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Topic: Newbie question concerning system setup

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  1. #1

    Question Newbie question concerning system setup

    Feel free to chuckle/laugh out loud when you see my questions- they must seem terrribly simple.

    I want to set up my PC to compose/sequence music. So far so good. I've researched several software packages, etc. I think I know how it should all work but I feel like I'm missing some pieces of the puzzle. The part I'm still lost on is the vocal recording. Do you record the vocals in through the sound card to be sampled as part of the sequencer? Plus, once a song is sequenced, what do you do next? OK, what I mean is, do you save it as some kind of file format (mp3?) to transfer to a recording system, say at a studio or down to your CD-R, or do you simply play the song out (of your sound card) into recording equipment?

    I hope to eventually afford/buy the following:

    Software:
    GigaStudio
    Finale 2004
    Garritan Personal Orchestra
    Any other recommendations?

    Hardware:
    P4 3.0+GHz
    1-2GB RAM
    Large hard drive(s)
    WIN XP PRO
    Big question for me here is sound card. Thought of just using something like SB Audigy SZ Platinum Pro but have considered Delta 1010.
    Any other suggestions?

    I have a MIDI keyboard that I'll use as the MIDI controller for the PC sequencer but not sure of the MIDI card vs. sound card w/midi (same thing?)

    Anyone with the patience to answer a newbie be thanked!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    305

    Re: Newbie question concerning system setup

    Quote Originally Posted by shelfos
    Feel free to chuckle/laugh out loud when you see my questions- they must seem terrribly simple.

    I want to set up my PC to compose/sequence music. So far so good. I've researched several software packages, etc. I think I know how it should all work but I feel like I'm missing some pieces of the puzzle. The part I'm still lost on is the vocal recording. Do you record the vocals in through the sound card to be sampled as part of the sequencer? Plus, once a song is sequenced, what do you do next? OK, what I mean is, do you save it as some kind of file format (mp3?) to transfer to a recording system, say at a studio or down to your CD-R, or do you simply play the song out (of your sound card) into recording equipment?

    I hope to eventually afford/buy the following:

    Software:
    GigaStudio
    Finale 2004
    Garritan Personal Orchestra
    Any other recommendations?

    Hardware:
    P4 3.0+GHz
    1-2GB RAM
    Large hard drive(s)
    WIN XP PRO
    Big question for me here is sound card. Thought of just using something like SB Audigy SZ Platinum Pro but have considered Delta 1010.
    Any other suggestions?

    I have a MIDI keyboard that I'll use as the MIDI controller for the PC sequencer but not sure of the MIDI card vs. sound card w/midi (same thing?)

    Anyone with the patience to answer a newbie be thanked!



    On your software list I dont see a sequencer listed unless you're planning to use the little Cubase program that comes bundled with GPO.

    A sequencer will record audio (electric instruments, microphones, etc) to an audio track and will also "record", or sequence, the input of MIDI notes. There is a world of difference between "audio" and "MIDI".

    Yeah, you record audio through the sound card but not MIDI. MIDI is not a recording of sound but the "recording" of a sequence of notes: MIDI info is input into your sequencer only as data such as note on, note off, velocity, etc. When you play that sequence back, then that data can trigger a sound module, a software synth, GigaStudio and any number of both hardware and software based sound generators. You can then render that sequence to an audio track if you wish.
    Hope that helps.
    Jim

  3. #3

    Re: Newbie question concerning system setup

    Thank you Jim, that helps.

    I do understand the difference between MIDI and audio. After reading your reply I'm thinking I just don't understand what computer-based sequencers are capable of.

    For example, this is how I am CURRENTLY doing things:
    1.) Create sequences on my keyboard
    2.) Record these sequences down to my Akai 4-track recorder
    3.) Record vocals down to my Akai 4-track recorder
    4.) Mixing, blah, blah, etc.

    So when I think of recording vocals (at least how I am doing it now) I don't think of recording them to my sequencer (keyboard). But from your reply it sounds like some of the computer-based sequencers also allow you to record audio to them? If that is correct then that answers my original question. In other words, I thought maybe I needed some other audio-recording software in addition to the sequencer-software. Any more insights?

    -Sheldon

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    305

    Re: Newbie question concerning system setup

    Quote Originally Posted by shelfos
    Thank you Jim, that helps.

    I do understand the difference between MIDI and audio. After reading your reply I'm thinking I just don't understand what computer-based sequencers are capable of.

    For example, this is how I am CURRENTLY doing things:
    1.) Create sequences on my keyboard
    2.) Record these sequences down to my Akai 4-track recorder
    3.) Record vocals down to my Akai 4-track recorder
    4.) Mixing, blah, blah, etc.

    So when I think of recording vocals (at least how I am doing it now) I don't think of recording them to my sequencer (keyboard). But from your reply it sounds like some of the computer-based sequencers also allow you to record audio to them? If that is correct then that answers my original question. In other words, I thought maybe I needed some other audio-recording software in addition to the sequencer-software. Any more insights?

    -Sheldon


    You would need a sound card if you dont have one. Doesn't the sequencer you're using have audio tracks that can be enabled? Which program do you use?

    Jim

  5. #5

    Arrow Re: Newbie question concerning system setup

    Jim,

    I am using the Ensoniq ASR-10 keyboard. It does allow audio tracks, but I've never really used them - mainly because it's much easier just to record down to my Akai 4-track. It doesn't surprise me that the PC sequencer programs allow audio tracks, just didn't know that they did. I am torn with the options available but here's what I am considering:

    PC w/ Delta 1010 soundcard, Cubase or Sonar3
    -OR-
    MAC w/ RME Hammerfal soundcard, Logic

    Still researching the possibilities, which are many, so any input is helpful .

    Thanks.

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