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Howdy everyone,

New to the forum but not recording. Unfortunately, I come from the pre-existing multitrack recording studios from wayyy back. Every recording device I have ever owned was a multitrack recorder from the cassette porta-04 studio to my current Roland digital 8-track.

I see by the posts on this forum that virtually everyone has a PC or Mac based system. I am super-intimidated by all the gear that is required for a great Mac based recording studio to go in a smallish room in my house. I have Korg keyboards, drums, guitars and all that Jazz. The problem is I am so used to the very decent sound and simplicity of self-contained Multitrack recorders and was wondering if someone could tell me why everyone seems to be so much more for the computer based systems. Are they THAT much better in quality than the multitrack recording devices out now? Is it worth the headache of patchbays, mixers, drivers, soundcards, effects programs, sequencers, compressors, finding humming noises in your gear, polarity issues, software upgrades, system crashes and all that? Korg and Roland have some (IMO) very nice 24 and even 32 track recorders with 8 XLR inputs, optical ins and outs with all the effects and CD-burner right on board., plus it's very quiet for someone who cannot put his noisy gear in another room!

Is this still a good way to go for my $3000, or can someone convince me to go the way of the computer? What are the disadvantages of the Multitrack with all of its simplicity? Why a computer based studio?

Thanks very much for your time and responses,



Cucco Tue, 10/05/2004 - 09:21

Can you say "Can of Worms" ???

You'll get a lot of replies on this one.

Let's see - comparing a $3000 computer system with an "all-in-one." First let's talk about the negatives about both.
Negatives to the All-in-one:
1. Bad mic-pres
2. Bad A/D converters
3. Cheesy on-board effects processors
4. Very limiting (though you can add outboard stuff to a lot of these boxes, there's typically no helping the sound of an all-in-one.)
5. Upgrades VERY pricey - when this thing breaks/needs upgrading - you have to flush the old and drop another $3k for a new one.
6. Lots more disadvantages, but I'll leave those to other 65 posts you'll get on this one.
Negatives to the PC/Mac based:
1. Initially kind of expensive. (However, for $3k, you can do just fine!)
2. Portability can be a pain. (It's do-able, but less easy than the all-in-one)
3. Not much else. (Or at least, in my biased opinion there's not.)

Positives - All in one:
1. It's all in one! Take it everywhere you go. Throw it in a laptop bag and record anywhere!
2. GUI has a relatively small learning curve.

Positives to PC:
1. Outboard gear infinitely upgradeable.
2. Built-in effects on Cubase/Cakewalk/PT are far better than those built into all-in-ones.
3. If parts break or become outdated, replace a relatively inexpensive part, not the whole beast!
4. Very easy GUI!
5. Sound quality associated with better gear.

I just built another rackmount pc for on-the-road recording consisting of an AMD 64, 3200 processor, ASUS Motherboard, Antec Rackmount case, Silverstone quiet power supply, Maxtor 40GB and 160GB hard drives, Windows XP, 1 Gig of Kingston RAM, Samsung LCD (15"), Gator Shock mount case, and Pelican flight case (to transport the lcd and mics) for $1621.87. Add Cubase SX to that, it brings you to $2200. Add the Aardvark Q10, you're now at $2900. You now have a bad-ass machine that is infinitely upgradeable with great converters, good pre's, mobile, quiet, and incredibly flexible. Did I mention, it sounds good!

This, to me, sounds like a no brainer. If you e-mail me, I will gladly send you an excel spreadsheet with links to all of the parts that I used as well as prices (at least they were the prices a couple weeks ago - they've probably gone down now.)

My e-mail address is:

My 2 pennies,

J... :D

anonymous Tue, 10/05/2004 - 09:36

Hey Razor... I'm fairly new to recording but I can say this... I looked long and hard at the all-in-ones and then at the pc/mac based recording setups and from the economist view, the all-in-one sounded much better to me (this was before I looked at all of the possibilities in a pc/mac based setup...). It didn't take long once I started looking at pc/mac based to make up my mind that that is what would suit me the best. I am a student and very hard pressed for money so the considering that I had built a pc about a year ago that would do fine with the recording setup that I desired I didn't have to dish out the 800-1600 bucks for the pc... this set up also attracted me because I knew I could just keep adding to it and upgrading as a I needed and as my music grew!!! (irreplacable to a musician like me) so the pc/mac system is the route I went I have no regrets, although the all-in-one sound nice, they have serious upgrade issues if you ask me :wink: 8-) 8-)

dabmeister music Tue, 10/05/2004 - 11:28

Thought I'd drop this in too. Computer based systems offer the user that..."do it yourself syndrome". You'll find yourself basically, not having to drag it to a repair center for servicing, and furthermore, you'll know it inside & out. I own an Adat XT20 and virtually don't use it at all other than doing a few transfers into the DAW system via digital I/O. And to add to it, you'll never have problems doing hardware upgrades. There's an abundance of support, especially for PC's. Just my .02 worth.

anonymous Tue, 10/05/2004 - 11:31

Cucco explained this very well and I just want you to know that he's not the only one who thinks like that. You will only get replies telling you pc is the best way to go. His example is really good too. That would give you 8 mic preamps, 8 line outs, four inserts, midi input and output....everything you would get from your all in one and more. One thing I don't agree with is Cubase. If your really into midi, go with cubase but if you record mostly audio, i would suggest the new Sonar 4 from Cakewalk. That software kills any all in one in a flash!!

Good luck finding what suits you!

Cucco Tue, 10/05/2004 - 11:46

radioliver wrote: One thing I don't agree with is Cubase. If your really into midi, go with cubase but if you record mostly audio, i would suggest the new Sonar 4 from Cakewalk. That software kills any all in one in a flash!!

Good luck finding what suits you!

Very true! Cakewalk for Midi is tough to beat. The Cubase example is for me; that's what I use.

anonymous Tue, 10/05/2004 - 12:24

Thanks for your input, people. Where on earth do I start?? Any good ideas? Really like the idea of a Mac based system, but have no idea how or where to get started and what the necessities are. Thanks a million and please forgive the newbie question. New to computer recording and Mac especially.

thanks for the inputs.


Cucco Tue, 10/05/2004 - 13:11

I think you have already gotten a good start. The first thing to do is to ask questions and do some research. The question I have for you is, why specifically a Mac? If you are not familiar with Macs and moreso with PC, there is no reason not to use a PC. You'll find they are less expensive up front, just as stable (nowadays at least, running 2000 Pro or XP), and easier/more cost effective to upgrade. (Though Mac is closing the gap on this).

Many good hardware devices exist for PC as do many great pieces of software.

If you have your mind set on Mac, by all means, buy one. However, don't just do it because a couple die hard Mac fans tell you it's the only way to go.

(P.s. I happen to love Macs, but that doesn't mean I think they are the best for all situations.)


anonymous Tue, 10/05/2004 - 13:26

I was under the (mis)impression? that macs were better suited for this kind of work and were more stable OS-wise. If there is NO difference in reliability or sound quality, I am happy with a PC. I just don't want to get something that crashes, or get my PC with Win XP and find out that some new windows is on the horizon and that all my software will be obsolete in 2 years time. As I mentioned before, for someone used to an all-in-one, this multi-faceted PC method is very intimidating and I need all the user friendly means/methods at my disposal I can get.


maintiger Tue, 10/05/2004 - 13:39

Macs are reliable out the door- pcs have to be made so. You can spend a lot of $$$ on a pc to optimize it for music while the mac is set to go from the getgo- If you want to get a pc though, make a post in the daw forum- someone will help you get it together there-

If you are set on a mac I recommend at least a dual 867 (about $700-800 used)- any of the crops of new macs are fine if you want new. make sure you have at least 1 GB ram and get an extra drive for audio- all the power macs have room for at least another drive- not sure of the imacs or emacs- you might have to get an extra firewire drive-

For programs is either Motu Digital Performer ($500), logic express, (299) or logic pro ($1000) - there are others but these are the ones am familiar with and they rock!

For interface I recommend the firewire 828 mkii from motu ($750)- and that's it, you are set to go!

anonymous Tue, 10/05/2004 - 13:58

I agree with maintiger.

For reliability and ease of use, go for a Mac. If you've got the dough, get a PowerMac G5. iMacs are a bargain and you get 17 or 20 -inch flat monitor and up to 1.8 GHz G5 processor.

Digital Performer, Logic and Logic Express are great options. DP is very user firendly and powerful for MIDI sequencing as well as audio applications.

The 896 HD MOTU audio interface just had a price drop and you can get it new for a little under $1000. I don't work for them, but I love their stuff. Good luck!


anonymous Tue, 10/05/2004 - 14:29

also if you need help building a pc from the ground up... I can help you, this is what I did and I highly recommend doing so for obvious reasons... you know what you have... lol and you know how to work on them... also when you go to upgrade you can do it so much easier and you can customize everything! my e-mail is or my AIM is Guitarsince1985 ... macs are great and good with Mathmatic equations, moreso than pc, but in the long run, if you are more familiar with pc and price is an issue I we could put a pc together that would be powerful and fit your needs for around $1000 sometimes less (depending on hardware that you may already have i.e. cdrom/burner, and the same.... ) good luck!

anonymous Tue, 10/05/2004 - 15:15

Now what??!

I do currently have a multipurpose PC that has some bare minimums for recording, I think. An Athalon 2600+ 2.0 GHz processor with 512 RAM. Two hard drives 20 and 60 GB. Pioneer DVD-RW. An ATI Radeon all-in-wonder 85000DV. Asus A7v8x motherboard. Running windows XP home version. What do you guys recommend I do from here? What to upgrade? What to buy, and why? Any books to get me understanding the basics behind all these acronyms I don't quite get? Especially as it pertains to the PC becoming my DAW? I am currently using my PC for gaming and high speed internet. Willing to dedicate it solely to the studio/audio, but wondering about cheap options to put in the office to continue the cable internet for the wife? All inputs welcome and appreciated mucho!


KurtFoster Tue, 10/05/2004 - 15:43

I believe that Macs used to be more stable than PCs for audio apps but that this is no longer the case.

PCs running XP Pro need very little tweaking to run audio ... as before, this was the case with Windows 98, 2000/ME but with XP Pro all those issues have evaporated. Now all Macs have to offer is a way to spend twice as much for the same power. The whole Mac and Digi hold over the audio community is slipping. More and more studios are looking to PCs and other programs for professional applications. The Macs clear keyboards and flat panel monitors are cool looking ... but IMO, not so cool as to warrent the expense.

The most important thing with a PC is to stuff as much RAM as you can into it... and to install at least 2 HDs ... one for the OS and program software .... and then one drive dedicated for the audio files ... partitioned into at least four divisions.. this way you can de frag a partition after a session without having to de frag the whole drive. If you do this and run XP Pro, you will have a great machine.

I don't think MS will be upgrading XP Pro any sooner than Apple will be upgrading OSX ... in fact I think it's more likely that Apple will be upgrading OSX before Microsoft upgrades XP Pro.

maintiger Tue, 10/05/2004 - 16:07

razor_usmc wrote: Is the imac powerful enough to perform everything I would need? I dont wanna blow dough on things I wouldnt use in a G4 or 5 but if I would need the power in the long run I dont want to be without.

Anyone got the 4-1-1 on an imac G5? How would that do?

I get 40+ tracks with plugins in my dual 867 G4 using Motus DP and is very steady and reliable. I'll be upgrading to a G5 maybe next year only because I've been using soft synths a lot and i could use the extra power- otherwise I'd stay put where I am- any G5 will give you enough muscle to run your programs and get high track counts. I also have a pc and for me it sucks- I won't even use it for other than playing games... but what can I say, I love my mac! :D :D :D :D

anonymous Tue, 10/05/2004 - 18:22

hey Razor.... I think what you have in your pc will do very nicely with a few upgrades... and you can get a pc off of ebay that would run your cable modem and games for a a max price of about $400... but what you have in the pc that you own now like Kurt implied will deffinetly suffice... so don't worry about buying a new Mac if you don't want it... your pc will just need some more ram (make sure that you buy the right bus speed etc so it matches your Mboard) and like Kurt also said, the partitioning is a wonderful advantage!!! also.... you might want to look into buying some new fans and a power supply that run at quiet levels.... they are advertised as low noise fans and power-supplies for this is a must for any pc or mac system that will be in the same room, or with an internal sound card...

so I'm not sure what kind of sound card you'll get but it will be supported by your OS and everything else, so that's not a problem... this would be easier if you could tell me what you have and what you want out of your DAW....

what kind of recordings will you be engaging in?

anonymous Tue, 10/05/2004 - 18:45

Jon...wrote you an email to your yahoo address.
Looking to do a mixture of live acoustic audio and some synth stuff as well. The complete package. Tried downloading cakewalk and using my uno midi driver to get one of my Korgs to play. Have to go through this multimedia cable thing to get into the motherboard (asus), has red yellow white rca cable inputs, s-video, optical the works..not sure I am doing this right at all. The Midi timing seemed okay but for some reason, had to turn the volume all the way up on the computer speakers to hear a thing. Same for the demo songs too, but when a windows sound effect triggered, it scared the crap out of me it was sooooo loud! LOL. So many paramaters to tweak, so ignorant...I hope the PC/mac studio is worth it...I was pretty good with the all-in-ones, right now cakewalk is...anything but. Thanks for your time and willingness to help. all of you.


Big_D Tue, 10/05/2004 - 21:54

I would like to clear up a few misconceptions that MAC users tend to use as an argument against PC's. Many are covered in this post including dual processors, 64 bit processors and RISC vs. CISC.

Now before the Appleheads jump all over me if you read the post you will see that I like MAC's and think they are a fine machine. But that said I would never consider spending 3 grand on a machine that doesn't have the performance of an Intel based box nor for that price do you get a monitor. If money is not an object and you are a longtmie MAC user or just love MAC's go for the MAC. If you want more power, options, software choices, expandabilty, upgradability and best of all half the price, go with a PC.

I was under the (mis)impression? that macs were better suited for this kind of work and were more stable OS-wise. If there is NO difference in reliability or sound quality, I am happy with a PC. I just don't want to get something that crashes, or get my PC with Win XP and find out that some new windows is on the horizon and that all my software will be obsolete in 2 years time. As I mentioned before, for someone used to an all-in-one, this multi-faceted PC method is very intimidating and I need all the user friendly means/methods at my disposal I can get.

The crashing is no longer an issue with XP or 2K. If you want to stay away from obsolete software then run as fast as you can away from MAC's. Steve Jobs is the king of making software incompatable with new OS releases. I think it's a company requirement for their programmers to make your software obsolete. Windows is the opposite. You can still run old DOS software from the early 80's on the current XP OS, while there are programs from 2001 that won't run on OSX. As far as help is concerned follow what an earlier post suggested and go to the DAW forum we can offer you all the help you need.

A quality PC built with top shelf components P4 3.2 Ghz will cost you roughly $1500. The other $1500 you would have spent on a MAC could go for a great preamp, mic or right in your pocket. As I said I like MAC's but Apples business practices are similar to Pro Tools which is not something I care to support. For more info on the PT debate check out Kurts post.

One more thing I'd like to mention in line with Apples business practices is related in the article below. It deals with the fact that Apple vastly overstated the performance of it's G5's,(calling it the fastest PC in the world) so much so that it's advertising claimed almost twice the performance of a P4 system when in fact the P4 was much faster than the G5. Computers are scored on performance in what are called benchmark tests. This tests the system as a whole as well as using code it is optimized for. Since Apples G5's would benchmark lower than the P4 or Athlon 64 they cheated. Really cheated. They did things like using code and compilers optimized for G5's on the P4's and Athlon's. They also disabled hyperthreading on the P4's (a major component of the P4's design) and the coup de grace was the fact that they tested dual P4's against dual G5's with one of the P4's TURNED OFF but both G5's running. When the tests were later run by an independent lab the P4 smoked the G5 in every category. I'll bet Steve Jobs is pissed. It's really a shame because it's a great product. If they'd lower their prices and stop lying to the public about the performance of their product more people might consider buying one. Oh well here's the article.

anonymous Tue, 10/05/2004 - 22:15

Kurt Foster wrote: I believe that Macs used to be more stable than PCs for audio apps but that this is no longer the case.

I thought I'd post this point from a "conversation" on another forum. Of course, the XP versus OSX comment was a side note in a native versus PT HD debate, but still....

"The Mach Kernel in OS X is a Realtime Kernel, that is, it supports 'Realtime Threads' ...

Windows does not offer a Realtime Kernel, it was not designed for such purposes as digital audio and hence the latency issue in a native system is far more problematic than OSX."

Something to think about...

If you are not going to be using your computer for anything but audio, a PC is a good way to go. Just don't take it on the internet :)

anonymous Wed, 10/06/2004 - 07:47

Where to, now?

I think that aesthetics aside, the PC will be the way to go. I will probably buy and build my PC strictly for my DAW at home. Any recommendations of things/products to absolutely avoid? WHat about things you definately recommend?

Lastly there are only about a zillion discount computer parts places online. Any that fit the bill as trustworthy and quality you have used in the past? And where can I find a list of everything I will need to get started (hardware and software) so I can get a ballpark idea of how many internal organs to donate to science to pay for all this.

thanks everyone,

Big_D Wed, 10/06/2004 - 15:23

Razor, I put a link below for the place I buy most of my components. They have been in business for many years, have great prices as they are also an OEM supplier and there customer service is great. I highly recommend them. You can either buy just parts or they will assemble and test a PC with the parts you choose (total custom) it's your choice. Just poke around the site a little to see what they have.

The first thing I would do before you start shopping is give us an idea of your budget for the PC. When we know your budget we can help you design a PC to fit your needs and gives you the biggest bang for your buck. Also tell us things like do you want to run 1 monitor or 2. Do you do mostly MIDI and samples, mostly audio or a mix of both. In addition to that if we have a budget for the other gear you'll need I'm sure everyone will help you pick things that work and work well with your new PC.

anonymous Wed, 10/06/2004 - 16:29

The long, arduous journey continues...

Big D,

I am willing to save up a while and spend what I need for a good system. I don't have much midi experience aside from having an all in one multitrack master the 16 track sequencer in my Korg. A majority of my recordings thus far have been acoustical recording. So I guess...Both midi and acoustical will be my need as far as that goes. i would love to get more into sampling and midi work. I seemed to have missed the link that you were leaving. Didn't see it in your post. I guess I have a lot of learning to do in regards to deciding what I need in every respect. Im not even sure whether to go Athalon or Pentium. The all-in-one is a great convenience but really puts you behind the learning curve when you make the jump to pc DAWs. Before I just used the before I have the headache of choosing a mixer, I haven't even chosen a processor for my PC! :shock:

Regards, and thanks for your time,


PS forgive the ignorance...what is an OEM?

anonymous Wed, 10/06/2004 - 17:23


Thanks for your thoughtful posts. Oh...not to worry. I am thoroughly convinced that a pc or mac is the way to go for me. As you may have noticed, however, it is a huge step up from where I have been and I am completely and utterly overwhelmed with all the choices...all there is to learn, and all that can go wrong, be incompatible, or more/less than I need.

I did see that you happen to be more of a Mac guy. Can you justify the added expense of a mac for a newbie like me, aside from just history with the mac, or personal preference?

Thanks in advance for your time.


maintiger Thu, 10/07/2004 - 08:56

razor_usmc wrote: Maintiger,

Thanks for your thoughtful posts. Oh...not to worry. I am thoroughly convinced that a pc or mac is the way to go for me. As you may have noticed, however, it is a huge step up from where I have been and I am completely and utterly overwhelmed with all the choices...all there is to learn, and all that can go wrong, be incompatible, or more/less than I need.

I did see that you happen to be more of a Mac guy. Can you justify the added expense of a mac for a newbie like me, aside from just history with the mac, or personal preference?

Thanks in advance for your time.



If you decide to go mac you could always get an used G4 for considerable less- I am using right now a dual 867 with Digital performer- a machine like that can be found used for around $700, if you look around. I consistently get 40+ tracks with plugins.

I can't speak for other people but my set up with DP and a motu 828mkii interface is very steady. The main advantage for a mac system for a newbie is that the machine has no compatibility and hardware issues as most pcs do. Of course, if you are a pc guy you know about these things and have already paid your dues on the subject. If you are not, even an used G4, the mac will give you
trouble free operation from the getgo because there are systems and software incompatibilities as in the PC.

I am sure a new G5 imac or emac would be just fine but let me repeat again, an used G4, dual 1 GB or dual 867 would give you the same performance or better than a single processor G5, and all for maybe half the cost. Don't get below dual 867, though. And get as much ram as possible- 2 GB would be optimum.

My dual 867 has room on board for 4 hard drives, of which I have taken full advantage. I have more than 500 GB of space on board, plus another 240 GB on firewire back up. I am planning on upgrading to a dual G5 in maybe a year or two, depending on my upcoming projects, but only because I have been using a lot of soft synths and it would be nice to have the extra power. For straight recording, my current G4 is more than sufficient.

So there you have it, if you want to go mac that is a proven system.
I am sure that logic express ($299) will work just as fine as my Digital performer ($499) but I can vouch that DP is very, very reliable and steady in its current version, 4.12- If you want to go pc, well that is another story and someone else will have to help you with it. :D :D

Big_D Thu, 10/07/2004 - 22:06

Razor, I must appoligize. I forgot to post the link. :oops:

OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer. Aberdeen sells to
PC manufacturers and the public, so you can choose either the OEM version of the product or the retail version. The retail version comes in a nice box and sometimes comes with extras like software or cables but OEM can save alot of money sometimes 30%.

You sound overwhelmed by all of the choices. I can't blame you as anyone getting into this would feel the same. But trust me it's not bad at all and is actually alot of fun once you get accustomed to the gear and lingo. I think you are doing the right thing by saving your money to do it right. I would advise you to read as many posts in the forums as you can especially those that deal with your issues as I think it will help you make sound decisions later.

I wouldn't sweat the MAC vs. PC thing until your closer to buying. Do you currently use a MAC or PC? Sometimes being comfortable with one or the other can make your choice easier. Xavier is right in that a used MAC may be your best option in the MAC world and if your already familiar with MAC's that would be a big plus. Just to put your mind at ease, if you go with a PC you will not have compatability issues if you follow a few simple rules. First never ever buy a store bought PC (Compaq, HP, E Machines etc.). These are fine for Internet and email but they are not suitable for any serious work of any kind. I would also avoid mailorder PC's (Dell, Gateway) these are better machines but still not what is best for a DAW or Gaming machine. The reason is these PC's all have compromises as far as some of the components are concerned. They put in cheaper cards or motherboards (MOBO) with cheesy chipsets to keep costs down and this is where the incompatability issues come from. Avoid these PC's, Mobo's with VIA chipsets and anything with SIS chips and you'll be fine. If you do go with a PC come over to the DAW forum tell us your budget and I guarantee we will provide you with a parts list to shop with or to have one built and you will have no compatability issues.

Good Luck! :D

trock Sat, 10/09/2004 - 08:16

well this is a timely topic for me

I haven't been to the forum in a while, i have actually been recording :)

I think i can jump in here and really help you. you and i are from the same worlds, i have the added bonus of having taken the plunge on a MAC system and here is my story of woe and success.

First, I have a ROLAND VS 2480, fully loaded with 4 vs8f-2 effects cards, TRITON PRO, POD guitar effects unit, taylor and alvarez acoustics and a Paul reed smith electric. In addition my setup uses a audio technica 4050 mic.

This was my first "new" set up and i have had it about a year and a half. I love the roland and its sounds and i disagree that the "stock" effects in it are worse than say cubase stock effects (will get to that in a sec). Cubase etc are def worse

Now the 2480 and triton were a def ramp up period but not too bad all in all, the 2480 is wonderful to use and like i said my effects cards are great and my end sound through their insert mastering tool kit effect is really reall good (to hear some results from a guy in nashville with the 2480 go here)


So then i ran into a friend about 6 months ago who had found CUBASE and showed me it. I was SO BLOWN away by the cool graphics, editing capabilities, the set up and that it was on a PC ( i come from a PC world) etc an i thought I HAVE TO HAVE THIS MY ROLAND IS SOOOOO OUT OF DATE.

So I then read MACS are better for this stuff! (by the way not true in the literal sense, although MAC people will deny it till they drop over dead, i know i have been to the forums)

So i gather my money and resources, start joiining forums all over the place, read articels and SET OUT.

I bought

MAC G5, dual 1.8, 3 gigs ram, 160 and 250 gig internal drives, dual monitors


Cubase SX 2 (now SX 3)
Reason 2.5
UAD-1 studio PAK
PEAK 4.12

there are many ways to go with the PC/MAC world but this is how i did it.

total cost = about 8-10K

also being new to the MAC world i had to learn OS X (whew)

Ok so when you get all this new stuff what happens to you? Well you stop writing and recording for a while while you figure out bugs (SX 2 was horrible on OS X), routing, noises, thousands of pages of manuals, join forums and try and get questions answered etc etc

I can't even go into all that i went through, the frustration, the days of trying to route an "optical" out from my MAC/Cubase to the 410 and into the 2480 (cause my JBL speakers are analog and connected to the 2480) etc etc

Anyway, i get to the point where i am good in cubase, have reason re wired and am ready to go. So i record the same song i had done in the 2480. My results were dissapointing, there was and is no "much better" sound. my roland was far better

then i get the bright idea to midi control cubase with the 2480 and run my acoustics and vocals through the 2480 out to cubase cause the A/D converters are better here than on the 410, that was 2 days of routing that was crazy

anyway i felt like i had all this STUFF and had stopped recording anything.

bottom line for me is this ( i am not speaking for anyone else)

the 2480 setup was easier to use and really did give me a better sounding product. I am typing on the MAC now but have set aside cubase and the other programs.

i spent 4K or so on the 2480 and i am DEF much happier with it.

Cubase and the other stuff might be better for some people but it wasn't a better sound product at all for me. I have a ton more detaisl i could give you but suffuce to say i wish the 10K would have gone to something else and i wouldn't have given up on the 2480 just cause i saw the NEW COOL stuff on the PC.

Now in defense of cubase or other DAW on MAC/PC my friend runs cubase/reason etc on an XP machine and gets GREAT sounds and results.

My advice to you, if my pain can help at all is this. buy something like the roland 2480 (cause this is your world), get to know and use it inside and out, then if you need more, get a PC or MAC and 1 program at a time and try and make them work together, i do import files into cubase and edit and then resend bac to 2480 etc (the editing is far better in cubase than the 2480)

sorry this is so long, you can tell i feel passionately about this and jsut want to help you avoid my mistakes