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Author Topic: Setting up your PC for Recording  (Read 153615 times)

Offline norm17

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #925 on: June 06, 2012, 03:48:53 PM »
Ok.... rather than set up a tutorial thread, let's make this into a Q & A sort of thread and the emphasis will be on setting up your PC regardless of the specs. Remember, however, that some pc configurations are not compatible with audio no matter what you do. Also remember that most pc's coming out today have a decided slant towards powerful video capabilities, something which often conflicts with glitch-free audio performance. If you are decided about great audio performance, you will have to give up great video performance (which means you will have to give up that 8800GTXProMillenium+1 and go for a considerably less powerful vidcard).

I know this thread will get unusually long so I will be adding to it as time progresses. Any pertinent info will be added to this initial post and I suggest that anyone posting new questions refer to this first post so we can avoid duplication.

Let's start...

One of the most important considerations when choosing a pc for recording happens to be not the pc, but the SOFTWARE.

Strange, but true. It is the software that determines what soundcard you will use, and what the minimum requirements are for running that software. Word of advice about minimum requirements... follow that and your pc/software combi will function, but just barely. You need to factor something like 150% of the minimum just to have something workable; so if the minimum cpu is 1 GHz, you really need at least 1.5 GHz to be able to do any real work... 200% to 300% of minimum is suggested.

Software also determines the platform you will use. Sonar, Audition, Wavelab and Soundforge are strictly pc while Logic, Digital Performer, Bias Peak and Soundhack are mac. ProTools, Cubase and Nuendo are dual-platform applications. Let's not turn this thread into a mac vs. pc thread because, in my view, these are nothing but tools... machines that are designed for a purpose. Each has it's strengths and weaknesses and I'd rather we concentrate on how we can maximize the usefulness of these tools. No mac vs. pc flame wars, get it?

Now that you've decided your software, if you do some digging into its feature, you will often find a list of compatible soundcards that go with it. Please, please choose a soundcard with a known compatibility. If you decide to use that cheap 300 peso CMI soundcard or USB cdrking sound dongle, your on your own. I have nothing against using inexpensive gear but often you will find that support is sometimes non-existent or that drivers are POS and are hardly updated. To add insult to injury, the performance of these cheap cards are often not up to par and sound quality often suffers. You CAN use these cards (I did not say you can't), but you will have to work extra hard to get even demo quality sound from them so if you decide to go that route, don't forget that I told you so. I have used soundblaster cards early in my delvings into digital audio and over the years, my ears have become attuned to what they can do well, and what they cannot. I will say that blasters are good for learning the craft.

Now, finally, the pc...

So you got your software and you've chosen your soundcard... now what? Put it all in that pre-assembled pc and then click on that record button in your software and hope you nail that perfect take? NOT!

Most pre-assembled pcs skimp on some important very important parts like the motherboard, ram, vidcard, power supply... you name it. Even Dells are guilty of this fact plus, pre-assembleds are more tuned towards office applications and the occasional game or 2. Audio pcs are a different breed. Audio pcs eschew 3D video performance in favor of increased audio capability. Capabilities like low latency, high track counts, quiet operation and very good 2D screen redraw performance (playback of movie videos is also a consideration for post production suites).

Some soundcards are also picky about the motherboard chipset. Research well on the chipsets that go with your soundcard. You don't want a repeat of that Via debacle that happened with soundblasters. Via chipsets starting with the KT166 were horrible with computer audio; it was only with the K8T800 Pro chipset that Via redeemed itself. Intel chipsets were stable with the i865 chipset, but the i915 and i925 were disappointing for some; the present 975XBX and 965P chipsets are proving to be very good performers. Nforce chipsets were quite good up to Nforce3, the Nforce4 was a disappointment plus the combination of pcie proved to be a real problem. If you already have chosen your software, it pays to lurk in their user forums since they often post which motherboards work well - that's how I happened to choose my present day N3 mobo.

So what does this mean for most pc-based platforms? DIY systems are the way to go. You get to choose your own parts and you can most likely get the best and most compatible components for your needs. At times you can save a lot by going DIY but you then have the responsibility of installing the OS, tweaking it for audio  and installing all the software and hardware; a process that can take 2 or 3 days at least. Mac users have it easy, their machines just work out of the box but they have to pay for that ease of use (I call it the 2:1 ratio but lets not go into that).

There are lots more to discuss but let's take it one step at a time.

hi sir KitC thanks for this post...it's very informative :)

Offline haxo55

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #926 on: June 07, 2012, 03:37:57 PM »
thanks sir kitC, masisimulan ko na ang research ulit and hunting ng gamit :D
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Offline KitC

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #927 on: June 08, 2012, 04:56:40 PM »
@norm17 - glad you liked that post although I wrote it several years ago. Some info may be dated but the principles still remain the same.
Sonar 4.04PE/5.2PE/7.02PE/8.31 PE, Project 5 v2.5.1, EmulatorX 1.5, Cubase SL2, Ableton Live 7.14,  Intel Q6600 MSI P43 Neo 4Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR2-800, Emu 1820m, Yamaha DSP Factory, Terratec DMX 6fire

Offline niroh

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #928 on: June 16, 2012, 12:19:24 PM »
Sir KitC thank you po sa info!  :-D what a big help. . ., nasabi nyo po ang about sa soundcard. . . how about po sa

sa audio interfaces?  :?

Offline skin

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #929 on: June 16, 2012, 01:02:00 PM »
Sir KitC thank you po sa info!  :-D what a big help. . ., nasabi nyo po ang about sa soundcard. . . how about po sa

sa audio interfaces?  :?

Sound card = audio interface


Offline KitC

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #930 on: June 16, 2012, 03:43:22 PM »
To clarify, let's just say that soundcards were originally that... cards, or better yet, expansion cards since these were circuit boards installed in the expansion slots of computers. Audio interface is the all encompassing term for devices that serve as input/output devices for audio.

So, whenever we are referring to soundcards, you can be sure that these are expansion boards that reside inside a computer, while usb and firewire audio devices can be referred to as audio interfaces.
Sonar 4.04PE/5.2PE/7.02PE/8.31 PE, Project 5 v2.5.1, EmulatorX 1.5, Cubase SL2, Ableton Live 7.14,  Intel Q6600 MSI P43 Neo 4Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR2-800, Emu 1820m, Yamaha DSP Factory, Terratec DMX 6fire

Offline joshuacarlos

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #931 on: June 26, 2012, 11:00:29 AM »
where can i get guitar rig 3 or 4? and how much?

Online jake z

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #932 on: June 26, 2012, 11:34:50 AM »
If you have a creditcard you can but it on the ni site.

Offline joshuacarlos

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #933 on: June 27, 2012, 01:19:12 PM »
ano magandang plugin for vocals? i use ableton live and line 6 ux1. and meron po ba na plugins na free na recommended? thanks sir

Offline KitC

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #934 on: June 27, 2012, 08:52:12 PM »
Try here: www.vst4free.com

and here: http://abletonlife.com/top-5-free-vst-plugins-for-ableton-live

I used to use digitalfishphones Blockfish compressor a lot, until I got VC64 which came with Sonar.
Sonar 4.04PE/5.2PE/7.02PE/8.31 PE, Project 5 v2.5.1, EmulatorX 1.5, Cubase SL2, Ableton Live 7.14,  Intel Q6600 MSI P43 Neo 4Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR2-800, Emu 1820m, Yamaha DSP Factory, Terratec DMX 6fire

Offline pualux

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #935 on: June 28, 2012, 06:00:29 AM »
boss ok lang ba laging naka on yung usb audio interface? specifically yung bus powered na interface

plano ko kasi gamiting permanent na soundcard para kahit nagyoyoutube ako gamit ko parin studio monitors...wala bang masisira?

Online Xelly

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #936 on: June 28, 2012, 08:16:26 AM »
boss ok lang ba laging naka on yung usb audio interface? specifically yung bus powered na interface

plano ko kasi gamiting permanent na soundcard para kahit nagyoyoutube ako gamit ko parin studio monitors...wala bang masisira?

ganyan setup ko ngayon bro. hindi dapat masisira yung audio interface mo kasi designed yan dapat na naka-on ng maraming oras.

Offline chocotech27

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #937 on: June 28, 2012, 12:10:09 PM »
Sir ask lang po wala po lumalabas na tunog sa guitar ko pag nagamit ako ng sonar. pero sa guitar rig meron namn... ano po kaya problem nun??? headphone jack po gamit ko connection to may lap top.

one more,,, pwede ba pag sa bayin ang sonar at guitar rig i mean gagamitin mo sya for recording sa sonar?

Online jake z

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #938 on: June 28, 2012, 01:07:18 PM »
Yes its very possible. Check input monitoring so that you can hear it on sonar too.

And you can use them both the same time.

Offline chocotech27

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #939 on: June 28, 2012, 01:46:30 PM »
Yes its very possible. Check input monitoring so that you can hear it on sonar too.

And you can use them both the same time.

Thanks sir... yung isa ko pang question sir kung tutunog ba sya kahit Guitar cable to headphone plug lang ang gamit ko, or kylangan ko pa nung USB interface?? :-) thanks sir! ^-^

Offline KitC

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #940 on: June 29, 2012, 05:40:14 PM »
pwede ba pag sa bayin ang sonar at guitar rig i mean gagamitin mo sya for recording sa sonar?

you can use Guitar Rig within Sonar as a vst fx.

Thanks sir... yung isa ko pang question sir kung tutunog ba sya kahit Guitar cable to headphone plug lang ang gamit ko, or kylangan ko pa nung USB interface?? :-) thanks sir! ^-^

?!

guitar cable straight to line or mic input? kapag line input, impedance mismatch. madaling mag distort ang signal at mahina ang gain. pag mic input, shorted ang +5VDC to ground - you risk killing the mic input with some laptops.
Sonar 4.04PE/5.2PE/7.02PE/8.31 PE, Project 5 v2.5.1, EmulatorX 1.5, Cubase SL2, Ableton Live 7.14,  Intel Q6600 MSI P43 Neo 4Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR2-800, Emu 1820m, Yamaha DSP Factory, Terratec DMX 6fire

Offline pualux

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #941 on: July 01, 2012, 06:43:42 PM »
ganyan setup ko ngayon bro. hindi dapat masisira yung audio interface mo kasi designed yan dapat na naka-on ng maraming oras.
salamat boss!

Offline alittleless16

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #942 on: July 09, 2012, 02:03:01 AM »
Hello all! Just need a little help with recording guitar using my pc.

I'm experiencing input delay kasi. I'm using Adobe Soundbooth. Naalala ko naginstall na ako ng ASIO drivers. Yung guitar ko po nakasaksak sa jack(parang converter) na nakasaksak naman dun sa blue input sa mobo ko.

Please advise on how to fix it. Thanks!

Offline KitC

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #943 on: July 09, 2012, 01:10:52 PM »
I'm experiencing input delay kasi. I'm using Adobe Soundbooth. Naalala ko naginstall na ako ng ASIO drivers. Yung guitar ko po nakasaksak sa jack(parang converter) na nakasaksak naman dun sa blue input sa mobo ko.

ugh... you're using the line in with a direct cable probably. this will cause your sound to change and this setup easily overloads the input - better if you have a proper interface such as the ones from Line6 or similar.

since you're using your mobo and not a true interface, your asio performance will not be optimal. try substituting asio4all drivers and work from there. some say there is a marked improvement in latency, but having used true asio drivers, I'll stick with a real interface.
Sonar 4.04PE/5.2PE/7.02PE/8.31 PE, Project 5 v2.5.1, EmulatorX 1.5, Cubase SL2, Ableton Live 7.14,  Intel Q6600 MSI P43 Neo 4Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR2-800, Emu 1820m, Yamaha DSP Factory, Terratec DMX 6fire

Offline alittleless16

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #944 on: July 11, 2012, 03:01:46 AM »
Thanks for replying sir. Actually naginstall nga ako ng ASIO4all kaso wala improvement. Magkano po yung interface?

Online Xelly

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #945 on: July 11, 2012, 09:05:15 AM »
Thanks for replying sir. Actually naginstall nga ako ng ASIO4all kaso wala improvement. Magkano po yung interface?

Depende bro sa interface na bibilhin mo. Napakar :-)aming klase ng audio interface from 1-input(Line6 UX1) to 32-inputs(Behringer X32)s. Meron ding may built-in mic(Samson G-track) or may built-in multiFX(Line6 X3live). Kung nag-Uumpisa ka plang bro go for Line6 UX1. Marami ka nang magagawa dun.  :-)

Offline KitC

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #946 on: July 11, 2012, 11:57:34 AM »
Thanks for replying sir. Actually naginstall nga ako ng ASIO4all kaso wala improvement.

You're working within the limitations of your motherboard's audio drivers and as you can see, the onboard audio is not an optimal recording device. Practically speaking, onboard audio is mostly geared for audio playback and not recording.

As for the interface, like Xelly says, the UX1 is a good choice for beginners. Are you using a guitar amp with a line level output? You can use that direct with the line in, but a word of caution... if you do not know how to identify a line level out from other kinds of outs with your amp, stick to getting an interface. You might end up burning your mobo if you plug in the wrong output.
Sonar 4.04PE/5.2PE/7.02PE/8.31 PE, Project 5 v2.5.1, EmulatorX 1.5, Cubase SL2, Ableton Live 7.14,  Intel Q6600 MSI P43 Neo 4Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR2-800, Emu 1820m, Yamaha DSP Factory, Terratec DMX 6fire

Offline pualux

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #947 on: July 11, 2012, 08:46:37 PM »
sino may experience with roland's octacapture? ok ba?

Online jake z

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #948 on: July 12, 2012, 10:14:04 PM »
For a condenser mic connected to a ux1, we still use a mic preamp right? Or what set up can you recommend guys?

Thanks

Offline KitC

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Re: Setting up your PC for Recording
« Reply #949 on: July 13, 2012, 11:06:01 AM »
The UX1 does not have phantom power so most powered condensers will not work and you will require a preamp with phantom power. You can get something like a Samson S-phantom so that it supplies power to the condenser instead.

Sonar 4.04PE/5.2PE/7.02PE/8.31 PE, Project 5 v2.5.1, EmulatorX 1.5, Cubase SL2, Ableton Live 7.14,  Intel Q6600 MSI P43 Neo 4Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR2-800, Emu 1820m, Yamaha DSP Factory, Terratec DMX 6fire