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Old 05-22-2013, 07:15 AM
newuserPT newuserPT is offline
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Default advice on purchase

I record my own music, mainly vocals and string instruments. I have been using garageband but have outgrown it. I have a limited budget and I was wondering if anyone could advise me on what hardware I need to buy on top of the program software. Again, I have a mic already that I have been using to record all tracks but I would like to be able to hookup my guitars rather than using my mic to record all the sound.
Would appreciate anyone's thoughts!
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:40 AM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: adivice on purchase

The newest Mbox lineup or the Presonus VSL boxes deserve a look. Reaper is a pretty capable program for those on a tight budget(the new Mboxes may also include Pro Tools SE. Its a limited stripped version of PT so I can't say if it will cover your needs, which you don't mention).
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:41 AM
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dr_daw dr_daw is offline
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Default Re: adivice on purchase

My suggestion would be a Focusrite interface and Cubase. From what it sounds like you may be better suited from better sequencing software. ProTools is 'OK' but not great for MIDI, Cubase or even Ableton Live would be a good start. If you buy a Focusrite Saffire interface, they usually come with Ableton Live lite. Could be a good place to start. Good luck and welcome to the begininning of a great new world.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:31 AM
KineticSound KineticSound is offline
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Default Re: adivice on purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by albee1952 View Post
The newest Mbox lineup or the Presonus VSL boxes deserve a look. Reaper is a pretty capable program for those on a tight budget(the new Mboxes may also include Pro Tools SE. Its a limited stripped version of PT so I can't say if it will cover your needs, which you don't mention).
+1.

You don't mention if you're recording acoustic string instruments or sequencing them via MIDI... For recording them live, an MBox (or even one of the new Fast Track units) would deserve a look, and ProTools SE should work fine.

If you are sequencing strings via MIDI, I agree with dr-daw that ProTools might not be the go-to program for that. Cubase is OK. If you're already familiar with GarageBand, look for a copy of Logic Express. It's a huge step up, but with a similar layout that will feel comfortable right away. You can typically find copies of Logic Express 8 or 9 on the 'bay for under $40, and it works with almost any interface.

The interface, like the software, depends so much on what you need it to do. If you're sequencing, then you'll want something with one or more MIDI I/O's - perhaps an Avid C400, Lexicon U22, or MBox.

If you're not sequencing, but recording the string instruments live, then the preamp quality should be the driving factor. The same interfaces might be on your list, or you could also consider the Focusrite 2i2, Focusrite Forte, or Apogee Duet.

Bear in mind that most of these interfaces come bundled with some form of software, so you might be able to find a package that works.

You will also find many varied opinions on which interface sounds or works best. In my opinion, most of them sound pretty much the same. I had an Apogee Duet in my previous studio and it sounded brilliant. Then I switched to a Lexicon U42, which sounded brilliant, too. Now I use an Avid unit. Guess what... also brilliant. Only one I ever owned that I didn't like the sound of was a Tascam FW1082.
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:15 PM
newuserPT newuserPT is offline
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Default Re: advice on purchase

I will be recording stringed instruments via either microphone or input (mostly input). Pretty much a total amateur at recording but it sounds like I need a good pre-amp and the AVID ones sound pretty good unless you guys have major objections. I would also like access to sequencing music with the Protools instruments I suppose. So in short, recording stringed instruments, and I want access to the other instruments on protools. So sounds like a preamp and a recent version of protools (any problem going with protools 9 for cost sake?)?
Thanks guys.
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: advice on purchase

If you are set on PT's, providing your machine meets the requirements; the best deal going right now is the 11rack w/ PT 10 and the free upgrade to PT11. If you're going to record guitars you won't regret that choice. Just be forewarned, that Pro Tools is exactly that 'Pro', so the transition from Garageband to PT is going to be slow and sometimes frustrating. Check out sweetwater, and bh audio for eleven rack deals, usually about 649 - 699 w/ PT 10 +PT11 upgrade.

If I wasn't in the midths of buying a house there would be a 11rack on it's way. But I would actually probably sell the PT license so I can buy Cubase.
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:18 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: advice on purchase

To the OP here's a thought to keep in mind - will your computer support running Pro Tools 10? There are some fairly strict requirements that go above and beyond what Garageband can run on. A lot of people get tripped up on this. One daw that hasn't been mentioned that doesn't have as strict requirements is Digital Performer 8. You might want to look into that. Not as inexpensive as Reaper but an alternative that's been around like forever.
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