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tomcat_ha
Veteran

Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:05 am
Posts: 2814
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:20 pm 
 

Hello,
Im looking to finally start recording some stuff that i write.
However i dont know really what to get.
What im searching for ideally will last me a while. I know its possible to connect some Amps to a interface if i want and ill prob do that eventually as i assume that sounds better.
Maybe i eventually want to mic record my amp.
I was thinking that i maybe need to connect 2 instruments at most if i look at the forseeable future and how i would use it. A guitar or bass and a electric drumkit most likely.
Ofcourse im going to play mostly metal and hardcore punk so im looking at something suitable for that.

I have also been looking at brands at looking quickly(mostly because i dont know shit about this) ive come across the following products which seem to fit what i want most.

http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/F ... Ultra.html
http://www.presonus.com/products/AudioBox-44VSL
ive looked at phonic but i didnt really get what would fit me product wise as i once again dont know much about this.
Line6 seems to be mostly guitar oriented and ive heard it doesnt have great sound.
Native instruments seems also mostly guitar oriented.
http://www.rolandus.com/products/produc ... rentId=104

I dont mind paying more if it actually gets me more but im not rich.
And as i dont know shit about this. Feel free to tell me stuff you think i should know about these kind of things.

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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 4976
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:09 pm 
 

There has been tons of talk of audio interfaces in this forum over the years, it's worth searching as there are countless considerations.

M-Audio and Presonus both make good stuff, they're two of the top brands.

Most of the basic audio interfaces handle everything a home hobbyist like you needs (thus why they're popular). Most interfaces have XLR and 1/4" inputs, so you can use microphones or direct input. You're going to want a MIDI input for an electronic drumkit, which not every interface has (usually one step up will add it).

If you want a microphone, start with an SM57. You'll never outgrow it, they're immortal, and retain resale value very well. If you buy used, look for the guide that mattp posted a few years ago on identifying fakes.

However, avoid ProTools SE at any cost, it's a crippled version of the program that's basically the downsides (bound to hardware, expensive to update) without the upsides (massive expandability and professional hardware/plugins). While I use ProTools, I would not recommend it unless you either plan on moving up to expensive hardware or you have someone who uses PT teaching it to you. All of the plugins are pricey, and you need to buy a VST to RTAS add-on to use freeware. Reaper is the choice of basically everyone else here.

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tomcat_ha
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Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:05 am
Posts: 2814
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:15 pm 
 

dont a lot of electronic drumkits have a audio out and not just midi out?

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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 4976
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:34 pm 
 

tomcat_ha wrote:
dont a lot of electronic drumkits have a audio out and not just midi out?


Yes. I don't know electronic drums very well, but if you're doing any sort of mixing beyond simply adjusting volume levels, you're probably going to want to be able to tweak the kick and snare independently of the other drums.

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tomcat_ha
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Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:05 am
Posts: 2814
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:43 pm 
 

Isnt tweaking both possible by just looking into the samples you are going to use?

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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 4976
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:49 pm 
 

tomcat_ha wrote:
Isnt tweaking both possible by just looking into the samples you are going to use?


To some extent, it's possible but inconvenient. Even with electronic samples, at the end you'll find yourself wanting to play around with compression/reverb until it sounds just right. Even if you notch/scoop the rest of your mix to fit the samples, I would recommend giving yourself the chance to work with it.

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tomcat_ha
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Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:05 am
Posts: 2814
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:52 pm 
 

Eh i was thinking about using tweaking on the drum element samples itself. So that you could have different settings for every element in the electronic drumkit.

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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 4976
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:01 pm 
 

tomcat_ha wrote:
Eh i was thinking about using tweaking on the drum element samples itself. So that you could have different settings for every element in the electronic drumkit.


You can also use both the audio and midi and if you need to make changes, then you use the midi.

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tomcat_ha
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Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:05 am
Posts: 2814
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:37 pm 
 

it might be just me, but it seems that the roland and presonus options are the best.
M-audio has protools se and apparently that sucks and its by far the most expensive.
Roland is the cheapest but it comes prebundled with sonar x1 le which is supposedly not great software wise.
Presonus comes prebundled with studio one.

Ive read that studio one is pretty good but that reaper has more flexibility. However studio one is supposedly easier to use. However getting reaper apparently means spending 150 extra software wise.

im leaning towards presonus right now.

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CorpseFister
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:07 pm
Posts: 1970
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:07 am 
 

I've got a Yamaha electronic kit, here's my two cents on that:

You can definitely spend some time editing samples and parameters to make an alright mix and then just record stereo audio. The kit I've got was about a grand and it's got panning, reverb, pitch, and level, so you can't do any eqing but you can setup a decent sounding drum track. But Zodi is right- by doing that you are basically pre-mixing your drums which is rather limiting. Once that track is laid down you can't do much with it and depending on the level of recording you are aiming for you might want separated tracks to tweak eq, reverb, compression and all that.

So yeah, you can get a decent result but it also can be quite limiting. It's worth getting an audio interface with MIDI input, it allows a fair bit more freedom and possibility than just using the audio out from your kit.

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tomcat_ha
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Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:05 am
Posts: 2814
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:20 am 
 

it seems that all of these things have midi input anyway so i guess worrying about this isnt necessary.

but yeah right now im thinking of going for the presonus one.

Are there any other brands im forgetting?

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doktersatan
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:42 pm
Posts: 228
Location: Amsterdam
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:57 am 
 

don't forget you need 2 channels if you want to record the audio output from an e-drum kit. , unless you really like mono drums.
Most interfaces have this, but you said you wanted to record another instrument simultaneous, so keep this in mind.
I recently replaced a broken tascam interface with the echo audiofire8, which has 2 pre amps and 6 line ins, 8 line outs and ADAT connectivity. the ADA conversion in this one is noticably better than my old fw1804. Just watch out with firmware updates.

the latest m audio fasttrack series got pretty good reviews from the web, but I would be hestitant to buy one, as I've read a while ago that AVID is shutting down M audio and other consumer departments. so you could be without technical support.

The mackie onyx series has some nice pre amps and would be alright for your purposes I think. You could get the smaller 2x2(inputs/outputs) blackjack or the bigger 16x16 blackbird. these are good value.

dont worry too much about software for now. The DAW's (digital audio workstation) are all pretty much the same. I would reccomend going open source and downloading Ardour. You can always upgrade to something else later.

and lastly I hate disagreeing with people, but M audio and presonus are definitely NOT top brands.
Mackie, Maudio, presonus, focusrite, echo etc. etc. is all pretty much consumer stuff. Yeah it's better than your internal soundcard but please don't think you'll be getting the same stuff the expensive Andy Sneap produced albums use.
The preamps in most interfaces are pretty shit compared to the real stuff.

Oh and I just remembered that not all E drums send out their midi data without latency, so while I agree that you could probably get better sounds using the computer and a sampler VST/aU/RTAS/LADSPA/whatever plugin rather than the Edrum's brain, for the actual tracking or just practising I THINK you'll be better off with the brain's internal sounds.

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tomcat_ha
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Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:05 am
Posts: 2814
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:28 pm 
 

audiofire seems to be mac only. I have a windows PC.
The Onyx blackjack seems to fit what i have. However how does it compare to the presonus model i linked above?
Also im not really expecting high end studio SQ but id like to have something that i can use to record decent demos. Something that can last me while i steadily get more stuff to improve SQ like mic'd amps etc.

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Arkhane
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:39 pm
Posts: 1623
Location: South Texas
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:53 pm 
 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmSkW75gtuk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSNLSUSwn7M
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F28grAJF ... ure=relmfu

these three songs were made with acoustica mixcraft v5.2. about 40-50 bucks for this program. its great, i've never had any problem with mixcraft, i recommend it
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infinitenexus
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:35 am
Posts: 1939
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:07 am 
 

I've been using the presonus audiobox usb for close to two years now. It does the job, but it's not perfect. The drivers suck, so use ASIO4ALL instead, and it'll pretty much fix that. Also, if the signal coming out of your guitar is hot (IE, hot pickups), you'll have to roll your guitar volume back a tad to keep it from clipping. And finally, when I restart my computer, I have to unplug and then replugin the audiobox (sooo difficult, I know) or the audio is screwy. Other than that, it has performed flawlessly, and it's simplicity is pretty much exactly what I want.

I'll back up Zodijackyl 100% in his recommendation of Reaper. It's dirt cheap and you can do damn near anything with it. They also update it all the time, and there's a nice helpful community that can get you up to speed on it. It's easy to use, also.

You cannot go wrong with an SM57. It was my first real mic about 12 years ago, and still works perfectly today. I also splurged and got a Rode NT1A for vocals, and I've been pretty happy with that.

For a bit of shameless self-promotion, check the link in my sig and go to the album I just finished. I recorded all that in reaper with my presonus audiobox usb in a shitty barracks room here in shitty south korea (I'm military). Vocal mic was a Rode NT1A, Drums are EZDrummer, and guitars/bass are free VSTs (dirthead and poulin lecab, mostly). It doesn't take much money to get a high-quality sound.
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tomcat_ha
Veteran

Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:05 am
Posts: 2814
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:29 pm 
 

well i finally have enough money to buy a interface. im going to visit a local store tomorrow see if they have anything useful to say and then get a interface.
still thinking about getting the presonus AudioBox 44VSL. As far as ive understand that one allows me to record drums stereo together with another instrument. I like drumming myself but if a mate of mine helps me out id prob record bass this way.

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Goran
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 8:32 pm
Posts: 140
Location: Belgium
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:01 am 
 

Another interesting option is the Tascam US-122MKii (or US-144).

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xpsychoblissx
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 294
Location: Phoenix, AZ
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:41 pm 
 

I've had lots of luck with my Line 6 Guitar Port, but I'm planning on upgrading to their "studio" line eventually, as they have better sampling rates. If you want an example their quality, check out my links in my sig. The quality the new interfaces can get is even better, but I'm actually really happy with what I'm able to do. It also kicks ass that I can use it for bass and vocals, and they even have specific amp modeling for them. You can grab a Line 6 GX off ebay for less than $40 most of the time.
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daner
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:18 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:36 pm 
 

If you don't have any recording software yet, many interfaces will will come with a (usually very basic) version of one of the more popular software apps for recording and mixing your music. Which program people use is a very personal preference, but usually the versions that ship with an interface are very useable and quite decent to start with (they usually let you upgrade to the full version at a reduced price as well).

I've used quite a few different interfaces over the years, and I have to admit the M-Audio & Presonus drivers are overall quite stable and usually come with a cut down version of Pro Tools (M-Audio) or Studio One (Presonus) which are pretty decent.

Cubase LE also comes with many interfaces, and that is definitely a decent place to start as well.

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tomcat_ha
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Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:05 am
Posts: 2814
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:46 pm 
 

i went ahead and ordered the presonus. The package is already waiting for me somewhere for me to pick it up.

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