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a little help for a complete rookie Studio Monitors
Old 28th August 2007
  #1
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a little help for a complete rookie

i have been lurking and reading for almost a year now. my goal is to start making music with the small budget i have. i just purchased an akai mpd24 to go along with my macbook and now need a little guidance on my software selection as well as the basic setup. can i run DP5 and/or reason with what i have without a sound card/midi etc? can my mpd24 just communicate through usb and control the sounds from my software? i also purchased the sonic specialist drum library and i understand this is a little ass backwards but any guidance would be greatly appreciated. thanks in advance for your time.
Old 28th August 2007
  #2
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jeremy.c.'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomisxl View Post
i have been lurking and reading for almost a year now. my goal is to start making music with the small budget i have. i just purchased an akai mpd24 to go along with my macbook and now need a little guidance on my software selection as well as the basic setup. can i run DP5 and/or reason with what i have without a sound card/midi etc? can my mpd24 just communicate through usb and control the sounds from my software? i also purchased the sonic specialist drum library and i understand this is a little ass backwards but any guidance would be greatly appreciated. thanks in advance for your time.
your onboard soundcard is going to give you more of a headache than what it's worth. Spend a couple hundred on a decent firewire soundcard, an external harddrive and some monitors, buy them used off craigslist if you need to stretch your dollar further. The reason why I suggest not using onboard audio is that your latency will likely make you want to jump off a bridge... that AKAI will be useless without low latency (the time between when you hit a pad and the sounds triggers in Reason, etc). Maybe grab an inexpensive mic to get going too (a dynamic handheld like the Shure 57 or 58 would do just fine)
Other than those few basics, maybe try Reaper for your DAW and just roll up your sleeves and start pounding out some beats using that AKAI.
Old 29th August 2007
  #3
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thanks for the advice. something like the FF400 or motu ultralight? unfortunately (or actually, fortunately) i'm living in amsterdam right now so no good craigslist or used gear source yet that i've discovered. i will start looking. thanks again. anyone else with other suggestions is greatly appreciated.
Old 13th September 2007
  #4
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Nick_1234's Avatar
 

WHile using reason, your akai pad should be able to control a nnumber of instruments.

I personally like using Battery 3 as my drum software. It is real easy to start using, and I would imagine that your akai already has a scene for battery, however I am known to be wrong.

Best of luck, and enjoy Amsterdam for the both of us.

Respect.
Nick
Old 15th September 2007
  #5
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layez's Avatar
 

how much are you willing to spend? Give us a budget (in dollars preferably)
Old 16th September 2007
  #6
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thanks for the responses and advice. as far as a budget i don't have a set amount, i just want to put together a quality yet lean studio that i won't have to upgrade for a while as i learn. i would rather wait to buy a good piece of gear that can have a permanent spot in my studio instead of buying something and wanting to upgrade it a few months later. with the release of logic 8 and the apogee duet, i think that is the right combo for me. if not the duet than i would save for the metric halo uln-2 as it seems to be a favorite amongst the slutz. monitors are going to have to wait a few months probably but what else besides a mic and an external hard drive is necessary? thanks again and i've definitely been enjoying amsterdam for all those that can't join me.
Old 17th September 2007
  #7
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layez's Avatar
 

A good pair of monitors is extremely important. You can have all the nicest gear in the world but you cant really do anything with it if you dont know what your gear really sounds like, know what i mean? I did a lot of research trying to figure out what good monitors cost, and honestly you need $1,000 per pair for active monitors; otherwise, get a 200 dollar (or less) pair and wait till you can afford good ones. I bought ADAM Audio A7's and i've been very happy with them.

What type of music do you want to record? Will you be miking instruments such as guitar, vocals, etc or will it be mostly midi?


.. posting this is making me nostalgic of Amsterdam.. i stayed at a bed and breakfast in Duivendrecht a few years back and had a blast. What a confusing city to navigate though

Old 17th September 2007
  #8
Gear Head
 

Don't forget acoustic treament!
Old 17th September 2007
  #9
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i want to see what i can make with just my mpd24 and eventually a keyboard controller. i will be making hip hop/soul/dancehall beats and any dirty/nasty/funky derivative that i can come up with. so almost 100% midi with no live instruments for the time being. i understand the importance of good monitors so i want to save for the best pair i can afford. i was looking at the a7's but also would like to try for s2 or s2.5's, we'll see how business treats me. as far as room treatment, i'm moving into a new apartment october 1st so i have to wait to see what i'm working with but i've been a long time lurking and i promise to treat my room after reading the stressed importance from the other slutz.

and as far as amsterdam, i'm fortunate enough to live in the center but away from the tourist area so its the best of both worlds. it can definitely be confusing especially if you've been spending your time in the "coffeshops". coming from northern california i've learned to "navigate" quite well so if anybody needs a tour guide let me know. thanks again for the advice, reading and learning on this forum has been incredible and to hear first hand accounts of how some of my favorite records were made is dream come true. thanks to all that share their stories and invaluable experience.
Old 17th September 2007
  #10
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layez's Avatar
 

Im sure that any of those ADAM monitors would work for you. The room treatment is very important, but mostly for recording acoustic instruments. If you are monitoring in the nearfield, the room won't matter as much as long as you dont have a really 'live' room, meaning you can hear a lot of it. Sounds like you need a midi controller first and foremost though. A good beat program and whole lot of VST's heh Not to mention a keyboard or 2... Korg? Moog?

Yes, i did stop for tea at a coffee shop or 2. But the confusing part is the spiderweb design of the streets. I am from the east coast where the cities are built like grids so they are easy to navigate. Amsterdam isnt that big so i was confused as to how i got lost easily
Old 17th September 2007
  #11
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jeremy.c.'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomisxl View Post
with the release of logic 8 and the apogee duet, i think that is the right combo for me.
I think you won't go wrong with that setup, especially if you're doing everything in the box. Logic has a reputation for being very friendly to people using software synths, plus they dropped the price, so you're getting a lot more for the money.
Old 17th September 2007
  #12
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Nick_1234's Avatar
 

I am unfamilair with Logic, so I can not quote them much.

However if you will be doing everything computer based, I would suggest Reason, or Ableton Live. Seeing as you won't be tracking anything "live".

Logic may be the one for you, just try and get the opportunity to try each program to see which you like most.

Respect.
Nick.
Old 17th September 2007
  #13
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layez's Avatar
 

I use Sonar (which most people think im crazy for) and i never use midi, but I like the program. However, most Sonar users ive found are huge into midi and I think that Sonr excells in that department. Cubase didnt exactly impress me much and im not familiar with Logic or Reason.
Old 18th September 2007
  #14
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thanks again for the advice. i'm going to go hunting for a place to demo monitors today and ask more questions as well. i have a demo copy of abelton from a magazine that i'm going to try. logic is appealing because everyone speaks so highly of the added plugins,extras,etc. so for $500 it sounds like it will keep me busy for a while. thanks again to all that answered.

to layez, it seems to me that the european cities or their individual collective neighborhoods i've been in are based on a church or square at their center and then run in concentric circles outward. amsterdam is centered around central station and is basically a collection of concentric half circles moving outwards, a big half circle. most of the streets curve around the center so it can be very confusing when you're coming from the states where most cities are laid out in grids. i'm sure i'm making assumptions but that has been my perception so far. take care.
Old 18th September 2007
  #15
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after demo'ing monitors today i have opened another can of worms. going in with a predisposed opinion favoring adam a7's i heard the blue sky system one and i understand the price difference but i was sold anyway. thanks to all who replied and my newfound slutdom continues.
Old 18th September 2007
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
layez's Avatar
 

very cool! the good thing is that your ears are fresh so you will learn how use your monitors very well. My ears have adjusted to the ADAM's and i know pretty much how they translate to other systems.

I will recommend a couple plugins to you that i think are really good, and i think would suit you well for your musical applications:

PSP anything, particularly the 'vintage warmer'. Get this! compression/tape simulator/limiter
Camel Audio - Camel Phat
Antares Kontakt
Antares Filter VST

these are plugs i find useful for doing electro music, try the demos and see what you think. Good luck! dont forget to keep some cash in the bank heh
Old 19th September 2007
  #17
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Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by layez View Post
I use Sonar (which most people think im crazy for) and i never use midi, but I like the program. However, most Sonar users ive found are huge into midi and I think that Sonr excells in that department. Cubase didnt exactly impress me much and im not familiar with Logic or Reason.
Shame on them, never blaspheme Sonar!!

MAN, just got the email that 7 is out now...........
Old 20th September 2007
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
layez's Avatar
 

Yea i just got the email too... and they have hardware inserts now... and auto-latency compensation.... WTF!?
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