Super Beginner??

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Member Since: Aug 01, 2010

So I'd like to start recording things at home, but I'm basically a complete beginner, and I'm soo confused as to where to start. I've been looking around, but there's so many different options that I am overwhelmed.

I have an iMac that is about a year and a half old... also an iBook G4 that's pretty ancient. However, it would be nice to be able to use whatever I buy on the laptop because then it's more portable, etc. I'd like to record fairly decent quality tracks, but I don't have tons of money to spend on this right now... :/ Could someone please educate me on some different options I have? Thank you so much!

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Since: Apr 26, 2006

Aug 01, 2010 04:39 pm

Welcome to the forum. You will find lot's of knowledgeable folks in here willing to help. While you wait for responses you might want to check out some of the information you can find by checking the tips drop down tab on the page header.

Since: Dec 04, 2007

Aug 01, 2010 06:04 pm

Welcome to HRC man. In addition to the tips and tricks here on the forums, I've put together a couple of guides geared towards beginners within the home studio setting over on my website, which you can find here:

I try paint an idea of the equipment used along with the needs for it, and most of it is an overview designed to get people started in the field with some various options to look at as far as equipment and software.

Some things I would recommend, is give yourself a good starting budget which will encompass everything you'd need for your purposes.

To figure out what you need, ask yourself things like "How many instruments or tracks do I plan to record at once?" "What style of music am I recording?"

I'm not as familiar with the Mac notebook internals, but if you have I'd say at least a 2.0Ghz Processor (or equivalent) and roughly 2GB RAM, you should be fine for recording a couple tracks at a time. And the CPU/RAM doesn't really get bogged down until you start piling on a lot of VST effects and soft-synths.

For the iMac laptops, I'd recommend looking at some of the software demos for various DAWs they have. Ableton Live, Apple Logic, Digital Performer, Cubase, most DAWs will have a Mac option, though not all of em. And some of em are for Mac only.

Any DAW will enable you to get your basic recording and mixing done. Though, some work better for audio, and others have a stronger midi interface. The question is which helps you get your work done more easily, or which inspires you more. It's all about what works with your workflow and your thought process.

Me? I like FL Studio, and I like Reaper since I find them easy to navigate and work with. I don't like Cubase due to the interface. I used to like the Cakewalk software quite a bit back when I had HomeStudio, but admittedly I haven't given Sonar a try yet.

I'd recommend looking at various software demos and try them all out to see which one you find easy to learn and to move around in. Which one helps you easily get things up and going. Most all vendors will offer demos of their software. Just keep in mind some software will have a stronger midi editing ability than others. And regardless, any DAW will have a learning curve of some sort to it.

Anyway, looking at the guides here at HRC will certainly get you pointed in the right direction. If we know more about what you want to do, and what kinda budget you're setting yourself, we can make further suggestions.

Since: Apr 26, 2006

Aug 01, 2010 06:48 pm

I'm a mac user my self but I am also still getting a grip on the digital realm of recording. But I failed to mention earlier that Garageband is a program to check out for sure since you are already using mac. I am just getting started with Presonus Studio One, which appears to have a much smaller learning curve than some of the others and comes with any Presonus recording interface you purchase now.

bace135 in the house tonight!
Since: Jan 28, 2003

Aug 02, 2010 01:53 am

Along the lines of what Jbot was saying, your ideal set up will be dependent on what you are recording, how you would like to record (how many tracks at once/location/etc.), and budget. If you can describe these things, folks will be better able to help you find the right set up for you.

Music is everything
Since: Apr 01, 2010

Aug 02, 2010 11:09 am

What are you recording (instrument)? Are you the whole band or do you have a band that you will be recording? What about drums? Real or machine/samples?

Since: Jul 18, 2010

Aug 24, 2010 10:21 am

I'm still kind of a beginner too and saw this recently that helped me understand things a lot better -

It's a short read but a good general overview and might help you with your decision making. Good luck.

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