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  • Audio interface

    Suppose I downloaded Reaper

    Would I then need an interface to plug my instruments into? Something like this, for example: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Focusrite-SCARLETT-2i2-USB-FOCUSRITE/dp/B005OZE9SA/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    And what about drums? Are there good virtual drumkits out there or would I need to plug my drum machine into the interface?

    I've just downloaded the Reaper manual and I understand some of it, but the 'set up' section had me utterly baffled


    a selection of my songs: https://soundcloud.com/songwriter101

    my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/SaulTiberiusNads

  • #2

    Hey Mark - 

     

    Yes - to get the audio into your computer so that Reaper (or any other DAW) can organize and process it, you've got to have an interface to plug stuff into.

     

    I just ordered a Roland Quad-Capture interface.  Craig did a most excellent Pro Review on the Roland Octa-Capture which is the big brother of the Quad-Capture and basically sold me on it.  The Pro Review is here on HC in the Reviews section.

     

    But there are lots and lots of really good interfaces, and Focusrite is well known for making quality stuff.  Also Presonus, RME (pricier), Akai, Native Instruments, etc etc etc).

     

    You could plug your drum machine in, sure.  I'd start there if I were you.  

     

    But also, yes, there are scads of virtual drum programs out there.  Battery, BFD2, Steve Slate Drums,  Addictive Drums...zillions of these.  And full-featured DAWs like Sonar have drum kits and sequencers and virtual drum machines built in.  And full-featured samplers like Kontakt have these, too.  

     

    Best of luck if you decide to make this change!  I think you'll greatly appreciate the improvement in your recording sound quality.  There is a learning curve...don't let it discourage you.  Endless help available here in SSS, and believe me, the software is a whole lot easier to set up and use than it was, say, 10-15 years ago.

     

    nat whilk ii

    Comment


    • #3

      MarkydeSad wrote:

      Suppose I downloaded Reaper

      I've just downloaded the Reaper manual and I understand some of it, but the 'set up' section had me utterly baffled

      There are many possbilities, both for software and hardware. Reaper is a good program, but it's a very deep program. You can do just about everything imaginable with it, but it takes a little understanding of the DAW concept before you can get to first base. Setup is pretty much the same for any program. You find the place where you tell it what interface you're using (in Reaper, it's in Preferences, then Audio), get a list of interfaces it knows about. This is determined by the drivers you have loaded and what's connected. If you have nothing but the sound card built into your computer, it'll find that. If you get something like a Focusrite Scarlett, after you've installed its driver and connected it to the comptuer, that one will appear on the list. Select it, and you're pretty much there.

      Judging by your posts here, I suspect that you're more comfortable making music than screwing with computers. You might be more comfortable with a more musician-oriented program like Studio One. You can download a free version here. It should keep you busy for a while.


      Would I then need an interface to plug my instruments into? And what about drums? Are there good virtual drumkits out there or would I need to plug my drum machine into the interface?

      You need something. The Scarlett is fine, there are some perfectly acceptable (and some really great) virtual drum kits, and some drum sequencer plug-ins that you can program like a drum machine. Or you can connect your drum machine if that's what you're comfortable with. It would probalby be a good idea, so you can get started using the program, whatever you choose, and make some music.

      The Scarlett 2i2 gives you two inputs, which you can use for microphones, instrument pickups (DI), or line level sources like a drum machine. But you can only record two channels at a time - voice and guitar, two mics on an acoustic guitar, a stereo drum machine - etc. Everything further needs to be overdubbed.

      Do you have a mixer? You can get started by connecting the mixer output to your computer's sound card. Fidelity won't be the greatest but most built-in sound cards today don't really suck. A larger outboard interface with more inputs will let you record more than two tracks in a pass if, for example, you want to have your whole band playing on a rhythm track, or record a drum kit with multiple mics, but that can come later.

      Welcome to the first circle of Hell.

       

      --
      "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
      Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

      Comment


      • MarkydeSad
        MarkydeSad commented
        Editing a comment

        Thanks, gentlemen

        I've started threads like this before and have received good advice from various people. But when I tried to get started, I was overwhelmed by the apparent complexity of the DAW I was trying to use. My own ignorance didn't help, either

        Is my laptop powerful enough to cope? Here are the specs: Intel Core i5 2430M CPU @ 2.40 GHz, 4.00 GB of RAM, 64-bit Operating System

        Mike, I tried Studio One. Didn't understand it

        What about a controller keyboard? Are they useful?

        ???????????????????


    • #4

      MarkydeSad wrote:

      Suppose I downloaded Reaper

      Would I then need an interface to plug my instruments into? Something like this, for example: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Focusrite-SCARLETT-2i2-USB-FOCUSRITE/dp/B005OZE9SA/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

      And what about drums? Are there good virtual drumkits out there or would I need to plug my drum machine into the interface?

      I've just downloaded the Reaper manual and I understand some of it, but the 'set up' section had me utterly baffled


      Yes, you`ll need an interface and EZ Drummer is a great sounding VI.

      Comment


      • MarkydeSad
        MarkydeSad commented
        Editing a comment

        I have a Yamaha MOX-6 keyboard, Mike, so that would probably do the trick as a controller

        Bloody hell, control surfaces aren't exactly cheap, are they?!

        This is gonna cost me a bloody fortune!

         

        I think I'll pick Craig's brain on this subject when I meet him on Saturday


    • #5

      Thanks very much for all of this advice, gentlemen. I'm reading every post

      This latency thing really is bothering me. I get no latency with my digital 16-track

      I watched a 'getting started with Presonus Studio One' vid on Youtube. After 3 minutes I was completely confused. These guys assume you have a basic understanding of DAWs. I don't have that. Someone should do a video aimed at utter noobs like me


      a selection of my songs: https://soundcloud.com/songwriter101

      my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/SaulTiberiusNads

      Comment


      • UstadKhanAli
        UstadKhanAli commented
        Editing a comment

        I think DAWs are a pain in the rear to maintain.  I know that some of you computer types are rolling your eyes, saying, "Well, if you learn to tinker under the hood a little, everything's fine.  I've been running _______ for _____ years without as much as a hiccup."  

        Yeah, well, I haven't.  

        - Gee, why did this suddenly crash?

        - Why is the audio interface no longer syncing with the computer?

        - I registered my plugins. Why are they not showing up?

        - How do I install this?

        - I'm not hearing anything.  What's going on?

        - What's that clicking sound?

        Have you considered continuing to use a stand-alone recorder?  It may be easier and simpler and less aggravating.


      • nat whilk II
        nat whilk II commented
        Editing a comment

        Mark said:

        Thanks very much for all of this advice, gentlemen. I'm reading every post :smileyhappy:.png" border="0" />

        This latency thing really is bothering me. I get no latency with my digital 16-track

        I watched a 'getting started with Presonus Studio One' vid on Youtube. After 3 minutes I was completely confused. These guys assume you have a basic understanding of DAWs. I don't have that. Someone should do a video aimed at utter noobs like me

         

        Craig had the right idea in wanting to drop by and show you how to set up a DAW hands-on.  Having a mentor-type to sit by and take you through the process would save you untold amounts of time and trouble.  And especially someone objective like Craig who would not be "on a mission" to get you to use (or avoid) a DAW. Someone who can discuss both the assets and liabilities of the DAW way of doing things - and also compare the DAW point-by-point with your current standalone setup.  So you can clearly see for yourself what's to gain and at what price, etc.

         

        Sure, you can go the do-it-yourself way. Most of us here had to do that and I would think most of us thought at some point or other, "there's got to be a better way to do this!"

         

        Right now you're getting bounced back and forth between advisors who say both scary and encouraging things, and in your shoes I'd be pretty confused.  But I'm wondering if there's not someone in your area, a knowledgeable buddy or other helpful sort who could spend at least some time helping you out.  Or take some class somewhere?  Go over to somebody's studio and have them show you the basics?   Maybe even use Skype to commune over this???

         

        nat whilk ii

          


      • Ernest Buckley
        Ernest Buckley commented
        Editing a comment

        MarkydeSad wrote:

        Thanks very much for all of this advice, gentlemen. I'm reading every post

        This latency thing really is bothering me. I get no latency with my digital 16-track

        I watched a 'getting started with Presonus Studio One' vid on Youtube. After 3 minutes I was completely confused. These guys assume you have a basic understanding of DAWs. I don't have that. Someone should do a video aimed at utter noobs like me


        I`ve been using Digital Performer now for 13 years and when I first got it, the settings were NOT ideal. I experienced latency until I figured out what settings I needed... same will go for you. I just upgraded to Digital Performer Version 8 and cannot believe first of all how good the guitar simulations are. Secondly, the amount of processing that is going on in a split second is staggering... cause I cannot hear any latency.

        My point is, if you`re settings are correct, you will not experience latency. DAWs have come along so quickly, I am completely shocked (pleasantly) with the advances made in the last 3-4 years alone.

        I`ll just add, when I finished my last record, I threw out my Line 6 Pod... seriously. I could not imagine making another record again with simulators... that was 7 years ago... technology has come a loooong way... now I`m convinced I don`t need an amp anymore.... crazy. 

        When you finally bite the bullet, get a system that others here use... it will be a tremendous help and comfort knowing you can ask a question and have an answer in a few minutes.



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