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Thread A Very Newbie!

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1 A Very Newbie!
Hi, I have never recorded to my computer before, would like to start but don't have a clue what I should be buying.

I have an electronic piano (Technics PR602) which has midi out, from which I want to record stuff to a computer software recording studio which will record seperate tracks, change instruments/sounds etc. I also would like to mess around with sampling (taking samples from the garden, smashing bricks etc) and incorporate them into the music.
I also want to record vocals to it's own track too.

I only have on board sound so I am presuming I need a sound card (I am again presuming the on-board won't be good enough, particularly for recording vocals) Do I need anything else? does the microphone plug directly into the soundcard?

I have been told that I can connect the piano using midi out and then into the game port of the sound card .... sound good?

What software would be good? I have heard cubase or cakewalk are good but again, not a clue!!

Hope some one takes pity on a clueless woman!
2

Quote:
I only have on board sound so I am presuming I need a sound card (I am again presuming the on-board won't be good enough, particularly for recording vocals)



Depends, could be good enough to start and experiment. A Soundcard, that ist really better in sound/performance as a good onboard may be about EUR/USD 200,-. Try to get a good card 2nd Hand, i have a Terratec EWX build 2000 and i am very pleased with it.

Quote:
Do I need anything else? does the microphone plug directly into the soundcard?



you'll need a small mixer at minimum. phonic/behringer 6 tracks are good for about EUR/USD 130,-

Quote:
I have been told that I can connect the piano using midi out and then into the game port of the sound card .... sound good?



Yes, this works. You'll need an adapter for that. search one in Computerstores - much cheaper than in Musicstores.

Quote:
What software would be good? I have heard cubase or cakewalk are good but again, not a clue!!



I work on LINUX - Once you are used to it (takes more or less the same time/effort as to learn Win32/MacOS to do more than listening to MP3-files ;-) )
You get a Vareiety of great Audiosoftware absolutely legally for free:
http://rpm.nyvalls.se/sound9.2.html

I use Rosegarden and Muse to record MIDI, both can record Audio als but ARDOUR will be better for that once it will be out in a stable Version (hope for in the coming 2 Months).
There are fantastic, very good working Softsynths like ZynaddSubFX and a cool Soundfontbuilder called SWAMI, that can be used to build samples of throwing bricks into instruments ;-)

good Luck
3
Zett's answers are all right on.

If you're working in a PC environment, Cakewalk make a couple of home studio type programs, and there are also FASofts NTrack and PG Music's Power Tracks, both of which are also very low cost.
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD
4
Thanks very much guys :D will see how I get on armed with my new info!