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thomas3010

what do i need to start little home studio

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Posted · Original PosterOP

what do i need to start little home studio say just plugging my keyboard and guitar into pc but get nice loud sound back out to 

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2 minutes ago, thomas3010 said:

what do i need to start little home studio say just plugging my keyboard and guitar into pc but get nice loud sound back out to 

Well, you need a sound card, that's for sure. Loud speakers. If you want to record, grab a discreet microphone. Soundproof panels on your walls would be excellent as well.

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2 minutes ago, thomas3010 said:

i was looking at this 

 

 

motu  microbook2  will i need a soundcard as well 

 

 

You have enough ports on your PC, right? Because if you don't, you probably need a sound card. And if your signal isn't strong enough, get a pre-amp. I'm not very much of a sound guy, so you might have success on audiophile forums.

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So the basis of any recording is the source, the input, the workflow and the output, along with this you'll want a decent monitoring solution.

 

The source: you said you have a keyboard and a guitar, but it's a safe bet you'll want a decent mic at some point. A large diaphragm condenser is a good solution for most applications. At the high end the SM7B is always popular, the Rode NT1 is a safe bet, the AT2020 is a decent low end alternative.

 

Input (or audio interface): a good multi input interface like the Motu Microbook 2, Scarlett 2i4 / 6i6 means you can record multiple tracks at a time. this will get better results than pluging directly into the PC as you get a proper preamp and the ability to provide phantom power. Most use a single usb 2 or 3.0 connection.

 

Workflow: basically the program you use to edit and mix the tracks together. Logic, ableton live, cubase are paid options. on the cheap audacity isn't a bad idea or have a look at http://www.musictech.net/2015/10/the-5-best-freeware-daws/

 

Output: the final export of the track. depending on what media you use you'll export to different encoding methods (LPCM for CD, WAV for digital...). Higher quality is better, but different distribution channels will want different things.

 

Monitoring: While you're making the track you want to know how it sounds. A decent pair of headphones will only get you so far, a decent pair of monitors will sound much more like the end product than headphones of the same price. you can spend as much on this and still be able to improve it but decent options on the cheap are mackie CR3 or CR4, M-Audio  AV42.

 

1 hour ago, anybodykek said:

Soundproof panels on your walls would be excellent as well.

Adding sound dampening will help to reduce unwanted natural echoes from the room, and reduce outside noise. Cheaper than buying panels you could try hanging towels over the walls and adding other absorbent materials over hard surfaces.

1 hour ago, anybodykek said:

You have enough ports on your PC, right? Because if you don't, you probably need a sound card.

A sound card won't really help as it won't provide much if any input options. A USB interface is a much better option.

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Dunno why people are recommending a sound card.

 

You need a recording interface like the Scarlet Solo, for example. To use your keyboard, you can either plug it into a recording interface, or if you don't already own one you could buy a keyboard with midi out (if yours doesn't already have it) and use it that way. I hope you can more explain what you mean by "get a nice loud sound back out to"?

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5 hours ago, Kloaked said:

Dunno why people are recommending a sound card.

 

You need a recording interface like the Scarlet Solo, for example. To use your keyboard, you can either plug it into a recording interface, or if you don't already own one you could buy a keyboard with midi out (if yours doesn't already have it) and use it that way. I hope you can more explain what you mean by "get a nice loud sound back out to"?

This.  You don't need a sound card and in fact it won't do a damn thing for you since you NEED an interface and to do any kind of editing or mixing you will need to run software for that.  I would start by looking at a Scarlett 2i2 or 2i4 depending on what you think you'll need. 

 

As for "sound out" you will want to be plugging a pair of reference headphones into your interface so that you're not deafening people, and for recording purposes you will likely want to investigate one of the digital amps.  You *can* record from a live amp but you're going to want an entirely different microphone for that than recording vocals in *most* cases unless all you want is a "live" sound.

 

When it comes to recording vocals what you want is a good condenser microphone, either a bathroom or closet and a blanket.  Forget fancy padding and big bulky "shields", those are worthless and don't work as well but cost a ridiculous amount more.  If you really need something more than what I've suggested then you either need to build a real studio or pay for studio time at a local music place.

 

For a vocal mic I went with the Rode NT1-A, for the money it seemed to be the best value and it's great.  A huge step up from a Blue Snowball, it really delivers a quality sound.  I definitely recommend a floating arm/shock mount for it, but make sure you get a decent one because between the shock mount and mic it's HEAVY. 

 

For recording audio: Audacity.  It's free and is more than sufficient to get you started.  Don't bother with anything else until you're making money with music.

 

edit: for what it's worth I know someone who handled professional voice actors and many of them would record in their closets and bathrooms with a blanket over their heads/microphone to dampen reflections and nothing else.

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5 minutes ago, aithos said:

As for "sound out" you will want to be plugging a pair of reference headphones into your interface so that you're not deafening people, and for recording purposes you will likely want to investigate one of the digital amps.  You *can* record from a live amp but you're going to want an entirely different microphone for that than recording vocals in *most* cases unless all you want is a "live" sound.

There are free guitar VSTs to get any kind of sound you want. There are also paid ones which sound better, like BiasFX or stuff from Joey Sturgis (Toneforge). That way you can go DI.

 

5 minutes ago, aithos said:

For recording audio: Audacity.  It's free and is more than sufficient to get you started.  Don't bother with anything else until you're making money with music.

I'd actually recommend using Reaper. You can use it for free even though they say it costs $60 for normal use. It's more of a "pay when you can" type of thing - like an honor system.

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4 minutes ago, Kloaked said:

There are free guitar VSTs to get any kind of sound you want. There are also paid ones which sound better, like BiasFX or stuff from Joey Sturgis (Toneforge).

Yep, this is what I do for my guitar.  I use Amplitube and it has a free version and varying levels of "paid" options.  I've been able to recreate most of the sounds I want and if I really wanted to I could buy pedals to do even more.

Quote

 

I'd actually recommend using Reaper. You can use it for free even though they say it costs $60 for normal use. It's more of a "pay when you can" type of thing - like an honor system.

I've heard good things about Reaper but since I've never used it I didn't want to recommend it. 

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1 minute ago, aithos said:

Yep, this is what I do for my guitar.  I can't remember the name of the one I use but it has a free version and varying levels of "paid" ones.  I've been able to recreate most of the sounds I want and if I really wanted to I could buy pedals to do even more.

They have a free, regular and a pro version which unlocks more effects. They've also got expansion packs which are useless imo.

2 minutes ago, aithos said:

I've heard good things about Reaper but since I've never used it I didn't want to recommend it. 

It's really good for being as cheap as it is. I would argue it's all anyone needs.

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