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recording with a computer questions...

3/27/1999 11:21 PM
nic recording with a computer questions...
Where should I begin if I want to start using my pc for editing and recording purposes? What software, hardware and such???  
3/28/1999 7:07 AM

I'm using my "stock" soundcard (for the time being), but a good card designed for recording audio _well_ is very important. I'm leaning towards the Event elctronics cards at the moment (Gina/Darla/Layla) You need a good bit of RAM (I'd say 64MB min) if you really want to get going. Software wise, I'm using shareware for the time being until I figure out what I'm doing studio-wise.  
I'm using Cool Edit '96 which allows 2 track editing/recording/some fx. I've used this to record my old albums onto HD and then to CD for example. The one multitrack program I've used the most (so far) is ntrack. It's very likely that I'll purchase both ntrack and cool edit (pro) shortly (they're cheap and they work!). Ntrack allows multitrack recording, eq, etc. It looks good, works well, and I've also heard good things about it from others. My biggest gripe is that it just reminds you to register it about every other mouse click in shareware form. Very irritating.  
It seems from here (my POV) that the single biggest throughput issue is the hard disk, so if you can swing SCSI II or III, do it. Processor speed seems most tied to plug-ins (real time fx etc) With the price of the PII's plumeting this year as the PIII's etc come out, I'm sure a nice machine can be built for <$1000 if you wait a little while longer.  
so the short answer IMO is download ntracks for recording, and just use your existing soundcard until you get "settled" and know what you want/your budget/etc.
3/28/1999 11:39 AM

Where do you get these programs at?  
3/28/1999 9:04 PM

I got N-tracks from Harmony Central, and I think Cool Edit was at ZD net. Both cost about $30 to register and get the full versions. A serious bargain if you think about it..
3/29/1999 1:41 AM
Power Tracks Pro is also $30 and very to use. It has many of the features of much more expensive program
3/29/1999 6:21 AM

If you want to do overdubs, you'll need a soundcard that is FULL DUPLEX (that can playback and record simultaneously). Make sure that it is hardware full duplex - in some cards the full duplex operation is a "trick" of the software driver. Also make sure that it can operate in full duplex with its highest quality mode (16 bit 44.1 kHz).  
You'll will need a large (at least 2 Gigabytes) and fast HD. While SCSI is recommended, I have good results with IDE drives. I like the Western Digital Caviar series. Don't use Stacker, DoubleSpace, DriveSpace, and turn off virus scanning, Fast Find, e-mail clients, etc. when recording. It's a good idea to have a separate drive just for audio.  
You'll need the fastest processor you can afford and lots of memory. A Pentium with 32M is a good starting point.  
You'll need a couple of microphones (and a mic stand). For electric guitar the most obvious choice is a SM-57. For vocals and acoustics, I think the RS PZM is a good and cheap option.  
Usually, it's better to use an external mic preamp instead of the soundcard's (noisy) built-in preamp. A pre with soft limiting or compressor is desirable. You may try building a tube preamp...  
A little-imp and some Y cables are always useful.  
You'll need a multitrack recording software. If you want to record a mix of sequenced (synth) stuff and audio you'll need a software that can sync midi tracks to audio tracks. Cakewalk does it and I think N-Tracks will do it.  
You'll need some "FX" and audio processing software. This kind of software sometimes comes as "plug-ins" for your recording software. Cool Edit has a broad range of FX and editing capabilities.  
You can look for demos in the Harmony Central site.
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