Looking for HW recommendation for music production only

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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DanMendes
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Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:48 am

Looking for HW recommendation for music production only

Post by DanMendes » Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:07 am

I'm new to Ableton Live, and plan on using it for electronic music production only (at home studio)

I'm wondering whether to invest in a new Desktop or a Macbook Pro. This is my current Dell Optiplex 960 desktop:

Processor: Intel® Core™2 Quad Processor Q9650 (12M Cache, 3.00 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB)
Memory: 8GB DDR2 PC2-6400 (400MHz)
Operating System: Windows 8 Pro 64-bit
Graphics Card: EVGA NVidia GeForce GT 610 2GB
Audio Interface: Native Instruments Audio 2 DJ
Monitor: Dell U2711 27" monitor @ 2560x1440 and Samsung SyncMaster 204T @ 1200x1600.

I'm a newbie to music production. Will this HW be enough for running Ableton Live?

So I have a few questions:

1) Should invest in a new Windows desktop (US$ 1,500 budget) or a used 15" Macbook Pro 2.2Ghz 8GB Mid-2011?
2) Is my Audio Interface good enough for my usage?

I've spoken with a few music producers who recommend Ableton and have been using in a Windows setup and they recommend the Audiophile 2496 audio interface. I'm hoping my Audio 2 DJ is good enough. As far as monitor speakers go, I'm thinking of investing in Pioneer S-DJ05 or a KRK Rokit 5/6.

Thank you for any input/help! :)

Best Regards,

Dan

login
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Re: Looking for HW recommendation for music production only

Post by login » Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:27 am

For starting is more than enough.

Later when your projects get complex and you start using too much cpu, as well as using thrid party plugs, you can then decide how to upgrade.

If you are not going to use your computer outside your studio a PC desktop is far better value, with 1,500 you pretty much can get a top of the line PC and you can reuse that video card in your current computer.

You could also invest in other audio interface or more important Studio monitors, some Yamaha HS80 for 600, some controller for the software or if you are in the standard version of ableton live maybe some third party soft synth's.

trevox
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Re: Looking for HW recommendation for music production only

Post by trevox » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:08 am

There's plenty of power in your computer.

In terms of sound card, there's no point in spending $1000+ on a sound card with loads of inputs/outputs if you're never going to use them. If you are mixing everything in Live and only need a stereo output and maybe headphone out, you should be fine for the moment. Unless you need inputs to record external audio of course as I don't think the NI Audio 2 DJ has inputs (I may be wrong there though!). I suggest playing around a bit and getting a feel for what your requirements will be - then buy a quality sound card that meets those needs. An RME sound card would be my suggestion (I have a MOTU, but want an RME!).

For monitors, I'd suggest you research carefully and audition the ones you want in a shop before buying with music you know very well. Buying monitors is a very personal thing. KRK's would not be my favourite, but one of my mates swears by them (I have genelec 8030's). You should also invest in a quality pair of studio headphones if you do not already have some. With both monitors and studio headphones, you really want them to be flat so when you are making music, you get a proper representation of all frequencies in your ears. Speakers/headphones that colour the sound a lot can be misleading (even if they sound good) and could result in your music not sounding the way you want on other systems.

As login said, if all your audio is software based (or even if it isn't), midi controllers are an important element to consider along with software synths. You don't have to spend a fortune - again, just play around first and buy things bit by bit as you understand your needs better rather than diving in and buying a load of stuff you may not end up using. Everyone makes a dodgy purchase every once in a while - just make sure your expensive purchases are not the dodgy ones!

H20nly
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Re: Looking for HW recommendation for music production only

Post by H20nly » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:54 am

trevox wrote:There's plenty of power in your computer.
+1 there's plenty of power in that PC.

I also agree that good headphones are a must. Beyer Dynamic DT 770 and/or Audio Technica M50 would be my recommendations on that front.

Good monitors are a must. Out of the models you listed I'd go with the KRKs but personally would prefer Genelecs, Adams, or if you have the loot Focals.
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störgeräusche
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Re: Looking for HW recommendation for music production only

Post by störgeräusche » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:15 pm

H20nly wrote:Good monitors are a must.
that's so true!
but don't forget, the best monitors in a bad sounding room makes no sense... so instead of buying super expensive monitors, measure your room (acustically) and devote part of the bugdet in basstraps (DYI also possible) and broadband absorber. Some little acoustic treatment can make shine some mid-range monitors, giving you better results than super-duper monitors in a shitty sounding room.
Expecially if you are new to making music, why not to start with a good listening environment?
Forums like gearslutz.com have dedicated sections where you can learn tons about acoustic (it's a really deep and complicated subject, but at least having an idea about reflections and standing waves is good) and there are several tutorials to build acoustic treatment with relatively few euros.
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vitalispopoff
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Re: Looking for HW recommendation for music production only

Post by vitalispopoff » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:38 pm

I'd suggest keeping the PC, and considering SSD hdd and maybe another 8G of RAM.

Also some midi control is a good choice - it's much better to work with even small, but still a midi keyboard, that has at least 8 knobs.

Not mentioning the mentioned before: monitors (would suggest APS), headphones (Beyerdynamic) and some acoustic adaptation of Your studio.
MBP/ M-Audio FW 410/ OSX 8/AL 9 Suite/ UC33e + Drehbank

markhunter
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Re: Looking for HW recommendation for music production only

Post by markhunter » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:20 pm

Given you have had some sensible replies already, I don't feel guilty adding...

Q: Looking for HW recommendation for music production only

A: A guitar :-)

H20nly
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Re: Looking for HW recommendation for music production only

Post by H20nly » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:22 pm

B: a bass :wink:

vitalispopoff
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Re: Looking for HW recommendation for music production only

Post by vitalispopoff » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:43 pm

c: coffee
MBP/ M-Audio FW 410/ OSX 8/AL 9 Suite/ UC33e + Drehbank

H20nly
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Re: Looking for HW recommendation for music production only

Post by H20nly » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:48 pm

D: an ear


:P

beatmunga
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Re: Looking for HW recommendation for music production only

Post by beatmunga » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:54 pm

E: A girlfriend with a house and a job.
mendeldrive wrote:NOBODY designs their own sounds... There is ZERO point in reinventing the wheel.

H20nly
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Re: Looking for HW recommendation for music production only

Post by H20nly » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:09 am

E: B - a trust fund

vitalispopoff
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Re: Looking for HW recommendation for music production only

Post by vitalispopoff » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:10 am

beatmunga wrote:E: A girlfriend with a house and a job.

Image
MBP/ M-Audio FW 410/ OSX 8/AL 9 Suite/ UC33e + Drehbank

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