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Chrono1081

Am I on the right track?

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I've played music all my life but never on the computer so please forgive me if what I am about to ask sounds stupid. I am getting a mac in april and with it I was going to buy a new keyboard, one that can connect to the computer and that has programmable keys so I can use different sounds mapped to the keys. So here is my question: Would the following setup work? (Im completely open to any suggestions :) ) - iMac 24inch 4gb ram - Garage band or Logic Express - Keyboard(this is where I need big help, I have no clue what to look for when purchasing one of these and I have no store that I can look at these at. Any suggestions are most welcome.) I would be writing and creating songs for small homebrew RPG projects. From my research this sounded like a good setup but I really want opinions from people who do this kind of thing. Does this setup look reasonable? Or am I way out in left field?

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I've worked on Macs and Logic for quite a while. They're great machines for audio production. The new Logic 8 is more simplified than previous versions, but there is somewhat of a learning curve- especially since you've never done this on a computer. 4 GIGS is enough to run some pretty nice VSTi plugins, but just be aware that the next generation of high quality VSTs require more and more CPU and RAM power. Logic and Garageband doesn't come with great sounding instruments itself, so you'll probably have to invest more later, once you've played around and learned the software.

The keyboard: really depends on what you want and how much cash you have to spend. I have a Roland Fantom X8 which works GREAT! It also costs $3,000. Do you want 88 keys, and weighted action? Do you want something smaller and portable? For years I used an old Roland 61 keys controller and it got the job done. The action didn't feel that great, especially since I'm a piano player as well. I'd look into M-Audio for decent and affordable models. Plus since many of these just plug in via USB, it makes this much easier.

I hope that helps,

Nathan

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Yes that helped a lot actually :) Thank you.

I know the iMac is a bit of a stretch but when I get back home I always planned on getting a beefier mac pro for my music editing/image editing tasks and leave the iMac for my surf computer. As for the keyboard I have a tough decision. I REALLY want 88 keys. But then I also need portable *argh!*. But I dont permanently need portable so im leaning more towards 88 keys. $3k is around what I expected to pay so its no biggie. As for software you mentioned logic 8, would that be overkill for a beginner? Ive never been the type to use beginner software I like full blown features even if I never use them I just like to know their there. Would logic 8 be too hard to learn for someone whos never messed with this stuff ever?

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In my opinion, you should definitely go for Logic 8. I'm using the 24-inch iMac with Logic 8, and I've never been happier with my studio setup. It may take a while to get comfortable using the software, but it is time very well spent. You don't want to spend money on something with limited features that you will quickly outgrow and have to upgrade later. Considered purchasing an instructional book with the software to help you get past the basics and get to the good stuff. Here's a couple books from Amazon:

Logic Pro 8: Audio and Music Production
Apple Pro Training Series: Logic Pro 8 and Logic Express 8

As a beginner in digital audio, you'll find that the same basic concepts apply to whatever software you choose to use. Why not learn those concepts on the software you'll eventually want to be using anyway? It will save you time and money in the long run by going straight for the pro gear.

As for a keyboard, the Triton Le works great as a synth and a controller...and its only $1,899 on Musician's Friend.

Triton Le

Good luck!
Steve

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Do you want a full-blown keyboard, or just a controller? If you want a keyboard, are you looking for a full-blown synth workstation or a stage piano?

If you're just looking for a controller, take a look at the M-Audio Keystation Pro 88. It's got good action, lots of programmable knobs and faders, and is generally good to play--mine cost me about $350, and I'm very happy with it. Then, if you have a laptop or something, you can use it at gigs to be your sound bank. That's what I do, anyway.

If you want a stage piano, look at Kurzweil's SP-88X. It's weighted key, onboard samples, and sounds great. You can also use it as a MIDI controller. I think they run about $800 these days.

For full synth workstations...I have no advice. I don't know them well, and I only use computer-based DAWs anyway.

Hope these suggestions help!

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Thanks for all the advice guys :) I have a macbook pro (I want a mac pro but I need to travel atm) on the way, I ordered logic express before I read the post about getting logic pro : / Its not too late to exchange though cause its unopened :)And the keyboard controller I didnt order yet, gotta wait till payday lol.

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