HOW TO BUILD YOUR HOME STUDIO

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J3D
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Re: HOW TO BUILD YOUR HOME STUDIO

Post by J3D » Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:32 pm

disORIENTATION wrote:Stupid question but with a desk, if I move the volume slider on the desk, will that change relating volume inside the sequencer on the PC aswell?

yes providing you have the setting correct it will change the volume and eq , mute solo and so on
but it would not change the mixer in the sequencer only the mix output of the mixer would change

some digital mixers can intergrate with the software to change both parameters
but everyone always says you loose a great amount of warmth and clarity using digital consoles

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Re: HOW TO BUILD YOUR HOME STUDIO

Post by Soundbwoy » Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:29 pm

Wax wrote:ok good calls from everyone so far,
was thinking of breaking it down a bit more tho,from a very basic point to running a full studio,ie monitors & soundcard right up to full blown hardware n things.
almost like a begainers guide.

ie logical expansion from a small studio upwards,sound card,monitors,then the next things to buy etc......

personally for my im quite interested in effects units and a mixer at the min.also what about compressors ?? or would you all stick to software nodays seeing as its generally free or cheaper than actual hardware ? ive kinda got the hardware bug at the min mind lol !!

I really like the benefit of both, I bounce things down that cant be saved etc and most of the newer hardware like the virus etc saves patches in the memory so no probs. For me the benefits is the sound, listen to a track from 93/94/95 in particular and its not lo-fi with that low bit grunge (although some people go for that too!) but very warm and punchy and nice sounding. This is what im aiming for now with my tracks and its mainly down to a desk and an akai! I still do a lot of processing and the main mix down in the box but use the hardware to process sounds and give my tunes a touch of that analogue warmth as i find digital music a bit clinical.
Fx wise i use mainly software but i picked up an ultrafex which everyman and his dog had in the mid 90's and im very happy with it. The next fx units i will be getting will be a preamp rack for vocals and i am after the fx boards for the akai so might go for a 3200xl instead, dunno yet.....
Desks are good for a final mixdown or running things a bit hot for some nice distortion.

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Re: HOW TO BUILD YOUR HOME STUDIO

Post by Dj bennie D » Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:29 pm

Image

After some cheap studio monitors these are good pair to go for

Alesis M1 Active 520's got mine for 119.99 from http://www.whybuynew.co.uk

Bi-amplified 75 watt system that powers a 5" woofer and 1" silk dome tweeter to reproduce a frequency range of 56-20,000 Hz and the speakers also feature advanced tone controls for room compensation, bass boost and cut & treble boost and cut. Inputs are via either balanced XLR or 1/4" jack. :)

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Re: HOW TO BUILD YOUR HOME STUDIO

Post by stuchapman » Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:29 am

Good idea for a thread this... will deffo be picking up some hardware in the coming months when I finally move over to Australia and get my studio setup.

First things on the agenda for me are some Active Monitors (Deffo won't be Truths haha), and a decent Firewire/USB Audio interface (likely to be M-Audio).

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Re: HOW TO BUILD YOUR HOME STUDIO

Post by gameboy » Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:13 am

StuChapman wrote:First things on the agenda for me are some Active Monitors (Deffo won't be Truths haha), and a decent Firewire/USB Audio interface (likely to be M-Audio).
If I would buy actives now, I would go for Dynaudio BM5A/6A ... price ranging from 500-900e/piece not pair.
http://www.prorec.com/Articles/tabid/10 ... fault.aspx (I got Tannoy Reveal Actives, not disappointed with them though, had Alesis Active M1mk2s before and these beat them 5-0 ... but after I heard BM6A in action ... i was sold.)

For soundcard: If you can cope with 4ins/4outs get 2nd hand Delta66. Breakoutbox is something you just love.

Been looking this to replace my Delta66 as I need more ins: http://www.thomann.de/gb/mark_of_the_un ... tu_828.htm and maybe getting this one to extend it: http://www.thomann.de/gb/behringer_ultr ... da8000.htm

About midiboxes: Emagic Unitor8/AMT8 are safe bets but this one is OK also: http://www.thomann.de/gb/mark_of_the_un ... ss_128.htm and 50% of the price which Emagic units costed new.

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Re: HOW TO BUILD YOUR HOME STUDIO

Post by xybo » Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:58 am

And try not to use dj-mixers in the middle. For soundcard i would recommend RME, its awesome. And for monitors either Dynaudio or Mackie.

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Re: HOW TO BUILD YOUR HOME STUDIO

Post by stuchapman » Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:25 am

gameboy wrote:
StuChapman wrote:First things on the agenda for me are some Active Monitors (Deffo won't be Truths haha), and a decent Firewire/USB Audio interface (likely to be M-Audio).
If I would buy actives now, I would go for Dynaudio BM5A/6A ... price ranging from 500-900e/piece not pair.
http://www.prorec.com/Articles/tabid/10 ... fault.aspx (I got Tannoy Reveal Actives, not disappointed with them though, had Alesis Active M1mk2s before and these beat them 5-0 ... but after I heard BM6A in action ... i was sold.)

For soundcard: If you can cope with 4ins/4outs get 2nd hand Delta66. Breakoutbox is something you just love.

Been looking this to replace my Delta66 as I need more ins: http://www.thomann.de/gb/mark_of_the_un ... tu_828.htm and maybe getting this one to extend it: http://www.thomann.de/gb/behringer_ultr ... da8000.htm

About midiboxes: Emagic Unitor8/AMT8 are safe bets but this one is OK also: http://www.thomann.de/gb/mark_of_the_un ... ss_128.htm and 50% of the price which Emagic units costed new.
I've heard the Alesis M1mk2's and they weren't too bad, miles better than the Truths, and I recently borrowed a pair of M-Audio monitors (can't remember which model now) and they weren't bad either... but not as good as the Alesis.
I've had the KRK KP8's recommended to me by a few people, as have the genelecs (which are proper pricey lol) so I ain't sure 100% which I'm gonna go for. I reckon the best bet will be for me to go down to a showroom with a couple of tunes on CD which I know inside out, and play them on whichever pairs of monitors I'm looking at buying to see which I prefer overall.

Not even sure which audio interface to go for, so I might hit you up for some advice Niko, nearer the time I come to start parting with some cash!! I'm gonna need a 49 key midi controller too, sod them 2 octave things lol

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Re: HOW TO BUILD YOUR HOME STUDIO

Post by J3D » Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:49 pm

ive never heard Bass before untill i bought a pair of Mackie HR824 MKI's Wow do those puppies boom

had the alesis monitor M1mk2s before hand and they are total crap heardley any sub bass at all
and there total ear fatiguers i suppose there ok for your decks though

but i cant quote them new alesis ones as ive not heard them

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Re: HOW TO BUILD YOUR HOME STUDIO

Post by fannypad » Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:52 pm

gameboy wrote: About midiboxes: Emagic Unitor8/AMT8 are safe bets but this one is OK also: http://www.thomann.de/gb/mark_of_the_un ... ss_128.htm and 50% of the price which Emagic units costed new.
I've got a MOTU MTP AV http://www.soundslive.co.uk/product.asp?id=851

...and it's one of the most useful bits of kit I've bought. Instant patch change from the front panel, no need to have a computer connected. So good to be able to instantly switch between PC/Amiga sequencing, isolate single connections for sysex dumps etc, and the multiple MIDI merge is a godsend. Well recommended.

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Re: HOW TO BUILD YOUR HOME STUDIO

Post by crugga » Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:53 pm

If your using all software ive got an Emu 0404 which is more than suitable, personally prefer the sound to M audio and the drivers were better to install. 2 ins 2 outs + digitial if you want that all good for £50. Monitors I use Tapco s8 which I really like, there active monitors so you can come straight out the pc/mixer, these are made by Mackie and to the best of my knowledge are made in china not usa hence the price difference. Controller keyboard doesnt matter unless your a serious player. I just use it for keying in bass sounds etc so the cheapest 1 on the market which I found to be an Alesis will work fine. Another handy addition was a usb deck, it is literally that, plug it in install and it shows in soundforge, I bought this initially so I could do soundclips for ebay auctions but its come in handy for sampling as it saves all the hassle of plugging up decks and stuff, these are generally all pretty crap decks but can be got for under £100, mines a Kam bdx900usb, would never be able to mix on it but it serves its purpose and certainly well worth the investment. Bits ive had and sold. Access Virus c, filthy device with lots of knobs, very trancey sounding, Emu extreme lead module - Very easy to use, loads of leads samples inc some obvious ones. Akai s3000 is quality, very clean sounding and awesome, can pick up for peanuts now but you will need a scsi drive. Mackie desks are great for the money and widely regarded industry sounding so you will get the same sort of sounds from distorting them as you here on many current tunes. Cant remember what else.

My biggest bit of advice would be to buy things 1 at a time, dont just go to a shop and spend £5k on stuff you dont even understand, get a good pc, soundcard, monitors, mixer, controller keyboard and build from there. Thats from experience, weve wasted loads of money over the years on stuff that looked nice and now ive finally got a set up im happy enough with.

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Re: HOW TO BUILD YOUR HOME STUDIO

Post by Brainstormer » Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:28 am

Acoustics! it's not just about how good your monitors & amps are if your room has poor acoustics. A cubed room is the worst acoustically, but you can get around a bad room with acoustic treatment and getting the room EQ sorted; a Behringer Ultracurve, and a mic with flat EQ response is good for testing the room acoustics, then correcting the EQ accordingly to counter balance any standing waves / room modes, essentially for live use, but can be used in a studio, it's a good mastering tool as well if you are into hardware.

The point has been raised about space, I had a load of analogue hardware a few years ago, it's nice to look at but practically, it's too bulky unless you have heaps of space. Recently I've been doing my entire productions using Logic on a MacBook Pro, this has basically everything I need, and much easier to start up when I want to chuck an idea at it. I'm still selling the last few analogue bits, I'm meeting Ed from DMX Crew this weekend, he's buying my KMS30 sync box (used for syncing TB303s to MIDI). I have no interest going back to analogue hardware, that's where I started in the late 80s, I've done it and would rather move with the times now.

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Re: HOW TO BUILD YOUR HOME STUDIO

Post by xybo » Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:26 am

There seems to be 2 different movements. Oddly many people are moving back to analog from the VST-world. Just because of the sound. And older peole who are fed up with the old analogues they had.

If you are just starting i would say go VST-world, with good soundcard (super essential, dont buy any cheap card) and monitors (dont buy too fancy monitors unless you have good acoustics and space for them). If you have a lot of hardware, try the software-side before selling all your lovely gear. Ive seen lot of people buying their gear back or just stopping making music anymore.

-- xybo

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Re: HOW TO BUILD YOUR HOME STUDIO

Post by jamie » Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:01 pm

Interesting thread...good to hear what other people are using.

I'm stuck in the middle with my set up - haven't got 100% software or 100% hardware.

In terms of sofware I'm running Cubase and Reason. I do find also that I may make a tune purely in Reason, or sometimes a combination of Reason rewired with Cubase.

Monitors: I have Tapco S8s and I am really happy with them. Having heard Mackie's in a studio, I wanted them but couldn't afford them. I bought the S8s and cannot fault them.

Desk: I'm running an 'old skool' Fostex 12 channel desk which does me.

Hardware synths:
Roland JD-800 - I'm using this as a master keyboard and a synth for pads, string and the odd lead. Love the sound and the overall hands on control. One output goes to my mixer.

Korg O5 R/W - When I started producing, I wanted the Jack Smooth and basement sounds from my tracks. I have this 1/2 rack synth and it has some good sounds but I'd like to swap it for an 01R/W or a wavestation (drop me a PM if you have one for sale or would like to swap it). One mono output goes to my mixer.

Sampler: Akai S6000. Although I haven't used it to it's full potential, I am amazed by the amount of power this thing has. With the PC software controlling it I use it just like a soft synth, and it leaves my PC free for soft synths and sequencing - 8 out of the 16 outputs go into my mixer.

That's a quick overview of my setup!

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Re: HOW TO BUILD YOUR HOME STUDIO

Post by oldskoolforever » Sun May 11, 2008 11:31 am

looks like i'm finally getting round to starting my setup with a view to making current UK hardcore, maybe some old skool if i get time.

I've got some bits of hardware already from ages ago (Bass station etc). When i used Cubase on the Atari, it was horrible.... felt like i spent so much time setting up levels and never got round to making any music at all.

This time i'm going for a more music based approach where i want to fanny about on the fly, but record something if it comes out ok. So, i'm considering possibly either Fruity Loops for my PC or i may shell out and get a Mac and Logic.

Couple things i'm not sure about which may help me make my mind up..

1) I don't have a great soundcard on my PC, can i just by an Audio USB Interface which has MIDI built in, i.e. something like this : http://www.dv247.com/invt/22462/ will that do the job ok ?

Also, i'd be looking to buy a controller keyboard to play the sounds from my existing bass station etc. etc. , will i need an additional MIDI hub to cope with it, as i remember last time i had a horrible daisy chain thing going on from my keyboard to MC303 to Akai S950 and so on...

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Re: HOW TO BUILD YOUR HOME STUDIO

Post by Benski » Mon May 12, 2008 9:48 pm

(alright Wax! ;)

Image

i was one of those guys who bought back most of their old gear after spending 5 years with software... main synths: Juno, Nord Lead and JD990, over the years I've had one of just about everything tho, so I've come back to it now knowing what I get on with...
it's all a good learning experience though... every sequencer/synth you learn and get comfortable with can teach you different ways to think about music... always been a big fan of trackers... just recently switched over to using a W30 for sequencing as it gets me playing the keyboard more (basically!) and gives me tighter MIDI timing than the PC... a bit more labourious tho, no loop function!

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