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Computer Hardware Audio interfaces, MIDI interfaces, control surfaces, MIDI controllers & USB MIDI keyboards (not motherboards or system components)

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Old 16th August 2008 , 07:07 AM
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Default Do I need a Soundcard/Interface?

This does sound ridiculous but I'm literally brand new to this(don't judge me hehe). I am running Cubase 4 on a dual core laptop (T8100 2.10ghz). I don't as yet have any midi hardware and have a (rather slow) order coming for a xiosynth 25 which has a rather limited interface included. With so much choice and difference in accessories and the like I am unsure if I'd be wasting my money (at this point) investing in a seperate bit of kit. Ultimately I will have to I know, but at the moment I'm thinking strictly on a necessity basis and better monitors are also on my list.
I have read all kinds of reviews and the malarky but simply got myself a tad more confused so thought I'd seek some real time advice.

Gracias.
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Old 16th August 2008 , 08:57 AM
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I suppose the question is do you need more inputs/outputs at this stage? Do you plan on producing just in cubase using vst's and the xiosynth or do you plan on recording other material aswell?
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Old 16th August 2008 , 09:11 AM
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For the time being I think I'll be ok with the ins/outs. I was more thinking of quality and the like as my laptop is rather basic in that respect. I fully intend on expanding to have a bit of a studio going on, but taking baby steps. Some things I've read said a decent soundcard is essential to start with and others don't mention them. For now just producing with Cubase et al but I'm also looking into (laptop Djing and) live stuff as well (assuming I get on with the Live LE). So I know I'll need one, but its prioritising purchases and the minute and I'm flumoxxed.
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Old 16th August 2008 , 09:40 AM
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Every studio purchase requires a bit of planning and due to the usually high costs can be pretty daunting when starting out for fear of buying the wrong gear and wasting money.

Spend your time now getting used to cubase and how it works, your laptop soundcard or the intergrated soundcard in the synth should be fine for starting off. As for the laptop dj'ing that can also be done just using one of these soundcards for now. You may find your money would be wiser spent on a midi controller/better monitors/more outboard gear or whatever you wish.

After time im sure it will become clear to you what you need to expand on your existing setup to suit your use, you mention laptop dj'ing so for example as well as a traditional setup I use live to dj, i prefer to do all my mixing/eq/cueing etc on an outboard mixer rather than live itself so I bought a Saffire LE soundcard which allows me to send 4 channels from Live to 4 mixer channels. This works well for me but there are plently of users who use controllers to do all mixing within the software and simply just use one output channel to a house mixer, it really depends on the each indiviuals preferences

At the minute when producing I only use 1 output channel and occasionally one or two input channels but thats it, the saffire doesnt even get used to its full potential in this area

Other advice would be to stick around and use the DV boards, theres plenty of far more experienced guys than me that regularly post here, and always offer their help and advice
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Old 16th August 2008 , 09:48 AM
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Thanks a lot for that mate, it's kinda what I was thinking but in a more orginised fashion. Think I'll scout around for some quality monitors.
Cheers.
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