Thread A complete newbie needs a lot of advice!
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Oh, and one other thing!...
As I'm new to this, I will understand no technical jargon! Please try to make any help (which is greatly appreciated) as simple as possible for me - computers sometimes puzzle me rather easily!
Thank you again,
Please excuse my ignorance, I'm a total newbie to this...
I'm looking for a pretty-much all-in-one package for creating music on my computer. I wouldn't need to do MUCH acoustic or non midi (ie guitar etc) recording, but some would definately be useful. I have a (slightly basic) midi-enabled keyboard and a brand spanking new Yamaha electric drum-kit (as I am a drummer and pianist) which could both somehow be used with the computer. As I said, I'd be writing mainly electronic music, and would need software which could let me do pretty much everything that I'd need. My next (and probably my main) problem is this: I'd need something not too expensive, as I am still at school, despite spending huge amounts of time writing and playing music.
What kind of set-up should I be aiming for on my PC (I have Windows XP if that helps), and how can I find out what the standards of my computer hardware are? Will my computer need to be pretty much dedicated to music?
My brother uses Cubase, but I've heard lots of people talking about Cakewalk and lots of other programs, are these the kinds of things I should be looking at? What are the pros/cons/prices of the softwares I should consider?
Anyway, thanks in advance for any help, and sorry if my demands are completely impossible and unreasonable!
A somewhat puzzled Ferdie
it would be a lot easier to help you if you could give a precise budget of what you have to spend.
Oh and don't feel sorry for asking questions, we have all been beginners.
I'm new to the board, too. But I've been recording awhile, so I might be able to help you a little.
First- your computer. What is it? How fast, how much memory? What kind of soundcard? If you have an average desktop computer with your average Sound Blaster type board, you should be able to get a midi rig going with minimal cost and effort. All you'd really need is a midi adapter for the Sound Blaster and some cables, along with some software.
If your computer has a decent Sound Blaster as a minimum, and is, say, a PIII of some type, and you have 128 mb memory and, say, 30 gig of hard drive space, you can do audio, too. You will need to do this if you want to use the sounds out of your keyboard and drum module and create a CD to listen to. You can trigger them with midi and just listen live, but to make a CD you'll have to record your keyboard and drum module's audio output. You will also need a small mixer to route the sound from your drum module and keyboard to the input of your soundcard.
If you give us some more idea of what kind of computer you have, and a little more description of what you want to do, we can probably give you some specific recommendations.
My computer was custom built a couple of years ago, so has no obvious brand, but these, I think, are my computer's specs:
I'm running Windows XP, with an AMD Athlon 1.8 Ghz processor, and I think 256 MB RAM. A 40 GB hard drive (which is getting a bit full, so I'd upgrade that anyway). I apparently have an AC'97 CODEC soundcard (SiS 7018...is that a bit rubbish? I don't know, it looks as if it might be). I'm also planning to get firewire pretty soon.
The proper bad news, I fear, is that my software budget would be somewhere under Â£300 I think (about $450). Cheaper if possible...!
Hope that helps, just tell me if I'm being too vague or you need any more information.
Power Tracks Pro Audio is a pretty cool program. You can't beat it price-wise. Look here:
You'll have enough quid (is that what y'all call it?) lefto voer for one of these soundcards:
And enough still leftover to get one of these small mixers to route it all:
You'll be all set and still under budget!!!
1. Do I really need a mixer right now? If I'm going to be doing most of my composing on the computer itself, apart from the drums and some keyboard, would my money be better spent on, say, better software?...which leads onto...
2. Is Power Tracks Pro Audio actually good? It seems a bit cheap to be true! Maybe I'm just being stupid. What would I not get in PowerTracks that I would get in a slightly more pricey program? Would it be better if I spent the money I saved on possibly not buying a mixer, or getting a cheaper soundcard (see 3.!), on buying better software? If so, what would be a good step up from PowerTracks? Up to and around the Â£100 ($150) mark perhaps?
3. Are there any slightly cheaper soundcards which would do the job fine for me? I wouldn't need anything incredible, just something with a decnt sound quality and pretty good value for money!
Thank you again, I'm just seeing how far down my budjet could go!
BUT I have lots of outboard gear and Reason WON'T play it. It has no midi out. That said I really don't miss that old junk much.
Reason is completely self contained and can be played with any midi keyboard or you can just edit everything in using the mouse.
You might still need some kind of audio recording software to go with it. It will play .wav and .aif files as well as rex loops.
I would consider FL Studio because it is the most used program for electronic music and you can do all in the computer with your basic midi keyboard.This is where i started and if you get it check out warbeats on youtube bacause i think he has one of the best free video tutorials out there for FL Studio
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