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Unread 11-24-2013, 04:24 PM   #1
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Recording at home - tips needed

I'm new to recording and really just want to dabble a bit at home recording guitar tracks and such. I'm not interested in building a "studio" and I don't have thousands of dollars to spend. I have high end guitar gear and effects, but am looking for suggestions on PC software and hardware that I can buy to get me started on the recording front. Any suggestions?

Also, I have a PC and not a Mac (I know that probably puts me at a disadvantage.

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Unread 11-24-2013, 04:46 PM   #2
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There are plenty of decent entry level external soundcards that you can get these days, and getting one of these will provide the biggest increase in recording quality to a home recording setup (inbuilt pc soundcards are bad). I use a tascam US122 mk II, which came with a version of cubase. It's more than sufficient for my needs. It works with both mac and PC (I use PC).

After that, my next step was mics. Looking at your gear chain, I see you have the bigsky which has cab modelling, so you could plug that straight into the soundcard if you get all your drive from pedals. If your amp is important for your sound, then you can't really go wrong with an SM57 for an initial microphone to try.

Beyond that, it's really more about learning to record than anything else. Better gear or software will make marginal improvements compared to the experience gained by spending time practising and recording. There are a number of techniques you can read up about on the net, but they are inconsequential unless you're actually trying them out and seeing whether they work for you.
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Unread 11-25-2013, 09:43 AM   #3
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Thanks. That's super helpful. I just have a few more questions:

1. So using something like the Tascam bypasses my internal soundcard on my PC? Is that correct? The soundcard on my PC is bad.

2. How many tracks can I record at a time? 1?

3. How many tracks can I record altogether? I'm assuming Cubase probably allows for quite a few tracks?

4. Does Cubase work with a drum machine?

Thanks for all the help.
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Unread 11-25-2013, 12:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedalsyndrome
Thanks. That's super helpful. I just have a few more questions:

1. So using something like the Tascam bypasses my internal soundcard on my PC? Is that correct? The soundcard on my PC is bad.
Correct. The Tascam becomes your audio "interface" The method of getting sound in and out of your computer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pedalsyndrome
2. How many tracks can I record at a time? 1?
It appears you can record two tracks at a time. You could for instance plug in a mic to XLR input 1, and a guitar 1/4" signal into the 1/4" input 2 at the same time.
If you wanted to record more than two at a time, you should consider a different interface with more I/O.
This seems like a great starter unit though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pedalsyndrome
3. How many tracks can I record altogether? I'm assuming Cubase probably allows for quite a few tracks?
From the Tascam website:
"The US-122mkII includes a copy of Cubase LE4 from Steinberg. This full-featured recording software captures up to 48 tracks of audio with another 64 MIDI tracks."
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedalsyndrome
4. Does Cubase work with a drum machine?
If you mean pugging a drum machine into the Tascam and recording it, yes you could do that.

A better way is to use VST instrument plug-ins or drum loops to get drum sounds to record over.
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Unread 05-03-2016, 10:21 AM   #5
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The recording revolution is a great website for recording tips and tricks.

When I first found that site, I thought it was a joke. Turns out, it changed everything about how I approach recording and mixing!
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