Getting Started (a.k.a., Noobie Questions)
I'm not totally new to music production, but I am also not very experienced in actually doing it. I've been to a studio and have seen how things are done. So, I am a semi-experienced noobie.
With that said, I'm wanting to setup a small recording studio, mostly for my own stuff and maybe to expand into controlling recording live performances. I need a little bit of guidance and maybe some education.
The first thing(s) I want to do is to get bass, guitar, drums, and vocals into a mix. I currently have a (junk) FastTrack USB with two inputs. I don't like using it and I'm simply trying to work around its limitations. It is a USB 1.1, so I know things aren't going to be fast. I don't have a preamp, so I'm forced to record at a very low volume and then normalize the track. This at least helps me get something to work with. Also, I'm able to put together a drum loop using one of the apps (Cow-something, I think...I'm not in front of the computer to see...sorry).
Arranging and editing are fairly simple. What I'd like to know is how do I get some of the effects plugins to work properly? For example, I'm using a simple 6-string acoustic guitar. I want to add maybe a chorus, reverb, or distortion effect. I understand that if I add it to the "pre", I will record the effect; and if I add it to the post, I will be able to change the effect without having to re-record the track. Please correct me if I'm wrong about this. I just don't know exactly how to go about routing these things into the different tracks.
I have a long way to go, as I have just started tinkering with the software. I need to get some better hardware, but I am on a very tight budget...especially if I'm just playing around. At some point, I want to be able to record drums, keyboards/piano, bass guitar, rhythm guitar, lead guitar, and up to 4 different vocals at the same time. I know it can be done, but I don't know what hardware interface I need to do it.
One last thing, can anyone recommend some good articles, books, and/or videos on using Ardour and it's various sub-applications and plugins?
I have a modest computer setup using an Intel 2.1+GHz CPU, 512MB RAM (I know I will need much more), and a 40GB HD (I will eventually be using an external HD for serious recording). I have Ubuntu Studio 11 with only the audio tools installed (no video or other stuff...lean install).
Thanks for enduring these standard noobie questions. I promise I'll not blather on next time. :-)