Amatuer Recording Help


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Hi all,

I've dabbled in keyboard for years, but finally decided to take the plunge and get a Korg M50. It sounds great, but I have question for those of you who have recorded your own music.

My Korg only outputs in PCG, SNG and MIDI files. For some odd reason there is no WAV. So, when I record a song on an SD card my PC will only play in MIDI format, which as you all know is not the same as it sounds on your keyboard.

What I want to know is can I buy a portable mixer with a built in CD burner and hook up the keyboard to that? Will that allow me to send my music straight to the mixer and burn it to a CD? I would appreciate any steps you all can give me related to how I would hook this up and make it work. I really want to get my music onto my ipod so I can listen to it for mistakes. Hopefully that will help me improve overall. Thanks in advancefor yourhelp.
 
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I actually don't have it connected. What I did was save my created song to an SD card and then put the SD card in a reader that was hooked up to my PC. I have a cable coming in the mail tomorrow that will allow me to hook the two together, but I don't know if that will do any good?

What I've been told is that because my PC doesn't have the Korg Synth engine, it cannot play all the layers of sound that I have recorded. In other words, I'm combining musical notes with drum tracks, ambient sounds, nature sounds etc.

When I play that off my SD card on the PC it sounds like someone hitting a wooden block with a spoon. Most all of my sounds aren't transferring over.
 
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You don't mention what kind of cable. If it's a MIDI cable, then you still won't hear or be able to access the sounds on your computer that are produced by the keyboard.

If you want to record the exact sounds your keyboard creates, then you'll have to feed the audio-out signal from the keyboard to the audio-in on your sound-card. From there you can record it as a WAV file or MP3 or whatever you want.

If you want to play the MIDI files on your computer and record them as WAV or MP3 files, then you'll have to feed the MIDI-out signal from your computer back to your keyboard first with a MIDI cable, using any MIDI editor that also accepts "instrument definition" files (like Cakewalk, Reaper, et.al.) Get the appropriate INS (instrument definition) file for your particular keyboard. Then assign the very same tones you used to create your music to the correct MIDI tracks. When you feed that back into the keyboard, it will recreate the music just like you created it.

Having done that, you can then play the MIDI file on the computer (using MIDI editing software with the appropriate instrument-definition file), feed the MIDI signal into the keyboard with a MIDI cable, then feed the audio-out signal from the keyboard into your sound-card to record the original sound on your computer.
 
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Ok, thanks much for the info! I think the problem I may have though is that my laptop is a Gateway from 2002. I know I probably need to invest in a new PC, but I don't think this cheap thing has decent outputs. That's why I was hoping that a portable mixer with CD burner would be a great solution for me. That way, I could just burn the music onto the CD and then just play the CD in my itunes application.

Do you know if this is a viable option or am I wishing for too simple a solution?
 
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Oh yes, and on the question of the cord I bought: it was a simple USB A/B connector. For whatever reason, the Korg people put a USB type B plug-in on their workstation and it won't accept a USB type A connection. Again, I was looking for a simple solution hoping that a straight USB connection from the workstation to my PC would somehow solve my problem.
 
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That computer is more than you need if it has a decent sound-card in it. You're not worried about the sound-card's audio-OUTput, just that it is fairly noise-free on the audio-input. The resulting WAV or MP3 file that you record will be dependent on whatever other sound-cards that others will be using to listen to those WAV or MP3 files. It will have nothing to do with the output quality of the one you are using. If you are unsure of how clean your sound-card's audio-in feed is, record something through the audio-in to a WAV file, then play it back on someone else's computer with a known-good sound-card.

That USB connection is for MIDI. Don't mistake that for audio. MIDI is pure data (numbers), no sounds. You'll need both, a MIDI connection to accept the data from (or to) the PC during MIDI playback (and/or recording), and the audio-out from keyboard hooked to audio-in on the PC to record the original keyboard sounds. This can't be done with just one cable.
 
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Can someone address my specific question about a portable mixer? Would this solve my problems and make it much easier to record music and put it on a CD?
 
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Hello Saintnowhere. I'm concerned that you're confusing recording MIDI data and audio data - and the technology can be really confusing.

It'll be quickest if you can get someone to show you. You need to record from the audio outs on your Korg. You may not be able to do that with the built in sound card on your Gateway.
 
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And yes to your first post - those standalone recorders are a good option for people who don't want to footer with computers.

You see lots of them second hand - I suspect that most of us are doing our recording on computers.
 
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Hi Goz,

Thanks for the quick response! I think that is why I really wanted to explore the option of connecting my workstation to a portable mixer, play the music into that and them burn it on to the built in CD burner. I really don't want to use my PC for anything other than copying the music from a burned CD to itunes or Windows Media.

So, am I on the right track with the mixer option? If I run a line directly from my workstation to the mixer will that eliminate my need for a PC?
 
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That's terrific, Goz! Thanks again for helping me out. I think I can get a good one for a little over $400.00 bucks.
 
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Hi bluesMatt,

Yes, I am now recording and burning CDS. The reality was my PC was really outdated, so I took the simple route and bought a TASCAM 8 track recorder with built in CD burner and voila!! I can record, burn and put my music into iTunes for easy access. I recommend that approach for noobs like myself.
 
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Saintnowhere,
Good for you. When I first read your post, I thought a standalone unit (no computer) would work best for you. Tascam and BOSS (Roland) both make God units.
 
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And actually, you don't need a 'portable mixer with a CD burner'. A good portable recorder (Tascam has one for under $150 on Amazon) would be fine. You can then transfer the audio files using USB to whatever you like to listen to them.

BTW, with a little checking you may find that the audio subsystem in your Gateway is more than capable of doing the job. Anything 16-bits or better and 44.1 ksps (CD quality) should work fine unless you're doing professional recording. I was shocked to find that my laptop was spec'd at 24 bits and 192 ksps! :)
 
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