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Author Topic: Building a PC for recording music.  (Read 1933 times)
Losfer
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« on: October 10, 2008, 09:01:57 AM »

Greetings, guys.

I am currently getting ready to sink a lot of money into a nice new guitar, amplifier, and PC.  One of the things I'm looking to do is start music recording as I have waited way too long for it.  But to be honest, I'm pretty slow when it comes to this sort of thing.  My missus is currently building one online, so I've come to you guys for help in regards to music recording.

All I have done previously to record music is plug a mic into the machine and download some programs to record and layer music.  Since it's all been freeware, it's not been so good, resulting in muddy, delapidated mess.  Each extra channel dulls the previous channel way too much.  And let's be honest, a microphone that you got for free with a sound card is gonna be shit.  :P

So, I need your help, guys.  I need suggestions and advice for items to be incorporated into this machine.  Hardware, software, you name it.

Now, a few years ago, some computer guys at a shop I visited now and then suggested I get this very particular type of sound card.  I do not remember at all what it was called, but it had a TRS connector that came through the front of the machine, which allowed you to plug directly into the soundcard for recording.  Is this even practical?  I mean, I can see that the degredation of the instrument's tone would be minimal, but I know using programs like Amp Farm can provide all the distortion and effects I will ever need.

The sound card also came with a copy of Cubase recording software.  I seem to see Pro Tools coming up more often than I do Cubase.  I'm definitely interested in opinions on either program.  I've tried them both previously and both seem pretty impressive.

I'm also looking for suggestions on the amount of RAM, HD space, etc that I will need.  We're looking at a min of one TB of space, so I don't think storage will be a problem.

Any suggestions are more than appreciated.
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D-Rider
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2008, 02:46:07 PM »

Fuck special sound cards.  Spend $200 or so on a Line 6 Pod 2.0 and you've got the ability to record directly, not to mention a shiny new front end for your amp of choice.
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Adapheon
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2008, 08:52:52 AM »

In my limited experience for software Adobe Audition was pretty good for recording but it's the only one I've tried so it might be clunky or something for all I know. I didn't mess around with it too much but found it easy enough to edit the tracks, mix them together, apply various effects and such. Also for amp/effect programs Guitar Rig is pretty cool, never tried the Amp Farm program you mentioned but Guitar Rig has various amps and effect that you can edit pretty deeply.

For sound cards going with a stand-alone is a good idea as the delay in onboard audio can be pretty bad but that varies with each card. With onboard the delay I typically experienced was enough that what I played didn't come through the computer in even close to real time (probably like a .5 second delay which can really throw you off) whereas with just my audigy 2 zs I'm pretty sure the delay was like 5-10ms so no real delay to worry about. Newer onboard may not have as much of an issue but if you are looking to sink a lot of money in a computer an extra $80 for a sound card shouldn't kill you.

For RAM 2gigs should be enough for just about anything and 1tb of space is more than ample, although I didn't ever record a retarded amount at most I used up like 10gigs of space on that hard drive. Obviously you want to save everything as a wav or at least a loseless codec but you'll still have to record a ton to use up a lot of hd space.

My uncle gave me a music recording for dummies book and a hardware device called the .link which is used for music recording but not long afterwards my non-pos computer died so I haven't bothered reading it/recording any so I'd probably have better ideas if I managed to look through that shit.

You looking at any guitar in particular yet?
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Losfer
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2008, 12:00:22 AM »

Fuck special sound cards.  Spend $200 or so on a Line 6 Pod 2.0 and you've got the ability to record directly, not to mention a shiny new front end for your amp of choice.

Shit, you know what, I just watched a video of a guy showing how to use one of those and it looks really fucking sweet.  I think I'm sold on the suggestion already.  Thanks for that, DR.

Geo, thanks for the suggestions, we took all of that into perspective when we built the machine a few hours ago.  Should be receiving the machine next next week.  I couldn't talk the wife into a dual monitor set up though.  :(

As for gear, I'm going to be sticking with Gibson.  ...Well, you know, upgrading to an /actual/ Gibson, I guess.  Probably go with a Gothic one, cause I heart the black pickguard on black body.  As for amp, I'm going all out.  I'm sinking the cash into a Marshall stack.  Full stack.

Should be a fairly expensive journey over the next month or so, but I gotta start taking this shit seriously.  :P
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Adapheon
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2008, 09:35:25 AM »

haha, awesome stuff man. I'm not sure if there was a time that you seen my tube amp but it's just a 2x12 100 watt amp, putting the volume on 4 is enough to shake the house pretty good, I can't imagine how that stack will sound. Well other than awesome.
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