Recording Software Question
I must admit I'm green when it cames to computer recording.I'm looking for something to record multiple instruments(mainly guitar though),and vocals.Then mixing and possibly burning to cd.Can anyone recommend something?Also,what else will I need?I'm looking at Cakewalk Guitar Pro 3 at the moment,and it appears I need some kind of box to plug into to go from guitar to pc.Any help would be greatly appreciated.Thanks.
Reaper, end of story. No really, don't even consider anything else until you've at least tried Reaper. It'll do just about anything the other software will do, it does it well and it's very easy to get into. It's got a free trial period, and is complete and uncrippled for the trial. When that runs out, you'll get a nag sceen, and it's cheaper than the big names by a country mile. Well supported on their forums too, and written (and updated/bugfixed/etc almost daily) by people who really know what they're doing. Can't recommend it enough.
The box between computer and guitar is a seperate issue... I use my Zoom pedal which connects via USB, but you'll need to either record with a mic, or have some kind of preamplifier to get the guitars output level up to the level that the computer can deal with.
yeah, you'll need an interface or soundcard to link your music gear and you pc. an interface can look like this - http://www.thomann.de/gb/numark_dj_io_audio_interface.htm or more like a standard mixer, e.g. http://www.thomann.de/gb/alesis_multimix_8_firewire.htm interfaces can connect to your computer in several ways (e.g. USB, firewire, S/PDIF, etc).
those two are just examples, though. if you give us an idea of what pc and music gear you currently have, and how much you can afford to spend on recording equipment, we can start recommending specific brand/models/recording methods. oh, and an idea of where/how you want to use the gear would help also.
I'm assuming that you have a windows pc and not a mac computer, and that it is a desktop pc and not a laptop.
in that case (and even if you have a mac desktop) you might want to consider a standalone recording device which can be linked to your computer if you want to record in several locations.
if you are happy recording in one room (or you have transport to lug your pc around to other venues), then an interface or soundcard would be your best bet.
I can't really comment much on software since I use a mac, and most of the lower-end software is pc-only. one thing I will, however, say is that you could download Audacity first and play around with that. There's a link in one of these forums, but googling the name should take you to the DL page. That software is free.
I'll post again later, once you've got back with more details on your setup and planned recording.
Ra Er Ga.
Ninjazz have SuperChops.
First of all a mixer is entirely unnecessary so, get that out of your head first. Not sure that the Numark is any kind of solution. It's geared toward dj's which means phono and line level inputs. Not really appropriate for guitar.
Secondly, did you mention your budget?
When you look for an interface consider these things:
-Does it have an instrument level input? You need one if you don't plan on micing your amp.
-What kind of software does it come with? Many interfaces come with Cubase LE which is a great entry level software that can produce very professional results in the right hands/ears. Digi products come with ProTools LE which is compatible with "industry Standard" ProTools TDM/HD software. M-Audio products support ProTools M-powered(the "LE" for M-Audio products).
-What platform is supported?
-Do you plan on using a condenser mic? You need +48v phantom power.
Just some thoughts. In the end no one can make up your mind for you. I have given up on making specific suggestions as, most people tend to ignore advice and just buy what they fancy. That's fine. We all live with our decisions.
Re, the interface:
I'd advise getting in cheap and seeing how you like the whole process.
Here's the Tascam unit I have (I just googled 'tascam 122 craigslist' and there was one recently offered for sale in almost every major metropolitan area of the US (not sure where you're located).):
I bought mine used about 4 years ago for 180 CAN$, so maybe 80 to 100 US would be fair today.
It's built like a tank, works flawlessly and covers off all the bases Hue has outlined. Likely not the finest preamp, but for my humble needs, it's been great. No latency issues, great software/driver support. I'm actually going to keep it when I move to a new computer and audio software in the near future.
If you buy new, it's buyer beware on a lot of the lower end units today. Lots of cut corners because they're competing so aggressively on price. On the Tascam 122 LE that replaced my interface, plugging in headphones will defeat the line out signal to your external speakers. For me, something like that's a deal killer.
Take a little time and read up on what you think you'll need. All the best! :)
just to clarify - I wasn't suggesting the items I linked to as possible purchases. I just wanted to illustrate the fact that an interface needn't look like a mixer - I've known a few people who've bought interfaces and ended up getting a bum deal because they would only look at interfaces that resembled the mixers they'd seen in studios and the like. I should have checked more closely what I was posting - I just looked in thomann for 'interfaces' and linked to two which looked like they'd illustrate my point.
in addition to the us-122 there's a tascam 144 which is pretty much in the same price bracket. but these wont let you record e.g. 3 guitars and 2 vocals simultaneously, which is what I assumed you were saying in the OP. if you're happy to record things track by track its no problem, but recording multiple tracks simultaneously is gonna add to your costs.
the best thing would probably be to make a list of what you want/need and then prioritise that list (e.g. you need to be able to record guitars, and to record vocals, you need to be able to record in several different locations, you're happy to record tunes track by track, I have X dollars to spend, that sort of thing). I find its way too easy to get lost in the sea of technology, so working out what I need the gear to perform/achieve first and deciding how important each bullet-point (or w/ever) is prevents me from choosing too rashly.
Ra Er Ga.
Ninjazz have SuperChops.
I would go with either M-Audio, DigiDesign or Mackie. Mackie's external card sound pretty nice, but the I think it's kinda pricey