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Learning form your experiences. Starting Off.
Old 21st August 2005
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Question Learning form your experiences. Starting Off.

I need advice and hope you can help me.

Like others, I too am not sure how to proceed. I am a song writer and the most inputs I think I need are about 4 (xlrs for my line 6 flextone, xlrs for two mics) The two products I've seen that I am interested in are the Presonus FirePod (Cubase SE) and the Digidesign MBox with ProTools. I have never worked with either and the experience I have is limited using PGMusic.

I see the value of both systems. I recognize that I will need to upgrade (buy a new machine) my Pentium III as well.

So here are my questions and I really appreciate all of your feedback.

1. What computer is the quietest or what features should I look for (laptop or home pc?

2 Is it possible to translate Cubase into ProTools? (I have a friend who has a studio -- he unfortunately lives 8,000 miles away but uses Pro Tools).

3, What have been people's experience with using either system with a laptop?

4. Would I be better off buying a dedicated system like the Yamaha AW16 and then transfer tracts to my computer?

I am really interested in getting quiet as well as a cost-effective solution.

Thank you all for your time and comments. Stefan.
Old 21st August 2005
  #2
Lives for gear
 

heres my two cents....in answer to your points.
pt1...whichever is the quitest depends very much on manufacturer selection and components. desktops can be quite...but youll need to spend some money.
google has lots of info on components/sites re....a quite pc.
laptop positive is mobility. negative can be finding the right usb or firewire sound solution that works flawlessly with the laptop. so you must TEST...before getting the laptop. the negative obviously of desktops is lack of portability. but you can make them into monster processing boxes if you look at things like dual amd 64's and opterons.
pt2...every audio software has its own proprietary song format for saving audio/midi/settings. so unless you are willing to get the same software as your friend has or he is willing to get the same as you have....you will need to send him midi and wave tracks seperately for him to import into pro tools...
if he is unbending. youll need to get pro tools....otherwise you will need to send him *.mid and *.wav files for him to import. you COULD try exchangeing new tracks using stereo mixes in wav format...with two bar clicks on at the start.
and see if that works for you both....ie,,,,,render your midi tracks to wav audio.
do a mix and send it to him. he sends you new tracks back sort of idea.
pt3...most audio software will work with todays laptops. because its a standardised environment. but its still a good idea to TEST...before buying a laptop. where people run into probs with laptops is they use mom or pops old clunker laptop...or try and run too many tracks/plug ins with laptops with slow processors. if your looking at laptops try and get a centrino or amd 64 level machine with 512 to 1 gig ram and a fast internal 7200 rpm drive.
pt4...re..aw16. nice product....but why would you do that if you already have a computer ?
other...stefan i dont know what pg software you use currently...i use powertracks...you mentioned 4 inputs....the cheapest route might be if you already have a desktop pc to add a maudio delta 44 (4 input) pci sound card....
(assuming you have free pci slots)....and your friend load up powertracks....and you exchange *.seq files. this would be very neat and tidy....BUT if your friend is unyielding youll have to get pro tools the same as he has...you might want to check how well pro tools works with the 44 to make sure. like powertracks...
pro tools has its own song storage format which is proprietary.
unfortunately there is no format thats been established yet to transfer between different packages (cubase,sonar,pro tools,logic,powertracks whatever..)a song consisting of audio and midi and track settings/fx settings etc etc. each package uses its own format. so someone has to bend....either you get what your friend has or vice versa.hope this helps.
Old 23rd August 2005
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
roughly's Avatar
 

Check out shuttle i've had some real luck with them. http://www.shuttle.com/
There is a whole sub-culture for the silent computers and forumns like this and the whole thing.


jeffrey
Old 23rd August 2005
  #4
you are a songwriter right? so you need to record your ideas and then you are going to a studio to record these?

well, if you are a songwriter, don't start with cubase & co. if you want to write songs and not updating, reseting your system, reinstalling drivers, crashes with cubase and blah..

I myself would recommend the yamaha AX or something similar. Then you can write songs and keep your computersoul cool

if you wanna go computer, I think you are on limited budget (like you wrote).
my recommondation:
- buy a dell (700$ with monitor)
- get a prosumer-soundcard (ESI-july will do the job, 2 inputs at the same time but you have a mixer and you can do multitrack)
- get a little mixer with microphonepreamps (like the small mackie)
- get some decent monitoring systems (like event 20/20 or similar)
- get Cubase SE (sufficient for your needs)

your PIII is sufficient for cubase VST (the old one). So the ultimate lowcost solution (I don't know on witch budget you are runnin) is: buy a ESI july or a 2496 (somewhere between 70 and 150$) or delta 44 whatever, a mixer (mic-pres, like the small mackies 200$) and the old cubase (ebay or store for 24$!!!),, and you are recording for ~400$.

whatever works
cheers george
Old 23rd August 2005
  #5
Here for the gear
 
mrgreengenes's Avatar
 

Computer recommendations

If you have any aptitude with the workings of PCs, and you end up going the desktop, rather than laptop, route, then I strongly recommend building one yourself rather than going with a Dell.

It'll cost marginally more now, but you'll know exactly what's inside, and be able to upgrade/repair/troubleshoot it yourself without spending frustrating hours on the phone with tech support. Also, when it comes time to upgrade, you'll find more 3rd party interchangable parts will fit your DIY box than will fit a Dell (because of the many non-standard form factor decisions they make).

If your concerned with fan noise (i.e. your PC will be sharing a small room with your tracking and mixing activities), I recommend one of these Antec cases:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1077627381742

We switched over to these recently, and unlike our previous machines, I can't really tell when these are on without turning on the monitor (i.e. no fan noise). LCD monitors are getting cheaper and cheaper daily, so the benefits of the Dell bundle are diminishing.

I've found this place to be a good source for DIY parts (motherboard/CPU combos, high-quality RAM (which is important)), though you can usually find drives cheaper elsewhere by checking pricewatch.com:

www.smksuperstore.com

Anywho, hope this helps,
Gene
Old 23rd August 2005
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Kestral's Avatar
 

Here's a response to the bigger picture question you asked. If I had to do it all over again, I would have:

1. Bought the best gear right away. Pay more upfront and save in the long run. Costs more in money, time and learning curve to upgrade slowly to the top end gear. If I had to do it all over again, I would have bought Apogee converters right away, would have bought Neve pres right away instead of prosumer gear, would have bought the 1176 right away.

2. By doing the above, it also causes you to FOCUS ON THE MUSIC. The gear is only tools to make your music. But many people forget that and become obsessed with gear so then the quest because one for "the ultimate preamp" instead of "the ultimate melody/lyric/riff/chord change". Don't fall into the gear trap. imo the best way to not do so is to buy the best to begin with, that way the decision has been made. Done. Move on to the music.

3. Know your strengths and weaknesses and what you want to do and stick to that. If you're a songwriter who plays guitar and needs a keyboard line, by all means, give it a shot but if you know a great keyboardist who can nail it, then get the keyboardist to nail it and be done with it. Or if you need some cool drum grooves and you suck at it, sometimes it's better to just get a guy who can do it right to do it. You save time and energy for what's really important to you.
Old 23rd August 2005
  #7
Lives for gear
 
mersisblue's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denby21
I need advice and hope you can help me.

Like others, I too am not sure how to proceed. I am a song writer and the most inputs I think I need are about 4 (xlrs for my line 6 flextone, xlrs for two mics) The two products I've seen that I am interested in are the Presonus FirePod (Cubase SE) and the Digidesign MBox with ProTools. I have never worked with either and the experience I have is limited using PGMusic.

I see the value of both systems. I recognize that I will need to upgrade (buy a new machine) my Pentium III as well.

So here are my questions and I really appreciate all of your feedback.

1. What computer is the quietest or what features should I look for (laptop or home pc?

2 Is it possible to translate Cubase into ProTools? (I have a friend who has a studio -- he unfortunately lives 8,000 miles away but uses Pro Tools).

3, What have been people's experience with using either system with a laptop?

4. Would I be better off buying a dedicated system like the Yamaha AW16 and then transfer tracts to my computer?

I am really interested in getting quiet as well as a cost-effective solution.

Thank you all for your time and comments. Stefan.
It sounds to me like this buddy of your will ix the songs you send hime right ?
if so you'll need to make the audio files ALL START at the same location

this makes it extremely easier to import the session . also doing everything in one take as much as you can . I cant comment on quiet PCs . I have good feelings about the focusrite saffire as a sound card .

if you are a vocalist get a decent mic . if you REALLY thiink that you have a good song and want to lay down better vox tkae thge session somewhere that has a really good mic and pres and stuff ....... but I would suggest spending SOME dough on a mic because you'll be laying A LOT of vox down and its good idea to practice technique
and such on a decent condenser

maybe the C-3000 ? ..............just a suggestion
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