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Equipment Set Ideas for Computer Music Recommendations by a Sound House Staff Member!

2022-01-11

Theme:Software

For those of you who are looking to write your own computer music, first you might consider purchasing some basic equipment.
However, there are so many options out there that you might become intimidated by just how many choices there are out there! I think many people are in the same boat and they cannot easily get started because of this initial obstacle.
Some people may worry about all of the costs, can’t choose the right equipment, or just don’t know where to start because they have to study all of the consumer reports and reviews.
For this post, I tirelessly researched equipment that I could to compile into starter sets, so that even first-time buyers can confidently purchase a set!
I chose equipment based on what advice that I would have given to myself when I was just starting out with computer music!
Of course, the contents of these kits can vary depending on the musical instrument and production, but I included some bare essentials that I think are absolutely necessary for composition, arrangement, and recording.
I assume that you already have a computer, so I am only listing some equipment.

■ “I want to build a good setup for a computer music studio, but I’m strapped for cash.”

This setup is only about 20,000 yen in total! (As of December 2021) However, each individual piece of equipment is fairly good quality for the price, so I think this set will definitely give your music a competitive edge! The Studio One Prime is a free DAW software that only has a few functional restrictions, and it comes with effects and soft synths, making it perfect for those only starting out with computer music! The UM-2 audio interface produces a phenomenal clear sound that is unbelievable in this price range. I think that even professional musicians can take a simple kit like this while on the go or touring.

In addition to the set above, I created other sets using cost effective models for those who value functionality and sound quality.

■ I want to achieve the best performance on a low budget” [High Performance on a Budget]

I came up with this selection keeping functionality and price as the main priorities in mind. The UR12 audio interface has plenty of features such as loopback, iPad compatibility, and that includes DAW software Cubase AI, as well as some basic features. The JBL 1 Series 104-BT speaker reproduces a powerful sound from its compact body and it also supports Bluetooth connection, giving this combination a lot of flexibility!

■ I want to get the best performance on a low budget” [Sound Quality]

This next set achieves high sound quality while keeping the costs low. The FOCUSRITE Scarlett series audio interface is reasonably priced, yet, the sound of the traditional FOCUSRITE mic preamp is what makes this unit shine. The Scarlett Solo includes DAW software Ableton Live Lite, the Hitmaker Expansion that cranks out hit after hit, and a sufficient number of plugins and software sound sources. The Scarlett alone can assist in every area of music production. The CLASSIC PRO CPH7000 headphones are also included in the [High Performance on a Budget] set, but I had to choose them for this set as well because these headphones are such an incredible deal for the price!

If you want to get sound quality that will be the envy of your rivals, consider the following sets. I’m going to also include the plugin software in the sets.

■ “I want to achieve sound quality that goes one step further” ①

SSL consoles have produced countless masterpieces throughout music history. The SSL2 is an inexpensive audio interface bearing the name SSL. That alone sounds amazing, but it has a sound quality that matches its good reputation. You can’t miss out the SSL2 audio interface.
The SE ELECTRONICS SE2200 is the successor to the condenser microphone model that was used by singer Amy Winehouse. The sound is well-balanced in the low and high ranges, and I personally love its glossy clarity.
Needless to say, the SONY MDR-CD900ST is a standard headphone model among recording studios. You will be more than satisfied with its excellent sound while recording. You can easily understand why the MDR-CD900ST has proudly received top market shares for a long time.
For the plugin bundle, I chose another standard, the Gold Bundle by Waves. Every plugin in this bundle is so reliable that you can feel rest assured that even if you were to lose all of the plugins in your library, the Gold Bundle has all the plugins you need.

■“I want to achieve sound quality that goes one step further” ②

I picked the First iZotope Set Pro Max by iZotope since their reputation is on the same level as Waves.
The major selling point of the First iZotope Set Pro Max is that it achieves AI mixing and mastering, but other than this innovative feature, it obliterates the competition since it performs at a high degree of perfection.
Since the Clarett+ emulates Focusrite’s famous ISA110 with all analog circuits, you can expect to level up your recording with this extremely high quality mic preamp.
I think this set boasts a quality that can handle professional recording!

■ “I want to build an environment that can even be used as professional recording sets”

Finally, I recommend this pro level set for pro level producing. I specifically chose models that I can recommend without hesitation, but I tried to choose less expensive models as much as possible instead of just listing expensive ones. The audio interface I chose for this set is the Discrete 4 Synergy Core from ANTELOPE AUDIO. The accurate and silky sound is so addictive. With DSP and FPGA chips, Synergy Core FX allows the user to apply effects as if he were using a hardware processor. In addition, since the Discrete 4 Synergy Core has four headphone jacks, it is perfect for band recordings.
The Sonarworks SoundID Reference is software that you definitely want to get. This software measures the frequency response of your room and speakers to calibrate the speakers. Until I tried it out for the first time, I doubted the function a little. But, once the calibration was done, my monitor speakers, which I didn’t like much, were in tip top shape! Having an accurate monitoring environment is the easiest way to achieve accurate recording, so this software system might work for you too!

I actually wanted to talk more in detail about each product I included in these sets, but I thought this blog post would become so long that it would overwhelm all of you, so I tried to write it as short as possible.
There are many products that I had to reluctantly exclude from these lists, but I will make more set options again next time!

sound

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AKG / C214

AKG

C214

¥43,800(incl. tax)

Condenser microphone, unidirectional

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AKG / C414 XLII

AKG

C414 XLII

¥108,000(incl. tax)

Condenser microphone, directivity switching type

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SSL (Solid State Logic) / SSL2 USBオーディオインターフェイス

SSL (Solid State Logic)

SSL2 USBオーディオインターフェイス

¥29,750(incl. tax)

オーディオインターフェイス、USB2.0、2IN/2OUT

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約2週間

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SE ELECTRONICS / SE2200

SE ELECTRONICS

SE2200

¥34,800(incl. tax)

コンデンサーマイク

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audio technica / AT2020 condenser microphone

audio technica

AT2020 condenser microphone

¥13,200(incl. tax)

Condenser microphone, unidirectional

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AVID / Pro Tools Permanent License Edition Package Delivery

AVID

Pro Tools Permanent License Edition Package Delivery

¥92,290(incl. tax)

ProTools software, perpetual license version, no iLok, package delivery

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BEHRINGER / UM2 USB USB audio interface

BEHRINGER

UM2 USB USB audio interface

¥9,780(incl. tax)

Audio interface, 2in / 2out, USB

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beyerdynamic / DT770PRO 80 ohm

beyerdynamic

DT770PRO 80 ohm

¥21,800(incl. tax)

Headphones, Closed, 80Ω, 96dB, 5-35,000Hz

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ANTELOPE AUDIO / Discrete 4 Synergy Core

ANTELOPE AUDIO

Discrete 4 Synergy Core

¥137,998(incl. tax)

Audio interface, USB, Thunderbolt

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完売しました

CLASSIC PRO / CM5S dynamic microphone

CLASSIC PRO

CM5S dynamic microphone

¥1,980(incl. tax)

Dynamic microphone, with ON / OFF switch, vocal, speech, karaoke, with microphone holder and hard case, ideal for beginners

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CLASSIC PRO / CPH7000 Closed monitor headphones

CLASSIC PRO

CPH7000 Closed monitor headphones

¥4,980(incl. tax)

Monitor headphone, closed type, 64Ω, 108dB, 10 to 30,000 Hz

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FabFilter / Total Bundle

FabFilter

Total Bundle

¥165,000(incl. tax)

Plug-in bundle, 14 types, AU / VST / RTAS (32bit) / AAX

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Sonarworks / SoundID Reference for Speakers & Headphones 測定マイク付属

Sonarworks

SoundID Reference for Speakers & Headphones 測定マイク付属

¥59,400(incl. tax)

Measurement app / plug-in, speaker / headphone calibration, system wide, measurement microphone included

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FOCUSRITE / Clarett+ 2 Pre USB

FOCUSRITE

Clarett+ 2 Pre USB

¥53,800(incl. tax)

オーディオインターフェイス、USB

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FOCUSRITE / Scarlett Solo (gen. 3)

FOCUSRITE

Scarlett Solo (gen. 3)

¥16,300(incl. tax)

Audio interface, USB-C, gen.3

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完売しました

Fostex / PM0.1e

Fostex

PM0.1e

¥12,650(incl. tax)

Powered monitor speaker, 2.2", 5W + 5W, pair

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GENELEC / 8020DPM ペア パワードモニタースピーカー

GENELEC

8020DPM ペア パワードモニタースピーカー

¥127,600(incl. tax)

スタジオモニター、パワード、2ウェイ、4"、LF50W/HF50W、ダークグレー、ペア

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IK MULTIMEDIA / iLoud Micro Monitor コンパクト・リファレンス・モニター

IK MULTIMEDIA

iLoud Micro Monitor コンパクト・リファレンス・モニター

¥49,800(incl. tax)

Monitor speaker, powered (bi-amp), 3", 2way, 50w, stereo pair 1.7kg, Bluetooth

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JBL / 305P MKII

JBL

305P MKII

¥27,500(incl. tax)

Powered studio monitor, 5", LF41W / HF41W, pair

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Native Instruments / KOMPLETE 13 ULTIMATE

Native Instruments

KOMPLETE 13 ULTIMATE

¥134,200(incl. tax)

Plug-in software sound source

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完売しました

PRESONUS / Studio One 5 Professional Japanese Edition

PRESONUS

Studio One 5 Professional Japanese Edition

¥40,520(incl. tax)

DAW software

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SONY / MDR-CD900ST Closed type studio monitor headphones

SONY

MDR-CD900ST Closed type studio monitor headphones

¥15,800(incl. tax)

Headphones, closed type, 63Ω, 106dB, 5 to 30,000Hz

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SONY / MDR-XD150 B

SONY

MDR-XD150 B

¥2,480(incl. tax)

Headphones, closed type, 30Ω, 100dB, black

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完売しました

STEINBERG / Cubase Pro 10.5

STEINBERG

Cubase Pro 10.5

¥59,800(incl. tax)

DAW software, flagship model, Mac / Win

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STEINBERG / UR12 USB audio interface

STEINBERG

UR12 USB audio interface

¥10,745(incl. tax)

Audio interface, USB2.0,2in2out, 24bit / 192kHz, Cubase AI download version available, loop-back function

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完売しました

WAVES / Gold Bundle ゴールド 簡易パッケージ

WAVES

Gold Bundle ゴールド 簡易パッケージ

¥14,300(incl. tax)

プラグインバンドル、パッケージ版、VST/AU/AAX Native/SoundGrid

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MXL / MXL-V67G

MXL

MXL-V67G

¥14,800(incl. tax)

Condenser microphone, unidirectional

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