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Build A Super Budget Home Recording Setup (System 2)

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Author: admin
Date: 19-Mar-20

Here's another complete home studio setup, including the computer, DAW music software & all other accessories on a SUPER LOW budget. This system will allow you to produce up to release-quality music.

This system is built around a secondhand Mac Pro 3,1 which is a 2008, 8-core, 2.8Ghz machine featuring two quad-core Xeon processors. We will use a special patching software to install the latest OS Catalina on to this machine. There is nothing illegal about doing this, we are NOT using any cracked software. We are using a 100% Legal OSX installer from Apple's own servers with modified patches to make it run 100% on this older machine.

Once the machine is setup, Apple servers see this machine as a 100% legal & legit Apple computer (which it is), so we can use our Apple ID, iCloud, log in to the App store to download programs and content etc etc... everything works 100%!!

Do NOT underestimate these old 2008 Mac Pro's as a host computer!! They are VERY powerful even by today's standards & this machine for a VERY small secondhand price will give us PLENTY of tracks, instruments and effects, enough to create finished songs up-to release quality!

This system includes the Mac Pro computer, the GarageBand FREE DAW software with all the additional content which is all 100% free, a USB audio interface with two Mic & Line/instrument level pre-amp inputs, a good mic with mic stand and all mic accessories, headphones & monitor speakers... Everything for a complete home-studio setup, all brand new equipment.

Build A Super Budget Home Recording Studio (System 2)

Here's the computer we need for this super budget system

A Mac Pro 3,1 from EBAY or Gumtree etc costing a typical £200-£250 GBP or around $300-$350 USD.

This is the Mac Pro model you need:


ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics processor

With this stock graphics card the Catalina install will work 100%

Don't worry if the Mac Pro you buy does not come with mouse & keyboard; Bluetooth is standard on these Mac Pro's, so we can use ANY Bluetooth (or USB) mouse & keyboard. Additionally we can use ANY screen... we can even use two screens! The stock ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT will run two screens at once.

Also don't worry about how much hard drive space is in the Mac Pro you buy. You can fit up to four standard internal SATA drives in the four available drive bays, so adding extra disk space is super cheap!

One last thing to be aware of - These Mac Pro 3,1 machines did NOT come with Wi-Fi as standard. The one you buy might have the Wi-Fi board fitted. If NOT, you will need to connect to the internet using a standard network cable, or buy a secondhand wi-fi board for the Mac Pro - they are just a few bucks to buy & not too hard to fit.

Once we have our Mac Pro 3,1 we then need to install OS Catalina - Here's the Catalina install process on the Mac Pro:

Installing OS Catalina is NOT difficult. However, if you are a complete & total beginner to computers & particularly to Macs, we'd recommend getting a more experienced friend to help you with this part!

Here's the equipment list to complete our super-budget home studio with the Mac Pro (Presonus USB Audio Interface) (Large diaphragm condenser mic) (Good headphones) (Good 5" Monitor speakers) (High quality mic cable) (Good quality mic boom stand) (Mic pop shield) (Cheap mic screen - this is not 100% required) (You need 2 of these cables)

If you like you can get these higher quality speakers costing £85.00 more:

These more expensive speakers are NOT required however. The Alesis Elevate speakers listed in the main package will do the job just fine, but these Presonus speakers are a bit higher in quality if you really want to spend more.

Add all that equipment to a secondhand Mac Pro 3,1 with the Catalina OS installed & you have a complete home recording & songwriting setup that will turn out high quality demos or even release-quality tunes in certain genres!

This super budget system uses the 100% FREE GarageBand DAW, a powerful but not overly complicated DAW featuring a huge amount of instruments, FX & sound content, but you can run ANY other latest version DAW software on this system of course including Logic or Cubase... simply factor in the cost for any of those DAW's. We would however recommend Logic over Cubase as it costs WAY less.

Finally, if you start out with GarageBand this system has a clear upgrade path. If you decide to upgrade in future to Logic Pro X, then all your previously created GarageBand songs can be opened and further worked on in Logic!

We hope you find these tutorials useful. Please add any comments below or on our Youtube channel video pages. For questions, please ask on our forums or again on our Youtube video channel. Cheers!


'Build A Super Budget Home Recording Setup (System 2)'

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