Beginner Audio Interface and DAW suggestions

Rmgreg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2021
Messages
188
Reaction score
56
I am wanting to setup a home recording studio on the basic side. Not to professionally produce but to get reasonable quality recordings.. Better than a phone or single mic setup. I will likely want 4 mics on drums but also have the ability to record guitar, bass and vocals. I have a behringer interface with mixer but it only has 2 bus inputs. I haven't used a DAW. I'd love to think a free version would work but thought my favorite forum would be the place to start. I'd like to be able to record a drum track, the come back and do guitar, bass and vocals one at a time... Or record all at once if desired.

Suggestions?
 

Stickclick

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2018
Messages
824
Reaction score
412
Location
Florida, USA
Audacity is the easiest to understand and it is likely compatible with your Behringer interface. But you will need an interface with at least four channels to record 4 mics on drums. Reaper might be a good choice of DAW when you get a bigger interface. Get an interface with USB connection to the computer and the DAW should be able to connect with it and all four mics.

Recording is a big subject and there is a lot to learn. It takes lots of practice to make good recordings. I suggest that you start with Audacity and your current Behringer interface, one microphone, and make lots of recordings.
 

gbow

Very well Known Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Messages
522
Reaction score
252
Location
Michigan
Yea, big subject.

Depends on whether you just want to fool around with a few things or if you want to really do recordings. If you just want better recordings than a phone, then audacity is a good free place to start.

If you want to do real multitrack recordings, with support for plugins and ARA, then the next step up would be to try something like Cakewalk by Bandlab or Reaper. Both are full blown DAWs, Cakewalk is free and Reaper is sort of free. Reaper is fully functional and has no expiration, but you should pay the very low cost of $60 after your evaluation if you plan on actually using it.

Of course if you're really going to get into using a full DAW, as StickClick mentioned, it's a big subject and a lot to learn. There are many more options that cost more money, all have their pros/cons. Some tools work better for "in the box" writers with loops and virtual instruments. Other tools are better for recording and manipulating real instruments, full bands, all the way up to orchestras.

So choosing the right product for a full professional DAW requires some thought and understanding of what you want to do and how you work. And, while much cheaper than studios of previous eras, it can still be a sizeable investment.

gabo
 

lossforgain

Team DFO
Staff member
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
14,457
Reaction score
1,918
Location
Lancaster, PA
I can do most things with a Focusrite Scarlett and GarageBand on a Mac. If you’re a PC guy, fine, but GB is very user friendly for the beginner. The Focusrite interfaces sound great, but to get 4 mic pres you do have to spend a few hundred bucks. If you can get away with a 2 mic setup for drums, your experiment becomes way cheaper.
 

Tommy D

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 4, 2015
Messages
1,749
Reaction score
733
Location
Chicago, IL, USA
I use a Focusrite Saffire Pro and Reaper. Overall not difficult to use, but I dont do enough recording to really know what I'm doing. Let's just say that I know how to record in separate channels and that's about it.
 

mebeatee

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
969
Reaction score
715
Location
Sechelt(ish), B.C. Canada
What platform are you on for starters.....you didn't mention...
If on Mac then GarageBand is already there and for immediate starting/starter there ya go.... Price point can be the factor as to whatever interface you get.
Audacity and Reason are both free or freeish and are both cross platform.
That's the easy part......drum roll pleezz......then....mics.......uurrpp.....rabbit hole....like daws...;)
However also for immediate starting, especially to dive right into whatever daw is used, there are some USB mics, and note(d) only one mic, but a quite acceptable sound may be had. A little more inexpensive way of initially doing things....learn the daw first with the one mic and shop around for an interface....and way more mics......whaaahahahahah...yippee...great fun!
bt
 

dcrigger

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
5,949
Reaction score
3,381
Location
California
IMO you can get tons of music recorded with free DAWs. As for your last comment - recording a small band all at once, I can't imagine thinking of doing that with less than an 8 input interface.

One at a time projects can be easily done with 2 channel interfaces - but to do drums, you'll really really really wish you had 4 inputs.... actually probably 8.

But the important thing is.... just do it. Take what ever you can lay your hands on and start recording... once the journey is under way, what you need and what you want, etc. will reveal itself.
 

DanRH

Old guy, getting younger
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2005
Messages
23,426
Reaction score
4,532
Location
SF Bay Area
Audacity is the easiest to understand and it is likely compatible with your Behringer interface. But you will need an interface with at least four channels to record 4 mics on drums. Reaper might be a good choice of DAW when you get a bigger interface. Get an interface with USB connection to the computer and the DAW should be able to connect with it and all four mics.

Recording is a big subject and there is a lot to learn. It takes lots of practice to make good recordings. I suggest that you start with Audacity and your current Behringer interface, one microphone, and make lots of recordings.
Also, I’ve found Audacity doesn’t allow the use of USB interfaces with more than two outs. And I love Audacity.
 

Rmgreg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2021
Messages
188
Reaction score
56
What platform are you on for starters.....you didn't mention...
If on Mac then GarageBand is already there and for immediate starting/starter there ya go.... Price point can be the factor as to whatever interface you get.
Audacity and Reason are both free or freeish and are both cross platform.
That's the easy part......drum roll pleezz......then....mics.......uurrpp.....rabbit hole....like daws...;)
However also for immediate starting, especially to dive right into whatever daw is used, there are some USB mics, and note(d) only one mic, but a quite acceptable sound may be had. A little more inexpensive way of initially doing things....learn the daw first with the one mic and shop around for an interface....and way more mics......whaaahahahahah...yippee...great fun!
bt
I have an sm58 and beta 57a and dr-vx1 now.
 

Rmgreg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2021
Messages
188
Reaction score
56
What platform are you on for starters.....you didn't mention...
If on Mac then GarageBand is already there and for immediate starting/starter there ya go.... Price point can be the factor as to whatever interface you get.
Audacity and Reason are both free or freeish and are both cross platform.
That's the easy part......drum roll pleezz......then....mics.......uurrpp.....rabbit hole....like daws...;)
However also for immediate starting, especially to dive right into whatever daw is used, there are some USB mics, and note(d) only one mic, but a quite acceptable sound may be had. A little more inexpensive way of initially doing things....learn the daw first with the one mic and shop around for an interface....and way more mics......whaaahahahahah...yippee...great fun!
bt
I'm pc guy but I do have an iPad with garageband
 

Rmgreg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2021
Messages
188
Reaction score
56
I use a Focusrite Saffire Pro and Reaper. Overall not difficult to use, but I dont do enough recording to really know what I'm doing. Let's just say that I know how to record in separate channels and that's about it.
Which model sapphire pro?
 

Rmgreg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2021
Messages
188
Reaction score
56
Many have recommended an ead10 but it just seems like it's turning my acoustic kit into my TD30. I spent all of 2 minutes with cakewalk so far, it looks technical but if it's good I'll learn it. My goals aren't clear since I have no experience with recording. I'm very technical and would love to extend my hobby into my retirement years. Here's my goals... Some may not be realistic.

1. I have tons of guitars, 2 basses a dw acoustic kit and a TD30. I'd like to be able to record a song start to finish with me playing everything. Not pro studio quality but where friends and family may not know the difference.

2. I may have an opportunity to play in a band and since I'm building a cabin to house the acoustic kit and guitars it could be a practice location. I don't know how bands generally record themselves, but I'd like to be able to make the rehearsal space have the ability to produce decent recordings. The structure is log and is being built with reasonable acoustics in mind. Again not looking for pro recording studio but a balance between aesthetics a d function for a multi-use space.

3. I have an sm58, beta 57a and dr-vx1 mics, behringer xenyx q802usb interface/mixer, ipad, laptop and desktop along with bass amp, guitar amps and drum amp 5 acoustic guitars, 4 electrics, 2 basses, Roland Td 30 and DW Collector's acoustic set that can all be used. I'm prepared to upgrade my interface and add mics as well. I'd love to accomplish this for $1k or less. I'm clearly heavily invested already so adding some mics and an interface makes sense.
4. I don't mind upgrading later if I enjoy the recording hobby but would prefer to start with a decent setup.

Does this help?
 

Buffalo_drummer

Very well Known Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2017
Messages
908
Reaction score
415
Location
Buffalo, NY
I started with a Focusrite 2 I/O and Garageband [which is very intuitive to use]. Migrated to Focusrite 18i20 and Logic Pro X. Can't say enough good things about both, no issue with wither.
 

Rmgreg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2021
Messages
188
Reaction score
56
I started with a Focusrite 2 I/O and Garageband [which is very intuitive to use]. Migrated to Focusrite 18i20 and Logic Pro X. Can't say enough good things about both, no issue with wither.
I've been eyeing the 18i20. I'd love to find one used. Gonna check out logic pro x now. My behringer interface probably does everything rhe 2i2 does.
 

Buffalo_drummer

Very well Known Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2017
Messages
908
Reaction score
415
Location
Buffalo, NY
I've been eyeing the 18i20. I'd love to find one used. Gonna check out logic pro x now. My behringer interface probably does everything rhe 2i2 does.
I bought a B stock unit right from Focusrite, came with same warranty as new. I think they have a store on Reverb.
 


Top