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Home Studio setups

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  • Home Studio setups

    I been trying to find the best and cheapest solution for my little home studio. I ended up getting a Presonus firestudio 10/10 for recording into the computer and playing live. I think it covers the first part but just a bit to hard for live work. I like the zero latency and the real time effects you can add for passive or recording mode (for the mics)

    So, I run the Boss GT-8 processor into the left SPDIF and the Boss GT-10 into the right, that frees up 1-2 for mics, 3 keyboards, 4 bass, 5-6 TD-12 and two spare 7-8. The sound through is very good and being able to record 10 channels at the same time gives so many mix options. I did want the onyx 1620 channel but failed to make contact with SP the Presonus' are 799.00 here and you get a free inspire 1934 worth 220 bux atm ...a very cheap studio I thought. The QBass 4 LE it came with gives issues out of the box I have found (locks up with buffers I think), I'm using Adobe Audition 2 and it works just dandy. I'm keen to see what ppl use and have done as this is really my first descent go at it.
    Nothing of importance here

  • #2
    Not sure what happened there with our emails. Something odd. Seems our servers didn't want to talk to each other!!
    I was away most of the last week recording a new song with my new songwriting parter and also recorded half of an entire album in one afternoon with another new colleague too so it was a very productive but very busy week. I have only just got back in the last couple of days and just read your post. Bummer about the Onyx but great to hear you found a decent solution.

    Since you asked, here's my current recording gear and instrument list...

    Computers and software

    Intel quad core 2.66GHz Q9450 PC with 4GB RAM and 1.2TB HDD's running Protools 7.4 Music Production Toolkit with Waves Mercury, Superior 2 (with Twisted Kit expansion), Reason 4 (with Reason Pianos and Abbey Road Keyboards), Moog Modular V, ARP2600V, CS80V, Amplitube 2, Ampeg SVX, Melodyne Studio.
    Interface - Digidesign Digi002r (Protools) or Mackie Onyx 1620 (Reaper). This PC dual boots depending what I want to use.
    Controllers - CM Labs MotorMate and MotorMix linked to CM Labs Sixty Four programmable router (does all my studio patching and level matching).

    Asus laptop with Intel 2.53GHz dual core CPU and 4GB RAM running the above software.
    Interfaces - Digidesign Mbox 2 Pro (firewire) or Mackie Onyx 1620, Motu Midi Timepiece AV (8 in 8 out midi and sync box)
    I have this arranged to triple boot with WinXP Pro for Protools and Vista Premium on two other partitions for either internet (when I'm away from the studio) or live location recording with the Mackie Onyx (used with Reaper).

    AMD 3200+ single core CPU PC for internet, video editing / compression, CD / DVD burning and various other general duties.

    My two desktop PC's are arranged with three 19" widescreen monitors with the middle one (and keyboard and mouse) switched between the two computers.

    Instruments
    Yamaha DX7 and SY77 synths
    Yamaha TX802 rack mount FM synth module
    Roland System 100, SH09, Juno 6, Juno 106, JX 3P (with PG200)
    Roland System 700 analog sequencer
    Customised Strat copy guitar
    Ibanez SR400 Bass
    Yamaha professional series trumpet
    ...and of course, the SuperPuss SuperGAS cage with everything listed and documented in detail on this site

    Microphones
    Various dynamic and wireless microphones and headsets
    Rode NT2a 1" large diaphragm studio condenser mics x 2
    AKG C451 small diaphragm condenser mics x 2
    AKG C414 EB 1" large diaphragm studio condenser mic (with highly sought after CK12 capsule) - I LOVE this mic and will NEVER sell it for any sum of money (hmmm... well almost any sum!!!)

    Other gear
    TC Electronic D Two digital delay and modulation
    Lexicon PCM 41 digital delay
    Frostwave Quad Midi-CV Plus
    Zoom 9150 Valve DSP guitar preamp and FX processor
    Behringer 8024 Ultracurve Pro 31 band digital EQ
    7.2 channel bi-amped custom studio monitoring recently upgraded with new Yamaha processor / amp, custom mid / high boxes for L and R, Tannoy center, dual Crown double 10" subs, Auratone surrounds x 4
    Yamaha 5.1 amp and custom sub amp for zone 2 (alternate recording room)
    AKG K240M headphones
    Various other pairs of cheaper headphones for live tracking with multiple musicians
    ART 406 six channel headphone amp
    Optoma high definition projector with 92" screen
    Pioneer SACD / DVD Audio and DVD Video player (upscales to high def through HDMI and has 192K / 24 bit 5.1 D/A on board for SACD)
    High def set top box / recorder (yes, I watch TV in my studio sometimes!)
    Sony DV editing deck
    Panasonic CRT video editing monitor
    Panasonic FS90 S-VHS deck which is mainly used for the large catalogue of location audio recordings I have in my library (recorded well before the days of decent laptops!).....

    ....I think that is everything! Sorry about the long ass post but I started listing the basics and felt like I was being unfair to my gear leaving anything out!!!..... seriously, this stuff has a life of it's own and if I left something out, it would hunt me down in the night as I lay sleeping!!!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      You forgot the handy little over the shoulder carry bag you put it all in to take out Yes it's amazing how all the things add up. I have about the same spec computer, I notice how heavy the cpu usage is, or was since I lowered the resolution, too many added effects can hurt, I also found if you minimize the program after setting up 8 channels recording for 2 hours it 1/2's the cpu usage, that's with adobe audition, QBase doesn't have these problems but seems to have others for me.
      Nothing of importance here

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi sook,

        I'm interested to hear if you solve the problems with Cubase 4.

        I've been considering moving from ProTools 7.4 (M-Powered) to Cubase 4 as PT is limited to either 18 input tracks (via Firewire) or 10 inputs via a single Delta 1010.

        It appears that Cubase can use up to 4 Delta 1010s (giving 36 analog and 10 digital inputs).

        Comment


        • #5
          Sonar Producer 7 FTW!!! =0D
          Check out my NEW eBay Store: V-Drum Emporium!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Hercules View Post
            Hi sook,

            I'm interested to hear if you solve the problems with Cubase 4.

            I've been considering moving from ProTools 7.4 (M-Powered) to Cubase 4 as PT is limited to either 18 input tracks (via Firewire) or 10 inputs via a single Delta 1010.

            It appears that Cubase can use up to 4 Delta 1010s (giving 36 analog and 10 digital inputs).
            You could always track through something like Reaper or maybe Cubase when you need more inputs (live recording etc) and then import into Protools for mixing. That's what I am doing and it works like a charm
            I'm avoiding the temptation to spend more money on other systems for now. I'd rather save the $$ and put that towards a PTHD rig.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Hercules, I went through the 1 1/2 hour qbase tuition dvd it came with but it only shows how to use not how to fix, there's something very simple about audition, no 5 viewing screens, nothing fancy but I'm told compared to other programs audition takes a very long time to mixdown and save. I have no need for more than 10 tracks thank smegging goodness !!. Audition is much the same as audcity. I also like the way you set up a template, the same as in QBase. The presonus came with Qbase4Le and after you register it it's full working condition. With 10 tracks up my screens are fulling up quick, you guys must run some huge 40" LCD's maybe ? SP trying to avoid spending more money, ya think :-) , I mean what else would you need lol.
              Nothing of importance here

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi SP - thanks for the tip on Reaper - I've downloaded the trial version and I'll see how it goes.
                PT's (M-powered) limitation on 18 input tracks is a bit of a pain especially the constraint on having only 1 x Delta 1010. I'm at a bit of a crossroads now and have to decide which way to move to expand.
                - I can add up to 3 more Delta 1010LTs (only $280 each) and I suddenly have 40 inputs if I can find a reasonable s/w to use with it - hopefully Reaper fits the bill.
                - or else I can go for something like a Mackie 2640 with a firewire card ($3K) and I then get 18 inputs with ProTools (or ?? inputs if I use Reaper or 40 inputs with Cubase).....and can add more ADAT firewire devices for more tracks

                Studio GAS !!! yikes

                Hi sook, - you were close - a 42" screen actually.........LCD tvs are pretty cheap now (about 1K) and they do the trick just nicely

                Comment


                • #9
                  I had a go with the presonus firestudio 1010 today, yes that's me playing my td-12 and I rock !!! (hey no one else would say so ) I learnt the lead the to the end part of the song and jammed the rest, did two acoustic tracks and a small bass line.
                  It's a bit distorted on mixdown but it's ok for a first try. It's sounds busy but it's supposed to be in that song.
                  Ive been given a "test" version of samplitude 10 to try out, it's better than cubase4 (that continually crashes but came free with the presonus) and beats my adobe audition2 ($250.00) hands down for no strain on the cpu with a few VST's running, I only fret that it's going to cost me $1300.00 for the program but it seems worth it so far. Pretty much all that's needed is some good monitor speakers to hear what's been mixed down. Samplitude does not like my amd 3800 dual core machine, it doesn't crash but little things like "solo" and running VST's sometimes work sometimes don't, the pentium 266 dual core has no probs, not tried on the quadcore yet.

                  http://www.leadguitaranswers.com/ste...d_lead_cut.mp3
                  Nothing of importance here

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hercules View Post
                    Hi SP - thanks for the tip on Reaper - I've downloaded the trial version and I'll see how it goes.
                    PT's (M-powered) limitation on 18 input tracks is a bit of a pain especially the constraint on having only 1 x Delta 1010. I'm at a bit of a crossroads now and have to decide which way to move to expand.
                    - I can add up to 3 more Delta 1010LTs (only $280 each) and I suddenly have 40 inputs if I can find a reasonable s/w to use with it - hopefully Reaper fits the bill.
                    - or else I can go for something like a Mackie 2640 with a firewire card ($3K) and I then get 18 inputs with ProTools (or ?? inputs if I use Reaper or 40 inputs with Cubase).....and can add more ADAT firewire devices for more tracks

                    Studio GAS !!! yikes
                    .....
                    Tell me about it!!! Drum GAS is bad enough... coupled with Studio GAS and we have no hope!
                    I am curious about what you are recording that requires more than 18 simultaneous inputs. Are you recording live bands?
                    There's been a few gigs I've recorded where I've needed more than 18 inputs. The Russell Morris gig I recorded used up 24 inputs so I hired an ADAT HR24 for that one.
                    Originally posted by Sook View Post
                    ........With 10 tracks up my screens are fulling up quick, you guys must run some huge 40" LCD's maybe ? SP trying to avoid spending more money, ya think :-) , I mean what else would you need lol.
                    Two words.... Studio GAS!!! Seriously though, I have had a vision since childhood of owning a major recording studio. These days though, I am focussing on my personal studio and music project. Part of that vision involves a Protools HD3 system..... and a grand piano.... and a wall full of analog synthesizers..... and a full acoustic and electronic percussion and drum section..... and a multi room recording space..... etc... lol
                    Some of those things are taking shape

                    Originally posted by Sook View Post
                    I had a go with the presonus firestudio 1010 today, yes that's me playing my td-12 and I rock !!! (hey no one else would say so ) I learnt the lead the to the end part of the song and jammed the rest, did two acoustic tracks and a small bass line.
                    It's a bit distorted on mixdown but it's ok for a first try. It's sounds busy but it's supposed to be in that song.
                    Ive been given a "test" version of samplitude 10 to try out, it's better than cubase4 (that continually crashes but came free with the presonus) and beats my adobe audition2 ($250.00) hands down for no strain on the cpu with a few VST's running, I only fret that it's going to cost me $1300.00 for the program but it seems worth it so far. Pretty much all that's needed is some good monitor speakers to hear what's been mixed down. Samplitude does not like my amd 3800 dual core machine, it doesn't crash but little things like "solo" and running VST's sometimes work sometimes don't, the pentium 266 dual core has no probs, not tried on the quadcore yet.

                    http://www.leadguitaranswers.com/ste...d_lead_cut.mp3
                    That's pretty good. Nice work on the axe solo. Good feel too.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi SP,

                      I doubt that I will need more that 18 simultaneous inputs but I like to think ahead - it's a pain in the wallet to have limitations on your setup - especially when they can be avoided with a bit more early research and planning.

                      The band I was looking at recording would only have needed 14 tracks (8 mic for a-drums, 2 guitars, bass and 3 vocals).

                      But I would like the option to use:
                      - a DI and a mic on the bass
                      - DI and a mic or else 2 mics for each of the guitars
                      - bottom mics also for toms and snare

                      fyi my studio grew a 46" LCD on the weekend which is a great stepup from the 19" screen. I'll post some photos on your forum soon :-)

                      Hope your finger gets better soon - remember you still have feet so there's no excuse for not playing.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks SuperPuss, recordings are about expectations, mine are very low, i've been used to throwing and old cassette 3in1 in the room and thinking it sounded ok through the years lol..listening to your recordings and others here does place me in the real world but I'll never attain the quality for several reasons, the foremost being you either need to do an studio engineering course or be around ppl who know how, or spend years yourself at it. So most of us are left "having a go" but hey how much fun is this stuff !!! the smile factor in recording beats anything else hands down..and keep with the dream, you are actually getting there very quickly. update..samplitude does not like mixing down, it puts huge reverbs on everything so looks like it's back to google software search..again. It may be lack of ability more than the programs I'm running that's failing. 46" lcd.. I'll be asking wifey if I can use the 39" lcd, she luvs coro street so I fear it's not going to happen.
                        Nothing of importance here

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hey sook,

                          I reckon you should take that 39" LCD for your studio, add Reaper ($50) to your PC (yes it is good and thanks for the tip SP) and you'll be right.

                          With that setup and a good pair of ears (and a bit of fine tuning and patience) you can get studio quality recordings.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks Hercules, Reaper seems to work well so far, nice and easy to use and cheap.
                            Nothing of importance here

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It's been a couple of week now since using Reaper..this program is completely brilliant and thanks SP and Hercules, I've been reading up on compression and a few other things and it's slowly coming together. I had a run in with the drummer wanting to use Samplitude 10 (1300 dollars ) but he has turned around again and recons it's brilliant as well.

                              One things that's interested us the most is setting up each track with EQ's compression reverbs etc, all we need to do is put reaper onto a laptop, load the default made up session and plug every thing in, it'll then use all those effects to play live..outstanding, it must be what "they" do.

                              Our singer can't believe what running 2 tracks with the main sound in the centre with comp and EQ on one track a tiny delay to the right on a second track with no effects has done to his voice..no effects boxes for the vocals and acoustic guitar, keyboards or bass, the program does it all..it's crashed twice and that was only because of a VST effect it didn't like..deleted it and all good again..to end, I'm trying to learn a few Rammstein tunes, Reaper and the Presonus can almost do it..I make 10 tracks and do one recording on the 10 then mix.. left/right then a bit less left/right with some tiny delays, do 4 tracks with different eq's then again with chorus and it thickens up nicely.
                              Nothing of importance here

                              Comment

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