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Thread: Don't faint...I bought an interface

  1. #11
    Member PJSprog's Avatar
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    Going the same direction this week, Dedman. Picking up a new (to me) computer tonight, and an interface probably this weekend. Also going the Reaper route. Read a lot of great things about it.

    Finally ditching the Roland VS1824CD machine. It's been good to me, but time to move on.
    What Did You Play Today? ~PJS~

  2. #12
    Overlord of Music Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Audacity isn't really a full DAW. It's useful for editing the odd file but it comes with limited tools and lacks a whole raft of features that you get with a proper DAW, even the cut-down versions. You can only create a few tracks, so it's really best left alone f you want to be creative.

    Reaper is great if you 'get it', but I've always been a Cubase user and though I've tried Reaper a couple of times I've always given up swearing in frustration at how illogical it all is and nothing is in the right place. Cubase is probably the one I know that's most like using a mixer. But you do have to be prepared to keep shelling out if you want to move on to the next version, so Reaper is one of the cheapest starting points (though it's easy to spend a fortune on plug-ins).

    I'd suggest starting with a cut-down version of a DAW until you find your way around, but Reaper has no cut-down version, so it is very much being thrown straight in at the deep end and hoping you manage to swim to the side.

  3. #13
    Overlord of Music dave.king1's Avatar
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    I've been using Reaper for a few years now after having a hate / hate relationship with Cubase and not getting into Protools or Cakewalk at all ( have the grey hair to show for the effort with those I don't use )

    I have a bunch of 3rd party plugins but the native Reaper ones are the ones that do all the work, Reaper has more native plugins than you can poke a stick at and the main ones I use are EQ, Comp, Delay, Verb & Trem, I also have Kuassa Vermillion as an amp sim that I find meets my needs. ( also use Reatune because 70+ year old voices don't quite hit the notes like they did 40 years ago )

    It doesn't really matter which DAW you finish up with, it's the creation of templates and workflow that is the answer to a maidens prayer.

    Focusrite Solo comes with a Comp and EQ that look pretty good but haven't done much with them yet and there's also a few extra bits of software that have extended trial which I haven't installed.

    Feel free to fire Reaper questions my way and I'll help where I can.

    We have an album recorded & mixed in Reaper coming out in the next couple of weeks and another 50 tracks well under way
    Last edited by dave.king1; 14-03-2019 at 04:37 AM.
    Regards
    Dave King

  4. #14
    Member blinddrew's Avatar
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    I hope there'll be an appropriate promotional link for the album here Dave?

    Likewise happy to chip in on any Reaper questions if I can help.

    Oh yes, and if it's the standard focusrite scarlett compressor, I rather like it.

  5. #15
    Member corsair's Avatar
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    "looks around the room shamefully"

    I use an old Digidesign Mbox2, bought off eBay for pennies. It does everything I want it to do and I'm now wondering what the differences are from the newer generation of interfaces? It came with no software, but I downloaded the drivers and it hooks into Garageband seamlessly and performs its' tasks very well.... as far as I know!

    I do very basic recording - just layer the tracks in, alter levels and position in the stereo spectrum etc. - and wish to take up Sonics' offer of assistance with Garageband as I'm very much the fumbler at this.... :-)
    I prefer to spend $ on tools rather than gadgets like phones and Ipads

    - Dedman

  6. #16
    Mentor Sonic Mountain's Avatar
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    Well ask away. There is a lot to cover, so if you are trying to do or find something specific let me know.
    Build 1 - Shoegazer MK1 JMA-1
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    "What I lack in talent I make up for with enthusiasm"

  7. #17
    Overlord of Music dave.king1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blinddrew View Post
    I hope there'll be an appropriate promotional link for the album here Dave? .
    There certainly will be Drew
    Regards
    Dave King

  8. #18
    Overlord of Music Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corsair View Post
    I use an old Digidesign Mbox2, bought off eBay for pennies. It does everything I want it to do and I'm now wondering what the differences are from the newer generation of interfaces?
    The A/D and D/A converters of today are a step up from the ones available in 2005 when it was released. Clocking and jitter rates have improved considerably, which probably matters if making a commercial release, but for own entertainment purposes, it won't. The Mbox 2 wasn't a basic interface, so differences will be smaller than with some other interfaces of the period, but you might notice a slight improvement in the quality of your recordings with a new interface. But you may also notice differences simply because the pre-amps won't be the same.

    The USB1.1 connection limited the maximum sample rate to 48kHz. Which isn't a problem for most people, but a USB2 or USB3 based interface allows more input channels, higher sampling rates (if you really feel it's that important) and normally reduced latency (though that does depend on the interface and the quality of the drivers).

    The Mbox2 doesn't have a huge amount of gain available (40dB). Fine for condenser mics and dynamic mics on loud sources (like a loud guitar cab), but less so for dynamic and ribbon mics on vocals other quieter applications. You have to turn the gain right up to get a reasonable signal, which adds noise to the signal. If you are using dynamics, then an AI (audio interface) with an available gain of 60dB or more should allow you to provide sufficient gain for a reasonable signal level without having to be right up in the last 10dB of gain, when extra noise normally creeps in.

    I'm using a MOTU Traveller which was also a 2005 design and is still fine for my needs. It's got 8 ins and outs (just 4 mic pres though), a reasonable sound, 60dB of digitally controlled gain (so easy to match levels if recording with mics in a stereo set-up), and has been very reliable (apart from one big glitch that required a factory reset to clear). It's Firewire, so it's not of much use to anyone else now, but it's still fine for me. I keep thinking about updating, but as I do so little actual recording, I then think 'why bother?' Before anything else , i need to try and improve my 'studio' with better desk positioning and an attempt at some acoustic treatment.

  9. #19
    Member corsair's Avatar
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    Thanks, Simon!
    I prefer to spend $ on tools rather than gadgets like phones and Ipads

    - Dedman

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