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So what kind of interface and DAW is everybody using?
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 Posted: Sun Jul 12th, 2020 12:36 am
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moptop
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Just thought I'd through that question out there.

I use a Behringer xenyx x1204usb mixer/interface to get the music into the computer (PC) and I use Cubase 9.5 elements as a DAW. It's not the biggest and baddest they have but it has more than enough power for my little hobby project songs.

Would like to hear from everyone else, whether it's a full blown studio or just a cell phone, as long as you're creating music that's all that matters.

Safe and Healthy to all!:)



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 Posted: Sun Jul 12th, 2020 04:47 pm
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ChrisPrice
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My 'studio' is in fact a shed/summerhouse in the back garden. I've blacked it out inside with fabric so no-one can see what's in it. It adds a bit of atmosphere and dampens the acoustics enough to be workable.

I've recently upgraded my pc. I have a Dell T5610 workstation which is set up as a Hackintosh running os Sierra. It's quite a monster. It has 2 x 10core processors, 64Gb RAM, 2x GT710 graphics cards which run 2 x 24" Samsung curved screens. Everything is second-hand and mostly bought on eBay.

My audio interface is an M-Audio Fast-Track..an old 2 in/2 out unit which I still rate very highly. I don't use a desk - all my mixing is done on the pc. My audio monitors are Behringer 'Truth' units which are self powered and I use a pair of very old Sony hifi headphones which I know and trust.

I have 2 x Rhode NT1A condenser mics. My guitars and basses are recorded direct using vst plugins for fx. I don't use a guitar amp when I record. I sometimes use an ambient mic for acoustic guitar. My electric guitars nearly always go through Magix Vandal which is a great amp simulator in my opinion.

My DAW of choice is Steinberg Cubase Elements 9.5..it has enough features for me. I don't see any need to upgrade to Artist or Pro. I did upgrade to v10 but I don't like the new interface so I reverted to 9.5.

For drums I use XLN Audio Addictive Drums v2. For keys I mostly use a vsti version of Korg Triton plus some of the sounds from HalionSonicSE which is bundled with Cubase. For occasional brass parts I use Native's free Kontakt Player and a brass sample library the name of which escapes me. I have a load of other vst fx, too many to list here.

My midi keyboard is an M-Audio Oxygen25. I'm not really a keyboard player so it's adequate for me.

Most of what I use is quite basic. The real horse-power is in the pc which will handle anything I need and more besides.

I'll be interested to read what gear others here are using.

Hope you and your family are keeping well. Stay Safe.


:)

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 Posted: Sun Jul 12th, 2020 06:19 pm
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moptop
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Thanks Chris for chiming in. Sounds like you've got quite a nice setup and it definitely shows in the quality of your songs.

I also use the instrument sounds in Halion Sonic SE. For what I do they are more than adequate. Most of the time I use MT Power Drums, if not for the sounds then just for the pattens since it makes it easy for me to come up with passable tracks, then I can apply other drums sounds to it. I've managed to collect several other useful effects and processing plug-ins that seem to work for me.

I run almost all my electric guitar and bass signals through a Behringer X Vamp pedal where I apply the effects and any simulations then straight into the mixer/interface. Yeah it's kind of old school doing it that way but it works well for me. I have a Yamaha PSR-270 keyboard that I primarily use as a controller through Cubase but it also has some nice sounds of it's own.

My monitor speakers are a pair of Event TR8's that are self powered. I use a ART DI/O 2 channel tube mic preamp for all my vocals and couple of ART Studio MP tube pre's that I use occasionally. My main mic is an old tried and true SM58 Shure but I also have a Sterling Audio ST51 large diaphragm condenser that works well. I also have a PG58 Shure and a Beta Green 1.0 Shure I use when needed. The PG58 is the one I used live when I was still gigging.

My PC is a Dell Optiplex 790 running an i5 with 8g's of ram. Not anything special but it's always been stable. I use dual 500g drives to help speed things up a bit. It has two 24" monitors on it. Having 2 monitors is the only way to go with Cubase in my opinion.


All my gear, like your's, is used or hand-me-downs and so far I've been pretty lucky with all working like it's supposed to. I'm a scrounge anyway and the hunt is part of the fun!....although I did buy myself a new pair of Sony MDR-7506 headphones....well actually they were a B-Day gift from my wife but she let me pick out what I wanted!


Maybe we can compare notes on guitars later on!

More later!

Last edited on Sun Jul 12th, 2020 06:39 pm by moptop



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 Posted: Mon Jul 13th, 2020 07:42 am
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RainyDayMan
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"Studio" is a desk in the office.
I have a M-Audio 2x2 +Midi interface to which I connect:
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 Posted: Mon Jul 13th, 2020 12:04 pm
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ChrisPrice
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......and feed that into Reaper DAW on my laptop.

I like what I've seen of Reaper. If I wasn't so familiar with Cubase I might have been tempted to go with it.

Last edited on Mon Jul 13th, 2020 12:05 pm by ChrisPrice

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 Posted: Mon Jul 13th, 2020 05:57 pm
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ASecretMeaning
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I started off with Reaper and a Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD audio interface going into my desktop PC. I originally bought the Behringer because I wanted to try and record the band that I play in - just using a couple of microphones to pickup the whole sound. I clearly didn't know what I was doing!

I later wanted to learn/experiment with MIDI so I bought an M-Audio Oxygen 49 controller which came bundled with basic versions of Ableton and Pro-Tools. I wanted a keyboard that was big enough to use in it's own right - as a child I used to play the piano to a basic standard - and I wanted the opportunity to be able to re-learn it if I find the time. As far as the DAW is concerned, I think I just found Ableton much easier to get going with than Pro-Tools or Reaper, and once you have invested some time learning it, your not going to easily switch. So I have since upgraded from the basic bundled version to the full suite. At the moment, I only use the virtual instruments and effects that come bundled with it - not learned how to use 3rd party plug-ins yet.

For guitars, I play my same fender stratocasters that I use with my band through my Boss GT100 multi-effects, and into the Behringer audio interface. No guitar amp used.

I've recently invested in a Rode NT1A condenser microphone for recording vocals, and a used pair of M-Audio AV40 monitor speakers. And always have my trusty Senheiser HD205 headphones to hand.

My "studio" is the spare bedroom / home office / temporary home-school classroom. All of my more expensive was bought used.

Love reading about everyone's setups though, great thread Moptop.

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 Posted: Mon Jul 13th, 2020 08:15 pm
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Andrea
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I feel like I am reading a foreign language in these posts. I have recently started recording some songs using Ableton Live, but admit, I am having a hard time. It is complicated to do more than the basics so far. I do not come from a musical background, so that is against me. If anyone has some advice on learning how to learn to use this DAW, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks



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 Posted: Mon Jul 13th, 2020 11:29 pm
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Andrea, watch as many tutorials as you can find on Youtube for Ableton. That will be easier than reading the doco. Also, set aside half an hour a day (or whatever you can spare) to specifically work on this so that you don't forget what you have just learned. Do you have an audio interface between your computer and your guitar/mic? That will make a big difference over using a built in mic from your computer.



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 Posted: Tue Jul 14th, 2020 01:42 am
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samiamiamsam
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I've been using Studio One for the last couple years. I love it.

Running everything through a Behringer DI and a Presonus usb96 audio interface, into a laptop.
I just bought a pair of Kali lp6 studio monitors that are amazing for the price.

My weapons of choice on most of my recordings are..

Taylor 114ce acoustic guitar
60's original Fender Jaguar
Jim Root signature Fender Telecaster
Ibanez sr4 bass guitar
Akai Professional MPK midi keyboard
Audio-Technica AT2035 Studio Microphone for vocals

I'm just getting into vst's



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 Posted: Tue Jul 14th, 2020 05:47 pm
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ASecretMeaning
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Andrea wrote:
I feel like I am reading a foreign language in these posts. I have recently started recording some songs using Ableton Live, but admit, I am having a hard time. It is complicated to do more than the basics so far. I do not come from a musical background, so that is against me. If anyone has some advice on learning how to learn to use this DAW, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks

Andrea, are you just using it on it's own or do you have keyboard or some other controller connected?

Initially I struggled to get any sound at all out of it! Just getting my audio interface and my keyboard to work with it took me a while, but I eventually did it by watching the various video tutorials.

As for learning how to use it, I learned the most once I had a song written or a project to actually work on. This was because rather than just experimenting without any real purpose, I now knew what I wanted to do and I had to find out & learn how to do it.

The built in help and tutorials I found were really good, and I still use the 'hint' window in the bottom left of the screen all the time.

If there's anything particular that I can help you with feel free to message me and I'll do my best to help.

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 Posted: Fri Jul 17th, 2020 01:29 am
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moptop
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I'm afraid I can be much help since I have never worked with Ableton.

I have messed with Reaper though and it is a very capable program for doing what we do. In fact I used it a couple of times to record my band using a 16 track Tascam interface. I had 14 of the 16 tracks recording all at once and it worked perfectly.

ASM is correct! Learning by doing is the best way to do it regardless of what program you're using. Having a complete song you want to record is a great way to get started even if it's just a short simple song cause anything you learn can also be applied to any larger project later on down the road.



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 Posted: Sun Jul 19th, 2020 01:18 am
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I've always used Cakewalk (Now Cakewalk by Bandlab) software, and recently added Cubase 10.5 Pro . . . both have a very strong MIDI component, so you can just keep tweaking forever :)

My audio interface is M-Audio M-TRACK QUAD



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 Posted: Fri Jul 24th, 2020 02:45 am
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moptop
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I've heard good things about Cakewalk/Bandlab but never had the chance to try it. Since I'm not a keyboard player the enhanced MIDI stuff would not be of much use to me I'm afraid.
I program all of my keys/strings/doodads using the MIDI piano roll.



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 Posted: Fri Jul 24th, 2020 03:43 am
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Sure . . . just use whatever you're used to, get it done comfortably . . . I just find the user interface of Cakewalk by BandLab far superior . . . but alas, Cubase is more stable . . . but it's endless drop down menus drive me *)(^%^ . . . Cakewalk is far more intuitive, and FREE !
Strange business model, makes me nervous, I never send them money, but they keep making amazing improvements to the software.



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 Posted: Sat Jul 25th, 2020 08:12 pm
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I am a Linux user and also a retarded little puppy dog when it comes to audio engineering, so I use Audacity. My hardware interface is an M-Audio M-Track 2X2M.



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 Posted: Thu Aug 20th, 2020 08:00 pm
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I will be using a Behringer Xenyx Q502USB mixer / interface
as soon as it arrives in the mail.
Have Reaper and BIAB on my PC. Main guitar now is a Squier Affinity Telecaster. Have an old Audio Technica AP901 mic.
Last time I was serious about recording I was using a cassette 4-track, so I have a lot to learn!



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 Posted: Thu Oct 1st, 2020 07:10 pm
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Andrea
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RDM and ASM, Sorry for the late reply. We have a Scarlett solo studio that we use with our Mac. You can plug in a guitar to record, or use the mic it came with.

This came a choice of Protools or Ableton Live. We have been using Ableton Live, but we struggle. There is a full tutorial. I think we need to start at the beginning and make our way through the entire tutorial. I have watched Youtube videos trying to do certain things (trying to cheat by skipping ahead), and I get lost quickly.

The best way to learn, is slow and stead.

My son's college professor suggested he buy Logic Pro X. He plays mostly metal and he uses a Mac. Is this something we should buy for him?

Thank you for any help.



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 Posted: Thu Oct 1st, 2020 09:35 pm
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Hi Andrea, from the various reviews I have read / watched of different DAWs it seems to be a matter of personal preference rather than one being better than the other. Each appears to have its own strengths, but all the big names are very capable.

If your son's college professor and his friends all use Logic Pro X, then the big advantage will be in having help learning to use it rather than what it can actually do.

As for Ableton, it's taken me a while and I'm still learning, but I love it. It's strength is the 'Arrangement view' which is great for building up parts to a composition, especially as a solo musician - where you can only play one part at a time. If you were always playing/recording as a full band you might not see the benefit of this - though Ableton would still be perfectly capable of working this way.

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 Posted: Thu Oct 1st, 2020 09:55 pm
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ChrisPrice
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Andrea, As ASM said, the choice of DAW is a matter of personal preference. They all do much the same thing, just the method of getting there which varies a bit. Logic Pro X is the native choice for Mac and excellent from I've seen of it. If his college professor and others around him use it then it's probably the way to go. So said, I'm a Mac user and I use Cubase - have done for many years. It isn't better - it's just what I know. Reaper is also very good and works well on a Mac and is the most reasonably priced. If he plays metal there's some good guitar fx bundled with all the major DAWs and loads of 3rd party plugins some of which are freeware.

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 Posted: Thu Oct 1st, 2020 10:19 pm
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Why buy one when you already have one?
Logic Pro isn't any easier to use, just different.
As ASecretMeaning said, the only advantage there is having someone handy who already knows how to use it. That may help your son more than you.



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