The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Home Studio Requirements Audio Interfaces
Old 13th March 2009
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Home Studio Requirements

Hi I'm preparing to record my first album this year and in preparation I am doing some pre-production recording on my laptop. At the moment my direction is to buy a Rode M3 to plug straight into computer (it doesn't require phantom power). The recording software I intend to use would be a basic version of Protools or something along those lines.
Has anyone else been in a similar situation who can suggest my best option, and if I would be best purchasing a audio interface, if so- which one? (keeping in mind this will only be pre-production)
Thanks.
Old 13th March 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
dhiltonlittle's Avatar
 

depending on how basic you want to get an mbox and sm58 should be fine.
Old 13th March 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
 
sleeper1400's Avatar
 

save your money and pay someone else to do it.

are you an artist or an engineer?

here is my advice.

work on your songs, practice and arrange them.
get them down so you can play them flawlessly everytime.
then book 20 hours at a proffesional studio and be done with it.

it may cost as much as 2000 bucks.
but its a lot cheaper than buying a mic,software, and learning how to mix
============

i know you say this is for pre production, so assuming you going to take it to a
bigger studio l8r on....the mixing engineer (me) is going to have to undo your mistakes and waste several 5 hours getting them tight.

trust me bro.
i do this stuff about once a week.
someone comes in with the home recordings and there all distorted, bassy, phased out.reverb or delay on every channel instead of an aux, tracks in no decipherable order (1vox,2kik,3gtr,4snare,5bkvox,6bkvoxb,7bass,),EQ's all over the place(12db boosts on 55hertz) not to mention the nonsense i/o order that needs to be changed over and over between diffrent studios.


a studio has the mics,the rooms, the gear and the EXPERIENCE to do the job right.
you'll BE BLOWN away by how good you sound.

think about it, a rode3 is an ok mic, im sure.
but a sonyc800 that runs for about 8 grand is gonna sound a lot better.
furthermore, maybe your voice sounds best on a 414. maybe a tlm103? maybe a senheiser?
microphones are paintbrushes. you shouldnt be deciding on a mic "because it doent need phantom power"


be hoest, who do you think is gonna record you better?
you at home.... or the 50 year old guy with 600,000 bucks in equipment that has been recording since the 70's?

sorry i may be comming off as harsh.
but i see this happen on a regular basis.
Old 13th March 2009
  #4
Gear Head
 
Unagi's Avatar
 

You need an audio interface. Any version of protools you get will require a dedicated interface--an mbox at the very least.

Aside from that, the sound you'll get from a mic plugged directly into your computer will be really, really bad.

If you are on a Mac, you should have Garageband bundled with OS X. It's a decent program, and far more than you'll need if you are considering plugging a mic directly into your computer.

Other DAW software to look into migh include Reaper or Logic Express; or an audio interface that comes bundled with Cubase LE.

Depending on what you mean by "preproduction" you might be able to get away with using a recordable discman or something like that as a preamp for recording vox and acoustic guitar into whatever DAW you're using (my buddy used to do that with garageband.) If you are primarily just using the laptop as a sketchpad/songwriting tool, that might be sufficient. Bu if you want anything you record to be usable down the line you'll need a decent audio interface.

You'll also want to look into room treatment.

You can find a ton of info here on this site and elsewhere on the web about setting up a basic home studio. Unfortunately, there's a little more to even a "home studio" than just a laptop and a mic.stike

Good luck with the album.
Old 13th March 2009
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Thanks guys. Sleeper1400 I will be spending the money to record in a proffesional studio, but first i'm doing some recording/practice for a while to really get to know the songs well, find how to best record them and how they work (I've never had the ability to record multi-tracks in order to create quality samples and creative versions of my songs). I have Dell laptop, if i buy an mbox (or something in the likes), with a decent mike, with a program like protools, will I get a good, easy working system to prepare for the studio?
Thanks, I appreciate it.
Old 13th March 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 
sleeper1400's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hevydz View Post
Thanks guys. Sleeper1400 I will be spending the money to record in a proffesional studio, but first i'm doing some recording/practice for a while to really get to know the songs well, find how to best record them and how they work (I've never had the ability to record multi-tracks in order to create quality samples and creative versions of my songs). I have Dell laptop, if i buy an mbox (or something in the likes), with a decent mike, with a program like protools, will I get a good, easy working system to prepare for the studio?
Thanks, I appreciate it.
i doesnt seem like your listening to what im typing.....

ie."but first i'm doing some recording/practice for a while to really get to know the songs well, find how to best record them and how they work (I've never had the ability to record multi-tracks in order to create quality samples and creative versions of my songs"

you want to get recording and practice to know the songs well...
ok, fair enough.
but you DONT need to know the best way to record them..
thats the ENGINEERS job.
you also say you never had the ability to mulitrack?
so what? you dont need quality examples YOU ARE THE EXAMPLE!

did this stop you from writing songs before?

I have Dell laptop, if i buy an mbox (or something in the likes), with a decent mike, with a program like protools, will I get a good, easy working system to prepare for the studio?
Thanks, I appreciate it.


seriously, its SO MUCH MORE than just an mbox and a laptop.
no.no.no,no,no!
this will DO NOTHING to prepare you for a studio.

you wanna prepare for a studio?
go visit some real studios in your area, and ask for a tour.
100% will be happy to show you around.
perhaps their client list has some bands your a fan of(seriously)

hang out and see if the vibe is good.
then record there!


could any fellow engineers back me up on this?


IM A NICE GUY!
i just dont want to see you bang your head "learning things the hard way"
Old 13th March 2009
  #7
Lives for gear
 
larry b's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hevydz View Post
Hi I'm preparing to record my first album this year and in preparation I am doing some pre-production recording on my laptop. At the moment my direction is to buy a Rode M3 to plug straight into computer (it doesn't require phantom power). The recording software I intend to use would be a basic version of Protools or something along those lines.
Has anyone else been in a similar situation who can suggest my best option, and if I would be best purchasing a audio interface, if so- which one? (keeping in mind this will only be pre-production)
Thanks.
It's only going to be pre-production if you are preparing/recording audio to be taken into the studio and edited/mixed/mastered.

If you just want to practice recording at home for the big day when you record at your studio of choice, you are simply practicing recording.

With that said, im opposed to sleeper1400's view that it would be a pointless effort.

Most studios use pro tools right?

So if you know a bit about pro tools, how tracks are laid out, how the grid works, how editing is accomplished, etc, you may actually be a bit more prepared when you go bigtime in the studio.

While i agree that there's much more to a full production facility than an mbox and a microphone, now is a better time than any in the history of recording music to be able to have a little slice of the bigtime at your own house, on your own computer.

For me it would be an expense vs. returns situation.

I'd be all for spending 3-500 bucks on an mbox and a mic just so i could learn the basics and see how pro tools works and maybe get used to having a sensitive condenser mic in my face.

Once you start dropping big wads of money on mic preamps and converters and room treatment and all that you've reached the point where you need to consider if spending that money on a professional recording at a studio would better serve your purpose and goals.

There's nothing wrong with learning, right guys?
Old 13th March 2009
  #8
Lives for gear
 
jimcroisdale's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hevydz View Post
Thanks guys. Sleeper1400 I will be spending the money to record in a proffesional studio, but first i'm doing some recording/practice for a while to really get to know the songs well, find how to best record them and how they work (I've never had the ability to record multi-tracks in order to create quality samples and creative versions of my songs). I have Dell laptop, if i buy an mbox (or something in the likes), with a decent mike, with a program like protools, will I get a good, easy working system to prepare for the studio?
Thanks, I appreciate it.
I say go for it. I'm doing exactly the same thing at the moment. Sometimes you don't know how the track will sound best until you reord it and listen back.

And there's nothing wrong with an Mbox for your purposes.

Have fun, learn enough to get it done and explore the potential of your music.

Cheers,

Jim
Old 13th March 2009
  #9
Lives for gear
 
tropicalhotdog's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimcroisdale View Post
I say go for it. I'm doing exactly the same thing at the moment. Sometimes you don't know how the track will sound best until you reord it and listen back.

And there's nothing wrong with an Mbox for your purposes.

Have fun, learn enough to get it done and explore the potential of your music.

Cheers,

Jim
+1

I don't think he's trying to learn how to be a pro engineer, so why the smack down from some of you? There's no question that learning how to lay down some simple tracks on your own can be tremendously useful for songwriting, arranging and preparing for the studio.

hevydz - don't be put off by anyone telling you to "just leave it to the pros." Yes, when it comes time to record something that you plan on letting the public or the industry listen to, then absolutely go to a pro. But there's nothing I can think of that's more rewarding and fun (and bank account draining) than getting into the whole home recording scene and gradually increasing your recording skills. And depending on the kind of music you do, it might be crazy to NOT do it.

An MBox is how a lot of people get started, so go for it and then just start to read up on techniques. Mix, EQ, Recording, Sound on Sound magazines are good places to start (ignore the gear reviews which are mostly always positive; this forum will give more objective -- or at least openly subjective -- advice on gear), then Tape Op once you get to know your way around a bit. A good book is The Mixing Engineers Handbook, but search GearSlutz for other recommendations. You don't need expensive gear to learn basic skills. It's better to learn to use the entry-level stuff to its full potential before moving on to the pricier prosumer level gear.

And when you have questions, the Search function on Gearslutz will be your best friend.
Old 13th March 2009
  #10
Lives for gear
 
BudgetMC's Avatar
+2

And don't forget the Lava Lamp. Ya GOTTA have a Lava Lamp!



Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicalhotdog View Post
+1

I don't think he's trying to learn how to be a pro engineer, so why the smack down from some of you? There's no question that learning how to lay down some simple tracks on your own can be tremendously useful for songwriting, arranging and preparing for the studio.

hevydz - don't be put off by anyone telling you to "just leave it to the pros." Yes, when it comes time to record something that you plan on letting the public or the industry listen to, then absolutely go to a pro. But there's nothing I can think of that's more rewarding and fun (and bank account draining) than getting into the whole home recording scene and gradually increasing your recording skills. And depending on the kind of music you do, it might be crazy to NOT do it.

An MBox is how a lot of people get started, so go for it and then just start to read up on techniques. Mix, EQ, Recording, Sound on Sound magazines are good places to start (ignore the gear reviews which are mostly always positive; this forum will give more objective -- or at least openly subjective -- advice on gear), then Tape Op once you get to know your way around a bit. A good book is The Mixing Engineers Handbook, but search GearSlutz for other recommendations. You don't need expensive gear to learn basic skills. It's better to learn to use the entry-level stuff to its full potential before moving on to the pricier prosumer level gear.

And when you have questions, the Search function on Gearslutz will be your best friend.
Old 13th March 2009
  #11
Lives for gear
 
ScumBum's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhiltonlittle View Post
depending on how basic you want to get an mbox and sm58 should be fine.
thumbsup
Old 14th March 2009
  #12
Here for the gear
 

ok, thanks for the comments, i'm looking forward to the whole process.
now i've done some shopping round and found the mbox is not a cheap item, i was also told by my mates at the local music store that a small Yamaha mixing desk (around $500) with 4 tracks, recording software and digital USB output would be nearly as good, serving for the same purposes. what is the advice for this dilema?
Old 14th March 2009
  #13
Lives for gear
 
dhiltonlittle's Avatar
 

mbox mini with protools 8 is 200 dollars.

that's expensive?
Old 14th March 2009
  #14
Gear Head
 
Unagi's Avatar
 

For 400 clams you can get monitors, a mic, a stand and a cable to go with your protools rig: Buy Digidesign Mbox 2 Mini Recording Bundle | Studio & Recording Packages | Computer Music Packages | Musician's Friend
Old 14th March 2009
  #15
Lives for gear
 

If you think a few hundred bucks on an mbox is expensive then how much are you planning on spending on studio time? Unless you find some guy doing it in his basement you're looking at spending at least 40 bucks an hour, at least. If I were you I'd just buy a cheap 2 channel interface and download reaper and some free vst plugs. Get a decent mxl mic and some headphones and start recording.
Old 14th March 2009
  #16
Gear Nut
 

mbox is not a bad investment. Could lead to different and possibly better songwriting ideas in ways you never thought you would venture. To me, a studio is as much a way to record your music as it the most powerful songwriting tool you will ever come across, next to being mozart of course.

As far as sleeper advise saying to not even bother investing any money, I couldn't agree and disagree more. Have the studio do the real recording, but I find that writing while recording is the most important way for me to work. A song isn't finished being written until it's been recorded in my opinion. I can clearly hear my ideas back and figure out what works and doesn't work, as well as make changes. If you wanna be the next acoustic singer songwriter, just go in and nail them in the big boy studio, if you wanna layer and multitrack things (which is what you it seems you are intending), start writing/recording music that way.

Its important to be able to hear your ideas without bias (ie not when you are feeling the song in the moment while playing it).

just my two centsthumbsup
Old 14th March 2009
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Rednose's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sleeper1400 View Post
save your money and pay someone else to do it.

are you an artist or an engineer?

here is my advice.

work on your songs, practice and arrange them.
get them down so you can play them flawlessly everytime.
then book 20 hours at a proffesional studio and be done with it.

it may cost as much as 2000 bucks.
but its a lot cheaper than buying a mic,software, and learning how to mix
============

i know you say this is for pre production, so assuming you going to take it to a
bigger studio l8r on....the mixing engineer (me) is going to have to undo your mistakes and waste several 5 hours getting them tight.

trust me bro.
i do this stuff about once a week.
someone comes in with the home recordings and there all distorted, bassy, phased out.reverb or delay on every channel instead of an aux, tracks in no decipherable order (1vox,2kik,3gtr,4snare,5bkvox,6bkvoxb,7bass,),EQ's all over the place(12db boosts on 55hertz) not to mention the nonsense i/o order that needs to be changed over and over between diffrent studios.


a studio has the mics,the rooms, the gear and the EXPERIENCE to do the job right.
you'll BE BLOWN away by how good you sound.

think about it, a rode3 is an ok mic, im sure.
but a sonyc800 that runs for about 8 grand is gonna sound a lot better.
furthermore, maybe your voice sounds best on a 414. maybe a tlm103? maybe a senheiser?
microphones are paintbrushes. you shouldnt be deciding on a mic "because it doent need phantom power"


be hoest, who do you think is gonna record you better?
you at home.... or the 50 year old guy with 600,000 bucks in equipment that has been recording since the 70's?

sorry i may be comming off as harsh.
but i see this happen on a regular basis.
Yeah, I agree with alot of it.
These days you don't have to spend $100.00 per hour to get a good studio.
More like $35.00 to $55.00 per hour, at least in my town.
Good luck!
Old 14th March 2009
  #18
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleeper1400 View Post
save your money and pay someone else to do it.

are you an artist or an engineer?

here is my advice.

work on your songs, practice and arrange them.
get them down so you can play them flawlessly everytime.
then book 20 hours at a proffesional studio and be done with it.

it may cost as much as 2000 bucks.
but its a lot cheaper than buying a mic,software, and learning how to mix
============

i know you say this is for pre production, so assuming you going to take it to a
bigger studio l8r on....the mixing engineer (me) is going to have to undo your mistakes and waste several 5 hours getting them tight.

trust me bro.
i do this stuff about once a week.
someone comes in with the home recordings and there all distorted, bassy, phased out.reverb or delay on every channel instead of an aux, tracks in no decipherable order (1vox,2kik,3gtr,4snare,5bkvox,6bkvoxb,7bass,),EQ's all over the place(12db boosts on 55hertz) not to mention the nonsense i/o order that needs to be changed over and over between diffrent studios.


a studio has the mics,the rooms, the gear and the EXPERIENCE to do the job right.
you'll BE BLOWN away by how good you sound.

think about it, a rode3 is an ok mic, im sure.
but a sonyc800 that runs for about 8 grand is gonna sound a lot better.
furthermore, maybe your voice sounds best on a 414. maybe a tlm103? maybe a senheiser?
microphones are paintbrushes. you shouldnt be deciding on a mic "because it doent need phantom power"


be hoest, who do you think is gonna record you better?
you at home.... or the 50 year old guy with 600,000 bucks in equipment that has been recording since the 70's?

sorry i may be comming off as harsh.
but i see this happen on a regular basis.
Maybe in his case he may be better off hiring someone. But if he has the interest in learning how to record himself than that is what he should do. I've been told my stuff is good enough to be on an album that's the kind of quality I can get. And I don't use ProTools and a $1500 interface either.
Old 14th March 2009
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
Jackie Treehorn's Avatar
 

I think you're on the right track with your approach: use your home rig to experiment with different arrangements/instrumentation/etc., but understand that for the real thing, your money is much better spent hiring a pro (and I mean a PRO).

I would STRONGLY encourage you toward a simple M-box setup--- you can find them used on craigslist all the time. It is VERY helpful to understand Pro Tools software ahead of time, and you can work out your tempos, and even show up to the studio with click tracks and scratch tracks ready to go. You'll save yourself a lot of time and money in the long run by going this route (as opposed to a completely stand-alone unit like what you're suggesting).

Pro Tools is a lightning rod for controversy and criticism because they are the 500-pound gorilla of digital pro audio. But suck it up and join the fray. Don't believe me? Call around to the studios where you ultimately plan to record your masterpiece and see what software they're running.

Best of luck to you on your journey, my friend!
Old 14th March 2009
  #20
Gear Head
 
Cash Daily's Avatar
 

Even if you do decided down the road to go into a professional studio I would still recommend getting the M-Box. I still have the first M-Box. Works great.
Good luck
Old 14th March 2009
  #21
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhiltonlittle View Post
mbox mini with protools 8 is 200 dollars.

that's expensive?
Well i am in Australia, and the cheapest prices i can find around $750
Old 14th March 2009
  #22
Lives for gear
 
jimcroisdale's Avatar
 

That is around $450 US at todays exchange.
Old 14th March 2009
  #23
Lives for gear
 
dhiltonlittle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hevydz View Post
Well i am in Australia, and the cheapest prices i can find around $750
really? which mbox are you looking at? there is the mbox, mbox mini, and mbox pro. all you would really need would be the mini for what you're doing imo. although that is way overpriced for a mini if that's the case, if my options were protools 8 software and a digi interface or a yamaha 4 track for the close to the same price i'd hop on the digi. unless you really wanted protools you could also look in to cubase and an m audio interface.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
racemize / Music Computers
25
eleviah / Rap + Hip Hop Engineering and Production
30
soundslave / So Much Gear, So Little Time
3
luap / So Much Gear, So Little Time
17
Keyboardji / So Much Gear, So Little Time
37

Forum Jump
Forum Jump