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dontrushurshot
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:52 pm
Posts: 64
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:18 pm 
 

I have been recording music for 10 years now, since my junior-high years, starting off with Sound Recorder, to Tascam 4-Track tape recorders, to digital Beringer 8-Track stations, to GarageBand. I have been using GarageBand on a 2007 Mac Laptop for the past 5 years now and I'm sick of it (plugin support, crossfades, mixing/mastering capabilities). Even though I have seeked it many times, no one has ever really told me what I need to run professional programs/how to use them. Because of this, I have pretty good editing abilities, and horrible mixing abilities. I have been to buttloads of sites with tidbits of info here and there, but I can't seem to find the answers I'm really looking for. I need your help. I'm going to start from scratch.

If you like to get straight to the point, please ignore that first paragraph and continue below.

I need:

- a Mac that can run Pro-Tools, which can run...
- the latest versions of East/West Symphonic Orchestra and Choir Programs (can I get these in a store? do I have to order online?)
- a great drum trigger plugin/sample library
- a reliable recording interface with 8 or more inputs and midi capability (M-Audio?)
- any other plugins you feel are necessary for a crisp, professional sound

What do I need? What kind of prices am I looking at?


P.S
If you're interested, here's some of the shit I've been doing for the past 5 years on the GarageBand
http://soundcloud.com/brian-rush/sets


Last edited by Zodijackyl on Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
This isn't the "casual encounters" section of Craigslist and thread titles shouldn't look like it.

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CorpseFister
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:07 pm
Posts: 1805
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:34 pm 
 

What on earth does this have to do with hating hipsters?

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dontrushurshot
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:52 pm
Posts: 64
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:44 pm 
 

CorpseFister wrote:
What on earth does this have to do with hating hipsters?


I'm trying to reduce the amount of shit I might get for wanting a Mac instead of a PC. For the record, I grew up on PCs.

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CorpseFister
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:07 pm
Posts: 1805
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:58 pm 
 

Oh. Well I wouldn't worry about it much. I have a strong preference for PCs but Macs provide a solid and reliable working environment- my band recorded our first album on a Mac and do all of our video editing with one as well.

So for some useful input I'd say that Pro Tools is only one option. Reaper is pretty popular around these parts, it's quality and fairly inexpensive. Propellerhead's Reason (paired with Record) is quite powerful. I use FL Studio and I love it. Tools won't make for a 'crisp, professional sound' though, it's just how you use them. Rather than trying to get everything at once maybe get yourself a nice new Mac and then DL demos for a few different DAWs, see what workflow suits you. From there try to learn as much as you can and add on plugins and whatnot as you need/want them.

Also, do you plan to record a full band, or a full set of drum mics? If not you probably don't need to spend the money on an 8 input interface at this point. Both M-Audio and Tascam (and others I'm sure) have some very reliable 2-4 input devices for around 200ish. I got a Tascam US-122mkII quite recently- it's got pretty decent pre-amps and has two sends, which aside from micing a full drum kit is totally suitable for a home studio.

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Dubhar
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:58 pm
Posts: 59
Location: Scotland
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:38 am 
 

I don't know much about computers, but for drum samples, I'd recommend you look at Toontrack's EZ Drummer (light weight) or Superior Drummer (much more samples and customisation/control). Just make sure you buy some expansions for them, because the starting kits are pretty crappy (you've probably heard the infamous Drumkit from Hell on every 2nd/3rd metal demo released these days).

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Grave_Wyrm
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 1819
Location: In the Open Sea
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:50 am 
 

ugh .. macs are fine, pcs are fine. jeez.

Seconding Reaper and Reason. I've used Reason for a long time (no adept), and it's really good once you get used to it. And putting it through Reaper really brings out the sound. A friend of mine does all his mixing on Reaper and it sounds great, and he's not even an engineer.

I can't believe you've been on Garage Band for that long. That thing's decent, but awful when it comes to sound design. Get Cubase or Abelton. They'll run on either platform, you just need storage, and they're both good programs. And I don't know if you're into synth or not, but I DEFINITELY recommend Omnisphere. wow that program's outstanding.

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swayze
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:10 pm
Posts: 306
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:50 am 
 

DAW doesn't matter TOO much... They all have pros and cons. That "professional sound" you hear from Pro-Tools isn't so much Pro-Tools as the skill of the person operating it. I use Cockos Reaper, and I love it for recording, mixing, and mastering. Not my choice for live shit, but that has much less to do with metal and more with other types of music I make.

For strings and choirs, I suggest getting the free Kontakt player from Native Instruments (http://www.native-instruments.com/#/en/ ... ?page=2483) and playing around with the samples you get (they give you 650MB or so to play with; full version has a whopping 43GB of samples). It has my favorite choirs ever (in the full version). I like the strings, though they can be updated by buying add-ons: Session Strings and Session Strings Pro, if you want to get film-quality sound.

For drums, if you go the Kontakt route, grab Studio Drummer. I would also consider just getting Komplete 8, which includes Kontakt 5 (with Studio Drummer) and Battery 3, a fantastic program for drums. Komplete 8 also comes with some killer synths if you ever feel like trying your hand at synthesis.

For mixing, I might suggest getting the Waves Musicians 2 bundle, and buying a tutorial on it, and just sticking with those for EQ, compression, etc. If you have little to no experience with mixing, I think it makes sense to pick something and master it, and with DAWs, there are almost too many options for mixing plugins. That said, if you go with Pro-Tools, I think it has pretty capable EQ, comp, verb, delay, etc.

For audio interface, I have a 2in 2out unit, and I regularly wish I had 4 ins... As has been said, 8 though you really only need if you're miking drums. Not sure if this is the case for you.

For computer, I can't help as I don't know Macs, but no matter what you get, you can't have enough RAM and processing power!

So, to sum up, I'd go right now and download:

Cockos Reaper (DAW that is free to try with no limitations), just in case you like it
Native Instruments Kontakt 5 player (Sampler that is free to try with no limitations other than a smaller library)
Waves Musicians 2 bundle (mixing plugins that are free to try for a couple weeks from the Waves website)

Only thing missing for you to try out would be the drums... I used many free drum VSTs before buying proper ones, and there's no comparison in my book.

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The Prophet Muhammad
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:46 am
Posts: 87
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:12 pm 
 

Reaper is great, intuitive and does not eat up a ton of RAM. Last part might be important when you consider that you will be running symphonic choirs, which is a gigantic motherfucker of a program, last I checked.

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FirebathDan
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 2:32 pm
Posts: 804
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:23 am 
 

If you're a Mac user and are familliar with GarageBand, then Logic is the next, umm, logical step. The Logic interface is a natural extension of GarageBand. There is the full pro suite (retails around $400-500 US) or a slightly cut down and cost effective "express" version (which retails around $200). There are a plethora of plugins are Apple core audio compliant and should all seamlessly integrate into Logic. Plugins I use/have used include AmpliTube 2 and X (guitar amp/stompbox modeling), apTrigga (drum sample triggering), and iDrum (drum step sequencer/programmer) among the many plugins native to Logic.

I use Logic Express version 8 (circa 2008) and transitioned in from GarageBand. There was a bit of a learning curve, but once you get past it, it's a very powerful and effective tool.

I use a Presonus FP10 as my interface. 8 XLR/TRS combo jacks over FireWire. I believe the FireStudio is the successor. That retails around $400.

Check out the first link in my sig to hear a sample of a record (the full length, not the EP) recorded in Logic using AmpliTube and iDrum.
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dontrushurshot
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:52 pm
Posts: 64
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:36 pm 
 

Thank you for the feedback! Much appreciated! I will look into all of the suggestions

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maladie
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:42 am
Posts: 32
Location: Norway
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:00 am 
 

First off, the DAW! Which DAW you use mostly comes down to preferences. Most professional studios seem to use Pro Tools but that's just because of familiarity. Personally, I love to use Pro Tools to record physical musicians in a studio, but if I'm building something with MIDI, I find Logic Pro to be much superior and easier to use than Pro Tools (when it comes to MIDI functions anyways).

As for the East West stuff, only buy it if you're EXTREMELY serious about music making. It's very expensive but I can that the quality is pretty damn good. There's only a few plug-ins in Kontakt and Vienna Library that can PERHAPS surpass East West, depends on your taste and such. I'd suggest the composer's collection from East West though, so you get to chose what you need, it's cheaper and you get a hard drive. When it comes to drum plug-ins, East West has some but I personally don't like them that much. Komplete 8 by Native Instruments has some decent ones and Superior Drummer is also an excellent program.

Now when it comes to the computer, it doesn't take that much power to run something like Pro Tools. However, if you're running a lot of samples (like East West), you will need quite a bit of RAM and to make sure your system (and DAW) run at 64 bits, otherwise it's a waste of time. The audio interface you'll use depends quite a lot about how many inputs you need and how many instruments you'll be recording at the same time. For record bands and such, I either use what they have at my school or my Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 which works fine (and it's firewire). However, if you'll just work track per track, a USB audio interface would be fine. I've heard good things about the one by Native Instruments called Komplete Audio 6 I believe. The Scarlet line by Focusrite is pretty damn good and a lot of my friends are on the Babyface. AVOID THE M-BOX!!!!!

When it comes to plug-ins and such, remember that having THE BEST thing in the world means absolutely nothing if you don't know how to use it properly and to produce music around those plug-ins and such. It is much more important to learn to use what you have than get a billion plug-ins
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Gengar
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:00 am
Posts: 38
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:18 pm 
 

Pro Tools comes with a freeplugin called Xpand2. This program contains samples of virtually every instrument ever played in humankind. The drums on it are more than adequite for the stuff I do, I am also a cheapscate. But here is a video I made using drums from Xpand2.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wl4njK4LwhI
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dontrushurshot
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:52 pm
Posts: 64
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:12 am 
 

Thank you for the responses so far! I have read each one carefully and am refinining my product searches. I am looking into Logic now and it seems like it would fit the bill. However, is there a trial of reaper I can download to check it out? I hear lots of good things about it from others too.

For now, I am set on the quantum leap products because I am extremely serious about music making and know my theory, notation, etc. I have been saving for the last two years and now have enough for this and a new mac pro (although I'm not sure how much it will cost to upgrade RAM and the # of cores yet).

Anyways, another thing I am wondering about would be audio monitors, but I might just start a new thread for that.

Thanks again everyone!

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