Need help with my ''studio setup'' (from a hobby perspective)

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English isn't my first language so please excuse any errors :)

I was mainly thinking of getting myself a studio setup, because i mainly produce house/EDM music etc, but i do play piano aswell (i do use the piano for fl studio but when i freely play on it, i do play original ''nice'' piano songs if you know what i mean). (also guitar but thats just from my other speaker so no worries there)

I had this setup in mind, though i'm not really sure it does work together, and/or what else i need, as in cables and such. Probably wether i need the D/A converter or an audio interface.

Heres the setup:

Yamaha HS7 x2

M-Audio SBX10 x1

Cambridge Audio dacmagic plus D/A - converter x1

XLR cables (Obviously) x4

Now i do realize this may be overkill and i could find cheaper stuff, but this is what i like. Though i would gladely take suggestions if anyone would have any :)

Heres what i thought. Jack cable from my pc to the converter. 2 XLR cables from the converter to the INPUT of M-Audio SBX10, then 2 XRL cables from OUTPUT from the sub to each of the monitors. Is this correct?

Now this is what i think this setup should be able to do (or any setup in general which i want). I would like to play my piano on some clear and fine monitors (heres where the Hs7's comes in), for the sake of the sound being proper, while stil having that boom boom for my FL - Studio producing(heres where the sub comes in). While having those 2 factors i believe the HS7's themself with provide me with the clear and nice sound whenever i want that, and the sub with the boom boom effect for producing.

Please keep in mind that i would gladely take any suggestions and will not be offended or anything if you call me a mainstream guy for picking the HS7's. I just dont have much experience in this field and this caught my eye atleast.

If you agree on this setup, or any similar setup, (if you suggest some other sub's or monitors) please add what else i need. For example stands or anything. Because i would really like to get it all in once to set it up finally. I'm usimg some crappy old home theater speakers setup right now and i would really like to just get it all in one buy so i could replace it all and just finally sit down without any worries.

Thank you for reading all this, i have some isuses for writing too much :P

thanks again, and any help is greatly appreicated :)

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Well the gear is the gear, i mean you spend a few hours in gearslutz and you get the general picture of the gear you need to set up a simple home studio.

I think you want to add an audio interface in there too and let the dac do the job after the soundcard , you can bypass the soundcards dac ofc.That's in case you want to record something.

I wouldn't add a sub just yet, if you ask me the sub is a pretty weird issue when we are talking sound, i mean i understand EDM needs the bass and all that but the sub is something you really have to know how to work with, I think adding the price of the sub to the monitor price and getting some bigger inch woofers on them like an 8" or maybe a 10" (10" is a bit of a stretch actually for a home studio -- room size) will give you the bass response you want but keeping it in the speaker domain. If you are new to this whole mixing / producing thing a sub might not actually help you in terms of decision making and mix translation to other systems without subs. Bottom line, for someone that wants to start a home studio i think a sub is another variable that makes things a bit more complicated! so better go with speaker bass rather than sub, and believe me with a 8" cone and a speaker designed more towards EDM / Dance / Electronic music you might have more bass than you wish ;) (google search best monitors for edm production..)

Furthermore the problem a sub can create in a room in terms of acoustics and room modes are massive when the room is not prepared to have a sub. In general staying in the nearfield monitoring is what you want to do but even in this monitor category going up in woofer inches can wake up your room's modes again messing up with translation to other systems or mixing becoming a hard task.

I would advise anyone starting up ,to spend the money needed to have a room that can take 2 good monitors and have a nice response with tight bass and treated reflections.( there are a hell lot more into this and it's really a matter of how far you want to go with this the more serious things you have in mind the more the money needed to go further).

And another last advise, manage your bankroll to make the best decisions, sadly in sound many people tend to read stuff and go like pff why do i need an expensive monitor or pff why do i need a treated room and all that, well , anyone will at some point mix the damn song, after changing 150 systems trying to find the problems and stuff, but if you want to be productive , and actually create a space where you can work and translate your work the best way you HAVE to do it right. Meaning, good monitors for the music you make, treated room for the music you make.

P.s. don't worry about the piano playing, nearly any monitor can handle it :)

Ah thanks for the reply frcake!

While i do understand your point of view, of actually going all in instead of that partially going all in. (as i talked about only having stands and not room treatment and room models etc) However money is a huge issue, and by all means, ''time''. I'm not planing to do this any time soon, its more of a future 1 year plan, or hopefully less. (though its most likely or guranteed more than half a year).

I also do understand the part about the sub. That's probably just a common mistake most people do i supose(me), thinking a setup just absolutley needs an sub – Karminder – 2016-02-01T18:55:40.327

(excuse my short comment, but it wouldn't let me type more words)

I honestly do understand all that about dropping the sub, fixing the room and all in all, making a room into a studio and going in the right direction, for the best possible sound.

However as i wrote in the comment above, money and time is an issue. And i am going to eventuelly get a room treated, get the right placement for the monitors and go all in,

Though i appreciate your reply, its filled with information and i think im going to take that advice. I will look for monitors with 8'' inches and drop the sub for now. – Karminder – 2016-02-01T19:00:58.510

(again, sorry about these short comments, but i can't write more due to no characters left)

Thanks for all the tips, I'll look for 8''inch monitors and i will drop the sub and probably just buy 2 stands for now which the monitors can sit on, eventuelly i'll try to treat a room and get the real, proper setup.

However about going all in, as i can't ill buy the proper monitors i want, use them in my current untreated room for now and probably buy some good stands to compensate with not having the proper setup. Once im set with money and time ill start treating the room and buy stuff accordingly – Karminder – 2016-02-01T19:05:50.443

i understand, my answer might be a bit broad but it's a broad subject, to give you a better answer, i would say , adding 2-4 acoustic panels (DIY price goes at about 20-25$each) and placing them in the first reflection point(google) , and maybe 2 as panel bass traps , and being careful about having a symmetry concerning your speaker placement plus getting some info and tips on home studio budget building is going to help you tons more than getting the DAC. i mean you have to start from the basics but your basics must be right so you can develop on them as a foundation. I hope you understand – frcake – 2016-02-01T19:06:50.900 as i said before Karminder, sky is the limit when we talk money and sound/studio, what you want to keep in mind is the basic entry steps being in the right direction. Basic treatment + basic good setup + room arrangement/adjustment (without money!) , Internet is full of ideas, some people make diffusers out of libraries , a bit more handy make their own panels / superchunk basstraps all in very affordable prices. I just feel i have to inform you about all that cause many people start the wrong way when they could've evolved times faster with the right basics! – frcake – 2016-02-01T19:12:49.870 yea i can understand, sorry if i sounded angry somewhat, not my intention. I really appreciate the long and proper answer you to my post. i just wanted to exclude the room treating as of right now, My main plan is just to get those speakers setup as i will surely as hell customize and build it as i allways dreamt. And yea i will look on the internet for ideas for first time home studio setup and the budget. and as you suggested, i will drop the sub for now. focusing mostly on getting the placement of those speakers, + getting the right setup for me, so i can advance later. Thanks again! – Karminder – 2016-02-01T19:20:25.607 I would also look into those panels and add them accordingly to suit my monitors when i find the proper ones. As you suggested about getting those basic stuff done first, i will look into that first, get it done then get my monitors and add the acoustic panels. Hopefully that will be right for my first time, and i'll hopefully be able to advance fully once im ready to invest my money in it :) thanks again, this helped me alot! – Karminder – 2016-02-01T19:23:00.600 no don't feel sorry , nothing angry came this way! :) im glad i helped and im here if you want further info! good luck – frcake – 2016-02-01T19:40:30.370 audio interface for sure. That way you can route your instruments into it and not have to run through your computer's soundcard which I can guarantee will be much worse. They make them cheap nowadays. – Travis Crum – 2016-02-04T21:04:55.177 0 An important thing to keep in mind is that a designed-for-music audio interface literally is the audio recorder. That is what makes the audio recordings. Your PC is only supposed to provide the user interface and file storage for your audio interface. The speakers provide the output for your audio interface. Microphones and guitars provide the input for your audio interface. If you imagine a standalone digital mixer, the knobs and sliders are moved from there onto a computer screen, and what you are left with is some audio inputs and outputs — that is the audio interface. The audio inputs and outputs move onto the computer by plugging them in via USB or FireWire or Thunderbolt. Now your PC is a digital mixer. The built-in audio from your PC continues to provide a way for your PC to beep at you. That is what the built-in audio is made for. It is most certainly not made for audio recording and production. The audio interface is the most fundamental piece of gear in your studio, same as an analog mixer was the most fundamental piece of gear in an analog studio. I recommend you start with the audio interface and build out from there. Figure out what are the fewest inputs and outputs you can get by with (e.g. 2x2 might be just fine for you) and then get the best quality made-for-music (not speech, not gaming) audio interface you can afford. I use all Apogee gear. You should check them out at least, because it is all great stuff, all made for music, all 24/96, a whole range of products from smallest to largest, and they sound great. However, I don’t know if they work with Windows. But it can be educational to look at their product lineup and figure out which one of their many options would be best for your needs based on the size of the interface and the number of inputs and outputs, and then you may move on from there to another manufacturer that has a competing product that is lower-priced or suits your other gear better. For example, if you determine Duet is ideal for you but too expensive, you can then identify a Duet-competitor from another manufacturer that has similar features but is cheaper, or you might buy a used Duet on eBay to get it cheaper. The key thing is to get an interface that is the right size, price, and number of inputs that is right for you. Don’t get an 8x8 interface and use only the first 2 inputs and outputs all the time because you are better off getting a higher-quality and smaller 2x2 interface in that case. It will sound better, be more portable, and maximize your dollar. If you are going to plug a condenser microphone in to your interface and record singing, you’ll want an interface that provides phantom power. If you are paying about US$300 each for your HS7 monitor speakers, the audio interface that matches those speakers should be US$350–$500. Anything less and it may not have balanced outputs that the HS7’s want. Anything less and the drivers may not be reliable and you’ll get glitches and crashes as you work. Again, the audio interface is the recorder.

Keep in mind that the HS7’s are not made to sound good, they are made to sound transparent and show you the flaws in your music, and then you are meant to do a bunch of work on your music until it does sound good through the HS7’s, and then ideally it should sound great everywhere else. As long as you are aware of that.

If you are recording voices (whether singing or rapping or voice-based samples) you will want a decent microphone. I use AUDIX because they sound great with my voice and they are outrageously rugged and I’m mobile all the time. You’ll want to find a microphone that suits your unique needs in that same way. Typically you will want a condenser microphone for studio use, and a pop screen, which is like $19 and worth every penny. You should probably spend US$200 on a condenser microphone. For example, the AUDIX CX-112. You don’t have to spend more than that to get a decent microphone, but if you spend less, the quality will fall off very quickly, and also the reliability, and you may end up buying two $100 bad-sounding microphones over the next couple of years instead of one good-sounding$200 microphone that could last you 10 years or more.

A big thing with gear is that if you buy something that has good quality and suits your needs, it will pay for itself right away and last a long time and be reliable when you are using it so that you can just focus on making music. If you buy something that is low quality and breaks right away, or simply doesn’t suit your needs, then that gear not only destroys your budget, it also distracts from your music-making time, focus, and quality. So try to have as little gear as possible with the highest-quality that you can afford. Before you buy something, make sure you really need that new piece of gear and that it really suits your setup and that you will get some very real result from it.

One last thing: get good cables. Cheap no-name cables are not only unreliable, they are often made with harmful chemicals that can affect your health and poison the environment when you inevitably dispose of them after they break way too soon. You don’t have to spend a lot, but you should not spend a really small amount. Get the cheapest name-brand cable and it will be 2x the price of the no-name cable but it will be 10–100x the quality of the no-name cable. For example, get the cheapest Monster StudioLink XLR mic cable or 1/4-inch balanced line cable for your speakers and they will last you for years and years while giving you reliable performance. Your studio is only as good as your cables.