What is the best way to purchase Pro tools and computer in order to run it? I am starting up in creating my own studio and based on your advice and other positive input from many other sources I want to use pro tools and start creating my own recordings.

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    With what goal in mind? Are you trying to record yourself? A full band? Get people to pay you so that you can record them? I think a goal will substantially help the answers.
    – yossarian
    Commented Jan 2, 2012 at 18:39

2 Answers 2


Sell your Pro Tools license and equipment and buy Reaper.

It's cheap, good and functional. With whatever left of this trade off you can buy some decent recording equip.

You can also get a UAD soundcard for heavy duty processing and analog emulation.

In short: If you have a limited budget you don't need Pro Tools.

Now, the rest of it - equipment, room treatment, brand of mics and etc we will need a little bit more input.

If you are recording Grassroot Folk/Blues as a one man band, you'll just need a single mic - probably something like a Shure or a MXL, a steel string guitar, a banjo and assorted percussion.

But if you're into choirs, you'll probably want to invest on 4 or 6 microphones and NOT use your studio as a recording environment - try talking to your local church, they are usually very helpful on this.

If you are gonna record a band, you still need to think how you will be recording - everyone together? Or artist per artist? Do you have space to have separated rooms? Do you OWN the building you're installing the studio? Is this a garage thing?

There are simply too many variables.

But I do repeat. If you have a budget you don't need Pro Tools. In fact, I can't find good reasons for anyone wanting to use Pro Tools.


You might not like Reaper, but there's Cubase, Nuendo and even Ableton Live. There's Adobe Audition and many more. AVID made a good job making an awesome name for Pro Tools, but for at least 5 years they don't have any special tech that makes it attractive. And then again, Universal Audio has an awesome Plug In library.

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    As far as I'm concerned, you can not beat Reaper for value. Period. $60 for a non-commercial license is a steal.
    – yossarian
    Commented Jan 3, 2012 at 20:13
  • And Reaper (AFAIK) has no timed-lockout nor feature-crippling when not unlocked, so there's zero cost for trying it out in depth before you buy the license.
    – horatio
    Commented Jan 4, 2012 at 16:14
  • When I saw the title of this question I planned to recommend Reaper, too. I haven't much worked with Pro Tools ever, but I don't think I'd find much in it that I don't have in Reaper. I positively prefer it over both Cubase and Logic. — As for a UAD extension: I wouldn't recommend that to a beginner. Without some experience in sound engineering you won't be able to make proper use of such plugins anyway, in fact you're very likely to over-use them. The slim selection of plugins included in Reaper is ok for mixing for a start, and mastering should at any rate be done by someone experienced.
    – leftaroundabout
    Commented Jan 5, 2012 at 0:00

As mentioned above, Pro Tools is definitely not required. If you're going to be using a Mac PC, then Logic Pro X is cheaper than Pro Tools, does not require a DRM dongle and is quite welcoming.

Regardless of what and how you're going to record, some essential equipment is going to be an audio interface. If you're planning on recording live instruments or vocals, you will be able to utilize an audio interface to connect microphones or instrument cables to your pc. If you're planning on utilizing midi keyboards or controllers, there are several great audio interfaces that also have midi capabilities.

If you're on a budget, I would recommend a Focusrite Scarlett or Saffire audio interface. Depending on the number of inputs that you need, you can obtain a new Focusrite Scarlett interface for $150. If you need more inputs that price will go up. The Scarlett and Saffire are by no means pro-grade, but the preamps are functional and the quality that you can get out of one is actually pretty good, if you know how to mix well and have a good microphone/source material. The Scarlett and Saffire also have midi capabilities, so you can record microphones, instruments through quarter inch cables, and midi. They're pretty sweet devices.

If you're going to need a microphone, I suggest investing a decent amount in a microphone. In other words, do not buy a $100-$300 microphone. With microphones there is a noticeable increase in quality and clarity as you go up in price. The MikTek C1 is a great microphone for $600.00. If that is too much, then the Rode NT-1A can be had for less than half the price of the Miktek, but again there will be a noticeable dip in mic quality.

Again, there is no need for Pro Tools, other programs such as Logic Pro X are just as good and I feel are more worthy of my monies because of not having Draconian DRM policies! As Johnny mentioned above, there are countless other programs available, so do not think that Pro Tools is a must, because it is not. Also, do not think that Mac PC's are required to make music, because again they're not. Mac PC's are required for Logic Pro X though, and Logic Pro X is a wonderful and relatively simple program.

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