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  • Need advice regarding recording equipment

    Hey there, thank you for taking time to read/respond to my post, I’m not sure I posted this in the right forum spot but oh well. I’m looking at purchasing my some recording equipment for the first time, I’m looking at buying the Focusrite Scarlett solo studio pack(gen3), for the interface, and a refurbished Dell Inspiron 5391 laptop(included in link)

    Is there anything else I need to start recording? I have all my instruments, I’m just not sure what else I’ll need in terms of editing software, amp plug ins, software to edit my voice, drum machines. And does anyone know the interface and laptop should be sufficient? I honestly have no ideal what I’m doing here, so any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated.

    oh I guess I should include I mostly play, garage rock, blues, some country, and metal. Kind of all over the place musically.

    -Mike
    Seller Refurbished is Dell's highest grade of refurbished systems, submitted to a rigorous refurbishing process, to achieve Dell's exacting quality and performance standards. These previously-owned products could have observable minor blemishes that do not affect performance, or could look as good as new. <br /> <br />At Dell, every refurbished computer is audited multiple times during this process to ensure it meets Dell’s quality and performance standards. Refurbishment involves a comprehensive, meticulous repair and inspection process to ensure these computers meet our standards for new products. Our systems undergo detailed testing to confirm the system includes the correct components and that all of those components are functioning like new.

  • #2
    Sounds like a fine setup for recording a single track at a time.
    What is the plan for getting your guitar sound into the interface? Are you going to mic an amp or perhaps run your pedals into an amp sim? Both are good, but obviously the latter requires a good amp sim plugin, and the former requires the ability to play relatively loudly. For mic'd sounds you'll probably want a preamp and compressor plugin minimum. I would try the plugins included first. You can also find a ton of free plugins online. If you want to buy, I recommend Waves plugins they're all I use.

    I've been recording for several years and pretty much only use my pedals into amp sims because it's so easy. If I were recording final tracks for a project I would definitely mic my Super Sonic, but for ideas and demos amp sims are great. Hope this helps.

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    • #3
      For DAWs, I always recommend the following based on my own experience. Most DAWs these days do the basic work well, so your choice then is pretty much about what extra features you want and how much you want to pay.

      Reason: highly functional, extremely fun, amazing amount of built-in effects, instruments, and loops. You'll never need VSTs or 3rd party plugins.
      Reaper: functional, inexpensive.
      Presonus Studio One: functional, inexpensive.
      Ableton Live: magical for doing live looping and on-the-fly triggering, but confusing interface and non-intuitive approach to the windows should discourage anyone not trying to do the looping and triggering.
      Originally posted by crusty philtrum
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      • #4
        A great program to start with (and the price is right, too) is Waveform Free.
        Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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        • #5
          Get 16GB in that laptop if at all possible, you'll be thankful you did. If you plan on adding it later make sure it supports 16 and isn't maxed out at 8

          Download Cakewalk from Bandlab, it's free and amazing

          Focusrite is fantastic, register it and grab all the free plugins they offer thru their partners. Lotsa great free ones on the web too

          Then watch Creative Sauce on youtube, great tutorials on using Cakewalk. Does a really good one on tuning your laptop for audio production. A must really.

          Oh and SSD drives are great but turn off all the power management on it and get a small backup drive and off load unused stuff regularly. CCleaner Free is good for keeping it running well too
          Last edited by Wattage; 01-14-2021, 08:34 PM.
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          • #6
            I recommend getting 1 dynamic mic and 1 condenser mic and figure out how to use them. Those are the 2 basic types. Dynamic mics handle more volume but are less detailed. Condensers have the most detail but can max out or sound brittle if set up bad. So there's a benefit to both types.
            The things that you wanted
            I bought them for you

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            • #7
              Condenser mikes seem to be better for getting a good room sound. I use a pair of large diaphragm condensers for live stereo recording of band practice and they do pretty well. Dynamics are better for close miking amps for track recording. I suppose a condenser would be good for vocal tracks.
              What I would like to learn how to use is a ribbon mike.

              Sent from my SM-A115A using Tapatalk

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              • #8
                I just use one condenser for everything including close micing my guitar amp. It works for me because I play quietly and it gives me the most accurate sound. Although I know it may not be ideal for everyone. It's all I need, laptop, interface, condenser.
                The things that you wanted
                I bought them for you

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                • #9
                  It's great if you are playing quietly. Would probably work well for an acoustic too.
                  It's similar to cooking. You have to find out what works best as far as techniques go, for you.

                  Sent from my SM-A115A using Tapatalk

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Demanic View Post
                    Condenser mikes seem to be better for getting a good room sound.
                    Actually, condenser microphones are no more sensitive to picking up a room's acoustics than dynamic microphones.
                    Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
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                    • #11
                      Thank you all for the reply’s, I appreciate all the input. I do have a couple of more questions though, can someone explain what exactly a DAW, and what purpose it serves? Also is there any good programs or plug ins to get vocal effects, Like compression, reverb, and things of that nature? And my final question, is I assume that I would need to mix my songs once I actually record all the individual instruments, is that additional softer ware? Thanks again for all the responses.

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                      • #12
                        A DAW is a multi-track recording program. Usually they come with basic effects like EQ, compression and reverb. A DAW allows you to record multiple tracks (both audio and MIDI) and mix them down to a 2 track format to burn onto a CD or put online as an MP3.
                        Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mshiple4 View Post
                          ... can someone explain what exactly a DAW, and what purpose it serves?
                          Digital Audio Workstation. A software program that serves the same function as having a studio mixing desk, multi-track studio tape recorder, and some outboard rack effects. AVID ProTools is an industry standard, but there are dozens of DAW options. From Garage Band (included with any Apple product) to Audacity, Logic, Cubase, etc.

                          The main industry-standard plug-ins I've used for EQ, compression, reverb effects, etc. are Waves and Universal Audio. Some other vendors are AVID and IK Multimedia. For 'virtual' instruments there's Ableton, Native Instruments, Synthogy, GForce, in addition to the previous companies. AVID and Ableton also have software that serves as your DAW.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Demanic View Post
                            Condenser mikes seem to be better for getting a good room sound. I use a pair of large diaphragm condensers for live stereo recording of band practice and they do pretty well. Dynamics are better for close miking amps for track recording. I suppose a condenser would be good for vocal tracks.
                            What I would like to learn how to use is a ribbon mike.

                            Sent from my SM-A115A using Tapatalk
                            Not sure where you are at in your studio journey, but FWIW I'll just say my knowledge and experience...

                            The pro of ribbons is, being pure figure-8 polar pattern, they have excellent off-axis rejection. So you can put two sources 180 degrees on the mic and have a third / fourth source in the room 90 degrees off the sides of the mic but the side sources won't really get picked up by the mic, (other than from room reflections.) A figure-8 is also a mandatory component for doing Mid-Side recording and Blumlein Pair stereo recording. Mid-side allows controlling the amount of room sound on mix-down just by varying the level of the mid microphone. Blumlein gets more room sound than X/Y mics and collapses to mono with less phase cancellation artifacts than A/B or ORTF; same as X/Y collapses to mono without phase cancellation artifacts.

                            The con of ribbons IME is they tend to be low-powered and require a pre-amp with more gain than is typical, which requires having a very clean, quiet, low-noise but higher gain pre amp (and as much as possible, low-noise ribbon mic to start with). The ribbon mics I happen to own tend to have unique frequency responses, generally a touch dark on the top end, but perfect for certain sources. Great on drums and certain guitar sources. Sometimes great for backing vocals or other backup parts, since the mic signature doesn't step on lead parts done with a large diaphragm mic.

                            IME I think the ability to get a good room sound has more to do with the polar patterns and frequency response of the particular mic, coupled with the room sound itself. I've gotten a great reverby room sound off an SM57 before. Sometimes a good large diaphragm condensor is too good, the room sound steps all over the mix and I have to EQ it or process it to have less fidelity to sit back in the mix.

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                            • #15
                              I have to say , some of the modern Tascam DAW Workstations look like a super effective and easy solution for people who don't want to wrestle with subscriptions, keeping PC up to date, versioning and compatibility.

                              Tascams got a new 8 track pocket sized DAW out this year... amazing.

                              Something to consider.
                              “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

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