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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello.

First off I have no idea about any of this stuff and although I've read a few posts I'm not sure if it's relevant to me so apologies if this has been asked before.

I'm looking for something that can record both my guitar (Several tracks) and bass via my Kemper amp into my PC. I have no preference if it's hardware or software.

It will need to have drums built in or able to accept a drum machine but preferably built in as I only have a Zoom G3X currently and the drums on that are not programmable to my knowledge.

Second, I don't need a proffesional set up as this will just be me recording everything into my Windows PC so preferably not too expensive. I don't have a budget as such but I would prefer to keep the cost as low as possible.

Third, ease of use. I don't really want to spend months learning how to use it I just want to plug in my guitars, record tracks and mix them a bit.

Lastly is there anything else I would need depending on whether it's hardware or software?

I have a Kemper Powerrack and a Sound blaster Z soundcard. Would I require additional interfaces between the amp and PC or am I good to go?

Many Thanks.
 

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reaper for a daw (license is about 60 usd but its fully functional with just a nag screen)...unfamiliar with your soundcard but if an interface is needed i'd recommend the focusrite scarlett...decent preamps at about 150 bucks (less if you watch for a sale)...d.m.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you.

I've just come across Music Maker Plus Edition that is on sale until May 31st at $49.99 down from $109.99. Would you still recommend Reaper at $60 over this?

Also is the Focusrite Scarlett the 2i2 Usb version?

Thanks again.
 

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unfamiliar with music maker...reason i recommend reaper is that its free to try and is easily the equivalent of protools in case you decide to expand once you start recording...its easy to use and the learning curve isnt bad but it also includes all sorts of interesting things like a piano roll for programming drums etc, and quite a few free plugins like good compressor, eq, etc...

yes the scarlett is usb...i started with one but actually went backwards to use a saffire firewire as the mic preamps were a little better/warmer lol...but the scarlett was great for the money...d.m.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you diablomozart.

I'll download the free Reaper and plug my Kemper directly into the sound card and see how it sounds if it's bad I'll look at that Focusrite scarlett.

Thanks again.
 

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I agree on Reaper + Scarlet USB interface, that's a great setup!

I played with Reaper for the full 60 day trial period, learning about it via YouTube videos along he way - very impressed with this software, especially for the super low cost! I suppose you can keep using it for free indefinitely but I paid for a license after the 60-day trial as I like to keep my stuff legit and really want to help support future development. Added bonus, once you pay for it, there is no nag screen delay (several minutes) when the program starts.

Same impression with the Focusrite Scarlet USB interface - nicely constructed, very solid, high quality, easy-to-use, and a bargain price. I bought the "2i2" model but I think the "Solo" product would have suited my purposes just as well for a bit less money.

Couple of other recommendations: Get a decent set of reference headphones and monitors. You can spend a lot of money here but don't have to. I have an economy setup with AKG K44 headphones and Mackie CR3 self-powered monitors and very happy with it. One tip, if you get reference monitors, make sure they have the ability to accept "balanced line" output from the Scarlet and use the correct type of cable - this make a huge difference!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Reaper & Scarlett it is then.

I have some AKG K712 reference headphones and I'll look into monitors another time.

Thank you for the suggestions.
 

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if you feel somewhat spendy for monitors i can recommend the presonus eris 8...8" assures you really hear the bass in your mixes getting you away from bass heavy mixdowns (regular stereo speakers enhance the bass)...my monitors may very well be the most expensive thing in my studio setup but very worth it...d.m.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, I'll keep those in mind.

I'm definitely going to get one of those Focusrite Scarletts.

I was looking at the Solo (2nd Gen) and I'm wondering how it connects to the Kemper and then the PC?

The Kemper ( https://www.kemper-amps.com/download/71/Kemper-Profiler-Brochure-2015-in-English ) has a few connections on the back and I would assume I would use the Main Output left & right and plug those into the Scarlett but where?

The Scarlett has left & right outputs on the back as well which I assume are for monitors and the front has one microphone and one guitar input, so do I choose either left or right and use a single cable to the Scarlett solo's instrument socket or do I need to buy the 2i2 for both left & right connections?

Thanks.
 

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if you wanna go stereo then you need the 2i2...for mono the solo is fine...the outputs on the back are for the monitor speakers...also on the scarlett, keep the input knobs low and bring them up until the leds around the knob are steady green...you do not want red as you are overloading the mic pres and will get digital distortion...i used to record analog and had to adjust to digital, in digital try for a peak at -6 decibels in reaper for cleanest signal to noise ratio...

coupla things to remember...your monitor may give you some noise so make sure you have a noise gate (electric guitar pickups love other sources of electricity lol)...running direct may alleviate the problem but i am unsure as i always mic my cabs

also...any serious questions about reaper can be answered in the ****os forums...the programmer himself frequents the forums as well when he has time (his name is justin)...d.m.
 

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I suggest having a look at this tutorial from Kemper:


Looks like a pretty good run-down on all of the recording possibilities. If your Sound Blaster card does S/PDIF (and that works for you) you might be good to go right now.

Here's another one with more details about S/PDIF recording:

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you those videos are very helpful.

Monitors have been mentioned a few times, do I need them and a microphone or can I just plug my guitar into the Kemper, Kemper to audio interface then audio interface to PC?

As I mentioned in my first post I have no idea on any of this stuff yet but should I choose the stereo 2i2 over the mono Solo? All I plan to do is plug in a single guitar, play a few tracks, rhythm, lead e.t.c unplug the guitar and plug in my bass and add that track.

Thanks again everyone for all your help.
 

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I think you've got it right...

Guitar --> Kemper --> Audio Interface --> PC

Where Audio Interface could be :
(1) a Focusrite Scarlet (or other brand) USB (or Firewire) interface connected to PC
or (2) a sound card installed into the PC

For S/PDIF connections I believe there is one more cable that goes from the S/PDIF device back to the Kemper (check the 2nd video).

There is no requirement for a microphone but I know lots of people like to record from their Amp's Speaker to capture a particular sound. I'd keep it simple for starters and just plug in direct to the audio interface. Looks like the Kemper is built to do that well.

One thing I noticed in the first video is the ability to simultaneously capture a "dry" signal (only guitar output) plus the "wet" signal (guitar plus any amp/effects from the Kemper) into two separate channels. With the resulting dry channel, you could later apply different digital effects using VST plugins with Reaper (or any other DAW for that matter). That would make the Scarlet 2i2 a better choice over the Scarlet Solo since it can accept 2 inputs.

That looks like a great amp with all kinds of capabilities!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
2i2 it is.

I think I'm getting the idea now thanks to you guys and as a bonus I believe Focusrite, once you register give you some good plug-ins and new ones every month.

Thank you so much guys, really appreciated.
 

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Monitors have been mentioned a few times, do I need them and a microphone or can I just plug my guitar into the Kemper, Kemper to audio interface then audio interface to PC?
You'll need monitors or headphones to hear what you are recording and for playback, computer speakers won't cut it.
 

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just to chime in again...mixing on computer speakers usually results in a flat, lifeless mix as they (and stereo speakers) basically "lie" to your ears by enhancing certain frequencies...a good set of flat response studio monitors will allow you to hear exactly what's going on in your mix, what needs more/less volume, eq etc...resulting in a better mix (with practice) and a more full sounding mix when played through normal speakers...d.m.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you. I will be getting some monitors but I think the headphones will suffice for now while I learn what I'm doing with Reaper. A new guitar (RG370AHMZ-BMT) and the 2i2 is enough expense this month. Thanks again guys.
 

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Let me throw in some alternatives:

I suggest Cubase Elements for the DAW. I have no experience with Reaper, but the Elements Version of Cubase is cheap (less than 100 bucks) and Cubase is an industry standard, like pro tools.
For the studio monitors I suggest the Neumann KH120. They have the flattest frequency response, sound fantastic, are indestructible and absolutely unrivaled in the price range.
 
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