It’s been like 3 years in the making but I finally have the equipment in my home recording studio that makes the entire deal complete. Sure, it’s a work in progress and there will always be bigger, better, and more things I want. The best part about this is with everything put together it is easier to get into the mood to work. Having a decent mixer (I replaced my old one with a bigger, better one) really changed a lot with dynamics and recording. Here is my equipment:
- My PC (AMD 3800+, 2GB RAM, Windows XP Pro, 1TB HDD, 8800 GTS GFX)
- M-Audio PCI Delta 192 interface card
- Pair of Yamaha HSM50 active monitors
- ART MPA Gold microphone preamp
- Behringer Xenyx 1204 mixer
- Behringer B-2 Pro microphone
- M-Audio Axiom 61 MIDI controller keyboard
- Various softwares; Cubase SX3, VSTi’s, & others
I need to replace the cheap tubes in the preamp but after that I think the next upgrade will be the microphone. I am looking at the R?DE NT1-A microphone as a potential replacement. After that I might add some hardware rack mounted synth modules. Right now I’ve got about 8 tracks I am working on. It has been a chore getting all the projects “normalized” to 24-bit/44.1KHz because I was all over the place with my previous, mixerless set up. With a proper mixer you can pipe your monitor signal through the board rather than playing music directly from the sound card outputs. It adds a physical control that doesn’t throw off the mix loudness levels.
I don’t think this is an extravagant set up. I mean, nothing here is expensive but I can’t even say it’s mid level. This is a budget studio with extremely picky requirements. You can see the keyboard in the bottom left, the mixer right above it, and the monitors are the ones with the white cones. The preamp is below the screen. The microphone is off to the left out of the picture. The computer is behind the keyboard and below the mixer.
I still refuse to upgrade to Windows Vista. Various music production drivers continue to either be missing or work problematically in Vista. XP Pro does the job fine.