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Thread Howdy Y'all

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1 Howdy Y'all
Man have I got questions - Been using a TASCAM portaone 4 track forever but want to try to get into the digital world to make a couple of CD's to entertain family and friends and with an eye towards maybe selling a song or two down the road.

I play guitar, bass and a bit of keyboard for some fills - I use a drum machine but would like a file format that would let me collaborate with others by sending them a file that they could add to with drum (or other) tracks

I would like to be able to record vocals with this as well

What I have
A PIII 2.8 GB PC with large SATA drives and a Gig of RAM
A SoundBlaster Live card with the MIDI cable that will hook to my drum machine (Would buy a new card if neccessary)
I have a copy of Cakewalk Home Studio 2002 which I haven't come close to figuring out yet and would replace this if there is something better for under $150
I have (of course) my guitars, electric and acoustic, Mics and a Roland drum machine

I guess my questions are what else do I need and are there any good books that cover PC recording in general or Cakewalk in particular or should I be getting another software package?

Also, what do I need to get my guitars and mics into the computer?

And any other info y'all think a dumb ol' country boy can use to get started (I am a Network Administrator in real life actually so feel free to get technical - I've just never got past using a tape instead of the pc)

And if anyone in the Mesa, AZ area is already doing this and wants to show me their setup and teach me a thing or two it would be much appreciated

Oh yea, last thing - is it possible to get the tracks from my TASCAM into a digital format as seperate tracks?

Thanks in advance folks
Any software you get is going to have a learning curve. I've been a Cakewalk guy for years.

If you get a Behringer mixer (they're pretty cheap- get one with the Subs like the UB 1622 I've got), you can use that as the signal routing nexus for your studio.

Your computer should be enough to get you up and running, although it may choke if you run a lot of effects at once. A set of decent reference monitors would be very helpful, and an M-audio Audiophile 192 soundcard would be good.

You could be up and running a beginning project studio with what you've got, but the stuff I just suggested would run you about about $500-600.
The Axeman (##(===> Cuts From My New Blues CD
Thank you both! Between your posts and reading other questions and answers around the forum, it looks like I came to the right place. I guess I just need to get everything setup and then play with it it and study it. From what I gather, it ain't that hard and there is a lot more possibilities with PC recording

Thanks Again!