Suggestions about musical gears

Hello there and friendly greetings y’all!

I would like to expand a bit my musical gears and I was thinking about two things:

  • a DAW with which I could dust off a few memories of how to play a musical keyboard
  • a music interface with which to use my electric guitar and those two POs (Pocket Operator 24 and Pocket Operator 20) that are begging to be used.

As per DAWs I am testing LMMS and Luna but I am veeeeery curious about LF Studio and Ableton Live

As per the music interface, I have seen a plethora of solutions but so far I am digging for the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen because it has 2 6,3 mm XLR/jack (guitar + PO).

The only special thing that I would like from a DAW is the possibility to use 32bit VsT plugin because I have some that are just marvellous but for 32bit only and well, I don’t want to give up to all of them (mostly because there are no upgrades of any kind. Duh)

The budget is irrilevant until it stays in the 3 digit range, of course less is better but I don’t want to buy garbage and even less do I want to use pirated or cracked stuff. Yeah, I’ve been proposed such thing (as if I needed prompters, LOL!).

My musical genres (when I am talking about synth, DAW etc.) are 6581/8580 soundscape, ambient industrial, experimental, chiptune, dark ambient, electro-industrial, fm synthesis.

(and before you ask… chiptune ≠ 6581/8580 soundscape :wink: )

My PC id beefy and it is not scared of hard work.

And with all these informations, I would like to know your opinions, ideas, caveats. Thank you very much in advance, have a great week! :wave:


Here are my 2 cents:

Interface: A Focusrite is a very decent interface and a good buy. You could consider scaling up to a 4i4, so you have more i/o for (probably) more hardware to connect to.

DAW: I use Ableton Live 12, which works really well and easy and it has a lot of features. I use the full (suite) version, which comes with Max4Live and is a truly great expansion. But you should definitely also check out Bitwig. On some subjects the integration is really smooth and excellent when compared with other DAW’s.

Good luck!

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Thank you for your suggestions! I have a curiosity: does Bitwig use 32bit vst plugins?

I believe it does


Bitwig does support 32bit VST plugins. I use this feature.

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If budget is irrelevant, get an RME Babyface and enjoy highest sound quality, lowest latency and rock solid drivers. I am still using a 14 year old RME Multiface II, and it still beats most soundcards out there.

FL Studio is a very good deal for the price, especially with the lifetime free updates, which is the main reason I’ll probably stick with it. It still has the best piano roll, and imo the best mixer. In my experience it usually runs old 32 bit plugins very good, too.

Bitwig seems to be the most powerful, though, so if it’s still in the budget it might be a top choice for technological advancedness.

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I have 3 Ableton Live Lite 12 licenses I can give away.

I can transfer one to you if you make an account with Ableton, and you message me the email.

try Reaper.

it’s light, powerful, reliable. gazillion of actions/macro possibilities. super customizable. simple and effective stock (open source) plugins, no fancy/neon-lights/useless graphics. it’s 15 MegaBytes LOL it’s unbelievable. it supports many plugin formats. the trial never ends, and it’s cheap as F. when I saw its routing capabilities I fell in love, I have seen nothing “ready-to-go” like it. it reads almost everything [italian appendix: anche gli assegni post-datati :rofl: ].

if you need something more “producer” oriented, I would go for Reason, because I love the interface, and it was my first digital love. the other 2 DAWs worth a try IMHO are Ableton Live and Bitwig.

for the audio interface (never heard music interface :slight_smile: ) choose one with good drivers for your system. more recent = it ages better. if you are making chiptune/ambient/paradronoize don’t get fool, choose one with many input/outputs. better if it gets 96kHz. if you plan to record acoustic instruments you MUST look for good preamps, otherwise I’m not sure it’s worth it. consider the quality of the headphones amp as well :+1:


Yep, Reaper with a cheap Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 on my laptop - no issues. Could do with a better MIDI interface but I don’t mess around with external synths very often anyway. For guitar, I have a dedicated interface on my main PC which is an Audient Sono and has a real valve input stage (or ‘tube’ if you’re American :slight_smile: ) and built in cabinet simulation. Honestly, using the cheap interface with a decent amp sim VST sounds just as good to me.

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Hello everyone and thank you so much for all the inputs you gave me, I appreciate them so much! Let’s see.

ABLETON LIVE 12 - I’ve read some reviews and it seems that everybody are using it, at least almost every music theory tutorial use it. I am very interested but I fear the learning curve is a bit too steep. Not that it is a real problem, tho. The price range goes from €80 to €600.

FL STUDIO - as @Schabbes says, it has a lifetime update for one time fee and it is very very “eyecandy” and, if I got it right, it cames crammed with plugins I know and love. The price are ranged from the barebone €100 to the “all plugin edition” for €600

REAPER - I’ve read a lot about it. The price is so low and it seems as juicy as @ale47p wrote. Interesting. €60 for the whole shebang is interesting.

BITWIG - crammed with features, I see! Again, the price range from €100 for the barebone to €400 for the fully fledge version.

Considering I am 100% n00b about DAWs I’d choose the more stable + easy to use + plugins availability (because I am a damn compulsive plugin hoarder)

For the audio interface (@ale47p sometimes my english is just as bad as my italian and the other languages I struggle to learn! LOL!) I am not using and I won’t use any acustic device. The most “acustic” instrument I have is my electric guitar that I use with a Zoom GFX8, very old but very reliable. The RME Babyface is incredibly good but it comes at a price, literally. A very good suggestion indeed!

@Jens.Peter.Nielsen your offer is very generous and I really appreciate it. If it does not create licensing or other problems, I am happy to accept your offer. I am completely ignorant about this kind of issue also because it is something I have never done.

When it comes to DAWs, you really can’t go wrong with any of those.

With audio interfaces too, but I’d like to point out two things: (A) If you plan on adding more external instruments to your set up, maybe consider a mixer which doubles as an audio interface, such as the Tascam Model 12 or Zoom LiveTrak range; (B) If you plan on adding modular or semi-modular synths to your set up, you can take a look at audio interfaces with DC coupled outputs. That way you can send CV out to your system. There are options from PreSonus and Native Instruments that won’t break the bank. I use one from PreSonus myself. Just bear in mind that, if you choose to go that route, you will most likely need some sort of amplification for the CV signal.

Cheers and good luck!

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Me neither - and it’s somewhat rare that companies offer free license transfers.

I have sent you a private message too.

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Hello there! I would clarify something that I missed in all my posts: I am not a professional by any means. I consider myself slightly less than an amateur and you can realise that just by having a peek at my neglected YT channel.

So, despite my “serial accumulator” syndrome (just for the music, tech and geek stuffs, to be clear) that is pushing me to buy everything, I need to come to my senses and make reasonable choices.

So, to answer your questions: A) at the moment my gears include an Ibanez (el. guitar), my two PO, a Casio CTK5000 toy keyboard and an Impact LX49+ and, unless I will fall for some masterpieces like Yamaha DX7, Oberheim OB-X8 or synths from the '80, I am not planning to add more hardware.

B) well, this is somewhat possible that in the future I will add a proper eurorack hardware but given the prices of some modules (even in the second hand market), it will take time to build it; at least for my genres. Quite a long time.

I have recived so many wonderful suggestions and I appreciate A LOT so, a warm thank you to y’all!

I will start to buy some things in the next months, possibly in September so there is still plenty of time to snoop around and listen to more experienced users.

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