Beginner to recording multitrack on computer..... Advice?

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Beginner to recording multitrack on computer..... Advice?

Post by justplay » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:29 pm

Hello, I want to get into recording some multi track stuff on my PC. I have a self, custom built pc that has 5 gigs ram, 3.2ghz cpu and an Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi extreme music sound card. At the moment, I still have...... :mrgreen: an old Tascam 4 track cassette tape recorder here, but since I'm somewhat computer inclined, wanted to use it for recording. This will be used for creating originals, saving the mix to the computer and emailing the rough mp3 or wav formats to share with band members for learning. I do have a Mesa Mark V with a 2x12 recto cab and a Pod HD 500 for effects. I've heard that you can record dry and add the effects in later. I can read up on that somewhere, but for now, just need to know what hardware and software I need. I've heard of Garage Band and Cubase......

Just for simplicities sake, I can use my practice amp, Spider IV Line 6, my guitar, a bass guitar and my old boss dr-660 drum machine. Like I said, it doesn't have to be the perfect sound, as the line 6 has a cd mp3 input jack and a headphone output jack that I've used with the 4 track to record some stuff, and then run that to the input of my sound card and use audacity to record that direct onto the PC. Made some really decent sounding stuff with that.

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Re: Beginner to recording multitrack on computer..... Advice

Post by justplay » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:02 pm


Given To Fly
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Re: Beginner to recording multitrack on computer..... Advice

Post by Given To Fly » Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:42 am

I started off with the Eleven Rack with Pro Tools. The Eleven Rack taught me a lot about gear while Pro Tools was teaching my a lot about recording. After owning that setup for a about a year, I decided I wanted to start using microphones. Now I have an Apogee Duet 2 with a D.A.V BG-1 stereo preamp and 3 matched stereo pairs of SDC's which I use for classical guitar and electric guitar. (Not many people do this as far as I'm aware.) Thats the route I took, there are many others that will work though. I would say, if you are going at this on our own, something like the Eleven Rack might be the best option. If you have friends that record, they will probably be the biggest help! Oh, and while Garage Band is fun, it does so many things for you that YOU need to know how to do, so I'd recommend using a different DAW.

Welcome to the world of Home Recording! :shock: :D

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Re: Beginner to recording multitrack on computer..... Advice

Post by justplay » Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:10 pm


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Re: Beginner to recording multitrack on computer..... Advice

Post by nathan28 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:58 pm

Cockos reaper as a DAW it's free. I use it and Cakewalk Sonar. There are tons of FireWire options, I like the Focusrite stuff. Get a Shure SM57 to mic your guitar cab, you can also use it on pretty much anything. Get a good pair of headphones and studio monitors. Always record using an metronome. Always double track rhythm guitars and pan one left and one right. Always use a high pass filter on guitars at around 80hz-100hz. Good luck and welcome to the world of recording. There are some great YouTube tutorials.
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Re: Beginner to recording multitrack on computer..... Advice

Post by CrazyYoshi73 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:34 pm

I agree with getting the 11rack for all the reasons mentioned plus they can be had so cheaply now.

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Re: Beginner to recording multitrack on computer..... Advice

Post by 2 Boogie » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:57 am

I have Record from Propellerheads and it works like a charm. The program is very easy to use and the result gets very good right away.

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Re: Beginner to recording multitrack on computer..... Advice

Post by bjorn218 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:19 pm

I didn't see this thread earlier. I would suggest to the OP starting with Audacity since it is free. Use your 4 track to recrod each track of your music separately, then rip the tape to computer in wav format. Once Audacity is open, add tracks according to the help file that comes with the program, and load your separate tracks into each audacity track.

At this point I would not worry about adding any effects or using any plugins. I would learn how to mix using the eq that is part of each Audacity track. Once you can get your stuff sounding fairly decent, find a simple parametric eq and compressor plugin and learn how to use each one of those(separately at first. It doesn't matter which one you get first.). Finally once you can use those three tools where you somewhat know what you are doing, grab a simple reverb plugin and wash rinse repeat.

This should take you 2-3 months if you at least try to work on learning something new with Audacity at least an hour a day.

The best resource you have to learn multi-track computer recording is youtube. Use what you want to learn as your search string. Even using a complex recording question will bring up what you want to know usually within the first 5 videos.

If you want to jump in and get your feet wet with hardware, get yourself a two channel interface. I would suggest getting a firewire interface, as you will not have to deal with latency while recording as when using a usb interface (Firewire uses larger data packets and has a faster up/down stream speed when speaking with the computer). You will need a firewire card. Buy the least expensive card you can afford that has a Texas Instruments chipset. Apparently the TI chipset for firewire is the most stable and DAW and interface software writers use it as a standard. I am currently using a M-Audio Firewire Solo interface into a LaCie FW400 card. I bought both used. The interface was $125 and came with everything except the original box, and the card ran me I think $12.

The next upgrade to hardware would be to buy a set of dedicated powered monitors. My suggestion is buy the best ones you can afford. Best meaning best sounding to your ears, not the ones with the best reviews. I bought a set of M-Audio BX5a's. They were at the time given fair reviews and were the same price as same sized KRK Rokits which had much better reviews. To my ears the KRK's were too thumpy in the low end for my liking. The BX5a's sounded a little more balanced to me. The manufacturing on the BX5a's is garbage(the filter capacitors are above the rest of the board componants and essentially free floating in the box which can cause unneeded stress to the rest of the board and if one leaks any oil will drip onto the rest of the parts which has happened once shorting out that board).

When you go demo monitors take a reference cd of either your music, or music you like to listen to and have the salesman load it into a demo system and sit in front of the speakers with the main driver at ear level. Make note of what you like and dont like about each pair you demo.


Good site to get decent plugins without having to scour the internet. These guys test plugins and put them into lists (Best of type things) which makes finding something decent easy.

Best source on the internet to find quality plugins, though you hand wont be held like at BRPB's site.

Eventually you will want to learn about Amp sims and stuff like that. When you are ready for that go here.

Good luck and feel free to ask questions either in the thread or PM.
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