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Setting up home studio and need your advices

Discussion in 'Recording' started by TheKopf, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. TheKopf

    TheKopf Guest

    Hey =]

    I'm currently starting to set up my home studio and I need your advices.

    I need the following:
    1 Mixer (thinking about Soundcraft MFX12)
    1 Audio Interface (thinking about Firepod)
    2 Monitors/Speakers
    2 Microphones

    Which you think I need to get?
    I'm all around the budget of $1,000 - $1,500.
    I need all of those to work with Pro-Tools since I'm going to a school that uses Pro-Tools only.

    Note that I already have the following equipment:
    M-Audio Axiom 49 MIDI Keyboard
    A Macintosh computer with external 320GB HD.

    Could you please advise? and please make sure it's compatible with Pro-Tools ^^

    Thank you so much!
  2. mhutch

    mhutch Guest

    You don't technically need a mixer if you're getting an interface.

    I believe M-audio makes devices that are compatible with a special version of PT.

    Any monitors/microphones will work.

    In conclusion I think you should get:

    1. An interface that works with Protools.
    2. Your favorite cheap microphone (SM57/58 perhaps).
    3. Either headphones, monitors or both. There are several on the market.
  3. TheKopf

    TheKopf Guest

    First, thank you for the answer, appreciate it =]

    Secondly, what would you suggest? getting an interface or a mixer?
    How much channels would I be able to record at once with each of them?

    Thanks =]
  4. mhutch

    mhutch Guest

    I'd go with just an interface. The number of channels depends on which interface you buy. They're all different. Browse through an online music store. Good luck!
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Distinguished Moderator Resource Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    Forget the mixer, and you can't use a Firepod directly with ProTools. PT is a "closed" system and will only work with specified hardware.

    As a starter pack, you could do worse than look for a second-hand Mbox package with PT. The original Mbox (not the Mbox2) has decent microphone pre-amps and should be available for reasonable money.

    As an alternative, consider PT M-powered coupled with an M-Audio interface such as the FastTrack pro.

    For microphones, start with an SM57 for guitar and an SM58 for vocals. You can move on from there once you have mastered the art of making good recordings with that pair.

    Monitors are much more personal. At your sort of budget, checkout the KRKs, Genelecs, Events. If all else fails, use the search facility on this board. The subject of monitors has been covered many, many times.
  6. TheKopf

    TheKopf Guest

    I got it, thank you.

    But last question.

    I saw that to even load PT on the computer it requires a PT hardware connected to the computer.

    If I use the M-Audio's hardware that's compatible with PT, will it load no problem or I need to get a specific Digidesign hardware?
  7. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    Most M-Audio hardware is PT M-Powered compatible.

    I can't find a good link to it, but on http://www.m-audio.com check out Pro Tools M-Powered. There is a link to "hardware" under the "Accessible" heading.
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    You're going to go to school where they have ProTools. This means you can either purchase yourself products manufactured by Digi design, which generally comes bundled with ProTools. Or, you can purchase some of the other interesting multitrack interface devices from M-Audio who are owned by Digi design. On that particular equipment you must purchase a specialized version of ProTools called, "ProTools M-Powered", which is an additional $300 US. The other versions of ProTools that run on Digidesign hardware will not, repeat not, run on anything M-Audio unless it's designed for that product. So all ProTools are not created equally even though the files made with them are interchangeable on different systems.

    Plus you must also be concerned with having exactly the right type of computer hardware that is authorized to run ProTools. Not all computers or operating systems are. Most all things Macintosh work however.

    So it's all very confusing and easy to make mistakes when you're purchasing this sort of equipment. You must purchase exactly what Digidesign recommend you purchase. Otherwise it won't work. Nothing will. You see, it's not about making recordings it's about using ProTools, which has nothing to do with making recordings. And probably why a lot of us don't use ProTools even though we have it. It's only important if you think it's important.

    Manufactured music has no soul
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  9. Hi Kopf,

    Following on from what Remy has already said, the list of MAudio interfaces that are currently available that work with Pro Tools M-Powered are listed here:


    Yes, in addition to buying the hardware, you'll need to also buy PT M-Powered.

    If you buy a PT LE system, like an MBox or 003Rack then you get the latest version (7.4) with it for free, in addition to a big bundle of software and samples called the Ignition Pack.

    Also, as Remy says, check the computer you intend to use it with will actually work (is compatible) with ProTools 7.4 (LE or M-Powered) here:

    Lastly, if you need a mixer you can use standalone in addition to the software mixer you have when your interface is connected to your computer, you may be interested in this MAudio interface, the NRV-10 which does both:

    Incedently, even though you are looking at buying hardware specifically to run PT, your hardware is actually an open interface platform. What I mean is that you can use any Digi or MAudio interfaces with the software of your choice, like Logic, Reason, Live or Cubase or whatever. Just use the core audio or ASIO drivers that we supply for free off your installation disk. Then you get the best of both worlds, a good quality interface, the ability to use PT plus use other software of your choice.

    Unfortunately is doesn't work the other way around, the software is a "closed" system as we use a proprietary method to connect our hardware and software with your computer's motherboard - to monitor it constantly and provide tech support for the life of the product...any time you get a problem with PT, the DAE engine that connects your hardware and software will throw a code such as DAE error -6031 and that will tell you what the problem is and how to fix it, like this page here:
    Without Pro Tools connecting to its hardware this way, it wouldn't be the stable solution it is, and wouldn't be the system of choice for so many audio industries (film, tv, music and radio). Which is probably why your school teaches it, really.

    Hope that helps explain it all a bit.
  10. Greener

    Greener Guest

    "we use a proprietary method to connect our hardware and software with your computer's motherboard - to monitor it constantly and provide tech support for the life of the product..."

    Hey Big Brother. :)

    Your post is extreme in its helpfulness. I wish your products didn't need that level of tech support.
  11. dwoz

    dwoz Guest

    So, let me get this straight. The fact that the DAE engine barfs up error codes is considered a FEATURE? One that's a VALUE PROPOSITION?

    Why not CATCH the exceptions and do something intelligent with them from within the app? Like, change the buffer size on the fly?

    Somehow, the jump from "barfed-up error codes" to "stable solution" is one that lost me. I think that jump went into hyperspace and came out on Alpha Centauri.

    the reason his school teaches it, is because they have a back-scratching deal with Avid. It's the same at Berklee...Everyone has PT LE because they WORKED A DEAL...not because it was "clearly the stable platform of choice".

    Not saying it's a BAD choice...just saying that your market-speak hyperbole is a bit high on the old cosine vectors.

  12. ( :oops: ok, bit embarassed by my last line of digi-speak...)

    Hey Dwoz,

    Look, I'm not totally surprised to find some anti-digi sentiment here, (heck, I came here to offer tips and tricks and my first post was moved to the spam folder!!) but all I can offer here is my own experience. Ive driven DSPs, Fairlights, Pyramix and Nuendo in work situations and have been using PT for over 10 years.

    When I had problems with nuendo or pyramix stability it was a battle to troubleshoot the problem, and took significant time to check everything over. (this is going back about 5 years to give context) On the odd occaisions Ive had DAE errors on my own PT rigs they've been a godsend in speeding up the whole troubleshooting process and the issue has been resolved alot faster than with the other systems Ive driven. That's why I see them as a benefit - from real world experience, not because I was "taught" or "assimilated" into saying it! lol

    To open myself up to a thread that decends into metaphor semantics, your car has a computer in it these days, to help the mechanic track whats going wrong and right with it, correct? Why not your DAW? Why is that a negative?? That's how I see it.
  13. Space

    Space Distinguished Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    I think Mr. Heber has been fair in his intentions. He knew coming in that an attack was likely and in fact has happened. It's the same old song and dance. Everyone loves the underdog, but don't let that underdog turn into Brett Favre and keep playing long after his prime, after 2 failed attempts to retire and go to the NY Jets!

    Anyway...I never could get PT to run last century when it had a free version...it was a cakewalk to get into Sonar :)

    Good luck with that Borg thing BH!
  14. TheKopf

    TheKopf Guest

    Thank you guys very much for the wide answers.

    But let me get this straight.

    You say that I should buy a hardware that's compatible with Pro-Tools like Mbox 2 and if I would want to switch in the future lest say to Logic Pro, it wouldn't be a problem because the hardware will be supported by it?
  15. That's right - all the digi gear has standard OS level drivers (Core audio or ASIO drivers) to allow the Digi hardware to work with other software.

    Read up on Core Audio - should give you some more info.
  16. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Distinguished Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    And I believe someone said get the MBox, not the MBox 2

    Just cause it has a bigger number doesn't mean it's better, example:
    Radeon 4870 compared to GeForce 8800...
    (If you can live with radeon drivers)
  17. johnthemiracle

    johnthemiracle Active Member

    Jul 26, 2004
    vienna, austria
    Home Page:
    well, brent, thats nice to know that digi writes something like core audio drivers, but...they dont work. i tried them with a pt hd system recently, latest os x, latest core audio drivers...no avail. in fact it was impossible to get logic running on that system at all. now i dont think that this is only digis fault, also logics means of connecting to the hd rig dont work at all. but to claim that there are core audio drivers out there that do actually work is actually...not the truth to use an euphemism. i cant comment on the situation with the mbox, after all my trusty old am3 used to work with cubase for years (but not with the digi drivers!), but using an hd rig with anything else but protools is doomed to failure...

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