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Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...

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Lane 04 Feb 02 - 11:25 PM
GUEST,Paul 05 Feb 02 - 06:06 AM
Tweed 05 Feb 02 - 07:44 AM
Lane 05 Feb 02 - 09:59 AM
IvanB 05 Feb 02 - 01:47 PM
Lane 07 Feb 02 - 10:11 PM
IvanB 08 Feb 02 - 12:10 AM
Lane 09 Feb 02 - 04:58 PM
Justa Picker 09 Feb 02 - 09:00 PM
Lane 09 Feb 02 - 11:10 PM
Lane 09 Feb 02 - 11:16 PM
hesperis 09 Feb 02 - 11:17 PM
IvanB 09 Feb 02 - 11:47 PM
Justa Picker 10 Feb 02 - 12:03 AM
Lane 10 Feb 02 - 02:32 AM
Justa Picker 10 Feb 02 - 01:54 PM
John in Brisbane 10 Feb 02 - 10:46 PM
Lane 13 Feb 02 - 01:15 AM
IvanB 13 Feb 02 - 12:10 PM
Lane 14 Feb 02 - 12:23 AM
Willie-O 03 Apr 02 - 07:35 PM
Lane 03 Apr 02 - 09:19 PM
Dave Bryant 04 Apr 02 - 10:09 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 04 Apr 02 - 11:15 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 04 Apr 02 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 04 Apr 02 - 11:56 AM
GUEST 07 Apr 02 - 12:14 AM
IvanB 07 Apr 02 - 11:37 AM
Lane 07 Apr 02 - 04:27 PM
IvanB 07 Apr 02 - 11:36 PM
GUEST 08 Apr 02 - 12:54 AM
Dave the Gnome 08 Apr 02 - 04:21 AM
IvanB 08 Apr 02 - 03:50 PM
Dave the Gnome 08 Apr 02 - 03:57 PM
Willie-O 08 Apr 02 - 06:19 PM
Lane 08 Apr 02 - 09:33 PM
Willie-O 10 Apr 02 - 09:23 PM
Lane 11 Apr 02 - 12:10 AM
hesperis 11 Apr 02 - 02:11 AM
Lane 11 Apr 02 - 07:49 PM
hesperis 11 Apr 02 - 10:15 PM
Lane 12 Apr 02 - 03:12 AM
Hilary 13 Apr 02 - 07:42 AM
Jon Freeman 13 Apr 02 - 09:14 AM
Lane 15 Apr 02 - 01:17 PM
Lane 19 May 02 - 12:35 PM
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Subject: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Lane
Date: 04 Feb 02 - 11:25 PM

So.. I'm building a computer - (first time try) and I want to include a sound card that's good enough to record, but nothing too high-tech - just a mic and guitar pickup, maybe 4 tracks or something that I can do a little "embellishment" with.... been looking at Soundblaster Live 5.1... but I don't know one from the other...... do I need to go to one with 1/4" inputs and such????

Lane


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: GUEST,Paul
Date: 05 Feb 02 - 06:06 AM

Soundblaster 5.1 is a good choice, especially if you can afford the platinum version.

The platinum has an extra box that sits in a space cd drive bay and gives you 1/4" inputs.

The number of tracks you will get isn't dependend on your soundcard but on the speed of your processor / hard disk.

You should manage at least 8 on anything remotely modern.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Tweed
Date: 05 Feb 02 - 07:44 AM

I've got a program called "Just Audio" that came with this compaq puter. It allows me to either record directly via the monitor's builtin speaker or I can put the songs on a tape recorder and run them in there through the mic input on the sound card and turn 'em into wav files and then using a free AnalogX download I'm able to convert the .wav's into smaller sized mp3's. I don't think you need to have a 1/4" jack in the back. You could get a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter at radio shack to bring it down to size if needed. Hi-fi quality has never been one of my concerns and editing is non-existent as you may well be able to tell if you click here;~)


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Lane
Date: 05 Feb 02 - 09:59 AM

I like the sounds of the Platinum version, if it gives me 1/4" jacks up front. Will that card do what I need -which is fairly basic, but I also want to avoid wasting money on something I'll shortly outgrow...

Thanks for the info


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: IvanB
Date: 05 Feb 02 - 01:47 PM

If you click on this link:

Click here

and scroll down to the "Home Recording" categories, you'll find a wealth of information collected by others who have faced this situation.

Not to say that the SoundBlaster 5.1 (or its successor, the SB Audigy) wouldn't fit the bill, I'm sure you'd find either useful for quite a long time, but, if you can afford them, there are cards available that provide quite professional recording/editing capabilities.

It all comes down to how much you can afford and want to spend.


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Lane
Date: 07 Feb 02 - 10:11 PM

OK...great info, thanks... .now I'm looking at the Audigy, it seems to have a few more features and better front panel inputs, plus it lets me connect my video camera... I wonder if anyone has any experience with home recording on one of these cards???

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: IvanB
Date: 08 Feb 02 - 12:10 AM

I've had the SoundBlaster 5.1 since November, but haven't really done too much with it since we weren't home for six weeks shortly after I installed it. I don't have the Live Drive, although I probably will get one at some point. My problem is that my Dell computer has only two 5.25" bays on the front and they're both filled. I did a little recording with my old Turtle Beach card and I was pretty happy with what I was able to accomplish with a little effort. Certainly nothing audiophile, but pretty decent sound nonetheless. I did just a short little snippet yesterday just to test something or the other and was pleased with the sound of the SB. But I can't give you any definitive advice since I really haven't put the card through its paces yet myself.


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Lane
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 04:58 PM

OK... well, I ended up buying a SB Audigy with the live drive.... just beginning to mess with it, but I'm also hearing that I may have made a mistake and should take it back and get a differnt one.... any thoughts?


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Justa Picker
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 09:00 PM

No Lane. You got a good 'un.
I have the Platinum 5.1 with Live Drive. (Audigy is its successor.) You will love the convenience of the Live Drive. I've transferred all my home recordings to the computer via the Mic/Line 2 input on the Live Drive. You can either record directly to the hard drive with the Mic/Line 2 input (using whatever hard disk recording program you like and any microphone that will accept a 1/4" phono input into the Live Drive) or if you have a stand alone tape deck or digital recording unit, just take the stereo rca outs on the unit, buy a stereo 1/4" Y-jack cable from Radio Shack, (and assuming the recording unit is connected to a receiver), take the headphone out on the receiver (one end of Y-jack) into the Mic/Line 2 input on the Live Drive (with the other end of the Y-jack)...run your hard disk recording software. Do a trial run or two to get your gain levels just right (between adjusting the volume OUT on the recorder and the receiver's output volume) and the gain/sensitivity of the hard disk recording software...and you're in business. (Sounds more complicated than it is. The whole setup takes less than 5 minutes once you've got it down.) Congrats!


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Lane
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 11:10 PM

Justa... You sent me an audio file a year or so ago... was it recorded with this set up? I"m still reading your post to try to figure it out.... I'll get it... (slow)


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Lane
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 11:16 PM

Justa,

I understand what you're saying about running a recorder in....in fact I have a 4track that I'm thinking I can use as a mixer on the front end.. a little Fostex... but I dont' get what you mean about the receiver? What sort of receiver??


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: hesperis
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 11:17 PM

Anyone know where to find a thingy to convert from a 1/4" patch cord to a computer input? (It's the same input as my headphones, not RCA - the other kind that's the same size as RCA but different.) I have an AWE, and a mono thingy, looking for a stereo one. Radio Shack only had mono ones.


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: IvanB
Date: 09 Feb 02 - 11:47 PM

hesperis, I had the same problem. I've got several that convert from a stereo mini-plug to a 1/4" one, but the only one I have from 1/4" to mini is mono. I solved the problem by getting a patch cord that had a female 1/4" stereo jack on one end and a male stereo mini jack on the other. I got THAT at Radio Shack, but it's somewhat of a headache to use because the only one they had is about 15' long.


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Justa Picker
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 12:03 AM

Lane,
You're going to have the Fostex connected to speakers right? And those speakers would probably sound best if they were connected to a stereo system of some sort which means a receiver is involved. Most receivers allow you to switch the output between phono-tape-CD-Aux (etc.) so your sound card (on the back of the computer) should have the rear stereo out puts go into say CD on the receiver. And your Fostex rca stereo outs could go into the AUX input on the receiver. From there, it's just a matter of running the y-jack from the headphone out on the receiver to the Mic/Line 2 input on the Live Drive.

Just make sure when you're listening to anything while the Y-jack is still connected to Mic/Line 2 that you don't select CD output on the receiver or your going to get some real howling feedback. The Mic/Line 2 input on the Live Drive should just be reserved for the Fostex and the AUX out on the receiver, and you should smooth sailing. The recordings I sent you were all captured this way to the computer. Pretty hassle free set up and decent enough sound.


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Lane
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 02:32 AM

Justa, OK, I see what you meant... essentially using the receiver, or stereo amp, more or less as a mixer and pre-amp, sort of.... I see what you mean, anyway...

I'll try that sort of set up tomorrow... I have lost your mp3 of Bluebell, would love to get it again, if you would... and I might even try to learn it, I do have the tab somewhere....

Lane


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Justa Picker
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 01:54 PM

Send me a PM with your e-mail address and I'll get it to you.


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 10:46 PM

Just a small tip for the financially challenged! My teenage son keeps on stealing all the bits and pieces which connect to my sound card (mikes, headphones, speakers) and I was thinking about buying a card which placed all the sokets on the front of the PC, or one of those extension boxes which do much the same thing. (Getting into the back of my PC is a nightmare and infanticide is a crime in this country).

Solved the problem at no cost by rotating the base of the PC by 90 degrees. Now all of the souncard and sundry other ports are easily accessible. It means that the floppy and CD drives are on the far right hand side, but I haven't found that to be a real hassle. For safety's sake I always turn the AC switch off at the wall, so the location of the PC power switch is not an issue.

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Lane
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 01:15 AM

Thanks, John... I'm finding that the front accessible inputs are pretty handy on this card... now if I could only figure out how to work it and how to mix multi tracks....

Lane


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: IvanB
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 12:10 PM

Lane, one way of doing it is to record one track, then use earphones (to keep sounds from your speakers recording onto subsequent tracks) to record tracks to go with the first one, each into its own WAV file. Then use a wave editor to combine the tracks. You'll probably have to do some scaling down on the wave files before you combine them, or you'll get clipping in the combined file. Also, you'll probably need to play with the insertion points for importing the successive tracks, but most editors have at least one level of undo, if not more.

This is, of course, a very rudimentary method. Actually, isn't there a track mixing program supplied with the Audigy card? If so, it'll probably work on the same basis as what I described, except that it'll show all the tracks discretely, as opposed to a wave editor which usually just shows a representation of the wave form.


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Lane
Date: 14 Feb 02 - 12:23 AM

Thanks...I'm getting the idea... and yes, there's a mixer program that came with the card and also has some effects. There is also a soundfont program, which I've heard is great stuff...but havent gotten into it yet... I also downloaded n-track which looks like a neat mixing, editing program... I'm getting there... and advice welcomed, tho


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Willie-O
Date: 03 Apr 02 - 07:35 PM

Hey guys, I was looking at the same rig today - Audigy Platinum-- to fit in my new P4. (First brandnew PC I've bought since my first XT Clone in '88).

Couple of questions: it doesn't have 1/4" jacks on that "live drive" does it?--or or course XLR's either. Is it actually a standard stereo mini plug for live input?

And the "drive" tag is misleading, isn't it? Isn't it just a plugin card which is cabled to the Audigy card, but happens to be mounted at the front in a drive slot? It doesn't have any onboard memory or a drive address in the PC, does it?

Best price I see in Ottawa for the platinum is 279 Cdn. The Audigy standalone is about $100 in the OEM version. Is it worth the extra bucks? I truly hate fishing around at the back of the PC, and the variety of extra plugs sure looks handy...

W-O


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Lane
Date: 03 Apr 02 - 09:19 PM

Well... yes, you're pretty much right, except for the inputs - there is, in fact, a 1/4" input and a 1/4" out for headphones. There are also midi inputs, RCA in and outs and what I think is a mini in/out for DAT recorders or such. Then there are optical in/outs (whatever that is) and a firewire jack. Yes, it's a card with the connection box up front - not at drive, I don't think. The card also has the usual jacks on the back of the computer. I find it pretty nice to be able to plug in on the front and to have volume controls there for both the mic in and headphone out. Listen, I'm no expert on this stuff and I'm still trying ot figure out how to run it and to find some kind of mixing/recording software that I can understand! So - I like the set up, for what I know of it - which ain't much! Lane


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 10:09 AM

Has anyone got any good suggestions for the actual recording software - after all the basic MS Sound Recorder is rather basic.


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 11:15 AM

Dave.

Have a look using the SuperSearch.
We've talked about various recording software and the PC here in the Mudcat Forum over the past couple of years.


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 11:25 AM

To get you started, here are three of those threads

Home Recording Studio
Recording 78s on to CDs
Cakewalk Pro


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 11:56 AM

I am a fan of Cakewalk

You NEED some sort of software for editing. One of the funner things is the "patches" for recreating the acoustical qualities of different locations such as Carnegie Hall, The Grand Old Opera, or a muted softwalled studio. The is lots of help on-line and a wealth of information in the news-groups.

A lot of fun and education lies ahead of you.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Apr 02 - 12:14 AM

The soundcard mentioned comes with "soundfonts" - but I have yet to figure out how to uses them. I'm told they are very useful.

I have tried to use N-Tracks Studio, and find it hard to use/understand. Is there a better software out there for home recording?

Thanks


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: IvanB
Date: 07 Apr 02 - 11:37 AM

I've touted Total Recorder in threads related to recording streaming sound, but I have to say I use it for ALL my PC recording chores nowadays. It doesn't so a whole lot - it'll record sound from whatever source you tell it to, it'll normalize the file and it'll convert the recorded .wav file to MP3. But its beauty is its simplicity. Gargoyle said above that you need an editing program and I agree. But, as far as I'm concerned, wading through all kinds of bells and whistles to get the file on the computer to be edited is just too much trouble. TR can be found here:

Total Recorder

Probably its biggest fault is that the trial version only allows recording of a 30 or 40 second sound file. I wish they'd made it a time-limited demo with full features instead. But the registration cost is, I think, $11.95 US, so it's not a great expenditure.


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Lane
Date: 07 Apr 02 - 04:27 PM

I'm thinking of downloading Total Recorder - I don't need a lot a confusing features, so I like it's simplicity but from reading the on line info, it doesn't sound like its really designed for home audio stuff - is that true? Do I need something more to just record my guitar and vocals?

Lane


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: IvanB
Date: 07 Apr 02 - 11:36 PM

Lane, probably depends on how you're miking yourself and the guitar. TR certainly isn't a multitrack recorder in any sense, but, with a good microphone it'll faithfully record the sound you input to your computer (frankly, I think that the mic and sound card are probably the important things in determining sound quality). However, I have done some recording where I used TR to record individual tracks (vocals, different instruments, etc.) and then mixed the tracks together in a multi-track editor. I wasn't planning on making a CD for distribution out of this stuff, but I felt I got pretty good results.


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 12:54 AM

Well...I'm using a vocal mic and an acoustic guitar with a pickup - nothing fancy, just the two. I just want to figure out how to do some basic recording and mixing and maybe some simple effects. As I say, I have N=tracks, but I cant figure it out - need something a little simpler, but I think TR is a bit too basic....


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 04:21 AM

I was hoping this may have addressed a question I have. It hasn't yet but here's hoping;-)

I want to record some Internet radio stuff - I play it with either Real Player or WinAmp depending on whatever default id loaded. I cannot seem to do it. I figure if I put a splitter cable of some sort from the spreaker output to the sound card line in I could do it. Is there any problems with that or is there a better way?

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: IvanB
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 03:50 PM

Dave, your application is exactly the reason I first got Total Recorder. It has what is called a software recording mode where it intercepts the sound stream and records it then sends it on to whatever program is using it. It'll record off Paltalk, RealAudio, WinAmp, whatever.


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 03:57 PM

Brilliant - thanks Ivan. I will give it a try.

DtG


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Willie-O
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 06:19 PM

Well, I bit the bullet and sprung for the Audigy Platinum. Special order, will pick it up in the next day or so.

While I'm throwing money around with such abandon, I may even get the Cooledit2000 4-track software. You can get it for $98 US from Cooledit right now.

I've never used ANY multi-track software to the extent that I got comfortable with it. But of the sound editors I've tried, CoolEdit in the demo (stereo) version seemed to be the most professional, learnable, result-oriented one. I'm sick of demos and crippleware.

Anyone want to buy a Tascam 244? ;)=

W-O


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Lane
Date: 08 Apr 02 - 09:33 PM

Willie and others,

Sounds like you are in the same boat at me... trying to find a reasonably priced way to do some basic recording but with more than a single track.... Is the Cooledit demo fully functional, if only in stereo? I might want to give it a try. N-Tracks has a lot of nice features, but its hard to learn and has poor documentation plus the effects mostly require that you buy the full version and, I think, pay more for good effects....

Lane


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Willie-O
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 09:23 PM

I've messed with N-Tracks some and pretty much agree about it. Functional But... The CoolEdit demo version has all of the various editing/processing features available, but you can only use two in any given session with it--lots of redundant saving and closing and reopening (Save file counts as one feature) of the program during its 30-day trial. And after the 30 day trial, you really can't use it (And can't uninstall/reinstall it and use it for another 30 days. It knows when it's been installed before on a PC.)


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Lane
Date: 11 Apr 02 - 12:10 AM

Thanks Willie-O... I'll download the demo and see how it compares to N-Track. I've been messing with N-Track a little more and am getting the hang of if a bit better, but still, it's hard to figure out for a guy that's not well versed in techie recording stuff. Maybe CoolEdit is better... I'm hoping for more suggestions...

Lane


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: hesperis
Date: 11 Apr 02 - 02:11 AM

I haven't been able to figure CoolEdit out that well, but I haven't exactly tried, and the documentation looks ok at first glance. I haven't tried N-Track either, so can't say if it's more complicated or not.

I use cakewalk the most, for both midi and audio, and I love the reverb settings, too! The only thing I like better is FruityLoops' reverb plugin, it really does sound like a "good room" if you just use a touch and make it warm. Too bad cakewalk doesn't load fruity's plugins... sigh.


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Lane
Date: 11 Apr 02 - 07:49 PM

OK...I've looked at CoolEdit - it doesn't look bad, but it's not cheap.... I'll look for Cakewalk. Do all of these need plugins to get effects?


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: hesperis
Date: 11 Apr 02 - 10:15 PM

Cakewalk comes with a lot of cool effects. I don't know how extensible the effects are though. If it is able to take plugins that's a good thing.

The others probably have cool effects too. CoolEdit has reverb for sure, though I like Cakewalk's better... uhhhh... I think Steinburg's program has plugin effects that are supposed to be really good.


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Lane
Date: 12 Apr 02 - 03:12 AM

Well... I haven't figured out plug-ins.... but I like the idea of being able to add some effects - I guess with plug-ins... Cakewalk looks pretty good, from what I can see, but they have a bunch of different programs.... any advice on which one or others that are out there?


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Hilary
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 07:42 AM

Has anybody used Cubase ?

I'm glad to see this thead as I've started thinking about getting a computer.

Hilary


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 09:14 AM

Just wondering... anyone had experience with the Yamaha SW100G?

Jon


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Lane
Date: 15 Apr 02 - 01:17 PM

Jon, I have not tried that card - looks good though. I got the Soundblaster Audigy with the "Live Drive" - I've heard good and not so good about it but it seems to work great for me. But then, I'm still trying to figure out how to do decent recording and am still on the hunt for a good editing/mixing/effects software. I think the software may be more important than the card - I can get the music in the computer without a problem - it's what to do with it after that that's troubling me.


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Subject: RE: Help w/sound cards, PC recording, etc...
From: Lane
Date: 19 May 02 - 12:35 PM

Refresh....I'm still in search of an economical but funcional pc recording software.... any new ideas? Thanks!


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