DIGIDESIGN: Pro Tools Music Creation Studio

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

It’s one in the morning and Dad is in the basement frantically assembling a train set. The instruction manual states in seven different languages that everything is included for a smooth ride. Surprise! There aren’t any batteries. Dad falls into a rage and children cry. Is this foreshadowing? Skip ahead a few years past the childhood trauma to a recording session at American Songwriter with the Deep Vibration.

It’s one in the morning and Dad is in the basement frantically assembling a train set. The instruction manual states in seven different languages that everything is included for a smooth ride. Surprise! There aren’t any batteries. Dad falls into a rage and children cry. Is this foreshadowing? Skip ahead a few years past the childhood trauma to a recording session at American Songwriter with the Deep Vibration. An office with a deck (yes, a desk too) is now a makeshift studio centered on the Digidesign Pro Tools Music Creation Studio. This “all in one box” music creation package that supposedly has everything necessary to make professional recordings is being put up to the test.

The setup and installation is straightforward. It takes basic computer skills and about one hour to get running. There is a slight hang up we encounter that causes all the initial test recordings to sound anemic and distorted. This is resolved with a restart of the computer and software.

The “all cables required” becomes somewhat laughable. I believe the lengths of the included cables are intended for a situation where all bodies and components involved are located within three feet of the computer. This also brings to mind a mic stand. Perhaps one doesn’t technically need a stand to capture a sound, but they sure come in handy in real life applications. I have backup mic cables, mic stands, and an additional microphone, all with good reason. With some choice mic positioning, The Deep Vibration have a green light to make some music.

The M-Audio Nova is basically a straight ahead, no frills workhorse. It has no switches for selections of any kind. It is your basic large diaphragm cardioids condenser. I brought along my Oktava MK319, a comparable mic, allowing us to capture the moment in stereo. After one take, we are ready for a listen back.

I find the M-Audio StudiophileTM AV 40 monitors sufficient for low-level listening. When turned up in this room full of excited people, they clip a bit at peak moments. There is just not enough power. These are perfect for low-level monitoring situations such as an apartment or bedroom

The interface itself is all one needs to record in stereo at 24-bit/48kHz. The Mbox 2 makes things a little tricky to overdub as it runs on USB and latency can become an issue. Functionality with Protools and all the plug-ins that are included allow for professional recordings on a very small budget.

Not even touched is the M-Audio Axiom 25 MIDI keyboard with Structure LE and Velvet. This is a major bonus with this studio package and opens the door to countless possibilities in the vintage key and electronic realm.

All in all, this package delivers a major punch for the price and should be considered in all bedroom and smaller end recording applications. Just remember to buy a few extra cables, headphones and a mic stand.

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