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Recording on your PC

Been getting questions on the system I use to record the clips used on the site. Here is a brief run down of my PC recording system.

PC System

Shuttle SK43GShuttle SK43G which I chose due to the small form factor and the quiet operation. Key to quiet operation is a small program called Speed Fan which monitors the temps on various internal components and adjusts the fan speeds accordingly. My processor is a 1.4gHz AMD Athlon and the system has 512mb of ram.

This system contains 2 hard drives, 1 for Windows and my applications and a second strictly for audio and video data. This is key for good performance and maximum number of tracks. Your audio drive should be the fastest drive (RPM's) that you can find. The new Serial ATA (SATA) drives would be perfect for this application.

When building a PC for recording you want as much RAM as possible and large, fast hard drive. When checking hard drive specs focus on sustainable throughput and as large a cache as possible. Also, you will get the best performance if you have a dedicated PC for recording, only connect to a network or the Web if you need to access new drives, etc. I typically buy my stuff from NewEgg.com.

Recording Software

Right now I'm using Cakewalk Pro Audio verion 9 which is about 4 versions behind the latest release which is now called Sonar. The difference between Sonar and Guitar Tracks is Sonar contains a full blown sequencer which allows you to add midi data along with audio tracks. Guitar Tracks only allows for audio tracks, both programs will accomodate audio loops.
Cakewalk Guitar Tracks Pro 3
Cakewalk Guitar Tracks Pro 3

Recording Hardware

I currently have two methods for getting my guitar sounds into the computer.
Method 1 - Direct Input: GuitarPort selected within Cakewalk as a audio input. The signal flows through the GuitarPorts USB cable.
Method 2 - Mic'ed Guitar Amp: PC also has a M-Audio Delta66 sound card which is connected to a M-Audio Audio Buddy mic pre. The Audio Buddy has 2 mic pre's which can be run into 2 seperate inputs on the Delta66. A Sennheiser e609 is used to capture the sound. All the sound clips on this site have been recorded using this method. I also recommed the e609 for live use, review of this mic is available here.
Line 6 GuitarPort RiffTracker
Line 6 GuitarPort
M-Audio Delta 66 Digital Recording System
M-Audio Delta 66 Digital Recording System
Sennheiser E609 Silver Dynamic Guitar Microphone
Sennheiser E609 Silver Dynamic Guitar Mic


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