Home Recording/home studio
QUESTION: hi wayne! this will probably be a pretty easy but long question, i've just been too overwhelmed trying to find the right recording equipment for me. i'm moving into a bigger house in a couple months so i would finally like to start on a home recording studio.
what i want to know is some basics.. i use a PC that is top notch (a lot of ram, space, good sound card). if you could point me in the right direction of some of the following i would be eternally grateful!
before i say anymore i'd like to mention that i am no pro at any of this. i would just like to own my own set up (not too cheap, not too expensive) that i can learn on.
all i am really asking is for some recommendations on equipment so i can get started, i don't want to buy the wrong stuff or waste money on something. my main concern is recording software and an audio interface. i'm setting my budget in this area for around $400-500. pro tools has caught my eye but like i said i'm just overwhelmed with all the different versions of it and such. i have a good idea of what mics i want, but should i also be looking for mic preamps? i really hope you get a chance to look at this and i hope you don't think i am a complete moron, ha! thanks.
ANSWER: Actually, it's a simple answer for me to give you. I'm for Pro Tools 100%. There are "starter systems" that you can get into the MBox systems for under $500
My tendency is to tell you to steer away from the m-audio version, as I think it's limited in it's features. If you go with the full on Avid version, you can always upgrade the hardware, and never need to change the software. Plus - it's 100% compatible with any and every other system running pro tools, which is good if you want to take a session you started in your home studio into a professional studio.
The typical preamps on the MBoxes are pretty good. I'd worry primarily on getting good mics first. A great preamp won't make a bad mic better...
I hope this helps you out a bit. Let me know if you need any more help/suggestions.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: also, could i run a mixer through one of those mbox's so that i could use more mics?
ANSWER: Certainly - it's just an input like any other (switchable from mic/line/inst). On the original Mbox, it also had a digital input, so if your mixer has a spdif output, you could run it directly into there as a stereo input
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: thanks for the help so far! two last questions if you don't mind..
i've been looking around a bit more and i've been having second thoughts on pro tools, mainly because of it's price ($700). what other DAW software would you suggest, in the 300-400 range? i've heard good things about SONAR's Cakewalk X1, although it's not much cheaper than pro tools. also, what is you're opinion on the tascam-1800 interface? it seems like a pretty good deal; 16 inputs and it runs for about $300.
To be perfectly honest - it's been so long since I've worked on any other system other than Pro Tools (2001) because of the studios I deal with and work out of are all PT based. I really don't know too much about the other available systems - they literally never come up.
Most software packages will all work equally well... some just have features that you might find more or less attractive than others. Just read up on the features you think you'll need the most.
Concerning the Tascam mixer - I've owned Tascam before, and they generally make a very good product. I have not used that particular interface, but based on past experience and the brand, I'm sure it's a great unit. Once again, really zero in on what features you think you'll need, and let that help guide your purchase.