What do I need to record music?

So lately i'be been a bit more musical and i've gotten a few things to record it but I still can't get my head around how to do it..


I have a Shure microphone, guitar and bass and I have this Pre-amp https://www.steinberg.net/en/products/audio_interfaces/ci_serie/modelle/ci1.html

My friend gave me Cubase 5 but I just can not get my head around how to use this overly confusing software

Is it like the adobe versions of video and photo editing software where it's intensely advance?

Or is there and easy program I could use?

I've been trying to use it and it always wants me to change my audio drivers, and something to do with ASIO??

Should I also get a sound card for this?


What I want to do:

I want to be able to record, vocals, guitar and bass through my Pre-amp using an easy to use program that has the ability to use a drum machine and have 5-10 thingies (lanes, rows, collums, layers?) for different instruments in the song.


Thanks for any answers I get!

The general setup would be:

Guitar/microphone -> Audio-Interface (with the built in Preamp) -> ASIO-Driver -> Recordingsoftware

ASIO-drivers are just a kind of software, that was developed by Steinberg to produce low latencies (the latency is the time you need to transform the signal (from the mic or the guitar) into a digital signal and vice versa). So go the Website of the Audio-Interface vendor and download the ASIO drivers for your specific Audio-Interface.

After this you would start the recordingsoftware (In this case Cubase 5) and search for some setting-window where you can choose the input-device. After that you have to arm a track (mark it as the one that should be recorded) and declare from which input it should record. (Most probably you can choose between left and right (or 1 and 2))

Then press just record and be happy. :)

VST instruments will be usefull if you want to use drums. There are free ones, but in my opinion the best solution would be something like EZ-Drummer or SuperiorDrummer. But those cost not too less money. KVR is a good place to start your search.

If you want an alternative to Cubase 5, try Reaper ( www.reaper.fm ). It's a program from the winamp-inventor and has a nice way of treating problems. But I fear that it won't be much easier to use than Cubase 5. One just has to work through this stuff. Getting your music to sound good (in a technical, not musical sense) is a whole different story. :D

Hope I could help.

Ok well I opened up cubase this time and it asked to select the device thingy and it worked this time and I chose the Steinnberg Cl1 option. Something i've noticed is that when I use this driver and device (ASIO and CL1 Pre-amp) it only wants to play sound out of the output on the pre-amp, so does this mean I have to plug speakers in there? and if so should i get some of those black and yellow studio speakers?

I have black and yellow studio speakers. But in fact they don't have to look like that and there are many different other vendors that produce good studio monitors (those speakers).

But most certainly you won't need such speakers at the moment. You just have to figure out much other stuff. Therefore you can use what ever you want to listen to your stuff. Studio monitors are needed when it comes to "neutral" mixes, where you want to have a reference of how your music would sound under certain conditions. But room acoustics are at least as important as good speakers, when you talk about this stuff.

Btw. it is correct, that you have to use the audio interface as your output device, since you tell the program to use this device. (Instead of the internal soundcard for example)

Firstly its worth reading this lifehacker article - http://lifehacker.com/5853193/how-can-i-set-up-a-home-recording-studio-on-the-cheap

Getting used to Cubase will take a long time. So youtube the shit out of it. Its well worth getting your head around it as its uber powerful.

Others to look into are Ableton, Cakewalk Sonar (havent used) or Audactiy. Or whatever software came with your audio interface.

Best of luck with your adventures.

Haha yeah I know, I just said those colours coz lots of people have those ones :p

What does a room with proper acoustics do over one without, currently I am in a wooden lockwood room with windows and an oddly shaped roof, would having just a square room with that jaggedy foam on the walls just make it so that you only hear noise that you make?

Also, I was on the Steinberg website and they have their own program for the device specifically called Sequel LE, is this any good? I was looking at some of the videos on their website and it looked quite easy to use.

I don't know anything about Sequel LE (but the LE indicates, that this is a somehow restricted version).

Room acoustics are a science itself. Basically what you want is to reduce "mis-perceptions" while doing decisions with your music. For example: my room is shaped in such a way, that I have a major boost at 100Hz. So it often is the case, that I think that the bass or some guitar is too boomy and therefore tend to reduce this specific region. BUT this leads to a mix where there is always to less bass if you listen to it in a different room that does not respond to this certain frequency.

I would recommend that you don't worry about your room acoustics and your speaker situation. There are much more things that have to be mastered before the quality depends on stuff like this. For example mic-positions, the music itself, handling the programs, learning concepts of mixing, etc.. The trick with "less optimised" equipment (like crappy speakers in a crappy room) is to check the result on many different speakers (maybe in your car, your livingroom, with headphones etc.)

And there is a not to little chance that you forget your music. You always have to remember: good music sounds even good when it is badly recorded. Better quality just adds goodness. Bad music always sounds bad. :D

Ahh I see, I'm guessing it stands for Light Edition or something? it should be fine for me for now anyway :)

WOW! That is actually really bloody interesting! I've always wondered why when I hear a bass drop (in a metal song) why a certain frequency is really loud, and then in my dad's car it's not or when a 50hz part of a bass drop has deeper and a more boomy feel than a 15hz or 20hz one, especially considering the whole time i'm not changing volume and the sub woofer can go that low..

Yeah that sounds like a good idea, checking out how it sounds in other rooms etc.

Yes exactly! The music I plan on recording first has been purposefully recorded in the worst conditions historically, so I don't plan on making it any fancier than it should be for this genre :)

What would you recommend for mic placement etc? I have the Shure SM58 and with it 95% percent of the time I will be screaming (metal music), I've heard that it's a good idea too have the mic closer for low vocals and further away for highs, is there a better way around this, or and easier technique? Sometime I get distracted by moving the mic back and forwards all the time especially when I need to go from a high to a low often.

I can't recommend anything for mic placement, sadly I'm no expert and do nothing else than what I would say to you: Just try things out and listen what is suited best for your needs.

Maybe just omit the microphone and (mis-)use a pair of headphones for your vocals. (like good old varg vikernes did ;) )

Hahaha you already guessed that i'm doing black metal and the very person in my example :p Well thank you for all your help :) It's been great!