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Getting Started With Digital Audio

Recording Setup Recommendations

The second scenario is a recording-centric studio. This purpose of this type of studio would be to record and mix music, where mixing refers to setting the levels of different sounds or instruments so that everything is at the desired volume. One example of a typical user of this setup would be an engineer recording music for bands or vocalists; another would be a band trying to record a demo. Some good programs for this type of work are Sony Vegas, Adobe Audition, Magix Samplitude, Apple Logic, Steinberg Cubase, or Digidesign Pro Tools. Unlike other programs, which will work with almost any audio interface and soundcards, Pro Tools is only for use with a few approved products. Still, it is the de facto audio studio standard for many professional situations.

For the recording enthusiast, I would recommend the Digi 002 Rack made by Digidesign . The $1,200 price tag makes this quite an investment, but since it comes with a bundled version of ProTools LE, lots of high quality bundled plugins, an adapted version of Propellerhead Reason, and lots more, it is an excellent all-in-one solution. Besides the excellent value of the included software, the Digi 002 Rack is an amazing audio interface. The power to simultaneously record 16 audio tracks through Firewire at 96 kHz makes it ideal for a band recording their own demos. The hardware alone is worth the price, and all the included software makes it an exceptional investment.

If you cannot afford that much, don't despair! There are plenty of more affordable solutions. For a more reasonable entry level option, around $300, I recommend this package offered by Lexicon . The included audio interface is called the Omega. This powerful little box allows you to record 24-bit audio at 48 kHz for 4 tracks of audio, and also has two microphone inputs. The bundled software is Steinberg Cubase LE, and Lexicon's Pantheon reverb plugin. Although Cubase isn't as widely used as Pro Tools, it is more than you need to get the job done, and comes with plenty of built in effects and plugins.