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Recording Hardware

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(@ohblahitsme)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 27
Topic starter  

Hi everyone, its me again after a long time.

I want to start recording. So far I've been using a $15 computer mic and the free Song Acid Xpress software to record and, well I need some better equipment.

I've been looking at two choices:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Lexicon-Lambda-USB-Desktop-Studio-103725602-i1126258.gc

The Lexicon Lambda

and
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Lexicon-Omega-Desktop-Recording-Studio-102967601-i1126257.gc?mode=1&qso=2
the Lexicon Omega

My budget is kinda weird. Right now I have $100 saved up and I plan on saving up a bit more. The Omega is on amazon.com for $165 so I think that they're around the same price.

For mics I don't wanna spend a lot so I was thinking of this:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Nady-SP1-Microphone-and-Stand-Package-277031-i1127105.gc

I know it's not the greatest quality but it has everything I need(Stand, cable).

So what do you recommend?


   
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(@bloos66)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 334
 

Hi,

not knowing anything about the Lexicon gear except reading the specs on GC, I suggest that it will do the job just fine. I use the Line 6 POD Studio UX2 with POD Farm (look it up on GC) and are very happy with it. Very similar specs, and Line6 gives me some great guitar modelling software.

One word of warning though - I found with the Line6 POD that recording both guitar and microphone into the computer at the same time didn't work so well, somehow I ended up with a lot less 'grunt' and power compared to recording them separately. Have a look at some reviews if you haven't already done so. And make sure that your computer can handle the additional load as well.

As for the mic, I am not really qualified to comment on it, looks kind of cheap but the online comments suggest that it might be ok.

Good luck.


   
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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

I have and been using the Lexicon Lambda for as year now. works great. no problems. it came with a recording program. CubaseLE. that is a freebie basic program. after nine months I upgraded to a better Cubase program.
Lambda has all the INS and OUTS I can use. I mostly record by myself.
I sometimes mike the amps. I generally plug straight into the interface. sometimes with my effects. sometimes using the recording programs effects.
I have an SM57. mostly use that for amps. every studio should have one. for vocals I use a CAD 2200 wide condenser. it was under a hundred dollars. I can't afford the spendy mikes yet. this one is not bad.
never found the need for a mixer in my set up. the Lambda does all that.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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(@ohblahitsme)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 27
Topic starter  

Awesome, thanks for the replies guys.

I have and been using the Lexicon Lambda for as year now. works great. no problems. it came with a recording program. CubaseLE. that is a freebie basic program. after nine months I upgraded to a better Cubase program.
Lambda has all the INS and OUTS I can use. I mostly record by myself.
I sometimes mike the amps. I generally plug straight into the interface. sometimes with my effects. sometimes using the recording programs effects.
I have an SM57. mostly use that for amps. every studio should have one. for vocals I use a CAD 2200 wide condenser. it was under a hundred dollars. I can't afford the spendy mikes yet. this one is not bad.
never found the need for a mixer in my set up. the Lambda does all that.

So you don't think it's worth it to go for the Omega? I'm most likely going to record just myself and maybe a friend so I don't think I'll use too many inputs but I'm not to sure.

As for the mic, I will most likely upgrade. I just want a cheap mic to get started. So I figured, $20 with a stand, the mic and a cable and decent reviews, Why not check it out.

Thanks for the inputs guys. As of now, I guess I'm leaning towards the $150 Lambda with the $20 Mic.

Any more inputs? All are appreciated =].


   
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(@tldavis92)
Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 34
 

I have a similar machine in the same series, specifically the Alpha. The hardware itself is fine. However Cubase has one of the most difficult interfaces I have ever worked with. You will catch on eventually, but I had to fiddle with it a lot to get it to work correctly.


   
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(@ohblahitsme)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 27
Topic starter  

Thanks for the reply man. I was thinking that I would get a different program, rather than use the Cubase LE that comes with it. However, now that I think about it, I don't know what program I would get. Right now I am using Sony Acid Xpress(the free one) and that has been working out well for me. The Sony Acid Music Studio costs $55 and I think that would be a reasonable price to pay for a nice mixing program. But are there any recommendations for mixing/recording programs? Defiantly needs to be under $100 because I am broke if I buy the Lambda along with a mic :wink: . Do you think it is worth is to upgrade any programs for now? Or should I just stick with Cubase and figure out how to use it? I am pretty "good" with technology so I think I could adapt to the new program. Are there are limitations with the included program?

Sorry for the rambling. My main question is, what should I use for recording, and are there limitations with Cubase LE?

EDIT: After Googleing, I found that the included Cubase is limited, but it is good enough for what I need. But are there any other suggestions on what program to get?


   
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(@bloos66)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 334
 

From memory, the Cakewalk products are quite good (Home Studio Sonar, Guitartracks). There's also Ableton, Native Instruments, Fruity Loops, and the Sony products (Sound Forge) are ok as well. Most of these programs should be available for download as evaluation version so you could try them out. I used Cakewalk Home Studio for a while, and last year made the switch to Macs and Garageband.

As for choosing between the Lambda and Omega, the main differences are the number of inputs and outputs. If you only need a mic and instrument input, then the Lambda will do. If you want to have more microphones at the same time, perhaps the Omega is better. Despite all the various inputs, you will not be able to use them all at the same time anyway - at least some of the Line6 products have this restrictions.


   
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(@ohblahitsme)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 27
Topic starter  

Alrighty, thanks for the input. I think I am defiantly going to choose the Lambda. I do have one more question though.

It comes with two "Line inputs" and two line outputs. What can I connect to these? There is an Instrument input in the front, so I'm guessing that's where I would plug in my guitar, but what would I put into the line ins? I have a keyboard, so is that something I can put in there? Thanks a lot, I am new to home recording.

Edit: Also when I plug my Electric guitar in, would I just take the cable and stick it directly from my guitar into the Lambda?


   
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(@bloos66)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 334
 

Hi,

just found the Lambda user manual at: http://www.lexiconpro.com/Product_Downloads/lambda/LambdaManual.pdf

Line In 1-2
These ¼" inputs can accept both balanced (3-conductor TRS) and unbalanced (2-
conductor TS or instrument) audio sources. Each input gain is adjusted individually
using the Line 1-2 gain knobs on the front panel.

left/right Line Outputs
These outputs support balanced TRS or unbalanced TS ¼" connections. These
outputs can be connected to a mixing board, power amplifier, powered studio monitors,
recorder, or another line level input.

¼" Instrument Input Jack
This ¼" jack accepts unbalanced, low-level, high impedance instrument sources such
as electric guitar, acoustic guitar with a pickup, and electric bass. The input gain is
adjusted using the Line 1 knob on the front panel. When an instrument is plugged into
this input, it disables the Line 1 audio input on the rear panel.
Yes, guitar cable goes straight from guitar into this Instrument input. Input level is adjustable both at the guitar volume switch and the Line1 know at the Lambda.

Looks like you are all settled for some great home recording. Cheers, b.


   
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(@bloos66)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 334
 

While practicing a bit of strumming on the guitar, I remembered to check the user manual for the number of input that you can record at the same time - and I believe it's only 2. So in that regard it's similar to my Line6 TonePort UX2 - you can connect a variety of instruments, mics, mp3 players, drum machines etc - but on the computer, you can only record 2 sources simultaneously - for instance, guitar and mic, or keyboard and mic.

The Lambda if a full mixer (4+2+2) though, so what you can do is to have everything connected up, use the software to mix the inputs and then play the full mix back via external powered monitor speakers, or record the full mix on the computer.

When I tried out the Line6 Toneport, I was expecting to being able to record 2 guitars, a mic and a keyboard at the same time, and was hugely disappointed that it didn't work. Still, for my humble home recording efforts, 2 inputs are sufficient. I generally record voice and rhythm guitar first, then record the solo afterwards. The "drum machine" is built into Garageband so no need to record that, although you could record a drum machine through a Line1 input to start with. Lots of options, and I wish you all the best. Rock on....


   
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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

the information you posted on Lambda is accurate. thanks.

yes you can plug your guitar cord right into the interface. I read somewhere that a DI (direct injection) box is better. it has a ground lift and it also fashions the signal that is more acceptable (analog to digital). so I bought a IMP2 on ebay for a few bucks. now I plug into that. I think a keyboard could go there and then into the Lambda. I have done it both ways. guitar >DI>Lambda and guitar>Lambda. to be honest I can't tell the difference. Cubase wasn't that hard. I am a analog dinosaur when it comes to this stuff. if I can learn anyone can.
best advice: start simple and then go nuts.
see if you can upgrade to a better mike. maybe 40 euros?

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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(@ohblahitsme)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 27
Topic starter  

Thanks for the great information and link to the manual bloos66.
the information you posted on Lambda is accurate. thanks.

yes you can plug your guitar cord right into the interface. I read somewhere that a DI (direct injection) box is better. it has a ground lift and it also fashions the signal that is more acceptable (analog to digital). so I bought a IMP2 on ebay for a few bucks. now I plug into that. I think a keyboard could go there and then into the Lambda. I have done it both ways. guitar >DI>Lambda and guitar>Lambda. to be honest I can't tell the difference. Cubase wasn't that hard. I am a analog dinosaur when it comes to this stuff. if I can learn anyone can.
best advice: start simple and then go nuts.
see if you can upgrade to a better mike. maybe 40 euros?
Thanks for the great reply, I was just wondering. If I plug in my guitar directly into Lambda, how would I add effects or even have distortion on it? Or is there something that I put on the recording after I record it so it sounds distorted?


   
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(@bloos66)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 334
 

Good question - and you have several options.

a) a guitar modelling application (something along Line6 GearBox which comes with the TonePort, Amplitube, Guitar Rig or similar). This will give you lots of different sounds, amplifiers, speakers, pedals, etc. I love it and use it a lot for experimenting.

b) VST plug-ins that you can add to your recording/mixing software. Some of them are free, some you have to buy. Google for it, there are thousands and thousands of these out there, and many are free. You can get all sorts of plug-ins, from complex synthesizers to simple reverb to vocal enhancers.

c) Check out your recording/mixing software as well, some already come with built-in effects, at least some basic ones.

After getting involved in this thread, I played around with Cakewalk's Guitar Tracks Pro v3 today, and it does everything you want to do, it's a really nice and simple recording and mixing application, and it comes with a Amplitube LE which gives you a number of guitar modelling presets (like Jazz, Blues, Rock, Heavy Metal - all configurable). If you are looking at buying a new software tool, check this one out.


   
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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

yes, bloos66 is right on.
I work three ways generally:
I plug in straight and use the on board VST effects or
I set up my pedals in the order I know and then plug in or
I use an amp modeller, a Johnson J Station ( thanks Gerry).

after the tracks are laid down I open the Mixer ( within Cubase) and add effects or not, adjust EQ, move the tracks around(Left/Right). all kinds of fun things.

PS: one cool thing about the digital interface is that it has Phantom power to run any passive microphone I use.
PSS: http://www.cubase.net is the support forum. check out FAQ for more info regarding Cubase.
http://www.tweakheadz.com is an info site full of recording explanations , equipment, etc.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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(@ohblahitsme)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 27
Topic starter  

Wow you guys are great. I will definitely check those sites out and I might look at Cakewalk- the only problem is, after buying this and a mic, I have almost no money left. I will save up though(only a student)

Once again thanks for the great replies.


   
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