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Toxiclegend

Home studio help

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Okay so I'm in the middle of planning and building a new PC for trance,house and hardstyle music production using FL Studio.

It's just a hobby but I still want the best results possible. At the moment I'm just using on board audio.

I want to get a midi keyboard at some point too.

 

What would you suggest?

Should I get an external or internal sound card?

Should I get a DAC?

What AI should I get if any?

 

There isn't really a budget because I won't be buying everything at once more like saving up and buying things over time.

 

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I might get nailed here but to be honest I might suggest some kind of mac mini, just because apples software for media production is really good, no wait.... build a hackintosh system! with a nice audio setup, then you can use apples software and not waste money! .....unless you really like fl studio and just want to go windows, because that works too. 

 

ps: I'm not an apple junky if that's what you're thinking I don't own any apple products at all, not even an I phone and would never buy any nor recommend them unless people are doing certin types of media stuff


"Anything that makes a console more like a PC, makes it better" 

-Linus Sebastian

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So long as your onboard works, then spend your money on decent headphones or if you are planning on producing this stuff for others to hear then some decent studio monitors might be a better bet.

 

Other than that don't skimp on the midi interface, USB to midi will be fine, but some of the cheaper ones can have issues with latency.  As for the keyboard, becasue you are using it as a midi and not to generate the sounds you can either get away with a generic casio midi keyboard as it will do the same job as any of the more expensive stuff. 


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

Sometimes I miss contractions like n't on the end of words like wouldn't, couldn't and shouldn't.    Please don't be a dick,  make allowances when reading my posts.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

If the motherboard is a bit decent you don't need a sound card.

As it will be used mainly as a hobby and is also a gaming rig I will either be getting the ASUS Maximus VI Hero or the Formula.

 

I might get nailed here but to be honest I might suggest some kind of mac mini, just because apples software for media production is really good, no wait.... build a hackintosh system! with a nice audio setup, then you can use apples software and not waste money! .....unless you really like fl studio and just want to go windows, because that works too. 

I already own a FL studio license and I'm used to it now, so I'll probably for the time being stay with FL and it's VSTs

 

So long as your onboard works, then spend your money on decent headphones or if you are planning on producing this stuff for others to hear then some decent studio monitors might be a better bet.

 

Other than that don't skimp on the midi interface, USB to midi will be fine, but some of the cheaper ones can have issues with latency.  As for the keyboard, becasue you are using it as a midi and not to generate the sounds you can either get away with a generic casio midi keyboard as it will do the same job as any of the more expensive stuff. 

Okay great thanks, I'll add some KRK's or something to the list.

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It's just a hobby but I still want the best results possible.

 

One thing a friend of mine who's into production said, 'there are no upper-limits to studio setup'. Meaning if you just give a 'best results possible' line, then anything goes. You can literally spend tens of thousand dollars, and still have more room for hardware improvements

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One thing a friend of mine who's into production said, 'there are no upper-limits to studio setup'. Meaning if you just give a 'best results possible' line, then anything goes. You can literally spend tens of thousand dollars, and still have more room for hardware improvements

 

While this is true, there is also a law of diminishing returns, and that kicks in harder earlier for beginners and people not likely to require something along the lines of abbey rd. or Metallica HQ.

 

Moral is not to spend more than you have to until you know you need to.


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

Sometimes I miss contractions like n't on the end of words like wouldn't, couldn't and shouldn't.    Please don't be a dick,  make allowances when reading my posts.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

This is just to get me started more than anything, I won't be spending huge amounts on equipment until I've got a room I can use as a studio.

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Always worth spending the money for external audio/midi interfaces. Look at Focusrite gear its all really good stuff and used from iPad interfaces all the way up to world famous studios. A basic one will give you multiple outputs for speakers with software to configure them to quickly switch and headphone outputs with dedicated volume controls. (this doubles as a ADC/DAC)

They also have really good quality pre amps meaning if you ever get a vocalist in to record some loops or anything like that you already have the gear for it.

Monitors are also a great option, KRK's are good but have an "unrealistic" bass response meaning although your mix may sound great through them when you take it anywhere else it may not have the low end that you had when you mixed it. Look into the new or previous generation Tannoy Reveal series for $200-$300 you can get a really nice pair of monitors.

Another thing worth looking into is where you position yourself in a room to mix if you are using speakers, things sound very different if you are right up against a wall and extremely different if you are sat in a corner. You can have the best equipment imaginable but if you don't set it up in the right way you could be wasting your money!

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Recommendations and some comments-

Everyones notion of an ideal home studio setup varies to a ridiculous degree, it's one of those things where unfortunately it takes a while to figure out what best suits the individual. You have the advantage of being flexible due to having little bias getting in the way of making a crappy purchase based upon herd-opinion.

I've been recording for 19 years, hopefully I can give advice based upon the many bad choices made thru the years- cutting thru the spin n hype.

I've also recorded @ Abbey Road, the BBC studios and other known studios in the states. Lots learned from those experiences, hanging out/chatting with engineers/producers/musicians who've been doing the stuff for 50+ years.

It's easy to go gear nuts and end up with too much stuff, even on a very modest budget.

There are so many cheap (as in cost) 100% capable recording devices/tools (a new development) these days, it's confusing. That said with recording gear the difference between something that costs 150$ and some similar in function thing costing 200$ can be immense. At these price points the quality of audio produced will be more than adequate- the difference will be in build quality. As a general rule Beware of things that have a zillion features- better to have a solid 2 channel I/O (AD/DA) then a same priced 10 channel I/O with built in "Amazing!" Effects+dishwasher.

Another plus re: your situation, is that you're planning on doing electronic music. The style doesn't require fancy preamps, compressors, mikes etc. You're not going to be recording any orchestras (at least now).

Headphones are the enemy of mixing. Never, ever, ever mix down tracks using only headphones. They are used as a minor tool at best, usually to check vocals and phasing issues. Conversely when tracking, headphones are invaluable. There is zero reason for you to procure a discreet DAC for recording.

Monitor placement and room positioning is more important than the gear- something manufactures are loathe to admit as no profit comes from that.

The ADC/DAC on a decent mobo with regards to electronic music will totally work great.

Thing is, discreet I/Os are so cheap these days and offer much more flexibility, I can't see any reason not to get one unless you're on a tiny budget- if you can afford a decent mouse or a few video games, you can afford a discreet USB-I/O.

In order of Importance:

a midi controller/monitors

Then an I/O

What are your computer specs?

Look into Akai's Controllers- like this one:

Posted Image

Here's a (I can't believe how affordable this stuff has become) decent package which includes a mike, headphones and I/O for 250$:

Posted Image

KRK spends a gazillion $$$ on advertising. You can do much better with something like this:

Posted Image

Finally here's a 250$ I/O by the same (well respected) company which is (a big step up from the one in the package (do you need a mike?)

Posted Image

Posted Image

any questions, ask away!

Even without the stuff you'll be able to make quality stuff.

Spend ALOT of time learning everything FL has to offer. That's the priority!

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I might get nailed here but to be honest I might suggest some kind of mac mini, just because apples software for media production is really good, no wait.... build a hackintosh system! with a nice audio setup, then you can use apples software and not waste money! .....unless you really like fl studio and just want to go windows, because that works too. 

 

ps: I'm not an apple junky if that's what you're thinking I don't own any apple products at all, not even an I phone and would never buy any nor recommend them unless people are doing certin types of media stuff

 

Currently running a Hackintosh after I got tired of spending the cash for Macs (still prefer OS X but hey, everyone has their vices). Tonymacx86.com  has great build guides with some pretty good hardware.

 

As for OP's question on gear, it depends on how serious you want to get. The best headphones, bang for buck, are the Hifiman HE-500's. They're around $599 but they have a sound stage and audio quality to rival headphones twice that price. There really is nothing that comes close in the range. However, they cost a lot. Sennheiser HD-25-I II's would be a good cheaper option since you can snag them for around $170. There are some Beyerdynamic models in that range as well.

 

Don't worry so much about a DAC as you do about the amp. The right headphone with the right AMP will make it shine. If you go HE-500 then the best pairing in the Schiit Lyr. It has more than enough power to drive it and it's a very flat, neutral amp. Not cheap, though...

 

So really it all comes down to budget. Are you able to drop a grand or do you need to keep it under a few hundred? Or less than two hundred? In which case Grado SR80i and a small AMP would do you just fine.

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Currently running a Hackintosh after I got tired of spending the cash for Macs (still prefer OS X but hey, everyone has their vices). Tonymacx86.com  has great build guides with some pretty good hardware.

 

As for OP's question on gear, it depends on how serious you want to get. The best headphones, bang for buck, are the Hifiman HE-500's. They're around $599 but they have a sound stage and audio quality to rival headphones twice that price. There really is nothing that comes close in the range. However, they cost a lot. Sennheiser HD-25-I II's would be a good cheaper option since you can snag them for around $170. There are some Beyerdynamic models in that range as well.

 

Don't worry so much about a DAC as you do about the amp. The right headphone with the right AMP will make it shine. If you go HE-500 then the best pairing in the Schiit Lyr. It has more than enough power to drive it and it's a very flat, neutral amp. Not cheap, though...

 

So really it all comes down to budget. Are you able to drop a grand or do you need to keep it under a few hundred? Or less than two hundred? In which case Grado SR80i and a small AMP would do you just fine.

 

Dude, that's way to much money on headphones and amps for producing electronic and trance, he really only needs something flat and clear to get the cut right, HD280pro and onboard will do that.  As for mastering he needs monitors, not headphones, so that's where the cash should go.


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

Sometimes I miss contractions like n't on the end of words like wouldn't, couldn't and shouldn't.    Please don't be a dick,  make allowances when reading my posts.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

What are your computer specs?

(do you need a mike?)

any questions, ask away!

Spend ALOT of time learning everything FL has to offer. That's the priority!

Thank you very very much for your really informative post. It was a great read.

Computer specs: 4770k 16gb of RAM, Samsung Evo 240gb SSD, 2TB Baracude HDD, just saving for a GPU really, no soundcard just onboard. It was gonna be used for both gaming and music.

I do not need a mic really, if any one heard me sing they'd would cry bloody xD

It's funny I've been using FL for about 8 years now and just tinkering and fiddling but always just as a hobby when I was bored sharing the song with a few mates really. Turns out I really enjoy it so I want to make it even more enjoyable.

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Dude, that's way to much money on headphones and amps for producing electronic and trance, he really only needs something flat and clear to get the cut right, HD280pro and onboard will do that.  As for mastering he needs monitors, not headphones, so that's where the cash should go.

 

Clearly we're listening to different electronic, but there is a reason I gave a range. I'd say those Grado's are a minimum.

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I'd say those Grado's are a minimum.

 

Wow. I find myself repeating myself today across threads, but Grado Headphones have zero bass. They should NOT be used for studio work.

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Clearly we're listening to different electronic, but there is a reason I gave a range. I'd say those Grado's are a minimum.

There is a huge difference between listen to music and producing it.


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

Sometimes I miss contractions like n't on the end of words like wouldn't, couldn't and shouldn't.    Please don't be a dick,  make allowances when reading my posts.

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Mr Moose=totally nailed it. A setup "setup" for the enjoyment of listening to music IS an entirely different beast.

A system used for making music will 99% of the time sound like ass to someone used to their listening setups. Adding to the confusion- the music making setup will cost more for a perceived wimpy sound.

Why?

A good example would be complains of headphones/speakers that "lack in the low frequency dept".

The recording person/mixer has the onerous task of making a final recording which will sound good thru:

10$ earbuds

300$ headphones

Car stereo

1000$ speakers

iPhone speakers

Television speakers

MP3, AAC, WAV/PCM formats

etc...

it's REALLY hard!

This is the reason why people who record and track their own material will pay hundreds, thousands of $$$ to have their stuff sent of to a professional mastering engineer.

That said, I DO think it's 100% possible (with a lot of hard work) for someone to become proficient at both recording, mixing AND mastering.

A very good resource which can answer all these questions much better then myself is

"Computer Music"

and

"Future Music"

(Hint- the magazine versions are really expensive, if u have an iPad/kindle type thingy, you can get each months edition for 6$ compared to the 25$ at the bookstore).

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Im a complete noob when it comes to making music, and i want to learn relatively fast, but what im asking is that can i just run one of Akai's controllers alone? Like this one? 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00466HM28/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Do i need a I/O controller?

I only want touch the tip of the ice burg when it comes to making music, and i want to start on a very very low budget. If anyone could just give me some ideas on what the minimum for making music is, i would love to know. 

Also, if anyone would be willing to, could you recommend some equipment?

Im just very confused. 

Thanks so much!

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Im a complete noob when it comes to making music, and i want to learn relatively fast, but what im asking is that can i just run one of Akai's controllers alone? Like this one? 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00466HM28/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Do i need a I/O controller?

I only want touch the tip of the ice burg when it comes to making music, and i want to start on a very very low budget. If anyone could just give me some ideas on what the minimum for making music is, i would love to know. 

Also, if anyone would be willing to, could you recommend some equipment?

Im just very confused. 

Thanks so much!

The AKAI connects via USB, no need for I/O. So yes you can use it just by itself

 

To OP:

Buy Beyer Dynamic dt770, great Bass. Doing electronic music bass is important and you learn how to mix with them after some use. For cheap DAC/external soundcard Molten Music TEchnology recommends the Native Instruments soundcard.http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/KompAudio6/

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Monitors are also a great option, KRK's are good but have an "unrealistic" bass response meaning although your mix may sound great through them when you take it anywhere else it may not have the low end that you had when you mixed it. Look into the new or previous generation Tannoy Reveal series for $200-$300 you can get a really nice pair of monitors.

 

I was waiting for someone to say that. KRK in general are bass heavy. If you're on a really tight budget, the Behringer Truth's are worth considering as they're one of Behringer's few good products.

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The AKAI connects via USB, no need for I/O. So yes you can use it just by itself

 

To OP:

Buy Beyer Dynamic dt770, great Bass. Doing electronic music bass is important and you learn how to mix with them after some use. For cheap DAC/external soundcard Molten Music TEchnology recommends the Native Instruments soundcard.http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/KompAudio6/

AH! Thank you so much. I have been very curious and you have helped me get my "career" started. This summer i hope to create some tracks and learn the tricks of FL Studio! Again i cant thank you enough. 

Cheers  :)

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