Jump to content
aberdeen-music
Sign in to follow this  
Chris

Sound cards and home recording

Recommended Posts

Can someone recomend me a good budget (under 100, preferably closer to 50) sound card? Either external or internal.

Or alternatively if they can think of an alternative bit of kit that will do the job working with my motherboard's on board card then recomend that. I just want to record some acoustic guitar and some vocals. So something that will take a guitar jack and/or a mic jack and stick the signal onto the hard drive is all I want.

I'm not looking for the best here, just something to get me started on the cheap. Honestly. Don't post and say something like "don't do it on the cheap you have to spend 300 on this amazing piece of kit!" 'cause I won't listen to you and it's just a waste of your time and mine.

Incidentally this is something that would probably lend itself nicely to a post in the articles section if someone was that way inclined. A 10 step guide to starting out in home recording or something.

Cheers

:up:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Mr Blastcap

get a cheap four track, use it as a mixer. you can do to seperate tracks in line in panning hard left and right, or do a big stereo production. thats what i do, and n-track studio is cheap also and okay for results (£30). it didnt work with my old pc though, the soundcard was rubbish.

oh, thats assuming you have a headphone and line in on your pc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a cheap 4 track actually...

but I still need some kind of cable to hook it up to the computer. I sense a trip to Maplins tomorrow.

Would still like to get a setup more suited to the job though so recommendations are still wanted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Mr Blastcap

i cannibalised the wee lead that came with my moniter, didnt need the speakers on it so use it to link mic/line in to 4 tracks h/phone socket. Maplins the best bet i reckon. i used to use a guitar lead and a wee adapter from bruce millers before though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeh it's got a mic input but the jack's the wrong size and I don't have a converter so thought I'd just see what other options there were. Might buy a converter jack at maplins as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Mr Blastcap

you know i remember an ian simpson penned guide to using a computer to record. but that might have been on aubl site. it was pretty usefull.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a soundblaster live/value card for 3-8 on ebay (runs asio drivers so it can run cubase and stuff), and a small mixer off soundonsound.com's readers ads or something to get a 2in 2out system (with a digital out for anything and a MIDI port for a 10 cable or half an hour with a soldering iron)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are so many possibilities. I suggest you join the SOS forum and post this question there:

http://www.soundonsound.com

There is also a wealth of articles on recording at home on that site.

As for tips on getting started, I have several pages on my website at www.the-byre.com

The possibilities range from ProTools Free, which costs, as the name implies, nothing, but requires Windows 98, all the way thorough to any price you wish to mention.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

right after a trip to maplin and a total outlay of 7 pounds I'm now able to get some audio onto the computer. Unfortunately I didn't bother to look at my four track and see what size the headphone port was and I can't find a phono lead for the line out on it so I'm resorting to going through my minidisc recorder for now. But hey it's start.

Thanks for the suggestions. Seriously some of you guys that give replies in the musicians forum should really consider contributing some articles on this kind of thing. That section is sitting there hardly being used and crying out for some quality material.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bryn beat me to it, the Emu 0404 is fantastic value for money and left several more expensive sound cards and their manufacturers spluttering about in amazement when it was first released. the M-Audio Audiophile should be around the same price to buy as well, what I've got in this pc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm getting really annoyed now. I've got the four track set up but I can't get any signal into it. Either with the mic or the guitar it's just not picking anything up. I had the same problem with the minidisc recorder until I tried a small tie clip mic I had lying around. Both the guitar and mic are working cause if I plug them into an amp that works. I don't think the four track is broken, although it's been lying in a cupboard for the last couple of years.

Anyone got any ideas? It's probably something really obvious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest pop-notmyface
I'm getting really annoyed now. I've got the four track set up but I can't get any signal into it. Either with the mic or the guitar it's just not picking anything up. I had the same problem with the minidisc recorder until I tried a small tie clip mic I had lying around. Both the guitar and mic are working cause if I plug them into an amp that works. I don't think the four track is broken' date=' although it's been lying in a cupboard for the last couple of years.

Anyone got any ideas? It's probably something really obvious.[/quote']

i know your problem here (i think).

you will have various input ports at the back, and you need to select which port you are using, because the computer won't pick it up automatically, it's not USB or anything.

so, it's very simple. you just need to go into the multimedia section of the control panel, and you'll find a panel for playback and recording. if you click on the recoding configure button (okay, it's not actually called that, but it's obvious netherless) then you'll see panels for various input ports like Mic, Line In, CD and so on...just select which one you connected your four-track into.

that is Windows 98 though (which is what i'm running).

i hope that helps in any way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Neubeatz
the problem isn't the computer not picking up the signal' date=' but the four track itself isn't picking up the guitar or mic.[/quote']

Are the inputs/busses on the 4tr set correctly,

ie; for signal in, and make sure they are not set for remixng the tape tracks,

also, on some 4tracks to get the inputs activated you need to have the record button on,

ie; recod/pause selected

is the volume on the headphone socket activated/turned up,

G'luck :up:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest lime ruined my life

the signal leds arnt blinking up?

excuse me if im stating the obvious but: just try checking everying over and over, i sometimes have the same problem with 4-tracks, its just a case of making sure all the correct channels are selected, and nothing muted/has a volume of 0, also, you might need to press record/ record and pause on the tape player.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the problem isn't the computer not picking up the signal' date=' but the four track itself isn't picking up the guitar or mic.[/quote']

dodgy audio interface adapters used to be my 4 trk problem...if u r using 3.5mm to (i think either 6mm or 1/4 inch) either mono (but especially stereo) interface plugs u may find that they don't mate properly and u have an open cct...maplin used to sell a cheopo DVM for about a tenner...u can check the continuity of your audio lines and grounds with it....& i bet u use the DVM frequently in the future...

just a thought...

good luck....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Mr Blastcap

get a web cam chris, then we can all shout instructions directly into your living room.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

rigth I think the main problem is (ignoring the 4 track, it's old and probably fucked and the lineout doesn't even appear to work) that I need a preamp between the mic/acoustic and the computer/minidisc.

so again without getting into too much detail or going over the top can someone recommend a dirt cheap (and I mean cheap) preamp that will do the job? Or a cheap mixer with preamp?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Mr Blastcap

erm, mutilation md from sidca recorded one of our practices on his lap top with two mics, he had some sort of wee pre-amp/ phantom power thing to achieve this. the results were pretty realistic, i'll ask him. it was around the thirty quid mark if i remember right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what i do to record onto my PC is to just plug my sennheiser e840 mic (99) straight into the mic input on my soundblaster audigy 7.1 soundcard that only cost me 17 from www.ebuyer.com and then i use cubase SX to enable me t0 record both audio and midi tracks

its fairly straight forward stuff i think u can download a trial version of cubase online though i couyld be wrong its fairly expensive to buy new cubase costs around 300!!!!

if its just vocals and acoustic guitar u could do this with a windows own recorder program but this only allows u to record one track so u would have to sing and play at same time and find an even balance for the mic to pick up both vocals and the guitar....

cubase is definetly the way to go if u are serious about PC recording....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

cubase is definetly the way to go if u are serious about PC recording....

I'm not. that's why I'm doing everything on the cheap.

I did try a copy of cubase that I aquired though and the fucker wouldn't even load.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
erm' date=' mutilation md from sidca recorded one of our practices on his lap top with two mics, he had some sort of wee pre-amp/ phantom power thing to achieve this. the results were pretty realistic, i'll ask him. it was around the thirty quid mark if i remember right.[/quote']

It nearer the 200 quid mark, but you'd probably pick one up cheaper these days. M-Audio Duo. Includes 2 mic preamps with phantom power, though not really enough of it for large-diaphram condensers. records up to 24/96.

If you can get the fucking asio drivers to run in a stable manner, like.................

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not. that's why I'm doing everything on the cheap.

I did try a copy of cubase that I aquired though and the fucker wouldn't even load.

And with all due respect thats why your having problems. You probably have the aquired software Cubase which was intentionally released by Steinberg to combat those other versions going about. It worked. There hasnt been a problem free aquired version for a couple of years'. The latest one defintely doesnt work properly and that will be the last aquired Cubase version ever. Even those talented coders that are able to disable some features of the original software have stated that it takes to much time to code and wont be doing again.

Theres some free recording software out there if you look (mackies traktion was being given away free last year) and for 50 quid you could get a new M audio usb/firewire interface. it will work much better than any soundblaster card which are well known to be the worst card for music making. For games they are fine. Its not about taking your music seriously as you said you dont, but even the cheapest of hobbies deserve a budget of more than 50 quid or some dodgy 4 track recorder.

15 years ago you wouldnt have got anything to record with for 50 quid. Maybe a nasty mic and thats your lot.

Do yourself a favour and get something that works, and forget about 'aquired software'. If you buy an M audio interface they will probably throw in Cubase SE, LE or some other recording software as they usually always do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...