Subject: Re: [ecasound] Deciding on a setup for recording studio
From: Justin Rosander (JustinRosander@msn.com)
Date: Fri Jan 31 2003 - 08:48:56 EET
I would like to advise that when you use multitrack recording software, you
should really be aware of some things:
1. ANY multitrack software is as weak as the system that you are using to
2. There are some workarounds to those weaknesses.
What do I mean by that? Well, first of all you may have a drive that runs
at 5400 RPMs (which is my guess). For recording purposes, this can be a
hindrance if you try to use the machine like a full-blown 52 channel board--
say 50 channels reading and 2 writing. You will have MAJOR problems with
Of course it's not JUST the drives, but most of your headaches can be solved
if you bump up to a faster drive. Of course, part of the problem with IDE
drives, only so much data can be accessed in one second (gosh, I don't know
what the figures are on IDE/ATA 100/133 drives). It has been recommended to
use SCSI drives, as their speeds go as high as 15K RPMs, but those are
horrendously expensive. But you get what you pay for, as they say.
Now I'm looking into setting up a Fibre Channel drive (or two, or three, or
four . . . who knows). You can read about this on
Speeds are similar as SCSI, but the performance is far more powerful. Check
it out. One can invest about $150-$200 to prep your system up for such a
setup. these drives are being sold for peanuts right now on ebay. What is
nice about these drives, is you can set up a drive cluster and have it
parked about 10 kilometers away, link up to it through fibre optic cable,
and you can read and record on it from a remote location and still get that
nice 2G/sec transfer rate with as little as 2ms latency. Nice, huh?
Now what I got in my system is:
600mHz PIII CPU
256 MB RAM/133 bus
30G IDE/133 HDD
Creative Ensoniq PCI 128- ES1373 chipset, AC97 codec (on the board)
Planning on setting up (eventually when I'm rich):
Fibre Channel drive cluster (or just set them up on this server I have that
is now serving as a coffee table--seriously, Janne. It's an upgrade from
being a doorstop)
Alesis reference monitors and amp
RME Hammerfall soundcard
Dual AMD motherboard
the ES1373 is a decent low-price card, as are the 1370 and 1371 models, at
least what I've researched. I'm using a powered 8 channel mixer, feeding
all the inputs into different channels as I need them. I'm running two
phone cords from the L/R sends of the board to my soundcard line input. I
COULD run a couple phone cords from the speaker out jack of the soundcard to
the aux receive jack of the mixer, and use the aux sends for monitor, but I
don't need to yet.
The reason for the above setup is simply for ease-of-use and keeping me from
forgetting gain/fader/eq levels for a certain instrument.
Now for the speakers [heh,heh]. One thing you should understand about
computer speakers . . . most of them are designed to enhance or modify the
sound signal. For audiophiles, this is a good thang. For recording
artists, this is a BAD THANG!!! Why? Because say I record Van Halen's
long-awaited reunion album (if it ever will), and I use the latest and
greatest Kliptsch-Smiptsch Deluxe Surround-Your-Rumble-Roar Speaker system
with a subwoofer for my monitors. Well, there's someone out there that is
not going to have those speakers. How the latest Van Halen hit sounds on my
rumble speakers will not sound the same as on Plain Jane's Generic Computer
Speakers (Soundblaster compatible--joke guys). So what do you have to do???
Get the PLAINEST SOUND THAT YOU CAN GET. That's why companies like Alesis
and JBL sell cool little reference monitors that are about the size of your
computer speakers. These require an amp, of course. These will "reference"
a "flat" or "true" sound that is what will be a standard for almost any
sound system. It will help you get an honest idea of what your mix is
Ecasound is an excellent choice for multichannel recording and even live
signal processing. I'm working on a CD right now, so if you have any
questions, I'll try to answer them as best as I can. Kai is much more
qualified than I am at all this stuff, and I'm sure many other users of
ecasound are as well. But what little I know, I pass on to you . . .
For a mic, I have a Sure KSM27. It is a really nice cardioid condenser mic,
and I highly recommend it. It's a $300 unit, but well worth it. There's
other mics for different applications as well, and you can read about it in
any good sound recording book at the library.
Hope this helps.
----- Original Message -----
Cc: "Alex Heizer" <email@example.com>
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2003 10:18 PM
Subject: [ecasound] Deciding on a setup for recording studio
> Hi: Our group is making decisions about what hardware/software setup we
> want for our network of community-based recording studios.
> It looks like ecasound should be a big part of that. Here's what we
> lowest cost PC hardware
> good quality speakers
> good quality microphone
> This would enable a community-based recording studio to be housed in a
> single computer, enabling high-quality CD's, mp3's, audio/text, graphics
> and images to be output in various formats. Much like a community-based
> media center.
> We have one computer right now that is:
> PIII 550
> 128Mb RAM
> 20GB hard drive
> RH8 media tools
> vnc for remote access
> HP 19" monitor
> Communities can then round up hardware, get RH8 from RH, and add apps,
> and go. What do you think? What else will be needed to complete the
> setup? Any suggestions, recommendations, cautions, guffaws, welcome.
> The idea is to set the initial starting point, and get as many
> communities around the world moving in one direction. Hope to hear from
> some of you experts. Even better, join us, and volunteer support, and
> we'll make sure community leaders know who you are. Can't hurt. And,
> there will be a whole lot of musicians and artists that will be
> enormously grateful for your help.
> You can check us out at the web site below. We are nonprofit. All
> services are free. We are dedicated to replenishing our precious Public
> Tom Poe
> Open Studios
> Reno, NV
> "There is no Public Domain unless we do it ourselves"
> Please go to EFF.org page at http://www.eff.org
> and register for the TAKE ACTION page.
> If you can donate $5 to them, that'll help, too
> To unsubscribe send message 'unsubscribe' in the body of the
> message to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
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