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HELP NEEDED FOR BEGINNER - Page 2

post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by machoboy View Post

If you plan to do anything with vocals or midi down the line I would advise skipping the sound card upgrade and going with an interface (Focusrite is my favorite) which rolls the DAC/ADC, preamps, headphone amp, XLR, midi, etc into one box. A good MIDI controller is a Godsend for composing electronica and breaking away from the DAWs "piano roll".

 

If you get a sound card then decide you want to plug external sources into your DAW then you either end up buying an interface (which completely replaces the sound card) or use the sound card as a makeshift data converter for a dedicated pre-amp (this route gets expensive fast).

 

I've been building my home studio for a while and looking back it would have been way cheaper to get a one-time permanent solution instead of how I did it in reality (gradually scaled up, leaving a pile of obsolete sound cards, cables and software behind).

Thanks for the advice machoboy, and yes i do plan to work with vocals down the line, could you point out which focusrite you might be referring to because there are so many option(REMEMBER IM ABEGINNER SOAKING UP ALOT OF INFO AT ONCE)

post #17 of 27

Yes I can help you out with that.

The first questions would be:

 

1. Do you have a firewire port on your computer (google to see what they look like if you're not sure)? 

If not then your two options are using USB 2.0 or buying a PCI-e firewire card for $30-40 to enable firewire.

After using USB for a while, I ended up doing the latter. Syba and SIIG with Texas Instruments (TI) chips are usually seen as the way to go for a FW port.

 

2. Do you plan to use MIDI controllers (to be able to play the VSTs in your DAW with an actual keyboard)?

 

Scarlett 2i2: Cheap, simple, but no MIDI and it uses USB 2.0 so it will share bandwidth with other PC accessories. USB also uses more CPU than firewire if your system is lacking.

Scarlett 8i6: Same as above plus MIDI and more inputs/outputs. IMO it's worth it to roll your MIDI into your interface rather than buy one of the cheapo MIDI>USB cables because multiple USB devices being used in the same DAW can result in "blue screen of death".

 

Saffire Pro 14: Same inputs/ouputs and body as the 8i6 but adds firewire connection. Also has the same Cirrus Logic conversion chip that's in Apogee interfaces.

 

I would avoid the Saffire 6 despite the attractive price/features ratio. It uses USB 1.1 which quite frankly sucks.

 

I had the Scarlett 8i6 and liked it but I have the Saffire Pro 24 now (TI chip, pretty lights, but not really any better than the Pro 14).

 

Cheap dynamic mics (for rooms with bad acoustics): Anything by Shure

Cheap condenser mics (for rooms with decent acoustics): MXL v67g, Audio-Technica AT2020

 

If all of the above is too much $$$ then Tascam makes some sub-$100 interfaces that aren't too bad if you replace the stock drivers with ASIO4ALL.

Brands to avoid (at least at the budget level): Behringer, M-audio. Even someone totally new to recording would agree these sound terrible side by side with the interfaces I listed. There's a reason they're always going for "sick deal" prices.

 

Focusrite is great though. Geneous bundled software, good customer support, clear pre-amps.


Edited by machoboy - 9/20/12 at 1:18am
post #18 of 27

I think you wuld be much better off going with a technics, or Audio Technica heahphone vs. sony. Pioneer even is better than sony IMO.

post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by machoboy View Post

Yes I can help you out with that.

The first questions would be:

 

1. Do you have a firewire port on your computer (google to see what they look like if you're not sure)? 

If not then your two options are using USB 2.0 or buying a PCI-e firewire card for $30-40 to enable firewire.

After using USB for a while, I ended up doing the latter. Syba and SIIG with Texas Instruments (TI) chips are usually seen as the way to go for a FW port.

 

2. Do you plan to use MIDI controllers (to be able to play the VSTs in your DAW with an actual keyboard)?

 

Scarlett 2i2: Cheap, simple, but no MIDI and it uses USB 2.0 so it will share bandwidth with other PC accessories. USB also uses more CPU than firewire if your system is lacking.

Scarlett 8i6: Same as above plus MIDI and more inputs/outputs. IMO it's worth it to roll your MIDI into your interface rather than buy one of the cheapo MIDI>USB cables because multiple USB devices being used in the same DAW can result in "blue screen of death".

 

Saffire Pro 14: Same inputs/ouputs and body as the 8i6 but adds firewire connection. Also has the same Cirrus Logic conversion chip that's in Apogee interfaces.

 

I would avoid the Saffire 6 despite the attractive price/features ratio. It uses USB 1.1 which quite frankly sucks.

 

I had the Scarlett 8i6 and liked it but I have the Saffire Pro 24 now (TI chip, pretty lights, but not really any better than the Pro 14).

 

Cheap dynamic mics (for rooms with bad acoustics): Anything by Shure

Cheap condenser mics (for rooms with decent acoustics): MXL v67g, Audio-Technica AT2020

 

If all of the above is too much $$$ then Tascam makes some sub-$100 interfaces that aren't too bad if you replace the stock drivers with ASIO4ALL.

Brands to avoid (at least at the budget level): Behringer, M-audio. Even someone totally new to recording would agree these sound terrible side by side with the interfaces I listed. There's a reason they're always going for "sick deal" prices.

 

Focusrite is great though. Geneous bundled software, good customer support, clear pre-amps.

1.Yes

2.I definately would like to get myself a good midi keyboard down the line. The Scarlett 8i6 seems like a good solid foundation with which i could add stuff later on, now im getting excited!!! :-) The  Saffire Pro 24 seems similiar to the Scarlett 8i6 except the pricing and pretty lights, is there a vast difference between the two?

 

I like that you specifed mics in such a way, i seem alot more cluep up now than i did few days ago geez.

 

Ok now that im semi confident in the interface my focus is now on headphones and monitors, but monitors ill consider only later on. What do you think of the Aiaiai TMA-1 dj, i have seen the KRK 6400/8400 bundled with focusrite vrm box, what your thoughts on this.

 

Thanks!

post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by AK86 View Post

Sorry that i double reply but i was looking into the Sony MDR-V6 pairing with the Fiio E10 DAC/AMP and the E11 version, seem the later is more stable cause peoples reviews have picked up that the E10 version the input headphone jack gives a noisy cranky scratchy sounds and there is only ONE setting that works is 16bit 44100Hz on windows 7 plus it gives blue screens. Could you guys please shed some light on this subject aswell to my previous reply. thanks

 

 

I've used MDR-V6 cans for years, general listening as well as home studio use -- they are great 'phones at <$100 -- and lately with a Fiio E17 DAC/Amp (I like the multiple input options particularly - love it fully, to be honest).

 

That's my 2 cents - Good luck!

post #21 of 27

The Scarlett 8i6 is USB 2.0. and the Saffire Pro 24 is Firewire with pretty lights and a few more inputs/outputs.

 

The Saffire Pro 14 is the Firewire version of the Scarlett 8i6 basically. A great value and if you have an open fw port, I would go with that.

 

External monitors are what really kills you financially... Good call on saving those until last.

 

I have 0 experience with Aiaiai.

The KRKs have a reputation for being very clear but lacking bass.

 

I use Shure SRH840s when I'm in Reason, FL Studio and Ableton. It's neutral but also has decent bass. In my opinion, electronic music has unique headphone requirements from other genres. In rock all you have to worry about mixing is the kick drums and bass guitars which are mostly mid-bass. In electronica some of the samples go looooooooooow so bass that extends to subwoofer levels without being artificially boosted is important. The SRH840s are very good at that.


Edited by machoboy - 9/20/12 at 2:30am
post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by machoboy View Post

The Scarlett 8i6 is USB 2.0. and the Saffire Pro 24 is Firewire with pretty lights and a few more inputs/outputs.

 

The Saffire Pro 14 is the Firewire version of the Scarlett 8i6 basically. A great value and if you have an open fw port, I would go with that.

 

External monitors are what really kills you financially... Good call on saving those until last.

 

I have 0 experience with Aiaiai.

The KRKs have a reputation for being very clear but lacking bass.

 

I use Shure SRH840s when I'm in Reason, FL Studio and Ableton. It's neutral but also has decent bass. In my opinion, electronic music has unique headphone requirements from other genres. In rock all you have to worry about mixing is the kick drums and bass guitars which are mostly mid-bass. In electronica some of the samples go looooooooooow so bass that extends to subwoofer levels without being artificially boosted is important. The SRH840s are very good at that.

The Saffire Pro 14 seems like a winner to me, i will have a look at the SRH840s.

post #23 of 27
Quote:

Originally Posted by AK86 View Post

 

2.I definately would like to get myself a good midi keyboard down the line.

 

With newer MIDI keyboards, no interface is required, you can simply connect them to a USB port.

post #24 of 27

True ^. So used to my retro synths that I forgot to mention that most newer controllers offer straight usb > usb connections even when they're called "MIDI controllers".

 

I would still opt for a firewire interface though. The more simultaneous USB devices plugged in, the more issues people seem to have. That's why I made the switch. The Pro 14 is about the same price as the 8i6, same preamps, and I believe a slightly superior converter, the MIDI compliance is just there incase you ever need it, which I do every day.


Edited by machoboy - 9/20/12 at 12:15pm
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by machoboy View Post

True ^. So used to my retro synths that I forgot to mention that most newer controllers offer straight usb > usb connections even when they're called "MIDI controllers".

 

I would still opt for a firewire interface though. The more simultaneous USB devices plugged in, the more issues people seem to have. That's why I made the switch. The Pro 14 is about the same price as the 8i6, same preamps, and I believe a slightly superior converter, the MIDI compliance is just there incase you ever need it, which I do every day.

Even if the midi that i would get were to have USB>USB cables, would i need a midi cable to be able to connect it straight to the Pro 14 or would it not be necessary (just want a hassle free experience).

post #26 of 27

One or the other, but you wouldn't need both. You either connect directly to the computer via USB or directly to the interface via MIDI.

 

With USB it would look like this:

 

USB controller -------USB------------------ computer

XLR Mic ----------------Pro 14------------- computer

Anything else --------------

 

 

With MIDI it would look like this:

 

MIDI controller-----------

                            Pro 14-------------- computer

XLR mic------------------

Anything else-----------

 

I like the MIDI route. It's nice to have all of your peripherals plugged into the interface, then you only have one simple/reliable firewire cable running to your computer instead of a bunch of competing USB cables/drivers.


Edited by machoboy - 9/21/12 at 12:55am
post #27 of 27

If you're still looking for phones, I think the Shure SRH750dj are a great option. I got a pair about a month ago, and I couldn't be happier with them. Once you get past the break in period, nothing else in the $120 to $150 range can touch them in terms of sound.

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