The Missing Links Home Page

Digital Recording Research

Many of the companies referenced here no longer exist. Unfortunately, some of their website domains have been taken over by advertisers and scammers. Proceed with care on any links. An incognito window is your best bet.

I started updating some of them, but each one requires a manual search and evaluation. That's too much work for a page that gets no traffic.

Assume that all product links are dead. Your time is better spent searching for specific products on Google.

Content updated 11/29/01. This information is obsolete and many of the links are broken. That's just the way the internet is — it changes. I will not be updating the links, but the information is here for you to do your own research.

If you just stumbled on this page, it was put together as a way to organize my notes while tring to decide how to build a home studio. The starting point was a HP brand P4 computer running Windows 2000. There was no choice in the computer - I just got a great deal on it (over 2/3 off) due to an agreement with where I used to work. So the search consists of what to fill it with for both hardware and software. The most limitting factor was the use of W2k.

After the poll, the rest of the page consists of notes from the forum, from manufacturer's product pages and other resources.

Software poll

The following poll was copied as a starting point for my research. I got it from:
Home Recording dot com BBS > General Discussions > Computer Recording and Soundcards > Which software you use to make audio recording.

This link may take you to the current results, I don't know how long it will stay valid.

Which software you use to make audio recording
Pro Tools 13 7.93%
Samplitude 24/96 5 3.05%
Cubase VST/32 29 17.68%
Nuendo 6 3.66%
Cakewalk Pro Audio 24 14.63%
Cool Edit Pro 31 18.90%
Vegas Audio 9 5.49%
n-track 17 10.37%
Sonar 1.0 15 9.15%
Logic audio 15 9.15%
Total: 164 votes 100%

Software notes

Sonar was the final software selection. I might have been able to get by with n-tracks, but didn't like the midi support.

Much of the selection was motivated the upgrade price since I had version 7 of home studio. The upgrade price made it much less than anything else with its capabilities.

It seems to work very well with Win 2k, but there are still a lot of small bugs in version 1.3.0. Stuff that should easily been caught in basic testing. But most of it is in the midi area, and I think they are concentrating on digital audio now.

Hardware notes

Echo isn't ready for W2k. Forget it.
Ego-Sys may be good, 2k ready 24/96k with midi, but support from Korea scares me.
Frontier is betaing WDM W2k drivers, 24/48k, includes midi.
M Audio is W2k & 24/96k. The 1010 includes midi.
MOTU is W2k & 24/48k.
Soundscape is W2k & 20/48k with a 24-bit mixer.

At this point, Midiman/M Audio is the winner in hardware.

The M Audio Delta 1010 was the final hardware selection. I might have been able to get by with the Omni Studio, but the room is already too cluttered, so I wanted a rack mountable product.

Part of the selection was motivated by the great price that Musician's Friend has been advertising. But after I ordered it, the availability date has slipped by one month (according to their web site). They haven't informed me that it will be late -- I know because I was wondering how the order was doing and noticed that it wouldn't be available for a month if you order it now (8/30/01).

Of course this meant that I also need a preamp since the 1010 doesn't have one. As luck would have it the Aphex System's 107 Dual-Channel Tube Mic Pre-amp was on sale for only $199, which is close to what they are going for used. They seem to be very highly rated, although I didn't spend as much time doing preamp research. (see Other Hardware, below)

A few quotes:

Other hardware:

M-Audio DMP2 2 Channel Mic Preamp/Direct Box, $199 at MF.

ST Audio SM PR8 Eight-Channel Mic Pre-Amp - $249 at MF. Rack mount, xlr in front, 1/4" in back.

Audio Buddy Dual Mic Preamp with Phantom Power and Direct Box, $100 at MF, $79.95 at Zounds

Aphex 2-channel Tubessence Thermionic Tube Microphone Preamp $239.

And a couple of cheap adapters:

Cable Up Low Z (XLR F) - Hi Z (QTR M) Transformer - $12.99

XLR (F) - QTR (M) Cable 5 Meters - $8.99

Other Resources

This is just a list of some of the more unusual ones.

Cheat Sheet