My Current setup & what I'd like to achieve



Hi everyone,

I notice that alot of questions have been asked about setups. I've tried my best to readup on the recommendations as well as what the poster is asking.

My needs I think are much more basic than those I've read.

I just bought a comp. system and want to get the appropriate things that will be useful and effective in what I'd like to achieve.

I want to use my system as the basis for recording/sequencing/editing/mastering the music I want to create.

I am not looking for a setup whereby It is so polished and highend like a major label release.
It's more for being able to convey my ideas and create the music and sounds from that.

I am not looking to record live sounds, but want to keep it to sample based music for now and create 'Tracks' (for electronic, urban production)

I want to be able to do everything through my PC.
-My soundsamples coming from my comp
-creating sounds with wave modeling/synthesis (whatever the proper term is described for a program that allows you to make your own drumsounds, synths, etc.)
-editing sound samples (creating, chopping, layering, tweaking, etc.)
-recording the sounds/tracks as well as sequencing
-applying effects
-mixing the sounds
-mastering the finished product.
-burning it to disc

Here are the main components of my computer system:

- Intel Pentium IV processor 2.66GHZ
- 512MB DDR 333 RAM
- 80GB 7200 RPM Maxtor HD

What I have to use
- MIDI Keyboard Controller

What I need and what I was thinking:

- Soundcard
** I would like to be able to hear what is getting recorded while well, I want to be able to do overdubs by recording new parts while being able to hear the other tracks that were already recorded simultaneously.

Starting from the bottom of soundcards, would a soundblaster Audigy 2ZS Platinum Pro suffice??
Or should I stay away from it completely?
Any suggestions on soundcards that are modestly priced but effective for what I need to do?
I'm not really looking for a multitude of inputs, maybe 1 or 2 to attach a mic if need be.

- Recording/mixing/editing software
** Where do I start?? I know there's tonnes of different programs. What should I use or do they all do the same thing?
Logic audio
protools (can i operate this software with any soundcard or do you have to have their card to have it work?)

- sound samples
** Which sound/software programs do you recommend that have great sounding samples (i.e.drum sounds, synth sounds, pretty much all sounds)
What about Giga or Halion??
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

- wave synthesis software to make my own sounds ** programs such as
Reaktor (I've heard really good things about this)
Halion (can u create sounds from scratch as well)
Any other suggestions?

I do care about the quality of the music, but I don't need to have a major label finished product.
My main goal is to create 'Tracks' and be able to shop it around to artists.
If/when they are interested, the tracks can be brought into a proper studio and re-eq'ed,remixed, etc...etc..

Thanks for reading this, any opinions & suggestions would be much appreciated.


SoundBlasters are awful cards. I have disliked them for years, and refuse to use them in my client's machines. I'm in the computer business, and find their drivers suck, and the hardware isn't too swift at bus mastering.

For a cheap sound card, computer quality, try at Turtle Beach Santa Cruz. It makes noise, but the drivers are very stable. IMO, this isn't much of a card to use for recording purposes, either.

I've read about good results with M-Audio Delta cards, but don't own one. I use two Aardvark Q10 for 16-track simultaneous recording.

The way to educate yourself is spend the time reading every single old post here. Also try and read all the MICROPHONE and RACK subjects. Do searches. Recording is a very in-depth art, and requires much study.


Well-Known Member
Apr 9, 2003
Fairfield County, CT
Since you want to "Do it all" in the computer don't cheap out on the sound card. Spend the money and get a good one. It is your interface with the world, getting sounds in and out; also it is the output for your monitoring system. Get good monitors too!

As far as software goes, find one that works for you. Many of us use multiple audio/midi programs (I use Pro Tools, Digital Performer and Logic on a Mac) because each one has it's own strengths and weaknesses. Once you have decided on your main program it will dictate all of your other choices. For instance, Pro Tools will work ONLY with Pro Tools hardware, although other programs (Logic, DP, etc.) will work on Pro Tools and other hardwares. Try out the many demo programs available from the manufacturers to decide which one is for you.

Also consider an outboard sampler. There is just something about a hardware sampler that imparts a defined personality to your tracks.

Good Luck!


Thanks for your feedback guys.

I'll wait off on the soundcard until I do more research.

Thanks again.


There is a lot of chatter over sound cards at HOMERECORDING.COM and be sure to do a search.