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Am I in over my head?

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audio_freak

New Member
Hey, I'm excited to be in the forums this morning. I've been peeking around at different specs for building my own digital audio workstation; hardware AND software. I already know this is a big task to take on, but I'm determined to make it happen. I know how to overclock a computer. That's about as much as I've learned about how electronics communicate, so I know I have a long way to go. I really don't know where to start, so here I am.
 

ericgibbs

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Hey, I'm excited to be in the forums this morning. I've been peeking around at different specs for building my own digital audio workstation; hardware AND software. I already know this is a big task to take on, but I'm determined to make it happen. I know how to overclock a computer. That's about as much as I've learned about how electronics communicate, so I know I have a long way to go. I really don't know where to start, so here I am.
hi,
Of course you are in over your head.:)

Most of us were in same position when we started out, [some still are] but if you enjoy electronics, start studying now.

Good Luck.;)
 

gabeNC

Member
Welcome to the forum, there is an incredible amount of experience across of a variety of fields from many experts here (i'm NOT one of them). :(

Define "digital audio workstation". A computer? A desktop 8-track? For DJ work? Recording yourself or a band? What's your budget?

I'll use my laptop for rough mixes and when I need specific software (Ableton/BFD/Reason). But for high quality recordings I use a Roland harddrive mixer/recorder. Especially if I need more than 2 tracks at once, the latency just kills me on the computer and i'm not going to drop the $$$'s on a high end firewire card.
 

shimniok

Member
WIth the big projects I find it is helpful for me, at least, to start with small stuff and work my way up to the more complex. It also helps to break the big project up into sub projects.
 

Triode

Active Member
It also helps to break the big project up into sub projects.
This is a skill you definitely need to be sucessful with a project. When we design a new power shovel, it would never happen if we just made it all one project. So first learn what kinds of things you'll need to do for example: Amplify an audio signal, Encode an audio signal into a given format, Read data from a EPROM into a Microcontroller, from an MCU into computer software, use an LCD for output. Then figure out in sub projects how to do each of the things you need.

Also I reccomend you look at the getting stared sticky thread at the top of the microcontroller forum. You will probably want to use an MCU but even if you don't it has a lot of general knowledge and besides, you won't know you don't need an MCU untill you atleast know what one is.
 

bigkim100

Banned
Firstly, Im going to have to batten down the hatches for all the scolding Im going to have to take for saying this... for killing a young mans dream...
but come on man.
This is a bit like saying, Ive put gas in a car, so Im going to build a jet plane to fly to the moon...I dont care what it takes, or what it costs.
Unlesss you have literally buckets of cash, and endless fee time it would be far more logical to get a good solid workstation, and add hardware and software to build a customized unit to get to where you want to be. You will still be learning a ton about electronics and PROFESSIONAL audio products from just doing that, and you will ultimately end up with a far more stable/professional/quality output product.
Audio workstations are not exactly what I would call a great starter project for beginners.
 

Triode

Active Member
they arent' but the things he can break them down into are. And even if he builds a basic and crappy one, or tries, he will learn stuff he could apply to modifying a bought one. But I do see your point, economically and technically it would be better to just buy one and work on it.
 

shimniok

Member
Some folks can dive into big projects and accomplish them over time, first try. Some folks can dabble into the topic and be successful and eventually build up to the big project. It's all good.

I think the key is to try and keep from discouraging yourself by trying to take on too much at once. Breaking the project into bits is one way to avoid that. Another way is to start with a much less ambitious project and work up to a more ambitious one -- as bigkim100 alluded to.

Even though this project isn't *quite* as hard as flying to the moon with a jet, it is daunting for a total beginner. :)

Take an analogy of building your own house. Say you've never picked up a hammer in your life or done any major home repair. You could either just dive in feet first and do it ... or you could start by remodeling parts of your existing pre-made house over the years to build up the skills and then one day you have most of the abilities in all the myriad areas to build your own.

And you can have a lot of fun along the way building up those skills by taking on various less ambitious projects.

The best bet is to ask yourself--what are you really trying to achieve? Is it learning about some specific thing -- do you want deep expertise, or just mild proficiency? Is it about being able to say you climbed the mountain or are you just looking for some exercise hiking? Maybe there is a reason you want to go for the whole giant enchilada here... and maybe you can satisfy that need with something smaller in scale (for now) without driving yourself nuts or killing yourself. :)

Michael
 

Mr RB

Well-Known Member
Hi audio_freak! :) I'd say welcome but i'm new here myself.

If you haven't done so already you should check out "Tweaks" pages on building digital audio workstations here;
Tweak's Guide to the Home and Project Studio
He has some fantastic info and reviews of a lot of PC audio workstation software and hardware you need to build your setup, and he covers the whole spectrum of budget to pro level equipment. And a lot of humour too, he's a good writer.

I am a bit old school myself, my home studio is an "all in one" digital harddrive 16track as these days I'm more into songwriting than full on music production so now i keep things small and try to focus more on the song itself. But I used to really enjoy the production side, and there are huge options these days with all the sound processing plugins, you can do anything with any sound now and most of it just using free or cheap software once you have your sound/midi card plugged in. :)
 
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