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from the perspective of more experienced producers and remixers, which would be more important to a newbie such as myself? studio monitors or a slightly better DAW? I have 200-250 and currently im using a mix of ableton and garageband, but i have alot of issues importing midi to ableton that ive been unable to resolve and garageband is somewhat limiting (i find, mostly in the automation department). Logic pro is only 200 which is a steal as far as daws go .

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What speakers do you use currently?

If you don't have something comparable to entry level mixing speakers (like M audio AV 40's) then you should upgrade those asap. Though if you up your budget by 50 bucks you can get some decent monitors that will last you.

As far as the DAW upgrade goes does your current setup give you the flexibility you want? I've never used either of those programs before so i can't give much advice there but going with something like Sonar Producer version will give you all the tools you need. Though that is 500 bucks.

If you only want a slightly better daw i'd say look for a decent set of speakers.

Good luck

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DAW.

I only just now purchased my first pair of stereo monitors. A $75 pair of Sony MDR-7506 headphones got me (and some other professional musicians I'm aware of) to where I am now, and my production value is "OCR quality" despite my studio's lack of stereo monitors. Aaand on that note, I personally know of some artists who have had among them dozens of remixes posted on OCR, yet neither had stereo monitors or high-quality listening gear til recently.

In my opinion, the benefits of upgrading to a better DAW (workflow, plugins, better piano roll, more plugin support, less resource usage or more efficiency, depth of features, etc.) far outweigh the benefits of better listening gear. That being said, if all you have is laptop speakers, I would buy those cheap Sony headphones I mentioned. And if your production quality is already pretty solid, maybe listening gear would be most beneficial to allow you to kick it up a notch.

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I'd say you could do most things you would ever want to do using a combination of Ableton and Logic. They have very complimentary features and focuses; good combination for most mac users.

I use Fostex PM0.4s and I think they're very solid for the price (about $190). Looking at various reviews for them, people seem to agree that compare well with slightly more expensive options.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/fostex-pmo.4n-powered-studio-monitor-pair

I can't really say one is more important then the other without knowing what speakers you currently have though.

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Honestly, it's not worth getting a pair of monitors unless you plan on spending $500+. There are some half decent ones under $500 but you're truly better off waiting until you can afford something that's worth keeping around for a while.

As far as DAWs go, that is often a matter of taste. I don't know many who are big fans of Logic these days. I'm an Apple guy myself and I'm using a combination of Reaper and Reason. My advise in this would be to buy Reaper and use free VSTs for a while and eventually buy Komplete. If you really like the way Live works, you may just want to stick with that.

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Honestly, it's not worth getting a pair of monitors unless you plan on spending $500+. There are some half decent ones under $500 but you're truly better off waiting until you can afford something that's worth keeping around for a while.

Weeeeell as someone who has had extended access to the likes of B&W 800/802/803/Nautilus etc, there is some truth in this, there is no comparison. But people have budgets (as I did when I bought my $200 pair).

What I would say is that you can get much better headphones then you can speakers on a budget.

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Honestly, it's not worth getting a pair of monitors unless you plan on spending $500+. There are some half decent ones under $500 but you're truly better off waiting until you can afford something that's worth keeping around for a while.

What about HS80M Yamaha speakers? $250 on Amazon, worth about $450. ;) Not entirely sure if it comes as a pair or not, though.

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What about HS80M Yamaha speakers? $250 on Amazon, worth about $450. ;) Not entirely sure if it comes as a pair or not, though.

Actually, these are quite good. I have a pair of them myself. :) They're quite an improvement over the KRK monitors that I used to have. They have a pretty flat response and they did take me a bit to get used to them. From the research that I've done, they HS80M's are one of the best sets of monitors out there for those on a budget. I personally found that KRK had too many build quality issues in their products. Another option that some people like are Mackie MR8mk2's which cost about the same as the Yamaha HS80M's. Both of these monitors go for about $500 a set but you can often get deals.

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I'd recommend you get Logic. It's got a bit of a learning curve, but it's an insanely powerful piece of software and you can do so much with it. You might be able to get some good headphones at that price, too, but I don't think I could comfortably recommend buying monitors with that money. I have some fairly inexpensive monitors ($450 for the pair when I bought them), but they're complemented by a good, prosumer sound card ($200) as well as a subwoofer ($300) and crossover ($200) in order to mask their deficiencies. Definitely not cheap.

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I should've mentioned what gear i have. spaced that part. I do have a pair of modded Sony mdr v6 ( made the cord removable) headphones. I also have some crappy idock speaker things that my roomies gave me. and as far as other gear I have enough free vsts that I get by pretty well unless I need a specific sound (like bagpipes) and more midi gear than I actually use.

I think ill go with logic, I did try reaper at one point but I didn't really like it. I had always heard I shouldn't mix on headphones so I had kindof written then off. as far as decent ones do you guys have any suggestions there ? my v6s are probably going to die sometime soonish given that they're 2 years old.

thanks for all the help !

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I do most of my mixing on my Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro headphones, and then usually do mastering on my studio monitors. I tend to get pretty close, though, and I'm pretty sure there are several artists in this community who use headphones nearly exclusively as well, and they've managed to put out stellar tunes. Of course, you'll always want to check your mixes on other speakers (car stereos tend to bring out the worst in my mixes :) ), but getting a really good pair of headphones would probably be a completely worthwhile investment.

EDIT: Along the lines of what Darangen said, I'm not really sure you need to move away from Live. It's a very competent piece of software, too.

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If you're one of the people who can mix in headphones, dog bless. It causes extreme ear fatigue for me and I end up making bad decisions.

I started out this way too and I had no idea how quickly i fatigued until I went to speakers. Part of my earlier frusterations i now realize was me trying to fight through ear fatigue.

With headphones the most time I spend mixing with headphones is 30 minutes and even after a 15 minute break it still can suck to put them back on. Going with speakers you can work longer and take shorter breaks to recover.

Though it's really good to use both, the more references you have the better.

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I started out with just using sony mdr v-150 headphones that costed me around $20, and I did that for years. However I started out with using a DAW that I still use today and therefore never had to change over, so it really depends on your needs currently. From what I understand from everything you've said, I would advise deciding which DAW you want to go with and purchasing it.

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If you're one of the people who can mix in headphones, dog bless. It causes extreme ear fatigue for me and I end up making bad decisions.

I started using Grado SR-60i's like 2 weeks ago, and I'm not really getting ear fatigue. Maybe a little itchy, but that's not fatigue. They also sound flippin' fantastic. As soon as I tried them, I could hear more bass clarity and treble presence. I think if I were to upgrade, one of my only choices would turn out to be the Beyerdynamic DT880's. The two are really close in frequency distribution, somehow... IIRC, $80.

Why am I not getting much fatigue? They're well-known for being one of the only headphones to give very little ear fatigue. ;D

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There's a lot of people who can mix quite well with just headphones. I personally don't recommend only mixing with headphones but you have to work with the equipment you've got sometimes. I only know of a small handful of people that do really well working this way. Headphone wise, I have a pair of these as do quite a few other OCR people.

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from the perspective of more experienced producers and remixers, which would be more important to a newbie such as myself? studio monitors or a slightly better DAW? I have 200-250 and currently im using a mix of ableton and garageband, but i have alot of issues importing midi to ableton that ive been unable to resolve and garageband is somewhat limiting (i find, mostly in the automation department). Logic pro is only 200 which is a steal as far as daws go .

what kinda midi import issues, and what kind of D/A do you have?

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There's a lot of people who can mix quite well with just headphones. I personally don't recommend only mixing with headphones but you have to work with the equipment you've got sometimes. I only know of a small handful of people that do really well working this way. Headphone wise, I have a pair of these as do quite a few other OCR people.

It actually looks like your headphones are missing quite a bit in the treble ranges above ~12000Hz. Of course, it's hard to notice without trying headphones with higher treble, but I felt Grado SR-60i's were definitely keepers. I could immediately hear a clearer and crisper bass on "Deliverance of the Heart" by zircon & Jillian, and way better (not just more, but better) treble on songs with female lead singers. In fact, on "Deliverance of the Heart", these headphones literally made me more aware of at least 3 more sound patches I didn't quite notice before.

I dunno, I just like how much better they sound than previous headphones I've had, and I've actually already written two songs on them now. I compared how they sounded on my previous two headphones, and they actually sound around as bad as they should (lol). However, no matter how bad they apparently sounded, they had an acceptable sound that the majority of people listening with consumer-grade headphones wouldn't really notice anything bad. That's why I think they're good; they made my two recent mixes sound good on not just themselves, but other headphones. Even my skullcandy earphones (which IMHO have too much low mids and too little treble) could play both songs back fairly well with decent accuracy.. ;)

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what kinda midi import issues, and what kind of D/A do you have?

D/A ?

i mentioned it in this thread here http://ocremix.org/forums/showthread.php?t=42351

i guess i never got back to the thread on what i ended up doing. which was that i have been completely unable to find a working copy of dent du midi, and the only midi converter software i found, ended up being a bunko demoware thing that only converted half the file.

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It actually looks like your headphones are missing quite a bit in the treble ranges above ~12000Hz. Of course, it's hard to notice without trying headphones with higher treble, but I felt Grado SR-60i's were definitely keepers. I could immediately hear a clearer and crisper bass on "Deliverance of the Heart" by zircon & Jillian, and way better (not just more, but better) treble on songs with female lead singers. In fact, on "Deliverance of the Heart", these headphones literally made me more aware of at least 3 more sound patches I didn't quite notice before.

I dunno, I just like how much better they sound than previous headphones I've had, and I've actually already written two songs on them now. I compared how they sounded on my previous two headphones, and they actually sound around as bad as they should (lol). However, no matter how bad they apparently sounded, they had an acceptable sound that the majority of people listening with consumer-grade headphones wouldn't really notice anything bad. That's why I think they're good; they made my two recent mixes sound good on not just themselves, but other headphones. Even my skullcandy earphones (which IMHO have too much low mids and too little treble) could play both songs back fairly well with decent accuracy.. ;)

That's pretty interesting and it seems you're correct looking at the response graph. Honestly, though, I don't really mix much with them. I've gotten fairly used to them and they're there if I need them. I may have to check out these Grado cans in the future, though.

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