mixer is
OK, and no external amp will be necessary.

MrT.
Anonymous
May 19, 2005 9:10:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Mr.T" <MrT@home> wrote in message
news:428c3be2$0$8124$afc38c87@news.optusnet.com.au...

> NO, it has 2 mic/line inputs, six line inputs and 2 digital inputs.

Thanks for the correction on the 1010LT.

> If he's only recording himself, 2 channels will be fine.

Well, I have limited experience, having recorded only a few amateur bands,
and helped them to record themselves, using multi-channel live recording and
track-at-a-time.

What I've found is that equipment setup is a distraction for the performers,
and there's some advantage in minimizing it.

So, while I agree that two channels is technically adequate, I found there
is an advantage in having multiple channels available. (I was actually
using a hard disk recorder rather than a computer.) The difference seems
very minor: all it is is routing the hardware input channel to the correct
computer recording channel. But with a multi-channel recording setup, you
don't need to do that - just hit record on the channels to be recorded.

> And provide some gain when necessary.

Yes, I use a mixer even with the multi-channel recorder. I hadn't thought
about the latency issue; still, is that a problem for reverb?

> Either mic the amplifier or use a DI box to connect the guitar and
> mixer/soundcard input.
> Preferably do both at once and you can mix the two later as desired.

The Roland is a modelling guitar amp, so it has a DI output.

Mr D wrote

"Thanks Tim. I looked at the cheaper Delta cards (66 and 44) but they
don't appear to have MIDI so I had discounted them. The only thing is
the cheapest I can find the 1010 for in the UK is £159.99, which is
slightly more than the 2496 and the Behringer mixer together (£60 and
£96 respectively)."

Yes, the multi-channel cards are a lot more expensive. Incidentally, if
money is tight, you could could use a cheaper mixer, too. For example, the
Behringer 1002 at under half the price.

"Does this just achieve the same result, using the mouse to mix on
screen instead of knobs and sliders on the mixer, or is there some
other benefit to the 1010 over the 2496 + mixer?"

As mentioned above, I think it's more convenient to be able to record
different instruments just by hitting the relevant record button, and not
having to route the 2 inputs to the software recording track. And of course
a multi-track card will allow you to record multiple tracks at once (up to
8) - useful for jam sessions. A while ago, I'd have said go for the
two-channel solution as the best value for money - in fact I did do that
myself, when I wanted an external device to use with a laptop. But since
then the price of the 1010LT has halved, making it worth considering - but
the two-track solution might turn out to suit your needs.

"Any help with the stupid question about powered mixers? If the mixer
is not powered, does each source going into it need to be amplified
before the mixer?"

"..and is it better to monitor from the mixer or the sound card?"

No, you don't need to amplify the source.

You need to connect the stereo computer output to a stereo pair of mixer
inputs- mixers often have "tape input" which can be used - and connect the
mixer output to your monitoring amplifier. (using either the main mixer
output, or its "control room" output). Then, after you've recorded one
track and are ready for the next, the computer will play what you've already
recorded so you can hear it to play along to.

When you're recording using a microphone, you'll need to monitor with
headphones, to prevent the mike picking up the sound of the monitors.

It occurs to me we may be missing a step here; I'm assuming you are going
to record a song in multiple takes, each take being a separate track on your
computer. Once you've finished recording all the takes, you then proceed to
mix down all the tracks, to end up with a stereo recording.

During mix down, you can apply any effects, EQ, etc to each track
separately. You can listen to the result, and if you don't like it, you can
change it.

Incidentally, I'm self-taught in all this; there are people around who can
probably tell you some neat tricks I'm unaware of. I do have three
youngsters who are musicians, who I've recorded in various situations. And
the one overriding lesson I've learned is that musicians are quite impatient
when it comes to recording!

Here are a couple of their own compositions "You Only Get One Chance" was
recorded at home by my son, a track at a time, and I did the mix. There's a
little reverb and in places some echo; these were added in software after
recording was complete.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/tim.martin4/index.html

Tim
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 3:04:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On 17 May 2005 07:02:38 -0700, "MrD" <Myster_dee@hotmail.com> wrote:

>After some research I am about to invest in the following (unless
>warned otherwise) to set up my home studio (having previously only
>messed around with a cassette portastudio):
>
>M-Audio 2496 Audiophile Sound Card
>Behringer UB1204FX Pro Mixer

If you are aiming to build up recordings track by track, the "one man
band" approach, the audiophile will be fine. If you envisage
recording more than one player at a time, consider a sound card with
multiple inputs.

Doesn't that Behringer have on-board effects? That may be a facility
you don't need to pay for.


>My PC is an AMD 64 3000+ with 512Mb, on-board sound etc.
>
>I'm waiting to receive a second hand Boss DR-5 that I've just obtained
>to link up with this and I already have a (really old) Yamaha YS200
>Synth, which I hope I can just use as a MIDI controller keyboard. Some
>of the sounds may be still worth playing with, I don't know.
>Suggestions? I hope to MIDI all this up and sequence it using Cakewalk
>Home Studio 2002 - should it all work together OK?

Don't see why not.

>
>I also want to put a mike and an electric guitar through the mixer, and
>I need some advice on how this will pan out. Do I run the guitar
>through my amp (via headphone/line out socket) before going into the
>mixer, or do I plug it straight in? The amp is a Roland VGA-3.

IF you want a clean sound, try the guitar direct to the mixer, or via
Line Out of your amp. If you want the sound of your guitar amp, try
a microphone in front of the speaker.

>
>I expect to be able to run the outputs from the mixer to the 2496, and
>also my domestic amp for monitoring. Do I run to the amp from the
>mixer, or the sound card outputs? Or both?

Monitoring may be arranged in various ways. Understand the signal
flow of your mixer and software, that question will answer itself.

>
>Does all this sound reasonable? Is there anything else I need? Am I
>falling into any noobie traps or pitfalls that I should avoid? Mainly
>I just want to record myself with guitar and backing from the DR-5, and
>maybe the YS200 and some stuff from the computer in reasonable quality.

Work out what you will need to hear while you record and while you
mix. Say you have tracks already recorded, you want to add a vocal.
You need to hear the tracks in headphones. You need to hear the
vocals as you record them. You need to send a signal to be recorded
consisting of the vocals but NOT the tracks you are monitoring. Make
sure you choose a mixer that will do this conveniently. Slightly
more mixer than you thought you needed is a good investment. Slightly
less is a bloody nuisance :-)

If you don't know what mic to get, buy a Shure SM57. It is an
excellent workhorse. Cheap imitations of it, or of the SM58, are a
waste of money. Then get a cheap Chinese large-diaphragm condenser
mic. But don't expect miracles :-)

Make yourself a nice big nylon-tights-on-a-bent-coathanger type pop
shield for vocal recording.


>
>While I'm at it - can anyone explain if/when/why I would need a powered
>mixer rather than a passive one such as the 1204FX? I expect that is a
>pretty stupid question but bear with me I'm a quick learner.

You need an amplifier to drive your speakers. That amp can be built
in to the speakers, a separate box, or built in to the mixer. Your
choice.
!