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Thread Setting up home recording with my PC

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1 Setting up home recording with my PC
I've been a musician off and on for the past 8 years, with a couple of friends ofmine from college. We've made some average recordings on a TASCAM 4-Track in the past. We record vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, currently through a Mackie 24-4 Mixing console that then goes to the 4 track.

I now have another PC at home (new Dell with CD-burner), and I am looking for some insight on what upgrades I should be looking for to utilize my PC for recording.

I've managed to record from tape to computer, using the stock SoundBlaster card that came with the machine. From what I can tell, it is pretty limited, as the sound quality isn't too good and it looks like I can only record 60 second increments.

I am pretty sure I will need to upgrade my sound card, and I also wanted some ideas on what direction to go in with regard to software.

Any assistance would be appreciated.
Sounds like you have everything but the correct S/W. I have done the same with my old Pentium 133 PC (Win 95, 64 MB) and a Sound Blaster Live Soundcard. When I started working on this home recording project, the stock windows recording program was limiting me to 60 seconds of record time. Once I installed my multitrack software I was able to do 2 tracks for ten minutes without a memory crash. I have a better PC now and can do more things faster than my old PC, but it did work.

I can copy tracks from my Tascam 2 at a time (as stereo) and then copy them to single tracks, re-mix them, filter them, add effects and so on.

I have read most of the posts in this forum and it seems that most people are using S/W I don't know anything about, I use Cool Edit Pro but from what I gather from the posters here, there is cheaper software out there.

I hope this helps.
Thanks for the feedback.

So you have had some success, even with out a high-end soundcard?

A buddy of mine started using Cubase, which I have a demo of, but it has almost zero instructions and help (hence it is a demo), so I cannot really do anything with it.

When you have a chance, tell me a little more about the Cool Edit Pro MultiTrack software you've got.
Like you, I started out recording with a Tascam 4 track. It was fun, it was creative and I earned a lot. First I mixed down to cassette with the Tascam. But, cassettes are a drag. I wanted be able to put the songs onto CD.

I had a PC with a CD burner, so … as I saw it, it only required me to move the audio tracks onto my PC from the Tascam tapes. This failed at first because the Windows recorder software had a 60 second limit. My kids hooked me up with some other freeware recording software (I can't remember the name) and it solved the 60-second limitation problem. I could record my stereo outputs into my "line in" jack on the Sound Blaster Live (SBL) card and create a "WAV" file.

Someone gave me a unused copy of Cool Edit Pro (CEP) multitrack recording software to try. Once I installed it and did some preliminary tests I was able to record 2 tracks (channel 1 and 2) from the Tascam into the "line in" jack on the SBL card as a stereo file. CEP would allow me to copy each side (left or right) into a separate single track. Now I could transfer all my Tascam work into my PC. This was a large project and I spent many hours making that transfer. However, now I could create a multitrack session with stuff I already recorded. Once I finally got the tracks aligned in time I could add effects, cut and paste lead riffs, filter out noise and pops, adjust volume for specific areas of a track … and best of all …. I could add tracks to songs I thought I would have to record over. That part of my experience lasted about a year, it was good because I learned how to use the software (but only 1 tenth of what it can do). I experimented with many variations until I was so bugged out from mixing and remixing I forgot what it was like to actually play.

Now I can still use my Tascam if I am on the road or away from my PC. I can record with friends, and transfer what was good. I can mix it on the PC and have people over to add tracks, I can even FTP session files from my PC (or put them on CD) to other friends who have the same software and we can build songs and never have to be in the same room together. I love this tech stuff.