#1
So I kind of have a janky setup right now, but it seems to be doing alright.

I'm working with a Line 6 UX1 interface that I've had for years, Presonus Studio One (I have the artist edition not the professional one so I can't use 3rd party VST's )
I also have Cakewalk Sonar X3 and am using some of the LePou amp simulators. And finally I have some cheap Sony noise cancelling head phones, I think I got them for 40 bucks at Target.

Anyways I am trying to make somewhat of a solo Melodic/Symphonic Black Metal project. So for drums I just downloaded a bunch of free drum loops but it is such a pain in the ass copying and pasting constantly on the song and it doesn't sound right. I want the project to be good sounding for what I can get, at least not like low fi crappily recorded black metal.

Anyways what should I invest in first? What would you do in my situation?
A drum machine?
A new interface?
New studio headphones?

Please help I am starting to go insane k thx
#2
New interface and DAW wouldn't hurt in any way, it may actually inspire you.

From there, do you own a real amp at all?

Drum machines aren't so good for metal/rock. If you want better drums to program with, get something like AD or Superior.

Headphones aren't a big deal, except for the noise cancelling thing.

If you have the budget, get a small 2-in 2-out interface and a new DAW first. Avoid Pro-Tools as it only accepts 64-bit AAX plugins... good luck finding free ones.

From there, LePou is actually pretty nice for tones. With black metal, you can afford a slightly looser guitar sound. If you were going BROOTZ DJJJJENT or something, then I'd look at Bias or Revalver.

New headphones wouldn't hurt but for now use what you have. If you use them a lot, you know how your reference music (the tunes you listen to already) sound and you're accustomed to them.

As I said above, something like Addictive Drums or Superior Drummer would be better as then you could get MIDI drum loops (easier to deal with and can be edited easily) and are far more adaptable than looped audio or a drum machine.

But, again, what budget?
Quote by Watterboy
Do you have any dilithium crystals or fresh warm dumps for sale
#3
Well for budget? I guess maybe about 200 to 300 per month so I could buy one piece of equipment every month. I have a little bit more saved up too. But I make barely a little bt above minimum wage working part time while also going to school, so I'm trying to stretch it out as much I can.

Yeah I've tried ReValver, I just could not get the tone I was looking for after DAYS of trying every different preset.

I own a real amp, but it's just a Roland Cube 30W. It actually has a way better tone than any sim I have used. But I have a SM58 mic not a 57 so the recording wasn't much different than a VST when I mic'ed it. Also didn't have a stand, I just kinda propped it up against the speaker lol.
#4
Well, I'd start with a new DAW and interface. LePou is decent. I'd also look for more impulses for your CabSim.
Quote by Watterboy
Do you have any dilithium crystals or fresh warm dumps for sale
#5
Ok thank you! I'll check out Addictive Drums, I think I tried SUperior Drummer once and it was kinda difficult for me to figure out.
#6
Studio One has Impact which is a drum machine, maybe get a keyboard/pad controller to program your beats on it? You can load different sound samples on Impact, so read up on it, there are Youtube tutorials as well.
You can also look into EZDrummer and their metal packs, it might be easier to get started on beats. I have the DFH pack which has some preprogrammed death metal/black metal beats. With metal it is hard as you have to do a lot of editing though.
Some people find it easier to pay session online drummers to do tracks for them, maybe you can look at that route as well, usually the charge is about $150 per song but you get a live drummer, maybe something to do when you're finished with your arrangement, that is when I usually go that route.
Try out some of the online collaboration sites (Belnd.io, Kompoz, Acidplanet, etc.), you might be able to find some drummers on there to track your songs.

At this point honestly I don't see why you'd need new interface, but if you're looking to upgrade maybe look at Audient, I think their cheapest one goes for $300 and will have the best preamps in this class. At this stage I probably wouldn't unless you're going to start doing live guitar tracking.
#7
The cool thing about going the keyboard/controller route is the versatility it provides. You can obviously use it for more than just drum programming which is a plus. There are plenty of music websites out there that have really inexpensive options. Take a look at musiciansfriend.com.

the mbox mini is a pretty good interface, compact and compatible. I use it for everything.

When it comes to headphones, open-back are usually the preferred for home mixing. I would say a good pair of sennheisers are a good idea.