Originally posted by Dan S:
Also have a bunch of computers, and a good stereo system. I want to buy whatever I need to be able to compose, arrange, produce, and ultimately record to CD. So, just kinda guessing (I'm just getting started at this!), I need something to quickly and reliably read and write files, maybe an Akai MPC2000XL Studio, and beyond that..you tell me! Special cards for my computer? Cakewalk?

I know this isn't very stimulating discussion, but help me get up and going, and I promise I'll come back as more of a contributer.

What is your setup (make & model)? How do you hook everything up? Do you just kind of midi-chain everything together? Is midi like a common interface between everything?

Thanks. Dan

With the ASR-10 you already have a sampler/sequencer. There is no real need to get the MPC unless you just want to. You can start sequencing with your ASR now and get familiar with the in's and out's of programming. You can download sample versions of cakewalk or similar sequencers to see what will work for you before spending mega money. If you have a Mac G3 or better I would suggest you look at Studio Logic. It is a sequencer, arranger and digital recorder in one. If you have a PC PIII 500mhz or better take a look at Cubase VST 24. It is basically the same but everyone I know goes one of the two routes.
You will need a sound card with analog or digital inputs if you prefer. I personally have a sound blaster live platinum. It only has one mic/line input but I only use it to record vocals not music. I sequence my music and then add vocals and send the whole thing to dat or cd. You could record everything on the PC and use a CDWR to burn your CD's but I cannot spend $1000 on a sound card that will give me those capabilities right now. A good card may cost you in excess of $800 depending on the features. Some cards have midi in/out built into them. You could buy a usb midi interface if you have alot of midi gear to connect. There are models that are PC and Mac compatible. If you want to get up and running fast. I would suggest you get a Mac G3 or bettter 128 ram w/ a huge hardrive something like 20 gig to get started, usb ports, and firewire upgradability. Firewire ports are sort of like usb ports but have advanced capabilities. The technology seems to be moving in that direction. If Macs are for you. If not, a PIII 500mhz or better will do. After you have all your wonderful music recorded you will now need software to help put your stuff on CD, check out http://www.adaptec.com/. A last note. Windows 98 II Edition has this new feature that allows IRQ (interupt requests) to be shared by applications and PCI components. Sometimes they cause conflicts b/c all manufacturers have not shipped their products with the updated drivers for this new and annoying feature. I had to restore my PC to factory settings b/c I installed too much software to be able go thru all the configs and find out what the problem was.
Good Luck!!!