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I am completely new to electronic music production. But recently started watching some good YouTube videos and reading a lot about it.

I am planning to get my hands on some DAW and start making sounds. I do not have any equipment now. Is it fine to start with just built-in laptop speakers and a 15$ headphones (Sennheiser HD 180)? Or do you urge to use some studio headphones from the beginning?

  • It does sound like a start. There are a lot of daw that are free or have a 30 day trial so you might want to download yourself a copy and start doing music/learning. Also if you're in university a lot of higher end virtual tools have big discounts for students. – Dalv Olan Feb 21 '17 at 9:08
  • You'll probably be fine, but if you decide to pursue this more seriously, you'll want to buy some better headphones. That doesn't have to break the bank -- I have a pair of the $20 TASCAM TH-02 studio headphones, and the sound is really good by any standards (flat, reasonably wide frequency response), and exceptional at that price. And a lot of audio people seem to agree. – Linuxios Feb 23 '17 at 17:09
  • Be careful with the laptop speakers though -- those will tend to seriously mislead you in almost every way. Speakers like that tend to have terrible bass response, so you can be fooled into using ridiculous levels of bass that will be muddy, unbalanced, and unpleasant at best on other systems. Unless and until you've got a pair of speakers that at least say that they are somewhat for professional use, always double check and reference in headphones. – Linuxios Feb 23 '17 at 17:13
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Built-in laptop speakers are largely useless. A cheap headphone already has a much better chance at reproducing lower frequencies. Its stereo representation is rather different from that of a pair of loudspeakers, so the latter certainly worthwhile getting.

Previously high-end vintage headphones and active speakers tend to be sold for prices that are quite more attractive than today's offerings. So digging through auction sites and old HiFi reviews may help getting useful stuff at tolerable price tags.

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You'd be better off spending the money on a pair of monitors. No pair of cans can get even close to monitors.

You didn't say what kind of music you are making, but if you are a musician who is trying to record an instrument, you will need an audio interface.

If not, you can probably get away with snagging Reaper as your DAW (free) then get a used pair of monitors and you're basically set.

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First off: This is nothing but MY opinion. Since you only just started, I don't expect you to do mixdown masterpieces. I think what's really important right now, is that you are getting comfortable with the DAW of your choice. Try creating some really unique sounds, that you had in your head and put together some songs first. No one starts off and just learns it over night. I think your sennheisers are more than enough for that, but maybe don't use the built in speakers, they truly are nothing of value ;). Once you feel ready for the next step, get yourself some sweet headphones (preferably two pairs with two entirely different characteristics) and some nearfield speakers for reverb mixing. That's probably the cheapest way to go for a good monitoring system. Once your track sounds good on all 3 systems, your mix is on a good way. See, once you get deeper into this entire music production/engineering and so on thing, you'll notice that you could literally spend THOUSANDS of dollars. Get comfortable with your gear and you'll succeed eventually. Because the best gear isn't of any use if you don't know what to do with it. :) Cheers!

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