I want to re-vamp my recording process, and my birthday is coming up, so this dream may soon manifest. I want advice on how best to record at home. Here, let me tell you what I'm using, what my problems have been, and then, if you've got a good home recording situation going on yourself, you can let me know what works and what doesn't, too.
I've been using my laptop, a Dell Inspiron 1521, Blood Red and Grey, a pretty cool machine, with a fairly large sweet widescreen, to record digitally, via Sonar 5 Studio Edition, and my Line 6 TonePort UX2. Just guitar and bass tracks, so far. I've got a sweet SM58 mic, and a Fender Fat Strat that's like a big brother to me. I have yet to unlock its true power.
Problems: the laptop can't power it all, and the recordings lag in many annoying ways. Using both Sonar and the TonePort seems to tax it really bad. The laptop gets really hot underneath after only about 15min, which is usually spent tuning my guitar and shaping the sound with TonePort.
Then when I open Sonar, things begin to slow down. You may find this hard to believe, but my biggest problem with recording thus far has been--the metronome. Point is, I simply cannot run a metronome through my computer and expect a solid rate per minute, without lags. This computer is pissing. me. off.
One problem might be--my hard drive is full from the zillions of Lucy pictures and videos I put on there. I'm getting an external hard drive soon, which should clear up some space, which may solve some of the lag problems. We'll see.
If not, I'm totally open to suggestion as to how to rightly get good recordings with a machine that performs well and gives me good sounds.
Megan has a high-performance HP laptop that might do the trick. Still runs Vista, like mine, but has a nearly empty hard drive, and better hardware all around. Cost something like three times what my laptop cost me. If that's the case, my troubles would be over and it wouldn't cost me a thing, which would be the optimal cost for a solid recording solution.
If not, I'm thinking, maybe--go for a mixing board or something? Do I have to buy a Mac?