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Home studio questions - please help!

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Anonymous
January 18, 2005 10:45:27 PM

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

Greetings,

This is my first post to the group and I think I've come to the right
place based on some Google searches. I've been thinking about putting
together my own home studio, all digital, for a few years now and only
lately have been very seriously trying to make sense of all the
gobbledygook that the digital pro audio/engineering world has to offer
(especially those cryptic ads where there's a lot of talk and buzzwords
but after you're done reading, you have no idea what they are trying to
sell you).

At any rate, I've been a musician for probably two-thirds of my life
now, have done a little recording work on a four-track of my own and
have also participated in a few small studio sessions, so I'm no
stranger to the whole prospect of having my own studio. Furthermore,
I'm an electrical/software engineer so I'm not at all intimidated by
anything the pro audio world has to offer, given enough time to
experiment and understand it.

Ultimately what I am going to do is be recording mostly instrumentals
-- my saxes, guitars, and synthesizers. So I figure I can get by with
something that has a fancy mic preamp for the audio stuff, MIDI and
line ins for the synths, and line ins for the guitars. I don't
envision this studio being a big thing where a band can actually come
in, just me messing around, one track/one instrument at a time, and
perfecting a great mix. :) 

Okay, to get down to brass tacks, what I'm looking for is a
direct-to-computer (I have a top-of-the-line Alienware system that
would easily handle digital recording), so I started by looking at the
smaller units to get my feet wet -- the Lexicon Omega and Digidesign
Mbox bundles, both available at musiciansfriend.com. Thus far, this is
what I've decided:

Lexicon Omega
-------------
Pros: Inexpensive, small footprint, "just enough" inputs and connection
types, comes with Cubase
Cons: Comes with Cubase :)  Just kidding...more on this in a bit.

Digidesign Mbox
---------------
Pros: Inexpensive, small footprint, comes with Pro Tools
Cons: No MIDI connections, fewer connections than the Omega

Furthermore, in doing my research, a couple of other things came to
mind. One, Pro Tools seems to be the gold standard for software,
although I have heard nothing bad about Cubase or any of the other
software packages. Two, price-wise, it goes from the relatively modest
Mbox ($300-$500) to the Digi002R ($1300). That's a lot of shekels! So
the Lexicon is both more attractively priced and has more of the types
of inputs I think I'd need (I'd call them more generous than Digi) but
it would put me into the Cubase camp (and I really don't want to try
cross-platforming, using Cubase on a Digi or Pro Tools on the Lexicon
-- the bundles that are being sold are tailored for each device).

So right now, I'm leaning towards Digidesign, but I'm having a hard
time "getting over the hump" in moving from the Mbox to a Digi002(R).
I really want to be able to "put Pro Tools on my resume" as it were but
I'm concerned that there's no intermediate box between the Mbox and the
002R that has MIDI (and, ignorant as I am about such things, I'm
*assuming* I will need MIDI connections to get the MIDI from the Korg
KARMA and Yamaha S90 I'm planning on buying) into my Alienware -- does
that sound right?)

Here's a few more parameters to keep in mind if you are planning on
providing some advice:
a. Space is not an issue, or won't be in the future when I buy a house
b. Money is not too much of an issue, but it quickly could be depending
on what I wish I could buy

Anyway, I really appreciate any help you old pros could provide for me.
I'm really looking for all feedback, good, bad or indifferent.
Many thanks,
Mike

More about : home studio questions

Anonymous
January 18, 2005 11:11:23 PM

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

On 18 Jan 2005 19:45:27 -0800, "Zerex71" <mfeher@stny.rr.com> wrote:

>
>Lexicon Omega
>-------------
>Pros: Inexpensive, small footprint, "just enough" inputs and connection
>types, comes with Cubase
>Cons: Comes with Cubase :)  Just kidding...more on this in a bit.
>
>Digidesign Mbox
>---------------
>Pros: Inexpensive, small footprint, comes with Pro Tools
>Cons: No MIDI connections, fewer connections than the Omega

I'm not familiar with these two units but I would guess that these
"everything-in-one" boxes are usually a compromise. If you are
serious about good sound, you'd be much better off getting a dedicated
mic pre and dedicated converters, or a sound card/midi interface such
as those made by RME. Software such as Samplitude or Nuendo can sound
just as good or better than ProTools. You said money "wasn't too much
of an issue" so why not shoot a little higher?

Al
Anonymous
January 19, 2005 1:06:59 AM

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

If you're going for seamless integration with VSTi's and high end DSP cards
like the UAD-1 and Powercore without using wrappers and other workarounds my
advice for a full featured native system that is easy to learn and use would
be to go with Cubase SX or Nuendo. Samplitude would be another very good
option. If you're serious about this and have the budget you will put your
money into good gear, not an MBox or Lexi. I would start by analyzing the
room you will be using and treating it appropriately. The best gear in the
world will be of little use to you if you can't hear what it's doing. Though
the marketing mooks would like you to believe that everything can be done on
the cheap if you just buy *their* magic box, it's just ain't so.

:o )

DJ


"Zerex71" <mfeher@stny.rr.com> wrote in message
news:1106106327.388739.116200@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Greetings,
>
> This is my first post to the group and I think I've come to the right
> place based on some Google searches. I've been thinking about putting
> together my own home studio, all digital, for a few years now and only
> lately have been very seriously trying to make sense of all the
> gobbledygook that the digital pro audio/engineering world has to offer
> (especially those cryptic ads where there's a lot of talk and buzzwords
> but after you're done reading, you have no idea what they are trying to
> sell you).
>
> At any rate, I've been a musician for probably two-thirds of my life
> now, have done a little recording work on a four-track of my own and
> have also participated in a few small studio sessions, so I'm no
> stranger to the whole prospect of having my own studio. Furthermore,
> I'm an electrical/software engineer so I'm not at all intimidated by
> anything the pro audio world has to offer, given enough time to
> experiment and understand it.
>
> Ultimately what I am going to do is be recording mostly instrumentals
> -- my saxes, guitars, and synthesizers. So I figure I can get by with
> something that has a fancy mic preamp for the audio stuff, MIDI and
> line ins for the synths, and line ins for the guitars. I don't
> envision this studio being a big thing where a band can actually come
> in, just me messing around, one track/one instrument at a time, and
> perfecting a great mix. :) 
>
> Okay, to get down to brass tacks, what I'm looking for is a
> direct-to-computer (I have a top-of-the-line Alienware system that
> would easily handle digital recording), so I started by looking at the
> smaller units to get my feet wet -- the Lexicon Omega and Digidesign
> Mbox bundles, both available at musiciansfriend.com. Thus far, this is
> what I've decided:
>
> Lexicon Omega
> -------------
> Pros: Inexpensive, small footprint, "just enough" inputs and connection
> types, comes with Cubase
> Cons: Comes with Cubase :)  Just kidding...more on this in a bit.
>
> Digidesign Mbox
> ---------------
> Pros: Inexpensive, small footprint, comes with Pro Tools
> Cons: No MIDI connections, fewer connections than the Omega
>
> Furthermore, in doing my research, a couple of other things came to
> mind. One, Pro Tools seems to be the gold standard for software,
> although I have heard nothing bad about Cubase or any of the other
> software packages. Two, price-wise, it goes from the relatively modest
> Mbox ($300-$500) to the Digi002R ($1300). That's a lot of shekels! So
> the Lexicon is both more attractively priced and has more of the types
> of inputs I think I'd need (I'd call them more generous than Digi) but
> it would put me into the Cubase camp (and I really don't want to try
> cross-platforming, using Cubase on a Digi or Pro Tools on the Lexicon
> -- the bundles that are being sold are tailored for each device).
>
> So right now, I'm leaning towards Digidesign, but I'm having a hard
> time "getting over the hump" in moving from the Mbox to a Digi002(R).
> I really want to be able to "put Pro Tools on my resume" as it were but
> I'm concerned that there's no intermediate box between the Mbox and the
> 002R that has MIDI (and, ignorant as I am about such things, I'm
> *assuming* I will need MIDI connections to get the MIDI from the Korg
> KARMA and Yamaha S90 I'm planning on buying) into my Alienware -- does
> that sound right?)
>
> Here's a few more parameters to keep in mind if you are planning on
> providing some advice:
> a. Space is not an issue, or won't be in the future when I buy a house
> b. Money is not too much of an issue, but it quickly could be depending
> on what I wish I could buy
>
> Anyway, I really appreciate any help you old pros could provide for me.
> I'm really looking for all feedback, good, bad or indifferent.
> Many thanks,
> Mike
>
Related resources
Anonymous
January 19, 2005 7:22:25 AM

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

On 18 Jan 2005 19:45:27 -0800, "Zerex71" <mfeher@stny.rr.com> wrote:

>Greetings,

<snipped>

The toughest thing for most folks wanting to record at home is
hearing what you're doing. It seems like a gimme until you get
rolling; then, it's a serious issue.

Good fortune,

Chris Hornbeck
"someone might think it's more valuable in the future than he did
in the pasture." -Mike Rivers
January 19, 2005 10:16:31 AM

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

"Zerex71" <mfeher@stny.rr.com> wrote in message
news:1106106327.388739.116200@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Greetings,
>
> This is my first post to the group and I think I've come to the right
> place based on some Google searches. I've been thinking about putting
> together my own home studio, all digital, for a few years now and only
> lately have been very seriously trying to make sense of all the
> gobbledygook that the digital pro audio/engineering world has to offer
> (especially those cryptic ads where there's a lot of talk and buzzwords
> but after you're done reading, you have no idea what they are trying to
> sell you).
>
> At any rate, I've been a musician for probably two-thirds of my life
> now, have done a little recording work on a four-track of my own and
> have also participated in a few small studio sessions, so I'm no
> stranger to the whole prospect of having my own studio. Furthermore,
> I'm an electrical/software engineer so I'm not at all intimidated by
> anything the pro audio world has to offer, given enough time to
> experiment and understand it.
>
> Ultimately what I am going to do is be recording mostly instrumentals
> -- my saxes, guitars, and synthesizers. So I figure I can get by with
> something that has a fancy mic preamp for the audio stuff, MIDI and
> line ins for the synths, and line ins for the guitars. I don't
> envision this studio being a big thing where a band can actually come
> in, just me messing around, one track/one instrument at a time, and
> perfecting a great mix. :) 
>
> Okay, to get down to brass tacks, what I'm looking for is a
> direct-to-computer (I have a top-of-the-line Alienware system that
> would easily handle digital recording), so I started by looking at the
> smaller units to get my feet wet -- the Lexicon Omega and Digidesign
> Mbox bundles, both available at musiciansfriend.com. Thus far, this is
> what I've decided:
>
> Lexicon Omega
> -------------
> Pros: Inexpensive, small footprint, "just enough" inputs and connection
> types, comes with Cubase
> Cons: Comes with Cubase :)  Just kidding...more on this in a bit.
>
> Digidesign Mbox
> ---------------
> Pros: Inexpensive, small footprint, comes with Pro Tools
> Cons: No MIDI connections, fewer connections than the Omega
>
> Furthermore, in doing my research, a couple of other things came to
> mind. One, Pro Tools seems to be the gold standard for software,
> although I have heard nothing bad about Cubase or any of the other
> software packages. Two, price-wise, it goes from the relatively modest
> Mbox ($300-$500) to the Digi002R ($1300). That's a lot of shekels! So
> the Lexicon is both more attractively priced and has more of the types
> of inputs I think I'd need (I'd call them more generous than Digi) but
> it would put me into the Cubase camp (and I really don't want to try
> cross-platforming, using Cubase on a Digi or Pro Tools on the Lexicon
> -- the bundles that are being sold are tailored for each device).
>
> So right now, I'm leaning towards Digidesign, but I'm having a hard
> time "getting over the hump" in moving from the Mbox to a Digi002(R).
> I really want to be able to "put Pro Tools on my resume" as it were but
> I'm concerned that there's no intermediate box between the Mbox and the
> 002R that has MIDI (and, ignorant as I am about such things, I'm
> *assuming* I will need MIDI connections to get the MIDI from the Korg
> KARMA and Yamaha S90 I'm planning on buying) into my Alienware -- does
> that sound right?)
>
> Here's a few more parameters to keep in mind if you are planning on
> providing some advice:
> a. Space is not an issue, or won't be in the future when I buy a house
> b. Money is not too much of an issue, but it quickly could be depending
> on what I wish I could buy
>
> Anyway, I really appreciate any help you old pros could provide for me.
> I'm really looking for all feedback, good, bad or indifferent.
> Many thanks,
> Mike

Hi Mike,

Have you ever considered purchasing a 4 - 8 track open reel recorder and
mixer setup ? It's brutally simple that way, will get you recording right
away and will most probably sound more natural than some of the digital
stuffs that way. Sorry to not have answered your question but it seems
painfully complex what you want to do.

Good luck,

Daniel


>
Anonymous
January 19, 2005 1:23:19 PM

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

I am starting to think that way, but the main reason I suggested the
all-in-one boxes is that it's me just checking out the entry-level
stuff and seeing what they have. To explain what I'm looking for
another way, I am well aware of all the engineering that goes into
studios -- room layout, modes, standing waves, iso booths, etc. but I'm
nowhere near that level and to tell you the truth, I doubt that I ever
will be (if I record something pro, I'll go to the studio). The home
thing is going to be relatively modest but not "cheap". I am still
leaning towards Pro Tools, mostly on the theory that so much pro work
is done with it, it would be a good thing for a non-practicing-engineer
to be able to go into a studio and understand.

Thanks for writing,
Mike
Anonymous
January 19, 2005 1:26:17 PM

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

Just as a point of clarification -- I'm not going to get into too much
detail as far as analyzing a room and so forth. Right now I have a
second bedroom which is my computer room in an apartment, and when I
move again (probably to another apartment and then onto a house), I'll
be faced with those limitations. That's okay. I'm not trying to get
too Right Track Studios on anyone here -- basically, I have heard some
simple setups of friends and they have some entry-level gear that they
can use to pump out mp3s and wavs and you know what? They sound great
for the money. I never buy into the marketing ploys so I am seriously
investigating other options, such as dedicated audio units, MIDI units
(e.g. MOTU), etc. to interface with my computer.
Thanks for writing,
Mike
Anonymous
January 19, 2005 1:29:29 PM

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

Hi Joe,

I'm glad to hear someone with some actual exposure to the products I'm
talking about, so that's a good reference. My view is that an Mbox
system isn't "cheap" and would be just fine, however, I'm starting to
think about the question of having enough inputs is important to me. I
certainly don't want to get everything set up and and put together only
to find out I don't have enough "ins and outs". My only concern is,
while I don't know a lot about MIDI (enough to know the basics), if a
box can't get MIDI from a synth to my computer, I *know* that's going
to be a problem. (Incidentally, the only MIDI devices I'm looking at
are two synths -- Yamaha S90 and Korg KARMA, the latter of the two
contains a built-in sequencer which would allow me to use the drum kits
on either unit as my percussion.)

Thanks for writing,
Mike
Anonymous
January 19, 2005 1:34:37 PM

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

Percussion: Will be all done by the two synths I'm planning on having,
the Yamaha S90 and the Korg KARMA. The latter has a sequencer which
will allow me to control drum kits on either unit. I'm not going to be
recording any live drummers because this is just for my own home use,
and because I'm not at a musical level where I feel comfortable playing
with someone else. (If you knew how much playing I'd done you'd
probably think I was nuts, but I'm very very picky about these sorts of
things...)

Guitar: I'm assuming I can just hook up an output from my Line 6 Vetta
II to "the box" (whatever that ends up being). I really don't want to
fool with mic'ing a guitar amp. They may have done it that way in the
old days but if there's a line out, I'm just going to use that.

Digi/Pro Tools: Just to understand you, you're saying that Pro Tools
will NOT play with anything but Digi hardware. Is that correct? What
about MOTU?

PC: It does have a soundcard, oh boy does it ever. Creative Labs SB
Audigy 2. Smokes, and I believe it does have a MIDI port but I'm *not*
entirely certain.

Jamming: Not so much. I've spent so much time in various apartments I
gave up the idea of being able to play ANYTHING without headphones.
One of these days I'm going to get a house and blow the walls off
practicing nonstop. So right now I'm in my "learning" stage where I'm
learning all of this stuff, especially about recording, so that when it
comes time to record with other people, I won't be figuring it out on
the fly.

Thanks for writing,
Mike
Anonymous
January 19, 2005 3:09:06 PM

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

In article <1106106327.388739.116200@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com> mfeher@stny.rr.com writes:

> I've been a musician for probably two-thirds of my life

> Furthermore,
> I'm an electrical/software engineer so I'm not at all intimidated by
> anything the pro audio world has to offer, given enough time to
> experiment and understand it.

The last part of that sentence nailed it. It will take a lot of time
to experiment and understand it, time that you could be recording -
your real goal here. Some things almost fall together, but it's rare
that you don't spend a couple of weeks pulling your hair, didling with
software configurations, downloading new drivers for the hardware, new
firmware (sometimes updating stuff on your computer like the BIOS -
scary), and updates to the software you're running. Plus most of this
stuff comes with minimal printed documentation, but megabytes of PDFs,
HTMLs, and on-line FAQs, knowledge bases, and forums. That's what
you'll be up against. Got the time?

> I started by looking at the
> smaller units to get my feet wet -- the Lexicon Omega and Digidesign
> Mbox bundles, both available at musiciansfriend.com. Thus far, this is
> what I've decided:
>
> Lexicon Omega
> -------------
> Pros: Inexpensive, small footprint, "just enough" inputs and connection
> types, comes with Cubase
> Cons: Comes with Cubase :)  Just kidding...more on this in a bit.
>
> Digidesign Mbox
> ---------------
> Pros: Inexpensive, small footprint, comes with Pro Tools
> Cons: No MIDI connections, fewer connections than the Omega

Another pro/con is that nobody has much to say about the Omega.
Lexicon makes great reverbs but they've never been very succeessful in
their efforts to break into the recording hardware field. Their
heart's in the right place, but frankly I wouldn't trust 'em over the
long term (which might be only a couple of years). The M-Box is pretty
well established and it's understood that this is the entry level to a
system that has an upgrade path.

> Furthermore, in doing my research, a couple of other things came to
> mind. One, Pro Tools seems to be the gold standard for software,
> although I have heard nothing bad about Cubase or any of the other
> software packages. Two, price-wise, it goes from the relatively modest
> Mbox ($300-$500) to the Digi002R ($1300). That's a lot of shekels!

Aw, geez! That's a trivial amount of shekels. If you're worried about
spending $1300, you should re-think your options.

> So right now, I'm leaning towards Digidesign, but I'm having a hard
> time "getting over the hump" in moving from the Mbox to a Digi002(R).

Then don't, for now. You can have a lot of fun and learn a lot with
the M-Box, and if you find that having more gozintas and gozoutas
would be helpful for your projects, you can move up to the 002R (or
you might even like the 002 with its control surface) and not have to
worry about whether the new hardware will work with your system, and
how to convert projects to work with other software. You can just plug
the new Digidesign hardware in and open any of your old projects.

> I really want to be able to "put Pro Tools on my resume" as it were but
> I'm concerned that there's no intermediate box between the Mbox and the
> 002R

You need to take a step back and look at the larger picture. The 002
series IS the intermediate between the M-Box and ProTools HD.

> I'm
> *assuming* I will need MIDI connections to get the MIDI from the Korg
> KARMA and Yamaha S90 I'm planning on buying) into my Alienware -- does
> that sound right?)

It depends. If you're happy with the sounds of those synths and you're
going to play them live, then you can record them through analog
inputs just like you would a microphone. But if you plan on running a
sequencer on your computer to "play" the synth parts, or if you're
going to use the keyboard as a controller for a "soft synth" which
plays samples stored on your computer, then, yes, you'll need a MIDI
interface. But USB MIDI interfaces are cheap and they work great.

> a. Space is not an issue, or won't be in the future when I buy a house

There are some great buys in large format consoles and analog
recorders today. <g>

> b. Money is not too much of an issue, but it quickly could be depending
> on what I wish I could buy

Most people who say that are prepared to spend at least $5,000 and if
they have to spend $6,000, that's not an issue. But if you're bothered
by the difference between $450 and $1200, money IS an issue.

Have you given any consideration to a stand-alone, integrated hard
disk recorder/mixer? TASCAM has carried their cassette PortaSudio line
into the digital age pretty successfully and now have hard disk
recorders ready to do (no computer needed) for under $500. Roland,
Boss, Zoom, and Fostex are others. The good part about these is that
you don't have to be your own system integrator. The bad part is that
you can't be - it is what it is (other than any updates that might be
offered by the manufacturer). These are designed for the musician who
wants to record, not the software engineer who wants to be a musician.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
January 19, 2005 3:21:05 PM

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

Hi Mike,

I think you've given me the best response so far. Rather than go
point-by-point, let me answer back with some more ideas.

For starters, regarding the money issue, I think I am pretty much
settled that it's going to take a couple grand to get, say, a rack
setup that will do the trick. I actually today for the first time
sketched out what such a rack might look like:

Furman power module
Lexicon MPX550 multi-effects unit (for FX inserts)
Good mic preamp (got any suggestions?)
Audio-USB/FireWire interface box (e.g. MOTU/Digidesign 002R)
MIDI-USB/FireWire interface box (e.g. MOTU/Digidesign 002R)

and from out of all this, a minimum of cabling to get the sound into my
PC.

The jump from, say, $450 to $1200 is not really that much of a problem
-- I was just kind of shocked thinking you go from this "dinky" Mbox to
the 002R and yet the Mbox has so few connections, it seems a bit of a
cheat. I guess I knew all along I'd get pushed in the more $$
direction, but I really don't have the desire to turn into solely an
audio engineer and have a $50k setup, and yet I absolutely *hate* a
cheap, limiting setup, so I'm willing to spend some money in that vast
wasteland between $1k-$50k. Know what I mean?

The thing about the standalone hard-disk recorder doesn't seem too bad
of an idea but the first thing that immediately comes to mind --
because I've looked at these -- is the limitation of a tiny screen
whereas a nice LCD flatscreen like I have now on my system would work
great for Pro Tools-type work. I'm sure I could totally whip up a nice
mix on a standalone but about 10 seconds after I took it home and set
it up I'd say to myself, "Why didn't you just use your Alienware? It's
built specifically for high-end apps and has the high-speed burning
capabilities you want." Plus, I think the computer's going to be, for
now, the centerpiece of the setup.

I have, on the advice of an old work buddy who sells pro audio gear on
the side, looked very closely at the Alesis ADAT, but not close enough
to see for myself how it would work for me. Sure, it's got a lot of
fancy connections and such but when all is said and done, it has 1-2
40GB hard drives for saving my work to. Well, I already have an
internal 250GB drive on the PC and an outboard 120GB drive for backups,
so I have more space already.

I am staying away from DAWs for now because honestly, I have this
mindset at least right now that says, If you have the software package
on the computer, which has all the virtual knobs, sliders and controls,
why would you need a physical DAW? I'm not particularly wedded to real
live equipment (though I am a knob jockey so I totally understand that
mindset). So here's a real question I have for you then: Say I get
interface boxes to get my signals into my computer. Doesn't Pro Tools
then become the software equipment of the DAW (with all the controls)?
In other words, why not take advantage of the computer's power rather
than buying yet another piece of dedicated hardware?

I'm glad you wrote -- please feel free to keep englightening me.
Thanks.

Mike
Anonymous
January 19, 2005 3:42:41 PM

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

> If you're serious about this and have the budget you will put your
>money into good gear, not an MBox or Lexi

We have Pro Tools systems ranging from HD to Mix to Mbox. Aside from the i/o
and the amount of processing available, there's very little you can't do with
an Mbox that you can do with a larger Pro Tools system. Run it on a dual proc
G5 and there is very little you cannot do.

I do agree with you that the room is of paramount importance.


Joe Egan
EMP
Colchester, VT
www.eganmedia.com
Anonymous
January 19, 2005 10:08:39 PM

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

Get a ProTools system, forget Digi002

-bg-

--
Hey Hay! The music's gettin' better all the time at
www.lchb.ca

"Zerex71" <mfeher@stny.rr.com> wrote in message
news:1106106327.388739.116200@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Greetings,
>
> This is my first post to the group and I think I've come to the right
> place based on some Google searches. I've been thinking about putting
> together my own home studio, all digital, for a few years now and only
> lately have been very seriously trying to make sense of all the
> gobbledygook that the digital pro audio/engineering world has to offer
> (especially those cryptic ads where there's a lot of talk and buzzwords
> but after you're done reading, you have no idea what they are trying to
> sell you).
>
> At any rate, I've been a musician for probably two-thirds of my life
> now, have done a little recording work on a four-track of my own and
> have also participated in a few small studio sessions, so I'm no
> stranger to the whole prospect of having my own studio. Furthermore,
> I'm an electrical/software engineer so I'm not at all intimidated by
> anything the pro audio world has to offer, given enough time to
> experiment and understand it.
>
> Ultimately what I am going to do is be recording mostly instrumentals
> -- my saxes, guitars, and synthesizers. So I figure I can get by with
> something that has a fancy mic preamp for the audio stuff, MIDI and
> line ins for the synths, and line ins for the guitars. I don't
> envision this studio being a big thing where a band can actually come
> in, just me messing around, one track/one instrument at a time, and
> perfecting a great mix. :) 
>
> Okay, to get down to brass tacks, what I'm looking for is a
> direct-to-computer (I have a top-of-the-line Alienware system that
> would easily handle digital recording), so I started by looking at the
> smaller units to get my feet wet -- the Lexicon Omega and Digidesign
> Mbox bundles, both available at musiciansfriend.com. Thus far, this is
> what I've decided:
>
> Lexicon Omega
> -------------
> Pros: Inexpensive, small footprint, "just enough" inputs and connection
> types, comes with Cubase
> Cons: Comes with Cubase :)  Just kidding...more on this in a bit.
>
> Digidesign Mbox
> ---------------
> Pros: Inexpensive, small footprint, comes with Pro Tools
> Cons: No MIDI connections, fewer connections than the Omega
>
> Furthermore, in doing my research, a couple of other things came to
> mind. One, Pro Tools seems to be the gold standard for software,
> although I have heard nothing bad about Cubase or any of the other
> software packages. Two, price-wise, it goes from the relatively modest
> Mbox ($300-$500) to the Digi002R ($1300). That's a lot of shekels! So
> the Lexicon is both more attractively priced and has more of the types
> of inputs I think I'd need (I'd call them more generous than Digi) but
> it would put me into the Cubase camp (and I really don't want to try
> cross-platforming, using Cubase on a Digi or Pro Tools on the Lexicon
> -- the bundles that are being sold are tailored for each device).
>
> So right now, I'm leaning towards Digidesign, but I'm having a hard
> time "getting over the hump" in moving from the Mbox to a Digi002(R).
> I really want to be able to "put Pro Tools on my resume" as it were but
> I'm concerned that there's no intermediate box between the Mbox and the
> 002R that has MIDI (and, ignorant as I am about such things, I'm
> *assuming* I will need MIDI connections to get the MIDI from the Korg
> KARMA and Yamaha S90 I'm planning on buying) into my Alienware -- does
> that sound right?)
>
> Here's a few more parameters to keep in mind if you are planning on
> providing some advice:
> a. Space is not an issue, or won't be in the future when I buy a house
> b. Money is not too much of an issue, but it quickly could be depending
> on what I wish I could buy
>
> Anyway, I really appreciate any help you old pros could provide for me.
> I'm really looking for all feedback, good, bad or indifferent.
> Many thanks,
> Mike
>
Anonymous
January 19, 2005 10:08:40 PM

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

On Wed, 19 Jan 2005 14:08:39 -0500, bg** wrote
(in article <XeyHd.126397$Xk.105518@pd7tw3no>):

> Get a ProTools system, forget Digi002
>
> -bg-
>
>

Or don't forget Pro Tools and get a Digi 002.

Ty Ford



-- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
stuff are at www.tyford.com
Anonymous
January 20, 2005 5:08:35 PM

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

On 18 Jan 2005 19:45:27 -0800, "Zerex71" <mfeher@stny.rr.com> wrote:


>
>Ultimately what I am going to do is be recording mostly instrumentals
>-- my saxes, guitars, and synthesizers. So I figure I can get by with
>something that has a fancy mic preamp for the audio stuff, MIDI and
>line ins for the synths, and line ins for the guitars. I don't
>envision this studio being a big thing where a band can actually come
>in, just me messing around, one track/one instrument at a time, and
>perfecting a great mix. :) 
>
>Okay, to get down to brass tacks, what I'm looking for is a
>direct-to-computer (I have a top-of-the-line Alienware system that
>would easily handle digital recording), so I started by looking at the
>smaller units to get my feet wet -- the Lexicon Omega and Digidesign
>Mbox bundles, both available at musiciansfriend.com. Thus far, this is
>what I've decided:
>
You do not have to spend much to get your feet wet, but you do if you
want the best possible signal path ( mic preamps, AD converters, etc)
to record through.Having a decent sounding room to record in, a
seperate room to mix in, and a good pair of reference monitors are
also necessary for the best quality.

>Lexicon Omega
>-------------
>Pros: Inexpensive, small footprint, "just enough" inputs and connection
>types, comes with Cubase
>Cons: Comes with Cubase :)  Just kidding...more on this in a bit.
>
>Digidesign Mbox
>---------------
>Pros: Inexpensive, small footprint, comes with Pro Tools
>Cons: No MIDI connections, fewer connections than the Omega

Any of the audio interfaces on the market in this price range would
allow you to get your feet wet.

>
>Furthermore, in doing my research, a couple of other things came to
>mind. One, Pro Tools seems to be the gold standard for software,
>although I have heard nothing bad about Cubase or any of the other
>software packages. Two, price-wise, it goes from the relatively modest
>Mbox ($300-$500) to the Digi002R ($1300). That's a lot of shekels! So
>the Lexicon is both more attractively priced and has more of the types
>of inputs I think I'd need (I'd call them more generous than Digi) but
>it would put me into the Cubase camp (and I really don't want to try
>cross-platforming, using Cubase on a Digi or Pro Tools on the Lexicon
>-- the bundles that are being sold are tailored for each device).

Pro Tools is fairly easy to use and is the industry standard for a lot
of studios. This does not mean it is the best or the only option.
If you do not plan on taking songs to a bigger studio to mix, then Pro
Tools compatability should not be a concern, unless you want it on
your resume.I personally like many other programs better, including
Samplitude, Nuendo, and Logic Audio platinum.However Logic is only
available for the Mac.
>
>So right now, I'm leaning towards Digidesign, but I'm having a hard
>time "getting over the hump" in moving from the Mbox to a Digi002(R).
>I really want to be able to "put Pro Tools on my resume" as it were but
>I'm concerned that there's no intermediate box between the Mbox and the
>002R that has MIDI (and, ignorant as I am about such things, I'm
>*assuming* I will need MIDI connections to get the MIDI from the Korg
>KARMA and Yamaha S90 I'm planning on buying) into my Alienware -- does
>that sound right?)

The Digi 002R is a decent interface.It will not compare with having
a seperate high end preamp, AD converter though.It is definitely
sufficient for home recording, and provides an asio driver to use it
within other applications.

You may also want to consider other options that exist for home audio.
Stand alone digital recorders like the Roland VS series are decent
studios in a box that will offer portability, but lack in the
expansion options a pc would offer.However some of these boxes are not
made well to connect with external equipment.I did a session for a
band who had a Roland 2480, an Avalon 737, and decent mics.
The only outputs left available to send to external gear were rca
jacks, which totally dergaded the sound sent through them.

You also have the option of using one of the firewire control surfaces
such as the Yamaha 01X which has audio/ midi connections, and also
functions as a mixing surface with motorized faders.I prefer to mix
with faders, although using automation with the keyboard and mouse
is ok once you get used to it.

Another option would be an interface like you mentioned above, and
using a midi controller such as the Tascam US 2400 to mix with.

>
>Here's a few more parameters to keep in mind if you are planning on
>providing some advice:
>a. Space is not an issue, or won't be in the future when I buy a house
>b. Money is not too much of an issue, but it quickly could be depending
>on what I wish I could buy
>
>Anyway, I really appreciate any help you old pros could provide for me.
>I'm really looking for all feedback, good, bad or indifferent.
>Many thanks,
>Mike

You can get decent results with many of the audio interfaces on the
market. I guess what you need to ask yourself is do I want to spend
the extra money to get a totally professional setup, or will the
quality I get from these interfaces be sufficient for my needs.
For most people it will be fine, unless you want the best, most
pristine sound, which will cost much more to accomplish.

Randall
!