Music Production 101: Build your home studio | Joe Ghalbouni | Skillshare

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Music Production 101: Build your home studio

teacher avatar Joe Ghalbouni, I aim to teach in a fun and useful way!

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Step 1 - Why building a home studio?

    • 3. Step 2 - What basic equipment do you need?

    • 4. Step 3 - The 3 stages of music production

    • 5. Step 4 - Improving your home studio

    • 6. Step 5 - Reaching a professional level

    • 7. Conclusion

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About This Class

Thank you for joining this class! Music Production 101 will teach you everything you need to know in order to start your very own home studio. It's easier than you think!

What you'll learn:

  1. Why building a home studio?
  2. What basic equipment will you need?
  3. The 3 stages of music production
  4. Improving your home studio
  5. Reaching a professional level

Meet Your Teacher

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Joe Ghalbouni

I aim to teach in a fun and useful way!


"LearningWhilePracticing" has one of the most practical approaches when it comes to learning. Our goal is to let you be operational as quickly as possible while at the same grasping all the concepts required. Being able to work on your projects through a software while learning it at the same time, is a source of motivation that will make you go further.

Concept: Our concept is to provide for each software, a bunch of "how to do" videos, answering the most frequently searched terms. Because of how dynamic technology is, more and more videos will be added up gradually. For some software, we even opted for a full coverage.


Exercise Files: For each video, exercise files are provided in the ressources section. That way, you will be able to work on the exact same ... See full profile

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1. Intro: playing an instrument is far, and composing your own music is awesome. What's even better is being able to record your very own music at your own place. It's much easier than you think, and it's not as expensive as you think. Through this course called Music production, wanna one build your own home studio. I'm gonna teach you how to do so. Step by step and from scratch, I'm gonna teach you everything they need to be thought about starting your own home studio . Now, this course is divided into five steps. The first step being Why Building Home Studio The second. What basic equipment do you need to start your own home? Studio three. What are the three stages off music production step for improving your own home studio. And finally, step five. How to reach a professional level. So if you're interested in knowing all of these, do not hesitate to join this course 2. Step 1 - Why building a home studio?: Hi and welcome to music production. Wanna wanna build your own home city? Let's start with the first step right away. Now the first question that one can ask you why should I believe Home studio? Well, there are five arguments that I personally have for this question, the first being that you can finally here the outcome off your very own composition. I mean, you have some softer, such as guitar pro, that allow you for someone to get a raise, to hear a certain composition with different instruments, but still is just a polyphonic June. That's not really how it's gonna sound when it's recorded. And sometimes we have, like, very bad habit to emphasize the number off instruments we put within a guitar pro track in order to make it sound fuller. Meanwhile, when you when you start recording that room, surgery can see that just singing and having one instrument can be more than enough. If it's correctly mixed on. The song might not need that much off instruments. So really, one of the very important points is that you're gonna be able to compose better. You're going to see what's the outcome that my own composition is gonna sound like you can start with just a small demo, or you can even do the whole product within your own home studio if you can. So that's really benefit now. The second reason is that actually, it's very easy. It's not complicated at all to start recording at your own place. And now you have even some starting package for home studio where you have the basic components and at a very cheap price, which is the third argument. Actually, thanks to digital technology now, having your very one lobster do it's not as expensive as you think. Okay, you're now able to do all the recording without having all this huge mixing consoles that you see in professional studios or that you've heard about that you see on TV or on your computer while you're browsing the Internet. So you don't really need all that fancy material in order to record your own music at home . Now, keep in mind that if you're a full band off course, the number off components you're gonna need a that will scenes that three is gonna be off course bigger. But in case you're solo artist or a jewel, for example, you're going to see that you don't need as much components as you think. The fourth and most important argument is that you can get to a professional level and produce yourself. You don't need to necessarily have a production label behind you. You can do all the recording yourself. Thanks Now websites that Prince CDs and that that bird cities for old jury are able to distribute very materially can sell your songs online. You can become a famous artist. You can have your own, you know, fan based thanks to social media. So really having this key component, which is being able to record at your own place, is something extremely that extremely changed the word off music. So now we don't really need to pay a studio for the hour or to pay a big amounts of money in order to get a decent quality. You're able to do all of this at your very own place, which is something amazing. And finally, once you have a home suit, you you can become a producer yourself. You can record for France for guests. For people who become your clients, you can make money and that can become a business. So this is really interesting for all these points, you might be someone just want to do it as a hobby. You don't. You're not thinking about making money from it. Can someone was thinking about making it as a hobby, but making some money on the side. Or you can even make it your full time job. And keep in mind that the great thing about it is that your clients can even be online. You have websites, for example, like sound better that combat allow you, for example, to have clients that come to you and ask for a specific song to be to be done within a professional studio. And so you have to do all the different stages. Now, when it comes to someone recording, then you're gonna need to have a climb come at your place, come at your student record, or they could have recorded another studio and send you the file where you're gonna be working through the project yourself with all the different elements needed to complete the project. So that's really something that opens you a lot off doors. So all these five arguments really put a big strong reason on why one should have his own home studio, especially when they're a musician 3. Step 2 - What basic equipment do you need?: now regarding step to what basic equipment will you need in order to start your home city? Well, they're not as many equipments as you think, and they're not as expensive as you think. First things first off course, you need to have a professional sound card. Now Professional self card has several features, which you'll have to look at when you first buy your very first sound car. Like, for example, the number off entries. How many entries do you want to know? Many inputs Do you want in your sound card? If you're a solo artist, for example, two inputs might be more than enough. I personally used two inputs like my my whole life. For now, I haven't needed more than this as a solo artist. However, if you're a full ban, you have a drum set that you need to record that the Ben needs to be playing at the same time. So, yeah, you're definitely gonna be needing a sound card that has more input. So the number off inputs is already something that place within the process for sound card . But for example, a sound card which has two inputs and even one inputs on car can be bought between arrange , for example, off $150 to $300. You can have a very decent sound card, so that's the first component that you need. The second component that you'll need is the professional microphone. Well, if you're not the singer, that's okay. You might not need it. But if you're a singer professional microphone like a condenser microphone, I personally have a key G 220 which is an amazing microphone. I really love it. I've been using it like for several years now. Of course, there are better microphones than this, but it's process also affordable. You can get microphones in the range of 200 to $300. So in additional the sound card that make your $600 for the stock and by having a microphone on the sound card, you already have the equipment needed to record at your home studio. The third step is having what we call a midi controller. Now mid. If I is not annulled, your father is actually a data file. They define that contains informations related to the key. What key has been hit? What no has been made with what pressure? How much the don't has been had. One has been released, etcetera, So the media file is used through a medical tour, which looks like a keyboard. As you can see in the picture on the MIDI Controller allows you, for example, to play any instrument. OK, you can play like any set on the media on the MIDI controller can play chords. You can play arpeggios. You can play solos, you can play anything you want. And then you can use any instrument that you have access to through libraries, which will be talking about laters. So libraries off sound, which allow you to book to that unified any sound that you want. Okay, we're gonna be talking about that later on. But omitting controller is extremely important. It it's important for electronic dance music. It's important for even rock music's important for pop music, So the media control is something you really want to look at. Now a medical juror comes in different sizes, depending on the number off octaves you need. You can have, for example, medical trollers that have less than 30 keys, some that have more than 60 cases, three depends on a number off octaves that you need. Okay. For a start, you can have a media control that has a small number of kids. We wanted to invest a lot of money in it at first. Once you start, the fourth component that you need for a home studio is what we call a Dow or digital audio workstation. Basically, the digital audio workstation is the big softer that you're gonna need in order to record every track. So usually when you're working in a home security working in a track by track process, meaning that you are going to record instrument after instrument after instrument. So we're gonna have several tracks off instrument. If your salt card has two inputs, it means that you can record two tracks at the same time. So that's suppose your project has six tracks, all of them leaving the inputs off the sound current. Then you can, for example, record them one session to input the second session to represent the third session. Two inputs in order to have you're six tracks. Now, keep in mind that attract that requires a media fire requires your immediate control, does not take any input from the South car. So you could, for example, have a friend play the guitar. You could be singing yourself and then 1/3 frank playing the piano. So that would make three tracks that you can record at the same time. Two of them being old, your tracks so taken from really instruments like microphone guitar and then the third track, which is a meaty track. So the 1st 2 tracks are gonna be recorded as old your files. You cannot change the instrument used in them. You cannot record an old guitar and then make it sound like a piano. But you could, however, use the medical troller to record a piano track and then, later on, decide you want to change the piano. You know in another sound that could be a harpy court, for example. That could be an acoustic guitar that could be anything that you want. Libraries are extremely vast, extremely large. You could be recording a violin sound, for example, so that's really beneficial one. For example, you don't have a musician that you know that place the violin or you have no possibility off playing the violin yourself. You could have through the medical stroller access to new cells within your recordings, so that's also extremely inefficient. So to put it in perspective, you need to have a digital audio workstation that allows you to record your own tracks to do the whole mixing process that you are going to talk about on in order to make your music come to love. The fifth component off course is a computer. You need to have a computer on which you will be interfacing the South car, on which you will be installing the digital audio workstation on which you will be plugging the medical literature. Your PC is going to do all the calculations along with the sound card. In order for your music to happen off course, the computer needs to have as much Ramus possible. It needs to have big storage also as well. It needs to be like fast computer, pretty good computer. And I'm insisting on the fact that for computer, you need to have a lot off hardest space, okay, because you're gonna need it in the steps that I'm gonna be talking about later on. So you need to have a lot off storage on your computer as much as possible. Like Iran, For example. Four terabytes as we're speaking off today and for the Rams, like if you could have, like between eight and 16 gigabytes off from that would be awesome. Okay, Working with an inter core I five or I seven is gonna make the process even easier when you're recording music. A six element that you need is having headphones studio monitoring headphones that allow you to listen to what you've actually been recording. So headphones for the start are really good. But on the long run off course, there are not the only thing that you should be using. We're gonna be talking about that later on. But headphones for the start is actually pretty good. When you're recording focus, for example, you want to be hearing yourself. Of course you need headphones. You can listen to what you've been recording through headphones, so that falls on a good, decent good quality Headphones are also must when you're starting a home studio. And finally the seventh and final component that you need s cables. You need to have cables to wire. You had phones to your sound card your instruments to your sound card. So make sure investing good cables also that are pretty isolating off noise that you don't take extra noise because all your instruments on especially the microphone, is extremely sensitive to noise and the cables themselves. If they're not off good quality, there will pick up noise that will be very hard to get rid off later on within your project , so make sure investing good cables as well. 4. Step 3 - The 3 stages of music production: now for step 33 stages off music production. The three stages of music production are recording, mixing and mastering. So recording will be actually having an old your data or having a meeting date up, which is the input off or your music. So it's actually the data recording your own music, recording your own old your composition. So you are recording, for example, guitar recording. Vocal recording. Immediate. I put on your media controller. So this is the process off. Recording the process off recording should be as clean as possible. Okay, like almost no mistakes allowed. If you're recording a vocal to several, takes to thousands off takes, if you can off course, ideally but do like, for example, then takes 15 takes for the vocal, not necessarily on the same day. You don't have to do them on the same day, but recording to be as clean as possible for the media fights, the advantage that they are pretty eligible there, easily adaptable, you can see in my other two stories. For example, on my YouTube channel, I have a story on me challenges under Cuba's, which is in your folder workstation that I personally used so media files are pretty easy to edit. But hold your farts are not very easy to add it so well, of course, there are many things that you can have it in them. But what I mean is that there's a small mistake like make sure that you can redo the take like do not let mistakes accumulate within your project. Don't say okay, I will correct that later. No, trying as much as you can take the best recording ever for your old you like best recording possible. Then you can okay, the recording process. The first process of music production is recording yourself. So, having your data within your project, the second step is mixing. Okay. Mixing is actually how can I make each element off my project? So it each instrument in my musical composition sit at its right place. How can I make sure that the base is giving all the energy that it needs to give? How can I make sure that it's going to get that it's gonna be audible, that it's not gonna cause clipping meaning distortion off the sound mean those unwanted sound? How can I make sure that my drums at the right place. How can I make sure that the instruments, if I'm working in stereo, are really at the good balance? Off left and right. Okay, on how can I add more effects? How can I had some echoing for my vocals? Or how can I How can I give, for example, more like travel for my guitar? So all of these are the things we do in mixing. Mixing session can take several days, okay. And mixing sessions are also a matter off taste. You have some engineers that makes in different ways than other engineers. There is no really right on the only way to do mixing. But there are principles on which you should be dealing with when you're doing a mixing process, though the mixing process is the one that we let each element sit at its right place in the frequency range and also in everything related to space. Most of all, the stereo. Okay, the third stage off music production is mastering. So what is mastering all about? Mastering is actually a very delicate process, which will allow the song to have the same old your quality on any device that you're using . So, for example, that was your using a cell phone to listen to your music. You're listening to music in the car. You're listening to music in your home theater. So you want to make sure that the quality of the sound, the energy, the balance between the difference instruments in the song how are the same off course? Listening to a song on home theater is gonna be more enjoyable than listening to it on a cell phone. But what matters here is we don't want your song to sound completely different on a cell phone than twill on a home theater. We need to feel that it's the same calling the same energy we need to give. We need to feel that your son is getting out the best that the device can give. So if your cell phone has a certain quality off music, we need your music to be at that quality. Okay, so this is very, very delicate process. Usually, I personally advice if someone does the recording and mixing to have someone else those mastering or wait several days or even several weeks in order to have, you know, freshen out your memory and for it not to be listened not to be used anymore to the products that you can work on the mastering process. So the master in process is the most delicate process within these three stages. Now the advantage is that many companies and many individuals can do the mastering process for you once you have finished recording and mixing, so that's not as problematic as you think. 5. Step 4 - Improving your home studio: now step for how to improve your own home studio. We've seen in step two that you can start with basic components. But if you want to reach a higher level and if you want to have a better sound quality coming from home studio, you certainly have to also progressively add more and more components. Now, the advantage within being progressive thing is that you don't have to spend a whole lot off money at first, you can spend money gradually in order to make your home studio better. So the first thing that one should consider to make their home studio better is an acoustic treatment. An acoustic treatment is actually making sure that your room is giving you the real so that is coming out off your computer. Like, for example, you have some frequencies that are gonna be absorbed or that gonna be are gonna be reflected in your room. Okay. So, for example, corner stand toe absorbed frequencies, meanwhile, wars with them to reflect them. So basically, what you need to do is an acoustic treatments. So in order to do that, you can buy a sound level meter, which will tell you at what level, this frequency has been emitted. So you could, for example, have a source that emits a broadband range of frequencies. And you can see how your some 11 meter response, ofcourse the sound level meter should be at the place where you're sitting when you're doing your work off recording, mixing and mastery. And then once you detected frequencies that are, for example, being too low in level off amplitude or being too high, you can buy respectively, for example, diffusers or absorbers. So the diffusers or absorbers are shaped are shaped materials that they're gonna, for example, for the first for the riff for the diffuser. There are going to read if use the frequency that have been absorbed, and for the absorbers that are going to absorb the reflections that are causing the frequencies to be too high level compared to what they should be. And this is very dressing because, for example, when you're working on the mixing process, if you feel that your song is to base, it might not be too basics. Your room could be two basic, and that way, instead of reducing the base, you will make sure that okay, I treat my room and now correct here the amount of based my song is giving, So that's really crucial in order to do a proper mix and definitely crucial for the mastering process. The second thing is having what we call flat monitors with anti vibration. That's so we've talked about. Headphones with headphones are not ideal for mixing and mastering, because headphones will not give you the flat ist amount off sound that you need. Meanwhile, if you buy flat monitors like the Yamaha H seven, for example, they will allow you to hear exactly what your song should sounds like. They are not colored. What we mean by color is that, for example, you think some stereo speakers you feel that they're they have more bass than others or they have more traveled than others. These one are extremely flat. They will give you the frequencies at the equal uniform level. They will not advantage one frequency over another. So this is really important when you're working in the mixing and mastering process to have monitors that are as flat as possible. Pre amplifiers, preemptory fours are what allow me to go from the microphone sound level to what we call instrument sound aumento a line level, so basically your guitars or your microphones usually picked this out at a very low level and need to be amplified. Now. The salt cards do have pre amplifiers on their own, wants you plug in your instrument or microphone. But, however, those pre amps are not usually the best pre amps available. Having a separate preempt a component which which purposes on Lee to amplify the sound is actually very beneficial, and you can have preempt that they're not extremely expensive because you have growth range you have, perhaps that are cheaper. Preempt that are extremely expensive, you know, for them to be extremely expensive, but you can have some that are pretty decent on this would make address to change our personally used. The analysis make jewel to to for my recording, and it really made a difference, then, using the pre amps off my sound card. Another interesting component could be having an external mixer. So mixers, for example, I can't allow you for you to do some multi track on the X on having having an up it off. Only one track that you're gonna plug in your sound card, so you're gonna have one truck in your project, but you can have several instruments that you play in the mixer. You can play in the different level between them. You have access to a lot of variables. It allows you to do some multi track recording without having to invest in a huge sound card that contains several inputs. So that's actually pretty beneficial. Mixers are a good thing. They are very useful. They allow you to have so some additional additional variables to play with. And they also reduced some stress on the process apart from the computer, because they will do some calculations off their own since they have that electronic circuit. So it's pretty beneficial to have a mixer, and I strongly recommend it. Digital. Some processing cards are actually cards, which will reduce the amount of computation on the computer that reduced the load on the computer because they are costs that are going to do the calculation on their own and send back the result on your computer so they could actually be pretty beneficial. I personally do not have one yet, so they're not, like, extremely essential. But in case you feel that your computer is starting to be very heavy on the calculation it might. It might make the late and see between your computers and your sound card on the output off the sound bigger. So what's the Layton see about? Let's suppose you have an instrument plugged in and your sound card and you play. You know, if there's a late NC off one second, it means you're going to hear one second later. They're not coming out off the speaker. So for the flat monitors, so that's actually a pretty long time. You need to have something like the order off 10 milliseconds and even less if possible. And sometimes your computer is not able to have that amount of time, especially when you're starting to load it with a lot off off sounds a lot off instruments . So you might you might need to reduce that computer processing work, and DSP card might come in handy. Now, Studio Monitoring station is what allows you to switch between your monitors and your headphones without having to switch them off. I have one personally, and I find it extremely useful. It also allows you to have other minders that you can plug. So if you have a studio that is a big big, that could be very beneficial. Special in Professional Home studio I personally love to use a studio monitoring station, the pre Sonus one. But they have is extremely useful. It's really great, Andi, it's really trustworthy. Eso I strongly strongly recommend you to have one in case you can invest in it. Off course, it's not mandatory, but it can really help you on the doctor. Sound libraries are what I'm going to use to give a sound to my meaty fine. So the unified that I've been recording on my medical chart, people need to have a cell like a clothes. If you want to get the sound like the MIDI file is not any a notifies, just a beta fight. So what sound? I want to give the data fight that's where sound like breeze coming handy. So what? Some libraries are about actually a sound library. Next, let's take a piano song. Library is a professional piano that has been recorded by a professional, a player in a professional studio, so each key has been recorded with several pressure's on. It has been recorded for a sustained time on the key. That is pretty long for you to be able to use them as much as you like. So basically, what happens is that let's say a piano has been recorded. Okay, All the keys off the piano have been recorded. Then when you play, for example, the sea key on your keyboard is gonna call the C fight from the library that you're gonna play on, it's gonna be as if you have the piano yourself in your home. So that's bridge a revolutionary. Okay, salaries are pretty also, so do not be afraid, because it's true that you're going to be playing several notes on your cable, but your computer should be fast enough to be able to get them back and forth to make themselves as real time. That's why you need to have fast for Twitter in the first place. And that's why you need up Russia professional sound card that's gonna be able to calculate all these sounds pretty quickly. Also, another thing other than some libraries are what you called sympathizers. So you have some sound electronic music that do not exist in real life, so you need to have some deciders that they're going to synthesize those cells. So I don't really advice uses since decider for known Selves just piano or guitar because they will not have the same quality as having a sound library off course. But some libraries on this deciders are not really cheap, so you really need to choose the ones that you want. Do not invest load logs off money, and it also do not invest in similar sounds. OK, make sure you buy the ones that you are gonna need the most. Okay, that's what I strongly and finally, plug ins plug ins is something that I strongly averse to investing. Plug ins are actually a digital version. Off hardware components that are used in studios for mixing and mastering and plug ins can extremely make a difference. Can make, like extreme difference between a good makes an amazing mix. Okay, plug ins are expensive. Usually, some plug ins that come within the digital audio workstation are pretty decent. They're not bad, but you have some companies, such as waves as isil top that do plug ins off their own, and they do like extremely high quality plug ins. Those bludgeons would make a big difference within your mix, and there are the reason you can reach a professional level when you're working with an old your project. 6. Step 5 - Reaching a professional level: now finally, how to reach a professional level in your home studio. We've talked about how to have all of these components and acoustic treated Drew. So what's the missing key here? The missing key. Issue the mixing engineer In order for you to be a good mixing engineer, there are several steps that you can do okay in order to improve. The first off them is watching tutorials. So if you're new to home recording studio and you don't know what to do, you need to start watching tutorials in it. You can buy books, you can watch tutorials online. That will teach you how to do a recording, for example, and mixing. Okay, So start with the recording and mixing. Leave the mastering apart for now and focus on that. Doors are usually explain pretty well. They will explain to you what you should do what plug ins should be used, how you should optimize your tracks, etcetera. So that's actually extremely beneficial to start with tutorials. If you have the possibility, I will strongly advise to do like an internship or and experience in professional studios working with professional sound engineers because what matters in the music production world is experienced. Theory is just small percentages. Your own experience, that is gonna matter. So having a personal experience with professional sound engineers, it's extremely beneficial. That's what gonna make you go from here to here pretty quickly. So I strongly advise you, if you have the possibility to do that now, of course, self experience and learning while listening is the main reason you are gonna progress. So you're gonna be first doing some recordings were going to say, like, more months later or they were so bad. You improve. So you just improvise distinct yourself. You need to train your ears, your knees. Your ears need to be trained in order. Two different shape between two piano sounds different shape between the bad mix and the good makes to difference between good mix and an even better makes. Okay, so you need to have your is extremely trained. They need they need to be like like your new instrument. They need to be your guide. Your ears are your diamonds now, so they need really to be well, well trained on you to take extremely care extremely good care off them. OK, your ears are the reason you are gonna progress. You cannot count on theory by itself. It's not just following protocol. Okay? Your ears are playing the most important tour right there. So the old Yuen Junior has to have a very reliable years. 7. Conclusion: that concludes our course for music production. Wanna one building your own home studio? So I hope you enjoyed this course. And I hope this will motivate you to start your very own home studio. If you're a musician, do not state start right now. If you're someone just interested in music, then you can also start. It's not expensive. You can see packages to start music production online. Gave the complaints or not, are not usually that expensive. So you can you can really start going forward from there. And I hope to hear many off you that have been inspired by this video to actually start recording your own music. Thank you.