Recording Computers

It's no secret that computers, much like pretty much every other industry in the universe, have revolutionized the audio recording world. It's also no secret that recording computers will hog up each ounce of power they can.

It seems that every time computers just about conquer the demands of audio recording, a new technology, plugin, or possibility creeps up and forces us all to run out and upgrade to the latest in recording computers.

Not only is hardcore performance an issue, but putting together a reliable, bullet-proof computer recording system requires the selection of recording equipment that spans from the motherboard to the operating system to the audio interface. In short, running out and snagging a nice Dell or HP and buying an audio interface may not exactly deliver the reliability you desire. It may! It may not!

Recording computers have one single performance demand that makes them unique. Speed! Before you role your eyes, let me explain. It's not really going to matter to a hardcore Photoshop graphic designer dude if a process takes 5 milliseconds or 100 milliseconds. He won't notice a difference. However, when your singer hops in front of the vocal mic and hears a 100ms delay on their voice, they will either start laughing or start yelling. You have a problem! This is called latency. Few computer tasks view the issue of latency as critically as music recording.

This issue of latency is the sole cause of most audio recording problems and is why it is so important to select the proper recording computer, operating system, and audio interface. This issue of latency is what causes us to need to specialized soundcards (audio interfaces) with specialized drivers. These specialized drivers are what cause issues with different operating systems running at either 32-bit or 64-bit.

The question often arises whether a person should buy a purpose built recording computer by a manufacturer that specializes in recording. For a person with an adequate budget, this is a great way to go! However, I don't feel this is absolutely required. All that is required is a true understanding of the requirements of computer recording so a person can avoid huge potential pitfalls. I go into great detail on this topic of avoiding computer problems in my premium guide, Killer Home Recording: Put Your Rig Together.

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Recording tips and tricks
Getting Started With Home Recording

Are you new to recording and not exactly sure what gear you need? RecordingReview.com specializes in helping beginners jump into the world of recording. There are about 2,000 traps that can easily waste thousands of hours of your time. Recording Review focuses on giving you the info you need to make the right decisions for you. This is what the Getting Started With Home Recording Guide is all about.

Getting Started With MIDI Production

MIDI production is not just for techno and dance music anymore. The use of MIDI has become an integral part of the recording process in rock, metal, and even country. In fact the only genre's of music that don't utilize MIDI that often are Folk and Bluegrass!

With that said, MIDI can be confusing at first. MIDI brings up a big, new list of definitions to learn and MIDI just seems to play by a different set of rules than convention computer recording. Luckily, I've created the Getting Started With MIDI Sequencing Guide to help you burst through the learning curve and reap the benefits of synths, samples, and MIDI production.

MIDI Production
Steinberg Cubase 4 Studio
Steinberg Cubase 4 Studio
PreSonus FIREPOD Studio Package
PreSonus FIREPOD Studio Package
Waves SSL 4000 Collection Native
Waves SSL 4000 Collection Native
Toontrack DFH Superior Custom and Vintage
Toontrack DFH Superior Custom and Vintage
Propellerhead REASON 4.0 Music Production Software
Propellerhead REASON 4.0 Music Production Software
Neumann TLM-103 Microphone
Neumann TLM-103 Microphone
My Electric Guitar Secret Weapon

For a rock guitar player, there is something about a killer distorted guitar sound that becomes a passion, or maybe even an addition. Of guitar, many beginners in the home recording world have trouble with recording electric guitars. In this member only guide, I'll talk about my secret weapon for recording huge electric guitars.

Electric Guitar
10 Things Every Band Should Know Before Recording

Before any band walks into a recording studio, they had better prepare themselves. There is a lot to learn about the recording process, but taking a few minutes to read this guy could save you thousands of bucks!!

10 Things Every Band Should Know Before Recording is my attempt to get you up to speed on the process of recording extremely quickly! If we can immediately rule out beginner mistakes and make sure you have a clear idea on how the process REALLY works, the odds of your next recording being successful are improved immensely.

Every Band Should Know
Do I Need A High End Mic Preamp?

Don't let peer pressure convince you that you need to dump thousands of dollars into a high end microphone preamp. Let your ears decide! Maybe after listening to this preamp shootout, you can decide if the subtle change in character offered by a preamps is going to be worth the cash.

Take a listen to my Preamp Shootout. With preamps such as API, Great River, Vintech (Neve 1272 clone), Presonus M80, and Mackie 1604 you can listen to the difference between super expensive and super cheap preamps and decide for yourself if you want to drop the cash on a preamp yet or not.

Mic Preamp
Home Recording Soundcard Wizard

The hardest part to choosing the initial gear to get started recording at home is the audio interface / soundcard (same thing). It used to take hours and hours and hours of research to figure out the features you needed. Then it took hours and hours and hours to figure out which brand of audio interface was most reliable. Of course, then, someone would say that X brand is way better than Y brand (which is usually a total lie!). It was a mess!

Now, choosing an audio interface is much simpler. Just go through the Audio Interface Wizard. It'll ask you 10 questions and spit out the audio interfaces that meet your needs in order of price. You immediately know which audio interfaces work for you. Then it's just an issue of choosing the most reliable audio interface that meets your budget. It's easy!

Electric Guitar Microphone Shootout

Do you really need a super high end microphone to get great sounding electric guitars? Here is a shootout I put together with the Royer R121 ribbon microphone, Shure SM 57, Audio Technica AT4033, Sennheiser MD 421, and Soundelux U99.

electric guitar microphone shootout
Home Recording Soundcard Wizard
Find the audio interface for youChoosing an audio interface just got WAY easier!

Home Recording Soundcard Wizard

Latest Recording Blogs
Small Signal Audio Design Book Review
By Brandon Drury on October 13

This week I take a look at the book Small Signal Audio Design by Douglas Self.
7 comments


DIY Bass Trap Adventures: #28328
By Brandon Drury on October 6

I decided to try out the "Galvanized Corner Beading" method for adding strength to individual Roxul pieces. Let's see how the method does for creating bass traps and general broadband absorbers.
24 comments


The Solar Powered Album – Interview With JoshERTW
By Brandon Drury on September 29

I got to sit down with JoshERTW to discuss how he recorded an album entirely on solar power, the NSA, and life in a 3rd world country (Canada).
1 comments


Console Made Obsolete By Cheap MIDI Control Surface
By Brandon Drury on July 14

After I gave up on "magic" with analog consoles, there was still one feature that made analog consoles an absolute necessity. Now that feature can be handled digitally, too. The analog console is dead to me.
33 comments


An Experiment With $0.75 Audio Transformers
By Brandon Drury on July 7

What effect can 5 $0.75, 600-ohm 1:1 transformers have on audio? Let's find out.
37 comments


Boz Digital Labs Snags Another Bulletproof Award With T-Bone!
By Brandon Drury on June 30

I'm so freakin' happy with the Boz Digital Labs T-Bone that I'm giving it my Bulletproof Gear Rating. T-Bone is an absolutely sensational plugin that everyone should check out!
25 comments


FabFilter Pro-C Compressor Review
By Dan Mayes on June 16

Danmasia puts the Fabfilter Pro-C compressor to the tests.
7 comments


New Panipulator 2 – Pan Flipper, Mono, Tool – VST, AU, AAX
By Brandon Drury on May 13

We've got an exciting update to the good ol' Panipulator Pan Flipper, Mono, Phase Flipper. Panipulator 2 is available for 32-bit and 64-bit VST, AU, RTAS, and AAX.
8 comments


Rane MS1b Mic Preamp Review
By Brandon Drury on April 29

Does a straight man collect mic preamps or shoes? I have no idea. I know that I hate the idea of both. I also know that I could record with the Rane MS1b for the rest of my life and not hear a single downside.
22 comments


Recording Reviews

Talking about recording is great. However, one thing the internet world is not so good at when it comes to helping people get better at audio engineering is the overemphasis of words. Without a doubt, the best way to get better at your recordings is have them reviewed by experts, peers, and everyone in between.

So, simply Join Recording Review today and post a new song / mix you are working. We'll give you real world advice to drastically improve your music recordings. I love the Recording Review section because it focuses on EXACTLY what the problems are on your mix. It's common for a beginner to say “I'm not happy with the way my mixes are turning out” and a typical, generic response is “Buy better preamps or better mics!”.

Well, that's a stupid way of solving a problem. There is no use guessing with thousands of dollars in equipment when the problem may be the way you are approaching your mix. Maybe you just need to move your studio monitors? Maybe you are recording substandard musicians? Recording Reviews is the fastest way to improve your recordings!