Building a home studio

The name says it all! Discuss Steve's studios, your studios and gear set-ups, amps and effects here. This is not for discussing guitars (Steve's or otherwise).
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guyver_dio
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I've recently bought my own home and am thinking of turning one of the rooms into a soundproof home recording studio.

However I'm not quite sure what to get. I'd mainly want to record my guitar, keyboard and vocals. I don't want to go too crazy and buy the top of the line gear but what would people recommend for the following:

External i/o interfaces and soundcards
Midi Keyboard controller
Recording software suitable for a person with little experience (something that minimal and easy to use)

There's a tonne of equipment out there and I'm having a hard time narrowing down my selection. So far all I know is that I want to use EZDrummer for drum track creation lol.

Thanks
Jeries
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- i'd recommend a Mbox2- but if you really want to step up- get a Digi 003- the rack you can find used for only $400-500- amazing piece of gear.

- if you're sequencing drums and doing all the instruments- an mbox2 with its 2 inputs should just be fine- the extra stuff of the 003 would be overkill

-get a GOOD computer that you perferably dont even put online- and thats ONLY USED FOR RECORDING

- in that computer have a DEDICATED hard drive for recording on that you save everything on- and not the one with your operating system on it...

-i recommend BFD for drums but- whatever you use- if its REALLY BIG- i suggest ANOTHER hard drive dedicated just for your drum samples- my main studio computer has 3 hard drives- WINDOWS/PROTOOLSSESSIONS/BFD-and other virtual instrument samplers

- get PROTOOLS- its the industry standard- and you'll need the digidesign (or maudio hardware) to use it but its great-
its a pain in the ass- a bitch to install and EXTREMELY picky but its solid and worth it and used on every record today

- I like Korg Midi controllers you dont have to get an 88 key but any one will do- and a small one is good for little things and drums

-buy a good pair of studio monitors- Maudio bx5a's are fine
---- you want a monitor that doesnt sound good- one that just puts exactly out what you put into it- doesnt color the sound- gives you exactly what you put into it

- get a few good cheap condenser mics and a pop filter> a wire hanger and panty hose works too-

- about soundproofing...
-- you could build a DIY vocal booth with a little foam and $50 pretty easy
--the same for an isolation box for your guitar cab
-- but putting tons of foam/padding is probably not even useful
you just need to DEADEN the sound- so you don't hear it reflecting from your monitors
and you dont get echo/slapback from the walls recording vocals---

a little bit of foam in the right places will get you just fine-

and as for guitar- when a mic is an inch away from 100watt 4x12 cab full blast- it really doesnt matter in my opinion the acoutics or soundproofing of the room its in...

if you were doing drums you could go overboard and have all the walls not parralell and rebuilt and do all sorts of crazy shit to the corners and walls- but in your case its probably useless

--
i've had a home studio since i was 15- i'm 26 now

i never thought it would happen but i got MANY MANY MANY things i've recorded at my home on the radio- and i'm proud of that fact

i have my studio and the next room is my bedroom

i cut a whole in the wall (and got from homedepot a $1 cover with a circle) and run cables into the other room
so i use to put the cab in the other room wtih mics and blast it that way- just so i could play louder without hurting myself int he same room
but overall there's a lot of ways to do big things

you can by a randall iso cabinet-
you can buy a mini vocal booth for $1000

you could buy cheap sheets from wallmart and a shower curtain to make a vocal booth

there's plenty of ways to do a lot of things affordably in the studio world


so...
any questions?
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guyver_dio
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thanks Jeries, I was thinking of the m-audio fast track but I like that you can buy the mbox with pro tools as a bundle so I'm thinking maybe the mbox3 with pro tools is the way to go. My only concern is, isn't pro tools fairly intense as far as usability goes. Will it be hard for someone with very little experience to use?

I'll take a look into the korg controllers too, thanks for the tip. Any model that you'd recommend?

I think most of the virtual instrument programs like BFD and EZDrummer have free trial versions so I'll give BFD a go before deciding. When it comes to the drum tracks I want to do very little customizing, basically listen and find a drum pattern i like and import it into the recording software.

As for the soundproofing, the room is in the garage area so it's got very thin walls and cement floor. My wife doesn't really like the volume I like to play at either so I'm thinking of just covering all the walls with eggshell foam and laying down some carpet. Not just to keep outside sounds coming in and dampening the reverberation but I need to kill the volume coming out of the room too.
Jeries
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i'm not a fan of the fastrack- not a fan of the mbox 3--

I'd recommend a Mbox2 used-
OR
if you're serious about it- there are amazing deals out there on 003's racks and consoles so i'd really recommend one of those-- its really top notch quality and you cant compare it to the maudio stuff/fast track stuff- the 003 is good enough for prof use

protools is intense
protools is a bitch
protools is picky
BUT
its the industry standard
and- you got to get into all of this- so might as well start big- get it over with and learn now- than waste your time in CUBASE for years and not know how its really done

its hard yes- but there are tons of tutorials online and on youtube- and the dvd it comes with pretty much explains it all-

BUT you got to do it someday and you got to get into this anyway- might as well get it overwith and jump into the big boy stuff

--
i really thought korg's quality of midi controllers were suppieror to the rest--
i cant find the one i use to have- obviously i'd avoid the latest one with the MINIKEYS that looks like a toy

i had a nice one and thought it was really good

and much better than the maudio

--

now on the drums
'free trial' doesnt help much
i have BFD-and an expansion pack
combined it is on SEVEN DVDs

7!
so- whatever free trail you'll download wont compare to the real thing
bfd 2 is good and a great imporvement

i dont find it easy to use- its complex
BUT REALISTIC

realistic as in- not just sound wise
but when you're done (there's one way where it takes literally 12 of its own tracks to set up- in one mode you can just use it on one track- but the full version takes up 12-16 tracks per song and seperates everything)
BUT what you're left with isn't necessarily ground soudning drums
but authentic drums- and they behave as if you really mic'd the real thing- then you can do whatever you want with it effects wise later- makes sense?

its hard-
its complex
it has patterns if you're lazy

but it's very fair and realistic and the most authentic stuff out there for software drums

and for soundproofing

i only recommend soundproofing for keeping the sound in the studio OUT of other rooms- in your case you'd want to soundproof it-

if you don't care where the sound goes then you don't need any

there are lots of guides out there- there's special stuff/walls you can put on the wall-
do your homework on this stuff
eggshells/foam might not do what you think it will do in this case-
and you're probaly better off with someone like moving blankets

i would go the cheapest DIY route possible with the soundproofing stuff- cuz $300 foam isn't much different thatn $20 foam - and it may not even be the right thing for the job u need it to do.
DomitianX
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Im loving Logic Studio pro as my DAW these days. ProTools is great, but it can be a bitch to learn to use and work with sometimes. And no, not every record is recorded with ProTools. It is a "standard" these days, but there are lots of hits (in all genres) recorded in other DAWs like Logic, Nuendo, etc. Keep your mind open to DAWs and try all of them before settling on one. They all have trial versions you can play with.

Eric Johnson uses Nuendo, Mutt Lang and Rick Rubin are logic users, etc. Find one that fits how you want to work and go from there.

As for studio construction, check out this GearSlutz thread. Lots of great info to be had in there.

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/photo-di ... -projects/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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guyver_dio
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Thanks, yeh I will definitely be trialing alot of software before deciding. What I really want from this studio is to do just first drafts of song ideas, I'll probably go to a professional studio to do final cuts of things. This is why I want the software to be as simplistic as possible, I don't want the technology to stand in the way of creativity. This is why I just want a drum program that just gives me pre-written loops and samples that I can use. This is the idea for now, I'll probably piece a better studio together once I get bored and used the hardware/software I'm going to start off with.

I used to use adobe audition but it's been discontinued and reformed into something else now. It was a good middleground between something as simple as audacity and some of the more intense recording software. The only other software I've tried is Alberton Live which was a freckin nightmare. The Mbox comes with Pro Tools LE which I'm hoping means 'light edition' and should be easier.
DomitianX
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LE doesnt mean easier. It means "Limited Edition" pretty much. meaning same at regular Pro Tools, but you are limited to a certain number of tracks and other things. Same functionality, just limited.

if you want a simple pattern based software drum package, get EZDrummer. Its fantastic. Drag and drop drum patterns, then tweak them using the piano roll. Super easy, sounds great, and pretty cheap.
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