Beginner Audio Interface and DAW suggestions

Buffalo_drummer

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I bought the 2nd Gen version last year. The 3rd Gen adds the Air mode, while an attractive feature, I didn't think it was worth the extra cost. I think I paid under $300 for mine.
 

Rmgreg

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There's a 2nd Gen on FB listed at $300 I could probably get for under and also a Focusrite Sapphire Pro 40 at $225. Wonder which is better
 

DanRH

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I have the Presonus 1824c 8 inputs (actually 18 in once you start bouncing things around I believe). It was around $500 and it comes with Studio One which is a serious DAW. I’m learning that now.
 

Tommy D

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Rmgreg

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Yeah, thats it. I think it is just firewire. Unfortunately all my drum gear is in storage while my wife and I move so I cant check it out and confirm for you. I believe the Scarlett units are the exact same thing as the Saffire ones, but they use a different cable. Probably usb.
I think you are right.
 

owr

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I'll add to the Focusrite cheers, I have a Clarett (step-up on the Scarlet) with 4 mic pres and have been real happy with it. One word of caution, while these have additional line level inputs on the back for plugging electric instruments right in, they dont have a gain knob and Ive found the levels can be kinda low. For example I tried running my Nord keyboard into one of these extra inputs directly and even with the output on the Nord cranked I'm getting a super low signal. I solved this by putting a mixer I have in-between, but good to know if you plan on running other instruments in. Im not a pro at this so I could be missing something obvious, but I did some searching a few months back and never came up with anything. So it might be worth getting a real 8 input interface with gains all around - I think you could do just fine with the Scarlett.
 

phdamage

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+1 for Reaper. Def will have a learning curve, but any DAW will.

As for interfaces, you will definitely want 8 channels/inputs if you are doing full bands. Even with a simple setup, 4 will be very limiting. And 8 gives you some easy expansion possibility. I would buy any old cheap one, honestly. You can upgrade when you need to. Honestly the cheapest converters now slay early conversion that is all over tons of records from the 90s. Just get yourself the channels
 

drums1225

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Buy right, buy once. Get a used 8 channel interface. I can vouch for the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20. I have the 1st gen, but I'd recommend getting a 2nd or 3rd gen because the control software is much better, and there are a few updated features that have been mentioned already.

If you ever want to "upgrade" to better preamps, as I did, I grabbed an Audient ASP880 with ADAT out, so I pipe my drum kit through the Audient ASP880 pres, which send to the 18i20 through ADAT, and bypass the Scarlett pres. That said, the Scarlett pres are perfectly fine to make very good sounding recordings. It has most to do with your drums, tuning, mics, mic placement, and your mixing skills (there are lots of videos and articles to help you learn).

I'm a Cubase guy since 1993, but most interfaces come with a light version of a DAW. They all get you to the same place in slightly different ways.

Good luck,
Chris
 

Rmgreg

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Buy right, buy once. Get a used 8 channel interface. I can vouch for the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20. I have the 1st gen, but I'd recommend getting a 2nd or 3rd gen because the control software is much better, and there are a few updated features that have been mentioned already.

If you ever want to "upgrade" to better preamps, as I did, I grabbed an Audient ASP880 with ADAT out, so I pipe my drum kit through the Audient ASP880 pres, which send to the 18i20 through ADAT, and bypass the Scarlett pres. That said, the Scarlett pres are perfectly fine to make very good sounding recordings. It has most to do with your drums, tuning, mics, mic placement, and your mixing skills (there are lots of videos and articles to help you learn).

I'm a Cubase guy since 1993, but most interfaces come with a light version of a DAW. They all get you to the same place in slightly different ways.

Good luck,
Chris
Thx. That's my philosophy too. I'm watching for a used 18i20 or the presonus equivalent! The presonus comes with the $99 Sudio One Artist if I bought new.
 

Rmgreg

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That's a really solid start right there.
It's either that or get that interface and pice together a 4 piece set of mics like samson C02s for overhead, my beta 57a for snare and pickup a used kick mic
 

6topher

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I recorded a solo EP by myself on a zoomR16.

It's an amazing little device. I used it like a modern version of an old school cassette recorder. Direct, full tracks because I hate troubleshooting & latency. Then dragged them over to my pc for editing & mixing & mastering. But, it also functions as a daw controller with faders recording into a computer with whatever software you have.

Plus, it's capable of 8 simultaneous inputs. So tracking by myself I used maybe 7 mics on the kit I think. It can run on aaa batteries so you can take it to a show or a practice spot easily. I've recorded a live show with a direct bass, 2 vocal tracks, a direct guitar. 2 room mics & I used a mixer to live mix 4 drum mics into the last 2 tracks. It also has 2 built in condenser mics for just press record to 2 tracks live.

Pretty powerful & flexible unit for 400 bucks.
 

Rmgreg

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I recorded a solo EP by myself on a zoomR16.

It's an amazing little device. I used it like a modern version of an old school cassette recorder. Direct, full tracks because I hate troubleshooting & latency. Then dragged them over to my pc for editing & mixing & mastering. But, it also functions as a daw controller with faders recording into a computer with whatever software you have.

Plus, it's capable of 8 simultaneous inputs. So tracking by myself I used maybe 7 mics on the kit I think. It can run on aaa batteries so you can take it to a show or a practice spot easily. I've recorded a live show with a direct bass, 2 vocal tracks, a direct guitar. 2 room mics & I used a mixer to live mix 4 drum mics into the last 2 tracks. It also has 2 built in condenser mics for just press record to 2 tracks live.

Pretty powerful & flexible unit for 400 bucks.
Very interesting. I wonder why this device never comes up in the conversations with Focusrite and Presonus
 

mgdrummer

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I’m using an Audient iD44 paired with an Audient ASP880 8 channel preamp which gives me 12 inputs and is expandable by 8 more inputs to make a total of 20. My old MacBook Pro is running ProTools 12 and the Mac Mini I just bought has Logic installed on it. I have yet to really dive in with Logic but I’m looking forward to getting to know it.
 

Cauldronics

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OK so audacity is probably out.
Actually if you're just beginning to record, you probably won't need more than two outs for a long time. You'd need more if using more than two speakers, mixing to external hardware or doing headphone mixes for multiple musicians playing live. There are a few other reasons you'd need more but those are easily the most common.
 

Rmgreg

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Actually if you're just beginning to record, you probably won't need more than two outs for a long time. You'd need more if using more than two speakers, mixing to external hardware or doing headphone mixes for multiple musicians playing live. There are a few other reasons you'd need more but those are easily the most common.
It's not the outputs it's the inputs that audacity can't handle no? Drums will have a minimum of 4 mics
 

Cauldronics

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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.
Having a dedicated building for rehearsal, practice and recording would be a dream come true for many here. I ran a recording studio for 10 years and had several rehearsal rooms over the years that I also recorded in.

Without knowing how much you know about acoustics, I'd go ahead and recommend that you achieve the most basic fundamental in your approach to building the cabin. Make sure it's big enough, and probably bigger than you might be thinking. Way too many people build a space meant for recording that's too small and then fight way too hard to get a good recording, and wonder why.

L x W x H, I'd recommend 30 x 22 x 15. I know that's a big building, but having enough space for the sound to develop and travel is key. There are many, many more considerations when it comes to building a good acoustic space, but having one that's big enough is very important.

I know this might not be practical for any number of reasons, but if you can make it happen you'd be doing yourself a big favor. You can go smaller for sure, I'm just recommending an ideal that might be within the range of someone building a new space.

The room you record in will have a huge effect on the results you get.
 
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