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> Home Studio Setup Suggestions
Bogdan Radovic
post Apr 13 2015, 11:33 AM
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Hey everyone smile.gif

I always like to look for good music gear deals, even though I'm not really buying rather just window shopping. As I know that getting a home studio setup can feel complicated and sometimes intimidating to beginners, I was wondering if it would be a good idea to try to get together some suggested setups? We could do it together finding the "best bang for the buck" gear and then posting it neatly in organized manner explaining the setup.

We can get started here:

MY FIRST HOME STUDIO

* PC or Mac computer
* audio interface :
* monitors :
* software :
* other gear :

Intended purpose of the setup: record guitars at home over backing tracks. Being able to create simple backing tracks using free plugins and record guitar over them. This setup should be based on software only, no real guitar amp should be needed. This setup should also be as budget friendly as possible.

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I'll go first and suggest some possible components for the above setup :

* PC or Mac computer (can someone help me what would be the minimum required configuration where intended purpose of the setup could be achieved on?)

* Audio interface : since this setup is intended for recording guitars only, an interface with a guitar input should be enough. I personally have experience with POD Studio GX ($99). My second choice in this price range would be Focusrite Scarlett Solo. I like the POD Studio GX as an option as it comes with POD Farm software which allows for guitar amp and cabinet simulation right out of the box.

What do you think about the above audio interfaces? Does anyone have experience with any cheaper options which allow for recording guitar and doing in the computer mixing/midi programming of backing tracks?

* monitors : now at this intended use of the setup, I don't think real monitors are actually needed. A nice 2.1 computer sound system can do a nice job as well. Now, does anyone have any recommendations for "Best value for the buck" 2.1 computer speakers system? Or if real music monitors can be got for the same price, then that would present the better option I guess?

* software : I think the choice here is pretty straightforward and it would be - Reaper as the DAW (digital audio workstation or audio recording software). In case of using POD Studio GX, software for simulating a guitar amp/cabinet would not be necessary. To produce backing tracks, I'd suggest starting out with Addictive Drums 2 trial (it offers functional but limited drum kit). Again, I need your help choosing a free bass VST as well as some other instrument VSTs which are free (for piano, strings, organ etc).

* other gear : for this setup one would need a guitar cable to connect to the audio interface. Also cables or adapters will be needed to connect the PC speakers (or monitor speakers) to the audio interface.

I'd like to invite everyone to share their opinions and gear suggestions in setting up ultimate "my first home studio" setup smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Apr 14 2015, 05:54 AM
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Hmm. Well, just to start with smile.gif I'd say if you (or anyone thinking of doing this) already have a PC, maybe think about building a MAC setup? I have a mac setup running LOGIC X and I am very impressed with LOGIC X. I"d seen it in various studios around town and I understand why. PRO TOOLS is still very standard but still requires certain hardware it seems? Anyone know if you can run pro tools without special hardware/interface/dongle etc?

Anyhoo, you can get a Mac Mini for $499 U.S.
http://www.apple.com/mac-mini/

and use any gear that is already at hand, e.g. pc monitor/keyboard/mouse, etc. Even use your current audio interface. smile.gif

But before we get in to this, what is your Window Shopping budget?

This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Apr 14 2015, 05:55 AM


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Bogdan Radovic
post Apr 14 2015, 10:11 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Apr 14 2015, 06:54 AM) *
Hmm. Well, just to start with smile.gif I'd say if you (or anyone thinking of doing this) already have a PC, maybe think about building a MAC setup? I have a mac setup running LOGIC X and I am very impressed with LOGIC X. I"d seen it in various studios around town and I understand why. PRO TOOLS is still very standard but still requires certain hardware it seems? Anyone know if you can run pro tools without special hardware/interface/dongle etc?

Anyhoo, you can get a Mac Mini for $499 U.S.
http://www.apple.com/mac-mini/

and use any gear that is already at hand, e.g. pc monitor/keyboard/mouse, etc. Even use your current audio interface. smile.gif

But before we get in to this, what is your Window Shopping budget?


Thanks for the tips Todd - I'm not shopping for a home studio myself rather I'm looking to pre-design some setups which people just starting out could use as inspiration for building their own. The goal with this first one is to be the cheapest yet decent and functional solution smile.gif Once we get some setups done, we could list them in the opening post in a neat way with all the components etc.

p.s. When it comes to Mac setups, I also think they are great. I have been recording in a studio which uses Logic and I'm starting to experiment with this DAW myself too. Most of the studios locally here operate PC setups though with Cubase or Nuendo.


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Mertay
post Apr 14 2015, 11:31 AM
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I mentioned my soundcard died a while ago, I still haven't bought one and don't have much intention to yet either smile.gif

I get my signal strength from a pedal, any asio driver can work (asio for all, or asio's of DAW's like samplitude has one). I'm using the line/mic. input of the motherboard, I have no noise issue's at all and can work 96khz smile.gif

Only downside is you can get sound only from 1 if browser and daw is open at the same time. But there's also a solution to that; programs like jack audio 2, VB-Audio Hi-Fi Cable & Asio-Bridge or KX-Studio Cadence is reported to work I haven't tested yet. They route wdm to anything else and asio to your DAW just like any soundcard's driver nowadays.

So to me a soundcard is needed for a DI input (or for studio montiors using XLR inputs), basicly recording 2 signals at the same time. One is from analog setup and the other is DI signal to be used with programs for tone options.

Thats why I'd look to spend more for a better soundcard or don't use any.


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Todd Simpson
post Apr 14 2015, 09:57 PM
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IT's something good to add Mertay!! A very good point for this thread on "Budget" studio setups. For a very budget setup, you really only need a PC of some type, a free download daw like REAPER and a guitar with an 1/8th inch adapter on the cable and plug right in to the PC. Especially if headphones or earbuds are the monitors.

So it's possible to get started for the price of nearly any PC made in the last few years and a guitar/cabe/adapter!

Todd



QUOTE (Mertay @ Apr 14 2015, 06:31 AM) *
I mentioned my soundcard died a while ago, I still haven't bought one and don't have much intention to yet either smile.gif

I get my signal strength from a pedal, any asio driver can work (asio for all, or asio's of DAW's like samplitude has one). I'm using the line/mic. input of the motherboard, I have no noise issue's at all and can work 96khz smile.gif

Only downside is you can get sound only from 1 if browser and daw is open at the same time. But there's also a solution to that; programs like jack audio 2, VB-Audio Hi-Fi Cable & Asio-Bridge or KX-Studio Cadence is reported to work I haven't tested yet. They route wdm to anything else and asio to your DAW just like any soundcard's driver nowadays.

So to me a soundcard is needed for a DI input (or for studio montiors using XLR inputs), basicly recording 2 signals at the same time. One is from analog setup and the other is DI signal to be used with programs for tone options.

Thats why I'd look to spend more for a better soundcard or don't use any.



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Mertay
post Apr 15 2015, 09:40 AM
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smile.gif

Oh just to add, affordable computer speakers can work nice to hear the guitar or playing/recording over backing tracks sort of basic tasks. What I noticed nowadays though usually 2+1 systems are sold in stores if someone needs a bit bigger system.

I don't recommend this, to my experience its worth trying to find 2 bigger speakers rather than settling on a 2+1 system. That sub-bas won't be worth it and the other 2 speakers are usually too small.


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Todd Simpson
post Apr 16 2015, 03:19 AM
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Just to be clear MERTAY isn't suggesting you buy and use cheap computer speakers for "critical listening" or actually mixing. Just that such systems are very cheap and if you don't want to wear headphones, you can use them to at least hear what's going on. OF course, you CAN"T TRUST These speakers for mixing and the mixes won't "translate" or sound good on many other systems. But just for starting out, really any speakers of any kind beat having no speakers of any kind wink.gif

QUOTE (Mertay @ Apr 15 2015, 04:40 AM) *
smile.gif

Oh just to add, affordable computer speakers can work nice to hear the guitar or playing/recording over backing tracks sort of basic tasks. What I noticed nowadays though usually 2+1 systems are sold in stores if someone needs a bit bigger system.

I don't recommend this, to my experience its worth trying to find 2 bigger speakers rather than settling on a 2+1 system. That sub-bas won't be worth it and the other 2 speakers are usually too small.



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