Im a non pro electric and accoustic guitarist. I play together with my son on drums and my daughter on digital piano.
Ive had some past digital recording experience going back 10ish years but havent really look at it since then. I would like to setup a basic all digital enviroment for recording our sessions. The only equiptement I have now are a couple of SM58 mics i.e I dont own an analog mixing table or pre amps or anything like that.
What would be a good all digital solution?
Ideally Id like something simple i.e that combines multitrack audio interface with a digital mixer. Do I need a DI box for the guitar? How many inputs do I need? I'm used to using PCs for work so have lots of high power laptops, PC etc around the home. Athough Ive used and loved Protools in a Mac enviroment I dont have a mac or an ipad currently at home. Thanks in advance!

1 Answer 1


Simplest setup…

Some kind of audio interface, 2-in, 2-out - there are a myriad.
I use a Line6 UX2 at home, simple but effective. Has 2 mic in [+phantom, if needed], 2 line in [guitar] & 2 line in [keyboard] of which it can use any 2 at one time, but not all 6 at once. Line out to monitors plus 2x headphones [no separate control room out; that would take you up into the next price bracket]
Built-in mic preamp & guitar amp simulators, saves having to mic up a guitar amp. Not perfect but not at all bad for the money.
This is just the first Google hit of a supplier that stocks a huge swathe of these type of things, from 50 bucks to a grand. - http://www.sweetwater.com/c695--USB_Audio_Interfaces
I'd check out user reviews for anything that catches your eye & fits your wallet.

For recording, Audacity is free, though a bit limited.
I'm a Cubase fan (& have been since it was Pro24 on the Atari ;) but the full blown version is expensive [£450]. There's a cut-down version [£250] & a basic [£80]. I've never used the simpler versions so I'm not quite sure what's missing.

There's a new cut-down free version of Pro Tools coming - Pro Tools | First - details are a little scant at the moment, but might well be worth a look.

Plugins - most apps come with a selection, comps, reverbs, amp sims, drum machine, samplers etc - quality might be a little hit & miss, but would be good enough for starters. You're more likely to find freebies in Cubase's VST format than any other on Windows, so that may be a consideration. I think Audacity can use VST but idk what Pro Tools | First will use.

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