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
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