Author Topic: My computer ... is the hardware / software good enough ...  (Read 3030 times)

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Offline close2u

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My computer ... is the hardware / software good enough ...
« on: September 19, 2009, 07:10:26 am »
... to record audio only to a decent quality

1] from a direct connection using my amps aux out / headphone socket

2] from a mic (which I don't have yet) placed in front of my amp

My PC spec is:

Dell Vostro 400
Windows Vista Ultimate with Service Pack 2
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo
 CPU E6550 @ 2.33GHz
RAM 2.00 GB
32-bit operating system
Sound device REALTEK High Definition Audio
Graphics card NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT

thanks
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VenusBlue

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Re: My computer ... is the hardware / software good enough ...
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2009, 07:14:03 am »
I don't know a whole lot about computers, But that's really not a lot of ram at all. I would look at upgrading in order to keep up with how much memory it's going to be using.

Offline WrexTheDragon

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Re: My computer ... is the hardware / software good enough ...
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2009, 11:10:31 am »
The answer is YES, but I would not put a mic in front of the amp. 

Offline Wishbone

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Re: My computer ... is the hardware / software good enough ...
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2009, 11:33:13 am »
Easily-

The box I'm using right now is running at a slightly higher spec than yours is and does the business no worries. Fast, high capacity hard drives are handy, which isn't a biggie seeing as you can get a 1TB SATA2 drive for 65 quid these days and they take all of two minutes to install. That's more than enough storage space to dump your stuff on.

The only notable difference is that I also use a Creative EMU 0404 USB interface. The crappy Realtek onboard sound system that is integrated into my motherboard is a piece of xx--xx and always has been. The EMU ensures that anything I'm recording is clear and latency free. There are other cheaper options than this, but it's worth considering taking your sound card out of the running and handing the job to an interface that takes all the headache out of the task.

Offline close2u

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Re: My computer ... is the hardware / software good enough ...
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2009, 11:53:51 am »
... But that's really not a lot of ram at all. I would look at upgrading in order to keep up with how much memory it's going to be using.

thanks - it is about 3 years old so an update might be in order

The answer is YES, but I would not put a mic in front of the amp. 

thanks - why not put a mic in fornt?

Easily-
... a Creative EMU 0404 USB interface. ...


thanks - is this a plug in and use component - I've only ever been inside my PC once and don''t really know what I'm doing in there


Offline Simonovski

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Re: My computer ... is the hardware / software good enough ...
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2009, 11:54:47 am »
I don't know a whole lot about computers, But that's really not a lot of ram at all. I would look at upgrading in order to keep up with how much memory it's going to be using.

This isn't really related to your question but it's a useful tip, Vista lets you plug in USB sticks to use as a RAM boost.

Offline the_twin

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Re: My computer ... is the hardware / software good enough ...
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2009, 12:12:39 pm »
I can record on a Mac with a much lower spec than this, so it should work. You want a better sound card or external interface. I can't understand the advice about not putting a mic in front of your amp. That's generally the best way to record guitar.
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Offline Tourniquet

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Re: My computer ... is the hardware / software good enough ...
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2009, 12:41:24 pm »
I can't understand the advice about not putting a mic in front of your amp. That's generally the best way to record guitar.

Quite. General consensus is that the best sound is attained my placing it 3-4 inches away from the center cone.
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Offline close2u

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Re: My computer ... is the hardware / software good enough ...
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2009, 01:04:51 pm »
thanks all

so

as things are

aux out direct into PC would work

to upgrade

but a good mic
buy a better sound card
buy some more RAM

I have Audacity ... any more software I might need?

I'd like to be able to do more than one video audio track in sync if possible

Offline Wishbone

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Re: My computer ... is the hardware / software good enough ...
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2009, 05:13:39 pm »
Close2u-

The EMU 0404 USB is just that: plugs straight into the USB port, but has its own power supply. For all that it's an interface, essentially it is a 'sound card'. The difference being that this 'sound card' has XLR/TRS balanced inputs, phantom power and onboard pre-amps, etc.....

With it I bought an AKG C1000S mic for sticking in front of my amp or my acoustic. I can plug my guitar straight in if I wish and play direct into a software amp/cab/effect emulator, with output going straight back out to my amp or headphones. Effectively this turns my PC into an entire effects unit, although it really is cheating to an extent; sooner or later you have to rely on your own amp's tone, but it's certainly versatile.

The software bundle you get with the 0404 is huge and is all you need to do what you wish to, but any ASIO compliant sequencing software can be used.

As for more RAM......... I honestly think 2GB is enough. If I remember correctly, Vista 32 bit can't handle much more effectively anyway, so sticking another 2GB in may be a waste of time. It's possible that Microsoft have rectified that; I haven't kept up to date on Vista 'cos, basically, it's a heap of xx--xx and I'm fed up of fixing stuff for friends and family on it 'cos what used to be easy to talk them through over the phone is now so convoluted that I have to take the PC/laptop off them and f***ing do it myself.

But I digress  ;D

With a bit of hardware like that, you can lay down as many tracks of nice guitar and whatever else as you like mate. I can also assure you that the hardware is as easy to install as simply plugging the adaptor into the mains and the box itself into a USB port.

I paid about £145 for the 0404, £80 for the mic........ then it's bits and bobs like cables and a mic stand etc....but you can pay more or less for the same kind of thing, if you know what I mean.

Edit: Neglected to mention that using this kind of hardware also shifts most of the strain on system resources to the processors in the hardware itself; 'cos that's what they're for. Your PC is saved the job from there on in.

Tourniquet-

..... Or for anybody who's interested, really.....

A decent little read on amp mic'ing ......  And another

Offline TB-AV

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Re: My computer ... is the hardware / software good enough ...
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2009, 05:57:06 pm »
I agree, your PC is way more than adequate. The weak link being the audio.

Get a copy of Reaper http://www.cockos.com/reaper/index.php and you will get performance and tracks to your hearts desire.

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Offline gareth51

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Re: My computer ... is the hardware / software good enough ...
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2009, 06:12:52 pm »
Wishbone - with an interface like that is it possible to record from two sources simultaneously, e.g. a mic for vocals and direct input from the amp for the guitar?
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ImagineLED

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Re: My computer ... is the hardware / software good enough ...
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2009, 06:13:55 pm »
PC is good enough, now you just need to worry about the quality of the mic

Offline Wishbone

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Re: My computer ... is the hardware / software good enough ...
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2009, 09:36:24 pm »
Gareth-

Yep, the unit has two inputs. Dunno which amp you have, but if the output you intend connecting to the interface only provides a slave output and leaves the amp speaker live, you'll perhaps have a little bother with the amp sound bleeding to your vocal mic if you don't get it just right. I'm still experimenting with mic placement myself; trying to find the sweet spots for different situations so what I'm recording sounds as much like what I'm playing as I can get it.

Here's the product tour for the bugger; see what you think: EMU 0404 USB

Offline close2u

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Re: My computer ... is the hardware / software good enough ...
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2009, 08:47:52 am »
thanks folks

@ wishbone ... thorough response thanks ... didn't understand all but I guess it's just cause I haven't used that kit so the terms areunfamiliar ... can you name any of those alternatives ... £150 is a bit steep as I'm aving for some other stuff at the mo

@ TB-AV Reaper - is that similar to but better than Audacity?

@ ImagineLED - any decent quality mic at a modest budget recommendations? UK

 

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