3 bits of software. cubase, reason, and pro-tools. cubase and reason you need to buy, protools you can get free off the net (a basic version, but ive never needed aything more).
macs are easier for some other programmes, but you can do the same thing on non-macs (lol). reason can be slaved to cubase, and thats works amazingly well. reason has a hell of a lot of fantastic sounds that you can just use your computer keyboard to trigger, but its much easier if you have a seperate keyboard (the musical kind). you need to buy a keyboard that has a MIDI output that you can plug into your computer. they vary in price, but you can do the exact same thing with the cheapest one as you can with the most expensive one if you use pro-tools to make things louder or quieter.
you can certainly play any instrument (voice too) if you have a mic (for voice) or an input (for instruments. this means youd have to get a small sound desk (not a big 64 channel thing, just a 4 channel one, theyre not expensive).
i have used both, a $250,000 allen and heath, and a $80 mackie, and theyre both fine.
finally, you want a good audio card, but even if you dont have a great one, youll still get the same result, itll just take longer.
you really dont need both cubase and reason, theyre just great to use together. pro-tools is fantastic, and you can get standard pro-tools for free of the net. standard pro tools is EXCELLENT, and you can download it for free from http://www.download.com/Pro-Tools-Free/3000-2182_4-3296394.html good luck! :)
· 1 decade ago