setting up a small computer based studio at home

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

Hi.

I've been dabbling with music for a little while now, and the PC i have
has effectively died so i'm planning to get a new one and invest in
some new equipment but i need some advice on my best options.

The PC will be something in the region of a 3ghz P4, with 1gb ram. I
already have a USB keyboard, and have been happily using this with some
free software and plugins (computer muzys, packaged with a UK music
magazine) to produce tracks. I'm not planning to upgrade to any more
advanced software at this point but what i want to do now is record my
vocals and acoustic guitar and load these into my tracks.

My main questions:

1) what sort of mic should i invest in? I don't plan to record the
vocals and guitar simultaneously.

2) what is my best option in terms of a soundcard/interface in order to
record these? Do i need a preamp, or a mixer, or is there one small
piece of kit i can buy that will do all this for me?

my budget isnt lavish. ideally i'd like to get a mic and whatever i
need in addition to record from that onto the computer for under
£200uk.

3) Up until now I've used pc speakers to monitor as i mix. I realise
this probably isnt ideal. Any recommendations for a low budget solution
to improve on that?

any help would be greatly appreciated

Matt
3 answers Last reply
More about setting small computer based studio home
  1. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    <matthewcr@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1107452847.194705.125290@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...

    > any help would be greatly appreciated

    http://groups.google.com/

    http://www.recording.org

    http://www.homerecording.com/bbs/

    http://www.gearslutz.com/board/index.php3?s=

    http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/i/0

    http://messageboard.tapeop.com/index.php

    John LeBlanc
    Houston, TX
  2. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    matthewcr@gmail.com wrote:
    > 1) what sort of mic should i invest in? I don't plan to record the
    > vocals and guitar simultaneously.

    [given that you're on a budget]
    Any of the cheap Chinese made mics you can buy now that are ridiculously
    good value for money. A few years ago I got Rode NT1 but there's dozens
    to choose from since then. Anything but a C1000S!

    > 2) what is my best option in terms of a soundcard/interface in order to
    > record these?

    M-Audio Audiophile 2496. A definite step up from any Creative Labs kit
    at an affordable price.

    > Do i need a preamp, or a mixer

    You don't want to use a sound card's built in mic preamp. For just 1 mic
    you'll need an external mic preamp. M-Audio again - the Audio Buddy
    is good value but make sure your mic (if you choose a condenser) will
    work with the AB's substandard phantom power. (IOW ask to try them out
    together in the shop if you can)

    > or is there one small
    > piece of kit i can buy that will do all this for me?
    Probably better separating sound card from Mic preamp.

    > my budget isnt lavish. ideally i'd like to get a mic and whatever i
    > need in addition to record from that onto the computer for under
    > £200uk.

    UK? Get it all from your nearest Digital Village! You budget doesn't
    leave room for much in the way of a decent mic.

    > 3) Up until now I've used pc speakers to monitor as i mix. I realise
    > this probably isnt ideal. Any recommendations for a low budget solution
    > to improve on that?

    PC speakers are usually rubbish. On your budget, a perfectly good
    upgrade is any consumer amplifier and speakers from your nearest Richer
    Sounds. Just hook your sound card oputput to any input on the amp with a
    suitable cable. My PC has a Cambridge A1 hooked up to HHB Circle 3
    speakers (nice but out of your price range perhaps).

    A neat alternative is powered ("active") monitors but they will be
    expensive.

    Don't expect studio quality, but if PC speakers are an indication of
    what you're used to you'll be suprised at the improvement.

    --
    Anahata
    anahata@treewind.co.uk -+- http://www.treewind.co.uk
    Home: 01638 720444 Mob: 07976 263827
  3. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    >1) what sort of mic should i invest in? I don't plan to record the
    >vocals and guitar simultaneously.
    >
    >2) what is my best option in terms of a soundcard/interface in order to
    >record these? Do i need a preamp, or a mixer, or is there one small
    >piece of kit i can buy that will do all this for me?

    At that price, the M-Audio Audiophile 2496 pci is a no-brainer. Well
    under £100. Then a small mixer (probably Behringer) for about the
    same or a little more. This will give you mic inputs with phantom
    power. Buy one specifically designed for home recording. You need
    to listen to already-recorded tracks while monitoring and recording a
    new track, maybe switchable between speakers and headphones. There
    are mixers designed with routing specifically suited to this task.
    They are WELL worth the extra few pennies.

    >
    >my budget isnt lavish. ideally i'd like to get a mic and whatever i
    >need in addition to record from that onto the computer for under
    >£200uk.

    You haven't left much budget for a mic. Try one of the new breed of
    cheap large-diaphragm Chinese condenser mics if you want a flattering
    vocal sound. A small-diaphragm condenser mic is more accurate and
    maybe ultimately more use.

    >
    >3) Up until now I've used pc speakers to monitor as i mix. I realise
    >this probably isnt ideal. Any recommendations for a low budget solution
    >to improve on that?


    Your present hi-fi system?

    CubaseFAQ www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm
    "Possibly the world's least impressive web site": George Perfect
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