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storage
Nov 8, 2006, 01:58 PM
Hello! :)

I'm planning on setting up a music making workstation sort of thing. I'm a complete beginner when it comes to audio recording/music making.

This is the equipment I'm planning on getting:
* M-Audio Axiom 49 USB MIDI Controller (http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Axiom49-main.html)
* Miglia HarmonyAudio audio interface (http://miglia.com/products/audio/harmonyaudio/index.html)

Is the audio interface/sound card(?) good enough? Are there any better ones for the same money?

Does the keyboard and audio interface work together? Will I be able to hook up a pair of turntables and a mixer to the interface together with the MIDI controller?

Software wise I'm going to use Reason 3.0 and Recycle. I will not need a microphone, at least not in quite a while.

Do I need monitors? Or are my headphones (Sony MDR-V700) good enough for a beginner? Or should I use my "listening speakers", so to speak for monitoring?

One last thing, can I use any mixer to change the channel volume etc in Reason?

Thanks in advance!



scottlinux
Nov 8, 2006, 04:44 PM
I searched and that Miglia box is about $200. No XLR inputs for Mics, though. That's an okay price, I guess, but Miglia is not a pro audio company. And if you are going to spend $200 or so, I'd say get a box that has XLR inputs- you may need them.

And check out these companies:

www.m-audio.com
www.edirol.com
www.sweetwater.com
www.motu.com
www.alesis.com

to get you started. Edirol's have lots of features for the money. M-Audio is very popular and have good drivers.

Firewire is strongly preferred in both audio and video devices, b/c it transmits data in a constant stream. USB is not so good for audio and video b/c it transmits in short bursts. So go with a firewire device.


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For that midi controller: it is USB. So it connects via usb, independently from a firewire box. Though some boxes have standard midi I/O, so you CAN route your midi controller through the firewire box to save your USB port. OS X handles everything in Audio Midi Setup.

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Concerning monitors: You don't particularly need monitors, though some here may disagree. I use Klipsch Pro Media 2.1 ($130) which are about 240 watts and sound amazing to me. They do the job, but they aren't real studio monitors, per say.

I've heard good things about M-Audio's monitors.

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Here's a good audio forum you may want to browse:

http://bigbluelounge.com/forums/index.php

zimv20
Nov 8, 2006, 05:15 PM
Concerning monitors: You don't particularly need monitors, though some here may disagree.
i'll go ahead and fill that role.

i'd say the only thing you really "need" is an ability to decipher what your monitoring system is telling you into decisions which will result in a mixed song that sounds good on all systems. i find that difficult without the following components: a treated room, good d/a, good cables, and good monitors.

whenever i mix on headphones, i find the bass is out of whack and that my stereo image isn't nearly as interesting as i thought it was.

storage
Nov 8, 2006, 05:37 PM
Thanks for your replies! :)

Would the M-Audio FireWire Audiophile be a better audio interface? That way I could connect the MIDI controller through the audio interface, to the iMac? It's a little more expensive, but maybe it's worth it :).

About the monitors, maybe I should invest in a pair then, any recommendations?

Thanks again!

zimv20
Nov 8, 2006, 05:50 PM
About the monitors, maybe I should invest in a pair then, any recommendations?
budget?

just as important as the monitors are the room. consider spending some money on bass/broadband trapping. i just ordered 7 panels from GIK Acoustics (http://www.gikacoustics.com/). i already have a number of Realtrap minitraps (http://www.realtraps.com/products.htm#minitraps). adding just 4 of those turned my mackie 624's from hopeless to barely useable (and those will finally be replaced soon).

storage
Nov 10, 2006, 10:35 PM
My budget is pretty limited, and this is just supposed to be for home recording so to speak, nothing really professional.

What I would like to know is what I'd need to connect a mixer, a MIDI controller, two turntables and a DJ-mixer to an iMac (C2D, if that's of any importance).

I want all the audio "manageable" so to speak from the mixer (like, turntables -> DJ mixer -> "main" mixer). Is MIDI used for everything (turntables etc), or just for the MIDI controller? Do the turntables use RCA?

As I said, I'm pretty much a beginner.

Thanks again!

quigleybc
Nov 11, 2006, 02:31 PM
My budget is pretty limited, and this is just supposed to be for home recording so to speak, nothing really professional.

What I would like to know is what I'd need to connect a mixer, a MIDI controller, two turntables and a DJ-mixer to an iMac (C2D, if that's of any importance).

I want all the audio "manageable" so to speak from the mixer (like, turntables -> DJ mixer -> "main" mixer). Is MIDI used for everything (turntables etc), or just for the MIDI controller? Do the turntables use RCA?

As I said, I'm pretty much a beginner.

Thanks again!

That's pretty much my setup right there. more or less. Turntables, running into a DJ scratch mixer, running directly into the line in on the back of da Mac. Midi Keyboard running into a USB port, and that's it. So what do you need? Bare bones to just get your feet wet and start making tracks, or record your decks.

Super cheap= MIDI Keyboard from M-audio (great company that doesn't charge an arm and a leg for their lower end products.) Shouldn't cost more than 200 US. One RCA to 1/8 inch cord to run from your Mixer into the back of da Mac. Garageband (free) to record your decks, and to begin creating tracks with your MIDI keyboard Total cost...maybe $220 or less. And downloading some free apps to record with a stripped down light program like Audio recorder OS X, Audacity, and wiretap in demo mode. All free

Not Cheap=MIDI keyboard of choice, like any hardware the sky's the limit with how sick you want it be and how much $$. Software=I love Ableton Live for composing, recording, mixing, editing, the works. But others love using Logic express/Pro or Digital Performer and of course the granddaddy ProTools LE or HD. And of course Monitors, Headphones, Mics, you can get as pricey as you want.

That about sums it up.

enjoy. :)

storage
Nov 12, 2006, 06:25 PM
Thanks quigleybc :) You gave me some to think about, I want to start out half-cheap, and then gradually upgrade as I get better at these things.

Currently, it looks like I'll be buying this for now:
* 17" iMac (2GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB memory), hooked up to a 24" Dell display
* M-Audio Axiom 49 MIDI controller, I really want the trigger pads :o
* M-Audio Firewire Audiophile audio interface/sound card
* Sony MDR-V700 headphones, used for monitoring until I get some monitors

Does it look at least decent for a home music making workstation sort of thing? Or should I get something else instead (around the same money, budget is pretty limited)? The turntables and DJ-mixer I plan on getting at a later date, will the interface be able to handle them too?

As I mentioned in my first post, I'll use Reason (3.0) to make music. What do I need to control the built-in mixer?
http://img83.imageshack.us/img83/6039/reasonmixerji2.jpg
A normal mixer? Or does it need to be Firewire or USB?

I read somewhere that you shouldn't place your speakers in the corner of the room because it causes too much reflection.

To the left is where my stuff is placed now (excuse the poor illustration :p). The blue things are the speakers, the brown thing is the desktop.
http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/3985/speakersgc1.png
Would it be better to put everything like how it is to the right?

Thanks so much in advance, and thanks for taking the time to reply!

zimv20
Nov 12, 2006, 06:40 PM
What do I need to control the built-in mixer?
need? just a mouse.

I read somewhere that you shouldn't place your speakers in the corner of the room because it causes too much reflection.
bass frequencies build up the most in corners (3 surfaces meeting), then where 2 surfaces meet (wall/floor, wall/wall, wall/ceiling). so, yes, you should keep monitors away from corners. you should also keep them away from the walls. if you could move them even 2' away from your front wall, that will help.

i'll reiterate what i said above about trapping. placing monitors in a small, untreated room merely varies the shades of bad.

quigleybc
Nov 13, 2006, 01:41 AM
need? just a mouse.



Ya, Reason is software, so you'll be clickin....or you could get a Firewire Mixer that works with Reason, or can be "mapped" out to work with Reason and the hardware mixer. Oh, and you can't record with Reason.

Did I already say to get Ableton Live...? oh ya I did...

scottlinux
Nov 13, 2006, 05:54 PM
Did I already say to get Ableton Live...? oh ya I did...

Ditto.