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What is the best investment you've ever made in audio?

Pier

Senior Member
For me it's Zebra 2 by U-He. Hands down.

I admit I haven't used it that much lately since I got into Hive and The Legend, but it remains by far the best investment I've ever made. Bought it around 2010 and for years it was the only synth I used.

What about you?
 

Pappaus

New Member
I can’t say best investment ever.....but Zebra 2 is a marvel. I was a Serum guy and my cpu would start to tap out after 2-4 instances depending on the patch. Switching to Zebra 2, I can just run as many as I need with no issues. I am also a Preset person (no time or patience to develop my own sounds) and zebra has so many options.
 

Living Fossil

Senior Member
First of all: Logic. I use it since Atari days in the 80ies when it was still called Notator.
(Funny thing is that i paid for lots of its parts at the time when they were new and not integrated yet, such as the ES2, the clavinet and the hammond emulation.)

Second: The VSL cube. i preordered it around 2004 (or 2005) and the woodwinds are still my goto. Not because i wouldn't have others, but in an orchestral context they just work extremely well.

Third: Zebra 2. I was an early adapter on that one, when it was a 1 person company. I remember when once i had a problem and sent an email to u-he. About one hour later Urs mailed me a new build. At around 2 o'clock AM. :)

4th: Ozone. I bought it first when it was at version 3. It's still in every single project (in most cases only the imager and the Limiter and the dither module).

5th: izotope's RX: I record a lot of stuff and RX makes my life so much easier...

6th: "Workhorse category": Kontakt, Echoboy

Extra category 1: Plug ins with a fantastic RoI that i don't use that much anymore: the Sonalksis Compressor, Waves S1 (still in almost every project, however nowadays quite often replaced by Precedence), the Exponential Audio reverbs (still get lots of use, but the Precedence&Breeze combo, Liquidsonics CRP, Sonsig do lots of the actual heavy lifting)

Extra category 2: More recent purchases: Breeze & Precedence, TDR Nova, lots of PiA stuff.

Extra category 3: Real instruments: My upright Piano. While i mostly use sampled pianos in my projects, I still practise (a bit) every day, to keep my level. However, 3 years ago i turned it into a prepared piano for 3 months and used it as a signature sound for a film score.
 

3DC

Member
My best investment?!

Last year in February, at age 48, just before our first "lockdown" I bought Yamaha PSR-E463 as a distraction to my other profession. I thought it might be a good idea to learn how to play "piano" and perhaps make some basic music for my 3D animation projects. E463 was a nice but very limited keyboard so 6 month later I sold it and bought my entry level music production rig instead:

FL Studio All Plugins Edition
M-Audio Oxygen Pro 61
M-Audio BX8-D3

Its nothing to brag about, especially in this community, but now I am just like a little kid in the music "sandbox". So many sounds, knobs, sliders, pads... and synthesizers to explore and play with. Harmor makes so many fat and rich sounds even my neighbors here me loud and clear. :)

The moral of the story?
Music and especially music production is a carefully planed ambush. Once you get in you will never get out. Be careful what you pick for your distraction or investment. Don't say nobody warned you!
 

bill5

Senior Member
Do freebies count? :) If so, most of those.

If not, Mixcraft. Very inexpensive DAW and by far the best I've ever used.

(PS morbid curiosity: how is this off topic?)
 
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Brian Cho

New Member
My Sennheiser HD650’s. I’ve had mine for almost a decade and still going strong.

Some Runner Ups:
Logic Pro (since version 8)
Taylor GS Mini (Walnut/Spruce)
 

fourier

Member
When all my friends in my little hometown village used their gifts (from getting confirmed) on scooters and mopeds, my dad took me to the music store in the nearby small city. While there wasn't much to choose from if you didn't want drums or guitars, there was a Roland E-86 there. Based on the time spent, the joy and fun I had thanks to it it's by far the best investment - to me it matters more than the quality of musical output, that mainly two parents had to endure from 15yr old me.
 

heisenberg

having uncertain feelings
My MKH-50 microphone and a fist full of yellow & pink earplugs that i have used for years whenever I hop on my Sportbike.
 

musicalweather

Active Member
VE Pro really allowed for the expansion of my sample libraries. It would be impossible to run all of them without it. My faithful DAW of nearly 20 years - Digital Performer! Yes, damn it, it's a good DAW! Omnisphere, which I use in nearly all projects.
 

Wunderhorn

Senior Member
There would be a bunch of equipment and software to be mentioned. But I have circle back to how I interact with music in the first place. By listening. And for that it is probably my listening sound system that I have to put on top of the list. Emotiva 5.1 setup. Fantastic sound and keeps the music love alive with great detail and depth.
 

NekujaK

Searching for the Lost Chord
Definitely monitors, followed closely by room treatment.

It doesn't matter how great your mics are, how analog your synths are, how deeply sampled your orchestra is, how sophisticated your mixing desk is... if you can't hear them represented accurately, it's all for naught.
 

Saxer

Senior Member
Switching to Barefoot Micromain Speakers made the biggest different in mixing for me. Speakers were one of the things I spent too much money on over time just to save money.

Breathcontroller and keyb+windcontroller are my main control instruments for all non percussive instruments (all brass, strings, woodwinds, choirs, sometimes also synths).

In software: Logic by far (incl. Logic's Sampler), Kontakt, all U-he, Omni/Trilian/Keyscape, Dune, VSL, Sample- & Audiomodeling.
 

LudovicVDP

Active Member
Switching from Ableton to Cubase completely changed my way of composing.
Not saying one is better than the other. It's just that that change of approach was THE kick that helped me raise my game.

Ah, and I recently (and finally !! What took me so long?) went from 22" and 24" screens to 32" and 24". Damn... How was I even able to do anything before? That 32" screen changed my life!
No room on the desk to get more screen estate... Otherwise that 24 would get replaced as well.
 

bosone

Active Member
I would say my audio card Creamware Sonic-Core Scope system
i purchased the first one back in 2000, then expanded the system and, right now, I'm still using it.
 

muk

Senior Member
Very easy to answer for me: studying musicology, and taking piano lessons at conservatory. These two by a long distance.

On a much, much lower level:

Geithain RL 906 monitors
Cubase
TEC Breath Controller
Cinematic Studio Strings
Composer desk
 
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