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Student seeking gear! DAW Software
Old 24th August 2007
Talking Student seeking gear!

Hi all,

First post on these forums! I'm looking to aquire a low-budget system to do some mixing on. I'm studying Music and Sound recording at university and I'm looking at getting some gear so I can produce some rough and ready mixes, that I can take back to uni and finish off on higher quality equipment. My university has computers with Pro Tools, Pro Tools LE, Logic (but only using Headphones to monitor) and Pyramix available.

What I already have:
An Imac, intel, shiny new aluminium one, 2.4 GHz, 500GB Hard Drive, 1 Gig (soon to be 2 gig) RAM. I have no music software other than Garageband '08! :D I'm pretty much starting from scratch here. I'll also very soon be purchasing a pair of Sennheiser HD 650's for use at home and at uni.

So, what I'll need:
Monitors, some form of interface or AD converter and software! I've been taking a look and my Budget is at absolute most a grand (GBP) for the whole kaboodle. I've had various advice from friends, I've been told that the RME Fireface 400 is a good buy and it looks good. But is considerably over my Budget, for monitors, a pair of Samson RubiconR6A's look nice, but does anyone have any experience with them? And as for software, I was thinking of getting Pro Tools, but the cheapest way to use that would be to buy an MBox2 which I have been told is a bit disappointing and expensive.

I've also been told an external hard drive would be a good investment, there's a cheap 500GB that I've found here. But would that be too cheap? Any good external hard drives people can recommend? Would one be strictly necessary?

Finally a bit of advice on treating my bare, student room on the cheap. I can't do anything permanent, nor mount anything on the walls, it's quite horrible and boxy, about 10 by 6 feet, but it's what I'm going to have to make do with.

Ultimately, I'd like to try out combinations of interfaces and monitors, but I don't quite know where to go to sample these out, anybody know good shops near London that deal with this? :D

Thanks in advance for any advice, or even "Go here and do your homework, noob" advice would be handy.
Old 24th August 2007
Here for the gear

Digidesign offers educational discounts on the MBox2: $350 which makes it more attractive. I'm guessing you're in the UK so I don't know if the discount applies (any friends across the pond?) I purchased an original Mbox when it came out and found it was an excellent tool with becoming familiar with the PT environment, perfect for a student like yourself. If you are a songwriter, I'm sure you'll grow to love the simplicity of Garageband for composing demos or just tracking quick ideas, it's really not that bad at all. And, that hard drive will be good for backing up files so you don't junk up your internal drive.

By the way, what kind of music are you into recording?
Old 24th August 2007
Thanks for the advice so far guys, for music I'm looking to record/master. I mainly dead with rock/indie/metal/punk/ska styles, but I'm also interested in Electronic styles as well. My course also requires me to have Classical ensembles as well in my portfolio. I'll chase up about if I can get an educational discount on Digidesign boxes, if it's possible then I may just get an MBox! I've done a search on the Digi 002, and that's way out of my price range, unless I get the Rack version? But it's still a bit pricey, any ideas for anything more affordable?

Old 24th August 2007
Lives for gear

For a starving student in a cramped dorm room, this may be close to what you're looking for.

M-Audio Pro Tools Ozone Academic Kit |

At least when you decide to upgrade, you'll already have a handy little controller keyboard.
Old 24th August 2007

You said for rough mixes....

I'd go with some cans and a headphone amp with a D/A converter built in. Easier to move around and no need to do any treatment in your dorm.


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