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help setting up a starter home recording studio

Member for

21 years 2 months
I wanted to see if I could get some advice on what to go with to get a decent home studio setup. I already have Cubase SX but I have used Adobe Audition 1.5 for all my recordings thus far. I want to get into the midi so that is one thing I’m looking for. I have somewhere between 400 -600 dollars to spend so that is my budget.

Here are my CPU specs:

AMD/Atholon 64 bit processor 3000+
160 GB Hard drive
MSI K8N Neo4-F Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 ATX AMD Motherboard
(if there are any other specs needed to make a better decision just let me know, I was a little unsure about that)

Here are a couple of solutions I’ve come up with after a lot of searching and spending time with Tweak’s guide:

Solution #1

midi controller - CME UF5
Sound Card – Audiophile 2496
Mixer - Yamaha MG82CX
And a direct box – Behringer DI100 Active
One thing that I was unsure of was if I had the necessary cables and software.
I guess I just need to know if this setup makes sense and will work. Are there any vital parts that I am excluding?

Solution #2

M-audio Ozone

One of the main reasons that this appealed to me was because I can get it with Proppelerhead’s Reason for 220$. But if it is obvious that the other set up will produce better results I can always get Reason one day when I have the money.

I really appreciate anyone that has read this far and helps me out in any way.


Member for

14 years 10 months

Halifaxsoundguy Fri, 04/20/2007 - 13:52
I'm a mac user so I can't help on the PC Stuff, but if your new to this. try looking in the clearance bin at the local music stores. I often see really good stuff go for cheap. I got a midi controller with extra knobs and sliders for like $120 CDN Bought an OK power conditiooner for $100. I've seen gold items that I couldn't afford show up. I once saw a 24 track reel to reel tape machine (that I owned a tape for) come through and go for $1500, I later found out that machine brand new was $20,000. Check out the rental dept. for used cables. You can always buy new ones when you have the money.

Member for

15 years 2 months

moisiss Sat, 04/21/2007 - 03:11
You might check out the Presonus Firepod...

(Dead Link Removed)

Personally, I would get this instead of the Soundcard+Mixer+DI combo... it is all three in one single device with a firewire connection... plus you get double the inputs. You can also multi-track really easily... instead of just having a stereo mix coming from the outboard mixer onto one track you can set any of the inputs on the firepod to a separate track and record that way (of course with some mixers+soundcards you can route the whole thing so you can multi-track... but it takes literally the click af a mouse to set the firepod up to multi-track...).

It comes with Cubase LE but I'm sure it would work well with Cubase SX... and I also use it occasionally with an old copy of Cool Edit Pro... so it might work with Audition...

I pretty much exclusively use Reason right now for midi.... which for me runs very well in Cubase via rewire. Oh yeah, My comp specs are almost exactly the same as yours (I have less RAM)... so I bet it would run pretty well on your machine...

All right... I'm jumping of the firepods'/cubases' nuts now... :)

Again, this is all just my opinion and what works for me... good luck!!

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Sat, 04/21/2007 - 12:05
Thanks for the informative response. I just went and read a bunch about the Firepod and it sounds like a good deal. It's also good to hear somebody with similar CPU specs say it works well on their system. The only other option I was thinking about was the M-audio Firewire 1814 ( It's about the same price range and the big difference seems to be that it offers ADAT connection. Does that mean that it's just a little bit easier to expand what you can do? Thanks again for the suggestion, I really appreciate it.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Sun, 04/22/2007 - 12:42
Ok, I think I've narrowed it down to the pre-sonus firepod(which I'm leaning towards) and the the m-audio firewire 1814, I can get the 1814 for $399 no shipping and the firepod for $499 + shipping, with a free Audio-Technica AT2020 Microphone($100 value). The mic would come in handy considering I would have to buy another if I didn't get this.
Any comments or experiences with either one or both before I make the plunge?