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Thread: Need to know which audio-video software to buy

  1. #1

    Default Need to know which audio-video software to buy

    Please give me advice. I've never done any audio or video recording into my computer and I'm about to buy a laptop, software, and a sound card. Here's what I need to do:
    I want to record into the laptop computer a video feed from my camcorder and five tracks of audio in real time. The video feed will be through S-video or firewire. The five tracks of audio will be four unbalanced line level inputs and a microphone, so I'll need a sound card or interface that has four RCA or 1/4" inputs, a microphone input, S-video and/or firewire inputs. Because this a rock band that I'm recording, I want the audio to be the highest quality possible: CD quality or better, so the analog-to-digital audio converters in the software or the interface should be pro quality.
    I need to mix, add EQ, compression & reverb to the individual audio tracks (guitar, bass and stereo drums). Then I want to dub a vocal onto a sixth audio track. I'll plug my microphone direct into the interface, so I would prefer a XLR input on the interface, although I can use an adapter to plug into a mini-jack microphone input if I had to.
    Then I want to capture to the laptop through firewire a second video track that was recorded to mini-DV on a second camcorder from a different angle. Then one from a third angle. Next, I'll edit the three video tracks together.
    Then I want to burn the mixed, edited version to DVD on my laptop or to an external DVD recorder through firewire.
    So the interface should have:
    Four RCA or 1/4" inputs
    One mic. input (pref. XLR)
    One S-video input
    One firewire in/out
    The software should have:
    Pro quality audio mixing and converters
    At least six tracks of audio
    At least three tracks of video
    DVD capabilities
    Finally, I want to spend in the area of $200-300 on the interface or sound card, $300-400 on the software, or $600-700 (or less) on both.
    So, Oh Knowledgeable One, which software and interface/sound card do I get? I found a nice HP laptop that has all the requirements for video editing, but do I want a Mac? Does the video software have to offer all of these audio features, or should I get separate audio and video programs? If so, I have no idea how to get the audio & video to play back in sync or how to make the audio software recognize the audio interface if they're bought separately. And finally, is this do-able for a cost in the area of $700-800 (not counting the laptop)? Please straighten me out. Thanks for your most valued time. - Johnnyboy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005


    I would always recomend a G4 notbook if you are going to consider a laptop for editing but you'' still need software and soundcard.

    As for a pC based system.

    SOFTWARE: I am gonna recommend Vegas, not just because I use it but because it will suit your needs specifically. It's part of the sonic foundry audio family so it's routes lie in sound and it has all the audio capabilities installed. It will do what you want and more eg (live dubbing with a decent sound card. Make sure you get the Vegas + DVD Architect Bundle(so u can make your DVD's). Vegas is also very easy to learn and the interface is clean and clear.

    As for Sound Cards - You'll need a USB soundcard with a breakout box. Something like Digidesigns Mbox
    Am not too sure on the US price but this or something similar will do the job. It may not have as many connections as you are looking for but strictly speaking if you want more than 2 inputs you should get your self a small mixing desk then connect that to the sound card. You can probably pick up a desk on ebay cheaply and it's worth looking for one if you are going to be doing more sound work in future.

    If you want to take tracks from CD's you can use any standard ripping software. Just make sure you rip the trachs as Aiff's or Wav's as these are as near to uncompressed when you select the highest settings . Vegas has it's own "improt from CD" function that brings tracks in at CD quality.

    Hope that helps, ask again if you need more advice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005


    an alternative audio solution:

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