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A matter of the right tools


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People should probably open topics like this frequently (which is why there are so many topics on what -genreofgear- should I buy), but i'm opening a new one again because I'm really lost here.

I'm trying to raise money to fund all of my music tool needs (these includes both physical gear, virtual gear, and education), at least to start doing things, but I'm not sure of what to invest first.

Right now, all I have is a dell XPS 15 4370 for my computer

a yamaha piaggero NP V60 as my keyboard and MIDI controller (Without the piano pedals)

A set of AKG P414 phones

And an shitty eagle violin(FOr study purposes - I still have no idea how to play the violin)

I got no microphone (as I don't think I'll need one anytime soon - I don't know how to sing yet, my violin isn't anywhere close to be recordable, and I can just synthetize my keyboard)

And my software of choice is cakewalk sonar X1 (although I haven't bought the licence yet.)

As of now, I've been able to raise R$1400,00 (which would convert to about 700~800 dollars), and with all my expenses I think I can store up to RS100~200 a month (which, again, goes for around 50~100 dollars, respectively). I won't be able to make much progress into music until the end of the next year anyway, because it'll be the last year of my university, so it'll be quite a busy year. Regardless of that, I'll still be trying to make something at my free times (And I'm still having keyboard/piano classes anyway), so investments can still be made.

Right now, my objectives are to buy an official license for sonar, and, well, this ( http://www.soundsonline.com/Complete-Composers-Collection ). I know, the second one is quite a heavy thing for my wallet, and considering import taxes (that is if EWQL imports stuff), the overall price will raise in about 60% (so I'll have to pay about 1500 dolars ~ R$3000,00)

I also want a cello after I learn how to play the violin, because DAMM do I I love cellos.

After all this backstory, my question: Should I keep storing money for the softwares i mentioned above? Should I use some of the money I have saved so far into something I may be able to use in short-term? Or should I aim for something completly different?

My aim is to create OST's for games and animations, by the way. while I haven't posted anything from my own yet, I plan to, whenever I get the time to finish my projects (or leave the at least audible)

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The computer you have should run a hobbyist setup just fine. Haven't used Sonar myself so I can't speak for its capabilities and limitations, but afaik it's no better or worse than what I use. Having a microphone (I don't) is only relevant if you actually need to record any audio - in which case you'll need more than just a microphone anyway.

A couple of warnings:

- Learning to use any tool takes time. You didn't learn to play keyboard in a week, you won't learn to use a sound library in that time either.

- Spending money on a big nice tool will get you to a pro place sooner, but starting with a good collection of freebies. There's a fair amount of those for the most common instruments. Maybe you should start with Sonatina and get used to the arrangement stuff first.

- Even with a good library and the skills to really work it right, there are things those libraries weren't designed for, techniques and articulations that just weren't included. You don't actually get an orchestra, you just get the sounds the orchestra made during a set of recording sessions.

I can't speak for whether it's worth saving up for or not. Some ppl shell out lots of money on new audio toys, other get by with freebies. The net is full of freeware, free soundfonts and virtual instruments of all kinds. With the right skillset, these budget tools can do a lot.

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