hobby revival, equippment question


Long time ago, when i was a boy, i used to have one of the greatest hobbies someone can have: making music with the computer :slight_smile: but someday, there happend several very bad things and i had to make a brake for several years.
Well, cubase 3 doesn’t work on win7 PCs, also my audiodevice isn’t usable anymore.
But, as you can imagine, i really would like to revive my hobby and now i have the question if you have some tips for me.

What i have:

  • Roland Fantom XR hardware synthie ( i love it so much!)
  • small midikeyboard (i dont love it so much, but its helpful)

What i’m going to buy (expect other thing are recommended):

  • Cubase Artist 7 (because i have experince with cubase 3)
  • Cubase Halion Sonic 2 (because back then i had good experiences with hypersonic 2)
  • one capsule condenser mic from m-audio

What i want to do:

  • just making music! :smiley:
  • my focus is on sequencing/midimusic. recording is not so important for me, just playing around with some samples sometimes.
  • i want to use cubase as sequencer and combine my fantomXR togehter with halion sonic2. and i want to make mixdowns of both at same time. (i always hat problems with it and i always had to export it seperately wich was very anoying)
    is it possible to directly record from the fantom XR with cubase artist und convert the midiinput into an audiotrack?

of corse there is at least one important part missing: an audio device. i dont have an audio soundcard and dont want to buy one if its not nessecary. could you give a hint for a good audiodevice for my intensions?
is there any part missing?

kind regards,

Hi Hagane,

Welcome back :slight_smile:.

For an audio interface there are lots of options. What is your budget for it? You will want one with at least MIDI IO (for your Fantom), 2 line inputs (for recording stereo sound from the Fantom) and at least 1 mic input with phantom power. Something like Steinbergs own UR22 would already cover your current needs. There are plenty of other choices in a similar (or even slightly lower) pricerange that offer what you look for. Just make sure it has a dedicated ASIO driver that works on 64-bit Cubase and it should last you a good while.

One thing to consider is that most consumer speakers are connected using a stereo minijack, which most audiointerfaces don’t offer for audio output. These outputs are on mono jack/xlr pairs on most interfaces, so make sure you get the right cabling for that.

Hey Strophoid!

Thanks for your fast answer :slight_smile:
Well, my budget is limited, but its a hobby and if i think how many hundredts/thousends hours of great activity you get, it would be not wise to reflect about every cent.
The UR22 is definetly a possibility for me.

So that i get it:

  • the fantom is connected with the UR22
    2x jack plug that sends audio input into UR22

  • fantom is also connected directly with the PC with usb
    but why? to get midi input from cubase?
    or is it the “correct” way to connect the UR22 with midi in into fantom?

i just recognized that the fantom has an coaxial “digital audio in and out”
is that usable for me?

  • the mic is connected into the UR22
    of corse audio (midi with a mic would be interresting :smiley:)

  • midikeyboard is connected with PC with USB
    it gives directly midi input to cubase

  • UR22 is connected with PC with usb

is that correct so far?

The usb from the fantom is probably for midi, you can use that or the midi IO on the UR22, whichever you prefer. Both should work just fine.
The UR22 doesn’t have a coaxial input I believe, you could find another interface that does if you for some reason want to use the digital output. In theory it’s probably better to use it instead of using the analog outputs and converting it back to digital in the UR22, but in practice you’ll not notice any difference.
I’m guessing the input on the fantom can be used to use its filters/effects on incoming signals? If you want to use that on signals from Cubase, you’ll want an interface with more than 1 stereo output, or else you’ll be unplugging your speakers all the time and can’t even hear what you’re doing unless you’re on headphones :wink:.

It’s up to HALion 5 now, Steve.

A real pro knows his equipment so well that he doesn’t need to hear what he is doing! :laughing:

Ah… you are right, the coaxial inputs are mainly designed für other effects equipment. So yeah, i would choose the good old analog outputs. thank you!


you are absolutlely right, i also think that its really important to aks the question “do i really need new things?”
its also the well known consuming effect that buing news things make feel better… for a very short time, so you have to buy something new again and again…

ah, the problem in my case is, that cubase 3 isnt running on my win7 machine any more :frowning: also my audiodevice.
so i have the opinion to look for an old second win xp system, or to spend a little more money the upgrade to new software/hardware. i tried virtual machines but that really was a pain in the… ahm… there where sun isn’t shining :laughing:
there is an other reason: i just graduated my studies for a couple of months so i need to regenerate from my currently financial shock.so if i buy something its well-concidered and maybe it sounds strange, but that gives some extramotivation. its something like buying the first rusty car with your first money :slight_smile:
otherwise, maybe this reasons are only to hide that i’m like one of those young girls :laughing:

you mentioned halion… whats the difference between halion and halion sonic? halion sonic is more a bunch of sounds and halion is more like propellerheads reason (even in version 7 the sequencer is so awful, i coudlnt believe it when i tried the demo version last days…) a “toolkit” with several instruments/utilities with focus to create them?

Halion Sonic is a rompler, or a huge library of sounds that can be tweaked.
Halion 5 is a sampler that, next to a huge library of sounds, also has a synth section and a sampling section, where you can create playable instruments from any recording. I’m sure there is a sexy product video out there somewhere :slight_smile:.

Okee, hmmm… so… Halion Sonic 2 is included in Halion 5, isn’t it?
Thats a hard desicion for me, although the price between Sonic and Halion is not sooo much…

All together I’m under 1k€ that sounds very good. (haha “sounds”)
And i dont need to buy all at once.
First Step Cubase and Audiodevice UR22.
And Halion5 or Sonic will follow.
Well guys, you really helped me, thank you very much!

omg i cant wait to hear my fantom again, i could cry…

I suggest you indeed wait with investing in Halion Sonic or Halion 5. Cubase already comes with Halion Sonic SE which has a good part of that library already, so you should have enough to get you started right out of the box.
Once you know what you have it’s easier to judge what you need :wink:.

yes sir :slight_smile:

I don’t own either of the 2 programs so I can’t comment on how their libraries compare.
Here’s a quick overview with feature comparison, it seems Halion 5 has the bigger library, but only slightly.