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firewire soundcard, how does it work?

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firewire soundcard, how does it work?

Postby Awood on Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:15 am

Hello,

I just bought myself a laptop, 1,73 centrino GHz and 1 gb RAM and I am now thinking of buying a soundcard, firewire. thinking of the terratec 88 producer ; http://www.komplett.no/k/ki.asp?sku=310259&view=links
it has 8 inputs and outputs. is this enough for recording drums or shouldn`t i use all the inputs because they are not balanced. I usually record drums in 5 or 6 tracks. Can anyone recommend me a soundcard or how i should do this, and will my laptop be strong enough for recording with cubase?

Ewoud
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Postby Alex Shipley on Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:02 pm

it looks like that has only 2 mic preamps if you have seperate preamps for your other mics that would be fine but for 5 or 6 simultaneous tracks you might want to go with a presonus firepod http://www.zzounds.com/a--3745/item--PRSFIREPOD 8 mic preamps and comes with cubase le

As for your computer running Cubase here are the minimum system requirements for cubase sx
Windows XP Home or XP Professional
Intel / AMD Prozessor 1.4 GHz minimum
512 MB RAM
DVD drive required for installation
Windows MME compatible audio hardware is required (ASIO compatible audio hardware required for low latency operation).
USB port required for Steinberg Key (copy protection device)*
Internet connection required for license activation

here is a feature comparison for Cubase products http://steinberg.net/552_1.html

you could also take a look at Cakewalks sequencers http://cakewalk.com/default.asp
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thanks

Postby Awood on Sat Aug 12, 2006 5:47 am

Thanks :) those things look nice! Is there a negative side with this one? I saw it had midi and thats good, since i do alot of synth playing as well and i want to start using the laptop as an virtual synth cause I think thats easier than all those modules. Is there any virtual synth you could recommend?

Once more; thank you for your reply:)

Ewoud
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Postby tcbetka on Sat Aug 12, 2006 10:23 pm

I would look at a firewire mixer if I were you.

I mic my 6-piece Gretsch kit with 10 mics currently in total--but you should be able to get by with 8, if you don't have a super large kit. I have 6 mics for the drums, plus an extra on the snare resonant head; plus 3 condensers...10 total. I also plan to add a secondary snare, another tom and possibly a Yamaha Subkick as well:

http://www.zzounds.com/a--3745/item--YAMSUBKICK

As you can tell, I like to experiment with lots of voices and microphones!

I looked around quite a while before buying my board--I went with a Mackie Onyx 1640 with the firewire card, and it's awesome. But it's a bit on the pricey side. The knock on this mixer from the nay-sayers is that the Perkins EQ cannot be used to record (well, not easily anyway), so all you have are a bunch of pre-amps. But I say hooey to the nay-sayers--the board is incredible with all the aux sends & returns, inserts, 4 buses and 16 great pre-amps. I could never have gotten all the capability I did with the Onyx for anywhere near the $1500 I have into that rig.

The other option for you would be something like an Alesis multitrack firewire board. I didn't look at these first because I needed more than 8 pre-amps, but I just helped a drummer friend of mine buy one today. He is just getting into the whole home-recording thing and bought a Presonus Firebox a few days ago. It's a great unit and worked very well, but was a bit complicated for a newbie to use with the 1202 VLZ he had. The routing ended up to be fairly simply--4 outputs (Main L, Main R, Alt 3, Alt 4), and that allowed him to mic his kit with 4 mics. But then if he wanted to use a drum machine or a CD player, he ended up having to combine drum voices to the same bus because he had only 4 outputs.

So he bought an Alesis 12 channel firewire board--man, I tell you I was pleasantly surprised with the thing. It sounds great! I would say it sounds better than his 1202 VLZ did, but in all fairness that unit was 10 years old. But he paid well under $500 for it. It's this one:

http://www.zzounds.com/a--3745/item--ALEMULTIMIX12FW

I very highly recommend the Mackie boards if one is in your budget, but if they aren't, then I would recommend you check out the Alesis boards. I think you will be happier with something like this, versus a Firepod or something like that. For guitar & keyboard guys, the Firepod's and M-audio I/O boxes are great--but for us drummers, I personally think that the firewire boards are better. (Of course if you already have a mixer, that's a different story.)

Check those mixers out--I think you'll be impressed.

TB
Gretsch drums/Zildjian cymbals
Audix drum mics (yeah baby...YEAH!)
Mackie 1640 Onyx in FW mode
Sonar 4.0.4
Mackie Tracktion
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