Please feel free to add and keep the list active...
This is my personal recommendation list based on my experiences and tastes if I was starting over again. I benefit in no way financially from the gear I recommend. YMMV
Great mic pre's, converters, headphone amp, perfect user reviews. Average latency and drivers perhaps. $299usd street
Beyond the Audient I recommend saving up for a UAD or RME.
-JBL LSR 305/308's
Tremendous value for the money. Not perfect but great user reviws. (*NOTE: 01/18 the Mk2 series was just announced, stay tuned for member feedback). Mk1 305's can be found for $99usd ea and $149usd ea for mk1 308's
-Some like the Focal Alpha range as well albeit a bit more expensive.
Monitors can be a a very personal choice. Try and hear and demo as many as possible and choose the ones that appeal to your needs, tastes, and budget that you like the best.
Used, B-Stock, Returned, monitors are generally not a good idea as you have no idea what could be wrong with them or what a warranty covers if still applicable.
Very good value, industry standard, and fairly comfortable. $50-70usd street
-Audio Technica ATH-M50/X
Very good value and reviews, fairly comfortable. X- $149usd street
(*Always use headphones responsibly at moderate to low listening levels to protect your hearing)
DAW: (*A very personal choice, read up on as many as possible, try the free demos if available).
-Logic X $199usd Mac Only
Huge bang for the buck and many content extras (ie Alchemy, EXS-24, Drummer, etc.), Updated every 6-12 months, user communities/support.
Great user community. Unlimited/Unrestricted Demo. User License $60usd. https://www.reaper.fm/purchase.php
-SSD (Solid State Hard Drive's)
Most v.i. control users have had good luck with Crucial and Samsung SSD drives.
*Replace any internal slow 5200rpm or fusion drives with a SSD drive for booting your system. Extra drives for sample and project storage can be added later.
-Keyboard (weighted & semi weighted keys)
88 note semi weighted keys, good reviews, some do not like the way the black keys feel compared to the white keys. $319usd street
Yamaha P-45/P-71 Digital Piano
88 note weighted Keys, very good reviews, $449/$399usd Street (These are the same exact model, the P-71 is sold exclusively by Amazon and $50 less)
-Keyboard (non weighted keys)
Member input please ?
61 notes should be minimum, 49 keys in a pinch
Native Instrument Maschine
Mikro $349usd Street, Mk3 Full model $599usd street
-Knobs & Faders
Korg NanoKontrol 2 (plastic and short throw faders, but gets the job done)
$50 usd street
A good microphone (s) is essential for voiceover, podcast, instrument recording & overdubbing, and sampling custom work. There are many quality choices and I am hoping members will chime in here with some of there suggestions...
My advice would be or try to borrow as many microphone choices as possible from friends and or a dealer (or one with a good return policy) so you can choose what works best for your needs, tastes, and budget.
-Native Instruments Komplete.
So much bang for the buck and includes Kontakt and Reaktor, two of my most used tools. $500usd street (Best to wait for a N.I bi-yearly sale if possible). Comes with some very goes synth vst's: Massive, Absynth, FM8. You can update to Ultimate when possible(again, watch for sales) or cherry pick other libraries as you wish.
-East West Composer Cloud
Can be purchased for as little as $19.99usd a month when on sale, but even when not is a great deal. A fantastic selection of quality instruments.
-Spitfire Audio Labs Sample Range for Kontakt (Donationware $3usd ea)
-Vahalla Effects Plugins. Fantastic value. Start with one that fits your needs best. Both Room & Vintageverb are excellent. $50usd ea
-U-he Synth Freebies: Podolski, Tyrell N6, Zebralette, Beatzille. U-he makes great plugins, There free ones make a good starting point for your synthesis and learning needs.
-FREE: Check out the great free sample, VST, plugin threads and sites.
Free Synth VST's & Patches
Free Audio Plugins
-A comfortable chair. You spend allot of time sitting in your chair working. User input wanted.
Mixcraft ($50-75ish). Second choice, Reaper ($60). IMO these two are not only two of the least expensive but far easier to use than any of the others, most of which I hated. (Pro Tools was worst of all and crazy overpriced)
Well, I have to disagree here. Logic Pro X is so much more userfriendly and easy to use than Reaper. I mean sure... Reaper is crazy cheap and a great DAW, but definitely not easy and intuitive to use for a beginner.
So on a Mac, Logic is first choice.
If Reaper clicks with a new user then it is easy to use, if it doesn't then it isn't. Like every other DAWOr they may just hate Macs. I'll agree to disagree that Reaper isn't easy to use. Although IMO Mixcraft still wins that battle. It's the only DAW I tried where it was intuitive and easy to do the most basic stuff without having to crack a user manual.
Or they may just hate Macs.
Yeah... something I never understood: the amount of hate against Apple/Macs coming from Windows/Android-users
If I were a new member and my beginning gear question was answered like this I would have rolled my eyes and probably been a bit put off. NOW, looking back, I wish I started at this very place, with Sam Adler's book added to the list. And the 24-hour classical station (89.5 KBAQ in Phoenix) playing constantly.For a beginner beginner I recommend paper, pencil, piano. Don't run before you can walk.
I assume you're speaking generally for some reason and not implying I was "bashing" Macs. I was just pointing out some people don't like them and/or aren't about to get one, least of all just so they can use a particular DAW.Yeah... something I never understood: the amount of hate against Apple/Macs coming from Windows/Android-users
I mean, we‘re talking about tools to make our life easier/more productive. And every individual person can decide, which tool (PC/Mac/iOS/Android etc.) fits best for his/her needs. No need to hate or bash one or the other. Constructive criticism is totally fine (and I absolutely don’t like everything about Apple products and there are tons of good arguments against using a Mac), but pure bashing is just childish.