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Thread No Equipment, Little Knowledge, Wanting to Start

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1 No Equipment, Little Knowledge, Wanting to Start
I'll try not to do #3 in the Read First, so here I go with a mixture of introduction and questions.

I'm new enough that I don't have any recording equipment yet. What I'd like to do is to start very basic and very cost effective (AKA, cheap :)). Most of the posts I've been looking at seem to be from people with some knowledge and some equipment. Maybe I'm not looking in the right place or for the right thing. Maybe there are some book recommendations that I haven't searched for yet. Maybe all I need is some cheap DI box (specific recommendations if so) to plug into my sound card and some software (something like Audacity?). As I get to know more about what I'm doing, then of course I'll want to progress, but for now, I'm looking for easy and cheap.

Music I want to do: Right now, I play bass in a praise band on Sundays, so I'll say Contemporary Christian, some Rock (I like the bass line for Pink Floyd's "Money", and enjoy the Rush vintage of music), and eventually some Jazz.

Tracks or Band recording? I just would like to lay down individual tracks. One at a time is fine. If I'm not being clear, I'd like to create a track by playing along with another recorded track or tracks.

What I'll do with the recordings: Just stuff for home, playing around mostly for personal enjoyment playing along side my son and daughter. No one outside of the home will probably ever hear it, unless it's grandma.

Instruments I'll be using: I have an electric bass and will soon have an electric guitar. I may have a keyboard that only has a headphone output before I get anything with a line out or MIDI interface. Eventually, I would like to be able to mic up a saxophone and violin, but that would be sometime later. I probably will be able to get my cousin to create drum tracks, but I don't know what he currently is using and not sure how he would deliver it (I'm in the states and he's down under, so I can't go to his house). I know he has some elaborate setup.

My current PC is:
[uli]2.2 GHz Dell Desktop running XP with 256 MB RAM and plenty of hard drive[/uli]
[uli]Sound Card (Soundblaster Audigy?) w/ Firewire[/uli]
[uli]USB 2.0[/uli]
[uli]CD/DVD writer[/uli]

I currently have:
[uli]Sony Acid Music Studio v5.0 that I've used a small amount, but I assume that there may be a lot to it that I don't know about yet.[/uli]
[uli]Electric Bass.[/uli]
[uli]A TASCAM CD-BT1mkII Portable CD Bass Trainer[/uli]

Can I use the headphone output of the TASCAM to put directly into my sound card using Audacity?
Is something like the M-Audio Blem Fast Track USB Computer Recording Interface something that I can plug anything into and get a track?

I'm glad to be here and thanks for any input anyone can give.
Phontom power is generally no problem for those items that don't use it. The way it's wired, those items that don't use it (like a Sure SM58 or a D/I box) just don't see it.
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD
Something that I was thinking about today, and maybe I should have posted this to the Recording forum, but do I need to be careful with the UB802's phantom power when hooking up my bass? I don't know if it's that big of deal or not to run 48V through my Fender pickups, but it concerns me. I know I can use one of the stereo chanels instead, but I'd like to know about the phantom (since the Phantom knows...).
Plug the Aux Send off the Behringer into the Line In on the sound card. Plug the bass into a channel on the mixer. Hook your speakers to the Main outs on the mixer. Take the Line Out from the soundcard and run it into a stereo channel on the mixer.

Use the fader on the bass channel and the fader on the stereo channel to creat your monitor mix through your speakers. Use the Aux Send to control the record level to your sound card independant of your monitor mix.

Happy tracking.
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD
Just an update: I went ahead and purchased the UB802 and got it today. Here's what I did:

[uli]Plugged the UB802 in to my aux input of my sound card (using the tape out RCA plugs into the 1/8" sound card input)[/uli]
[uli]Plugged my bass (passive) directly into the LINE IN[/uli]
[uli]Messed with some of my PC sound card stuff (muting the output and unmuting the line in)[/uli]
[uli]Used my Acid Music Studio 5.0 for recording software[/uli]
[uli]Started to record bass stuff[/uli]

The sound wasn't studio quality, but it worked, and that's what I wanted. The UB802 is a nice little box. I've just got to get some adapter cables made up for some of the other things I want to plug into it and learn to get the best sound I can with what I got.

Thanks for your help, Axeman. You'll probably be hearing more questions later.

Snethej is just a user name that I've had for years and I'm used to it. Doesn't mean much. :/

Thanks for the tips! Those look like they'll be able to fit into my budget in the not-to-distant future. And they sound really simple to start with.

Welcome, Snethej!! (what the heck does that mean, anyway?? :P)

Cheap tracks for fun- got it!

For openers, I'd probably get a small mixer (Behringer makes the UB802 for around $50). I'd try to use your soundcard and see how it goes. You're a little skinny on memory, but if you don't want to use a bunch of software effects or software synths you should be ok.

Plug your instruments and mics into the mixer, and run the line outputs to your speakers. Use the Aux send of the mixer to send the instrument signal to the line in on your soundcard. Send the line out of your soundcard to a stereo channel on the mixer.

For software, I'd try Cakewalk Home Studio. I use Home Studio 2 XL, and I love it. Sonar Home Studio 4 is about $99.

That shoud get you up and running a really basic setup for about $150. If your sound card doesn't cut it, let us know and we can recommend others. Eventually, you'll need a mic and some reference monitors, too.

But that's for later..... :cool:
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD