[LAU] Recording Equipment

Patrick Shirkey pshirkey at boosthardware.com
Mon Nov 3 23:20:36 EST 2008

Sean Darby wrote:
>>> Does the 1010LT already serve as an A/D D/A converter?
>> If you use the analog inputs then alsa or oss will do the conversion for 
>> you. If you use the adat interface then the mixer will do it.
> Let's see if I understand this right...
> 2 mics going into 2 XLR jacks that are part of the 1010LT, which then
> (PCI) goes into the rest of the computer where ALSA/OSS will recognize
> it and process it.
Yes and no. If you want to have good mic quality and control you should 
go through a mixing desk first.

The sound card will convert the analog signal to digital signal and the 
sound drivers will allow you to get access to the digital signal 
generated by the sound card and pipe it into your computer to jack or 
another application that reads the information being handed off by the 
sound driver.

> What are the pros and cons behind using ADAT these days?
> Is it now more common to use either the hard drive for recording or a
> flash drive recorder than ADAT?
> ADATs get pretty expensive pretty fast, if I can leave that out of the
> equation (for now at least) that'll help.

In this case I was referring to the ADAT connectors which allow you to 
transfer digital signals between the mixer and the sound card. You would 
still record to hard disk or external disk or if you have ADAT tapes 
then you can use them too.

>> Most studios require a mixer but many producers do not...
> I plan on making my current music studio (where I teach music lessons) into a make-shift recording studio, though also plan on doing the producing aspects after recording (going in and working with the recordings via the computer).
You should get a mixer. As you are intending to work with mics and 
instruments then it will make your life a lot easier. Also aim for a 
higher quality brand as it really makes a difference. Even a second hand 
Mackie will be better than a new Behringer in most cases so ebay is your 
friend. Personally I would get a Midas if I could afford one.

>>> I'm also looking for a MIDI keyboard, perhaps 88-keys but condensed such
>>> that I can put it on the desk near the computer keyboard and LCD monitor
>>> - intention on the MIDI keyboard is for composing and recording.
> Does anybody have any recommendations or suggestions on MIDI keyboards?

Evolution make/made some reasonable usb keyboards. You should check out 
the local store and see which one has the most features for your 
immediate needs. You might find that a usb midi controller with a few 
keys is better suited rather than a full set of keys. Things to look our 
for are touch sensitivity, size of the knobs, location of the buttons 
etc. There are so many devices on the market that it is best to test a 
few before you buy.

Patrick Shirkey
Boost Hardware Ltd.

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