Home Music Studio Equipment – Essentials for Beginners


what’s going on fellow music makers my
name is Patrick I’m a New York city-based singer-songwriter guitar
player and I get so many questions from so many of you asking where do I start
when I’m trying to build a home music studio
maybe you’ve been writing some songs or making some beats you want to assemble
some tracks or some demos and send them out and share them with the world now
what do I mean by home music studio I’m talking about a small one-room space
where with a few pieces of equipment you can start transforming your creative
ideas into listenable audio tracks a lot of times these are referred to as writer
studios and there’s a little bit of an assumption that you won’t get the same
quality that you would in a big full studio but with the ever-growing
increasing power of the digital audio tech world it is easier than ever to
make great sounding tracks right from home alright I get it you get all that
but how do we get started the key to building your first studio is to always
utilize what you have I’m gonna list some things here and you may already
have those things and you may not need to invest in something just because you
think it’s a better option than what you already have only you know what your
budget is and it’s gonna be up to you to allocate your money appropriately the
other thing to consider is that if you’re new to all of this mixing
recording and production you may find that after doing this for a little while
that it’s really not something that you’re interested in and you like music
and you like making music this just isn’t the route for you and that’s okay
the point is you don’t want to invest a ton of money into something until you’re
absolutely sure that it’s something that you want to do for a long time all right
let’s jump into it I’m gonna try to get through this as quickly and efficiently
as possible so here we go first thing you’re gonna need is obviously a
computer I think that you need to get a new one probably not the one that you
have is probably good enough to get started I’m not going to get into the
Mac versus PC discussion because both choices offer really great options but
if you’re wondering what I use I use a MacBook Pro here are the specs but if
you’re just starting out you probably don’t need something that’s powerful I
started recording on a regular MacBook and it was just fine for what I was
doing back then today’s computers can handle so much more and I’m sure that
what you have is perfectly fine to get started with next up you’re gonna need a
da W and this is the software this is your command center
this is where all your recordings are gonna go this is where you’re gonna mix
your track you’re gonna arrange your song you’re gonna record your software
instruments this is where it all happens now obviously there are a lot of Pro
options out there but again you want to save money where you can and there are
so many great free options as well now if you’re running a Mac this decision is
very simple in my opinion start with GarageBand that’s where I started it’s
free software it’s going to familiarize you with recording and mixing and using
some of the different plugins and it’s going to allow you to transition into a
pro software like Logic Pro very seamlessly that’s the route I chose and
I have hashtag no regrets that’s my credo no regrets you may have heard
about other software’s like Pro Tools were able to Pro Tools has an option
called Pro Tools first it’s a free software comes highly recommended from
Graham over at the recording revolution who is a great source Ableton Live Lite
is another free download and is a great option but Ableton is not a DW that I
use myself so I don’t have too much to tell you guys about that I am going to
include a link in the description though from a guy named Alex Wilson who lays
out all of the major da WS it’s a great Reader’s Digest sort of a read that will
break down who each digital audio workstation is for I highly recommend it
in the description below the 2 da WS that I have worked with our Pro Tools
and Logic Pro pro tools is the unrivaled industry standard if you know how to run
Pro Tools you’ll be able to work at virtually any major recording studio so
if you are an aspiring engineer or producer Pro Tools might be something
that you want to consider so why would you choose Logic Pro now for me I chose
Logic Pro because it made sense it was the next step up from Garage Band which
I started on because it was free Logic Pro right out of the box gives you all
the tools that you need I just really like the aesthetics of Logic Pro the
workflow is great a lot of the stock plugins that come with Logic Pro X are
great and I use them it has great compressors great reverbs great eq’s and
even some of the studio instruments aren’t that bad either the virtual
drummer is a really cool feature I remember using the
when I’m a songwriting and I wasn’t quite sampling or programming drums yet
it gave my songwriting process kind of a whole new life when I felt like I had an
actual drummer that I was working with between logic and Pro Tools logic was
also the cheaper route so for me that was a no-brainer I’m definitely noticing
a lot more people working in Logic and it is the da W that I always recommend
but again there’s so many great options there’s so many things I haven’t talked
about as always I can only tell you guys what has worked really well for me so
again I’ll point you to that article from Alex Wilson no affiliation I just
think it’s a great read and it’ll help answer a lot of the questions that you
have the next thing you’re going to need is an audio interface this is going to
take the signal from your mic or your instrument and convert it into a digital
audio file I really like apple juice products I use an Apogee duet as my main
audio interface but there’s just so many great options out there the appellate
wind from Universal Audio is a big favorite but I think the best option for
those of you who are starting out and you want to maintain a low budget is the
scarlett solo from Focusrite it’s 99 bucks it comes with two free software
options Pro Tools first and Ableton Live Lite and this is just all around a great
bundle the scarlett although has one mic input one instrument input which is
gonna be perfect for your home studio recording needs it records a really high
sample rates which I did not know shoutout gram and recording revolution
again overall guys this is a great option I wish something like this was
around when I started recording music at home I think I had to shell out like 500
bucks to buy my first audio interface so this is so great I recommend this to
everybody who asks me where to start I’ll be sure to link all of these
products down in the description below as always you all know the drill next up
you’re gonna need a microphone and to be honest with you I could do an entire
video on microphones alone it’s incredibly preferential it’s kind of
like asking somebody what kind of guitar should you buy really you’re gonna want
to pick something out that is going to best compliment the vocalist and best
suit your studio needs again coming back to our main point chances are if you’ve
been playing music for a little while you’ve got a microphone lying around
somewhere you can always start with that even if
it’s just a sure 58 now let’s say you’re a vocalist or catcher and high-quality
vocals is really important to what you want to do in your home studio it’s
important to understand the different types of microphones most mics will fit
into one of two categories condenser microphones or dynamic microphones to
put it simply condenser microphones are high quality studio microphones they’re
incredibly sensitive and they have a high frequency response in most cases
condenser microphones will produce a more studio-quality recording than a
dynamic microphone would dynamic mics like the short 57 or the shure 58 that
I’m sure you’ve seen are more rugged and less sensitive therefore making them
better suited for live performances for example now this is not to say that
dynamic mics are only used for live music in fact the shure sm57 is probably
one of the most used mics for music recordings but in a lot of cases
especially when recording vocals you’re gonna want a good condenser microphone
now here’s a bad news prices of a lot of condenser microphones can get
astronomically high but you don’t have to break the bank to get something
really awesome and really high-quality now for the sake of keeping this video
as short as possible for you guys I’m not gonna go too in depth on each of
these recommendations so if you want some more info check the resources that
I list in the description below just do a little bit of research and you’ll come
up with a ton of stuff the first high quality mic I ever bought was the
Bluebird from Blue Microphones at the time I was doing some work in a friend’s
studio and he lived and died by the baby bottle from blew the baby bottle was a
little bit out of my price range but I looked around their website and figured
I would take a chance on this Bluebird mic that was under $200 at the time I
don’t even think I understood how remarkable this mic is the sound quality
that you get is this low price is just incredible as your studio evolves and
you start adding things like two preamps this mic is only going to become more
powerful for you another great budget option is the samson co one now i don’t
have one of these i’ve never used one but it does come highly recommended from
a lot of resources that i really trust and i wanted to make sure that i had a
couple of really low budget options for of you who are looking for that do the
research don’t just take my word for it I just heard a lot of great things about
this mic and wanted to be sure that I brought it up for you guys so let’s talk
about a couple of pricier options that I’ve used we’re talking about condenser
mics these are still low cost but maybe a little bit more than some of you are
willing to spend this is the t LM 102 from Newman now if you know a little bit
about condenser mics you surely know the name Newman the u-87 is widely regarded
as one of the best microphones money can buy but it’s gonna cost a lot of money
when I was recording my first album we used Norman Mike’s quite a bit and I
wanted to see if I could find something in a lower price point that would still
deliver that Newman quality sound a good friend of mine recommended to TLM 102
and I figured it was worth a shot you can always return stuff right I will say
this Mike definitely delivers that anointment quality the t LM 102 is going
to give you a full high-quality crisp sound the high-end is noticeably
pronounced which makes it a great mic for recording acoustic guitar or use as
a drum overhead mic or even just a general room mic if you want to capture
some ambiance obviously it works great on vocals too and is worth checking out
now this is a mic that I’ve been using a lot lately
it is the 80 40 50 from Audio Technica this in the t LM 102 from Newman have a
lot of similarities they both sound really rich really full really clear
with nice crisp high end but this microphone offers a couple of advanced
features which make its application very multi-purpose first of all this mic is a
multi patterned microphone which simply put means that there are a few different
settings that determine how this microphone picks up sound it offers an
omnidirectional pattern a cardioid pattern and a bi-directional pattern
which basically just adds to the versatility of this microphone it also
offers a low frequency roll-off and a 10 decibel pad I’ve only been using this
mic for a number of months now but I’m already so impressed with its
versatility and the different applications that this mic offers now
those are just some of my favorite mics but with your mic you’re gonna want to
get a couple of accessories you know you need a mic stand
you know you need an XLR cable but you’re also going to want to pick up a
pop filter a pop filter is just going to help protect
that highly-sensitive condenser microphone from popping sounds created
by peas and s’s just trust me you know not want to have one of these the other
thing that I haven’t recommend is a sound shield or an acoustic shield what
this does it sits behind the microphone and it not only kills the sound that is
going towards the mic but it eliminates sound from bouncing off other surfaces
in your room and traveling into the microphone sound treating a room with
acoustic treatment and bass traps can get really expensive this is a great way
to eliminate that reflective room noise and deliver an even higher quality vocal
the next thing you want to consider investing in is a good MIDI keyboard now
I’ve done a whole video on MIDI keyboards where I go over some of my
favorites and my recommendations so I’ll be sure to link that up for you but
essentially a MIDI keyboard allows you to control and trigger software
instruments within your digital audio workstation it’s a great way to
incorporate a larger variety of instrumentation into your songs and in
my opinion software instruments have really come a long way but a good MIDI
keyboard is essential for any home studio last but not least you’re gonna
need a way to listen back to all of this music that you’re making so you’re gonna
need some monitors and some headphones monitors and headphones are another
thing that really divides opinion so I’m just gonna tell you what I use and I’ll
include some low budget options in the description below but these are KRK
Rokit aids I really like them there’s a lot of great options out there for
headphones I’ve used a ton and bought a ton and wasted money on a ton and
finally found two that I really love first of all my absolute favorites the
ath and fifty X’s from audio technica I can’t really explain why but for my ear
music just sounds the best when it’s being played through these and I can
trust that if I’m mixing a track and I can get it to sound good on those
headphones then it’s probably gonna sound good everywhere now the other
option that I really really like are these K to 40s from AKG now these have
been out for a little while so the prices come way down and the value for
these things is incredible you can get these for like 55 bucks on Amazon right
now and let me tell you that is a steal now these are semi-open headphones so
when you put them on you can still hear a little bit of the
it doesn’t eliminate the sound completely the way that noise cancelling
headphones do so why would you want something like these in a situation
where you’re recording vocals or a live instrument and you want a little bit of
the natural sound mixed in with the playback you could use something like
semi-open headphones of course with noise cancelling headphones you could
just pop one ear off like that but this is nice it’s nice to have a blend of the
actual natural sound mixed in with the playback there are also a lot of people
who prefer to use semi open headphones as mixing headphones – either way these
are a great all-purpose headphone and I highly recommend them so this brings us
to the end of the basics I’m exhausted I don’t know about you if you made it this
far congratulations that’s gonna be it guys I hope this was helpful be sure to
like and comment and subscribe thank you for supporting this channel I’ll have
all the resources below all the product links below and I’ll see you guys soon
alright peace wedding can’t run the air conditioning I’ll shoot the video

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