Basic home setup advice

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

PDunn
audio school
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:13 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Basic home setup advice

Post by PDunn » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:01 am

After not recording at home for a number of years, I'm finally looking to get something simple setup. I'll mainly be recording acoustic instruments, vocals, electric guitars, and the occasional odds and ends. It'll just be for my solo projects. My computer is a 2015 Macbook Pro with 2.5GHz Intel i7 processor and 16GB DDR3 RAM.

I've almost pulled the trigger on an Apollo Twin MkII Duo w/ Thunderbolt, especially with the current plugin deal they have going on. My main concern is figuring out if I'll run into problems with the Duo in terms of DSP. I can't afford the Quad, so the other option would be looking at a different interface. How can I figure out of the Duo will be enough? Or should I be looking at other, cheaper interfaces anyway?

And as a followup: Reaper vs Pro Tools First? I was going to go with Pro Tools First and upgrade down the line, but I've seen a lot of grumbling about PT First.

kslight
moves faders with mind
Posts: 2533
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: Basic home setup advice

Post by kslight » Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:05 pm

Something to keep in mind with UAD stuff is of course their DSP only powers their plugins...nothing else. I would check out their website and instance chart against whatever plugins you intend to run and determine if a Duo will provide enough DSP for your projected needs. My inclination is that it might be a stretch, but it depends on how you see yourself using it. If you want to look at non UAD interfaces, I'm a big fan of Motu, and always hear good things about RME as well. I'd steer clear of anything like M Audio, etc other real cheap stuff..

I have never tried PT First, because I've been a paid PT user since long before First was a thing. IMHO, there are 3 primary reasons to use Pro Tools today... 1. You're a pro studio running HDX hardware. 2. You need exact compatibility with another Pro Tools system/existing sessions. 3. You're already a Pro Tools wizard.

If none of these are true, and you've never invested in Pro Tools before (either as a previous owner or learned how to use it) my advice would be to look at any DAW except Pro Tools. They are in a funny place right now (you'll notice lots of users aren't real happy with Avid and or Pro Tools these days if you care to dig around, myself included), and there are definitely far less expensive programs that are capable of essentially the same thing for 99% of users out there. Reaper sounds like a good one to try out...you can download demos of more or less any DAW if you want to get a feel for them all. Logic is of course popular on Mac, and a pretty good deal at $200. Reason is a pretty cool approach to the DAW as well, I'm a big fan though I can't use it for everything I do. And there are loads of others to check out too.

PDunn
audio school
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:13 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: Basic home setup advice

Post by PDunn » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:45 pm

Thanks for the input. I definitely have noticed the Pro Tools complaints, so I think I'll take your advice and look at others. I'm intrigued by Reason.

As for the Motu interfaces, where should I start? UltraLite mk4?

kslight
moves faders with mind
Posts: 2533
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: Basic home setup advice

Post by kslight » Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:57 am

PDunn wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:45 pm
Thanks for the input. I definitely have noticed the Pro Tools complaints, so I think I'll take your advice and look at others. I'm intrigued by Reason.

As for the Motu interfaces, where should I start? UltraLite mk4?
I’ve not used the Ultralite (i believe the AVB is the most current one) specifically but I wouldn’t hesitate to buy just about any of their stuff if it was appropriate for my needs. I have a 1248 which I love, though is overkill if you don’t need all that.

User avatar
roscoenyc
george martin
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Basic home setup advice

Post by roscoenyc » Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:40 am

The UA stuff sounds mighty good and you get to use their plugs in record.
Their "Legacy" plugs use a lot less processing power (helpful when you get close or maxed out)
As suggested above you should check out one of their "instances" charts. Thunderbolt gives a Lot more instances. If your laptop is T-bolt 3 that does even more instances.

When selecting a DAW I always urge people to ask their close friends what they are using. Ask people who you might collaborate with or who might be able to help you with some tips when you get stuck.

GeorgeToledo
audio school graduate
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:35 pm

Re: Basic home setup advice

Post by GeorgeToledo » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:13 am

Since you’re on Mac, I would seriously consider investigating Logic. The built in plugins are extremely high quality and are designed to work very efficiently, in many cases adding no latency. There are just so many features loaded in there, especially if you’re coming at it from a songwriting/music creation angle.

You might even fire up GarageBand since you should already have it. I think there is a solid chance a given user might find it to be more full featured than ProTools First.

UA has some great plugins for their platform but some of them take quite a bit of horsepower and the low channel count interfaces can run only a few of some of them. Checking the instances chart as was suggested above is a really good idea for getting a feel.

Nowadays a built in intel processor can do a lot more than when the UA interface platform was first conceived. UA can still be worth it if you really want access to specific plugins, and the interfaces are definitely good sounding.

Companies like Presonus and Zoom are also very legit contenders nowadays in comparison to the scene some years back with having to go “boutique” for decent conversion...with high quality converters that do upsampling, and having been through multiple iterations of their products and the dollars to really hammer on getting them right.
Last edited by GeorgeToledo on Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

GeorgeToledo
audio school graduate
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:35 pm

Re: Basic home setup advice

Post by GeorgeToledo » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:15 am

(Whoops dbl post)

User avatar
digitaldrummer
dead but not forgotten
Posts: 2079
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:51 pm
Location: Austin, Texas
Contact:

Re: Basic home setup advice

Post by digitaldrummer » Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:20 am

I'll just add that I have a UA Apollo 16 interface and by no means does that mean that I use UAD plugins exclusively. Yeah, I use a few when it's the right tool but I use a lot of native plugins in combination... so much that I've never run out of DSP. It's a great sounding interface, but it does not lock you into using only UAD plugins (but it is easy to send them a lot of money if you like their stuff).

PDunn
audio school
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:13 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: Basic home setup advice

Post by PDunn » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:18 pm

Thanks for all the advice. How do the Focusrite Clarrets compare?

User avatar
roscoenyc
george martin
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Basic home setup advice

Post by roscoenyc » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:13 am

PDunn wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:18 pm
Thanks for all the advice. How do the Focusrite Clarrets compare?
They are pretty good for the money.
They don't allow you to add any processing on during recording the way UA does.

User avatar
Nick Sevilla
speech impediment
Posts: 4800
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:34 pm
Location: Los Angeles California USA
Contact:

Re: Basic home setup advice

Post by Nick Sevilla » Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:56 am

Go Reaper. If you find it too much, you can also always install Pro Tools First, and then decide which is better for you.

Stay the hell away from Ableton Live, Reason, etc. Those are more for electronic music, but can be a pain with live acoustic instruments, editing audio, etc. In Reason, you basically cannot edit audio at all. With Ableton they keep getting better but really it is more for looping and other type of things.

Mixing in either one of those is caca, again unless you are doing the kind of music those two were designed to do, EDM / Electronica, and not a lot of acoustic instruments.

Cheers
Realizing vibratory excursions from a paper widget.

User avatar
Recycled_Brains
deaf.
Posts: 1950
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 6:58 pm
Location: Albany, NY
Contact:

Re: Basic home setup advice

Post by Recycled_Brains » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:10 pm

You'll run out of DSP super fast with a duo. I have a Quad and it's often not enough.
Ryan Slowey
Albany, NY

http://maggotbrainny.bandcamp.com

4theboids
audio school
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:03 am
Location: GA
Contact:

Re: Basic home setup advice

Post by 4theboids » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:02 pm

Not sure how involved your productions will be, but FWIW, I'd recommend either Reaper or Cubase, AI good solid DAW's , work well on Mac and Windows both, reasonably priced. The UR22 MK II interface with Cubase has worked very well for me on my recent projects. I also hear that Focusrite interfaces are a good value.

PDunn
audio school
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:13 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: Basic home setup advice

Post by PDunn » Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:40 pm

Thanks for all the advice, everyone.

The next question I'm running into is Thunderbolt vs USB. I'm running a Macbook Pro from 2015, so I can do Thunderbolt, but is it worth the extra cost for such a small setup?

User avatar
roscoenyc
george martin
Posts: 1353
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Basic home setup advice

Post by roscoenyc » Mon Jul 15, 2019 2:23 pm

PDunn wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:40 pm
Thanks for all the advice, everyone.

The next question I'm running into is Thunderbolt vs USB. I'm running a Macbook Pro from 2015, so I can do Thunderbolt, but is it worth the extra cost for such a small setup?
Lotta good info for you here.
https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... best-audio

I believe they have been updating this article.
As with almost anything we do in recording it's more expensive to have to do it twice.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests