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Seeking for a Dawless setup under 600$ Control Surfaces
Old 20th April 2018
  #1
Here for the gear
Seeking for a Dawless setup under 600$

Hi everyone.

Is there a way of making music without a computer under 600 - 700$ ?
I know, there are things like Electribe or MPC, but I don't think that is a good way to go. I own a good digital piano that can be well used as a master MIDI keyboard and a pair of studio monitors.

Thanks for your suggestions,
James
Old 20th April 2018
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Are you looking to record live audio? Vocal, guitars, etc?
Or are you looking to do mostly electronic music?

Also, how much modern functionality are you looking for? Being able to edit music is a huge plus! But if you're just looking to sequence and capture, you'll have more options.

Can you give a detailed scenario of what you'd imagine "a day in the studio" would be for you?

If I were going to ditch my DAW, I'd probably start with an old Alesis HD24 and a Mackie 1604 mixer, couple of mics, couple of DI's.... That would be a good start.
Old 22nd April 2018
  #3
Gear Head
 

Tascam and Zoom (and others) make 8 and 16 track digital recorders within your specified price range. I use a 6track looper (EHX 95000) and bounce tracks to/from DAW via USB. It comes with over 3hrs recording time per track so theoretically I could record an album as one bigass loop.
Old 26th April 2018
  #4
Gear Head
 
Collinschipper's Avatar
Big question is why not a daw? Is there some reason to avoid that approach?
Old 28th April 2018
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Collinschipper View Post
Big question is why not a daw? Is there some reason to avoid that approach?
I realy think that a PC in front of a music maker just blows away all the creativity of the process... Maybe I am wrong, but I really wanna have more hands on control...
Old 28th April 2018
  #6
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arpotron View Post
I realy think that a PC in front of a music maker just blows away all the creativity of the process... Maybe I am wrong, but I really wanna have more hands on control...
IMO, you are wrong

The act of recording, the process of overdubbing, programming MIDI, is going to be very much the same, no matter what you use. So ultimately will need to have more or less the same stuff. You think you won't be "looking at a screen" but you will, except that it will be a really small low-res screen. You think you will avoid a mouse, but instead you will need to use a jog wheel or a NSEW pointer. You will not have all your functions on one page, but will instead need to memorize deep layers of menus and sub-menus.

You will of course be locked in to whatever onboard effects the manufacturer decides to give you. Maybe that is 'simplifying' and OK for now.

Quote:
I own a good digital piano that can be well used as a master MIDI keyboard
OTOH, being limited to the unit's onboard first-party instruments may not be the kind of simplification that is an advantage!

It's not that there is no truth to the idea that operating gear takes away from playing music. It's that IMO, there is no truth to the idea that 'X' gear is really any less 'taking away' than 'Z' gear. If you want a truly seamless experience where you can just 'create' and not have to operate machinery, you can book time in a studio with an engineer.

Otherwise, IMO, you are just picking your poison. I would say pick wisely. Notice how even the people here with specific recommendations for you are flying stuff back into a computer DAW for editing/mixing/whatever.
Old 29th April 2018
  #7
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arpotron View Post
I realy think that a PC in front of a music maker just blows away all the creativity of the process... Maybe I am wrong, but I really wanna have more hands on control...
There's really no reason not to use a DAW. You don't have to create music using samples. You can just use the DAW for editing and recording. You WILL need to use a DAW at some point (or at least an audio editor like Audacity, not sure if that qualifies as a DAW or not) because you'll have to clean up your audio. Everyone processes their audio, it doesn't matter if you're using an MXL 990 or a U87/C12/C800G, you will at some point be cleaning up and processing the audio whether you're adding EQ, noise reduction, compression, reverb, or just syncing your tracks. It's honestly ridiculous that people think that audio is recorded professionally and not touched up. I know this isn't quite what you're saying, but I've seen a lot of people who seem to think professional quality recording happens on the spot and it's done.
Old 29th April 2018
  #8
Here for the gear
get a Digitakt! I have an octatrack and from what i understand they're very similar. Hours and hours of fun. I'm way more creative without the daw. Mouse clicking sucks nothing like hands on to get immersed in a jam and get the creative juices flowing. Once u figure out the machine and u figure out ur work flow it'll be breezy. It has midi sequencing too so u can play external gear. So after that u could save for some synths
Old 30th April 2018
  #9
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cjogo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arpotron View Post
I realy think that a PC in front of a music maker just blows away all the creativity of the process... Maybe I am wrong, but I really wanna have more hands on control...
ROLAND VS 2480 -- like a digital tape deck .... Never even seen a WAV on this machine -- We sync a sequencer for 48 channels at mixdown ...

Last edited by cjogo; 1st May 2018 at 06:01 PM..
Old 1st May 2018
  #10
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bowzin's Avatar
Came here to recommend the Roland standalones. Theres also old Akai standalones. Neither sounded great the last time I used them 15-some years ago.

But here are some modern day answers to your question, and under $600 if you BYOComputer.

Softube Console One MKII | ZenPro Audio

Signature 12 MTK | Soundcraft - Professional Audio Mixers
Old 1st May 2018
  #11
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bowzin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arpotron View Post
I realy think that a PC in front of a music maker just blows away all the creativity of the process... Maybe I am wrong, but I really wanna have more hands on control...
Totally get it. If you plan on doing any real mixing though, you'll likely need a DAW. If you just want to record performances from your digital piano, you could get buy with a standalone recorder, even those pocket-sized recorders from Zoom, Tascam, Sony etc. could be used.

If/when you do decide on using a DAW, there's still some important things you can do (for less than $600):

- Get a MIDI controller with good hands-on transport controls (Play, Pause, Stop, Rew, FF, Rec, Loop, etc.). Preferably ensure it has some functionality/presets with your DAW of choice.

- Behringer X Touch or X Touch Compact (also Behringer X Touch Mini but less controls and no motorized faders, not nearly as functional but a good tool for the price). These things are cheap and really powerful. Especially the full-size X Touch because it has little LCD screens for labels that update with the DAW.

- The older Behringer BCF2000. In a million Low End Theory studios to solve the problem of hands-on control. Motorized faders, but discontinued and getting old at this point so wouldn't necessarily bank on all the faders working

- This guy is really interesting and I'm LOVING it so far: Logidy UMI3 MIDI Foot Controller. It has a little utility program you can rather easily create simple controls for things like Start, Stop, Record. You can even set it up to do things like cycle through presets, or hit the button once and it starts, hit the same button again for stop, things like that. Pretty great to have around, just wish the switches were maybe an inch wider apart to make it easier to hit.
Old 1st May 2018
  #12
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cjogo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowzin View Post
Came here to recommend the Roland standalones. Theres also old Akai standalones. Neither sounded great the last time I used them 15-some years ago.
Still on Rolands --since MId 90's ..... 24 inputs ... does more than enough editing for our clients ... Full size VGA monitoring .....

WAVs drop right into REAPER --- if you ever needed a PC~~ for some reason .

Still sounds wonderful >> Clocking to a RME and using decent PREs for vocals.

Hard to beat @ 'round $600 Automated faders >> all 48
Old 1st May 2018
  #13
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bowzin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjogo View Post
Still on Rolands --since MId 90's ..... 24 inputs ... does more than enough editing for our clients ... Full size VGA monitoring .....

WAVs drop right into REAPER --- if you ever needed a PC~~ for some reason .

Still sounds wonderful >> Clocking to a RME and using decent PREs for vocals.

Hard to beat @ 'round $600 Automated faders >> all 48
Aight, aight, dang! Didn't realize the high-end model had automated faders and those awesome meters!!! Killin it

I was using something in the VS_____ range but way lower track count, one of those EIGHT CHANNELS (but only four at a time) kind of things. The literal first song I ever recorded was on that machine... ahh. Extremely cool setup cjogo, hittin me in the feels!
Old 1st May 2018
  #14
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cjogo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowzin View Post
Aight, aight, dang! Didn't realize the high-end model had automated faders and those awesome meters!!! Killin it

I was using something in the VS_____ range but way lower track count, one of those EIGHT CHANNELS (but only four at a time) kind of things. The literal first song I ever recorded was on that machine... ahh. Extremely cool setup cjogo, hittin me in the feels!
It works for our studio For a guy starting back in the 60's tracking .. this makes recording easy...
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