Hi (from a total digi no-brainer)

Help (i need somebody)

Hi all;
Please excuse my ignorance to all things digital. Im an old school bass player thats also proficient at real drums, guitar, vocals etc. I have a basic understanding of the recording process, having played sessions in various pro-studios, so I know what compressors, reverbs, sonic maximisers are etc…I have no idea how midi etc works though.

I (like many) can’t afford the SSL & Studer set up!!! Keep dreaming eh…basically its to record me, but i would like to have the option to record maybe a drum kit etc…

Ive been looking at getting a digi set-up for quite a while now and seem to conclude that n-tracks appears to be a good option!!!

I have the following analogue gear & am looking to set up a good (budget) home studio for song writing.

Current gear:
Trace Elliot Bass Amp/cab
Bass/Acoustic/electric guitars
LA Audio CX2 rack compressor
BBE rack sonic maximizer
Yamaha SPX90 rack reverb
Zoom rack guitar effects.

On my list of things to get, I have:
Newer PC; min spec P4 2.8, 512Mb, 80Gb (7200) HD, CD/R etc
CRT monitor
Yamaha or Mackie desk (around 12 channel) - any advice?
D/A card, thinking of M-Audio Delta 1010LT (10 ins/outs) - any advice?
Proper studio mic - any advice?
Midi keyboard controller - any advice?
Keyboard software & sequencing - any advice?
Monitors - any advice?
And all the usual bits around the outside such as patchbay, cables etc…

Any advice would be great on the above items, my budget is not massive, so I would like to keep things to a minimum (yeh…typical bass player), without overly compromising quality… and also…

Can I integrate the analogue rack gear in to the system in the mixing/mastering stage. .i.e. route the PC outputs to master through the maximiser then back in to the PC etc.? I did say I was new to digi land…

There appears to be loads of free plug-ins & software available, for keys etc, and drums/effects. Are any actually usable? Your recommendations?

I have no idea how to use a drum machine to link patterns, if it aint got sticks!!! Ive used fruity loops to create a beat, but where from there…again, any suggestions would be gratefully received

& finally…phew i hear you cry…
Have been offered the following ‘used gear’, and am thinking about it?

Dell P4 1.8ghz - 512 Ram - 1 x 40 gb hardrive / 1 x 20 gb hardrive with CDR/XP etc…
Evolution Midi Keyboard
M- Audio Delta 10/10lt
Steinberg Cubase SX 2
Reason 2.5
Albino - Plug In Synth
Lots more VST Plug in instruments & VST Effects including £2000 worth of Waves mastering software

all for £400 which sounds a great deal…i’ve looked at Cubase, but it just looks ‘alien’ to me, at least N-tracks appears similar to an analogue set up…

Cheers (and Happy Xmas)


When first switching to digital, I tried running back thru external mixing board and rack effects thinking that was the only way to go. After delving more into the digital world and buying n-Track, I realized that digital plug-ins do a much better job and easier to use than all the patch routing I was going thru. The only big advice I can give is start out slow and experiment til you get used to the digital domain, once you get adjusted, surfing in here and reading posted threads are more hekp than you can ever imagine, I have learned tons of info in just the past 4 monthes from reading posts here.

Good Luck to You:D

On the other hand, there is a big push towards external summing, since digital summing often seems to lack something.

I’d take that £400 deal - the waves plugs are worth it alone. If you want to mix and process in the box, there really are none better. I’m not a huge fan of Cubase, for the reason you mention, but all that other stuff is fabulous.


edit: Dave, one further thought - you already subscribe to tape op, right?

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