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Recording Material - Help!!
Last Post 25 Mar 2004 07:08 PM by Bamboo. 8 Replies.
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BambooUser is Offline
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Bamboo

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25 Mar 2004 07:08 PM
    Hey. Could somebody out there advise me on the kind of laptop I need to buy if I want to use a programme such as Cubase (professional music recording) I know nothing about technical stuff in computers so if you have any idea or link or whatever, thanks for letting me know. Bamboo
    WickerUser is Offline
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    Wicker

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    26 Mar 2004 03:32 PM
    you might need to be a bit more specific about what you wish to record....... eg if you are recording dance music (using VSTI's) you do not need to worry about getting audio into the computer.. However if you wish to record live instruments like guitars, you may need to look at getting an audio interface also. (or a soundcard with a breakout box) But in general make sure you get a laptop with as much RAM and as much disk space as possible
    BinokularUser is Offline
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    Binokular

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    01 Apr 2004 08:00 AM
    Bamboo, here is the Minimum requirements for Cubase SX 2.0: PC Version Processor: Pentium / Athlon 800 MHz (Pentium / Athlon 1.4 GHz or faster recommended) RAM: 384 MB (512 MB recommended) Operating System: Windows 2000, Windows XP Home or XP Professional Sound Card: Windows MME compatible audio hardware (ASIO compatible sound card recommended) Other: USB component connector required, Display Resolution 1024 x 768 pixels (Display Resolution 1152 x 864 pixels, dual monitor setup recommended) Mac Version Processor: PowerMac G4 867 MHz (PowerMac G4 Dual 1,25 GHz or faster recommended) RAM: 384 MB (512 MB recommended) Operating System: Mac OS X 10.2.5 or higher Sound Card: CoreAudio compatible audio hardware Other: USB component connector required, Display Resolution 1024 x 768 pixels (Display Resolution 1152 x 864 pixels, dual monitor setup recommended) Ok thats all a bit technical so I'll try to break it down a bit. Basically what you see above is a minimum specification, if you want to be able to work comfortably you will need a much faster processor, which is not a problem because new PCs are shipping with 1.7, 2 and even 3 Gigahertz processors these days so no trouble there. I'm not sure what processor speeds Macs are using, but I'm sure it will be surplus to requirements The next area to worry about is memory, this is where you can easily get caught out. Lots of stingy manufacturers are still shipping laptops with 256MB RAM, make sure you have at least 512MB. Hard drive space (storage) won't be a problem generally as even bargain basement laptops come with reasonably large hard drives and its pretty easy to swap it out for a bigger one later. Now the really important bit, your sound card. The onboard sound card in your laptop will not be good enough! Whats more you probably won't be able to plug a recording mike or midi input straight in, so you will need an external audio interface. With this in mind you should make sure that your laptop is equipped with USB ports (USB 2.0 preferably) and/or Firewire ports to plug the interface into. Its hard to reccomend a specific interface, I like M-Audios' range personally. Whatever you choose, the external audio interface should ideally be a complete replacement for your sound card, it should have Midi Ports, inegrated Pre-amp and as many outputs/inputs as you need. Also if you are using a windows laptop, make sure the audi interface uses ASIO drivers. I'm not going to get into what ASIO drivers are, but it means that theres a more direct route between your software and audio hardware. This will reduce latency. Latency is the delay between playing a note and hearing it. Its a big concern if you are using a Midi keyboard. The recomended resolution for the laptop monitor (screen) is 1024 x 768. Most laptops will support this, but check before you buy! The requirements mention the use of dual monitors, this is not neccesary for most people.
    BambooUser is Offline
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    05 Apr 2004 06:05 PM
    Hey Binokular thanks a mill for your help! Bamboo
    Rev JulesUser is Offline
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    22 Apr 2004 02:54 PM
    Cubase is a big programme to use straight off and expensive too. If you aren't cool with computers and are just looking for something basic but digital, you might be better off to go with one of the tiny little digital 4 tracks that are now widely available from companies like Korg such as the Korg PXR4 4 Track Digital Recording Studio. All you need is one microphone, the studio has a stereo jack so you can go straight in from your instruments. Bounce, effects etc. You can then mix down and export your tracks as Mpeg2 to a laptop where you can burn them to CD. The best thing is that this gizmo is the size of a cd box and retails for € 300.00. So you can stick it in your guitar case and bring it with you whereever you go. Kelly Jones, David Gray et all swear by them. Some people think that four tracks are too basic but hey, if it was good enough for Bruce Springsteen, then its good enough for anyone. Best Jules
    BinokularUser is Offline
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    23 Apr 2004 09:07 AM
    quote:
    Some people think that four tracks are too basic but hey, if it was good enough for Bruce Springsteen, then its good enough for anyone.
    It wasn't good enough for Brian Wilson! However there is a good point being made here, the equipment you require largely depends on the kind of music you wish to make. Bruce Springsteen may have been a great songwriter, but pushing the sonic envelope was not really his thing. It all depends on how ambitious you are with your sound. Having a large amount of tracks and effects at your disposal is not neccesarily a good thing for all artists. Complexity can be distracting rather creatively stimulating. I know I often spend too much time experimenting with what my software can do instead of sitting down and just writing a track, not that this presents any real problem to me as I just like messing around with creating tracks for fun rather than being particularly serious about it. The thing about taking the software route is that its ultimately cheaper in the long run if you intend on extending your sound. Want a new effect? just download one of the many free VST plugins out there, no expensive paying for hardware compressors, chorus effects, etc. Want to get a really cool synth sound? a copy of Reason, Rebirth or one of the many Native Instruments packages is far cheaper than a new hardware synth. Purists may scoff, but I defy all but the most trained ears to distinguish between a "real" TB-303 and a well written soft synth emulating that sound. Not that I'm dismissing the hardware recording route completely, in fact I'm considering using it in the future. The thing is I use a desktop PC rather than a laptop, which is much cheaper, but not very portable. I have been thinking about using some kind of solid state recording device when I want to record in another location. Solid state devices have the advantage of being a bit more robust than a laptop, tape or minidisc recorders because they have no moving parts. Ideal if you want to incorporate "found sounds" (for "found sound" read cheeky live bootleg sampling). Then take the recordindgs and edit them later on the PC. The thing is there's not many good small solid state recorders on the market. Then only one I can think of is the Tascam pocketstudio which isn't that small: http://www.tascam.com/product_info.php?pid=274&nav=pocketstudio It would be nice if someone came up with a small solid state recording device that could record decent (if not perfect) quality audio. I have been even looking at those tiny USB pendrive/dictaphone/mp3 player type devices. Anyone know what kind of quality of audio they can record. I'm not expecting the same quality from them as using a proper mic and 4 track, anyone have any idea how good/bad they are though?
    Rev JulesUser is Offline
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    25 Apr 2004 05:44 PM
    Yes, I would somewhat agree with the Brian Wilson quote too on the basis that it is also ackowledged that he is a songwriter of GENIUS as well as a wondefull producer. Essentially, it is all about the songs. Once you can write zingers then, well, you can focus on production techniques. I would avoid mp3 pentypes because they do not have full CD quality sound and if you spend alot of time on the sound dynamics then these can be lost. Best Rev Jules
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    26 Apr 2004 09:01 AM
    Thanks Jules, I'll probably get one of the USB pendrive recorder thingys anyway because they are so handy for moving files round and not much more expensive than an ordinary pendrive, but I doubt it will be any good for any kind of recording other than memorising my shopping list
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    26 Apr 2004 11:20 AM
    If you going to buy one of those USB portable drives then i Highly recommend www.crucial.com . Easily the cheapest out there by a long shot. Got one myself there and its the business. You get twice the memory for your money there then anywhere else.
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