Some help on equipment..

Discussion in 'Production' started by ReeceO, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. ReeceO

    ReeceO Hair Dye Addict!

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    Hey guys.
    I'm starting to get into production. Most probably dnb & dubstep. I'm gonna need some help with it equipment wise, I hear people talking about sets of monitors, few people mentioning MIDI keyboard etc.

    Anyone be kind enough to help out with a list on what I'm going to need to get. :D I'm not worried on prices I have money. Just dont forget not something to amazing and not something to simple since I want a bit of a challenge but I am a beginner of course :rolleyes:
    Thanks!
    Reece
     
  2. msmith222

    msmith222 redbeard

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    1. powerful computer with lots of RAM. i use a macbook pro running snow leopard. if you were to use a PC i would recommend windows 7 (but i haven't used it - just avoid vista). RAM should be 4GB if possible. i know there are people that are successful with way less than that, but if you have money it solves a lot of headaches.

    2. DAW such as logic, reason, pro tools, etc. i use logic express, which is affordable and not too overwhelming, and has a super easy interface. it also comes with a lot of...

    3. software instruments (often come with the DAW, you can add more later). there are lots of plugins (software instruments) out there, you'll have to research it.

    4. audio interface - further swallowing the apple pill, i like apogee. the apogee ONE is a good interface to start with, and it has a good built-in mic, which is handy.

    5. decent monitors - mackie hr824. f*** i can't wait to get a pair of those...

    6. decent headphones - all i have are the sony mdr v700 dj ones, so i can't really tell you what is good here. look for an open back design for studio, closed back for dj work.

    7. good samples/samplebank- this will be your biggest challenge, it will take years to build a good samplebank. mine is pretty decent and it took me 3-4 years.

    8. MOST IMPORTANT PART - back up hard drive that you USE EVERY SINGLE DAY. it blows my mind how many people overlook this...

    you can add a million bits to your studio from here, but this list would more than get you rolling. also, there's a lot of smart guys on this forum so keep a lookout for other posts likely to have good info.
     
  3. msmith222

    msmith222 redbeard

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    just saw another post, looks like you might have already heard about #8...
     
  4. motion audio

    motion audio Active Member

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    Some fairly decent monitors are definately worth it, dont have to be top of the range as the quality of sound will also depend on where your putting them, do a search when it comes to looking at which ones you want, theres a fair few threads with people discussing monitors.

    You dont need a great deal to get started, especialy if your going for a DAW based setup, litteraly a computer with your choice of software and a pair of monitors will set you up nicely.

    MIDI keyboards are great bits of kit, simple idea but it makes such a difference when programing sounds, playing about with ideas for tunes etc. M-Audio are a good one to look at if its just for light studio use, good features and well priced, although I'd personaly want something a bit more solid if your planning on carting it about for live shows etc.

    The key to it is to build up slowly for what you want, that way you'll get a setup that your 100% familiar with and is easy for you to use.

    A few other pointers: As much RAM as your computer can take/you can afford (providing the computers already a good enough spec to run what you want) as audio programs tend to munch through it very quickly. GOOD QUALITY cables to connect everything, too many people spend loads on equipment and link it together with thin and useless cables.

    Few bits of software to look at if your not sure,

    Cubase
    Logic (mac only)
    Pro Tools
    Ableton Live
    Reason (no support for audio or vst's, but can be run alongside a DAW like Cubase, ProTools etc)

    I'm sure other people will tell you more!
     
  5. motion audio

    motion audio Active Member

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    This is well worth taking notice off, loosing hours/days/weeks/any amount of time of your hard work is not a nice feeling.

    When I'm working on a tune, the only thing on my computer is the files for what I'm working on, and the samples im using (and obviously program files).

    All my old/unfinished projects hide away on an external drive thats switched off while Im working.
     
  6. ReeceO

    ReeceO Hair Dye Addict!

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    I have a good enough laptop to use for it anyway since it's fairly new. I have a PC which would be good enough just need a new sound card for it. I got 3GB Ram in both anyway. Unfortunately I run vista since it came on the laptop anyway but I'm thinking of swapping to 7 / Back to XP.

    I have Reason 4, FL Studio 8. Someone gave me a copy of Ableton live if that helps?

    I'll have a look for plugins/instruments then to use, just download and install in the DAW I guess?

    I'll check out Apogee ONE and hopefully it's not only mac compatible.

    If you know any other cheaper suggestions for monitors for now which I can grab a better pair at a later date, I'll have a look around myself and post up my finds if no-one has suggestions :D

    I have a pair of headphones I use with my decks/mixer so I'll look for an open back design pair.

    Well I better start building as soon as then :D
    And yeah I already got a HDD so it shouldn't be a problem backing up anyway :)
     
  7. ReeceO

    ReeceO Hair Dye Addict!

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    It will all be setup in a bedroom along my with decks/mixer so I don't mind what monitors really.

    I'll take a look around at some of those keyboards then and take my time choosing and if I need help I'll post up :D

    I have good enough setups on my computers to be running everything needed so unless I feel a little sluggish I won't need to update anything at the moment.
    Good quality cables is a must I've realised that recently if anyone has any brands they find good or had a good experience with then a little help would be appreciated :D
    Yeah I can imagine the painful sensation of losing all that work and time spent down the drain lol. Never good.

    What kind of folders am I gonna need to setup on my HDD's then?
    The actual project file of the tune, samples and what else ?
     
  8. msmith222

    msmith222 redbeard

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    depends on your DAW. logic saves everything (and i mean everything!) into the project folder it creates for each track. i would hope that since we are in 2009 most DAWs will do the same thing, so it should be easy....
     
  9. motion audio

    motion audio Active Member

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    Yea most DAW's ive used will keep everything fairy organised for you. Pro Tools has got an auto backup option where it saves another project file in a seperate folder at a time interval you set (really helpful), I'm sure others will have a similar feature, but I've not used another DAW for the last couple of years.

    Best thing to remember with monitors is keep them away from corners if you can (being close to a corner messes with your bass response a lot) make sure both monitors are at ear height, an equal distance away from you, and that they are pointed directly at your ears. It'll never be perfect without a lot of design and thought (and therefore nearly always money!) but as long as your hearing a nice clear, fairly even sound then your on your way, and its still possible to get good mixdowns, its just a bit more trial and error by trying your mixes on various systems and then changing them to suit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  10. DanDnB

    DanDnB Bass and Drums

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    lots of good suggestions here. I cant really add much except what i personally run and im happy with. Its an intermediate level production studio with just basic stuff, not entirely budget oriented but i dont like to get junk.

    M-audio axiom 49
    KRK RP5 Monitors
    Mbox 2 mini + Pro tools 8 LE
    Reason 4.0 as my main sound production DAW
    MXL 990 and 991 condenser and tube microphones
    Just got a new iMac 2.93 ghz machine to top it all off

    This is my basic setup and should be able to produce 90% of sounds i need.
    A PC will do fine in your case.

    I would also suggest actually physically going to the store and hear the monitors you wish to buy. Because many on this board will suggest monitor XYZ, and in fact your ears are different than theirs, so they will sound different to you.

    I really like the KRK RP5s, they are budget but sound awesome for what they are. I physically went to the store to hear the mackies, yamahas, KRKs and behringers.

    I honestly couldnt justify the price of the yamahas just YET. Because i am a beginner, I didnt want to spend a huge amount of money on equipment that i cant even appreciate.

    Thats really all the advice i have for you, just go to the store and try out the gear you want before you buy it, not just with monitors but with anything; really.

    Good luck dude, take it slow and dont get frustrated if you dont sound like Ed Rush right away.
     
  11. motion audio

    motion audio Active Member

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    Good bit of advice there, worth getting what you like as you'll no doubt be spending countless hours listening to them!
     
  12. ReeceO

    ReeceO Hair Dye Addict!

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    Hey guys, posts are getting bit to long to keep quoting but I am reading them and understanding don't worry :D

    Just a note incase anyone didn't notice on the side on the left. I am only 17 apart from the part time job I have it's not as if I'm going to be made of money :D So remember also as a beginner don't show me all these top end pieces of equipment hah.

    So most people would agree on M-Audio Keyboards being one of the best brands to pick up from then?

    If I'm wrong correct me but I take it I should grab monitors first of course?
    I'm a beginner of course so I'll link to a pair I saw for what looks like an ok price just need peoples opinions on whether they think it's worth it or not and possibly why. :)
    http://www.decks.co.uk/products/behringer/b2030_p
     
  13. DanDnB

    DanDnB Bass and Drums

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    In your first post you said you had money. We can only help you with the information you are giving us.

    Be clear as to your situation.
     
  14. TeeHaichCee

    TeeHaichCee Proh-Deuce-Ah

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    My equipment list, is as follows, I'm listing what I have, so you can then listen to my myspace, etc and hear what I have made using this setup... It works well for me.

    PC, custom built Core i7 920 with 6gig of ram (running XP32bit for Music, which only allows me 3 of those 6 gig) steer clear of Vista, I run that on here as well, but avoid using it for music.

    Ableton Live 8.0.4, Soundforge 9, NI Komplete 5 (Massive, Absynth, Battery, Reaktor, etc) Rob Papan Predator, Blue, and Albino 3

    I use lots of other plugins too, but not as often as the one's i've listed

    M-Audio MBOX2, Mackie HR824 MkII's, Novation ReMOTE25SL, Quasimidi Sirius, and an AKAI APC40.

    Thats my entire kitlist, and I do alright! the main areas you should concenrate on initially, are...GET A GOOD AUDIO INTERFACE!!! and GOOD MONITORS!!! the rest of it is all about personal taste. It doesnt matter what DAW/App you choose to work with, as they're all as good as each other. Some have different strengths and weaknesses to others, but on the whole, its all about whichever you feel comfortable with. I personally LOVE ableton. I've used Cubase/Nuendo, Reason, and FLstudio, and Ableton is by far the best (imho) its so quick to get ideas down and its audio warping engine is unsurpassed.

    If you have any more specific questions, hit me up via PM, i'll be more than happy to help you out!

    Peace,
    Matt
     
  15. motion audio

    motion audio Active Member

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    No-ones sugesting any top end equimpent, you'd soon see if we were, the price jumps fairly noticable!

    As for M-Audio keyboards, they've got good features for the price, I've been quite impressed by the Axiom series, I got the 49key version and have been pleased with it so far, a lot more solid than I thought it would be so yea I'd recommend M-Audio for home studio use.

    As for the behringer monitors, the only problem is theyre passive, meaning you'd have to get an amp aswel, and a few more cables so it becomes a bit more pricey than it first looks.

    Like TeeHaichCee said, DAW choice varies with each person, I'm fairly new to dnb "production", I've done a lot more live recording work (where production has a slightly different meaning) and have learnt on Pro Tools, and I keep to it because I've not found anything that works better for me.

    Your thinking along the right lines though mate, its just a case of trying a few monitors/programs etc and seeing what you like working with. Any problems let me know (y)
     
  16. ReeceO

    ReeceO Hair Dye Addict!

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    I have a fair amount of money, I know I'm going to go over that so it don't matter but I just wanna make sure I don't overspend on equipment I probably won't be able to get my head round and use lol.

    I think somebody else in the thread mentioned a pair of
    KRK RP5 monitors. Anyone know if these are good for their price?

    I already have Ableton Live, not sure which version.
    Reason 4, FLStudio on here already.
    And a lot of people are saying about Cubase & Pro Tools so I'll catch them as well.
     
  17. filtersweeperVC

    filtersweeperVC filtersweeper

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    if money is not an issue then buy some analog gear such as the juno 106, 60, maybe a moog product like the little phatty, or the voyager rack. As these are good platforms to work from. Also a korg kaoss pad is amazing for doing filtering on drums and vocals. Here's a sample of that: http://soundcloud.com/filtersweeper
     
  18. motion audio

    motion audio Active Member

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    That depends on what you want to do really, hes said he doesn't want overly pricey high end equipment, and going and getting Moog synths to decide theyre not what you actualy want is an expensive game.
     
  19. DaNdelIoN

    DaNdelIoN Brum Junglist

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    i'd say definately get active monitors for producing

    and if money is a bit of a problem theres nothing wrong with looking second hand...
     
  20. ReeceO

    ReeceO Hair Dye Addict!

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    Hey a bit of help, how exactly do you connect the monitors? Depending on if I get passive/active.
    (I have an amp anyway)