Help me blow a couple grand on production stuff

neddez

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#1
Hey all,

Bit of a noob really. Decided I wanna get into production and I've got cash to spend. Right now, all I have is an average computer so I'm needing a sound card, monitors, a MIDI controller and all that.

For monitors I'm looking at the Mackie HR624 MK2s (624s cuz it's a small room).

If anyone more knowledgable than me could give some pointers it'd be lovely.

So I'm happy to spend £2-3k, perhaps more.

Thanks!
 

Innovine

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#2
It's probably a good idea to list what kind of drum n bass you want to produce, as well as how you might like working. Workflow is really important, without getting that right you'll be forever struggling to get your ideas across.

If you want to sound like everyone else, just do what everyone else does and get ableton or fruity loops, ni massive and the vengeance sample cds. Add a midi controller with buttons and knobs. If you have some money then hardware is often a good investment, a second-hand virus synth, some guitar distortion pedals, a good mic and a used mackie mixer will give you loads of fun toys to play with. Personally I think its a lot more fun with hardware, than pictures of hardware on my computer. YMMV. Most used gear holds its value pretty well so you can get rid of it for much the same as you pay for it.
 

3YEZ

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#3
Should you not start producing before you spend that kind of money? Or learn the basics first before jumping right in there, before even considering learning extra things like MIDI controllers. If you already do then disregard. I don't think you need all the fancy stuff yet esp for beginner. Though, you could definitely benefit from a good soundcard to start.

Anyway, I'm a noob myself. I don't really have any "decent" equipment at all but I can tell you the one thing I'm really missing at the moment is a really good pair of headphones and a midi keyboard (a small one that doesn't take up too much space).
 
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#4
Yeah, you can produce all software. Maybe you'll need a sound card...I have an M-Audio Delta 1010 that I got for $160 on eBay two years ago - that was one pissed Canadian...

Anyhoo, I'm a cheap skate and built my own computer, have a 20 year old mixer, 30 year old monitors, etc, etc.

I have analog synths, filters, (and alesis 3630, w00t!) and can honestly say that that's some of the only hardware worth getting and that you really really do not need it at all.

For very little money you can have yourself a lightning fast PC - I have AMD Phenom X2, but the Intels are definitely the winners right now, at twice the price. For sound, check the Delta 1010LT. The different plug types could come in handy.

For the love of god don't get a goddamn mac.
 

Innovine

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#5
I have analog synths, filters, (and alesis 3630, w00t!) and can honestly say that that's some of the only hardware worth getting and that you really really do not need it at all.
Yeah you dont need hardware, but its quite nice to have, so if you actually want to put some money in then I totally recommend a hardware synth, like a second hand virus B or C.
 

Labrat

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honestly dude, ive been producing for 5 years on $300 AUS logitek speakers, my mixdowns arnt shit. Good monitors will probably not help if you cant produce. Spend maybe 400-800 on monitors cause you wont benefit from anything better. If you know how a good mixdown sounds on your speakers you can mix your tune properly. Obviously down the line or once your a pro or whatever sure, but theyres no point in getting 2000$ speakers.

if you want deep bass get a analog synth, you only need a monophonic synth probably, get a sampler (software or hardware), learn them inside out and then think about a studio set up cause you dont yet know how your workflow is going to go. Im 20 and ive been through about 4 drum machines and multiple synths etc.. wasted so much money but ive learnt a shit load about the process of making music. learn what you have cause they have endless potential. Money cant buy ideas but good gear can inspire.
unless your rich then go all out and youll be swamped with everything.
remember dnb is probably one of the hardest genres to make, thats why im probably attracted to it, give it a few years to learn everything.
Spend a good few hundred on Good drum samples to work with also otherwise scour the net for samples then go through them to find the hits worth using.
or better yet start with reason and learn how to synthesise and sample then once youve grown out of it think bigger.
my 2 cents
 

neddez

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Innovine: Don't really have a specific 'sub-genre' that I'm super keen on, but I like what Break does. Does workflow mean the order I like to follow to make a track? If so, it's hard to say as I haven't finished many of the projects I've started. But is workflow related to what stuff I buy?

As of now, I'm using FL Studio 9, NI Massive & Absynth 5 and a couple Vengance sample CDs. I like what you said about sounding the same and I am aware of the popularity of what I'm currently using. Is there a well recommended MIDI controller?

3YEZ: Yeah, I've been producing on and off for about a year on a shitty laptop with average headphones. I first decided I needed monitors because I can't hear much sub bass on my headphones. I decided on a MIDI controller because I find it difficult to come up with a pad melody or whatever on a typing keyboard. Is there a soundcard you'd recommend?

Lucider: I will be building a custom PC as well. Not really sure what I'm doing though. Any websites I can learn off of?

Labrat: For a deep bass synth is there one you'd recommend? What about a Virus one? Could you elaborate/link me on how workflow relates to the physical studio set up?

Thanks everyone.
 

mr meh

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#8
Powerful PC - £1000
KRK Rokit 8's - £500
Ableton Suite - £500
Komplete 7 - £400
Some plug-ins, chair & desk - £600

total £3000
 

Innovine

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#9
It's good to see someone budgeting for the chair!!! It's so overlooked!!!! It's the MOST USED EQUIPMENT in virtually all studios :)

Regarding synths and the virus and hardware and so on, it's important to realise that you quickly get into pointless debates about the merits of hardware vs software. You'll find yourself on one side or the other eventually. Ask yourself, are you a playable musical instrument person (piano, guitar, drums etc), or are you a computer engineering/programming type person? I do enough of the latter at work, so when it comes to music i want it as hands on as possible, which means hardware for me. The limitations that the hardware impose actually make me more creative. I think software is too flexible, and does too much, and I end up spending time configuring and tweaking and doing tiny little edits and tweaks and getting annoyed with how something is implemented etc etc

For me, the process of creating music is just as important as the music that is created. So I value anything that I think is fun to tinker and play with, and twiddling with hardware just gives me orgasms.

Dropping a bunch of money on a synth is a commitment of sorts. You can get away as a total cheapskate by downloading cracked soft synths, but when you drop cash on hardware you generally tend to want to get something for that cash, and so you end up putting a lot more time and effort into understanding and really pushing what it can do. Getting cracked software for free, in other words, can mean that you do not value it. Easy come easy go. You can easily get caught up in searching for the perfect synth, and just download hundreds and hundreds of things. Sticking to one is great advice (hardware or software) but its a hell of a lot easier to stick with one hardware synth than a software one.

Personally I wouldnt bother with Komplete. Its too big and general purpose. Just get a cracked copy and use the money to get a second hand synth instead. Play with both for a few months and then sell the synth. You'll then be in a good position to decide what to do next.
 
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Labrat

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yeah hardware is a whole other world. I make my drum n bass and all that but i also have some drum machines and synths that i jam with when i cant be bothered with over producing everything and just want to vibe. its expensive and midi and din sync suck but worth it in the end. I just bought a roland mc 202 :) cant wait to jam out with the beast.
look into analog vs digital and make your mind up. but id highly recomend learning synthesis before you buy a synth cause they are all suited for different studios.
 
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#14
If u have a couple of grand to spend, I wouldn't look into getting hardware synths, mixers etc just yet, especially if you are using fl. I would personally say that the two most important pieces of equipment in your studio is your computer and monitors. It's no good producing on a computer that is slow and not up to the job. I would spend the majority of the money on a computer and the rest on a decent pair of monitors and soundcard. Then you can save later for any other hardware, midi controllers etc as you can make do without all of that especially in fl
 
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#15
after a few years of being pissed off with pc's i would get a mac, logic, sound card, yes you could buy a sound card for a 100 quid, but y spend all this money on a set up to have a low cost sound card, ive learned over the years with no matter what you buy you always pay for quality!!! also the obvious moniters, desk,
 

motion audio

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yes you could buy a sound card for a 100 quid, but y spend all this money on a set up to have a low cost sound card, ive learned over the years with no matter what you buy you always pay for quality!!!
This. Chains only as strong as the weakest link and all that...

Cables are important too. So many people spend thousands on monitors, interfaces, and a mac so powerful it could put a goat on the moon, and then waste it all away by linking it together with shoe laces. Happens far to much.

Depending on what you want to do, I'd steer clear of using a mixing desk, quite pricey for something that will be up to scratch with the rest of your signal path.
 

lostnthesound

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#17
With a couple grand, I'd go:

1. Apple MacBook Pro 13" i5 (you can go bigger with respect to processor or monitor size, but honestly, the i5 is perfect and you can use the thunderbolt port to connect an external monitor).
2. Upgrade ram from 4GB to 8GB (only $60 from owc)
2. Logic 9 Pro
3. Apogee Duet 2
4. KRK RKT 6" or 8"
5. Novation SL 25 (or whatever key range you'd like)
6. Native Instruments Massiv

Just my .02.
 

neddez

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#18
Thanks for all the responses so far, but I'm curious:

Many of you seem to prefer a mac over a PC... what are your reasons for this?

Thanks a lot.
 

motion audio

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Thanks for all the responses so far, but I'm curious:

Many of you seem to prefer a mac over a PC... what are your reasons for this?

Thanks a lot.
Personal preference pretty much these days. Some people go mac because they want Logic, which isnt available on windows. But all in all, its just what you prefer using.
 

Innovine

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#20
Cos OSX is a lot less annoying than windows. All those shitty things that pop up, like annoying reminders of upgrades and windows security terrorist messages reminding you that norton is out of date.. none of that on OSX. On the other hand, Mac hardware is rather average, but very expensive compared to pc parts.


The only thing better than a hardware vs software debate, is OSX vs Windows
 
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