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Home Music Studio Advice

Does anyone have any recomendations for setting up a home music studio through your PC? Which programs are easier to use for beginners? or any personal experience with any of the various applications: cake, pro tools, sonar , etc??? All the books Ive found are slightly outdated? and most of the guys at guitar center are not familar. —Thanks

wow nada?

What kind of music?

What instruments will you be using?

What kind of budget are considering for the studio?

How much will you use it?

PC, MAC, or other?

Get the demo of Ableton Live 6. I switched from Logic 5 when Apple bought them and haven’t looked back. Live is an amazingly intuitive but still powerful package. You’d be crazy to buy anything without checking it out first.

Good luck with your new money pit (I mean home studio :wink:

what are you looking to do with the software?

pro tools is good for recording live instruments and doing production work. as its a software / hardware combo it can be quite expensive though.

if your just experiemnting i’d go with something like Cubase SX to start with. you should be able to downlaod a trial / demo off the net.

sound quality can be an issue so having a decent sound card is handy.

my freinds who have full on studios use Logic on the mac (very expensive). you should be able to pick up logic 5.5 for the pc on the net. apple bought them out so logic 5.5 for the pc was the last version ever.

Now HERE’s a cool OT thread!

I personally use Mac and Logic Pro. But I have a lot of experience with PC’s using Cubase / Nuendo as well.

Basically, if you’re familiar w/ PC’s stick with them. Then get your hands on the latest version of Cubase or Nuendo.

Most importantly, get your self set up with some good preamps / converters. Something like the Presonus Firepod or MOTU 896HD. There are better ones available, but for the money these really can’t be beat.

Another important item is good mics. There really is no replacement for a quality mic.

A good out board compressor is beneficial, but VST versions can work in a pinch.

What type of music are you going to record? I assume metal, from your screen name / avatar. What ever info you can provide on that will help in figuring out what else you might need.

Also, with some studio mic’s, a little sound proofing is in order or else you’ll be picking up insect noise from outside - I might be able to help with that if you need.

Mac/Logic user here…biggest thing to consider here is figure out what works for you. there is no formula that works for everyone so finding out what suits you best is half the battle, If you find yourself getting caught up in trying to mimic someone elses set up/style take a step back and ask yourself if it is right for you.

I personally HATE reason but there are people out there that swear by it, different strokes…have fun spending a ton of money, and i would suggest a punching bag so you have something that won’t break when you strike it out of frustration.

I have a Mac / Pro Tools setup and it works great for me. The biggest issue I run into is that I end up spending so much time editing parts, arranging, messing around with effects, that it can SERIOUSLY cut into time I should spend writing songs or actually playing some music.

I agree with everyone that the choice depends on what works for you. Being that I direct-mic a lot of my stuff and will often plug straight in, the M Audio Pro Tools setup is great. It is perfect for guitarists and singer/songwriters, especially when you just want to get an idea down to work on later.

i think the main question is do you plan to do mostly live recording or more electronic software-based music?

a lot of electronic artists tend to favor Ableton Live, Reason, Fruity Loops, etc. and also use a lot of software synths and samplers

more traditional approaches that use lots of live recordings would probably be better suited with programs like Sonar, Cubase, Pro Tools, Logic, etc

of course most of those programs do the same things, it’s just the interface and workflow that differ, so really it’s about finding something that you’re comfortable with

Thanks everyone for the responses. I checked back and it got swarmed. YES!

Basically a few years ago I recorded alott of spoken word with a friend who had a triton computer set up. As I moved away from him. Ive kept writing but not lay down tracks.

Im looking to basically make creative beats (NOT THAT PREPACKed, STOCK beats on like garage band.

Id like to also lace some guitar licks in the on them or over them however thats called.

then Throw down the lyrics on top. ETC. You get the point.

THis is for self creative enjoyment. Not looking to be the next Jedi mind trick. The songs I have recorded I found much satisfaction from listening to MY OWN MADE MUSIC.

My computer is not that fast (lap top. 1.6 mega,1 g memory. celeron M proccessor) I a willing to invest in a desktop but just wanted to play around with something first.

I find most of the programs complicated cause I dont know the rules, language etc.

I figured I needed.
music program?
amp. for voice, quality mic.
maybe midi converter?
plus keyboard with drum pad.

anything much appreciated.

around 1500 dollar budget or close to. TO start anyway!

I didn’t really read through to see what the others had said, but I went to school for recording technology and the easiest program will be ProTools…Logic is fucking rediculous and can do ANYTHING you could ever imagine, but its on difficult SOB to learn. PT on the other hand a monkey could run and it comes with enough bonus software (IE Reason) to be very creative. Hope that helps.

[quote]
I figured I needed.
music program?
amp. for voice, quality mic.
maybe midi converter?
plus keyboard with drum pad.

anything much appreciated.

around 1500 dollar budget or close to. TO start anyway![/quote]

you can get an all-in-one audio interface like this

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Digidesign-Mbox-2-USB-Audio-Interface?sku=240479

it will allow you to record mics and instruments, as well as provide MIDI for keyboards. it also comes wit ProTools LE

then add to that a condenser mic… any of these

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/rec/navigation/condenser-microphones-wireless-live-sound?N=100001+304625&page=1

then finally a keyboard with drum pads… don’t know of any off the top of my head, but there’s so many keyboards to choose from i’m sure you’ll find something you like

You probably don’t need a drum pad since creating/editing drum beats in a sequencer is pretty easy.

As for the keyboard you might want to look into the Novation X-Station:

http://www.novationmusic.com/product.asp?id=1&Type=1&bArchive=False.

It’s a bus-powered USB Keyboard/Controller/MIDI+Audio Interface with a pretty powerful synth engine. It would probably be all the hardware that you’d need to start-off.

Rather than investing a lot in sound modules, more keyboards and samplers, then trend, these days, is to use Soft Synths (software synthesizers). They’re MUCH cheaper and sound very good.

Your laptop is good enough to handle a sequencer plus at least a few soft synths, so you don’t need to upgrade your hardware just yet.

As for the choice of sequencer… Pro Tool is a bitch to learn and it’s pretty expensive (but it’s also very powerful). I know a few people who swear by Ableton Live 6… but it costs about $600… and one of the very biggest names in the business (right up there with protools) is Cubase… Cubase 3SE only costs about $200 (the full version of Cubase 4 is about a grand).

Anyhow, I hope that helped.

Which is it is PROTOOLS easy or hard? one of you say its a bitch and the other says its very easy???

Also which ones give you the best option for making beats?

I was thinking of one of the low end axiom all in one keyboards with drum pads.

What do you guys think of Cake? and Reason?

[quote]Kill’Em All wrote:
Which is it is PROTOOLS easy or hard? one of you say its a bitch and the other says its very easy???

Also which ones give you the best option for making beats?

I was thinking of one of the low end axiom all in one keyboards with drum pads.

What do you guys think of Cake? and Reason?[/quote]

You can make great beats regardless of what program you get. Personally, I use the Mac/Pro Tools set up. I don’t like logic, and I hate Reason.

To put the rumors to rest, pro tools is easy to use if you only use the basic controls. Once you get into things like autonomation and bussing channels, then it gets complicated.

For a simple thing like making beats, pro tools is very easy to pick up. Get pro tools and maybe an M-Box too. I think they just came out with a 5-input M-box, or some kind of multi-input hardware.

If you want to record a whole band though (or even a drum set), you need a mixing board. If it’s just beats, get pro tools and a good keyboard.

Can’t recommend you any software, since I’m a “Linux guy”, but have a look at the hardware I’m using:

http://florin.myip.org/ms/studio.php

[quote]A-Dizz wrote:
Kill’Em All wrote:
Which is it is PROTOOLS easy or hard? one of you say its a bitch and the other says its very easy???

Also which ones give you the best option for making beats?

I was thinking of one of the low end axiom all in one keyboards with drum pads.

What do you guys think of Cake? and Reason?

You can make great beats regardless of what program you get. Personally, I use the Mac/Pro Tools set up. I don’t like logic, and I hate Reason.

To put the rumors to rest, pro tools is easy to use if you only use the basic controls. Once you get into things like autonomation and bussing channels, then it gets complicated.

For a simple thing like making beats, pro tools is very easy to pick up. Get pro tools and maybe an M-Box too. I think they just came out with a 5-input M-box, or some kind of multi-input hardware.

If you want to record a whole band though (or even a drum set), you need a mixing board. If it’s just beats, get pro tools and a good keyboard.[/quote]

Thanks for the advice. How will protools run on windows? xp?
what is an M box? what is autonomination
and bussing channels?

basically i want to make beats (creative, not stock) throw on top of them some guitar licks, or before beats some guitar. and then throw my voice on top of them!

[quote]LowfatMatt wrote:
Now HERE’s a cool OT thread!

I personally use Mac and Logic Pro. But I have a lot of experience with PC’s using Cubase / Nuendo as well.

Basically, if you’re familiar w/ PC’s stick with them. Then get your hands on the latest version of Cubase or Nuendo.

Most importantly, get your self set up with some good preamps / converters. Something like the Presonus Firepod or MOTU 896HD. There are better ones available, but for the money these really can’t be beat.

Another important item is good mics. There really is no replacement for a quality mic.

A good out board compressor is beneficial, but VST versions can work in a pinch.

What type of music are you going to record? I assume metal, from your screen name / avatar. What ever info you can provide on that will help in figuring out what else you might need.[/quote]

what would i need a preamp for?

I use a g5 and ableton with a midi controller and a firewire 410 m-audio to record audio in. It really depends on what you want to do music wise, I make hip-hop beats and produce for different cats so I have enough to get the job done. I have heard cubase is solid and so is acid on the pc tip. The most important thing is learning the program inside and out.

If you want to use a virtual synth go with absynth, or anything of that nature.