A few years ago I started building up the equipment in my project Studio here is the equipment list.
At the hub is the PC.
The desktop is my studio – it’s a 2ghz 2gb big baby(looks like a fridge) – specs (not the fastest, but it is setup to use every bit of its components)
OS: Using XP Home
M-Audio 2496 PCI – great sounding and easy to use, installation was simple enough just found a free PCI slot and slipped it in. NOTE: Only mess with the insides of a PC if you’re truly confident, otherwise find someone you trust that is.
Recently added an EMU 0404 PCI sound card – installation seemed to be fine, same as above. Not noticed any difference in sound quality but the main reason I bought this was because of the onboard FX – curiosity got the better of me. It’s still new to me so I’m not totally up on it yet, although installation of the software that came with it has been a little troublesome mainly the free stuff and the Proteus LE seems like it doesn’t want to work yet.
UAD – Although not really a sound card this is my one of my favourite peices of kit – Easy to install, although you’ll need some kind of Internet connection to register the card. The plugins for this are superb.
When I bought the UAD it came with a $500 voucher which I spent on the Precision MultiBand, Eq and Limiter – It comes with a host of free plugins as well and they all sound mint. I love it.
Apaptec – Scsi Card – for connection to my Emu Esi 32 and 4000 samplers – (they have Os 3.0 installed which is required to transfer samples to and from the pc.)
4 hard drives – 160gb and 3 x 40gb –
XP installed on 1(40gb),
software on 2nd(40gb)
and Vst on 3rd(40gb)
2 external hard drives,
SCSI Tower – 5 HD at 18gb each – used as final backup of cakewalk projects. Paranoid? Yes!!!
USB devices include,
Korg NanoPad and NanoKontrol – Brilliant little devices perfect for those with lack of space and very portable.
M-Audio e49 Keyboard – Decent sized keyboard 49 keys – big enough for me to use – small enough for me to have in my studio. Easy setup.
X-Session UC-17 – I really like this controller, although it takes some work installing it’s brilliant for controlling VST FX
On the Parallel port…
MOTU – 128 Express XT – Yeah parallel port connection, so a no no for most new desktops – it works really well and cost about £40 – easy setup although the driver was hard to get hold of – registration with motu is a necessity. Gives me 8 midi channels and allows me to connect up my synths ands samplers.
Onboard Midi and both sound cards have midi capabilities.
I also have a laptop that acts as a synth/soft sampler connected via midi.
I installed a Gigabit Lan card in the PC (this allows netork connection to laptop via gigabit express card – this then gives me the option of farming out fx processing to the laptop using a program called FX transport)
YamahaTG500 – My favourite when it comes to it. I love the proteus but this is better.
Proteus 1 – My first synth – and cool
Roland D110 – the runt of the little, harder to use and sounds not as good – but has some nice pads
2x Emu Esi 32 with maximum 32mb each 1 with turbo card, one without.
1x Emu Esi 4000 with maximum 128mb and turbo card installed.
Now I can hear all those new school dudes saying what 32meg? why? why not software?
Well have you seen these sexy things? They’ve got knobs that flash and dials that dial.
And best of all they sound great – honestly the samplers sound a country mile better than any software program. Warmer.
The synths also sound great – I dunno but they feel more real than some desktop based instrument.
Joe Meek VC3 Compressor – really nice sounding compressor – great for vocals and acoustic guitar – has phantom power, which is a must for condenser mics – every studio needs a decent compressor – this one is perfect.
Behringer V-Pro – Rack mount guitar fx – superb. Does what I want it to do without being to difficult to use. Midi connection to PC and software for communication. It’s alos half the price of anything else in it’s class.
<—-Mixing Desk and Mics—->
Behringer XENYX 1622 FX – Much the same as the V-PRO this is extreme value for money and really easy to use. Comes with built in FX which I rarely use but sound great. (I prefer not to commit Reverbs and Delays)
3 Condenser Mics – £120 Studio Projects C1, £15 Trakstar, Cheap skate £30 T-Bone.
The Studio projects is the Mic I use for vocals – it was recommended to me by someone who tested quite a few mics before bying this themselves and they couldn’t hear the diffence between this and other mics of a similar type. That said if you scan the internet you’ll find a lot of debate with equal measures for and against.
Me I’m liking it so far.
The other two mics I use for Acoustic and Electric Guitar – I don’t have a gotp mic I try both and see what works per recording – I’d like more mics to choose from but money doesn’t grow on trees…
Tricky one this, cost is quite steep, as this is the main studio I splashed out on Sonar 7 producer edition which at over £300 is pricey but hell it works. I only use the Sonitus FX that came with it and install only freeware I want to try out. The UAD covers that end for me – VST instruments are not a real consideration, I have plenty of synths and 3 samplers – it makes my setup less bloated.
That’s it for this setup.
I will be setting up two more example studios.
An under £500 laptop studio
And an under £200 laptop studio.