If it was your money?


If it was your money to begin with?..and you needed a $1200 CDN computer, URM28U—$400,
$700 digital 88 piano–weighted for performance, and if you only needed Cubase 7,$500 and Komplete 9 $560
along for the ride—don’t forget, every studio needs a fine condenser mic for vox (which are important) $300…don’t for get the miscellaneous, eh?

But gathered funds: $2500…(may extend up to 1K further)…i’m being sponsored

What pieces of the system are a quality priority?



Room treatment.
Then monitors.
Then the other stuff.



Are you serious? Room treatment for a start out punk?..Everything i anticipate recording that is acoustic is
either a vocal or a six-string guitar? nothing other…All other instruments that go right into the board/interface
are easily digitized ( the “property of the Cubase’s internal treatment environment” )…not to worry about room
with these signals, right?

Of course, i have been persuaded by this forum to take Monitors seriously: $320…it makes sense to hear your work in detail—indeed YOU must enjoy it or your working for nothing.

What cheap tricks can make a room “good”?..carpets on the walls?



I should have said: i have a small living space where i’ll be recording—a tiny bit bigger than a suburban Master bedroom.
…i think these means i have no “boomy echos” to worry about, eh?..and never any drums.

Be sure to post this question in several forums such as Gearslutz to get perspective. Room treatment as an answer for this budget is absurd (to offense to poster but…really??)

I’d say cheaper controller, do you need full Cubase 7 (maybe Artist)? or full Komplete (maybe Elements)?

IMHO this is an excellent approach on such a budget.

Also what Steve posted is very insightful.

1-Are you doing this just for you to hear?
2-Do you intend to have others (clients, friends, other musicians etc)
listening to your work as well? Perhaps on other systems?

If it is #2 your work then needs to ‘translate’. (sound good on multiple systems)

This is where monitors and room treatment come into play.

But one step at a time here.



Thanks guys for such plentiful wisdom.

If there is a $320–$360 choice for dual monitors—every poor CUBASER must know what
his first recommendation is—it seems a heated topic—the perfect cheap monitor!!!

Thanks also for other posts which i will review…and respond



Mr M

Gearslutz is Amazing !
I owe you one !


Ambitions for the music are high. I want songs to “translate to any speaker” of course!!!
…So i need “flat response”…yeah! i think flat response is the best we can do—call it honesty, eh?

But is there an industry standard agreed to by manufacturers that presents to the listener “the mixer’s mix” ?—that’s the mix…part of mixing is therefore guesswork…

I’m told that THE CARS mixed their tunes precisely to be listened to by teenagers driving around doing x…


Again, hope I didnt sound harsh to krudler, but I wouldnt worry about room treatment if I had $25,000 (unless the room had 2 walls and was adjacent to an airport)
. As Curteye said, you want a portable mix. If you were on a desert island with no car,tv,internet and you were sending masters off to end users then room treatment to get the perfect mix would have priority. However ,until you can afford this ,just listen to your songs in different environments. Play the mix in the car (yes,speakers are hyped) over your tv speakers, and at friends over there systems and post in Made with Steinberg section. If mixes that sounded great at home have too much bass for ex, just compensate when mixing, Better monitors are way more important .

#1 thing you need is to get started.

There is no such thing as a perfectly flat speaker response. Monitors aim to come close, but even the most expensive monitors sound different. That’s why you want to listen to your tracks on as many systems as possible. Once it sounds good everywhere, take a mental note of how it sounds on your monitors and learn to mix your other songs so they sound similar in their frequency response.

I Love this thread.

With all this great help from you guys it kinda makes me want to start all over again. :slight_smile:
(just an old man’s fantasy)


I know what you mean :slight_smile:.
Every now and then I get this urge to take the whole place apart and rethink the routing etc to see if I can come up with a more efficient way. Although now that I’ve got my audio interface and mixer combined there’s not much room for improvement :wink:.
If that doesn’t satisfy the feeling of building a new setup, I buy new gear :sunglasses:. I’m so weak.

I just had to do the whole studio rebuild thing. Its really over rated.

Just listening to Heroes of Old. Well mixed and some good sounds. What are you using for drums on this


OK, well…to answer the question as if it were MY money ( it’s $2,500 to 3,500 )
I would wonder about headphones too—how awesome do they have to be?

The monitor and the headphones fulfill the same basic function—they tell you what does it sound like ?
Perhaps i should get phones first to see how i like my sound to be…but i don’t like it when my head feels like a sweaty football, it’s a wee bit claustrophobic—Yes, headphones don’t promise to be a fresh air listening experience…primary thinking and mixing is for the studio monitors…

But i’ve got other speaker sources to evaluate mixed material ( even before the mix is complete )----BoomBox, TV, miniature MP3 headphones, and a Roland jazz chorus 120 watt amp to see what happens at high volume…There’s any number of makeshift ways to anticipate what the listener will hear, eh?

By the way, i recommend this amp, it ls impeccably clear at high volumes—once i stuck my head in it and i heard a
musical bonus i did not believe…it’s just loud and clear…clear, eh ?..this can be one monitor among others

So i think active semi-pro monitors take precedent over headphones…partly because i’m impatient with headphones
Approximately $80 for headphones—how can you tell if they are durable?
And $340 for active studio monitors…

Hey, don’t sweat it, I take no offense - I understand.

I’m not saying sink $10K into Auralex panels, just put some thought into the room. DIY bass traps in the corners or something. Anything. Plus the critical question of where you will sit, especially in relation to the carefully selected $320 monitors.

I understand where you (all) are coming from - I get it. But, if you are starting from scratch there is no reason not to at least research/consider some of these things. After all, the same room you say you don’t need to overly worry about because you are going to record direct (except for a few things) is the same room you are going to be sitting in listening to those monitors.

There’s a youtube series from Rode with Francis Buckley (“Save My Studio” or some such) where he goes around and helps start-out punks such as ourselves fix up their home recording/mixing spaces (and then gives them $750+ worth of Rode mic equipment, natch) - I highly recommend it for some of the simple/cheap type options you might wish to consider.

Don’t take these suggestions as high and mighty or condescending in any way. My space is a train wreck. But that’s precisely because I didn’t know/consider these items before I got into it. Learn from the experience of others.

And, you generally shouldn’t mix with headphones (they’re for tracking), but that’s a whole 'nother story…


But also use them for ‘spacial placement’ (pan settings) and checking reverb tails.

I’ll take this here, let’s not derail this topic :wink:.

If you ask me…


  1. Build myself a great computer, I7, 16GB RAM, ASUS, NVIDIA-graphic, Intel SSD (only C Windows) Windows 7 or 8.

  2. Buy a great audio card.

Budget alternative:
Focusrite series, Steinberg hardware, E-mu 1616M (E-mu use high-end converters. Best bang for the buck).

High-end alternative:
Antelope Orion 32 (Usb), Lynx aurora 16 with RME PCExpress-card. Prism Sound Orpheus.

3. Buy Cubase 7

  1. Buy monitor.

Budget alternative:
Event 2030 or ADAM A77X

High-end alternative:
Event Opal or ADAM S3X-H

5. Software.
NI Komplete 9, any of Nomad Factory plugins… Voxengo

High-end alternative: NI Komplete 9 Ultimate, all Nomad Factory, All Spectrasonics software’s, Plugin Alliance, SPL, elysian, East West, Heavycity libraries, Sample Logic libraries

6. Mic
Budget alternative:
SM57, SM58 or chines tube mic

High-end alternative:
Only one------> Manley Reference Cardioid Microphone (vocal, guitar etc.)

I use it myself. :wink:

7. Studio treatment. Doesn’t cost much these days.
Focus on base traps, corners and behind you.

(8. Extra! High-end extra: Hardware outboard, compressors etc.)

Manley, elysian, SPL, DBX, Drawmer 1968MK II, Chandler Limited, Daking FET Compressor III, NEVE, ART, SSL etc…

*Note: I don´t recommenced UAD2 or Waves. Waves is very good but there are so many native options that are better these days. :wink: Waves is still pricey but still value. UAD2 is just overpriced dongle “chip” software that has lost its true meaning these days. Don’t fall for the hype! :wink:

Hope it help!

Best Regards


Thanks Freddie H…I’ll be reading up on your products mentioned

Here’s a novice question (in keeping with the thread): If you process through a digital converter like the UR28M, then
you’ve amplified and digitized the incoming signal for Cubase to work with, right?..So then, if you need a sound
card, what do you need it for???..i would guess you don’t need a sound card, right?..at least for Cubase work…?



Also, Komplete 9 costs $560 where i live, but it comes recommended…I had considered breaking the cost down into
a variety of VST alternates ( of which i know nothing yet )…But it seems to have everything i might need…and i
wouldn’t have to know or study the market…Is it really all the BOOM-BAH of the price?..and more importantly,
would it satisfy for a couple years of work?..