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Recommendations for New Recording Set-Up?

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:25 pm
by RachelLeeWalsh
Hi TAXI family.
I've been using ProTools/MBox2/Mac configuration for many years for my small home studio as a songwriter. It's done me well over the years, but I now need to upgrade. I've looked at the ProTools family of products since I'm so familiar with them, but am curious about other options. I think ProTools/Quartet combo is the most fitting for me, but curious if anyone has any recommendations on any less expensive options from other brands.
I generally need to record via 2-5 inputs at the same time and probably total on average about 10 tracks in a season. I mostly record acoustic instruments, vocals, and occasionally virtual instruments.


Re: Recommendations for New Recording Set-Up?

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:28 pm
by Russell Landwehr
Hi, Rachel.

If you are thinking of moving to a different platform, expect that to require a very steep learning curve.

I'm not a protools guy, can't stand it really. But that's because I am so used to other DAWs. If you want to continue to be efficient, you should probably stick with what you know.

As far as interfaces, decide your desired input and output configuration, then buy the best one you can afford.

Russell Landwehr

Re: Recommendations for New Recording Set-Up?

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:18 pm
by RachelLeeWalsh
Thanks Russell.
There really is something to that, isn't there? Time is money and ease of use is important to me as it's most important to give time to the work, so I'll keep your opinion in mind.
Thanks again,

Re: Recommendations for New Recording Set-Up?

Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:27 am
by MattCurious
I switched to Pro Tools 12 recently from Reason 7; my experience was that there's an irritating disruption to productivity while you learn the new shortcuts and develop a new workflow, but in my case that was worth it for dramatically improved integration and functionality. I liked Reason a lot, but it wouldn't allow me to use / do the things I needed to create the music I wanted. To my mind, that's the only reason to switch or add equipment of any sort (including DAWs) - will it give you something you don't currently have?

Re: Recommendations for New Recording Set-Up?

Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:28 am
by RachelLeeWalsh
Thanks Matt.
Yes, an upgrade will give me more inputs but also be compatible with new OS.
I've worked in Reason a little bit here and there but I've been using the PT products for so many years both in my home studio and larger external studios I've worked with, but I was leaning towards continuing with PT. I just wanted to find where I could cut costs, if at all.
Thanks for your insight. Really appreciate it.

Re: Recommendations for New Recording Set-Up?

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:43 am
by waveheavy
Unless you're planning on doing a lot of heavy MIDI and film score composing then I'd recommend staying with Pro Tools, since you know it already. The Apogee Quartet would be a great choice (as long as you have monitors and a treated room to do it justice, which that's something I'm still working on with my setup). Little bit more and you could get a UAD Apollo 8 which would give you some top industry Universal Audio emulated analog plugins to record and mix with.

Re: Recommendations for New Recording Set-Up?

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:16 pm
by RachelLeeWalsh
Thanks Dave @waveheavy
Sorry to just see your response. Super helpful.

Re: Recommendations for New Recording Set-Up?

Posted: Sun May 21, 2017 12:40 am
by waveheavy
I gotta mention this for Rachel and for you songwriters out there in general.

I've been using the Presonus Studio One 3 DAW lately and am really impressed with it as a writing tool (and for a lot of other reasons).

I'd been using Pro Tools 11 for quite a while with an RME interface. It's the high dollar Pro Tools HDX hardware system that makes Pro Tools what it really is, and that's around $8,000 to $10,000 for that setup. But its digital converters are really on par with some of the best mastering converters. So unless one uses Avid's HDX hardware with the Pro Tools 12 software, or... uses a mastering quality digital converter (like Lavry, Crane Song, Prism, Mytek, Lynx, etc.), then the DAW software itself is just on par with all the other DAWs and really isn't anything special. But because Pro Tools is still an industry standard, it's good to have in case you're required to use it in collaborations.

An excellent writing tool Presonus Studio One 3 has is called Scratch Pad. Hit a button and it opens a whole new independent track display to the right of the original. You can then drag and drop your original song tracks into the Scratch Pad and then re-arrange the tracks (or split regions) to experiment with different arrangements of your song. The original tracks in the left pane are not touched in any way. The Arrange tool allows you to create sections or regions, and markers for the different sections of your song, like intro, verse, chorus, bridge, etc. These you can move around in the Scratch Pad in any kind of order you like, copy a section and add it, delete sections, use the splitter tool to create smaller sections to edit, etc., and all of your original tracks are still preserved. Only if you drag and drop into the left original track pane will it modify the original. You can create multiple Scratch Pad arrangements within a song session and save them to your hardrive. This is a great tool for creating those 60, 30, 15, and 5 second edits music supervisors like, and then save each arrangement. No other DAW has this Scratch Pad feature.

Something else Studio One 3 has is shortcut mapping that other DAWs use. You can select Pro Tools from the drop down and whatever the standard Pro Tools shortcuts were, that's what they'll be in Studio One. Can do this for all the major DAWs. This greatly reduces Studio One's learning curve. I found Studio One's standard shortcuts really easy.