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Old 24th October 2008 , 11:54 AM
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Default My First Setup

I am looking to do some home recording and music production and need some help in understand the fundamental to a setup.

I basically require a condenser microphone, a midi keyboard controller, a pair of headphones, a pair of speaker and a daw.

I have already bought a vmk-188 midi controller keyboard and am trying various daw's.

I would like to know how i can setup my system so that i both play music thought speakers and listen to vocals at the same time.

So far i understand that i will need a preamp in addition to the above.

I would like to know more about the basic however.

I think that i need mixer, but i don't know what it does and what practical use a mixer is? What does a mixer do?

I have an audiophile 2496 sound card that i have thought about trading for a card with more inputs and outputs,

I'm also interested to know what sort of inputs and outputs i will need on a sound card, the audiophile has RCA inputs and outputs and only 1 channel for each.

How does an RCA audio signal work compared to a XLR?

RCA seems to need too cables for the signal, does this have something to do with stereo?

If so why does a microphone still need to be plugged into both RCA plugs, i think i read that vocal audio signals are monophonic?

Is that true?

If so, can vocals be recorded in stereo?

What exactly is stereo and mono?

How does an XLR signal work?

Why have i read that XLR's can be used in pair like RCA cables, what would be the purpose of this?

Does my midi keyboard controller need to be plugged into an audio input on my soundcard?

Can midi signals be transferred this way?

I hope some can answer my questions,

Thanks,

RSN
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Old 24th October 2008 , 12:03 PM
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I can highly recommend Reaper as a DAW. REAPER | About

The normal process goes like this: -

Install Reaper, get all confused and overwhealmed, introduce yourself on the Reaper forum Cockos Confederated Forums - Powered by vBulletin and all will be reveiled.....
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Old 24th October 2008 , 12:10 PM
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Woahh.. That is a lot of questions!! I can imagine the next response will be 'So, what's your budget?'. If you can give a minimum and maximum budget range, i'm sure that will help our members out with recommendations on gear for you.

I hope you get the answers you need.
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Old 24th October 2008 , 12:15 PM
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Quote:
What exactly is stereo and mono?
You can start by reading this.
Quote:
I think that i need mixer, but i don't know what it does and what practical use a mixer is? What does a mixer do?
And this
Quote:
Does my midi keyboard controller need to be plugged into an audio input on my soundcard?

Can midi signals be transferred this way?
No, you need to connect midi keyboard controller to midi input. Here's some on midi
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Old 24th October 2008 , 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndk View Post
Woahh.. That is a lot of questions!! edit:.
Hi rsnuk

It is indeed.. Some of your questions are basic knowledge search questions which may be best satisfied by doing a basic google search or checking out Wikipedia (eg: "What is stereo, what is mono")

To effectively answer the rest of the studio set up related Q's you have, please advise if you are running a PC or a Mac?.. and, as NDK stated above 'what is your budget'? The Forum members will need this information before they can help you..
Regards
Modz1
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Old 24th October 2008 , 12:27 PM
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You could go to nearest music store and ask those questions there. Go sometime there's not too many people in store so sales guys have time answer your questions. Maybe nearest DV-store and ask some questions and buy needed gear there?
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Old 24th October 2008 , 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazzathedrummer View Post
I can highly recommend Reaper as a DAW. REAPER | About

The normal process goes like this: -

Install Reaper, get all confused and overwhealmed, introduce yourself on the Reaper forum Cockos Confederated Forums - Powered by vBulletin and all will be reveiled.....
Reaper is one of the DAW's i've been trying out.

Could you explain to me a little more why your think Reaper is a good DAW?

Are there functions that are essentially identical in all DAW's, how does one really compare DAW's and what are the generally desirable attributes?

Thanks,

Rsn
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Old 24th October 2008 , 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndk View Post
Woahh.. That is a lot of questions!! I can imagine the next response will be 'So, what's your budget?'. If you can give a minimum and maximum budget range, i'm sure that will help our members out with recommendations on gear for you.

I hope you get the answers you need.
I guess (pound sign does not work)500 would be my budget, i could go higher, but as i said I'd like to know about the functions of the components, so that i know what i need before i even decide a budget.

Thanks,

Rsn
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Old 24th October 2008 , 12:36 PM
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I think that i need mixer, but i don't know what it does and what practical use a mixer is? What does a mixer do?

you only really need a mixer to

group recordings and adjust volume level out of the computer
use it as a volume level in general for signals in and out of the computer
route different audio signals to where you desire and use effects in that signals path

I dont think you really need one if you just want to record vocals from 1 source (1 voice)



I have an audiophile 2496 sound card that i have thought about trading for a card with more inputs and outputs

I would, something with jacks and XLR pre amps in, you can pick them up for 100 check this thread out Which USB interface for 100



I'm also interested to know what sort of inputs and outputs i will need on a sound card, the audiophile has RCA inputs and outputs and only 1 channel for each.

ideally for audio, balanced jack and balanced XLR
for midi signal, midi in and an out should suffice
this is pretty standard on most audio interfaces


How does an RCA audio signal work compared to a XLR?

XLR is considered the professional standard along with jacks
check out beginners guide connectors
RCA imo has always been considered the lower end connector



RCA seems to need too cables for the signal, does this have something to do with stereo?

yes RCA utilises left and right, red and white or sometimes red and black/blue one colour indicating one side the other colour the other side, L&R. i myself am unsure of which is which.




If so why does a microphone still need to be plugged into both RCA plugs, i think i read that vocal audio signals are monophonic?
Is that true?


theoretically i don't think it does most mics unless specified are mono meaning one signal, so there for only needing one channel, you can get a mono to stereo splitter cable but that will only duplicate the mono signal into stereo, meaning two signals. they will simply be identical, so it would be the same as copying and pasting one monophonic signal



If so, can vocals be recorded in stereo?

yes anything can be recorded in stereo to what effect remains on the situation but true stereo will involve two mics


What exactly is stereo and mono?

stereo (stereophonic)=two signals
mono (monophonic)=one signal
check out my glossary (link below)

How does an XLR signal work?

im not fully up to speed with this but that article i mentioned should shed some light and basically you have balanced/stereo or unbalanced/mono XLR leads

each XLR has 3 pins they are wired differently to determine type
XLR types




Why have i read that XLR's can be used in pair like RCA cables, what would be the purpose of this?

this would simply be 2 mono XLR leads one for the left signal one for the right so as to provide stereo image




Does my midi keyboard controller need to be plugged into an audio input on my soundcard?
no, either if applicable USB or a midi port, if your soundcard/audio interface hasn't got midi something like this will suffice



Can midi signals be transferred this way?


if you mean by audio signal, no

useful reading

Glossary. This will bring you up to speed on some terminologies used here

wikipedia is great too
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Last edited by sureno; 24th October 2008 at 01:08 PM. . <
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Old 24th October 2008 , 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsnuk View Post
If so, can vocals be recorded in stereo?

Thanks,

RSN
Hi rsnuk this might help provide more answers to your question on Vocals. But as modz1 said a Google search will bring up a lot of answers as well.
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Last edited by Monarch; 24th October 2008 at 01:13 PM. . <
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Old 24th October 2008 , 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Hi rsnuk this might help provide more answers to your question on Vocals. But as ndk said a google search will bring up a lot of answers as well.
And read this forum there is a lot of good information available.
Hear's thread on Reaper
And thread Getting started recording
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Old 24th October 2008 , 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsnuk View Post
Reaper is one of the DAW's i've been trying out.

Could you explain to me a little more why your think Reaper is a good DAW?

Are there functions that are essentially identical in all DAW's, how does one really compare DAW's and what are the generally desirable attributes?

Thanks,

Rsn
I like to look at DAWs as if they are physical recording studios (mainly because thats what I know) so, with all DAWs you can expect to 'walk in the door' and record music - all studios have the same basic functions, DAWs are the same.

For me, Reaper is the only the DAW that i've used that, to me, intuitively feels like a recording studio - everything is where I expect it or is customisable to be where I want it or function in a way that I want it.
Reaper seems to me to be as complicated or simple as you want it to be - there are a lot of people that come onto the Reaper forum that say 'its too complicated - i cant use it' and thats fine, each to their own.

Also the support structure it totally unique, the whole package is basically driven by the forum community - if you find a bug on Monday and you report it to the forum - there will be a new release by Wednesday with the problem fixed.

I tried to use Cubase - couldn't understand it, not logical to me at all, I tried to get some help on the Cubase forum - i didn't get a response for a week!! and then the advice was rubbish!

Reaper was my first choice as the evaluation is free and totally unrestricted - unlimited midi/audio tracks, tracks can be split into 64 channels and routed anyway that you like, no limit on FX inserts - you might not understand any of that, but you will!

Just my opinion.
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Old 24th October 2008 , 12:55 PM
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on a side note, i was thinking maybe DV with their experience should create a basic cheap package for entry level stuff i wish i had a package like this when i got into it? a 101 package with my name on it
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Old 24th October 2008 , 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by trbguy View Post
You can start by reading this.

And this

No, you need to connect midi keyboard controller to midi input. Here's some on midi
The problem with encyclopedias is that, they will explain terms using more terms that need explaining and so on and it become rather inefficient. As usually one has to sift through vast amonts of other information that has noe emotional or technique relevance to a persons understanding. Atleast int eh initial phases of studying something new.

It is true their are vast resource across the internet, i have over 100 firefox browsers open right now, two half read open books, 6 wordpads, i'm having to sift through the irrelevant to get to the relelvent to fill in the missing gaps of my understandings.

The reason i've decided to come and take advantage of forum resources is that humans are responsive, they will attempt to empathise with your perspective. They put effort in to teach.

It's like the difference between a teacher that engages you and one that orders you to read lots of books, that a young age you just can't see the relevance to yourself personally in.

Take for example this first line from the Wikipedia link on stereo:

"Using two or more independent audio channels, through a symmetrical configuration of loudspeakers, in such a way as to create a pleasant and natural impression of sound heard from various directions, as in natural hearing."

Okay it explain there are tow separate audio channels, not what the term means in this context, i can guess, they simply two stand monophonic waveform tracks combined into one. It does not explain why laying two track on top of each other sounds better, why not just play a monophonic signal through a symmetrical configuration of speakers?

There is no simple explanation on that Wikipedia page about mixing.

When you are trying to simultaneously learn so many things at one, you find it's quicker to ask and hope someone gives a concise response.

What is not detailed in the article on mixers in any concise way is the various ways in which they can be implied, which would help someone such as myself quickly put it in context.

I wanted an opinion and a perspective, that's how forums are best utilised among other resources.

When i asked about midi, i was asking for a concise responses on how
as i said forums are useful because they allow you do not have to filter through great volumes of information for answers to specific questions.

Care to give your perspective on the questions i asked?

Thanks,

Rsn
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Old 24th October 2008 , 01:02 PM
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[quote=rsnuk;14608]
Quote:
Are there functions that are essentially identical in all DAW's,
Yes many...too many to list probably It's how they do what they do that is the key difference these days not what they have to offer for the most part IMO.


Quote:
how does one really compare DAW's and what are the generally desirable attributes?
Funny you should ask...have a look at this DV thread which is written just for that kind of question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trbguy

And read this forum there is a lot of good information available.
Yes. Well said.
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