You need to be logged in to post
Options
Index
#559561 - 10/17/19 09:30 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Recording setup - gear questions...
Registered: 10/16/19
Posts: 3
lvl Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/16/19
Posts: 3
I want to get into music production (mostly electronic and elements of rock, mostly guitar) and I think I understand what I need for a basic setup. Going into the holiday season I know some cash is coming my way, so it's time to make it happen. I think I have my headphones picked out, gonna go with closed-back just for cost and noise isolation reasons.

The piece I'm most confused about is the audio interface. I have a MacBook Pro, the one with the touchbar and USB‑C ports. I just upgraded to macOS Catalina in case that matters for driver support.

Like I said, I mostly am going to produce in the box (that is what it's called when you use plugins right?) and at most will record some guitar, probably using amp modeling software. So from what I understand that means I need a 1/4" line input? But the impedance matters right? I'm a little confused on that part...

Before you jump all over me, I DID google this!! I came across what I think is a good audio interface guide.

My questions are:

1) Is that actually a good audio interface guide? (linked above) I've used that website before to see what gear people use but never their guides.

2) They say
Quote:
"Beginner & Budget does not mean these are not professional grade. Technology has come so far that a $99 audio interface can be the center of your small studio and make your recordings sound great."
... is that a true statement?

3) If I stick to a budget interface, how quickly would I outgrow it? What's the biggest risk in not saving up for a more high-end one? Is it quality, or is it number of inputs?

4) Is there that much difference in reality between Focusrite, Native Instruments, Audient, and Presonus?

5) What interface do you guys have? And how do you like it, i.e. would you buy it again today?

Thanks!

Top
#559574 - 10/17/19 11:14 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Recording setup - gear questions... [Re: lvl]
Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 5489
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Online   happy
Veteran

Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 5489
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
There are any number of "best of" equipment guides available. All have the same limitation, how well do they zero in and connect with your expectation of what you want to do both now and in the future. For that reason I do not pay much attention to them and did not click on the link you provided.

Instead I rely on reading reviews, visiting local brick and mortar retail music stores and talking through e-mail with a sales advisor at an online music store like Sweetwater or AMS.

Audio interfaces perform multiple functions: communicate with a computer through a common computer port such as USB2, USB3, Thunderbolt or Firewire. Convert audio into an analog electrical signal. Convert an analog electrical signal to digital data. Convert digital data into an analog electrical signal. Mix and amplify the incoming and outgoing analog electrical signals into a stereo signal suitable for headphones. Optionally provide a pathway for midi data to enter and leave the computer. It is the most complicated device in your studio next to the computer itself.

The most important question is how many microphone or instrument connections do you presently need or anticipate needing in the future? The answer guides the rest of your research.
_________________________
Jim Fogle
2019 UltraPlusPak BiaB(637) RealBand(Build 5)
Cakewalk by Bandlab - Audacity - Zoom MRS-8 recorder
i3 laptop, 64bit Win 7, 8 GB ram, 480GB SSD
Music at: http://fogle622.wix.com/fogle622-audio-home

Top
#559585 - 10/17/19 12:33 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Recording setup - gear questions... [Re: lvl]
Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 5300
Loc: South Carolina
Charlie Fogle Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 5300
Loc: South Carolina
<<< Is there that much difference in reality between Focusrite, Native Instruments, Audient, and Presonus? >>>

Not in your situation. If you use Presonus Studio One for your DAW, you will have easiest set up and assured compatibility with choosing Presonus hardware. If you have modified your guitar or possibly use your acoustic with a built in pickup, you may find you need an actual DI box to tame the guitar input. Choose at least a 2 input model of whatever brand in so you can have a stereo input if some of your electronic sounds come externally from a keyboard or synthesizer.

Choose a model that has a mic/instrument input and line inputs and most devices now have combo input jacks that accept XLR or 1/4". The type of input (mic, instrument, line) determines the impedance, not the jack. Some of the lower cost units do not have line level input and you can feed a line level, it's just a bit trickier getting the input gain exactly right. Unless you will be using a device sending line levels such as a keyboard, synth, vocal harmonizer or such, your audio interface will only be inputting your guitar and you'll not have any problems.

Choose a device that has at least 48/24 resolution as that is and will be the industry video standard for the foreseeable future. Devices that have 48/24 will also have 44.1/16 and that is the audio standard. Most devices will probably have much greater resolutions than this unless you opt for the absolute bottom line model.

The way you will grow out of your unit is needing more inputs than you have.

I use Presonus interfaces but also have a Zoom interface and have owned several other brands. Presonus has been very reliable and if you don't currently have a DAW, I recommend you purchase Presonus because their devices ship with Studio One DAW's that are wonderful, full featured DAW software that has a large presence of support and tutorials. Their DAW also includes some nice plug ins.


Edited by Charlie Fogle (10/17/19 12:34 PM)
_________________________
BiaB Ultra Pak+ 2020:RB 2020 Build 1. Dell Inspiron AIO Desktop; Windows-10-64 bit, 7th Generation AMD A9-9425 Processor Five Core 3100 Mhz and 16GB DDR4 Memory.

Top
#559729 - 10/18/19 09:02 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Recording setup - gear questions... [Re: Charlie Fogle]
Registered: 10/16/19
Posts: 3
lvl Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/16/19
Posts: 3
Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle
The way you will grow out of your unit is needing more inputs than you have.

I use Presonus interfaces but also have a Zoom interface and have owned several other brands. Presonus has been very reliable and if you don't currently have a DAW, I recommend you purchase Presonus because their devices ship with Studio One DAW's that are wonderful, full featured DAW software that has a large presence of support and tutorials. Their DAW also includes some nice plug ins.


Thank you, that's super helpful. The PreSonus beginner interfaces do look very nice, and the price is right!

Top
#559736 - 10/18/19 10:24 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Recording setup - gear questions... [Re: lvl]
Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 221
Loc: on the edge of the sandbar-NC
mrgeeze Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 221
Loc: on the edge of the sandbar-NC
Charlie Fogle's advice is spot on.

Don't be afraid to save a little buying used gear off of reverb.
I've saved a lot of $$ doing that.
Reverb has pretty good policing on any purchase/sale problems.

Make sure the shipping cost doesn't make the deal less favorable to you.
_________________________
win10 biab2019 quadi7 16gb 2TBssd
macbook pro 15 LogicProX Mbox Pro Audio Interface
Suhr Tele PRS C24 Quilter MicroPro Hd
Costadelmar sunglasses
KotoBuki high carbon left handed Sashimi knife

Top
#561775 - 10/31/19 12:07 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Recording setup - gear questions... [Re: lvl]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 6690
Guitarhacker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 6690
Originally Posted By: lvl
I want to get into music production (mostly electronic and elements of rock, mostly guitar) and I think I understand what I need for a basic setup. Going into the holiday season I know some cash is coming my way, so it's time to make it happen. I think I have my headphones picked out, gonna go with closed-back just for cost and noise isolation reasons.

The piece I'm most confused about is the audio interface. I have a MacBook Pro, the one with the touchbar and USB‑C ports. I just upgraded to macOS Catalina in case that matters for driver support.

Like I said, I mostly am going to produce in the box (that is what it's called when you use plugins right?) and at most will record some guitar, probably using amp modeling software. So from what I understand that means I need a 1/4" line input? But the impedance matters right? I'm a little confused on that part...

Before you jump all over me, I DID google this!! I came across what I think is a good audio interface guide.

My questions are:

1) Is that actually a good audio interface guide? (linked above) I've used that website before to see what gear people use but never their guides.

2) They say
Quote:
"Beginner & Budget does not mean these are not professional grade. Technology has come so far that a $99 audio interface can be the center of your small studio and make your recordings sound great."
... is that a true statement?

3) If I stick to a budget interface, how quickly would I outgrow it? What's the biggest risk in not saving up for a more high-end one? Is it quality, or is it number of inputs?

4) Is there that much difference in reality between Focusrite, Native Instruments, Audient, and Presonus?

5) What interface do you guys have? And how do you like it, i.e. would you buy it again today?

Thanks!


Well, I will answer all your questions in one reply rather than list it because many of the questions actually cross over into each other's answers.

So... I have a Focusrite Saffire interface.

Most of the interfaces will do you a good job but I recommend that you avoid the cheap ones and the ones that do not support native ASIO. So, a cheap interface will sound just as good as the more expensive ones BUT......Cheap ones will work, but can often breakdown sooner than you want or are lacking features that make your job easier. Avoid the gimmicks, like a guitar modeler with a built in interface or the mixer/interfaces. Get a decent interface. Plan ahead. If you think you are only going to record one or two things at a time, a simple stereo 2 input interface will do just fine. I've had a 2 input interface for over 15 years now. A good one will last. Remember that the interface is the heart of your studio. Don't "cheap out" on this important piece of gear.

Look at the number of inputs it has, the number of outputs it has, and be sure it includes the following. Clean audio preamps on the audio inputs, phantom power for condenser mics, a software control panel that lets you set it up, DSP FX is nice but not really critical, and.... be sure it runs the industry standard native ASIO driver. If it can handle the others, that fine, but be sure is runs ASIO. Beyond that, most of the better brands are all worthy components for a quality studio. I spent about $300 on my interface when I bought it, and I had the option to spend more, and the option to spend less. I settled in the middle. No one will ever hear your music and say... oh year, that's the unmistakable sound of a Presonus. Nope.... not going to happen. They all sound the same, with very minor differences in the output circuitry amps to avoid patent infringement problems.

Expandability.... none of the 2 channel models are expandable. So if you think you will be recording more than 2 inputs, look into the larger, expandable interfaces that will let you connect several together for more inputs.

If you have a Sam Ash or a Guitar Center around, go visit their audio dept and check out the interfaces. Find one that fits your needs and budget and get it.

Regarding the impedance.... most of the gear is engineered so you don't have to worry about the impedance. It's correct right out of the box for the designed purpose.

Headphones.... I found that my Focusrite interface had a good quality signal out but it was a bit too low. Hard to hear. So I ended up adding an inexpensive headphone amp that also provided 4 channels at a higher volume. Might want to consider that if you have other folks coming in to record.

Hopefully, this answers your questions.


Keep us posted on what you do.


Edited by Guitarhacker (10/31/19 12:08 PM)
_________________________
You can find my music at:
www.herbhartley.com

Add nothing that adds nothing to the music

Top


PG Music News
Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Windows & VST DAW Plugin Update Available!

Attention Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Windows users - a new FREE patch update (build 315) and VST DAW Plugin Update (2.1.5) are available! Review details & download here.

Summary of changes for build 704 (Dec 13, 2019):
Added: [Reset to Zero] button added to Import Audio File dialog.
Added: Many new styles and demos added to RT Sets 329-352, and the bonus PAK.
Added: Many styles and demos added to MIDI SuperTracks Sets 30 and 31.
Added: Several "Multi" RealTracks added for vocals and horns (RealTracks Picker).
Fixed: Audio artifacts at bar lines when using Equalize Tempos feature.
Fixed: Audio harmonized voices transcribed to Soloist track should be on channels 1-4 instead of channel 2.
Fixed: Band-in-a-Box may become unresponsive after rendering to audio.
Fixed: Band-in-a-Box might freeze during bootup after upgrading Windows 7 to Windows 10.
Fixed: Band-in-a-Box would crash if selecting a Hi-Q patch on the same track more than once.
Fixed: DAW Plugin - Rebuild and Fix buttons in RealTracks picker now called ReBuild and it justs rebuilds the RealTracks list.
Fixed: Drag & drop render to audio with region of bars selected causes corrupt .wav file if not 16bit, 44.1kHz.
Fixed: Dropping a .musicxml or .mxl file onto Band-in-a-Box was not accepted.
Fixed: FakeSheet button in the Custom tool panel was not displaying the check mark.
Fixed: File > Open Special > Open MusicXML File... was filtering out compressed .mxl files.
Fixed: Medleys and Thickened RealTracks were not playing in proper stereo.
Fixed: Rendering to audio with a region of bars selected causes the Choose Range dialog to appear.
Fixed: Rendering to audio with a region of bars selected renders the wrong region.
Fixed: Rendering was a bit slower than necessary when exporting 16 bit, 44.1kHz.
Fixed: Some RealStyles were being categorized as all-MIDI styles.
Fixed: The Audio Edit window did not always ensure that the current playback position was scrolled into view.
Fixed: The Sinsy Vocal Synth would fail if using the 64 bit version.
Fixed: Various audio formats would fail to import.
Fixed: When dropping an audio file onto the Audio Edit window, the "Snap" setting was ignored.
Fixed: When using the Sinsy Vocal Synth feature, the Import Audio File dialog is not needed.
Improved: Speed of some operations when searching and filtering for styles.
Improved: Thickened is displayed in RealTracks names in RealTracks picker (and other RealTracks picker dialogs), and on mixer for RealTracks names. In RealTracks picker, searching for word "thickened" will show only thickened RealTracks.
Updated: PDF Manuals and help (routine updates).

DAW Plugin 2.1.5:
Added: context menu option in style page to use existing RT as MR
Added: undo/redo functionality (chordsheet only)
Fixed: Generate Custom (This Page[]) not working
Fixed: Crash when opening saved plugin with part marker on bar 2 and
none on bar 1
Fixed: A,B does not get entered into chord sheet
Fixed: Chords being displayed in Roman Numeral without user setting
Fixed: Plugin getting stuck while connecting to bbw4

Xtra Styles PAK 8 for Band-in-a-Box® - 160+ New RealStyles!

Xtra Styles PAK 8 is here, with 164 new RealStyles! We have new volumes for Country, Jazz, Rock-Pop, and Celtic! These new styles include fretless bass indie rock, stormy electric piano blues, an outer-space rock waltz, Hawaiian crooner jazz pop, a rumba flamenca big band, several simplified jazz practice styles, a bowed-bass 12/8 jazz ballad, dreamy fingerstyle guitar country, an atmospheric pedal-steel soundtrack, chicken pickin' western, Irish folk rock, a romantic Celtic air ballad, many new Celtic jigs and reels, and much, much more! We've also included two new MultiStyles that use up to eight substyles each.

The new Country Volume 8, Jazz Volume 8, Rock-Pop Volume 8, and Celtic Volume 1 are just $15 each. Or, get the All Xtra Styles PAK 8 (with all 4 volumes) for only $29 (reg. $49) during our December special.

Want all the Xtra Syles PAKs, with over 1,000 RealStyles? The All Xtra Styles PAK 1-8 Bundle is what you're looking for! This bundle includes all of our Xtra Styles for the special price of $189 (reg. $329), but only until December 31, 2019.

Learn more, listen to demos, or purchase here. (Mac users: click here.)

Note: Xtra Styles PAK 8 requires the Band-in-a-Box® 2019 or higher UltraPAK, UltraPAK+, or Audiophile Edition.

Video - Explore the Band-in-a-Box® 2020 MultiRiffs Feature

MultiRiffs is a popular feature that has previously been available in RealBand and the Band-in-a-Box® DAW Plugin. With the release of Band-in-a-Box® 2020, it's now available in Band-in-a-Box® too! This feature allows you to quickly generate 7 variations of riffs from the same RealTracks for either a portion of the song or the whole song.

Tobin has made a great video explaining using the MultiRiffs feature within Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Windows - check it out here.

Read more about this feature here.

Video - Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Windows New Features

Learn all about the new features in Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Windows - our New Features Video is ready! Watch it here.

Read all about the new features:
New features website
Band-in-a-Box® 2020 Upgrade Manual

Or read our "49 of Your Problems Solved!" page, here, which lists 49 requests fulfilled in Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Windows.

Don't forget... We're having a SALE on Band-in-a-Box® 2020 Upgrade purchases until December 31, 2019 - you can save up to 50% when you purchase your Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Windows Upgrade!

We've packed our Free Bonus PAK & 49-PAK with some amazing Add-ons! The Free Bonus PAK is automatically included with most Band-in-a-Box® for Windows 2020 packages, but for more even more Add-ons (including 40 Unreleased RealTracks) upgrade it to the 2020 49-PAK for only $49. You can see the full lists of items in each package, and listen to demos here.

Check out our Band-in-a-Box® packages page for all the purchase options available. If you need any help deciding which package is the best option for you, just let us know. We are here to help!

49 of Your Problems Solved with Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Windows!

With Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Windows, there are 50+ new features, 202 RealTracks, and more!

We get ideas for the new features and new RealTracks from program users- there are several sources: our Wishlist and general forum, support phone calls, trade shows, etc. In most cases, customers are not describing a new feature – they are describing a problem they have that they would like to have solved.

This is a list of our features and additions in Band-in-a-Box® 2020, presented from a unique perspective. It is from this customer list of "problems they would like solved." These are not exact quotes, they are paraphrased from our discussions with our customers. They explain what problems and requests they discussed with us, that resulted in the various new features and RealTracks. Hopefully this answers the question "why did you add this feature/content?"

So, without further ado, here are the 49 requests/problems that we (hopefully) have solved with the release of Band-in-a-Box® 2020: click here to review.

50 New RealStyles included in Loops-with-Style PAK 1 for Band-in-a-Box®!

Loops-with-Style PAK 1 is a new library of 100 original loops that we've created using RealTracks/RealDrums source material, and it includes 50 new RealStyles!

Click here to listen to audio demos of the new RealStyles included with Loops-with-Style PAK 1 for Band-in-a-Box®.

ON SALE UNTIL DECEMBER 31st! Save over 30% when you purchase during our special - add Loops-with-Style PAK 1 to your collection today for just $19! Click here for more information.

New! Loops-with-Style PAK 1 for Band-in-a-Box®!

A brand-new Band-in-a-Box Add-on is HERE!

Loops-with-Style PAK 1 for Band-in-a-Box® 2019 (and higher) expands your loops collection with 100 new loops! Click here to watch our video demonstration.

We've taken the RealDrums and RealTracks source audio and remixed, remastered, and combined it to create these original loops. All of your favorite genres are covered, like jazz, funk, rock, pop, electronic, hip-hop, and more! To show them in action, we've created 50 new RealStyles that each include two of the loops. Plus, if you use the loops in Band-in-a-Box, we've included intelligent versions of the loops that automatically switch at A and B part markers. Each loop has a matching sister loop that works perfectly for another substyle!

ON SALE UNTIL DECEMBER 31st!

Save over 30% when you purchase during our special - add Loops-with-Style PAK 1 to your collection today for just $19!

Click here for more information. Mac user? This new Add-on works for you too! Click here for Mac.

Forum Stats
30598 Members
63 Forums
61245 Topics
517226 Posts

Max Online: 2434 @ 11/14/17 12:37 AM
Newest Members
Bob_music_58, MrMalGuitar, CARTERJOHN, fenghaodang, Abdul Alzahrani

30598 Registered Users
Top Posters (30 Days)
VideoTrack 298
Matt Finley 227
Noel96 190
Pipeline 166
MarioD 157
PeterGannon 138
Torrey Bliss 137
Jim 135
jpettit 131
jford 126
Today's Birthdays
Mr.Bebop