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Thread: Beginner setup

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Question Beginner setup

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    Hi I'm about to start buying the stuff on my list for a home studio (XXS studio lol) I just want to make sure, is this enough/necessary?

    -A DAW like SonarX2 essentials or FL Studio 10 Fruity
    -The cheapest keyboard I can find at futureshop, some Casio blahblah for $119 THIS IS IMPORTANT! what should I look for in a keyboard?
    -a box to plug int the keyboard-I actually don't quite understand this but I know it's a box that allows me to plug in a few hardware "work surfaces" to the comp...?
    -I already have headphones, I don't want to spen money buying speakers for now

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    West Mids
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    I'd recommend FL Studio to be honest. The majority of people who use it tend to stick with it due to the fact it's so diverse in terms of what you can produce.

    In terms of keyboards, it depends how much you want to get from it. There are some keyboards which have 2x8 samplers built in and pitch bend and stuff. However I stick to a simple 25 key plug and play. Cable wise, the likelihood is that any hardware you buy will come complete with the appropriate connecting cable (providing its built for computer use!).

    And good call on not buying speakers, I have them but I always produce through headphones, you get a much fuller sound. If I were you I wouldn't worry about buying speakers at all, if anything, upgrade your headphones!

    Start off basic, and build your studio up, don't go with the 'all gear, no idea' approach!
    - signalfire

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    helsinki, finland
    Thanked 312 Times in 286 Posts
    I respectfully disagree about not buying monitors, and usually refer to this article. That said, I do agree that if you can't afford a decent monitoring setup, there's not much point getting a pair of "monitors" that are probably gonna be glorified computer speakers with a "studio monitor" sticker on them. Monitors are essential, imo, but taking common sense in the equation...not all monitors are going to be automatically a better solution than cans. And headphones are definitely a good solution for beatmaking in general, just not for intricate mixing tasks.

    As for the keyboard situation - or rather the "box to plug in keyboards" (ie. audio interface): most MIDI controllers (keyboards & other control surfaces that don't produce sound but just control other sources, like plugin instruments) nowadays just use USB, so you don't necessarily need that "box". However, when you want to hook up monitors and possible other external sound sources and give yourself a better latency performance, you'll probably want to look into these. Lots of options from the very cheap to the very expensive, and it's not gonna be clear from the get-go why this box costs $50 and that other one with a superficially similar configuration is $2000, but these will become more obvious when you gather some experience with working with at least some equipment; one can read everything there is to audio production, but only practical hands-on experience will bring actual enlightenment, so to say.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Thanked 54 Times in 29 Posts
    As long as your keyboard is midi capable its not a big deal what keyboard you get but I do highly recommend a controller with usb connectivity. Something like an Oxygen 25 is a great starter keyboard. As for headphones all headphones are not equal and headphones you use to listen on for pleasure might work against you when creating but for now anything will probably work for you. I highly recommend getting studio monitors when you have the budget for them. For DAW choice that is really up to you every DAW has its ups and downs and everyone pretty much picks based on taste. Right now I use Ableton Live 8, Propellerhead reason 6.5, and Native Instruments Maschine MK 2 in my setup. None is better than the other for me and I use each tool depending on the situation. maschine isn't really a DAW but it can totally be an all in one creative solution until its time to mix. Reason is a very good all in one solution. Ableton Live is very good but a bit heavy on cpu and I am not sure that I like the direction they are taking with Live 9 but that's another discussion. My point is there are no bad choices out there when it comes to DAWs. Use whatever you want.

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