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Thread Need advice on putting together home studio

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1 Need advice on putting together home studio

I'm a guitarist and, primarily due to my work schedule, find it really difficult to get together with other musicians to jam and work out licks. I concluded that the only reliable option to do this was to create a home studio where I could jam (albeit digitally) and record.

System: PIII 500Mhz, 512ram, sony r/w/rw, 60Gb IDE drive, soundcard (unknown-from a compaq presario), 100mg iomega zip and cd-rom. 17" dell monitor
Mixing Board: Yamaha MG10/2
Pre-amp: MobilePre USB
audio out: Peavy Studio Pro
software: cakewalk home studio 4.0 & Sonic Foundry 4.0, Nero cd burning--all running on Win XP professional.

I want to record my guitar (Turner RS6), with and without a Boss effects box, as well as vocals (Shure mics). That's the live input. I'd like to use samples, e.g. percussion, bass, keyboard and other sounds, mix it together, save it and burn to cd.

Sounds simple, but it's very confusing for me. I haven't fully gone through the s/w doc's primarily because I can't get the friggin hardware to work yet while I test each stage. Still have MIDI error messages (guess I don't have it....whatever the problem is!). :?

My main objective is to take the lyrics & music that my wife & I write and record them. Secondary objective (interesting development) is to provide "studio time" for others. I've gotten a number of requests from mostly hiphop folks to "rent" my equipment for their own production. I'm not really interested in this now, but, what the heck, might be in the future.

But first, I've got to get the whole config set up correctly!!! Going to the vendors websites proved to be a useless investment of time. They only care about "their" device.

Can anyone provide me some direction and advice?

Thanks in advance,
Looks like you got most the right stuff. What exactly is the midi error, when does it come up, and what other parts do you need help with?
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD
The midi error message seems to generate itself, I suspect, via .dll files (no midi device found) or, perhaps in the software. I'm not sure where the problem lies, but the MobilePre installation overrides all MS settings prior to hooking up the USB cable, then finishes. I'm not sure what effect this has on the PC? In cakewalk, if I try to create a new project, it asks me for the midi input/output. To the best of my knowledge, there is no in/out for midi on the PC. Does MobilePre create a virtual MIDI? Have I done something wrong in the setup?

Overall, I just want to configure all these hardware devices to work together as they are supposed to, using my very rudimentary knowledge of the application sw. I can't seem to do this. I believe it is:
1) a wiring config problem, i.e. which ports from the MobilePre go into the yamaha mixer for recording on the PC?
2) Why doesn't my CD burner sw recognize .acd files?
3) Is there a "reasonably" user friendly way to configure all these devices together?
4) file managment seems all screwed up. I don't know how to structure an NTFS file that can hold plug-ins, VST, all file formats, projects, tracks, etc. It is not intutive at all how to import/fold in tracks from different devices (live instruments, samples, loops from CD's, etc.

I'm lost and feel like I'm digging myself into deeper and deeper technical ratholes that shouldn't be necessary. I'm hoping to find someone who can help me step back, look at the big picture, and give me pointers on how all this equipment and software comes together.

Thanks for your reply and hope to hear from y'all soon......steven
One thing at a time. Let's start simple.

The MobilePre is not a midi device, so the only midi device you're gonna have available is the one associated with your sound card (for now anyway). Maybe not even that, depending on your system. You need to figure out what your soundcard is eventually, tho. I don't know how computer literate you are, but you need to get into Windows and take a look at the audio/multimedia stuff. I'm running XP, and it's under Control Panel>Sounds and Audio Devices>the Audio tab. Down at the bottom is Midi. Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth is the generic one, I think.

BUT- you should be able to fire up Cakewalk without midi. When it prompts you for midi, just cancel. Then let Cake profile your audio card, then you can go where you select your midi devices (under Tools, I think?), and select none, or make sure it's blank. Cake should work without midi.

First, just try to get a basic audio track down. Start a new project. If it asks for mid tell it skip or cancel, or bugger off, or whatever. Plug your guitar into the Channel 1 of the Mobile Pre. On trakc 1 in cake, make sure that your source for the track is Channel 1 of the Mobile Pre. Arm the track for recording. Check you meter levels, hit record.

You won't be using your mixer for this- the Mobile Pre is not designed to use with a mixer. Plug your computer speakers into the line out of the moblie pre where the manual tells you. You will mix from within Cakewalk inthe Faders view.

A couple of points- the Mobile Pre is a USB audio interface with 2 preamps in it. It is designed to take the place of your soundcard AND your mixer. Neither one of those is gonna be a player for now. The Mobile Pre takes the signal from your guitar in through the Mobile Pre(amp) (it is the same electronics as the channel strip of a mixer), sends it to an analog/digital converter section which turns it into data, and then sends the data via USB to the computer. When you playback, the tracks you are playing go out of the computer as data via the USB port, go through a digital/analog converter in the Mobile Pre, and then are routed to the line out jacks on the Mobile Pre.

Worry about midi later. Get the audio thing working first.

Good luck
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD