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  • Index
  •  » Recording
  •  » Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

#1 2011-05-09 13:45:31

Robert Lunte
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Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Im putting my new home recording system together and was wondering if anyone had some specifications that would be appropriate for a computer system that would be dedicated only to recording?  Im running ProTools 8 and the M-Audio 610 interface.  Dont have thousands to spend, this is only for tracking vocals on bed tracks, but do have some budget.

Thoughts?

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2011-05-09 13:45:31

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#2 2011-05-09 14:56:56

Robert Lunte
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

.... or any specialty systems that is not a laptop running software, but a little "mini" console kind of thingy...

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#3 2011-05-13 03:56:06

Rozzy73
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

I'm of the opinion that if it ain't Mac, it's wrong. I'm sure you would be very happy with with a Macbook Pro, but you would probably be fine with an iMac, too.

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#4 2011-05-13 05:19:25

Robert Lunte
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Ya, thats what Im looking at...

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#5 2011-05-13 06:47:47

akarawd
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

I strongly recommend the "pro" version. Also, although usb is ok, prefer firewire for your external drives and possible audio interface - it's better if you'll be streaming many audio track.

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#6 2011-05-22 01:49:46

ronws
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

I wouldn't have a clue, though I am interested. I have seem some nifty-looking software packages at Best Buy for recording/mixing that I am thinking of getting as they are bound to be better than Audacity, which I am currently using. The problem with audacity is that it is not real-time. I can't adjust parameters during playback. Or have parameters for only part of the track. Say I wanted echo only on the choruses. Can't do that. It's echo all the way across the track. The only way around that is to record choruses on another track with that effect and then let it all export to one.

Currently, I have a Fame M-1 studio condenser mic, which I can easily overload from 2 feet away. And the Guitarface II USB interface, which does have the +48 volts phantom power for condenser mics.


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#7 2011-05-22 02:01:30

ronws
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Then, again, I prefer just recording myself and the guitar, live. For that, I just need a mic.


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#8 2011-05-22 03:01:35

truth1ness
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Definitely can't go wrong with a Macbook pro. Make sure you go for the highest speed hard drive. If you can afford it, an SSD (solid state drive) is worth every penny as your apps and sound files will load and run blazingly fast.

Ron, I'm assuming you're using PC? I used to use and loved n-Track Studio for recording if you are looking for a lower cost but powerful recording program. Great program for only $64 and does stuff much more expensive programs do.

Last edited by truth1ness (2011-05-22 03:03:34)

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#9 2011-05-22 13:20:43

Quincy
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

I'll toss out another good recording program called "Reaper". Heard lots of great reviews on it and it costs $50 I think.

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#10 2011-06-04 09:23:42

mikeeasley
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

I've been using Mac Pro. It's really good for recording. :) My friends recommended it too.


Online Music Promotion You do the music We do the promotion | iTunes Music Promotion We promote your music on iTunes

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#11 2013-06-18 20:58:13

Gneetapp
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

I own a MacBook Pro with a 7200rpm hard drive that works fine for recording. I also built a hackintosh desktop (a pc running a legal copy of MAC OSX). For audio interface I own a TASCAM US2000 (lots of ins run through USB) hoocked-up to the desktop, and a small interface from Focusrite called Scarlet 2i2 (2 chanels run through USB) for the laptop. As software I'm running Garageband (MACs only) on the laptop and Logic on the desktop. Two very good solutions if you own a MAC computer. Now I'm thinking of selling my Tascam (USB) and geting a Firewire audio interface because it is supposed to be more stable. The problem is that I wanted to combine the audio interface with a digital mixer and control surface for Logic, all-in-one solution, but the prices are sky-high for my budget...:(

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#12 2013-06-19 18:15:09

FelipeCarvalho
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Gnee, so are you having stability problems with the Tascam and the Focusrite interfaces? I know Tascam fame is not that great but I never heard people complaining about the US2000 (even considered getting one of these myself some time ago). And the Scarlet I only hear good stuff about.

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#13 2013-06-20 13:18:37

Gneetapp
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Felipe, I have no complains at all on these two interfaces. To be honest, I have not yet recorded many channels at the same time with the Tascam to really put it to the test, but so far so good. I got it mainly for the multiple INs, so I  can have all instruments connected with no need to switch cables or anything, but I wish the US2000 had MIDI implemented, effects, and 2 headphone outs instead of only 1. The scarlet interface (2i2) is really nice. I like sound of the 2 mic pre-amps, plus the fact that the 2 INs are a combo mic/instrument so you could hook-up a guitar and a microphone and take them with the laptop to an acoustic gig using the plug-in effects from Mainstage, or you could use it on a full gig for plug-ins to your voice (e.g. Trent Reznor from NIN). The display of the scarlet is also easy to monitor for the input signals: if the halo is green you are fine, but if it turns to red...well you get the picture. Not to mention the unit is so small (it fits easily in my laptop backpack), and looks really nice in brushed aluminum in red. I think that if you can get your hands on either one (Focusrite scarlet or Tascam US2000) you will not regret it. Now I am saving some money to upgrade the US2000 to an interface with effects, mixer capabilities, and control surface. But there are no good options within a reasonable price range...:(

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#14 2013-06-20 16:36:40

FelipeCarvalho
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Gnee cool man, and may I ask what is in your mind regarding your workflow that will change considerably?

Are your main reasons recording workflow and live sound reinforcing? Will you work with full band recordings?

Im asking so that you consider well the benefit of getting what you want, an all around solution. I have a Yamaha N12, firewire, cool hardware with very good faders and a control surface that integrates very nicely with Cubase.

When I was working more actively on the studio recording bands and doing live sound, man, gotta say its a wonderfull tool, I would not think twice to resort to a complete solution again.

However now Im doing work on my home studio, and its kind of an overkill, its actually very clumsy and I am considering selling it to get a Scarlet to do the same work :). (some mixing/midi work, my own recordings, students, etc).

So I am very interested on what are your limitations now regarding your current set, so I dont regret it later :), and at the same time, I am 200% positive that your situation will not improve because of Firewire stability (actually USB is more compatible, firewire interfaces on ports that do not use TI chipset behave kind of weird, and some interfaces have problems with the Windows drivers on the x64 platform).

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#15 2013-06-20 16:59:22

Owen Korzec
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

I'm probably missing a lot of the context of the thread, but Gneetap, I'm pretty sure neither USB 2.0 nor Tascam is the problem.

I've been using a tascam us1641 (I think an old version of the 2000?) for years and it has been extremely stable. However before I upgraded to Lion it was totally unreliable. So the computer platform, software drivers, etc. may have to do with it. But now that I'm on Lion I have NEVER had it fail me on a session.

Felipe's right you're probably blaming the wrong things. USB 2.0 is excellent.

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#16 2013-06-20 19:01:39

Gneetapp
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

FelipeCarvalho wrote:

Gnee cool man, and may I ask what is in your mind regarding your workflow that will change considerably?
Are your main reasons recording workflow and live sound reinforcing? Will you work with full band recordings?

Exactly Felipe. I play on a 4-piece-band, but we are upgrading to a five-piece (2 guitars). Right now, I could record a full band with the inputs of Tascam. But I miss having the FX onboard, so I don't have to rely on Logic or Garageband plugins. I also miss having the faders, pot control, and transport at my fingertips, as I used to have with my first audio interface (Roland VM-3100Pro): a digital mixer, with MIDI, control surface, and 8 simultaneous channels in, plus 8 out (from the software). Very cool, and kinda cheap (US$660.00 loonnng time ago). With the band I will also need a PA solution for the gigs.

Im asking so that you consider well the benefit of getting what you want, an all around solution. I have a Yamaha N12, firewire, cool hardware with very good faders and a control surface that integrates very nicely with Cubase.

I heard/read good things about the Yamaha N12. Do you also have onboard FX? I'm curious if the integration with Logic would be easy, so it could be used as a control surface too.

However now Im doing work on my home studio, and its kind of an overkill, its actually very clumsy and I am considering selling it to get a Scarlet to do the same work :). (some mixing/midi work, my own recordings, students, etc).

This is for my home studio too, that is also why I would like to have a all-in-one solution, to save space.

So I am very interested on what are your limitations now regarding your current set, so I dont regret it later :), and at the same time, I am 200% positive that your situation will not improve because of Firewire stability (actually USB is more compatible, firewire interfaces on ports that do not use TI chipset behave kind of weird, and some interfaces have problems with the Windows drivers on the x64 platform).

I agree on the compatibility aspects of USB, and also on the limitations with non-TI Firewire cards. However, I was thinking that I could get a firewire audio interface that might not be a control surface too, and I could buy a cheap control surface such as Korg NanoKontrol2 (USB) and I would prevent glitches during recording due to not sharing the same BUS (separate Firewire and USB). I am concerned that if I get a USB control surface and use an audio interface based on USB that I might start getting problems due to high traffic od the BUS. That is what I mean about more stability. I already have stability with my system, even using Logic plugins, granted that I have never recorded more than 2 channels at once with this new Tascam, nor I have a control surface that is USB to interfere. I think I misunderstood what you said about your interface: don't you already have an all-in-one solution with the Yamaha N12? Oh! I am also considering to get a multitrack recorder such as the Tascam DP-24 or DP-32 (look really nice) instead of the computer solution. With this I could do the recordings on the multitrack and then transfer the files to the computer and work on Logic or GarageBand. But I would use the multitrack primarily for recordings, and I could still add a control surface for Logic, and have no problems. It could work too.

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#17 2013-06-20 19:11:40

Gneetapp
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Owen Korzec wrote:

I'm probably missing a lot of the context of the thread, but Gneetap, I'm pretty sure neither USB 2.0 nor Tascam is the problem.

I've been using a tascam us1641 (I think an old version of the 2000?) for years and it has been extremely stable. However before I upgraded to Lion it was totally unreliable. So the computer platform, software drivers, etc. may have to do with it. But now that I'm on Lion I have NEVER had it fail me on a session.

Felipe's right you're probably blaming the wrong things. USB 2.0 is excellent.

Hi Owen, thanks for jumping in, but You actually missed the point we are discussing mate. ;)
I am not complaining about the US2000, it is quite the opposite, I like it a lot. I just want to avoid two many things hooked up on the USB. I forgot to mention that I own a Juno Synth that is connected through USB to my hackintosh desktop. So, If I record (MIDI or MIDI+Audio) from the Juno, plus have a few mics (to record a drum set for instance), plus guitar and bass, and on top of that a control surface USB based, I am concerned that I might get pops and clicks on the audio recorded due to interruption on the stream of data. Wich does not occur if I use a firewire interface. You can even daisy-chain some interfaces. But with USB it is recommended that you keep at minimum the USB traffic during recording sessions.
I think that the US1642 was replaced by the US1800. But I checked the Tascam website and they look very similar, although you got the MIDI ports, and I don't...:(
Cheers

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#18 2013-06-20 19:19:49

Gneetapp
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Robert Lunte wrote:

.... or any specialty systems that is not a laptop running software, but a little "mini" console kind of thingy...

Hi Robert, have you checked the multitrack recorders lately? I have been researching these "portastudios" from Tascam: http://tascam.com/products/mtr_digital_portastudio/
I actually like the DP24 and DP32 a lot. And they would be much cheaper than buying a Macbook Pro, plus the audio interface, and maybe the mixer (if your interface doesn't have the faders). Just a few examples: http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-DP-3 … 3043915.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-DP-2 … 2357276.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-DP-0 … 3043902.gc

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#19 2013-06-21 01:59:12

ronws
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

All this is way above my paygrade.

But I still have my tascam porta - 03 4-track analog. It uses cassette tapes. Just one step above the 5 inch reel-to-reel I had in the 70's.

I bought that 4-track in 1991 and it was used, even then. I bought it at a pawn shop.


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#20 2013-06-21 13:02:16

Gneetapp
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

ronws wrote:

All this is way above my paygrade.

But I still have my tascam porta - 03 4-track analog. It uses cassette tapes. Just one step above the 5 inch reel-to-reel I had in the 70's.

I bought that 4-track in 1991 and it was used, even then. I bought it at a pawn shop.

Hi Ronws, back in the day I did some recordings on a Porta03 tape recorder from Tascam too :cool:. It was ok. The only problem was that you had to use an external fx unit, but that was it. Nowadays, Tascam still produces the Portastudios, but the recording is all digital media. The smaller units are priced starting at US$100. But, as I said to Robert, this could be a computer-free solution. Waayyy cheaper than buying a computer (laptop/desktop), plus the audio interface. And we are not even talking about going the used/pre-owned route, which makes the prices and selection even better.
Of course, if you already own a computer that might be suited to recording music, all you need is an audio interface, as our friend Felipe has already shown in his instructional videos.
Cheers

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#21 2013-06-22 02:05:44

ronws
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

My equipment outside of my computer is as follows:

Spectrum acoustic guitar with built-in pickups.
Memphis Les Paul Copy, that I don't play any more.
Hondo Flying V with humbucker pick-ups.
Fender 85 amplifier (200 Watts rms, I can rattle the floorboards.)
Roland GS-6 digital effects unit
And, of course, the Tascam analog 4-track.

The computer I call Frankenstein. Built by a friend in 2005 out of spare parts. 40 G hd, with one bad sector partitioned off. A cpu that is a snail compared to today's.

A Guitarface II USB interface
Fame CM-1 studio Condenser mic (way sensitive, too sensitive for my voice.)
Sennheiser e835 dynamic mic
Zoom H1 portable digital recorder

My recording software is Audacity, which I am finally starting to use just a smidge better than a mechanic doing brain surgery with oven mitts on.


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#22 2013-06-22 02:53:16

Robert Lunte
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Hey Guys, been busy doing a lot of writing and practice on some new acoustic modes. 

Im really getting along great with:

Garageband
Mackie 820i Firewire
Condenser handheld mics

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#23 2013-06-22 04:35:32

Owen Korzec
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Gneetapp wrote:

Owen Korzec wrote:

I'm probably missing a lot of the context of the thread, but Gneetap, I'm pretty sure neither USB 2.0 nor Tascam is the problem.

I've been using a tascam us1641 (I think an old version of the 2000?) for years and it has been extremely stable. However before I upgraded to Lion it was totally unreliable. So the computer platform, software drivers, etc. may have to do with it. But now that I'm on Lion I have NEVER had it fail me on a session.

Felipe's right you're probably blaming the wrong things. USB 2.0 is excellent.

Hi Owen, thanks for jumping in, but You actually missed the point we are discussing mate. ;)
I am not complaining about the US2000, it is quite the opposite, I like it a lot. I just want to avoid two many things hooked up on the USB. I forgot to mention that I own a Juno Synth that is connected through USB to my hackintosh desktop. So, If I record (MIDI or MIDI+Audio) from the Juno, plus have a few mics (to record a drum set for instance), plus guitar and bass, and on top of that a control surface USB based, I am concerned that I might get pops and clicks on the audio recorded due to interruption on the stream of data. Wich does not occur if I use a firewire interface. You can even daisy-chain some interfaces. But with USB it is recommended that you keep at minimum the USB traffic during recording sessions.
I think that the US1642 was replaced by the US1800. But I checked the Tascam website and they look very similar, although you got the MIDI ports, and I don't...:(
Cheers

Okay yeah I figured I missed something. You do have a point. I don't know much about running multiple USB devices at once, I don't do it. Maybe it would cause problems.

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#24 2013-06-22 16:11:58

ronws
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Owen's comment about multiple usb's in use was interesting.

So, allow me to reveal more of my caveman ways of thinking.

In the good old days of multi-track tape, like 16 and 24, you could record multiple instruments simultaneously, either as a truly live recording with the whole band pretty much in the same room, or at least every one listening to a click track through head phones, like everyone listening to the same metronome. So, "latency" was not much of an issue. And since each mic could essentially have it's own input to its own track, there was not a data log-jam, like I think Owen and Gneetapp are talking about.

But now, in the digital of home recording with whatever equipment you can have, essentially, I get the point. You have only so much buss. And, with recording and monitor through the same buss, as it were, as well as the processing of signal through whatever chip you have, there is latency issue. And clicks due to multiplexing of signals to fit with in the available "bandwidth," so to speak.

Point being, is it really possible to do multi-instrument live band recording and not have these issues? Or is it going to better for an album cut, to record separately, then edit tracks together later? And for live recordings, record analog and import it later? Problem being an imported analog track can't really allow access to change the sound of each instrument.

And cpu speed is something I think I have to deal with, having such an old computer. I wonder if it magnifies the problem in Audacity. That is, any software will have an latency issue. Add to that how fast the computer can actually turn the sound around from input to feedback.

When I record, I have the playback of the music track panned hard right and I sing with the left headphone off (reflective surfaces closer to my left side than my right side.)

There is still a latency problem in recording, even without monitoring through the software. Simply because, even though I really am singing in time with the music I am hearing, it is taking that lag of time to get my voice through the mic into the usb into the computer and into the software.

So, I usually have to tempo adjust (average about .01 percent) and time-shift the track to line up with the beat in the music. Which is recommended in the Audacity book I have. The other method recommended is to physically create two click tracks with your voice. Magnify and measure the distance between the two tracks and adjust the latency with that measured distance.


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#25 2013-06-22 16:16:58

ronws
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

In fact, regarding tempo adjust, many have critiqued my singing to say my timing was off. And it was always on a song where I had a pre-recorded music track (karaoke) track and I recorded a separate track for vocals.

On the recordings where I am playing guitar and singing at the same time, I have never had that comment. So, what has changed is timing of the tracks to each other and that is a software latency issue and an editing issue, rather than a technical singing issue for me. The only time you will hear me have a legitimate foul-up on timing are these recordings I am doing with the Zoom H1 where I am singing along with the radio and forget the cue, momentarily. And that is my bad.


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#26 2013-06-22 17:20:42

Robert Lunte
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Robert Lunte wrote:

Hey Guys, been busy doing a lot of writing and practice on some new acoustic modes. 

Im really getting along great with:

Garageband
Mackie 820i Firewire
Condenser handheld mics

Additional information that might be of use to you is... I have the opportunity to test several of the handheld, live condenser mics and use them for live recording... all work great and perform as you would expect for a recording. I think these handheld condenser mics introduce a viable option for singers to track with a handheld, vs standing in front of a mic stand. Granted handling noise is an issue, or could be, but there is a big potential gain in performance "mojo" , interpretation that can come by letting a singer track with a handheld...


The handheld condensers I have are:

Neumann 104
Sennheiser e965
RODE M2
Audix VX5
Audio Technica ATM31R


The Neumann and Senn. are hella expensive and do sound great. I must say, for the price, the Senn e965 was not impressive enough, its almost too tubby. I may need to dial it in better. Its sister dynamic version, the e935 is superb.

The Neumann sounds great as you would expect for $800, very warm oriented, again like the Senn... a bit more dark..

The Rode M2 and the Audix are both very shimmery, have great capture of the high frequencies and the lows, they are noticeably brighter. Between the two, the RODE M2 is better in my opinion... Although one thing that is great about the Audix vx5 is its ergonomics. It is a small microphone, that means it fits well and feels good in your hand. Excellent for the TVS "cradle grip" that I use.  Ergonomics is a very important point on handheld microphones, but strangely, some companies seem to still miss that point, Audix never has. Mics that have a shapely, hour glass design to them are built that way for ergonomics, to feel good and healthy in your hand.

The ATM 31R has a wonderful balance of both as well and is an old school, condenser mic.

I find myself using the Neumann and the RODE M2 most often... probably the RODE M2 is my preference... and interesting enough, consistent with RODE products, it is build very durable and the price/value is very high. A GREAT deal for a handheld live condenser mic. When the German mics all cost $600-$800, the RODE M2 comes in at around $179 and is a killer deal. The RODE M2 is a great product.


Here is the review for the RODE M2 we did on our Product Review pages:
http://themodernvocalistworld.com/2011/09/28/rode-m2/

Here is where you can buy one:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ … QgodqD4A8A

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#27 2013-06-22 17:50:41

Owen Korzec
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Hey Rob, if handling noise is an issue, how have you managed to deal with it? I'd imagine locking your hand in one position on the mic (first solution that comes to my mind) would create some tension creep? Is there are a better solution?

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#28 2013-06-23 23:04:46

slstone
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

I am rather fond of my Sapphire Pro Firewire unit and
Adobe Audition software.
Between the two, many capabilities exist.
Unlimited tracks can be recorded.
Ability to record up to 8 tracks simultaneously.
Quite a few built in effects, able to import plugins.
Sapphire has both 1/4" jack inputs as well as xlr inputs.
My setup includes 2 desktops in my studio.
1 of which is the only one I have with joystick port
which is what I need to plug midi into.
The other has beefed up memory and larger hard drive
which you will want to make sure you have plenty of.
Recording eats memory like a 4 wheel drive eats gas.
I recommend at least 4-8 gig memory if you can find it.

Cakewalk is good for sequencing and running sound banks.
If you have any more direct technical questions, just ask.

My CD was recorded entirely via the abovementioned equipment.


Official Press Release - 'Book of Shadows' CD for sale now!
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/slstone
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/book- … d611487291
http://www.slstonemusic.com
Need music with which to sing along? 50% off All Services November Sale. Sign up now! http://stonecraftmusicstudio.com

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#29 2013-06-24 02:25:48

Gneetapp
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

slstone wrote:

I am rather fond of my Sapphire Pro Firewire unit and
Adobe Audition software.
Between the two, many capabilities exist.
Unlimited tracks can be recorded.
Ability to record up to 8 tracks simultaneously.
Quite a few built in effects, able to import plugins.

Which model is that, the Saffire Pro 24 DSP? I own the smallest of the Scarlet models, the 2i2. Very nice sound. I am looking for an audio interface with FX onboard, but if I remember correctly the only focusrite model is the 24 DSP, but it has only 2 mic pres.

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#30 2013-06-25 13:38:31

FelipeCarvalho
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Gneetapp wrote:

FelipeCarvalho wrote:

Gnee cool man, and may I ask what is in your mind regarding your workflow that will change considerably?
Are your main reasons recording workflow and live sound reinforcing? Will you work with full band recordings?

Exactly Felipe. I play on a 4-piece-band, but we are upgrading to a five-piece (2 guitars). Right now, I could record a full band with the inputs of Tascam. But I miss having the FX onboard, so I don't have to rely on Logic or Garageband plugins. I also miss having the faders, pot control, and transport at my fingertips, as I used to have with my first audio interface (Roland VM-3100Pro): a digital mixer, with MIDI, control surface, and 8 simultaneous channels in, plus 8 out (from the software). Very cool, and kinda cheap (US$660.00 loonnng time ago). With the band I will also need a PA solution for the gigs.

Im asking so that you consider well the benefit of getting what you want, an all around solution. I have a Yamaha N12, firewire, cool hardware with very good faders and a control surface that integrates very nicely with Cubase.

I heard/read good things about the Yamaha N12. Do you also have onboard FX? I'm curious if the integration with Logic would be easy, so it could be used as a control surface too.

However now Im doing work on my home studio, and its kind of an overkill, its actually very clumsy and I am considering selling it to get a Scarlet to do the same work :). (some mixing/midi work, my own recordings, students, etc).

This is for my home studio too, that is also why I would like to have a all-in-one solution, to save space.

So I am very interested on what are your limitations now regarding your current set, so I dont regret it later :), and at the same time, I am 200% positive that your situation will not improve because of Firewire stability (actually USB is more compatible, firewire interfaces on ports that do not use TI chipset behave kind of weird, and some interfaces have problems with the Windows drivers on the x64 platform).

I agree on the compatibility aspects of USB, and also on the limitations with non-TI Firewire cards. However, I was thinking that I could get a firewire audio interface that might not be a control surface too, and I could buy a cheap control surface such as Korg NanoKontrol2 (USB) and I would prevent glitches during recording due to not sharing the same BUS (separate Firewire and USB). I am concerned that if I get a USB control surface and use an audio interface based on USB that I might start getting problems due to high traffic od the BUS. That is what I mean about more stability. I already have stability with my system, even using Logic plugins, granted that I have never recorded more than 2 channels at once with this new Tascam, nor I have a control surface that is USB to interfere. I think I misunderstood what you said about your interface: don't you already have an all-in-one solution with the Yamaha N12? Oh! I am also considering to get a multitrack recorder such as the Tascam DP-24 or DP-32 (look really nice) instead of the computer solution. With this I could do the recordings on the multitrack and then transfer the files to the computer and work on Logic or GarageBand. But I would use the multitrack primarily for recordings, and I could still add a control surface for Logic, and have no problems. It could work too.

The N12 comp/eq channel stripes are great, and the reverb is one of the best Ive heard on a console. But that's it, no other effects, maybe you are thinking more on the lines of the 01V96+mlan or the Presonus StudioLive.

Im not sure about Logic integration. Its designed to integrate with Cubase. I "made" it integrate with Reaper, but some of the functionality goes away (plugin processing for live sound for example).

Yeah man, I am not doing full band recordings anymore, thats what I meant, so the N12 is a major overkill, a scarlett 2i2 would fit my needs like a glove :).

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#31 2013-06-29 22:38:20

ronws
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Robert Lunte wrote:

not impressive enough, its almost too tubby. I may need to dial it in better. Its sister dynamic version, the e935 is superb.

I missed this, before. I have had such a good experience with my Sennheiser e835, which is a dynamic mic. I wonder if it's just a matter of Senheisser being better at some dyanmic mics than with condenser mics? The e835 seems to handle high volume at high pitch, which I can do, quite well. I think it's response is kind of "thin," if that makes sense, which suits my voice fine but maybe it would not suit other singers, so much.


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#32 2013-07-08 08:22:18

benny82
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Yep, mic sound often depends quite a bit on the singer's voice, sometimes also style/genre.

I use the Rode M2, too, currently. Not only for recording but also for live performance. The sound is really great, especially if you measure it against the price. I got mine for 78 €, which is no more than like 100 $. The sound is noticably more "studio-like" compared to my SM 58.

I can basically second what Rob wrote. It has a lot of "crystal" sound, which fits my lower voice well. But I definitely can see how that brightness could start to sound annoying on singers that have a brighter voice to begin with.

Sennheiser is just awesome for dynamic mics AFAIK so it's really hard to match that quality on their condensers. Neumann on the other hand is known for producing superior condensers.

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#33 2013-07-10 21:07:55

Owen Korzec
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

benny82 wrote:

Yep, mic sound often depends quite a bit on the singer's voice, sometimes also style/genre.

I use the Rode M2, too, currently. Not only for recording but also for live performance. The sound is really great, especially if you measure it against the price. I got mine for 78 €, which is no more than like 100 $. The sound is noticably more "studio-like" compared to my SM 58.

I can basically second what Rob wrote. It has a lot of "crystal" sound, which fits my lower voice well. But I definitely can see how that brightness could start to sound annoying on singers that have a brighter voice to begin with.

Sennheiser is just awesome for dynamic mics AFAIK so it's really hard to match that quality on their condensers. Neumann on the other hand is known for producing superior condensers.

Cool input Benny. I'm still using the sm58 live, it's a good fit for my voice. If I were to get a new dedicated live mic I'd probably want hypercardioid though. And I do prefer a mic with good shimmer, but it has to be the right kind of shimmer. The 58 hits the good frequency in my voice.

I still go the LDC route for recording, mostly. The CAD M179 is my go-to, AT2035 works better for some voices, and of course the good ol' 58 has its uses...it all depends on the voice/situation.

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#34 2013-07-11 21:04:59

Robert Lunte
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Robert Lunte wrote:

Hey Guys, been busy doing a lot of writing and practice on some new acoustic modes. 

Im really getting along great with:

Garageband
Mackie 820i Firewire
Condenser handheld mics

Ok, low tech recording by a voice coach, not a producer...

Newsflash... the MACKIE 820i is great, but I found that interfacing the 830i, with my PA head and then to the laptop prooved to be too many moving cogs in the network... too many gains to mess with... I was getting weird phasing and doubling in the vocal sounds... Ripped the whole thing out today coincidentally and inserted an M-Audio 610 interface and now its sounding great and a very clean setup.

Currently:

M-Audio 610
Garageband
Handheld Condensers


Works for my needs... pretty damn easy and simple... sounds killer...  The guy at GC wants to sell me the fancy pants Apogee interface that is suppose to have the analog/digital conversion quality of professional studios... anyone feel its worth the $360 bucks?

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#35 2013-07-11 22:23:25

Owen Korzec
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Robert Lunte wrote:

Works for my needs... pretty damn easy and simple... sounds killer...  The guy at GC wants to sell me the fancy pants Apogee interface that is suppose to have the analog/digital conversion quality of professional studios... anyone feel its worth the $360 bucks?

Nope. Although I haven't used it, and I don't doubt it's great quality, I wouldn't recommend it because of your situation. You are only recording one track over a backing track, not working with a dense mix. Any kind of teeny amounts of inaudible noise or distortions in the hardware circuitry of a lower level preamp or converter etc. really isn't gonna be noticed at all if it's only on one track because the rest of the mix doesn't have the same problems.

If anything, get something with better preamps. Preamps are probably like the last 7% of recording quality, converters the last 1%. I know the former from experience, I made a preamp upgrade to the FMR RNP, a mid-level preamp, one of the much better quality ones for the price in fact, and there was very little difference, borderline placebo. I'm still glad I bought it, it gave me a little boost in quality I needed, but it's super subtle. And though I haven't upgraded my converters, from my time reading on recording forums I was well informed that a better quality converter is almost never that "missing link". In the scale of priorities it was constantly listed way down at the bottom.

And again I don't doubt the apogee has good preamps too. But in most interfaces, they would be transparent. You'd be essentially paying hundreds for a little less noise and harmonic distortion than what is already practically inaudible... As a singer, you're probably better off saving up for a real juicy vintage dedicated pre that has some signature "color" to it, like a Neve, or some kind of more affordable Neve knockoff. It would make you sound noticeably more professional, but that kind of gear puts you into the thousands. Upgrading to a mid-level preamp, not so much difference.

I think with where you're at though, your high end condenser mics alone should do the trick to give you pro quality...

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#36 2013-07-11 23:15:24

Robert Lunte
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Thanks Owen,... But Im not working with a board and rack systems... its just Garageband and the M-Audio interface?  Are you proposing that I network a fancy pants preamp to this? 

I have to agree... the margins are pretty thin at this point and given that a lot of my content gets compressed into videos on YouTube and such, what audible difference is it going to make in the end?  I think it may not be a good idea... I'm getting a great sound that Im willing to bet, simply by using GB and handheld condensers, 90% of the trained ears out there wouldn't know the difference. All this recording gear for most applications seems a bit hyped up to me... of course, if your only tracking vocals.  I understand, if you have to track a whole band with a drum kit and etc... then its a whole different thing. Its nice not having to worry about all that...

I wish Garageband had some cool plug-ins or add-ons?  I know I can upgrade to Logic, but that just gets me into the same old, overkill stuff I have had in the past that I can't figure out any better then I can do my taxes... Ask me about training the voice, I have some good ideas, ask me about audio engineering and Im a simpleton.

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#37 2013-07-12 01:07:29

ronws
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Excellent post, Robert.

And it made me think of something else regarding how much we are going to spend on tech. As you mentioned, to compress and fit into video, you don't have top of the line.

Reminds me of when you did a demo of that karaoke box that saves on micro SD card. Good enough for demos.


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#38 2013-07-12 02:44:40

Owen Korzec
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Robert Lunte wrote:

Thanks Owen,... But Im not working with a board and rack systems... its just Garageband and the M-Audio interface?  Are you proposing that I network a fancy pants preamp to this? 

I have to agree... the margins are pretty thin at this point and given that a lot of my content gets compressed into videos on YouTube and such, what audible difference is it going to make in the end?  I think it may not be a good idea... I'm getting a great sound that Im willing to bet, simply by using GB and handheld condensers, 90% of the trained ears out there wouldn't know the difference. All this recording gear for most applications seems a bit hyped up to me... of course, if your only tracking vocals.  I understand, if you have to track a whole band with a drum kit and etc... then its a whole different thing. Its nice not having to worry about all that...

I wish Garageband had some cool plug-ins or add-ons?  I know I can upgrade to Logic, but that just gets me into the same old, overkill stuff I have had in the past that I can't figure out any better then I can do my taxes... Ask me about training the voice, I have some good ideas, ask me about audio engineering and Im a simpleton.

Rob I was NOT saying you should get a fancy pants preamp. I was pointing out that, with your situation, you'd have to get something really fancy pants just to hear a difference...it's not worth it.

Logic is actually very user friendly, as easy as garageband IMO, though it is of course expensive and you'd be paying for a lot of fancy features you'll probably never use. I'd say stick to GB for now.

Garageband comes with plugins actually, basically just the "effects", but you know, they suck. However you can find some better free plugins on the web if you search hard enough. Any Audio Unit (AU) plugin should work in garageband. I can recommend this good free reverb plugin called Ambience. I'm not so familiar with the free compressors, I'll get back to you on that. It's a pain in the neck to sift through all the freebies just to find good ones, but it does save money.

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#39 2014-03-03 16:34:57

ronws
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

I know I am resurrecting this old thread but I still find value in it from everyone's contributions.

It was pointed out that for demo quality, low tech is just fine and spending thousands more on something might be a matter of diminishing returns.

And that my brother recorded his entire album on the equipment he listed. And he is not rich by any means. If Caddilacs were selling for a dollar, most times, all he could is say, "Man, what a deal!"

Point being, you can create release-ready recordings. CD quality. Especially as you will be, in a professional release, burning in Redbook format to comply with duplicators and any cd player. And it doesn't matter what sample rate you recorded at, it is going to export at 44.1 kHz, 16 bit, if I remember correctly.

Granted, you can save the work files as wav and should, as that is the entire data file. mp3 is a data compression format, like zip file encoding. Only the prominent bits get save and certain softer dynamics could get lost. Plus, if saving in wav and you totally botch a mix, you can start all over again on the mix without having to re-record everything. Even the great opera singers of the world found that the voice changes over the course of an evening, and from day to day. So, once you've had that great vocal take, store it like gold. You may literally never get that, again.

Anyway, as you can see from my brother's list, is affordable by the common working man. My brother has had hourly jobs, paying for upkeep on where he lives and raising a daughter, to boot. Sure, it took him a while, piece by piece, bit by bit.

I guess what I am saying is that we can all produce release-ready recordings. If so desired at some time in the future, we can hire a studio where someone else spent 5 to 6 figures.

It may also help to know that "Appetite for Destruction" had a minimal budget and was recorded old-fashioned, on low tech. To me, it sounds like it was recorded in a garage on my 4-track analog. And it was the highest grossing debut rock album, ever.

Juxtapose that to GnR's "Chinese Democracy." 13 million dollars and 14 years to make, including building a studio especially to record this album. And it sold triple plat, world-wide, without promotion. Not much by previous records but good enough on fanbase and they did recover the costs.

What I have learned is that it is not so much what equipment I have, outdated and paltry as it may be, it is what I do with it that matters most.  I have done both good and crappy recordings with the very same equipment. So, the weak link was me.

And Robert, of the stuff you have recorded that I have heard, I have always liked the quality and it sounded professional, to me and my music-buyer set of ears.

The Beatles started out on a 4-track machine, bouncing down tracks to 1 so they could have space for more. Talk about commitment! Whatever they had needed to be good once it got bounced. Kind of like printing an effect, modernly, where you put an instrument or vocal mic through some signal chain before it records. Whatever effect that was is part of the original data file, now. As opposed to recording dry and using effects later. Which leaves more flexibility but it takes more time.

I don't think there's anything wrong with printing effects. If you already have the sound you wanted, go for it.


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#40 2014-03-03 16:54:06

Robert Lunte
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

I recently purchased the Focusrite, Scarlett 2i2... Wow, REALLY easy to use, no AC power and it has a built in pre-amp. So if you are running Garageband or Logic Pro... all you do is plug in the interface, plug in your mic, put on some head phones and your recording and sounding killer. It comes with some plug-in effects and things too so you can tweak the color, compression, effects on the box... wow, what  great little system for $150.

Im also working on Logic Pro X now.

Here is a recording I recently did into an Olympus LS-12, live digital recording device. Direct, line-in to my device... its a new tune Im going to do a pro production on soon. I wrote this tune, its called, "To Stand in a Garden"... still needs some work, but you get the idea.


Here is a DEMO of a tune I wrote called, "To Stand in a Garden":
https://thevocaliststudio.box.com/share … mvbqpv.mp3

The faceless call, into the night, then fall back into a tragedy.
You fall, pick yourself up, brush off the filth and sting that fills your memory.

The Nameless Prevail
Truth Unveiled
Behind the fear that hides diverted eyes

To end the tale, I rose, I leaned back and I fell
Through a gateway that leads, to a garden...

Wings unfurled
A pillar that stands beside me
But one good call
Can break my fall from insanity

The Nameless Prevail
The Truth Unveiled
Behind the fear that hides diverted eyes

To end the tale, I rose, I leaned back and I fell
Through a gateway that leads, to a garden...

No longer trapped, in an crowded cage
Got rhyme, reason, no empty page
I release my will to dive, out from the stage!
I stand forlorn with life to bare
To join the brave, my soul to share
My chance to shout it out, in primal rage!

Nameless Prevail
The Truth Unveiled
Behind fear that hides diverted eyes

To end the tale, I rose, I leaned back and I fell
Through a gateway I stand, in a garden…
… alone naked and frail.


I am NOT audio engineer... believe me on that point. Im still a bit of a noob... but to Ron's point... I look around at the stuff I have that cost me about $1500 total and a lot of that is luxury. You can get a great, professional sounding recording with home recording technology these days if you know how to use it. This Focusrite 2i2 system is a perfect example... here is a link to the interface.  Plug this in with Garageband, plug in a decent mic and you have 90% of what you need!  http://us.focusrite.com/usb-audio-inter … arlett-2i2

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#41 2014-03-03 19:13:24

Adolph Namlik
Executive Director, The Modern Vocalist World
From: "No Name", New York
Registered: 2008-11-15
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

"To Stand in a Garden"

Great song, Robert !!!

Perhaps a video in the future, Bro ???


Adolph C. Namlik
Executive Director ~ The Modern Vocalist World
Western N.Y.
adolph@themodernvocalist.com
http://www.themodernvocalist.com/profile/AdolphNamlik
Email : chief188@hughes.net
716~257~9606
"My Life's A Stage"

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#42 2014-03-03 21:19:39

Robert Lunte
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Yes brother Adolph, yes... ;)

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#43 2014-03-04 20:28:11

Adolph Namlik
Executive Director, The Modern Vocalist World
From: "No Name", New York
Registered: 2008-11-15
Posts: 748
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

AWESOME !!! Looking forward to it :cool: :cool: :cool:


Adolph C. Namlik
Executive Director ~ The Modern Vocalist World
Western N.Y.
adolph@themodernvocalist.com
http://www.themodernvocalist.com/profile/AdolphNamlik
Email : chief188@hughes.net
716~257~9606
"My Life's A Stage"

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#44 2014-03-08 14:29:26

ronws
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Cool, Robert, thanks for the link. I have been thinking of upgrading my interface to something that offers direct monitoring of input. Guitarface II, which I have, does not. That's why, when I sing against a track, I have to have one can off and the backing panned hard right, slightly sweet and use the reflective surfaces on my left. Which is taxing both sides of my feeble brain, I suppose. Even with adjustments in Audacity, the latency is so long that I would lose timing. Granted, that Audacity is free but it does have limitations. You get what you pay for.

My interface was a gift to me, along with the condenser mic, stand, pop filter and cables. A gift from fellow member, Thanos, the grecian angel. At the time, I was flat broke and had nothing but this old computer. Paying bills with a credit card that has been max'd for a few years, now.

My aim, now, is to improve my gear just a little at a time, not spending a lot. For example, I saved pennies, literally, to get the Zoom H1 portable digital recorder. I used it to record, among other things, the "Cowboy Song" by Thin Lizzy. And to continue to improve my recording skills (the biggest struggle, the largest mountain of all.)

And equip reviews such as yours are a big help and always budget-minded.  Thanks for all that you do.

And you, too, Adolph, as always.


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#45 2014-03-08 16:10:54

Robert Lunte
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Oh God no Ron... I know your on a budget, but with this scarlett 2i2... for $150... you got preamp, interface and a head phone jack that frickin cranks... its everything you need at a minimum.

Ok, I just purchased this killer set of plug-ins.

http://www.izotope.com/products/audio/nectar/

Check this out... I heard it was really good... will try it for the first time tonight. They have a discounted price right now.

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#46 2014-03-08 16:28:35

ronws
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

That is so cool. Especially as they start out with her dry track and then, build it from there. I have been learning a lot about recording. Including my own experiences, such as what I did with "Silent Lucidity." Actual time to record the vocal was the length of the song but I spent over 2 hours slicing and dicing to deal with variable volume and eq issues to come up with something that sounded, as a whole, acoustically what it was to me while singing it. I learned you really do have to mix by ear, not just set values. Which is why I have been wanting a DAW with real time effects adjustments, just like you would have on an old analog board. Once you have what you want in real time, you can "print" that.

We had recording threads about how important the performance is. And I had said that recording is just a matter of clicking on record. I have since then learned otherwise. Editing the recording is just as much work as getting the song right before recording. I have found that recording tech and skills, if lackluster, as mine have been, can hamper a really good performance.

When I did "Rainbow in the Dark," it was with a little desk mic with a condenser smaller than my wedding band. And Snax mixed that for me. And then I got the decent studio condenser mic from Thanos and re-recorded and Snax mentioned how it was like night and day. So much so that I don't even know where the old recording is because I have only saved and kept up with the more recent one, that Snax mixed for me.

So, I have found, as much attention to how it is recorded and edited and, to some degree, the gear involved is just important. If not, then everyone would be recording on cellphone. And that, as you have pointed out, we can get some decent gear for not a lot of money and spending gobs of more money does not always bring more appreciable quality. And even the more basic gear of today is light-years ahead of what the Beatles first recorded on. And their stuff started out on scratchy vinyl.


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#47 2014-04-09 18:24:21

Gneetapp
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

I'm glad to know that fellow forum members are enjoying the Saffire 2i2 as much as I do. And Robert, I'm sure you won't regret going the MAC route, either with Garage Band or Logic. Especially the newest versions! Keep on rocking!:cool:

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#48 2014-04-20 14:42:53

ronws
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

I thought about starting a new thread but this one is most pertinent.

So, I got a newer computer. Newer than the one I had and this one is only about a year old. I got it from work. We are getting new computers and the bosses let me have this one, otherwise it would go into recycling or the trash.

Anyway, 250G hd, quad processor, Windows 7. Which means I could finally install the Cubase 5 given to me by a friend. Talk about a steep learning curve. I am still learning how to listen to play back but what  I love most about it is real-time effects adjustment. Sweet. Now, I can truly mix by ear. In my old DAW, Audacity, you have to choose an effect, then listen to playback, not adjustable in real time.

Anyway, not having to buy a new computer, I could spend my pennies on a better audio interface. I have seen good reviews of the Scarlett 2in2, here.  I have also seen many guys here using m-audio. The Best Buy in my area had both. For what I am doing, the Focusrite and the M-Audio do the same thing and M-Audio is about 50 dollars cheaper. So, I got that. So, I took my recording of "Leader of the Band" and used an effects send to adjust reverb. It starts out like a gymnasium and I could virtually dial it down to a coffee house. Way cool.

Anyway, I am looking forward to better sounding recordings I can make. But it took a day to figure out how to import audio. So, I watch the tutorials on youtube. On my kindle, I got a book on Cubase for rednecks like myself.

I am still going to use the mics I have, though I may be tempted to get a Shure SM-58 or a Rode M-1.

Nice thing about the m-audio, the controls and jacks are on the front, live monitoring, quick adjustment of input levels into DAW. This has been the biggest problem for me recording clipped tracks.

Anyway, just wanted to share my good news.


"When the daylight is rising up in my eyes ..." - Klaus Meine

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#49 2014-04-20 14:58:12

Robert Lunte
TMV World Forum - Founder
From: Earth
Registered: 2008-11-08
Posts: 3087
Reputation :   55 
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Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Ron, if can swing it, get a Mac Pro... use Garageband or LogicPro X as your DAW.

Regarding the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, I have one and its great!  Easy to plug 'n' play, and has its own built in preamp so the signal if thick and luscious like a real preamp.

For making recordings with Dynamic microphones, I recommend the AKG D7. It is a great mic all round and is superior to the Sure.  With experimentation in my studio, I have noticed that the AKG D7 happens to be the best sounding dynamic mic in recordings that I have ... and I have about 20 mics in my studio.

You can purchase the Focusrite 2i2 and AKG D7 HERE:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/?CJAID=1 … ID=7181812

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#50 2014-04-20 15:04:11

Robert Lunte
TMV World Forum - Founder
From: Earth
Registered: 2008-11-08
Posts: 3087
Reputation :   55 
Website

Re: Laptop or Computer Recommendation for Recording

Gneetapp wrote:

I'm glad to know that fellow forum members are enjoying the Saffire 2i2 as much as I do. And Robert, I'm sure you won't regret going the MAC route, either with Garage Band or Logic. Especially the newest versions! Keep on rocking!:cool:

You got that right... for recording... get a Mac.  Im now currently configured with:

Mac Pro
LogicPro X

... and I use the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, its great.  I don't use it for my main recordings because I have the Focusrite ISA One... but the 2i2 is great for a quick and easy , plug and play experience.

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