Help me choose components for my first home studio

Econ

Well-known member
My daughter got married back in June and after some negotiations with my wife regarding the use of my daughter's former bedroom, I'm going to take the room to build my first home studio. I already have the following components:

RAB Audio ProRak 88 Music Production Desk
Herman Miller Embody Chair
Adam Audio A7X7 Studio Monitors (2)

I'm looking for recommendations for the following:
Desktop Computer (thinking Mac, but not totally convinced)
Audio Interface (thinking Apogee Duet)
Some sort of IR loader to use with my tube amps

I have some tube amps (Diezel Herbert, Friedman BE, Bogner 3534, Synergy System), various guitar cabs (Friedman 4x12, Synergy 2x12, Bogner 1x12 (3), and some guitar modeling units (Fractal AX8 and a Quad Cortex).

What else do I need to complete a basic recording studio? I know I'll need some recording software, but I'll handle that later. Any other hardware pieces that I should consider? As always, your feedback is much appreciated.
 

Kapo_Polenton

Well-known member
Does that room have a closet? Line it with rockwool or other insulation and make it a cab room for live mic'ing. Get 2 good stand alone mic pre's and make sure whatever audio interface you have/ buy has bypassable preamps so these can go straight into your DAW.

Buy some room treatment for the walls for reflection points and bass traps (you can make these) don't rely on foam or else you will never be hearing a reliable signal from your monitors. Do everything on headphones at that point.

If you want to go direct, Get a Suhr reactive load or Torpedo. I have the CAB M, prefer to not have a computer on and nice to have 3-4 cabs loaded (even though it can store 99) for jamming and recording if you want. Of course you need a load then too and for that I have the Reload. Just starting out get the new Torpedo white box with on board IR's. Simplify your life.
 

itsgoodnow

Well-known member
What are you tracking? Are you micing anything?

I had apogee stuff and would recommend going universal audio since the converter quality is going to be similar but the UAD stuff can be really versatile.

I recommend a boss waza IR loader.
Computer depends on the interface and how many tracks you’re working with.

Edit: I would also recommend grabbing a last gen Mac Pro from OWC. Just do the specs to what you need for how many tracks you’re running. Mac is great but also you can basically use any DAW you want. I like logic because you can do basically anything and it has great midi capabilities and is relatively cheap.
 

Econ

Well-known member
Does that room have a closet? Line it with rockwool or other insulation and make it a cab room for live mic'ing. Get 2 good stand alone mic pre's and make sure whatever audio interface you have/ buy has bypassable preamps so these can go straight into your DAW.

Buy some room treatment for the walls for reflection points and bass traps (you can make these) don't rely on foam or else you will never be hearing a reliable signal from your monitors. Do everything on headphones at that point.

If you want to go direct, Get a Suhr reactive load or Torpedo. I have the CAB M, prefer to not have a computer on and nice to have 3-4 cabs loaded (even though it can store 99) for jamming and recording if you want. Of course you need a load then too and for that I have the Reload. Just starting out get the new Torpedo white box with on board IR's. Simplify your life.
The room does have a closet. I was thinking about placing my and amps there.
 

Econ

Well-known member
What are you tracking? Are you micing anything?

I had apogee stuff and would recommend going universal audio since the converter quality is going to be similar but the UAD stuff can be really versatile.

I recommend a boss waza IR loader.
Computer depends on the interface and how many tracks you’re working with.
Still don't know if I want to do some micing or I go direct.
 

itsgoodnow

Well-known member
Still don't know if I want to do some micing or I go direct.
Personally, as someone who has had full setups, I would probably go direct with heads and IR loaders. It clears up a lot of logistics and saves a lot of cash. The more you have to mic the more gear you need and getting similar results to IRs is difficult without extra space and cabs. I would rather put that cash into room treatment and monitors/computer/interface. That stuff is going to be your bread and butter and rarely be changed. Everything else will be revolving. A77x are great.

Edit: if I could do it over again I would get spiral groove studio ones as my monitors. Maybe the best monitor ever at any price point. Especially for mix down
 

Econ

Well-known member
Personally, as someone who has had full setups, I would probably go direct with heads and IR loaders. It clears up a lot of logistics and saves a lot of cash. The more you have to mic the more gear you need and getting similar results to IRs is difficult without extra space and cabs. I would rather put that cash into room treatment and monitors/computer/interface. That stuff is going to be your bread and butter and rarely be changed. Everything else will be revolving. A77x are great.

Edit: if I could do it over again I would get spiral groove studio ones as my monitors. Maybe the best monitor ever at any price point. Especially for mix down
What you say about going direct makes a lot of sense. Any recommendations for a computer interface, IR loader and computer?
 

itsgoodnow

Well-known member
What you say about going direct makes a lot of sense. Any recommendations for a computer interface, IR loader and computer?
I always like using the Apple platform for a computer just because it allows compatibility with basically any DAW. It depends on if you want a laptop or a desktop. If it’s going to only be used for tracking I would probably do a 2013-2019 Mac Pro bought through OWC. You can get a 12 core processor with 128 gb of ram for 2500. This may be overkill but I might buy one for a rig here soon and it would be really nice. You can always buy a laptop also for portability but regardless get something with at least 16gb of ram.

I would use the boss waza tube expander. You can load your IRs in there and hook your heads right in as a load box.

Interface I would do an Apollo quad and then If you need more processing power to run the plugins get some UAD satellites used and add to it. No need to buy an x8 or something if you don’t need the inputs and are just going direct in.
 

RockyStar

Well-known member
You can't go wrong with Apple and Universal Audio IMO. For ease, space and money you are probably best off going direct. The tech keeps getting better by the day. Make sure your computer has more than enough juice ever needed just in case you need it down the road.
 

ZEN Amps

Well-known member
The Duet or a basic little Focusrite + the best mac you can afford is a good starting place - without knowing your budget it's impossible to recommend anything specific.

Just start there, and see what you require as you progress. I wouldn't bother with an hardware IR loader for now though, software does the job arguably better.
 

Econ

Well-known member
I always like using the Apple platform for a computer just because it allows compatibility with basically any DAW. It depends on if you want a laptop or a desktop. If it’s going to only be used for tracking I would probably do a 2013-2019 Mac Pro bought through OWC. You can get a 12 core processor with 128 gb of ram for 2500. This may be overkill but I might buy one for a rig here soon and it would be really nice. You can always buy a laptop also for portability but regardless get something with at least 16gb of ram.

I would use the boss waza tube expander. You can load your IRs in there and hook your heads right in as a load box.

Interface I would do an Apollo quad and then If you need more processing power to run the plugins get some UAD satellites used and add to it. No need to buy an x8 or something if you don’t need the inputs and are just going direct in.
Thank you so much for the recommendations. I was thinking about getting a desktop Mac. I'll do some research on the Apollo. I forgot to mention that I have a Waza Tue Expander that I used in a second home we have, so I can always move it to the studio.
 

Econ

Well-known member
You can't go wrong with Apple and Universal Audio IMO. For ease, space and money you are probably best off going direct. The tech keeps getting better by the day. Make sure your computer has more than enough juice ever needed just in case you need it down the road.
That seems like the general consensus. Thank you for the feedback.
 

Econ

Well-known member
The Duet or a basic little Focusrite + the best mac you can afford is a good starting place - without knowing your budget it's impossible to recommend anything specific.

Just start there, and see what you require as you progress. I wouldn't bother with an hardware IR loader for now though, software does the job arguably better.
I really don't have a set budget. I did think about a Duet, but the Apollo Quad seems to be a favorite here. I'll do research on both to make a decision. Thanks for the feedback.
 

Ventura

Well-known member
My daughter got married back in June and after some negotiations with my wife regarding the use of my daughter's former bedroom, I'm going to take the room to build my first home studio. I already have the following components:

RAB Audio ProRak 88 Music Production Desk
Herman Miller Embody Chair
Adam Audio A7X7 Studio Monitors (2)

I'm looking for recommendations for the following:
Desktop Computer (thinking Mac, but not totally convinced)
Audio Interface (thinking Apogee Duet)
Some sort of IR loader to use with my tube amps

I have some tube amps (Diezel Herbert, Friedman BE, Bogner 3534, Synergy System), various guitar cabs (Friedman 4x12, Synergy 2x12, Bogner 1x12 (3), and some guitar modeling units (Fractal AX8 and a Quad Cortex).

What else do I need to complete a basic recording studio? I know I'll need some recording software, but I'll handle that later. Any other hardware pieces that I should consider? As always, your feedback is much appreciated.
I use a Focusrite Clarett 8Pre and it's flawless - I love this unit.
Mac all the way, 27" maxed out with top-drawer processor and 32GB RAM
I'm a fan of TwoNotes wares, and use two CaptorX 16ohms for my DI routing (there may be a 3rd added in the spring 2022)
As for studio monitors - I have a pair of HS7 and a pair of HS8 - why both? I find the 7s are better at discerning guitars/vocals when mixing; the 8s would be absolutely fine for "everything" but since I have both, I use both. But if you only needed 1 pair, HS8 all the way providing your room is a good size with decent dampening/sound-treatment.
Reaper - DAW, long time use, fantastic platform.
Eventually a decent set of eargoggles - many love the Senn HD650 which are no longer produced, now replaced with the HD660; I prefer Beyerdynamic DT1770Pro/DT1990Pro closed/semi-open; if you only could have one?? Probably the DT1990Pro - a lot of cats find the sibilance a bit too heightened in these cans; I find them "highly detailed". Eargoggles are a personal thing - there is no right or wrong.

Hope this helps.
Peace & Powerchords
Mojo
 

Kapo_Polenton

Well-known member
Going direct vs mic'ing is a tough one. I started a thread about iso boxes because there is no doubt the real deal is better. It is more dynamic and punches more because of the response to your playing. But here is the question , is it better to use IR's and crank the amp or sacrifice volume to use a real speaker. Anyway, wome great suggestioms in this thread.
 

Kapo_Polenton

Well-known member
I use a Focusrite Clarett 8Pre and it's flawless - I love this unit.
Mac all the way, 27" maxed out with top-drawer processor and 32GB RAM
I'm a fan of TwoNotes wares, and use two CaptorX 16ohms for my DI routing (there may be a 3rd added in the spring 2022)
As for studio monitors - I have a pair of HS7 and a pair of HS8 - why both? I find the 7s are better at discerning guitars/vocals when mixing; the 8s would be absolutely fine for "everything" but since I have both, I use both. But if you only needed 1 pair, HS8 all the way providing your room is a good size with decent dampening/sound-treatment.
Reaper - DAW, long time use, fantastic platform.
Eventually a decent set of eargoggles - many love the Senn HD650 which are no longer produced, now replaced with the HD660; I prefer Beyerdynamic DT1770Pro/DT1990Pro closed/semi-open; if you only could have one?? Probably the DT1990Pro - a lot of cats find the sibilance a bit too heightened in these cans; I find them "highly detailed". Eargoggles are a personal thing - there is no right or wrong.

Hope this helps.
Peace & Powerchords
Mojo

Im always intrigued by the Mac draw...but my wife just dropped a ton of cash on an iMac and said i could use it for " some music stuff" so maybe we will see what the hype is all about
 
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