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Approve my new equipment

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Hi chaps. I'm getting some new equipment, and so I want to know what you fine folks think about my current selection: Software: Propellerhead Reason 3 (upgrade) with Power Tools for Reason book. Cakewalk SONAR Home Studio 4 (is SONAR 6 Studio Edition worth the extra price?) Hardware: Behringer BCF2000 control surface (motorized faders - yum!) Edirol UA-25 USB audio/MIDI interface Edirol MA-15D monitors Auralex MoPAD monitor isolation pads So - what do you think? Is that equipment list any good? Is there anything I could get that is better or cheeper? Also, I'm thinking of getting some noise-cancling headphones. Any recomendations?

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I can only comment on one of your new features...

IMO, you can't go wrong with Reason 3.0. Its cheap, but its one of the most versatile pieces of sampling/sequencing/FX software out there (especially considering the minimal price tag). The only qualms I have with Reason are the orchestral samples. They are a bit hard to manipulate to sound good, but essentially blend well with many orchestral libraries regardless... What kind of stuff are you writing?

I haven't heard much about the Edirol equipment but what I have heard has been pretty positive. (Sorry I couldn't be more helpful on this front)...I am using a SAFFIRE FOCUSRITE audio interface (with DSP!) and its pretty phenomenol so far. I have yet to unlock its full power but I can tell you that its very intuitive, user friendly and features very nice reverb and equalization options. I bought a mic and it filters really well... (now if only I could buy a voice that doesn't suck)

Hmmm, Noise cancelling headphones...I have a pair of AKG K240 headphones (got at musicians friend for around a hundred books) and they feature an extremely flat response along with really clear highs and lows. A lot of professional studios employ their services and I can really attest to its usefulness after using them for about 2 years; I swear by them. Its still not going to give you the kind of information that a monitor is going to give you (mainly because bass frequencies aren't allowed to materialize properly in a headphone setting) but the headphones will really allow you to get your mix in the right place to be successful.

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Quote:
Original post by Andrew Russell
On the headphones - I'll be using mostly for general-use. Studio suitability would be a nice, but it's not strictly necessary.


Well for general use, the AKG's are fairly bulky...though provided that you don't wear them around in public (I do regardless) they are an excellent pair of headphones that provide a premium acoustic experience. I really like to hear every nuance of the sound and the AKG's fit the bill nicely. The aural spectrum that the headphones capture is pretty wide and the clarity of those frequencies is awesome! The headphones get an excellent range of hi's mids, and lows.

A few statistics: (for your knowledge more than anything since I am not quite sure how to define a few of the terms)

{-AKG-k240-}

Sensitivity: 91 db SPL/mW
Max input power: 200 mW
Rated impedance: 55 ohms
Audio bandwith: 15-25.000 Hz

Another thing that I would like re-iterate is how well the headphones keep a flat response while mixing. Thats nice because it creates a consistent mix between varying stereo outputs/systems.

If you are considering the headphones as a prospective buy, I will mention that you might want to get a mini amp for them as their volume output is fairly low.

Hope that was helpful.

Ryan

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Well - I've ordered all of those things on my list with the exception of Sonar. I hear the UA-25 comes with Sonar LE, so I will see how that goes. Even if it's not suitable, it seems to give you a discount when getting the full version anyway.

I've still not decided on any headphones - but the place I got the hardware from - I can't find any headphones in their online store at all.

Also, it seems that that particular model of AKG has been discontinued.

I'll keep looking into the headphones - I'm still keen on getting something with noise-canceling.

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Quote:
Is there anything I could get that is better or cheeper?

Buy NI Reaktor in stead of Reason. It's more difficult but it pays off. edit: I see you've already ordered. OK..

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AR: Is this by chance in any way related to "Andrew Outside"?

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Uhmn - not in any way that really supports Andrew Outside [smile]. Guess where a large chunk of my laptop fund just went? [wink]

However - stay tuned to Andrew Outside - some time before the end of the weekend I should be announcing what I'm going to do with it.

If it keeps going, and I do something not-entirely-outside (essentially a given, after the failed prototype), then this equipment will certainly get plenty of use.

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before I decided on the Saffire LE , I spent several weeks reading reviews of various products. Apparently, some people have had trouble with latency and skipping when using external USB devices. Some people recommend firewire instead, because it is a faster interface. USB may actually work just fine (I don't really know) but I went with the firewire device just to be sure. I also liked how the firewire would power the device.

Now I can't make an informed recommendation but I thought I would mention this issue in case you are interested in doing further research.

the Saffire LE is amazingly better then my cheap onboard sound, even though I am using the same sampling rate.

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Yeah - the Saffire LE seems better, but it's also somewhat more expensive (my supplier doesn't stock the LE, either). I also won't be doing too much audio stuff, so it's mainly good stereo output and MIDI that I'm after for now. The extra inputs would likely go unused.

The wider compatibility of USB is also something that factored into my decision. I have two firewire ports on my PC, but they're both disconnected (the cable doesn't easily reach past my huge graphics card cooler).

UA-25 is USB powered too.

I've received Reason, but I'm still waiting on the hardware. I'll tell you all what it's like when it does arrive [smile].

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