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Upgrading the office "studio"? Am I missing anything?


(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
Topic starter  

My digital world in my office is lots of fun. I have no idea what I am missing, though. I can do the most basic of all functions. I can play with backing tracks. I can record.

for those who don't know, I run guitar -> Boss GT-10 -> headphone out to mic in -> PC, and using Audacity to record.

I bought a new PC this weekend and no longer have massive slow downs and reboots. I'm also running an A/B switch to toggle beteen old PC and new PC.

There are some issues or items that I know I would like resolved, but not surehow to go about it. I might not need anything, or I might need a big ox of someone's software. My biggest requirement is that the Boss GT-10 remains in charge of all things tone with the guitar.

so, in the end I have to wonder if I need anything, ot does all my rigging suffice. Remember, I am no pro. Here are some of the things I want to do, and my current solutions.

#1: Play and sing single guitar arrangements. I can do this thorugh my Blue snowball and have done so a lot. Alas, it won't work on windoze 7. A new one is being negotiated with the good folks at Blue Mics.

#2: Playing into two seperate tracks at the same time. Can I have a guitar signal on one track and vocals on another. (one though Gt-10 and other through USB mic) this is something that don't think I can do now.

#3: Pluck out existing vocals and guitars from tracks I like. Yes, VOX claims to be able to do that. I've seen the demos. I'm willing to bet that we're 5 years away from a real solution. In the interim, I can export .wav files from Guitar Pro and import them into an audacity project. No, they're not human made drums or bass lines from the rock stars, but you get the basic jist of it.

#4: Play many tracks, one at a time for a song. I can do this in Audacity. I can even import seperate tracks from GP output wav files for what appears to be total control. I've posted a few in Hear Here where I'f done just that.

I mentioned Audacity a few times. It's cheep, free and now reliable. What do I get if I was to go cubase or some other software that's been menioned. Have I got something that is way outdated? Are my recordings hitting a low ceiling of quality, or does it matter due to my current playing and singing abilities.

In closing, I am not sure what I should get, if anything. I do want my GT-10 to remain in the center of tone shaping just because I can take that with me and plug it into my drum/keys/PA unit. If I wanted to play backing tracks out anywhere but here at the desk, I can burn what I want onto a CD and bring that and a CD player with me. A bit awkward, but will do the trick.

so, am I missing anything, or did I already make the biggest upgrade needed when I bought the new PC? Thanks for reading my rambling.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@steve-0)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1165
 

You should be able to record vocals and guitar at the same time and on separate tracks. The only problem you might have is with latency (a small delay between tracks that is small but annoying), depending on what your computer and sound card are like. I've used Audacity and I like it (perticularly because it's free :D ) but I can only record single track guitar tracks because I have a slow computer and basic sound card.

Steve-0


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

There's a "time-shift" button on Audacity - if one of your tracks doesn't line up properly (the "latency" which Steve-O mentions) you can use this facility to click on the track and re-position it. I've often used it when recording vocals; I've copied the original vocal track and pasted it into a new track, then, when I've come to line them up, used a tiny bit of delay by not quite lining the tracks up straight to get some echo.

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
Topic starter  

I've got a bit of patch work going on. Regardless, it seems to be working. The new PC is smoking. I do need to figure out how to record in two channels first, though. I'll investigate when my new mic arrives.

Speaking of mics, some news on the USB mic front. The Blue snowball of early serial numbers will not work on windows 7. I emailed and they offered me a replacement for $65. Not what I wanted (I wanted mine to work and spend no money). I countered with an offer to apply the "discount" to the new, better one (supposedly). They accepted, and even increased the discount amount. I'm getting this http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Blue-Yeti-USB-Microphone?sku=423203 for $90, shipped.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@trguitar)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3711
 

Wow! That liiks like a serious mic. I have an inexpensive Behringer USB interface that I run the tape outs of my mixer into, so I just use a regular mic. Mic to mixer to interface to USB port of computer. Cheap but effective. I should buy a better mic though.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
Topic starter  

I've probably over-done it on the mic, but what the heck.

I've been watching Rahul's thread and re-read it a time or two even about everyone's theories on ideal recording for home studios. I notice lots of people use an interface. You mention your Behringer. dogbite has his Lexicon. I wonder if I am making things more difficult by going straight into OC rather than an interface?

Steve-O, Audacity is so easy to use, too. I still have hard time believing it's free.

I decided to look into not quite so free options. I ended up going back to Reaper. It's got more than I'll ever need, I think, and the non-professional license was only $60. I tried it out this weekend quite a bit. Did some faulty A/B testing and things like that. It's a bit of a clumsy pain to work with for now, but I'm hoping it will all become academic as I learn different things. One thing that I have noticed so far is that the output seems less jammed together. Less mumbled. More clarity. however one might describe it. Of course, it might be the new sound system making the difference. I tried the same thing in Audacity and it came out more mumbled, even after some panning efforts.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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