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Thread Newbie with Roland VM-3100 Pro

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Topic Newbie with Roland VM-3100 Pro
Greetings All!

About 18 months ago I decided to take the leap and attempt to get into home recording.

Against my better judgement, I let myself get talked into buying a Roland VM-3100 Pro (sound card, mixer, and software). This was a mistake.

Honestly, I think operating the Space Shuttle is less compliated than this thing. All I wanted to do was get sound from point A to point B so I could mix it and have some fun. I can sort of get my guitar signal into Acid, and THAT'S ALL I CAN DO. (Seriously, you should see the video and manual that came with this thing, they're truly ridiculous!)

So, here's where I could use some advice. I have a Pentium III 800MHz with 512 MB of ram, Event Project Studio 6 monitors, and an intesnse desire to throw the Roland system off the roof. Is it possible to get a decent mixer and sound card for around $750?

Any recommendations? Thanks in advance for your input!

Sincerely,

cmsquared
Phoenix, Arizona
2
Take a look at Cakewalk Home Studio and a MAudio PCI card. Also take a look at the Behringer mixing consoles.

Cakwalk Home Studio XL 2004- $119.99
MAudio Delta 1010 LT PCI card- $219.99
Behringer UB1202 mixer- $89.99
Behringer PX100 patchbay- $39.99
Assorted cabling- $100

Total cost- $569.96 + tax and shipping

This will give you a home project studio that will allow you to record several tracks at once. If you want to do more than that (like a whole band at once), you will need a more expensive mixer that has direct outs on the channel strips...
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD
3
Thanks for the quick response Mike!

I put my Roland system on Ebay this morning.

Thanks for the detailed response. Where should I buy the stuff you outlined?

Thanks again!

Chris

P.S. Nice website!
4
The prices I quoted were from Musicians Friend, but they're common items. Shop around some and get the best deal.....

Have fun!!
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD
5
Hi again Mike, I have another question.

What exactly does the Behringer PX100 patchbay do and can you give me some insight as to what exactly the assorted cabling I will need.

Obviously I need more hand holding here that I thought. But by not asking these questions last time, I ended up with a system that was simply not a good fit for my needs.

Again, thanks for your assistance!

~Chris
6
The patchbay is is just a bunch of rack mounted connection points. For instance, I have all of my inputs and outputs from my Delta 1010 going to the patchbay, as well as the inputs and outputs of several of my outboard modules and my reference mopnitor inputs. You can hook anything 1/4" up to them- they are very handy for plugging and routing different signal paths. All you do is make the connections on the front of the patch bay with a patch cable. Saves you from having to desk dive with the dust bunnies!!!

If you go with the Delta 1010 LT and the patchbay, you will want a snake to connect the Delta ins and outs to the bay, as well as an assortment of other cables to get all of the other stuff you want to the bay.
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD
7
Thanks Mike!

I'm overthinking and confusing myself.

Are your reference monitors connected as follows?:

MAudio Delta 1010 LT PCI card (line outs) >> patchbay >> monitors ?

Or do you run the line outs from the Delta back through the mixer (which doesn't seem feasible)?

What else are you (or could you) use the line outs from the Delta card for?

To be clear, I'm not using Midi so the only inputs the Delta 1010 is receiving are from my analog signal(s) from the mixer, right? To record guitar for instance, I can go straight into the mixer and add effects later, or mic an amp, or use something like a Pod right?

To record vocals, should the chain look like this?:

mic >> mixer >> patchbay >> Delta Card >> Cakewalk

Pretty easy to see why I was overwhelmed by the Roland system isn't it? Got any books you can recommend on learning the basics of home recording?

You can tell me to get lost at any time!

Thanks Mike!

~Chris
8
I tend to keep my monitors hooked to the main outs on my board. For max flexibility, I would have a board with 2 Aux sends and direct outputs on each channel strip. Say you already had a drum and rhythm track recorded, and you were doing the lead track.

I mix the drum and rhythm track with the software mixer within Cakewalk, and assign the output as a stereo pair to WaveOut 1&2 on the Delta. I patch the WaveOut 1 & 2 into a stereo channel on the hardware mixer. This gives me a hadware fader or knob where I can immediately adjust the overall payback level without having to use a mouse. Now I have the playback rhythm tracks in the monitors. Patch your lead guitar into the mixer, either direct (with a modeler) or mic'd, and set the channel gain for a good signal level, and then the channel fader for a good level with the playback track. To record, you have a choice- you can either run the channel strip direct out into the WaveIn 1 on the Delta and use that as the record source in Cakewalk, or you can hook one of the Aux sends to the WaveIn 1 on the Delta and use the Aux send on the channel strip to control the record level- without changing the mix level of the monitor mix. When recording with a live mic where I don't want the monitors bleeding into the track I'm recording, I just go to the patchbay and unplug my monitor speakers, then use headphones straight off the hardware mixer to monitor while I record the track.

If you are only going to do a track or two at a time, you can save some $$ and just use a mixer that has the Aux sends- the direct outs on the channel strips are needed if you want to record sevderal tracks at once, but not if your only doing a track or two at a time.

Hope this helps.
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD