Right, this topic has been covered a bit in other threads, but I'm none the wiser.
We record using cubase and have had some good results, but anytime we've recorded live drums we put them through an external mixer and just record the stereo mix because our soundcard can only record two mono tracks or one stereo at once.
This has resulted in drum recordings that we are invariably not happy with later on, so we really want to multitrack drums.
What is our best relatively cheap option? I've considered a multi-input soundcard, but since we've only got a 450MHz PIII i think this may end in tears; it sometimes has trouble recording one mono track when there are a lot of effected track playing back; although we will be recording drums first so this may not be a problem. Does anyone know of a good soundcard that can record say, 8 tracks simultaneously?
To take the pressure off the computer, some kind of exteranl MIDI controlled multitracker is another option. We'd be looking at second hand and would ideally like 8 track simultaneous record again.
Finally, has anyone got experience of pro tools? As I understand it, the hardware does all the recording and playback freeing up the computer's resources. This sounds rather nice but also seems very pricey.
Any info anyone has on such things would be greatly appreciated.
I may sound like a luddite in mentioning this, but...
What operating system are you running?
I have recorded 4 channels simulataneously on a P200 (not even MMX) with 64Mb, and played back 8 channels, with both Windows 95 and NT.
You should have no trouble at all with a 450MHz PIII.
If you are using Win2000, you're using 3 times the resources just running the operating system.
But that aside, I'll leave the soundcard recommendations to others.
We're using Win98 with cubase 5.1
We only have problems when using a lot of tracks and a lot of effects, and this won't be the case when we're recording drums so hopefully we won't have much trouble at the recording stage.
The problems may arise at the mixing stage, although we could bounce down the drums and just keep the multitrack version separate should we need to change anything; but I'd rather have control over everything at the same time.
I've recorded 8 tracks simultaneously many times with my P3 500. I've always had problems with the Cubase 5s series, and stick to either Cubase 3.7 or the recent SX.
Whilst recording, mute everything you don't need and turn off FX and plugins whenever possible.
From what you say you may just be having issues with Cubase 5......or it may just be a setup Cubase doesn't like.
When i tried to run it on my new system...a P 4
2 gig, I couldn't even record one track without skipping.
There are so many issues involved with it.
I'd advise trying the earlier version of Cubase...3.7.
Mine runs rock solid with Win 98SE.
Mail me if you can't find it. Edited by: Eamonn P Keyes at: 2/18/03 6:38:19 pm
cheers eamonn, we've got a copy of 3.7 somewhere, we might even give cakewalk a try, whatver runs most smoothly.
What multi-input soundcard would you recommend?
To get a little off-topic, how were you going about recording through a mixer down to stereo? What kind of mics / mic positions were you using?
We hired a set of drum mics; I can't remember what make/model they were.
Basically we had a mic on the bass drum, one on the snare, one on the toms, and two overheads for cymbals and hi-hats. Bass, Snare and toms were centred with the overheads panned slightly left and right.
I think. To be honest I can't really remember, but what I've described seems logical to me now.
Positioning can only be decided by experimentation and experience...as much of both as you can get.
You could hire an ADAT to record the drums, and slave Cubase off it using timecode.
Can you do that with a single ADAT machine Eamonn?
ie without the BRC?
A newer model only, which generates Midi Time Code.
The older Blackfaces don't, which is why I had to use a JL Cooper sync box at the time to slave to Cubase.
Worked fine, without any dropouts.
I use the HD24 now, which does generate code.
If you're doing something like that, though, I'd recommend only using 6-7 tracks for drums, with a rough mix of the rest of the band on the other 1-2 tracks,so overdubs can fit into the feel.