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FDP Forum / Home Recording Forum / Ejumacate me on PC-based recording, please

wborys
OldFartBassPlayerWalt

Robbinsville, NJ

what do you mean the bass is too loud?
Feb 5th, 2015 10:23 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I read through the 'portastudio is dead' thread. I'm past mourning my TEAC 4 track
reel-to-reel, and I've learned how to coax decent recording from my Akai DPS16 Standalone

BUT I hafta wonder what to do when it finally dies.

I can appreciate the power of recording software (even free stuff like Audacity), but have no clue as the hardware needs for multitrack recording on a PC.

Will I need a dedicated PC, with nothing but
recording software on it?

Will I need special A/D and D/A outboard units?

Will I need special USB 3 interfaces?

Will I have problems with time delays while recording during playback?

Will I have to swap my PC for an Apple and learn new OS interfaces to get a decent mix?

Will I have problems with stuff I can't even anticipate at this moment?

My buddy has a gorgeous full blown system running ProTools, but it was specially built by gamers for his need, and we're talking $10K+.
No way for me..

What say you grizzled veterans?



Juice Nichols
Contributing Member
*****

Panama City, FL

Same ol **** but my hair's longer
Feb 5th, 2015 10:42 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm sure you'll get many varied opinions on what you need. Having a dedicated computer for recording is a good thing, but not a necessity. I'm currently running a MacBook Pro with Pro Tools 11. My computer is not totally dedicated to recording, but I don't have a lot of extraneous BS on it either.

As far as AD/DA conversion, I'm using a Focusrite 18i20 for my interface. It has 8 inputs and I'm going to increase my inputs to 16 channels soon. I record my band with this rig and it works very well. However, I could use 8 channels on drums alone. Hence the need for more inputs. I'll probably end up with 24 channels eventually, but I'm not there yet. What you'll need will be based on how many inputs you need to multi-track.

"Will I need special USB 3 interfaces?"

The Focusrite is USB 2.0 if I'm not mistaken. This is still an area where I'm paying close attention to which direction the industry is going. I think Firewire is on the way out and the lightning connection may be the next thing we'll see as far as connections.

"Will I have problems with time delays while recording during playback?"

Possibly. It all depends how low you can get the latency. This is the main reason I made the switch to Mac. There is almost zero latency when playing virtual instruments or direct monitoring. Something I was never able to achieve with my PC based system. I know plenty of people that have no issues with their PC based systems though.


"Will I have problems with stuff I can't even anticipate at this moment?"

More than likely! ;)




littleuch
Contributing Member
**********
**

Florida

Feb 5th, 2015 11:15 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I use Pro Tools 10 on a HP ProBook 4540s laptop, with an MAudio MBox mini USB interface and an external Glyph harddrive. My unit is not totally dedicated (but it should be). To my knowledge there aren't any consumer grade affordable USB 3.0 audio interfaces yet, so 2.0 is good to go. Latency can be an issue/annoyance, but not insurmountable in my setup. I haven't had any experience with Macs yet, but I don't think a Pro Tools setup (for instance) will produce any better audio with one over the other.

"Will I have problems with stuff I can't even anticipate at this moment?"

Yes. To use an analogy, be prepared to feel like a carpenter who has to go to training to learn a new hammer. I can't handle information overload so I take it in baby steps, and YouTube is a very useful tool.

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member
*****

Panama City, FL

Same ol **** but my hair's longer
Feb 5th, 2015 02:29 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"I don't think a Pro Tools setup (for instance) will produce any better audio with one over the other."

I don't either littleuch.


lockbody
Contributing Member
*****

Birmingham, AL

Everybody loved us, except the people
Feb 5th, 2015 03:08 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I record using an inexpensive ($499) Windows 7 ASUS laptop, to an inexpensive 500GB WD USB drive, using the least expensive 8 mic USB interface you can get, the Tascam US1800, and get excellent results at up to (so far) 26 tracks.

Just about any interface these days allows for direct monitoring where you can balance your recorded input with the playback for basically zero-latency monitoring.

I think the only time you really have to worry about latency is when recording software VST instruments such as guitar/amp sims, synths, etc. If your latency is set too high then you start hearing what you're playing echoing back to you, which can be disconcerting.

Low latency isn't hard to achieve, though, with a new-ish computer, and by doing things such as not having a bunch of programs open other than your recording software, and recording things that need you to set the latency low before piling on the tracks or (especially) the effects.

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
Moderator

When I sin

I sin real good
Feb 5th, 2015 05:39 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Even a baseline $500 laptop as noted these days will be more than adequate for a few track at a time recording.

It's not 2001 in hardware any more.

I can do 24-28 tracks (I can chain in a couple extra interfaces if I needed to) record at once - there's a split off my patchbay for *every* rack unit and mics on each amp and a room mic or three, and....

Since I can't play and mix at the same time, I eliminated the middleman and set it up so I could do it afterwards if levels were in the rough ballpark.

My main interface handles 14 analog and 2 digital tracks at a time. $200ish street.

The default software it came with would have been more than adequate (or Reaper would have worked too) if I wasn't already in a netherworld of odd DAW choices for a decade now.

How much machine you need will be dictated on your needs. Without knowing that, nobody can provide you *the* answer.

If you want ease and are willing to throw a little more money at the equation, talk to one of the Sweetwater reps, they will sell you a complete box that will plug in and work. It won't be cheap but, it will be easy.

jhawkr
Contributing Member
**********
**********
****

Wichita, KS USA

It's all gravy from here on...
Feb 27th, 2015 07:53 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I was thinking I could mic everything and run it through my Mackie FXPro16 which has a USB output which I could run to a computer. Is this where the "latency" issue might come in to play?

Achase4u

U.S. - Virginia

Feb 27th, 2015 05:08 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

There will definitely be latency, but it may not be an issue depending on how you record.

If the Mackie has monitoring on it, it's probably "direct monitoring" which means you can hear the audio from your mic coming in without an appreciable delay. If connected via USB as an interface, it should play your PC recorded media to you as well. I avoid latency is this way when recording.

Now if you want effects running in your DAW and need to monitor that... good luck.


reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
Moderator

When I sin

I sin real good
Mar 1st, 2015 10:39 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It also depends on how sensitive you are to latency and how low it is.

< 5ms is attainable in modern interfaces, and that's on par with some of the long cable runs and room sizes I've used in the past.

FDP Forum / Home Recording Forum / Ejumacate me on PC-based recording, please




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