(Cheap) home recording help wanted

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  • (Cheap) home recording help wanted
  • ji
    Member

    Mt daughter is interested in getting into home recording – mainly voice, but would include keyboard, guitar, electronic drumkit as well.

    Last time I did any recording was decades ago, when it was all multi-tracking onto c90 cassettes , so I am looking for some up to date advice.

    Ideally this needs to be cheap (under £50 would be ideal) to see how serious she is before upgrading. This may be unrealistic, but I already have all the instruments, mikes (old Shure SM58s) and a PC. So I think all I need is a soundcard/mixer (USB seems to be ideal) and some recording software.

    Any advice and ideas welcome!

    I’ve just bought a Yamaha Audiogram 3 USB interface. It has two inputs, one for mic or instrument (combined XLR/Jack Socket) and one stereo pair of jack sockets, plus stereo out jack & phono sockets, headphone socket.

    It came with Cubase AI 5 recording software, and I’ve loaded this onto a laptop which I take to our rehearsal room. So far I’ve recorded my acoustic drum kit (in stereo; I have 5 drum mics and our keyboard player has a rack mounted mixer, 5 in, 2 out), plus bass and backing vocal tracks for 5 of our songs. Next up, guitars, lead vocals. our keyboard player has Cubase at home so I’ll give him the projects & he can record his keyboard tracks at leisure, then send them back to me for the final mix.

    more details here: http://www.pmtonline.co.uk/yamaha-audiogram-3-usb-audio-interface.html

    other similar items are available

    Trampus
    Member

    Slightly over your budget, but an Alesis io2would be spot on. They can be had for about £65.00.

    tpbiker
    Member

    maybe not ‘up to date’ but why not try to pick up something like this

    Roland

    I have one, quality is ace, doesn’t rely on you PC not crashing, midi compatable, loads of effects. But as easy to use as one of the old tape based four tracks of yesteryear.

    only donwn side is it take zip disks, rather than harddrive.

    CountZero
    Member

    If you had a Mac, then GarageBand gives you all you need. I don’t know about PC/Windows but there may be something similar available.

    then send them back to me for the final mix.

    or he could do the mix. I’m easy

    hitman
    Member

    ji
    I have a zoom H4 which is great – portable and records to an sd, plug into your pc and you can edit using software such as cubase.
    A cheaper version without the bells and whistles is the zoom H1 which you can get for about £60:

    http://www.zoom.co.jp/products/h1

    ji
    Member

    Thanks for the replies. The Alesis IO2 looks ideal. The Zoom H1 is too much the handheld item I think, and whilst I am tempted by an older ‘all in one’ multitrack recorder (I even found my old Fostex X26 on eBay) I think if she is serious then learning PC music editing is a worthwhile skill.

    Keep the suggestions coming though!

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    Check what software comes with it if you can. The Cubase ai 5 that come with the Yamaha USB is really rather good and has much better reverb than I’ve found with the free recording software such as audacity. I think you can even add drums in ai but i never got the hang of using that interface well. If I had the choice I would think the software would swing me, especially if your daughter is just recording herself and putting down one track at a time.

    Note that althought the Yamaha has two inputs you can’t really record them both at the same time as you have a mic input that pans to stereo and then a line level stero input as well that is mixed in before going to the pc. So really you either get a mic or a stero line in pair.

    Edit: just looked and the alesis seems to. Come with Cubase LE rather than AI. They are both cut down versions but the AI appears to have a drum editor which the LE version doesn’t. You might want to check up on that though as that may be old info. The yamaha is 68 quid as well

    Note that althought the Yamaha has two inputs you can’t really record them both at the same time as you have a mic input that pans to stereo and then a line level stero input as well that is mixed in before going to the pc. So really you either get a mic or a stero line in pair.

    technically it actually has 3 inputs, stereo pair (or mono) AND a mic/line input, switchable according to what you’re plugging in.

    Experience over the last 2 weeks tells me you can record both the stereo pair and the mic/line input simultaneously.
    We had the mixed drum kit mics into a stereo pair from Simon’s rack mixer into input pair #1, and an ambient room mic in mic/line in #2.

    Turned out the drum mics were picking up everything in the room as well (Trace Elliot 300W bass head, 1×15 and 4×10 cabs are really f**ing loud), so that track was not that much use, so I went back into the “studio” on my own, just me, the mics, mixer & laptop, and I recorded “clean” drum tracks for 5 of our 9 songs by playing back to the previously recorded version. Tricky for a drummer but if you can play to a click track, you can play to your own previously recorded versions. Took me about 2 hours. 3 more to do… (song 9 is an acoustic number, no, or very little, drums)

    shame I hadn’t bothered to tune my snare before hand, £300 snare drum may as well be a £30 snare drum if it’s not tuned properly. ah well, 3 songs still to do

    I think you can even add drums in ai but i never got the hang of using that interface well.

    not a problem for me 😉

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    Experience over the last 2 weeks tells me you can record both the stereo pair and the mic/line input simultaneously

    I don’t know how you can do that as I thought it was only stereo recording in to the computer?

    not a problem for me

    Cool. I’ll persevere then.

    Stereo in ch1, mono in ch2. It works, trust me.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    Stereo in ch1, mono in ch2. It works, trust me

    That bit I get. The question is whether or not you manage to record 3 separate channels into the computer or if you are already mixing ch1 and ch2 before you record?

    Two separate tracks recorded simultaneously, which you can then mix as required.
    The stereo channel containing the drums has been pre-mixed before it comes into the Yamaha device. Pot luck in whether the mix is right, but I had a few goes to get it there
    That goes into track one which has stereo input, while the other channel had a mono input. I had to add a separate bus in cubase to do that but it does seem to work.

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