Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio

Barbara Shaw 10 Dec 10 - 09:43 AM
John MacKenzie 10 Dec 10 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,Reality 10 Dec 10 - 10:17 AM
treewind 10 Dec 10 - 10:20 AM
Barbara Shaw 10 Dec 10 - 10:29 AM
treewind 10 Dec 10 - 10:32 AM
Bernard 10 Dec 10 - 11:41 AM
Barbara Shaw 10 Dec 10 - 12:04 PM
Bernard 10 Dec 10 - 02:39 PM
Barbara Shaw 10 Dec 10 - 02:53 PM
Joe Offer 10 Dec 10 - 03:07 PM
Amos 10 Dec 10 - 04:22 PM
Barbara Shaw 10 Dec 10 - 05:11 PM
Ross Campbell 10 Dec 10 - 07:33 PM
IvanB 10 Dec 10 - 07:39 PM
Jack Campin 10 Dec 10 - 09:20 PM
GUEST,erbert 10 Dec 10 - 09:54 PM
GUEST,erbert 10 Dec 10 - 10:06 PM
GUEST,erbert 10 Dec 10 - 10:28 PM
Barbara Shaw 10 Dec 10 - 11:33 PM
GUEST,Reality 11 Dec 10 - 12:09 AM
GUEST,mattkeen 11 Dec 10 - 04:39 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 11 Dec 10 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,erbert 11 Dec 10 - 07:17 AM
GUEST,erbert 11 Dec 10 - 07:27 AM
IvanB 11 Dec 10 - 04:56 PM
GUEST,Phil B 12 Dec 10 - 08:27 AM
Tootler 12 Dec 10 - 11:31 AM
Amos 12 Dec 10 - 12:34 PM
Barbara Shaw 12 Dec 10 - 12:48 PM
GUEST 12 Dec 10 - 01:27 PM
GUEST 12 Dec 10 - 01:59 PM
Barbara Shaw 12 Dec 10 - 06:27 PM
Tootler 12 Dec 10 - 06:46 PM
The Fooles Troupe 12 Dec 10 - 10:57 PM
Don Firth 12 Dec 10 - 11:36 PM
Joe Offer 13 Dec 10 - 01:20 AM
Barbara Shaw 13 Dec 10 - 10:04 AM
dwditty 13 Dec 10 - 10:16 AM
dwditty 13 Dec 10 - 10:17 AM
NewHarborME 13 Dec 10 - 06:26 PM
Jack Campin 13 Dec 10 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,erbert 13 Dec 10 - 07:03 PM
Don Firth 13 Dec 10 - 09:28 PM
Barbara Shaw 13 Dec 10 - 10:20 PM
GUEST,erbert 13 Dec 10 - 10:40 PM
GUEST,erbert 13 Dec 10 - 11:38 PM
Don Firth 13 Dec 10 - 11:54 PM
Don Firth 13 Dec 10 - 11:57 PM
GUEST,Reality 14 Dec 10 - 12:04 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 09:43 AM

My old desktop is regularly crashing and I plan to give it up in favor of a new laptop. I need a laptop that will be good for a home recording studio and also to take on the road for field recording. Some recommendations appreciated fairly quickly because this desktop will not last much longer. (Two blue screens of death this morning...)

No, I don't want a MAC, although my sons tell me it's best for music and graphics (both of which I am heavily involved in). Don't have time or energy for the steep learning curve.

Anybody have strong feelings about a particular PC laptop?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 10:15 AM

I love my Toshiba Satellite. I also recommend EuroPC in Glasgow, as a great company to do business with, at great prices.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: GUEST,Reality
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 10:17 AM

Don't... No laptop makes a good field recorder really... You'll never find a laptop with a "Line In" audio port... and USB devices are sketchy at best. You're better off to get a good digital recorder. (Like a Zoom or something) Use that to collect your recordings, and your laptop to edit your pics and music.

(Years ago, MAC led the way for music and graphic, but that is no longer necessarily the case, so MAC or PC is just a matter of personal taste)

If it's a home recording studio you want, then get a new desktop PC and a REALLY good sound card.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: treewind
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 10:20 AM

If you are using external hardware for sound recording, e.g. (I'd guess) a USB device I don't think there's much to choose between one laptop and another. Getting one with plenty of HD space might be a good idea if you are recording a lot of material. CPU speed of any laptop is fast enough - I'm doing 8 track recording and mixing on an old 1.8GHz AMD Athlon and most laptops are at least as fast as that.

If you are thinking of using the built in sound interface or built-in microphone - DON'T ! Get a Zoom H2, H1, Olympus LS4, Edirol R-09 or similar for your recording instead and copy the files over to the PC afterwards. For field recording you then don't even need to take the laptop at all, which is a big bonus.

So just look for any good laptop, if you need one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 10:29 AM

I've been recording using our condenser mic and and Dual pre-amp adapter into the computer via USB. It seems to work very well, although I am obviously no audio engineer.

After my last major crash, I gave up on IE8 (now use Safari) and am giving up on this old Dell desktop. Some of my software limps along haltingly, like WORD 2002 et al. Time to get a new computer and new software, and want it to be portable as well as good enough to continue my recording project.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: treewind
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 10:32 AM

If it's a home recording studio you want, then get a new desktop PC and a REALLY good sound card.

That would be my preference. My studio PC is home-built in an Antec P150 case which is amazingly quiet. If you're buying a ready made PC getting a really quiet one can be a bit of a problem. Laptops aren't any better - when they get warm and the fans kick in they can make a lot of noise.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Bernard
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 11:41 AM

A dedicated recorder and a good PC is, I agree, the best choice. With the Zoom and Edirol models the built-in microphones are as good as you'll need, and a lot less hassle.

Think... you wouldn't take a laptop with a built-in webcam with you if you wanted to take some photos, now, would you?!!

;o)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 12:04 PM

Well, we have a friend in NC who was unable to travel to New England. He will be on our next album because we were able to go to him and record him doing some of his songs at his home, using our laptop, studio mic and adapter. (We do have an old laptop, by the way, but it's mostly used by my husband and I need to get my own).

I don't expect to do a lot of field recording but it may happen again. A big incentive is to get away from this inconvenient desktop and all the hardware involved, so if I can find an adequate laptop replacement that would resolve a couple of issues.

I appreciate the comments about recorders and other equipment, and I've put in time with minidisc, hand-held and other devices. I don't want another device, just a suitable laptop that will do the job while also keeping me connected. However, I'm listening to everything with an open mind.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Bernard
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 02:39 PM

Let's be honest, to make a laptop do the job properly you still need an external USB device and microphone(s) before it will do the job. A little Zoom does all that and more, and is far less messy. No, really.

A decent USB device could cost as much, possibly, as the cost of the laptop - certainly more than a decent digital recorder.

Whilst I understand you may have about 'other devices', I strongly urge you to re-think. The Zoom, Edirol, Tascam el al devices are far more versatile than a MiniDisk ever was, with far fewer issues.

The real let-down with Minidisk, for me, was the fact you had to offload the audio in real time - even on those with a USB connection! The digital devices either plug in via USB or you can use a card reader.

My own device is a Marantz PMD660, which is better when used with external microphones as there's far too much handling noise from the internal ones. That isn't true of the others.

You'll still need Audacity (free!), or something similar, for editing on the PC, of course,


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 02:53 PM

The thing is, I already have a USB device and microphones and editing software, and I already need a new computer. I could be convinced to get another desktop but I'm pretty sure I don't want any more external recording devices unless it's also a computer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 03:07 PM

Barbara, I'm going to join with the people recommending a separate digital recorder. Here, talke a look at the Zoom Handy H1. Isn't it just beautiful? How can you last another day without one?
From what I know of what you do, I'd say you need one of these. And hey, it's only $99 at amazon.mudcat.org.....

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Amos
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 04:22 PM

Barbara, the learning curve for Macs is NOT steep.


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 05:11 PM

Ahhhh, you guys are hurtin' me! I'll have to look at those gadgets, and I definitely have trouble resisting new gadgets. But like I said before, I NEED a new computer!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 07:33 PM

What learning curve? Open laptop, click on Garageband and GO! OK, it helps if you plug in a couple of microphones (via a Griffin iMic for full CD-quality digital sound).

The main part of the learning curve seems to be having to abandon all the things you seem to have to remember to get a Microsoft-based machine working and keep it working.

In the course of about 25 years working in the mainframe computer industry, I had to forget all my hard-won learning about half-a-dozen times. When personal computers started to be available, I was very reluctant to go through another possibly temporary process (especially if I wasn't getting paid for it!) The gift of my brother's old Apple IIsc got me going again. Simplicity itself. Everything just worked. Graduated to later models since, but you don't need a state-of-the-art machine to do basic recording. A 1Ghz G4 machine will do - plenty of these five- or six-year-old computers available now reasonably cheaply as people upgrade. Laptops still the dearest, but options include the Mac Mini, the iconic dome-shaped iMac and several versions of tower type. And the recording bit is fairly intuitive - but always worth investing in one of those encyclopaedia-sized manuals that you never get with anything these days.

Having said all that, I am currently looking at a couple of gadgets designed to use an iPod as the recording device - and even pc-addicts can use those. Both made by Belkin, the GoStudio allows stereo recording from built-in mics, also has 2xXLR inputs, while the TuneStudio allows four inputs, mixing down to stereo recording via a small mixing pad. Recordings can be transferred to pc/Mac via iTunes and further processed/edited in Garageband (Mac) or Audacity (PC/Mac).Both battery-powered and allegedly fast-draining, Belkin may not yet have provided the power-supply blocks (not included) to match the fitted power-in sockets.

Belkin GoStudio

http://www.belkin.com/tunestudio/

Ross


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: IvanB
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 07:39 PM

Barbara, get a notebook with as much memory and as big a screen as you can. Then, if you're comfortable lugging it around to do field recordings, go ahead. After all, these days, those nifty little recorders that everyone's recommending you get are nothing but small computers dedicated to doing one thing and doing it well. Then, when/if you get tired of lugging the notebook around, the little recorders will still be around in even better iterations.

Other than that, I'd stick with one of the major brands, concentrating on the features you need/want (I will admit I'm a bit sour on HP's right now, give the nasty way mine died on me a couple months ago).

Happy hunting!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 09:20 PM

You'll never find a laptop with a "Line In" audio port

Except a MacBook, which has had them for years.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 09:54 PM

hi Barbara, don't know if you are UK or USA based, or your budget?

British audio specialist magazine "Sound on Sound" recently published
a positive in-depth review for a high-end audio laptop from this company:

http://3xs.scan.co.uk/audio

"Scan Computers have teamed up with American system builders ADK to provide a range of PCs designed specifically for working with audio. The new models come with either 15- or 17-inch screens, and can be customised to suit your needs and price point.
Scan 3XS laptop

The basic components, Scan say, have been chosen for their reliability and performance, with all-in-one I/O chips being eschewed in favour separate WiFi and Firewire solutions, the latter coming from trusted manufacturers Texas Instruments. Pricing for the new range starts at under £1000 for the basic 15-inch model, with an Intel i5 520M Mobile CPU, 4GB DDR3 RAM and a 320GB hard drive, while the top-of-the-range 17-inch laptop has a Core i7 720QM processor, up to 8GB RAM and can be loaded with a 500GB hard drive."



"It's always been tricky to find a laptop computer that can be guaranteed to work well with a wide variety of audio interfaces, but since Core i5/i7-based machines have appeared it's become a nightmare. Compatibility with Firewire audio interfaces hit an all-time low when Texas Instrument Firewire controller chips were abandoned on modern laptop motherboards, while arcana such as CPU throttling schemes, graphic drivers and limited BIOS options for the power-saving 'C-states' have all resulted in music forums awash with reports of unresolvable audio drop-outs, glitching, intermittent connections and the like — even with USB interfaces.
I know several professional DAW builders who have spent weeks researching and abandoning one laptop model after another in their quest to find one offering reliable, low-latency audio. So kudos to Scan 3XS for not attempting to reinvent the wheel. Instead, they have based the spec of their new range around a couple of well-researched and tested solutions already available in the US from ADK Pro Audio..."


Checking out their website may at least give some idea of current pro level tech specs and prices,
to compare against run of the mill high street shop retail laptops.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 10:06 PM

Hi, I've now read earlier posts and realise you are in the USA.

Here'e the American co-partner company laptop audio system builder:

http://www.adkproaudio.com/


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 10:28 PM

..and;

Sound on Sound Forum: Survey of Recommended PC Laptop Models

http://www.soundonsound.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=414373&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1&vc=1


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 11:33 PM

I've got some homework to do. Thanks, folks!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: GUEST,Reality
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 12:09 AM

You won't find a laptop with a line in that isn't 5+years old...

Don't bother.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: GUEST,mattkeen
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 04:39 AM

By the by...

there isnt really a steep learning curve between a mac and a pc
But its up to you

I spent £2500 on a custom pc recording set up from an audio supply specialist ... it was out the door within a year

Macs are perfect but I personally have found them a 90% improvement on windows based systems

Get a mac mini


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 06:58 AM

Getting up to speed here folks - all you need to turn the ist basic of lap-tops into a very workable recording studio is some basic software (which you can free with Computer Music & from Audacity) AND a USB Sound Card such as the Behringer UA202 which is nifty piece of kit & cheap as chips besides.

Simple!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 07:17 AM

Personaly, I'm stuck with an old buget price P4 PC which tends to get a bit glitchy and unreliable
with my Line 6 USB Tone Port UX2
Wish I could afford something new, but always interested in keepinp up to speed on current technology.

To save folks time wading through the "Sound on Sound Forum" thread;
this link posted on the 6 Dec is an interesting read about the 'state of play' in recent 'off the peg' laptops and usb audio interfaces/drivers.

"Choosing a Laptop for Music Making: Part 2
By Robin Vincent on 11/30/2010"


http://en.audiofanzine.com/pc-laptop/editorial/reviews/lifting-the-lid-on-audio-laptops-the-test.html


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 07:27 AM

sorry my heads a bit woozy with sinus pressure & infection;
I meant to write;


"an interesting read about the 'state of play' in recent 'off the peg' laptops and firewire audio interfaces/drivers."

I suspect 'firewire' may be on its way out to join all the other dumped
expensive technologies..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: IvanB
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 04:56 PM

Actually, what's needed for field recording directly to the computer is a mic port, and I doubt that's been omitted from any laptops yet.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: GUEST,Phil B
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 08:27 AM

My most servicable current combination for carrying around is a humble macbook. Its processor speed is 2.13ghz which is slightly slow but I've pushed it hard on occasions and its never crashed. I run Pro tools LE and Logic LE on it and also Final Cut LE.
I don't subscribe to Mac-Chic in any way shape or form and am currently having a custom PC built to spec for the current full version of pro tools which will replace a powermac.
If you're sticking with the PC road, I'd suggest using Windows XP Pro. Don't use Vista on any account!! I'd readily agree that its useless.

The Macbook still has a firewire 400 port which is utterly essential for transfer speeds with an external drive. If you use protools or logic, you have no choice but to use and external drive for your music data. Most other platforms will also perform better under these circumstances.

The current version of garage band is extremely useful as a music 'notebook' format but not a serious recording system. Don't be fooled by its ease of use!!.

Of course, if Logic as your weapon of choice, then A Mac is the only option.

For the best results in any format, a processor speed of 3 ghz is preferable.

Good luck.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Tootler
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 11:31 AM

Personaly, I'm stuck with an old buget price P4 PC which tends to get a bit glitchy and unreliable...

I gave an old PC a new lease of life by installing Linux. I used Ubuntu, but there are plenty of other Linux distributions available. If your resources are insufficient for one of the mainstream ones, there are a number of distributions that specialise in providing an OS for computers with limited resources. Ubuntu is designed to be straightforward to set up, but I did find that getting audio working properly took a bit of fiddling, but once I had it sorted, it's fine. I recently replaced the old desktop computer with a laptop, replaced the provided Windows 7 with Ubuntu and everything worked pretty much straightaway this time.

I wouldn't go back to Windows now, nor would I spend the money on a Mac - they are ridiculously overpriced IMO.

Linux is free and gives you the advantages of security and stability you get with a Mac with the added advantage of a wide range of free software available. There is a site, distrowatch - http://distrowatch.com/ - that compares various Linux distributions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Amos
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 12:34 PM

Here's my recommendation.

1. Get a refurbished iMac, or if you need pretability, a refurbished MacBook.

2. Add a small mixer than can accept as many mikes as you will want to record at once (two for solo voice&guitar) and consult with an audio guuy to learn which mike will serve you best.

3. Download SoundStudio, a free trial version, and start recording. You can export to AIFF, WAV, MP3, etc and apply all the filters you could want in a simple, easy-to-understand interface.

GarageBand is also a phenomenal program for these purposes.

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 12:48 PM

I'm getting a PC but not sure if it will be a laptop or desktop yet.

Already have 2 AT4033 mics and numerous Shures, so I do not need any mics. Already have a Dual Pre pre-amp which provides an interface from the mic directly into the USB on the computer. Already have Cool Edit software and intend to upgrade to Audition (same company). Also have Audacity and Cakewalk, but prefer Cool Edit. I know how to use all of this, and want to spend my time recording rather than learning how to use equipment and software. This setup has been working just fine until the desktop started dying.

So now I'm going to read a bit more online, talk to the techs at Staples and the local Nerds-to-Go, continue reading this thread, spend a couple more days swearing at my old desktop (now I can't get Access to work, fercrineoutloud and I need to print labels for Christmas cards) and buy myself a computer for Christmas. Bah humbug.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 01:27 PM

"If you're buying a ready made PC getting a really quiet one can be a bit of a problem. Laptops aren't any better - when they get warm and the fans kick in they can make a lot of noise." - treewind

Except for Macbooks. Noiseless. That's why I always use them.

Barbara - if you're going to record music and you are determined to a laptop, I strongly advise getting a macbook. The learning curve isn't steep at all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 01:59 PM

"Actually, what's needed for field recording directly to the computer is a mic port"

The mic input on a laptop or any built in sound system is usually mono (which may not matter) and of poor quality. It may be OK for audio note-taking, but not for "studio recording". It will certainly be very noisy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 06:27 PM

The tech at Staples told me tonight that the best PC for recording was an HP, but not what they sell at Staples. He recommended going to the HP website.

I went there to get Microsoft Access software, and realized that if I put it on the dying desktop, that would use up my license and it would be no good when I get a new computer. Used to be that you could buy software and use it on any computer. Now it communicates with the home planet and only lets you install it on the specific computers that are licensed to use it.

Not happy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Tootler
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 06:46 PM

Change to Open Office. It's free and no need to worry about licenses. It will read MSOffice format documents.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 10:57 PM

You can get various version of OOO, including a 'mobile' one that runs off a USB key and is much smaller. Seems to do most 'writing' work, recognize most Word variants, leaves out some of the other OOO functions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Don Firth
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 11:36 PM

I just got a brand new HP laptop (ordered on line) with lots of bells and whistles. I'll be using it for the usual things, plus recording in mind. Intel Quad Core, RAM 'til hell won't have it, and a dual hard drive--500 GB x 2, 7200 rpm! Ought to really honk!

I've used an HP for some years now, and it served me well until it coughed a couple of times and died a few weeks ago. But by the time that happened, I had decided to get a new one anyway. I'd had it for some years and it needed a lot of updating, so.....

I haven't had a chance to fire up the new one yet (tomorrow) and I'll have to load my stuff (backed up on an external hard drive) onto it. I'll have to play with it a bit and get used to a new operating system (Windows 7), so it'll be a few days. When I get acquainted with it, I'll write up a review, together with it's rather impressive specs.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 01:20 AM

Still, if you want to do recording, I think I'd buy a little cheaper recorder and spend the leftover money on a Zoom Handy recorder. You'll get a lot better recording quality.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 10:04 AM

Followup about my Access problem for the geeks among us. A few weeks ago when my desktop had a major crash, the guy who fixed it did me a "favor" by adding a spare memory stick to the tower. So I went from 512mb to 1 gig of RAM. It turns out that it's a known MS problem that Access 97 and other older software packages can't run on machines with 1 gig or more of memory. Who knew?

From the Microsoft website:

The Windows 32-bit protected-mode cache driver (Vcache) determines the maximum cache size based on the amount of RAM that is present when Windows starts. Vcache then reserves enough memory addresses to permit it to access a cache of the maximum size so that it can increase the cache to that size if needed. These addresses are allocated in a range of virtual addresses from 0xC0000000 through 0xFFFFFFFF (3 to 4 gigabytes) known as the system arena.

On computers with large amounts of RAM, the maximum cache size can be large enough that Vcache consumes all of the addresses in the system arena, leaving no virtual memory addresses available for other functions such as opening an MS-DOS prompt (creating a new virtual machine).


So at least I know the cause. (What obscure crap I have to deal with just trying to create labels using Access for Christmas cards). Now I have to figure out the workaround.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: dwditty
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 10:16 AM

I don't know beans about one laptop over another, but as far as Bernard's point of a small recorder....well here are some recordings I made at live shows with a Tascam DR-07 (was on sale at Guitar Center for $99). I just stuck the thing in front of the speaker and let it roll, then tweaked a little with an old copy of Cool Edit. No wires! Gotta love that.

Music

dw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: dwditty
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 10:17 AM

Rats:

Live recordings


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: NewHarborME
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 06:26 PM

Joe,

This is off subject but I was researching information and came across mudcat. I would like very much for you to contact me in reference to Daniel Curtis, Dixey Bull and Harrison Curtis. My e-mail is Newharborme@yahoo.com. I am a direct descendant of Daniel and Harrison is a distant uncle. I have an original of the poem plus my great aunt knew one of the sons of Daniel before he died and I know the true story, not the one Harrison wrote. If your interested write me.
Dale B Curtis


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 06:39 PM

You won't find a laptop with a line in that isn't 5+years old...

Look at Apple's site for the spec of the current MacBooks.

By the time you've added in all the extras you need to make a Windows PC usable, the Mac works out cheaper.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 07:03 PM

The important thing to consider about any laptop/PC/mac on-board 'Line-in' input
is that the recorded audio quality is only as good as the motherboard analog/digital converter chip.
Which is probably only mediocre at best.

Hence the need for at least semi-pro quality soundcards
or separate USB/firewire audio interface products..

I don't know which if any current laptops are factory equipped with digital SPDIF RCA or Toslink optical connections,
but, if so, that should offer better potential for interfacing with semi-pro level recording gear.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 09:28 PM

I might recommend getting a copy of Roger McGuinn's Guide to Home Recording on a Computer.

I found it quite informative to watch him go through the process of recording a song using a couple of different microphones and a couple of different interfaces for a laptop computer.

He does a bit of multi-track recording, which I found all very interesting, but I intend to do what I'm going to do in one piece rather than recording guitar and voice separately, then adding more voice and guitar tracks as he does. In listening to some of his stuff on the Folk Den web site, I felt that some of the songs were what I would consider "overproduced." It's nice to know how, and be able to do this sort of thing. And then choose not to.

Interesting to note that, while many people tend to get all passionately partisan about the best computer for recording and insist that making any choice other than the one they made will lead to heartbreak, disaster, and eventually Armageddon, McGuinn manages quite well with an off-the-shelf Dell laptop.

Toward the end of the DVD, McGuinn comments about how he found out about home recording on a computer, and how it compares to using professional recording studios that charge a fair chunk per hour. Doing what you feel is a necessary retake if you're not completely satisfied with what you've laid down might mean going into another expensive hour. But with a couple of good mics, an interface, and a computer that meets a few minimum specifications, it's possible to turn out recordings that, soundwise, are as good as anything you can record in a professional studio. And you can do the whole thing in your own time and at your leisure.

The HP laptop I just received has more than adequate specifications for home recording. Among other things, Quad Core CPU(s), with 8 GBs of RAM, along with a humungous hard drive—dual 500 GB hard drives in fact, for a total of one terabyte. That's 1000 gigabytes! A fast hard drive is recommended, and these suckers will do 7200 rpm.

And I also have an separate, external USB hard drive for an additional 500 GBs, also 7200 rpm.

The HP comes with a firewire connection, along with three USB connections, and everything I've read indicates that with the proper gear, USB is just fine. In fact, I know several people who have home set-ups that use USB interfaces and they've been turning out stuff that, soundwise, is indistinguishable from CDs produced by major recording companies.

I addition, I invested in a good pair of studio-quality headphones. Audio-Technica, $150.00. They sound great. These, along with two good quality condenser mics. They came as a set, complete with cables and shock-mounts. One is a voice mike and the other is especially good for "quick attack" acoustic instruments, such as an acoustic guitar. Both of these mics require XLR cables and an interface with XLR inputs, so I don't worry about having a computer with a line-in.

I still need to get a good audio interface*, a couple of mic stands, and a pop filter, and I'll be ready to fly. So, not to worry. The gear will do it. The question is, can I? Time will tell.

On the matter of the small, self-contained digital recorders, I've been using a Zoom H2 and getting some pretty good results, but I consider it primarily to be a "field recorder." But an excellent one. I've heard records of live concerts and such done by professional sound engineers using Ampex tape recorders that are not really better than what this little beasty can pick up. And I have a friend whose been using a Zoom H4n, and he's been getting some great stuff! The H2 is really self-contained, but the H4n, in addition to the built-in mics, has a pair of professional quality XLR mic inputs. A definite plus. Along with the fact that both of these small recorders can double as USB computer interfaces.

Don Firth

*Anybody here familiar with the M-Audio Fast Track Pro USB Audio Interface? What do you think?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 10:20 PM

Don, I'm very encouraged by your last post.

Our band has recorded 3 CDs, 2 in a recording studio and 1 live in concert. The recording studio expense may never be fully recovered (it's folk music after all), and I'd like to try to avoid that huge expense this time around. I've been recording at home, just as you described the Roger McGuinn process above. It gives me the luxury of re-recording every track until I'm finally satisfied with it, rather than until we feel the studio expense is killing us or our time slot is over.

Of course, this has it's own set of issues, especially with a perfectionist and detail-oriented person like myself. Some songs may never be "done" in my mind.

Your information about McGuinn's experience encourages me to believe my final product can be technically good. We have very good sound equipment and all the right gear except for -now- a reliable computer. And many original songs that I'm eager to finally record. So I will continue the very long process.

Good luck with your new HP. As soon as I catch up on all the Christmas activities, I intend to check out the HP website.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 10:40 PM

Hi Don, I have limited experience of M-Audio Black Box USB
from about 5 years ago, and though primarily a guitar FX/amp emulator,
it was a good enough audio interface for most solo recording demo purposes.

E-MU were, maybe still are, considered to be the better pro standard 'economy' interfaces
because of the higher quality A/D converters used, which if I remember correctly were comparable
to Pro Tools hardware converters.
Plus, they include very comprehensive software bundles.

here's their latest USB product range:

http://www.emu.com/products/welcome.asp?category=610

Then there are the Line 6 USB range of price concious [entry level to Pro studio] interfaces, which are serious contenders,
notable for very flexible recording input/output configurations and highly 'authentic' software amp/speaker/mic-preamp/FX emulations.


Plenty of serious value for money gear to choose from these and other popular brands.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 11:38 PM

Before I go to bed and forget, something usful worth looking out for at good bargain pre-owned prices is the Mindprint Trio.
A now discontinued compact desktop multi-purpose traditional analog front-end preamp, designed for use with entry level USB/firewire audio interfaces lacking in sufficient good quality input/output options.

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/may05/articles/mindprinttrio.htm

There are 2 versions, the original Red which is equipped with optical S/PDIF connections to a soundcard
or USB/firewire interface;
and the later version equipped with its own USB link.

I was fortunate enough to get the Red a few years ago at a very low end of line close-out sale price.

"Mindprint's Trio is designed to meet the specific needs of the desktop audio market and comprises a very practical combination of a channel strip and a monitor-control section, complete with headphone amp and talkback facilities. Although it doesn't include a computer audio interface as such, it does have optical S/PDIF inputs and outputs, so it could be used with the new Apple Mac G5 computers without the need to buy a separate audio interface. The voice-channel part of the package is based around a very respectable Class-A mic/instrument preamp with switchable 48V phantom power, compressor, and equaliser, but there's also a separate stereo line input with its own EQ that can be mixed with the mic input, as well as an auxiliary monitor input that could be used as a two-track return. Mindprint have taken part of the Trio's compressor design from their rather more costly DTC dual recording channel, and it provides programme-dependent adjustment of the time constants so that only a single knob is needed to adjust the processing. Furthermore, the mic channel's EQ is tailored specifically to vocals so you get the job done with fewer distracting controls...

...My feeling is that Mindprint have come up with a great product. For those musicians who record only one or two audio parts at a time, it combines all that is essential in a stereo monitor controller with a simple yet very smooth-sounding front end, and it therefore does away with the need for a separate channel strip or mixer. For the desktop studio user who works mainly alone or with one musician at a time, Mindprint's Trio is a very appealing all-in-one product for recording and monitoring."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 11:54 PM

Great, Barbara!

It might also be a good idea to pick up a copy of McGuinn's DVD. Among other things, while recording a voice track, he goofs a line or two. Then later, he records the correct words on another track, and using Cool-Edit, he patches them in where they belong. He also cleans up some noisy spots and puts a nice fade-out at the end, not particularly as an effect, but just to eliminate noise and have a clean ending to the track.

Worth the twenty bucks, I thought.

Good luck!!

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 11:57 PM

Thanks, erbert!

I'll check these out in the morning.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: PC for Home Recording Studio
From: GUEST,Reality
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 12:04 PM

Macbooks have a combined headphone/line-in line... I am not convinced it is a "Line In" as I'm referring to...

It boils down to this... if you want to record at home, get a decent desktop computer (Mac, PC, Ubuntu... it doesn't really matter what OS yer running so long as your recording hardware is decent)

If you want to do "Field Recordings" get a good, portable digital recorder (I love my Zoom H4)

Your mics are much more important than your computer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 20 June 3:22 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.