How To Build A Home Studio | Jason Allen | Skillshare

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      What We Are Covering Here?


    • 3.

      Tools You Will Need


    • 4.

      Big Recording Studios


    • 5.

      Small Recording Studios


    • 6.

      Home Studios


    • 7.

      Project Studios


    • 8.

      Studio Tour


    • 9.

      Mac Or PC


    • 10.

      Mac System Requirements


    • 11.

      PC System Requirements


    • 12.

      Laptop Or Desktop?


    • 13.

      Tablet Computers


    • 14.

      Picking Your DAW


    • 15.

      Thoughts On DAWs


    • 16.

      Plugins To Consider


    • 17.

      Other Free Tools


    • 18.



    • 19.



    • 20.



    • 21.



    • 22.

      Audio Interfaces


    • 23.

      Pro Tools Audio Interfaces


    • 24.



    • 25.

      Keyboards And Analog Gear


    • 26.

      The Desk


    • 27.

      Desk Placement


    • 28.



    • 29.

      Speaker Placement


    • 30.

      Why Do We Care About Acoustics?


    • 31.

      Acoustic Treatment


    • 32.

      Sound Proofing


    • 33.

      Moveable Sound Panels


    • 34.

      Odds and Ends


    • 35.

      Installing Your Audio System


    • 36.

      Audio Routing With a Mixer


    • 37.

      Cabling And USB Hubs


    • 38.

      Power And Audio Cables


    • 39.



    • 40.

      Mic Preamps


    • 41.

      Outboard Gear


    • 42.



    • 43.

      Clamping Mic Stands


    • 44.

      Music Stands


    • 45.

      Mic Stands


    • 46.

      Velcro Cable Wraps


    • 47.

      What Next?


    • 48.

      Thanks for Watching!


    • 49.

      Bonus Lecture


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About This Class

Welcome to How To Build a Home Studio!

This class is for anyone who makes music and is looking for that perfect space in their home or apartment to do it in.

  • We're going to aim for keeping things inexpensive. I won't be recommending the latest expensive equipment, but only what you really need.

  • Acoustics matter! I'll be walking you through how to find (or build!) sound panels and where to put them to make your room sound great.

  • We will talk about hardware, software, furniture, room design, and more! Everything to make your environment comfortable and sounding great.

  • At the end of this class, we will have turned your spare room into a great sound space for recording, mixing, producing, or any other music activities you need.

In this class, we start with the very basics of sound design and work all the way up to working with complicated plugins like Xfer Serum, Native Instruments FM8, and others. I'll walk you through every step of the process and explain the logic behind every decision I make.

The goal of this class is to make a beautiful sounding room for you to work - making music, or whatever you do.

Topics Covered: 

  • Types of Studios

  • Essentials in a Studio

  • A Tour of My Studio

  • Mac or PC?

  • Mac Computer System Requirements

  • PC Computer System Requirements

  • Laptop Vs. Desktop Computer

  • Tablet Computers in the Studio

  • Picking Your DAW Software

  • Plugins to Consider Starting Wtih

  • Other Free Software Tools

  • Controllers (MIDI/USB)

  • Speakers: Selection and Placement

  • Subwoofers

  • Headphones

  • Audio Interfaces

  • Mixers

  • Keyboards

  • Analog Gear

  • The Right Desk

  • Desk Placement in Your Room

  • Other Furniture

  • Speaker Placement

  • Acoustics

  • Acoustic Treatment for Your Room

  • Sound Proofing

  • Movable Sound Panels

  • Installing Your Audio System

  • Audio Routing

  • Cable Length Considerations

  • Microphone Purchasing

  • Preamps

  • Other Outboard Gear

  • Music Stands and Mic Stands

  • And much, much more!

If you are ready to start making professional sounding tracks, this is the class that will start you on that journey. Get started today.

Dr. Allen is a university music professor and is a top-rated online instructor - with nearly 100 courses and over 300,000 students.

In 2017 Star Tribune Business featured him as a "Mover and a Shaker," and he is recognized by the Grammy Foundation for his music education classes. 

Praise for Courses by Jason Allen:

⇢  "It seems like every little detail is being covered in an extremely simple fashion. The learning process becomes relaxed and allows complex concepts to get absorbed easily. My only regret is not taking this course earlier." - M. Shah

⇢  "Great for everyone without any knowledge so far. I bought all three parts... It's the best investment in leveling up my skills so far.." - Z. Palce

⇢  "Excellent explanations! No more or less than what is needed." - A. Tóth

⇢  "VERY COOL. I've waited for years to see a good video course, now I don't have to wait anymore. Thank You!" - Jeffrey Koury

  "I am learning LOTS! And I really like having the worksheets!" - A. Deichsel

⇢  "The basics explained very clearly - loads of really useful tips!" - J. Pook

⇢  "Jason is really quick and great with questions, always a great resource for an online class!" M. Smith

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jason Allen

Music Producer, Composer, PhD, Professor


J. Anthony Allen has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multi-media artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen is a versatile creator whose diverse project experience ranges from works written for the Minnesota Orchestra to pieces developed for film, TV, and radio. An innovator in the field of electronic performance, Allen performs on a set of "glove" controllers, which he has designed, built, and programmed by himself. When he's not working as a solo artist, Allen is a serial collaborator. His primary collaborative vehicle is the group Ballet Mech, for which Allen is one of three producers.

In 2014, Allen was a semi-finalist for the Grammy Foundation's Music Educator of the Year.

J. Anthony Allen teaches... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: Hey, everyone, welcome to building a home studio. So in this class, we're going Teoh, talk about different kinds of studios. I'm gonna show you around my place, and then I'm gonna walk you through everything that you need to know in order to set up something that it's gonna be really functional for you. It's gonna have everything you need to produce music. It's gonna have everything you need to record music, and we're even gonna go into quite a bit about acoustic treatment to make your room sound really good. We're gonna start off talking about computers. What kind of computer you should get, What, How fast it needs to be to be running everything that we need. And we're gonna go into software what you should consider buying for software. And as I walked through all this stuff that you're gonna need to buy, I'm really focusing on keeping it in expensive. So I'm not gonna tell you to buy a bunch of stuff you don't need. I'm going to focus on what are the essentials that you can start off with toe, have a great home studio and filled on Later, after software were talked about more hardware. We're gonna talk about speakers What you should look for when you're buying speakers, audio interfaces, headphones, mixers, keyboards, all that good stuff. We're gonna get into acoustics. And then we're gonna walk through kind of an architectural drawing of your room and where you should put everything and how to set everything up. What gets wired toe? What, uh, what's the best way to configure your audio system in your room to get the best results? Then we're gonna talk about recording. Set up what you should have for Mike's, what you need to buy right away and what could be added later on, then some other miscellaneous hardware stuff. So it's a great class. I had a lot of fun making it. I hope you enjoy it. I hope that you take this class and at the end of the class you have a nice, beautiful room to set up in record and produce music in cool. So join me. Now let's dive in and let's make you a great room to make music. Here's the definitive conclusion of me. Okay, so my opinion is a highly opinionated answer, but here's what I'm gonna tell you ready. It doesn't matter. Um, get whichever you're more comfortable with. Our X program can be really, really useful. This is Ah, noise reduction audio cleanup program. Um, you know, you can see here just some of the settings de hum dee, clip the click. Um, here's what you want to look for. You don't wanna look for speakers. That's what you want. You want to look for studio monitors? OK, that's what we call these kinds of speakers. They might also be called near field studio monitors. That means we're going to be sitting fairly. So we want our speakers not right up against the wall. That's bad for acoustics. Okay, We don't want them there. We want them forward. We want them really kind of in line with our death. Keep our power cables and our video or our audio cables separated. Okay. So, for instance, standard the old safety, the standard that everybody uses and everybody loves is a shure, sm 57. That's this thing. Okay. Or on alternative will be in sm 58. That's this one 2. What We Are Covering Here?: Hey, everyone so welcome to building a home studio. So the reason I decided to make this classes I've been hearing from a lot of students here that they really want toe create a set up for themselves at home. Um, but they dont know where to start. There's a lot of options. It can be really daunting to think What do I really need? Ah doesn't require, you know, millions of dollars or can I do something on the cheap? So, uh, that's what I want to cover in this class is how to do this in a way that is effective for your budget and figures out exactly what you need and doesn't get you a lot of extra crap. Ah, that being said, we're going to first actually look at different kinds of home studios that you could build . So what you're gonna need to do is figure out what do you really need? What do you hope to accomplish in your studio and I'll show you around my little home studio at the same time? And, you know, most of which you can't see right now because most of it is is like here in front of you, but I'll show you what's here in front of you. Um, in a couple of videos. So the first kind of big question for you to solve is what I want to be able to do at home . Um, for example, and I'll talk about this a bit more throughout this next section, but in my home studio, I'm not really set up here, too. Record a band, right? Um, that wasn't the goal when I built this room. The goal wasn't to be able to record a band. I can't record drums in here. Um, I can't record really more than one, maybe two people at a time, depending on the instrument. It's not a recording studio. That's not really what I've built here. I can record vocals, and I can record guitars and maybe a single instrument like a tax phone or violin or something like that. But, um, that's all I really want to do. Here is I want to be able to record an instrument or two, but primarily I want to be able to edit here. That's primarily what I do is I take recordings that I've made and edit them here. If I want to record a whole band. I'm gonna rent studio time in a big studio that has all the equipment I need. I'm gonna record and then I'm gonna be out. I'm not going to sit there and spend $500 an hour to edit in their fancy room. I'm gonna do it here so we'll go over more of this in just a minute. But think about what you want to achieve in your home studio. One other thing. Um, I don't want to get too into the weeds on, um, brands and where to buy in this class. I'm gonna make another class. That's much more of a buyer's guide. I think it's actually gonna be called Buyer's guide. And in that class, I'm going to say, OK, now we know what we want to get. Here's the things you should look for. Here are the brands that I like. Um, brands have worked well, brands that have ah, good reputation or not, and then will we'll go from there and I'll walk you through the best purchasing options for those things. But that isn't really this class in this class. We're going to identify what we need, uh, how to set it up. Um, some other things that you're probably not thinking about, some kind of behind the scenes things that, um you're gonna need. And we'll go from there. Cool. Okay, so with that, let's move on. 3. Tools You Will Need: okay. I always include this tools you're gonna need for this class lecture at the beginning, which is a little strange in this lecture because you're in this class because, ah, the whole point of this class is that you don't have tools, so there isn't much You're gonna need to get through this class. I would say, uh, create a big old text document, um, to keep track of what gear you're gonna need. Okay, So, um, I'm gonna talk about things like, ah, subwoofer. OK, so we're going to talk about a subwoofer in a lecture down the road. And then after we get done with that lecture, you're gonna say, Do I need a subwoofer or not? And if yes, then write it down on your little shopping list. Ah, And then in the future, we'll talk about how to get sets up. What will for but not everything I'm going to talk about. You're gonna need or want, Right. Um, there are a lot of cases where you don't want a subwoofer. Um, there in your particular situation, you might not want a subwoofer in your studio. Um, so and I'll talk about this later, but just as an example, I do have a subwoofer, but it's actually usually off. Um, I haven't connected to a foot pedal so I can turn it on or turn it off if I need to check a mix. But most of the time it's off. Um, and there are reasons why do that? So we'll talk about that later. But just keep in mind that not everything that I go over you're gonna want to get. That's the whole point of this class is that you're going to decide what you need. But I'm going to kind of go over the the the main options, what most people do and some oddities and things like that. So Ah, you don't really need anything else to be successful in this class. Just, um, take some notes, make sure you figure out what you need and what you want, and then we'll go from there. Okay, that being said, let's move on. And let's talk about the types of studios that we can kind of build in our home 4. Big Recording Studios: Okay, so I want to kind of talk through the different types of recording studios and not just recording studios but production studios. We'll get more into that in just a second, but let's start by talking about what does the big big recording studios have? Ah, and how can you replicate some of that? Or even if it's a good idea in your own home studio situation? So I have the Web page pulled up here for packet ERM, Studio. This is a studio near me. Um, it's about an hour away, and it's a beautiful studio, like, absolutely beautiful. I've had a chance to work here a few times, and it's just lovely you. It's out in the woods. It's out in the middle of nowhere. You get this big house along with it. This is the main room of the studio. Um, we can go here and you can see this Kind of how it's laid out. Control room, live room, bunch of secondary rooms. Um, it's got a really nice big board. Ah, it's got all this equipment. You know, studio websites have these, like equipment pages to show you everything that they have, which is insane amount of stuff is a huge recording studio, and it's awesome. And great records have been made here. Um, Nirvana and utero was recorded here. Um oh, What else? Bunch of the soul Asylum records were recorded here. Tons of big records were made at this studio. So, um, we look at this giant equipment list and we look at this, this, you know, space that they have. And this is, you know, millions and millions of dollars worth of equipment and real estate and everything. Do you need that? Um, no, you don't need that. Do you need a big live room like this? A big room that you can use to put a whole band in all at once? Probably not. Maybe you want it, but it's impractical. Tohave. The main thing I want to impress on you about studios like this is when we go to the equipment list. What they really have here is they have everything that anyone might need. Let me see that in a different way. They are set up here so that anybody can go into this room wanting a specific sound and that has very specific needs. They will have everything that they need. When they go into the studio, right, they're gonna go in there and they're gonna be like, Here's what I want And they're gonna be able to, uh, get that sound because they have a ton of stuff. Now, you don't need to do that in your home studio. You don't need Decatur to everyone you need decatur to you, right? All you need is the stuff that you need to make your sent. You don't need the equipment that everybody in the world is gonna have. So, um, do you need a 48 channel ap? I discreet council. No, you totally don't need that. Um, do you need all of these microphones? No. You need a few microphones. You need whatever it's gonna take to get your sound. Um, so you don't need all this stuff because this stuff is designed to make anyone happy. You need the stuff that just makes you happy. So we're not going to build a $1,000,000 recording studio in this class. Um, we're gonna try to do it for just what we need, but we're gonna leave room to upgrade so that we can get a bunch of this kind of hardware later if we want, but we're not gonna worry about that for now. Okay, so let's talk about a small recording studio. 5. Small Recording Studios: Okay, let's look at a little bit smaller recording studio. This might be one that maybe you've worked in a smaller recording studio like this, maybe you have a desire to build a smaller recording studio like this. Let's take a quick look at one I have here, River Rock Studios. This is actually also in Minneapolis, and they are lovely people. What they have here, let's go to their page. Okay. One studio. The gear for that studio, the live room, which is connected to that room, isolation room, which is just a tiny little rectangle, that's all of it that you're seeing now, studio B, which I think is connected to room A and room B, then studio C is just a tiny little room for projects, and then a little bit of a lounge. You can even see that their live room is relatively small. This picture, I think, makes it look a lot bigger than it actually is. It's small. You could record a whole band in there, but it's a little tight. The benefits of working in a room like this is it's going to be a lot cheaper than a giant studio like Pacer. But also if we look at their equipment list, that's it. It's way smaller right then. Packed, just way less. Stuff like these are the microphones they have, here's the console, some outboard gear, keyboards, preamps, and some effects. Not a ton of stuff, right? They're catering to, it's slightly more specific. You're not going to be able to get every sound you can imagine here. However, all of the equipment they've bought is going to be stuff that's very broadly purposed so that a different things can be done in those studios and you can get a lot of different sound. Now again, this is probably close to $1,000,000 room to build out all of this, everything that they have. Do you need that? You probably don't, actually. That isn't what we're going to build in this class. I'm not going to walk you through how to build a studio like this. If you want to build a studio like this, this isn't something you want to build in your house. This is something that you want to build in a rented space or a space that you own a build a small building. But nonetheless, this one I happen to know is in a corner of a big warehouse because they're just downhill from us, like I said. But what you would do to build this a studio, is you would find a space. You would get a big old loan from a bank and you would buy all your equipment and start to build out the space. It's going to be a significant, significant investment, but it's a business. You can rent it and you can record some stuff there, but not the ideal for a home studio. This is still too, still too big for what I consider to be a proper home studio. Let's move on and look at something else. 6. Home Studios: okay. Up next, we have what I consider to be a proper home studio. This is not a named studio. You can't google this and find this is a picture that a friend of mine just sent me. He just finished building out this room. Eso this friend of mine. Um, He lives out in the suburbs of Minneapolis, and he bought a house about a year ago and turned one of the bedrooms into this. So he built this kind of skylight thing with some nice acoustic paneling. Scott, acoustic paneling is on the corners. Ah, in the corners. Here, I'm probably behind it. Nice little couch here, rack of equipment, patch bays, speakers, and then the computer and some other outboard gear and a keyboard. This is a great home studio. This is designed really beautifully. This particular guy is really good at building stuff, so he likes to build acoustic paneling. And this top thing, um ah, he's built a number of studios. In fact, I just hired him to help me build the main studio at my university job. We just got a big grant to build. Ah, something more like the previous studio. Ah, that I showed a small studio, so I'm gonna be building that in the next couple of months. So this is a nice home studio. This is actually fantastic. And so we will be talking in this class about how to build something like this if this is what you want, But I want to show you one more option after this video. So I'm probably going to reference this picture a few times because there are a few things here that are noticeably absent things that you might think you need. But you probably don't like a big mixer. Ah, you don't see a big mixer here. Um, and there are a few other things that you might not see here that you would expect. So I'll come back to this a few other times. But for now, um, let's look at the third option. So when I talk about a home studio, this is what I'm talking about. Is this or the next thing that I'm going to show you, which is what I call a project studio. So let's go on to project studios, and then you can start to decide. Do you want a home studio like this or do you want a project studio like the next thing I'm going to show you, So let's do that. 7. Project Studios: Okay. What we have here is what I call a project studio. And this is actually ah, where I am right now. This is my room from the other perspective. You normally see it from right here and me sitting right there. That's what you normally see when you're watching one of my classes. I call what I mean by a project studio is kind of what I said in the very first, I guess. Second lecture. Um, this isn't designed for recording more than a single instrument. I can record stuff. I have a bunch of Mike's down here. Um, and I have a bunch of Mike stands over here. Ah, and one right here. So I can record single instruments, mostly. But primarily what I'm doing is editing. I have an insane amount of displays. Ah, kind of ridiculous amount. Um, but speakers mixer, outboard gear over here. Computer. Ah, this is like a guitar AMP. Emulator. Although there's a real guitar amp over here that's just out of the frame. Some analog synthesis equipment on a nice desk. So I can do recording here. But primarily I'm editing here. Um, it's an editing suite. That's the way I think about it. Um, Now, this room also serves as not just as an editing suite for me, but a production room. Um, where I produced music. A video production room where I make online classes like this one. A business office for myself, for the various business things I'm involved in, and a just kind of a music practice room you can see here. I'm trying to brush up on a little bit of Bach on the guitar. Um, just because it's fun. So that's what to me is a project studio. And there's not much you need to really make a great project studio. Um, and project studio is what you want. If you're just gonna be producing music and you want to have a great set up for it and you don't want Teoh just really build out, um, everything that everyone needs, right? I'm not bringing clients in here. Um, I might edit music for other clients, but I'm not bringing clients in here to record all the recording I'm doing here is just me . So in this class will be talking about how to build that kind of home studio that we just looked at and how to build this kind of a project studio like I have here. I love my little room. Um, and and I think that if a lot of you thought about it, this is probably the kind of room that most of you want. You might I think that you want the previous one, Um, and you might. And that's totally okay if you dio and by the end of this class will have walked through how everything you need to build that kind of a room, But, um, this room is much more affordable, much more doable with the resource is that most people have, um and it's a lot more casual, right? Like, ah, this is a room that I could walk in and, um, relax and not have to worry about, um, being great all the time. I mean, it's not his formal of a room, you know. It's an old bedroom. It's actually an old garage, but that's a whole other story. Um, okay, so let me just take you on a little bit of a tour eso in this next video, I'll walk you around and kind of show you what everything is. Here we go 8. Studio Tour: Let's have a look around and I'll just show you. Ah, what I'm working with when I'm building tracks and recording here at home. Um, so let's take a look at what I got. So I'm going to spin you around. Okay, here we are. So, uh, this is my home studio. So the first thing you'll probably notice what most people notice when they walk in here is that I have a disgusting amount of displays. I have 34 k curved displays is it's Gadi. It's way too many displays. But I've just come used to having this much screen real estate so I can have 30 things open at once and be dealing with a lot of stuff all at same time, because that's just how I like to roll. So I have a 1,000,000 windows open, and that's just how I like it. So ah, it's a little gaudy and strange, but, um, that's how I like it. It does lead to an interesting acoustic problem that we'll talk about in just a second. Um, but Okay, so here's a little tour. I have Ah, keyboard. This is the, um ah, the roly seaboard. So it's got, like, squishy keys. Um, let's go left. So over here I have I've had able to push controller. So this is just a midi controller. Really? It's kind of a big fancy MIDI controller, but it's a midi controller. Nonetheless, I have a mixer back behind everything that I don't actually need very much. The only thing I Mixer is really doing is controlling the main output of my speakers, my audio interfaces controlling everything else. And one interesting fun fact is, you'll notice. So this is my left and right channel of my speaker. You'll notice the right channel slightly louder than Left Channel, which is weird. You probably want them to be centered. But the only reason I have it set up like that because I've noticed when I'm sitting at my desk, I tend to lean to the left just a little bit. And so I turned the right speaker up a hair more and that balances everything out. I basically move my center channel instead of here. It's like here, basically, anyway, um, over here I have some other fun toys. Another MIDI controller that I don't use is often an older a PC, 40 another MIDI controller that really don't use very often. But I used to use at gigs. Some analog synthesis is a mode mothers 32. This is a goofy little analog synthesizer thing called the Cord Model Tribe and then moving behind us, have a guitar, amp my favorite guitar, some pedals, another midi guitar. Some acoustic paneling is what these big things are here that my mandolin and violin are hanging off of eso. This helps, um, with the phase in the room and phases something we're gonna talk about Just a second. Uh, So what these acoustic panels are is there just compressed installation covered in canvas that I made them myself? Okay, Fancy couch. Because you gotta have one of those. This is my super giant guitar. Um, I like that. Some books, Nothing fancy there. Um, keyboards, Uh, this is an old Yamaha analog, uh, unit. That's really, really hard to deal with. But every now and then, I pull it out and grab some sounds off of it. This is just another old midi keyboard. They didn't have a better place to put, so I put it there. This is a Yamaha PSR 200 This is a crappy little toy keyboard that I have super super circuit bent. So circuit bending means that you open it up, look at the circuit board and connect a bunch of wires where they don't belong to make it make a really strange sounds. So you'll see on what was the speaker. There are 50 ah switches so I can turn on different things. Different bends, basically these short circuit, the keyboard and 50 different ways. And over here there are 50 knobs that short circuit, the board and 50 more ways so I can load up. It's cheesy little cat sounds and whatever dumb little beats and I can turn on, flip the switches and turn these knobs and make it make really crazy fund sounds. So, um, I had a moment of being really into circuit bending on. I made this one with an insane amount of circuit bends on it on then. I haven't done much with circumventing sense. Um, also have badges from conferences and things. Ah, whole bunch of rack gear. This actually isn't doing very much. Most of this is stuff I don't need any more, and it's just not even hooked up? Um, some old sound modules, tape, decks, amps. Um, this is an old audio interface that I'm not using at the moment. Um, this is a midi interface that I don't use at the moment. This is the power is basically like a big fancy power strip. Um, turntable, Because you gotta have that computer USB drive. Uh, this line six thing I'll actually talk about probably next week. And then an obscene amount of hard drives on. And then here. This is my main audio interface. This is an Apollo quartet. It's really nice one. I really like it. It's ah, four ends for out, so I can have four channels in and four channels out. You can see this microphone connected to it. This is what I used to record myself talking in these videos, But not right now. I'm just using my phone. Um, and that's that we have baby monitor here, and we also have a baby bouncer there. Those air, Relatively new additions to the studio. Those were not around before. Ah, and then disgusting amount of this place. Oh, and then my speakers. So this is one of the things that the displays uh, causes problems with. Because when I sit right where I'm supposed to sit in order to get the perfect sound, which is right here, the perfect spot for my displays would be right there and right there, they should be making kind of, ah, triangle between my ears, the displays and the and the two displays. Basically. So I can't put my displays right there because I have these obscene monitors here. Right? So I've raised my speakers to be a little higher, and then I've angled them down. If you look at them, they're, like, pinched up. Um, so they're angled down. This is not good. This is not ideal. This is not how you should do that. But it was either get my speakers in the right spot or get rid of some of my displays. And I had to make choice. So my mixed position isn't ideal. That's what we would say about my years in relation to my speakers. They're not perfect, but because I have thes displays in the way, but do the best I could do. And it still sounds pretty good in here, So, uh yeah, that's that. So this is where I work. Um, this is my backyard. It's a gloomy quarantine day. Yeah, Mr Berry quarantine myself. So there you go. 9. Mac Or PC: Okay, so this is probably the video that I've been most stressed out about making thinking. How can I explain this correctly as best as possible, the preference for Mac or PC? So, first of all, before we go into that, um, let's talk about the computer in general. So the computer is really the brains behind the studio In the old days, the mixer, uh, was the brains behind the studio is the most important piece of gear in the studio. Um, for these kinds of smaller studios, it's the computer. Really? Because most of the heavy lifting happens in the computer In the box is the way we say it in the box means the computers doing it. So a lot of the work that happens happens in the computer, not an outboard gear or anything like that. So what kind of computer do you need? Ah, should you get a Mac, which is generally more expensive, or should you get a PC, which is generally cheaper? Here's the definitive conclusion of me. Okay, So my opinion is a highly opinionated answer, but here's what I'm gonna tell you. Ready? It doesn't matter. Um, get whichever you're more comfortable with. I'm a Mac person, so I'm gonna always have a Mac. So but it really doesn't matter now. Let me put a few caveats on that first. If you go into a big recording studio, you're going to see a Mac. Uh, it is the standard thing in recording studios, big recording studios, even small recording studios. They're going to be driven by a Mac. A Mac is gonna run everything, and there's kind of a reason for that. The reason is that professional audio tools became available for the Mac before they were available for the PC. Now, when I say became available, we're talking like the early nineties. Okay? Early nineties, you could get, um, a Mac that could run pro tools minimum enough. The early nineties, mid nineties. You get a Mac that could run pro tools. Ah, and that was the standard tool. Um, there was other software like there was. Think of Paris. There was a few other ones. Um, but they were really Mac. Only in the early days, it in the early days, Mac computers were the only ones that whether it was because of power or not, they were the computers that the makers of the software were writing for. So that software was available for Mac users before any of the PC stuff. So that kind of started a tradition of Mac being the more accepted creative tool in studios . You see this in like graphic design places as well, however. Ah, that was a long time ago. And almost all that software is also available for PC's now. So at this point, it doesn't matter. Um, Max are it's more common. But if you are a hard core PC person and you want to run your studio with PC, you will not be the first or the last. So you should totally do that. There's no real reason, um, to choose one or the other as long as you have the right tech specs, the right minimum system requirements, which we're gonna talk about the next couple videos. But in general, um, it doesn't matter too much. 01 other thing that would matter is what software you're using. There is some software that is only available for Mac or PC, something like logic. If you're going to use logic as your main sequence, er logic is owned by Apple, so there's no PC version. So as long as your software is available for the computer that you want to use, then get whatever you want. It doesn't really matter. OK, so let's talk next about what kind of system requirements you need for both Mac and a PC. Um, so let's go to a new video, do that. 10. Mac System Requirements: Okay. If you're gonna go, Mac, um, what kind of system do you need? Do you need the fastest? You know, like $20,000 computer, Whatever. Living out now or can you get by with something lighter? You would be surprised, Um, that for doing a lot of audio work, you don't need the fastest computer in the world. Um, in fact, you're pretty much out of the box. Mac computer will pretty much be fine. Um, if you're going to do a lot of video work, you might want something a little faster. And if you're gonna be recording a whole band, you're gonna want something a little faster. But in general, um, and out of the box, Mac will work. Well, now, this guy for the studio that I showed you, he's using a Mac mini to run everything. So a 2019 Mac mini is what he's using, and he says he's just flying. He's really, really happy with it. Um, a little more detail on that. If you really want to get into the nitty gritty. Um, 2019 Mac mini, 3.2 gigahertz, six core eighth generation intel, core I seven 64 gigs of Ram. Ah, one terabyte SSD storage. Gigabit Ethernet. Um, so that's what's he's using here. You see what I'm using here? Just for the fun of it? Um, I am using a Mac pro. It's actually pretty old and thinking about upgrading, but not because of speed. Um, I got six core intel. Ah, 64 gigs of memory. Um, graphics. You don't care about that? Um, have these stupid displays. Ah, see, Memory got it maxed out at 64 gigs. So that's what I'm using. I'm using a Mac Pro, which is getting pretty old. Ah, it's 2013. But, um, you know, these new Apple Mac minis 2019 models are doing great on. I might even to switch to that, which would be a much smaller computer, but it be newer. This one, I think, is just getting, ah, two full of stuff. Um, so it's almost time for an upgrade, But not quite so. Yeah, Mac Mini right out of the box. Do you just find 11. PC System Requirements: Okay, so for PC requirements kind of about the same as what? I just told the Mac people in the previous video if your PC person and you skipped over that video, what I basically said is you would be surprised you don't need the fastest computer in the world. Uh, probably a right out of the box. Rather. Nice pc, Will do you just great. No, I don't. No. A lot of the specs on PCs. I'm looking at a couple of websites here, and I'm seeing, uh, people talking about would be good to have intel HD 4000 or better. GPU 2.4 gigahertz core I three GTX 660 or HD 78. 72.8 gigahertz or better core I five. So there are some numbers and letters for you. Um, but if you don't want to follow that Ah, go to your local computer store or favorite computer website and look for a PC. That's a little better than average. You know, you don't want to run this off, you know, a chromebook that's not gonna work. Um, but not necessarily because of speed, but because of software and ports um, I should maybe talk about laptops versus PC's. ER versus desktops. Um, you can do this all with a laptop if you want. Maybe I'll jump to a second, another video and talk about laptops or desktops. But for a PC. Ah, get something. You know, fairly robust. You don't need the fastest, most expensive computer in the world. Faster, the better, as always. But, um, something running the bill desktop computer will be just fine. 12. Laptop Or Desktop?: Okay? Laptop versus desktop. Um, I like using a desktop. Um, because if you're going to be in or if you're gonna build a room like this, I like to have everything fixed on haven't not moving around and going places. But, um, if you're on more of a budget and you need to have a laptop for work or some other reason, you can do all of this with a laptop. Um, when it comes to speed, laptops and desktops air pretty much getting right in line. Um, I mean, you can get something that's Justus fast in a laptop than desktop. In fact, my main laptop, I'm sure, is faster than the computer. I used to run all of this because it's newer, and it's, ah, it's just as much newer hardware configuration, so it's gonna be much faster. Um, the main difference that you need to think about is laptops tend to be shy on ports. So things like USB ports, um, Ethernet port you might need, um you might think I don't need inner Ah, I don't need an Ethernet port because I'm gonna use WiFi, But actually, some hardware doesn't require an Ethernet port, so wait to decide on that until after we've gone through all the hardware. Um, most of it doesn't. Probably You won't need it, but you might. Ah, so you might need especially for the Mac people. If you're getting a laptop, you might need a whole bunch of adapters to get to have all the ports that you need. Um, so just think about that. Um, generally, I like having a desktop, and then I have a separate laptop that I don't use for studio stuff. Ah, on a Mac and probably on a PC. I just don't have any experience with it. It's easy to keep both computers and sink so I can get files back and forth really quickly . Um, so I guess the laptop versus desktop thing, my preference is to have a desktop for this kind of a situation. But, ah, if you want to have a laptop that that moves around, you can do that. It's not really a question of speed. So a laptop compound were all of this just fine? Um, yeah, I guess that's all I have to say about that. It's not a very definitive answer, but, um, I think the best I could do 13. Tablet Computers: Okay, One last thing is tablet computers. Um, you I don't think tablet computers, any tablet computer that I've come across is ready to run a studio. It's just not gonna happen. The the professional level software that we need is not available for most tablet computers , and I don't see it. Ah, so I'm thinking about something like an iPad. Now, you may have noticed in my little studio tour, I do have an iPad, uh, set up in my studio, but it's, ah, a secondary thing I use it to. I use it for a couple little things, but it's not controlling my studio. It's not the main computer. Um, no. Some of those PCs that that are like a tablet that turned into a laptop, maybe those air fast enough. Um, I just want to check the ports that they have. Like do they have a good number of USB ports and all of that stuff, but something like an iPad running your whole studio. It's just not ah feasible. Yet you can't get the kind of inputs and outputs or, um, software that you need for it yet. So don't do that. If you have a tablet that you want to use with your studio. You can use it as an external device, like what I do. But it's not going to be the mother ship that drives everything along. So do not plan on that. You will be disappointed. Okay, let's we want to talk about some software. 14. Picking Your DAW: okay, up next. We need to talk about the Daw that you're going to use the DOS stands for digital audio workstation. That is the main software that you're going to use. Teoh, right. Create produce at it. Or record music. Okay, this is, uh, the the analogy I like to use is if we were a carpenter, this would just be the most important tool in our belt. This would basically be our tool belt. The thing that holds all of our tools. That's actually a much better analogy. This is our tool belt. So we have to have it. Um, it's a program that you need to get really good at. Um, because it's it's the main thing. You know, Um, now there's a lot of options for them, and this also kind of like the Mac and PC thing. This can be a little bit of a contentious decision. Also, you might have something that you're already using that you really like. And if that's true, you should stick with that thing. It's probably fine. It's probably great. Actually, you don't need to switch. Um, because in the end, they all essentially work the same. Really? Um, All of them are basically a timeline that you can put audio and midi on and arrange it to make music. That's what they all do. Some of them have different ways of doing it. Some of them give you a couple extra bells and whistles, but in the end, they all kind of do the same thing. Really? Um, if you've seen any of my other classes, you know that I'm unable to guy. I like able 10. I've been using able to for a long time, and I've made a 1,000,000 a built in classes. Um, but you don't have to use able to You can use whatever you want eso in this next chunk. I want to go through a couple things to consider if you haven't decided on what doll you want to use And, um, how to go about making that choice. But first, let's talk about, um, uh, two important aspects about Dawes One is that you can run multiple, and you may have to run multiple. Okay, so here I run able to in primarily if someone just says make me something I'm going to use able to. But sometimes I have to use logic on a project. Eso I have logic here as well. Um, and that happens when I've done film score or TV stuff. I might have to use logic because that plays a little bit nicer with some of the video editing software that people use. And sometimes they require you to use logic. Um, so it doesn't cause any harm. Toe. Have multiple Dawes installed on your computer. Um, with the exception of pro tools, pro tools can cause some problems with other stuff in how the audio interface works. We'll talk a little bit about audio interfaces later, Um, but you can work around it if you have pro tools and something else, it's not a deal breaker. You just have a couple extra steps to deal with. So you can do that if you want to, so you can have multiple does installed. That's just fine. Um, another thing to keep in mind is the Mac PC thing. There are some that are specific to Mac and some that are specific to PC, although that's very rare at this point. Um, the last real hold out with that was FL Studio, which didn't have a Mac version until just recently. Um, so now that that has a Mac version, the Onley riel one I can think of is logic doesn't have a PC version. Other than that, all of the major ones that I can think of of top my head run on both Mac and a PC. So unless you're using logic, um, you shouldn't really have any Mac or PC problems. Okay, So let me go into the next video, or I'm gonna run through a couple of them and kind of talk about the the general consensus on on why people like one over the other. 15. Thoughts On DAWs: Okay, So in this video, I'm going to go through some common assumptions about Dawes. Now, before I do that, these are kind of stereotypes of these programs, and they're not really based in a lot of fact. So I probably shouldn't tell you this because I'm just kind of perpetuating this, um, not totally true information. But, um, if you need something to base your decision on on what dot to get, here's some things to consider. So when people think about able to live, what they tend to think about is producing electronic music. So that's what it's best known for. Um, now, like I just said, there's not a lot of basis and that it is really good for producing electronic music. But it's also really good for recording editing, doing any kind of music, but its most popular for producing electronic music. When think people think about FL Studio or Fruity Loops, what they tend to think about is E. G. M and dub step production. If you are hardcore gonna make dubstep music, you might want to consider FL studio. Now, FL Studio is great at doing a lot of different things. You don't just have to make dumb step with it, but it is really popular in the dub step scene, and I think that's actually there's a little bit of something to that in the case of FL Studio on Lee because it has some sound generators in it that are really good at making that kind of big, grimy sound. Um, but you can make Dub step in anything if you want to, but FL Studio is best known, probably as kind of a dub step machine. Ah, logic is really best known for, um, film stuff film scoring. I guess it's one of the reasons for that is that logic is really good at handling a massive amount of plug ins so you can load an entire orchestra library, uh, of sample banks and ah, have a 1,000,000 things going at once and get a really realistic sound that way. Uh, it's good at running, you know, 50 plug ins at once. Ah, and those could be really big plug ins like a sample library. We're gonna talk about sample libraries in just a second. Um, the next video, in fact, So logic is really good for for creating real world sounds. It's got a lot of stuff built in that make it really easy to, You know, if you want a violin track that sounds like a real violin. Um, right out of the box. Logical. Be able t o come pretty close. Um, Able Tin, for example. If you want to make a violin that sounds like a violin, you got to install some extra stuff. Ah, because a built in strengths are making ah, really cool sounding synthesizer. Not a really good sounding violin. So riel world sound accurate Logic is best known for it. Now again, you can get able to to do that. You can get fl to do that. Um, so there's not a ton to that. But there is something I guess in the last one I'll talk about is just pro tools. Pro Tools is really well known for being a recording tool. We see less people using pro tools to produce music on more people using pro tools to record. It's really good at recording all the sounds in a room. Um, it's a little finicky to produce music in it. It's editing tools aren't as precise or not precise, aren't as easy to use as they are in something like some of the other programs. But, um, it's a really good take machine. Basically. Now, that being said, there are a lot of people that produce in pro tools. Um, it's just not as popular for that. You can produce just fine in pro tools. In fact, it's really popular for production, its most popular in hip hop. Ah, lot of hip hop artists, um, are producing and pro tools, Um, and so you could do that. It's totally fine for producing, but that's kind of what it's don't for is being really good at recording, uh, less good at making awesome synthesizers or film scoring or any of that stuff. So that's just a few off the top of my head, Um, that have some kind of connotations to it. Now. There are a ton others, and you're probably all going to ping me and say, Well, what about this one? And what about that one? Um, they're all great. I'm sure they all worked great, and you should use the one that you're most comfortable with. That's the most important thing, because if you know it really well, you can get it to do whatever you needed to do. Uh, so pick one, learn it really well, and stick with it. That's my advice to you. And if you just don't know which one to pick, And you're just ah, awash in uncertainty, then, um, pick a bilton because it's as good as anything else. Um, I think it's the best one for the way I work. Ah, but if you need me to tell, you did something to pick, then pick able to There. You, um but pick whatever you want. Really? Okay. Next, let's talk about some plug ins and some extra software that you should have. 16. Plugins To Consider: Okay. Some other software that would be important toe have depending on what you're doing, There's tons of other software you could get. But I want to focus here on plug ins. So plug ins are all these extra little pieces of software basically these air, their own little programs that run inside your dog. So if I just go and look at my plug ins You see, you know, all of these years, quite a few here that I've installed on this computer. You don't need all of these. Um, but I want to point your attention to two important things that you might want. Um, the first is if you're going to be doing any recording, um, this our X program can be really, really useful. This is ah, noise reduction audio cleanup program. Um, you know, you can see here just some of the settings de hum dee clip de click, um, voice D noise. There's a lot of really kind of complicated process is that it's really good at eso for when you're doing recordings. Using this Rx tool it's made by isotope can be really, really good at cleaning up the sound and getting a really pristine recording. After you've made the recording, there's a recording, and there's, like, a hum in it. You can pull that out. Um, it's the best tool for that kind of noise reduction. The other thing I want to point out is contact. Um, contact is actually, I believe, a free program, um, made by native instruments, but it doesn't do very much on its own. So here's contact. I've already loaded it up here, so it's a plug in, But when I open it, basically what this plug in is is a container for sample libraries. So this will let me load up sample ever. So when you buy a sample library, you will, um, get it often in contact files, and then you load it up here. So here are sample libraries that I've bought. Okay, So let me point out this one just, for example, was called Sina string solo. So the reason I bought this one is I was working on a string quartet project, and I wanted samples that sounded really good, but not orchestra samples, individual violins, cello, Zvi Ola's. So that's what this is to really high end, um sample library. So if I load this up, it loads in contact. You can see it's still thinking there's a lot of data here. I don't think I have this queued up to play, but, um, I have a lot of control over it where the mikes are, and each one of these libraries is gonna look a little different. If I load up one of these, this one's gonna look a lot different. Actually, it's gonna take a minute to look because this one's really huge. Um, so if you're interested in getting some of the higher end sample libraries and the reason you would want to get one of these is if you want riel orchestra sounds or piano sounds, percussion sounds or anything weirder this substance one. It's just weird sound design stuff. Um, it's not actual instruments. See, here's the sound. Here's that one substance. Um, so you can. So here's like a grand piano library, multiple grand piano, libraries, keyboards, string orchestra, vintage organs, West Africa, percussion, studio drummer, more sound design stuff, retro machines and more sound design stuff. So you can by these sample libraries, and I wouldn't go nuts and just like start buying a ton of them because they can get really expensive. But think about what you need and then buy them, and then this contact plug in. Ah, well, load them up for you. So look up. You can find some tutorials online on how to set up contact. It can be a little tricky in whatever software you're using to get it set up for the first time. But once you do, uh, things load pretty quickly. So I highly recommend that having contact if you're going to get some sample libraries contact again, I believe it's free. Ah, but doesn't really do anything without sample libraries in it. So contact is made by native instruments. Um, all of the Native Instruments plug ins are actually pretty good and can be valuable. You can get them all kind of in one big pack if you want. I don't remember with cost is but, um pretty interesting. All good stuff. Toe. Have you can find a lot of free plug ins. Um, and you could install those and play around with those highly recommend him. There's a lot of other ones fracture, I believe is glitch machines. Um, these are really great plug ins for sound design things. Um, you know, I just got a ton of stuff, like, you know, installed here. But, um, the two most important things that I would say really good to get started with is native instruments contact. And if you're doing live recording Rx, um, which is the full title of it of it has a number at the end. So whatever version were up to right now, we're on our x six Rx seven, maybe, um, you can see I've been using it since Rx four, five six. Yeah. Rx six, I think is the current version. So I highly recommend investing in those tools. 17. Other Free Tools: Okay, let me point out to other things that are really handy to have and totally free. Um, the first is audacity. If you've taken to my other classes, you might know about audacity. This is a free program. Uh, if you just google it, you'll find it. Uh, this is a really good, just kind of wave form editor. You know, you can load in, um can load in a sound and really work with the wave form and more of kind of a razor blade way than you can in a full Daw. This lets you just focus in on one sound and get it just right. It's got a whole bunch of purposes that I really like it for. Um, some of its built in effects are pretty interesting. So, um, you can check out some of those, but it's just a handy little tool toe. Have, um, it's nothing that you couldn't live without, but it's free, so you might as well get it. So check out audacity. The other thing that's a free tool that is just really important to my arsenal is music or , um, new score might not be useful to you this is a notation program, so we would use it for traditional notation. But one thing you can do if you're comfortable in traditional notation, you can enter a bunch of notes. Let's make some different rhythms Here, there, Um, you can play those notes back neat. And then you can export this as a MIDI file if you want, and import it into your ah dar and then work with it more there. So can be really handy for that. If you like using traditional notation or you just want to experiment with it. This is a free program. It's really great. Um, so I highly recommend it. Um, even if you just want to experiment around with traditional notation, um, it's free, so why not? Right, Um, I do need to point out one thing, though. The people at Muse score have been changing around how they work. This how they've how they're dealing with this program. So presently it's free, but only the desktop version. If you find Mu score on an iPad or something like that, there is a not free version, and I it works differently. It's not the same program, so that iPad version is not what I'm talking about. I'm only talking about a desktop or laptop version, Um, of it. So the iPad thing is a kind of a different program, and it's not free. But the the Mac and PC version of it is free, at least for now. They might change that, I don't know, but it's a really robust program, so I wouldn't be opposed to, you know, spending a few bucks for it because it's it's really handy. So just a couple free tools that I would recommend that you get cool. 18. Controllers: Okay, let's move on and talk about hardware. So, um, now, hardware is typically the more expensive element of this whole process. So you want to be a look conservative with what you buy. So let's start by talking about controllers, Okay? So controllers are a fancy term for keyboards and things like that. So I have here just a little. This is an old oxygen eight made by M Audio. Now, one thing you'll notice about this so it's not a full size keyboard is relatively small. Um, that's totally okay. If you're not a pianist and don't plan on like playing the piano, you don't need a full size keyboard using to enter some notes here and there. So, um, you don't need a full size keyboard. You can get a small one other things to think about with controllers. And this is why we don't calm. Keyboards is they have extra knobs and buttons and things on them. So what you're gonna want to do is think about what do you want in a controller? Do you want to be able to play piano? If you do want to be able to play piano, then you might want a full size keyboard if you don't even want to deal with this piano looking keyboard like you don't care about. If you don't care about this thing at all because anything that looks like a piano might freak you out. That's totally okay. Uh, then you can get them without this, right? You can use something that is just pads and knobs. Let me show you one of those, like this one. Um, this one has some Vader's knobs pads. So these kinds of pads work the same as a key, a piano key, but they're more responsive to hitting, so they're basically designed for percussion. So if you want to be able to play drums in, you want some pads like this? Um, everything else can really be assigned in your software to do whatever you needed to do. So, um, basically, what the's are is a fancy mouse. Really? That's what they're doing. Um, they're letting you get your hands on the software in a more physical way, but they're really just doing everything that a mouse can do, so they're not essential. You don't need need one, but they're really nice. Tohave and sidebar. Um, they're relatively cheap. They're not all that expensive. These things are really just plastic, you know, like you can get a cool controller like this for 100 bucks. Um, or so you can get fancier ones that go all the way up into the thousands of dollars. But you don't need that. Um, if you're really just looking for something that lets you get your hands on the software a little bit, these controllers could be really great. You don't need anything over. Maybe 200 bucks tops. So these, like keyboards, these all fall into the same category as keyboards, controllers, keyboards. All that stuff is are all the same thing. Um, so Midi keyboards are what we're talking about Now, the term midi is a little outdated for the stuff it does. These do use midi, but we don't really need mitty cables and stuff like that anymore. Most of this stuff that's newer will have a USB output on it, as does this one. This one has USB and midi outputs, but we only really need the U. S. Feet so we can plug this right into a USB if you find something that on Lee has midi output that the little kind of five pin port. It looks like that. Ah, you generally don't want to use that because if you gonna use that, you're gonna need an adapter to get that into your computer or some kind of other box. So unless you have some old keyboards that you really like using, um, that probably don't have a USB connection. You, um you want to avoid just the USB? If those keyboards have just USB, you can get them connected. But you're gonna need some adapters and possibly another box if you have more than one to get them connected to your computer, but with anything new, Uh, it'll have a USB output on it, and then just plug it right into your computer, and then you're good to go cool. So there's tons of different options for it. You can even get, you know, guitar shaped things. Let me show you one of those. This is ah, midi guitar. Um, it's, you know, obviously really small, but it tracks your fingers and tells you what notes you've played. Ah, in what spot? This is called a jam stick. Um, is actually a little older model. They have a new one that's actually a full size neck. Um, but what's cool about this particular kind of a midi guitar is that Israel strings, so it, like, feels like you're playing guitar. Um, the sound from the strings is not what comes through. It sends out a midi signal through USB. Um, actually, this is wireless as well, but it sends out a midi signal that you cannot apply to play the orchestra or the synth line or whatever. Within midi guitar, please are pretty cool. Um, you can get many devices that look like pretty much anything. They can look like pianos. If you want. You can look like guitars. They look like Saks phones. I've even seen midi bagpipes. Um, they exist. So whatever you want, if you don't wanna deal with piano, get a guitar. If you don't wanna deal with any instrument at all, just get ah, Siris of knobs and failures. Or if none of this is interesting to you. Ah, and you just want a point and click to control your software, then just use the mouse. That's fine, too. But these are all good options and not very expensive. 19. Speakers: okay, up next. Let's talk about speakers. One of the more expensive things that you might want tohave. So, first doing need speakers? No. You need either good speakers or good headphones. You need one of those two things in the best world. You would have both, um, having a set of good speakers and a side of good headphones is really ideal. Um, but if you're in a really quiet room Ah, if you have neighbors or an apartment building, maybe you're never going to be able to fire up your speakers. So maybe you want to just invest in just getting really good headphones. That could be okay. Um, but it's not ideal. So for this video, let's go on the assumption that you do need speakers. What are you looking for? Here's what you're looking for. If you go on any of the sites to, um, by speakers, go on any of the big, um music hardware, shopping sites or even Amazon or whatever. Here's what you want to look for. You don't wanna look for speakers. That's what you want. You want to look for studio monitors? OK, that's what we call these kinds of speakers they might also be called near field studio monitors. That means we're going to be sitting fairly close to them. Ah, it's different than like a P A speaker. Ah P a speaker is something that's like off in the distance, and it's designed to throw sound really far right. That's all we need. What we need is small speakers. They don't need to get super loud. They need to be super accurate. That's what we care about, not volume accuracy. So they don't need to throw sound real far. They need to be able to throw an accurate sound, really only a few feet, because we're gonna be sitting right in front of them. So studio monitors is what we call those. And one other thing you're gonna be looking for is you're gonna want active studio monitors . Okay. What active means is it means you don't need an amp okay. It means they require power. You're gonna have to plug him into the wall, but they haven't and built into him. That's probably what you want. If you get not active speakers, which would be passive. So if you get passive speakers, then you're also going to need to buy an AMP and then you're gonna have toe connect everything together. It's much more efficient and really kind of common to just get really nice active, uh, studio monitors. So, um, with an active studio monitor, you're going to get a speaker that plugs into the wall because it needs power, and then you're gonna plug your signal into it, and then that's all you need to do. You don't have to mess with amps or anything else. So you want active studio monitors or active near field monitors? Same thing. So there's tons of options for these, Um, and I don't want to go into the details of what you should look for, what you shouldn't look for. Um, we're looking for the most flat response. So basically what that means as we want a speaker that's accurate. That isn't gonna change this sound right. It's You can have speakers that are going to, like add base right and make it the sound field base year. That's cool for your car or whatever, but that's not cool, for when you're mixing something right, you want something that sounds real. That sounds exactly like what the music doing So any speakers you look at, read the reviews and make sure people are saying something like this is a flat response. Speaker, Um, this is an accurate speaker, Anything like that. That's what you're looking for. The next thing to look for is just the price. These can go anywhere from, you know, 150 bucks speaker all the way up to $10,000 a speaker. Um, you can get really expensive ones, or you can get really cheap ones. Um, so typically, you pay for what you get. So if you get the really, really, really expensive ones, you're getting a really, really nice speaker usually, um, so that's something to keep in mind. But if you get the really cheap ones, you're still getting a pretty good speaker, so I wouldn't worry about that too much. Um, last thing I want to say is, when you're shopping for these and you look at the price, make sure that you know, if you're looking at a pair of speakers or an individual speaker a lot of time, the price will say 300 bucks each. That means 600 bucks. Um, because you have to get to, and they have to be the same. You can't mix and match speakers. You have to get two of the exact same speaker. That is crucially important. You can't have two different speakers on two different sides of you. Um, so some of them are sold as each, um and some of them are sold as a pair, so you might see 300 bucks each. That means you're looking at a $600 purchase to get those speakers, or you might see 300 bucks pair, which means its 300 bucks for two of them. So keep that in mind when you're shopping. Um, you have to get to if you're going to get them cool. Okay, let's talk about a subwoofer next. 20. Subwoofer: OK? Do you need a subwoofer? The answer to that is maybe, um, depends on a few things. First of all, if you get good speakers, they might have enough low end for what you want. Um, but if you're making based music or dance music, something like that, you might want that really accurate low end to know what it's really gonna feel like. In that case, you might want to get a sub. So subwoofer is going to add a significant amount of low end, um, to your playback system, not to your track, but to your playback system. Um, you can get a variety of subs. The sub doesn't need to match your speakers, so you will find some systems that are like a 2.1 system is what it says. Ah, 2.1 system is gonna be two speakers. And on the 20.1 is gonna be the sub. Um, so you can get those as a set that can work fine. Or you could get two speakers that match and then a stub that doesn't match. That's okay. Ah, the sub doesn't need to match now in my little studio here, I do have a sub. Um, but I don't turn it on very often because I found that just for the sound that I want If I turned that sub as low as it goes, like literally the volume knob down 20 it's still too much bass. Um, I got a fairly powerful little sub, and I didn't expected to be that powerful. And it's not even that powerful. It's just all subs are really moving. So what I did is I said it to as low as it would go. And then, um, the particular sub I got has a little foot pedal. Ah, so I can I have that wired under my desk and I can push it down to activate it so I can listen to a mix. Okay, that sounds good. And then I could turn the Subban and be like, OK, it's too much of this 22 little of that and I could mess around with it a little bit more that way. Um, but I generally don't have it on just cause it just shakes the room, you know, it's just like a lot of base. Um, if I had a bigger room, I'd probably leave it on. But in this little room, um, it's just too much bass. So think about if you want one or not. Um, the best thing you could probably do is borrow a sub and test it out before you buy one. If that's possible for you. Um, if you're looking for a sub, go to those same websites and you want to search for a really similar thing you want to search for, um, a studio sub and a powered or active studio sub. So spow erred Studio subwoofer is really what you're looking for. It might also be called active, but be sure it's a studio subwoofer and not just subwoofer, because if you're just looking for some before you might be finding something for like, ah, home entertainment system, which is not as accurate as what we need. We need something a little higher quality than that, uh, or you might be finding something for, like a p A, which again is designed to throw a long distance and not be accurate up close, which is what we really need. So you're looking for a powered studio subwoofer, active studio subwoofer? Um, yes. So you might want one you might not. You might find that you got really good speakers that have a good low end, so I would get your speakers first. Get those set up, get them, get everything dialed in and then decide if you don't have enough low end may be considered getting a sub, but get your speakers all set up first before you make that decision. 21. Headphones: Okay, let's talk about headphones. Next. Um, having a good pair of headphones can be handy. Especially if you're not going to get good. Uh, studio monitors. Ah, you should really have a good pair of studio headphones. Now, what we're looking for in a pair of studio headphones Very different than what you're looking for in you know, your headphones you used with your phone. We don't want your buds. We don't want noise canceling. Um, we don't want any. Generally don't want wireless, and we don't want any kind of wrap around the ear open thing. What we really want is some big, puffy things that go around our ears. Um, not in your ears. Ah, for a few reasons. One is that we really kind of want to know what's going on. You know what we're going to hear? We want the shape of are here to kind of influence. That so we want you know, these things that kind of cover our ears like earmuffs. Ah, another thing is that you might be wearing these for several hours at a time. Sometimes and those earbuds or anything that goes inside your ear can just get irritating after a while. So having something comfortable could be could be important. So what you're looking for is something called studio headphones or professional headphones or closed headphones when you closed back Headphones. Something like that. That just means that kind of your muff style. Um, reference headphones is another thing you might see. These called, um, reference headphones basically means they're gonna be really accurate. They're going to really be a reference to what the music is and add anything, Something like beats, headphones. Um, we generally don't like beats headphones at a lot of base. They're not very accurate. They can sound pretty good, actually, but they sound good. Bye. Kind of sweetening the sound, which is cool when you're wearing them and you're going for a run. But they're not cool when you're trying to accurately here what the music is doing. You don't want anything that sweetens the sound like that. You want something that's just really accurate. Um, now, the good news on these is that the's high quality studio headphones are actually not super expensive There. Um, the really kind of top of the line stuff is right around 100 bucks for a really good pair of studio headphones. They can go higher, but, um, I'd be skeptical of anything over 150 bucks. Like you don't need that. So set your budget for around 100 bucks for these things. Um, that's really what you want on the wireless thing. Typically, just wireless just introduces problems. Um, and it's something we just don't want to deal with. So if you if you're using wireless headphones, the signal cuts in and out, then you gotta crawl around and figure out why and what's going on. It's just easier to not deal with that. Just get a set of headphones that you plug in, and then everything's clean and fine. You're not going to be walking around and doing a bunch stuff anyway while you're wearing these. So wireless doesn't really matter. So don't get wireless. Don't get any years. Want big earmuffs style? Um, yeah, and about 100 bucks. So not crazy, expensive for professional studio quality headphones 22. Audio Interfaces: Okay, Up next is an audio interface. So this is a piece of hardware that you if you've never done any of this kind of work before, it's probably the one piece of hardware that you absolutely need. That you have no idea exists. Um, an audio interface. Basically, the easiest way to explain it is like this. Um, if you have, ah, laptop computer and you can plug your headphones into it, then it has an audio interface built into it. And what that thing does is convert a digital signal to an analog signal, right? We as humans can Onley here. Analog signals are years can only process analog signals. We can't process digital signals. So we need something to convert it to an analog signal for us. And there's one built in tow. Anything that makes sound right, your phone has one in it. Um, your computer has one in it. Everything. However, the ones that are built into your computer are not high quality. They're fairly cheap. So what we do is we get an external box that does that work for us at a very high quality level, and it makes much, much better. And more accurate sound. That was another thing that our audio interfaces do as well. If you want to plug a microphone like this into your computer, you need this little three pronged cable, right? That's Ah, XLR cable. That's what microphones use. Show me on your computer where you plug that thing in. You can't. There is no computer that's ever been made to my knowledge, that has the ability to plug a microphone right into it. Now, yeah, you might have a microphone input with that little eighth inch jack thing, but that's no good. That's not professional quality. You cannot plug a microphone, a professional microphone into a laptop. You need a box. You need some kind of box that you can plug your microphones in. And then that can talk to the computer. It's the same box, and we call that an audio interface. Okay? It handles all our audio for us. Um, so there are a bunch of different ones that you can get. Um, I pointed out mine. That's right there. Um, when I did the little studio tour thing Ah, these can get expensive. I would say you can get a relatively simple one for maybe 152 100 bucks. You can get top of the line one for $10,000. It's pretty wide, Wide range. Um, the one that I'm using, I think was maybe $2000. It's a pretty nice one. Um, here's what you're looking for when you're looking at these. If you search for audio interfaces, the things that you're gonna care about is first, how it connects to the computer. You're gonna find audio interfaces that are us beat. You're gonna find some that are thunderbolt. You're going to find some that are FireWire or some other kind of outdated connection. So you're gonna want to see what your computer has in terms of interfaces to plug in. USB is fine, assuming it's USB two or USB three. Um, anything else is pretty much fine as long as your computer has a port for that. Okay, so just make sure that you're not buying something that's ah Thunderball fire interface, and you don't have thunderbolt ports on your computer. That would be bad, right? So you don't want to run through a bunch of adapters if you can avoid it with this kind of stuff, so make sure that you're getting something that you can easily plug into your computer. The next thing you're looking for is inputs and outputs it sometimes listed as I slash o i o inputs, outputs, inputs and outputs would mean What? How much can you plug in and how much can you take out? So how much can you plug in Would be How many microphones can I plug in at a time, or how many instruments can I plug in at a time? So if I want to record a whole band, I need to plug in prat, maybe 16 different microphones at once. So I'm gonna need something that has 16 inputs. That's gonna be a big box or I might actually have to get two boxes that have eight. Most of these are gonna have two inputs for inputs or eight inputs. That's usually the configuration that they come in. So how many things do you want to plug it in at once Now? I told you what I do here. I don't record full bands. I might record my voice. I might record ah guitar something like that. So I really only need two inputs Really? Um, I really only need one input, but most devices have at least two. So the one that I use the audio interface I use, which is an apple G quartet, has four inputs. Um, so I could record four microphones at the same time if I wanted to, Um, you can get something that has eight inputs or more. Um, but aid inputs is fairly common. If you're going to record eight things at the same time at the same time is important. I can record 100 tracks if I want. My audio interface doesn't care, but I can Onley record one per input at the same time. So I have four inputs. I can record four tracks at the same time if I want to. The other thing is the outputs output to be connecting speakers so I can connect my speakers to this. It has to outputs. This box actually has four outputs. I can connect four speakers to it if I wanted to. Um, I don't have a need to do that in here. So, um, a reason I might connect four outputs is if I wanted to send a click track to somebody. That's another output or a monitor mix to somebody. That's another output, maybe two. But I don't need to do any of that. I have for inputs for outputs in here. I only need to and to um But I have a little extra room if I need to do anything weird for some reason. So what you really want probably is something that's got at least two inputs and two outputs. Um, as you get mawr inputs and outputs, you're going to get into higher price points, but make sure you have at least two in and two out. Um, I'm trying to avoid kind of calling out specific devices, but in this case, I will point out one, Um, there's there's a unit called the Focus Right Scarlett that I think is four in and four out . Or maybe it's foreign and two out. Um, but that one, I will point out, because it's really popular with, um, a lot of our students because it's cheap and it's reliable and it's really solid. So I would recommend looking for that one. If you're looking for if there's just too many options, you don't know what to do. Look for that one. It's cheap. It works really well, um, we actually put them all over our studios. Um and ah, they've been great. So, uh, check it out. Focus. Right? Is a well known company that's been putting these out for a long time. So the Scarlet, I think, actually, now that I'm looking at it, it comes in a two into out and a four in and four out and an eight in and six out version. So that focus, right Scarlett to in to out probably would be great for anybody. And it's not gonna be super expensive. Yeah, not supposed to say prices, but it's like 100 50 bucks. Okay, let's talk about a mixer. 23. Pro Tools Audio Interfaces: I take that back? Let's not talk about mixers quite yet with one other thing about audio interfaces, I want to point out. And that is, if you are using pro tools, you have a very specific audio interface issue. So in all dog programs, you can use whatever audio interface you want. You can doesn't need to match the company name or anything like that. With the exception of pro tools, Pro Tools needs to use either a pro tools audio interface. They make their own, and they're expensive or, um, most versions of pro tools now, I believe, work with ones made by the company called M Audio. But you need to make sure you're pro tools version. Ah, has a little logo on it that's has empowered or something like that. So check that your version A Pro Tools will work with M audio stuff, So I m audio. Um, audio interfaces are like not super great quality. There, there. Okay, I've had trouble with, um, they're getting better, but the pro tools audio interfaces are great. They're really solid. They Onley work with pro tools, so you can't use any other software with them, and they're really expensive. So keep that mud. That is a major downside of pro tools is that you have to get their audio interface, and you can't use it with anything else. So if you're going to use pro tools on your computer and you're going to use logic on your on the same computer, you need to audio interfaces sucks. Unless you get an M audio one that will work with both. Um, but if I remember right, that add some complicated stuff because pro tools really kind of latches onto it and doesn't let anything else to use it. So that can cause some problems. So be leery of that. Um, but if you're going to get pro tools, you really want to get a pro tool system, and that usually includes the audio interface. Um, like the pro tools HD system or whatever they're calling it. Now, um, so keep in mind, keep that in mind. Um, that pro tools requires its own or this m audio stuff, which is not that great. All other software applications can use whatever any brand that you got. Okay, 24. Mixer: Okay, A mixer. Do you need a mixer? Now? I'm talking about an analog mixer that you can get. You get big ones and get little ones All that stuff. You know, that if you've ever looked at a picture of a studio, even the ones that we looked at the beginning of this class, you see these big, sprawling mixers, these giant mixers. Do you need one of those? Um, no, you totally don't. You might want a small mixer with a few channels, depending on what you're going to be doing. Um, most of the time, your audio interface can work as your mixer unless you're doing some strange stuff. Um, so I have a mixer set up, but it's not doing a whole lot. It's really just serving as a volume knob for my speakers. Um, if I wanted to plug in a whole bunch of microphones, I could plug in like, 10 microphones to my mixer and then send them all as two channels over to my audio interface and record two channels. I could do that. I'm set up for that. However, that would be not a great idea because then my to my 10 tracks are already mixed, right? I can't unmixed those I can't adjust. The balance is once I've recorded them down to two tracks. Um, so you don't want to do that? But you can if you have a need to do that. Ah, you can with your with a extra mixer. Um, but in most cases, you don't really need a mixer because you can use your audio interface to control the different levels of everything. For example, um, I have an iPad here. If I want to record sound out of my iPad, I should probably try to do it digitally. But if I have to do it analog, I could plug a cable into the headphone output of my iPad and run that cable over to my audio interface and then just record it right as, uh, instrument, right? Just like I would record a guitar. Um, I could do that just fine. I don't need to go through a mixer and then send the mixer over to the audio interface. That's just introducing more opportunities for the signal to get degraded. So I don't I wouldn't want to do that. I would just plug it straight into the outer audio interface so that the signal is as direct as possible. Um, so the long story short is you probably don't need a mixer. And what I would recommend is not getting a mixer until you find out that you do need a mixer for some strange problem that you have, right, you can plug your speakers directly into your audio interface. Um, and your audio interface will have some control over the volume for those speakers. Um, that's fine. You don't need to route them through a mixer, but you can, um, And if you're going to use a sub, you might need to. Depending on how your speakers are configured, you might need to use a mixer to route your sub together. Um, and we'll talk about that more when we get into configuration in routing, which will talk about ah, little bit later in this class. So keep that in mind. Long story short, you probably don't need a mixer 25. Keyboards And Analog Gear: Okay, One last thing when it comes to hardware is keyboards and other analog gear. Um, always great to have not requirement, not a requirement at all. Um, I showed you some weird keyboards I have. What's important to keep in mind here is that any extra keyboards I have here are going to be analog keyboards. They're going to be things that make weird analog sounds like the circuit bent when I showed you things like that. Those aren't midi, and, um, I can't just plug them in digitally to my computer. There's no USB port on that, and they're old and weird. So if I want to record them, I have to run an audio cable out of them and into my audio interface to record that if I had a whole bunch of Midi keyboards, I really wouldn't need that, would I? Because one mini keyboard can be assigned to do a bunch of different things. So if you have a good midi keyboard or MIDI controller, I should say, I really need you really only need one good one, Um, and then it can do everything you needed to do. The only reason to have multiple Midi keyboards or controllers is if you want them in different shapes like maybe you want one, that's, Ah, guitar controller and one that's a keyboard piano style controller. Um, that's really the only reason to have a whole bunch of different keyboards. Um, but one many controller keyboard will do you get if you have other keyboards, they're probably gonna be analog and weird things that makes strange sounds, and you're gonna have to record them just like you would record a guitar or anything like that. So you don't need to go buy a bunch keyboards. Um, it's much easier toe have all your sounds come from inside your computer. But if you do have a bunch of old keyboards, those you're gonna have to record, just like you would record a guitar or a microphone pretty much 26. The Desk: Okay, So now that we've gotten through software, the hardware, the more expensive bits, let's get down to some of the actual set up that we want to do. So in this section, we're going to talk about the configuration of your room, Like what you've got and how to set it up for the best sound. And, um, utility. Is that the word I'm looking for, um, To make it the most useful to you, right? Practical set up. So I'm using this. Ah, three d modeling software here. This is just a website called room styler dot com That will just kind of let me put stuff in places and moving around. So this is gonna be our room. All right, Easy enough. Right. Um, the first thing I want to talk about is the desk. OK, so you can get really fancy studio desks. Um, you can find them online. They've got built in Rackspace is they've got, you know, spots for built in mixers. Those air really cool. And they look really nice, and they're they're really great. That's not what I use. Um, I just have a big flat desk. Ah, and then I've built kind of an extra little shelf on it to hold my displays. Um, I like having a lot of work space. So I want a big, flat desk that I can kind of push everything out of the way and just, you know, have desk space. So I don't like having all that built in stuff. What I have is separate. Ah, Rackspace is off to the side that I hold, uh, any year that I need that showed you those two beginning. I think so. You can get a fancy desk. You can get just a flat desk. Um, but think about how you want to have it set up. Do you want to have a keyboard? And is that a full size keyboard? Just make sure you can fit everything on the desk that you're gonna need. Um, the main things that you're gonna want on your desk are your display. So your screen, possibly your audio interface. If it's a desk thing, some audio interfaces are just a rack mounted unit, so you don't need to have access to them. But like this one that I have, the Apogee Quartet is designed actually to sit on your desk that's got a big volume knob on it. And some things I can tweak with it. So it's designed to sit at my desk. I also have a MIDI controller. In addition to my keyboard, I have this able to push, um, on my desk. Um, what else is essential? Ah, mouse or track? Pad? Keyboard? That's kind of it. Actually, um, a little cup with pens and stuff like that, innit? Um, that's really all you need on your desk. So figure out how big of a desk you need or if you already have a desk that you're gonna use, figure out, um, how you want to leave that out? Oh, yeah. Speakers. Um, we need to set up your speakers. I'm gonna devote a whole ah, video to that in just a few minutes. But for now, I'm going to assume that you're gonna get speaker stands and not have them on your desk. You can put them on your desk if you want. There's a couple tricks to that. But let's hold off on that until we get to that video talking about the best speaker placement. Okay, so for now, let's put a desk see. How did I get there we go. Let's put a nice big desk. Oh, I don't know. Let's find something cool. But that one that looks like a Hendricks desk that looks like it's designed for turntables . Oh, how about that one? Chrysler desk Perfect. Okay, so there's my desk. Okay. Now, where am I gonna put my desk? I'm gonna put it there. We're gonna put it there, You know? How do I want to configure this? So let's go to a new video and talk about desk placement. 27. Desk Placement: Okay, so I added some doors and windows here just to make it a little more realistic, because these are things that we care about when we think about where we're gonna put our desk. So these air windows here and these are this is a door. So I kind of put these in a random spot just to create a little bit of trouble for us. This kind of emulating the room. I'm in a little bit. Um so when we think about putting our desk somewhere, here's the first thing to think about. We do not want it flat up against the wall. We don't want to do that for a few reasons. Um, one is sound into is practicality, Um, for sound. If we put our desperate up against the wall, that means our speakers are also going to be right up against the wall. They're gonna be, like, here and here, right? That's gonna cause problems. We don't wonder speakers right up against the wall. Um, the other reason we don't want our desk right up against the wall is what I just said. Practicality. And the reason is, sometimes you're probably gonna have to crawl behind that sucker, Um, and rewire something. Re patch something, so it's generally good to leave it in front of the wall a little bit, even if it's just like six inches. But if you can get out a little bit farther, that's even better. You know, obviously you don't want your desk right in the middle of the room, but leave a little space to the wall that'll let your speakers still be in the right spot without being up against the wall and let you get back behind your desk if you need to. It's always good practice, so leave a little bit of space. Now. The next thing to think about is, ah, what do I have to avoid? Um, the for acoustic reasons. The windows are problematic. We don't want our speakers pointed at Windows, right? So if our desk was here, let's see room. There we go, who were think about putting our desk here so we're facing this wall. That could be a little problematic, right? Because now our speakers are gonna be here and they're gonna be aiming right at these windows, and that's going to create a lot of acoustic problems. The Windows air going to reflect with sound back. And that's gonna be it's not ideal for sound. What we want to do is have our speakers go out and project the sound right into something soft or some kind of sound panel. We're gonna talk about putting up sound panels in just a minute, but windows are the exact opposite of a sound panel, so they are hard and reflective. So don't want to aim our speakers at a window. Um, obviously, we don't want to block the door, so we can't go there. We could go here. What about here? Facing that way That lets us look out the window, which is nice. That can be okay. However, it causes a few problems acoustically. It's not great because we are really close to the windows, even though our sound is projecting this way. Um, the other problem that I have with this that I don't really like is that's gonna put your desk and all your year in full view of the window, which just feels odd to me as like someone who lives in a city, Um means anybody walking by the window is going to see all my gear. And that means I'm in danger of being robbed. Um, so I don't love that. The other reason I don't love this is because I like to look out the window. You know, I like to daydream and look out the window. So if you're sitting right here and you have all your gear piled up on your desk, you're not going to go see out your window very much. So what I would do is go back to where we started in this kind of case. I would go right there. That lets my speakers, you know, reflect off right about here and right around here, um, it lets me sit here, and I can daydream out the window. The windows aren't gonna cause us too much acoustic problems. Um, that's probably our best set up for this kind of room. So that's what you want to avoid. Avoid your speakers shooting right at Windows. Um, avoid everything in full view of the windows, um, and just find a way to make it as comfortable as possible. Right? So if you like to look out the windows, make sure that you've got a comfortable view to the window school. Um, corners are just a bad is up against the wall, so you don't want to be in a corner. Um, this leaves no spot for your speaker to be. Um, that's just not good. It's also gonna be a nightmare if you have to crawl behind their or off to the side. You don't wanna do that. So leave some space around your desk. Cool. Okay, let's talk about other furniture that we might want to have in the room. 28. Furniture: okay for other furniture, the first thing we are going to need is a desk chair. Um, Now, I'm gonna encourage you to think very carefully about your desk chair. Because if this studio is good, you're going to spend a lot of time sitting in this chair, so get yourself a comfortable chair. What I found is that typical typically, like office chairs, um, are good, but not awesome. What I found is, um, look for gaming chairs, gaming chairs is what I use. Now what is this thing called d X? Are Acer DX Racer? Maybe. Um, it's the seven for people who are going to sit and play video games for, like, eight hours at a time. It's very comfy. It's got a lot of back support. Um, so look for gaming chairs. It's important to have a comfortable chair. That's all I have to say about that. You might also want some other kinds of relaxing furniture, like it's typical toe. Have a couch in your office, so let's throw a little couch black kind of couch. Okay, this is huge. I wouldn't put this big of a couch, but if I was gonna put a couch in here. Probably put it over here somewhere, and then that's probably it. Um, a rug would be good. I'm just gonna let me put a rug. Oh, that's nice. Um, yeah. Let's put that there. Um, rugs are really good. They're good for acoustics on. They absorb sound. Really? Well, they'll help warm up the room a little bit. So, um, you know, I might do I might consider turning this maybe like that, That makes my couch kind off centered. It's cool. I wouldn't want to do this because my chair has wheels. I'm just going to keep thumping up against the edge of this rug. So I probably want to do that. Maybe that I don't know. I'm not an interior designer. Um, maybe the way I had it before was better. Either way, Um, point being rugs, air really good for sound. So put a rug in there if you like, and then think about any other gear that you have keyboards, stands, anything that's gonna take up a significant amount of space. Um What? Also, I have guitar stands. I have a little bookshelf. Um, let's add a bookshelf. Ah, the one that I have in here is actually exactly this. And I have it over here that fits perfectly, doesn't it? Okay, cool. So little bookshelf. That's neat. Um, okay, whatever. But think about what else you're gonna need and where you're gonna put it. Now, the only thing I'm intentionally doing is leaving these back to walls open. This bookshelf is gonna be OK right here. Um, because it's on Lee, maybe 2.5 feet high. Um, above it. I'm gonna put sound panels. So before we talk about those sound panels, let's talk about where we're gonna put our speakers next. Let's go to that now. 29. Speaker Placement: Okay, let's talk about speakers. So this is gonna be my icon for speakers here. Um, So we want our speakers not right up against the wall. That's bad for acoustics. OK, we don't want them there. We want them forward. We want them really kind of in line with our desk there. And can I duplicate this? Yes. There. So the idea here is we're gonna make kind of a triangle between our head and the speakers. Okay, Um, now you should get speaker stands if they're not gonna be on your desk. OK, so a good speaker stand will be obviously a stand. It would be a a poll with, like, a tripod at the bottom toe. Hold it up, and then it will be flat on the top with a little bit of rubber. Um, so the speaker goes on the rubber part. The idea is that that prevents the speaker from kind of resonating the metal stand. Now, if you are gonna put your speakers on your desk here, you can do that. But try to isolate the speakers from your desk a little bit. The easiest way to do that is to get some kind of foam or rubber or something like that. Um, so that and put it underneath your speakers and on top of your desk so that that foam kind of separates your speaker from your desk That'll prevent your desk from turning into kind of a resonator for the speaker. Um, which can cause problems. So most important stuff. Keep your speakers away from the walls, um, and isolate them from the stand a little bit, So if you get a stand, it'll have probably a little bit of padding on it. Um, if you put him on your desk, you're gonna have to get some kind of little speaker stand padding. Um, t to get sound. Something to leave these right there. For now. Um, and just be sure they're also as much as possible in line with your ears in the height wise . You want these pointed at an angle Can do that right at your years. Right there. Right there. Like that. I mean, this suffers kind of awesome. This little website. There we go. OK, so don't have him too wide. Keep him pretty close. Remember, these are near field monitors. They're meant to be pretty close um, now, if you were going to get a sub the placement of the sub and this is probably one of the weirdest things about a sub placement of the sub doesn't really matter. So you can put the sub just like over here in the corner. You're only gonna have one sub You're not gonna have a pair, and it's gonna be just, you know, tuck it away somewhere and put it over there and put it over there. You put it right there if you want. Subs are not very directional like at all. So it doesn't matter really where it is. The low frequencies we don't really hear as left and right. Um, so you just kind of took a sub out of the way somewhere. Mine is off to the left underneath my mixer kind of kind of just in a random spot. Um, so it doesn't matter where your subs if you even have one. Okay, um, I think that's about it for speakers. Speaker placement. Um, we got a nice looking little studio here. I'm liking it. Um, okay, let's talk about acoustics. Next. How can we get this room sounding as good as possible? 30. Why Do We Care About Acoustics?: Okay, So why do we care about acoustics? We need to make the sound as good as possible in our room because we're gonna be mixing. We're going to be, you know, working in very fine levels of, ah, frequency response here. Right. We want we need everything to be as accurate as possible so that when we make a mix or a track or whatever you're making or recording that it gets, ah, put together in a way that sounds accurate. Eso that when someone listens to it on their system, it sounds the way I wanted toe sound. That's not to say that acoustics are entirely related to recording. Um ah, lot of what we care about in a in a room like this is the playback of the acoustics. We care about recording also. And there's something we're going to do that's gonna help us record better in this room. But primarily what I'm talking about with room acoustics is how to get this room sounding really good so that when sound comes out of these speakers, it goes to our ear and then doesn't bounce all over the place and come back to our year. That's what? We don't want to have happen here. We don't want the sound to just come out of the speaker. Go here, hit my ear and go here. Hit this wall and hit this wall. It's like a ping pong ball. Then hit this wall, this wall, and then eventually come back to my ear. After a couple of milliseconds of delay from all that bouncing around that, I'm gonna hear something different. And that's gonna change the way I put things together, right? That's not what we want. So we talk about acoustics. We're primarily talking about listening acoustics. Not so much recording acoustics, but we will talk about recording acoustics. What? We talked about movable sound panels in just a second. Okay, so let's go into how we can do a little bit of acoustic treatment on this room. Something really simple. Weaken dio to get this room to sound 10 times better 31. Acoustic Treatment: Okay, So here's what we're gonna deal. We are going to build or by building is easier, actually to acoustic panels, at least two acoustic panels. So the more of these things you put up, the better, really. But I'm gonna put up at least two. So let's see. Let's see what our little program here has for some kind of acoustic panel. It's got a solar panel. Got a mirror blackboard panel that works. Modular backpedal. Okay, let's put that here. Okay, cool. This is gonna be our acoustic panel. So you saw. And when I did a little walk through of my room, these panels I have behind me. OK, so I'm gonna put one here, and I'm gonna put one here, at least. Okay. So what? The idea is that the speaker plays sound that it goes out and it comes to this now, my speakers air, Not this room is a little bit longer, actually. So my speaker, if I draw lying coming straight out of the speaker, it's actually going there first. So in this case, I might want it. I might need to have one here also, and here. Okay, so I have four um So my sound's gonna go out, is gonna go here. It's gonna hit this panel, and then it's going to die. That's what we really, really want to happen. It's gonna come. It's not gonna totally dive. It's gonna come pretty close to it. That's going to prevent the sound from bouncing all over the place. Okay, Now, the idea is that just to reiterate one more time, draw a straight line out from that speaker. It's gonna go. It's gonna hit right here. Okay, then maybe it's a little bits. Gonna bounce. Teoh here, right? Just think of like a pool table for playing pool. Ah, you hit the ball. Where is it going to go Next? Um, so whatever doesn't die here is gonna reflect. Gonna mostly hit here, and then the rest of it's gonna die. So that's good. Then it's not going to bounce all over the room and make weird little echoes. That's what I don't want to have have happened. Okay, so I've got two big acoustic panels. So what are these acoustic panels? The way I built mine is you can go on, um, whatever website you want and you confined. Um the materials toe to build one of these. What I bought was compressed insulation panels, so it's like insulation that you put in a wall. But this is compressed, so it's squeezed together. Um, it's pretty firm, actually, and its insulation. So it's really kind of nasty on your hands. But what I did is I got a bunch of these panels and there may be four feet by two feet. So, like pre big so four feet by two feet. And then I just built a little wood frame for them, and then I just wrapped it in canvas. The back of them looks like crap because I just use a staple gun tow hook the canvas to him , but we never see the back because they're hung on the wall. So, um, that's all you really need. Compressed insulation. Wrap him with canvas, build a little wood box for it and hanging on the wall. You can buy acoustic panels, or Allex is a popular company for this kind of stuff. Just big pieces of foam. Um, so you can buy those there rather expensive, but you can make them real cheap, and they all do the same thing. Neurologist. Ah, ways of capturing sound. You can also just hang a giant curtain here if you wanted. You know, curtains air. Really good. Big thick velvet curtain. I will capture the sound. Really, really well, if you've got a big, giant velvet curtain, hang it there. And here is going around that corner if you want. Um, so put some of those up there, and then you want to put him height wise, right where they're gonna land with the speaker. So if the speaker is two feet high, make sure the center of this is about two feet high. Also, Um, now, would it be better to have more? Sure we could put one here. Putting him behind our speakers is always a good idea. Comme pulling here. Um, we can't put him here. We can't cover our windows. But you know what's really good for windows curtains? When I just said, God put big curtains here and that would help, but you probably don't need it. I mean, it would be good to have curtains and pull the curtains down for when you're doing a riel intense listening project. But, you know, I never close my blinds. I mean, I do, I guess, at night. But, um, I just really like having the window open. So, um, that's really fine. The so, Yeah, the more of these you put up, you know, the better. I had tons of them in my old studio. I had him, you know, in every possible corner of the wall. I had one. You know, I would have filled this spot with one filled this spot with one there, there, Um, but when I moved here, I just thought, I want more stuff on the walls. So, um, I only put these two back ones is all I have, but my room is a quite a bit smaller, right? So my speakers are angled more like that. So there, directly hitting these. So I don't need this kind of a thing. Um, what's that? Back? Okay, so those air sound panels, um, compressed insulation wrapped in canvas, so I really need Okay. Now let's talk about soundproofing 32. Sound Proofing: Okay, So one of the biggest questions that I get asked and that people talk about we're talking about building a home studio is soundproofing. How do I sound proof it so that I can be allowed 24 7 and not wake my neighbors or whatever . Um, so first of all this acoustic paneling that we did does nothing for soundproofing. Okay, this does not make your room quieter. This does not help sound from escaping your room or anything like that to actually soundproof a room. It's an extremely expensive process. Um, what you have to do is basically build a whole nother room, walls, floor and ceiling within the room that you have, and then you fill the in between space with some kind of, um, insulation or foam or something or nothing. Um, sometimes just air is a good insulator. Um, and even that will sometimes not completely soundproof a room. So if you're if you need to soundproof room, my suggestion to you is don't Don't try to soundproof the room. Um, it's gonna be a money pit. It's extremely expensive, and it's just not gonna work. No matter what you do, it's not gonna work. The best thing you can dio Teoh, prevent sound from getting outside of this room is make sure your speakers are have something, isolating them from the stand. So a piece of rubber or something in between the stand that will prevent the sound of the speakers from resonating the stand that they're on and then resonating the floor. Um, do the same thing with your sub. Don't put your sub directly on the floor. Put something underneath it to raise it off the floor so it doesn't resonate the floor. Um, even, you know, putting yourself on the carpet would help. And those two things will quiet the room down quite a bit. Um, they'll prevent a lot of that sound from getting outside of the room, But will it soundproof the room? No way. It will not even come close. If you're recording in here, will it prevent sounds from coming in? No, it's not gonna happen. It's going to be just prohibitively expensive. Toe actually soundproof this room. So what we do is we just do contingencies. If you're gonna record in here and you live near the airport like I do actually, what you're gonna want to do is get a little sound proof or not soundproof, but a little, uh, movable acoustic panel. And then you're going to, um you know, you might have to do a second take if a plane flies over while you're recording. That's just the nature of having this kind of a room. So I guess the point of this whole lecture is, um, get the idea of soundproofing your room out of your head. It's impossible to do without a really, really significant budget. Um, you need a specialist to come in. It's just a nightmare. Now what you can do. If you really want to go crazy, you can buy a freestanding, soundproof booth so we could put like a booth in this corner. That's just like a box that you would go into to record like vocals. And it's not much bigger than a person. There's a company called Winger W E. And G and er I think that makes some of these like a winger room. We sometimes call him, uh, so you can get those. They might be totally soundproof. They're gonna be extremely expensive. Um, so I and I think it's just really unnecessary. You really don't need to do that. Um, okay. I've said enough about that. Just get the idea of soundproofing your room out of your head because it's not gonna happen . You're gonna have to work with the sound that you have. You can do things to minimise the sound coming out, but your speaker on stuff, even this carpet by itself helps absorb some of the sound. Um, but you're never gonna prevent all sounds from getting in. It's just not gonna happen. 33. Moveable Sound Panels: okay. I talked a little bit about having a movable sound panel. It's gonna be like one of these. I don't think it suffers gonna let me do this? No, it's not. Um, let's find a different Ah, I just use, like, a weird table or something. Teoh, demonstrate this. Um, sure. Nope. Way too big. Ah, Miscellaneous. Ah, I'm just going to use this pillow to demonstrate this thing. Um, so basically, we can do is take one of these sound panels. I'm gonna make another one, and I'm just gonna put legs on it and let it be freestanding, okay? And maybe even two of these, because if I have two of them, I could do this, right? So now if I'm gonna record, I can put a microphone right here, and then I can sing this way if I'm singing and I could sing right into these panels, that's gonna get a great sound. Um, that's a really good way to do this. So again, all of these are is I use a weird icon for it, but it's just one of these sound panels that have added legs too, so that it stands up on its own, and I may be raised it a little bit so that it's, um, you know, at a comfortable height so I can stand and I'm gonna put a mic right here. And then when I'm recording record right into that thing, so to acoustic panels that's gonna prevent the sound from bouncing all over the place. It's going stop any phasing problems I might have. So when I'm recording, let's say I'm singing. I'm gonna sing into it facing this way, and then all the sound goes into the mic and then hits the sound panels and gets absorbed. It's not gonna bounce around and go back into the mic. That's what we don't want to have happen. So having these movable sound panels is a great way to, uh, create kind of a mini little vocal booth. You know, instead of buying this fancy ah, soundproof room that I was just talking about. Just take two of our cheap sound panels, put him on stands, put him in a corner. You could even leave him right there. Look how nice that looks. Fight it that, you know, just leave it there. It's kind of ah cool feature of the room like that? Um, kind of like that. They don't do that in my room. I don't really have a space for it anyway. Um, cool. And you might be thinking, Well, now these air in the way of this panel. Right, Because the speakers going here, it's gonna hit thes. Let's find it's still hitting a sound panel. Doesn't matter, so that works just great. So movable sound panels are really great for doing any kind of recording. 34. Odds and Ends: okay. Just any other odds and ends. Um, you know, you might need a space to put, uh, cases like guitar cases, keyboard cases, music stands. Mike stands. Um you know, I tend to pile them up in corners here, like right there. Um, we didn't talk about based traps. Based traps are basically acoustic panels that go in the corners of your room, kind of up on the ceiling, Um, right to fill up the corner between two walls and the ceiling. You may or may not need those. Um, you can just Google based traps and you'll see, Basically, it's the same material, but in kind of, ah, triangle shape that goes up in the corners of your rooms. Depending on what your room sounds like, You might want based traps. All right, let's use this little three D software and take a look at what's going on. This is just a camera. It's going to show us the inside of our room. Let's take a look. Okay. Is your desk. We don't have a very good view of what's going on here. Okay, I'm in the shelf. Let's go from this corner. Right. Here we go. All right, there's our studio. Looks pretty good. Remember, these are my acoustic panels. There's my bookshelf. I think there's my movable sound panels that I used pillows to represent my speakers. That's myself. And these are my two speakers. I guess the little image that I used didn't have them on stands. That's okay. Um, it was my desk. It's a little bit away from the wall, um, by Windows. I don't know whether to different colors, but they are. Ah, it's pre meet. Let's see what it looks like from here from my desk perspective. Okay, cool is my bookshelf Madore to sound panels. Another two on the walls. Windows, couch says my desk. My nice fancy gaming chair. This is a good room, you know, looking at it. From this perspective, I might put more sound panels here. Maybe if I need them based traps would go right here if I put them. If I decided I wanted them in this room because everything is such a flat wall probably would put based traps in there. We'll see. Cool. Okay, so that gets us everything we need. The next thing we need to figure out is how toe wire up all of our gear to get it working, So let's go into a new section on routing and set up. 35. Installing Your Audio System: So let's talk next about how we're going to settle this up. Okay, so I want to do this a few different ways. First, we're gonna do it without a mixer. Okay, so we're gonna assume you don't have a mixture, will do it with the mixer after this. So I have here our main components of our sound system. So we have our computer, our audio interface to speakers and a sub and headphones kept. So first thing is, we are going to connect our computer to our audio interface, and this is probably going to be USB or depending on what kind of computer it's might be. Thunderbolt, it really doesn't matter as long as you have ports on both devices. So again, when you're buying your audio interface, make sure you get something that can output to your computer and vice versa. So, um, if your computer only has USB inputs, make sure you get a USB interface. Doesn't really matter as long as they can talk to each other. So plugged that sucker in. Okay, Next thing is I'm just gonna simplify this by writing USB, but it could be anything. Actually, that's confusing. So let's get rid of that. Okay? Next thing is we're gonna plug our speakers into our interface. Okay? So let's call that what we're looking for in our audio interface is main out or out one, depending on what are interface wants to call it. Let's just move that over there. So that's main out or out. One May. Now it might be left are actually right. In this case, we're going to our right speaker. Stretch that out a little bit, okay? And then we're gonna have another one that's going to be left. Or may now, too. Whatever it's called, if you have both a main out left and right and an out one. And to use main out left and right, that's probably gonna be better. Okay, so now for this one, we just want to connect this over to are other speaker. And let's just do this. Who wouldn't really wire things like this? But you get the point. Okay. So may know left and right. Goes to Speaker one and two. Okay, Now let's do headphones. So our headphones that you're gonna want to pull your head phones out of the audio interface. That's where you're gonna want to plug your headphones in, not the computer. Plug them into the audio interface. Um, you can get a headphone extension cable if you need to. If your audio interfaces back in a cabinet somewhere or something like that, Um, but you want your headphones to go straight out of your audio interface, Not your computer, if you can avoid it. Computer can be okay if you really need to. But pulling it right out of the audio interfaces butter, okay, and then the subs. Now the sub singular. Um, depending on how or what kinds of speakers you got. If you're not using a mixer, then what you conduce for subs is your speakers might have a sub out, in which case it might not matter, depending again on the brand of speakers. Which one you pull it from. You can just pull it from one or the other, use the sub out and running into your sub. Now that totally depends on the speaker. If you can do that, if you can't do that, you usually can't pull it from the audio interface. Um, you could use in 1/3 output on for the audio interface and send it to this sub. But that's not really gonna work very well, because you're going to need Teoh. Um, that's not going to send the mains to that third output. So you you either need to use a mixer for a sub or get speakers that will let you have a sub output. Now, there are some audio interfaces that have a sub output. Um, but it's pretty rare. I haven't seen it very much. Normally, you're gonna jump into it from a speaker. So if you're going to do this and you don't want to use a mixer, then you want to plug your sub into the speaker. Um, and it has to be a specific kind of speaker that will let you do that. So look at the outputs on your speaker and see if there's one called sub out or something similar directly from the speaker. Cool. Okay, let's do this again. Looking at a mixer. 01 other thing Inputs. We don't really talk about inputs, but so let's say Mike, So our mike, we're gonna plug into our inputs here, so this is gonna be in one our first input. Okay, so if we have more mikes and go into two and three and four right now, we could add some more hardware in here. We're going to talk more about adding pre amps and things like that. But let's get to that in the near future. For now, let's talk about how we would set all this up using a mixer. 36. Audio Routing With a Mixer: Okay, so let's get rid of our connections here, because we're going to do this a little bit differently if we're using a mixer. All right, let's put our mixer out here. So if we're using a mixer, the first thing is we're still going to connect our computer to our audio interface. Just like normal. Just like before. Then we're going to connect main outs one and two, two inputs one into on our and mixer. So this is gonna be and one and two so inputs one into on our mixer. OK, then we're gonna do Mixer main out one and two on our mixer. Let's put them here. Those are going to go to our speakers. Okay, So Main out one, and we'll pan that left or right, depending on what we're doing. I mean, out to we're gonna send all the way over to this speaker. Okay, so that is our basic set up. So our audio interface, the main outs are going into our mixer, and then our mixer main outs are going to our speakers. Then we have a volume knob on our mixer that basically controls our speakers. Have channel one into. That's going to control the amount of level actually coming in. But and then we also have a main ah fader for the output. Now our sub. If your mixer has a sub out, then you can plug your sub directly into that sub out, and that's the better way to do it. But if it doesn't have a sub out, one thing you could do this isn't ideal. But it can work if you have a small mixer. So let's say sub out or are box one out. Okay, If you don't have a sub out, you can use ox one out. Oh, when you point out one other thing, if your speakers will output a sub like I was just saying before, if they have a sub out, that is still the better way to go. Um, so if you can just go out of a speaker and into the sub do that, that's gonna be the best way. But if you don't have that and you need Teoh, use your mixer to control your sub. What you can dio is using ox one out so your mixer will have a few AUC's channels and what that means. Let me Pull that up. Okay, so here's a typical mixer. Channels trips. Your mixer will look something like this. This one here, ox end. Okay, There might be a few of these. Depending on the mixer you have it might be ox. Well, knocks to ox reacts for this one. Just has one ox end. So what we're gonna do is that's basically going to be our sub amount. So on channels one and two, because one and two is our base coming in air. Sorry. One into is our main signal from our audio interface coming in on channels one and two of our mixer. We're gonna turn that ox up, so let's turn it up about I don't know, halfway, um or just a little bit, depending on how much base you want. But make sure it's the same for ox one and two, and that's gonna send some of the signal out ox one ox one out. Right. Which is going to then send it to our sub. Okay, so we're gonna send some of the main signal through this ox over to our sub. Okay, So you'll just need to remember to turn up this ox a little bit on your main one and two. Now, again, that isn't the ideal way to do this, but it can work just fine. Um, doing it that way. And it does actually give you control over how much sub you send. Right. Um, so if you're in a small room, but you want to have a good bass sound, you could still have a sub, but keep the control down a little bit by turning that ox one down. Okay? No for headphones. We have two options here. We could go out of our audio interface to get our headphones, or we could go through a headphone output of our mixer. Actually, both are gonna be fine. Um, it should more or less be the same signal. Um, I used to do it out my mixer, and then I switched to this audio interface that sits on my desk, and now I take my headphones out of my interface. So, um, it doesn't really matter. Um, so let's leave it like that for now. Now, if you have a mic input, you have a couple options again. You can go from your mike directly into your audio interface. or you could go into your mixer on in three and four. Let's say this is in three and four and here's two mikes. Okay? And it was getting a little complicated, but just hang up. If you're gonna do this, where you're gonna go into your mixer on three and four. What you then need to do is you need to use a direct out is the easiest way to do this. So let's look at our channel strip again. Now this channel This so this mixer doesn't have what I want, at least not visible so we can plug a microphone. And up here we can plug a microphone and up here. But what I really want is a direct out. So one that just sends that microphone right back out. Um, which with this mixer, it isn't gonna let me do these air. Both inputs. This is a line input, and this is an insert, another kind of input. So if I had a direct out here than what I would do is run that direct out into channels three and four and I would leave that connected all the time. That way, whenever I want to use it, Mike. I just plug it into in three and four, and it's automatically routed into in two and three here. Or you could do in three and four here as well, if you want it to keep it simple. Um, but since we don't have an input or a direct out on this channel, what I might use is the group. But we do have a group out that's this one, too. So if you press that button things, we're gonna go out something on the back of the mixer called Group Out 12 Or I could again use the ox out. Um, but I'm But I would need another ox because I'm already using this one for this up. So if I had another ox out than what I could do is set my ox out, You know, three and four. Let's say there's four oxes ox out three and four to go into my interface two and three or one and two, actually, um, and then I would just turn up the ox on my mic channels, and then it would send it over to the mixer. It's a little cumbersome without the direct out what I'd really rather do. Just go straight into one and two here. That's it's gonna be a lot easier to control. Um, OK, I got really kind of confusing and complicated for a minute, so let's stick back with this. This is my actual recommendation, um, to keep things simple. Let's plugger Mike's directly into our audio interface and skip the mixer on the input on the output. We can use this. No one advantage of using a mixture is Let's say I have an iPad and I just want to play sound through my iPad. I'm not worried about recording it. Okay, so here's my iPad. What I can do here is plug this into input three and four. I need a splitter cable one that's ah, On one end is ah, eighth inch Jack that can go into the headphone output of my iPad. On the other end is to quarter inch jacks. You can get those cables anywhere, so I need one of those and then I go into three and four here. Now I when I play my iPad, I can just turn up channel three and four and then the sound from my ipad is going to go to my main outs, which is gonna go to my speakers so I'll be able to hear my iPad just from playing it. It's not gonna automatically get routed into my audio interface and it so I'm gonna record it if I want to do that than the easiest way is going to be to unplug this and plug them in here right into audio one to when I want to record my iPad. But if I just want to hear it back, I can do that. Cool. So you can plug in more stuff just to hear it. If you use a mixer, that's our main advantage. Okay, let's move on and talk about ah, cabling Uh and, uh, USB hubs and things like that. 37. Cabling And USB Hubs: Okay, um cabling. So almost all of these, with the exception of this one, are going to be audio cables. So they're either going to be XLR cables or USB cables. So an XLR cable is the one with kind of three pins. Looks like that's got three pins. That's an XLR cable on an instrument cable. Just an instrument cable or a line cable is just like guitar cable. Looks like that so you can have balanced or unbalanced ones. Um, we'll get into that later. Um, so with all those cables, you don't really need to worry about length. Do need to worry about cable length when you're doing, like, video stuff, Um, and running like an HTM I video cable. Um, those, Ah, I think the rule is they degrade after 30 feet or so. Um, so that's nothing you'll have to deal with here. Audio cables can go pretty far. So in this kind of a set up, even with this one, that's gonna be really long. You don't really need to worry about it. You can get, you know, 100 foot audio cable. If you want to do that, or you can connect Mike cables together. XLR cables together, um, if you want, it's not perfect, but it's probably fine. Um, so you don't really need to worry about cable length USB cable length. I've heard different things. You may need to worry about that, but really, only in the extreme circumstances, you know, this is gonna be a USB cable. You're probably gonna have one that's eight or 10 feet long. Um, that's gonna be just fine. You can probably get up to 40 or 50 feet before you have a problem with the U. S. B cable, so you don't really need to worry about any cable length. Um, you might want to get a USB hub. And if you do get a USB hub, let's do this. Let's put one here USB hub. If you get a USB hub and USB hub is basically just a little box, that'll let you plug in a whole bunch of us. Be things to it, and then one of them will go out and connect to the computer. If you get one of those, what you're probably gonna want to do connected to the computer, put it on your desk, you can plug all your USB stuff into this except your audio interface. I would recommend not plugging your audio interface into a USB hub because there's just a lot of data that's gonna be coming in and out of this, and I've had better results plugging it directly into the computer. Um, it seems to perform better. Most of them that I've worked with performed better when they're just dedicated right going into the computer, not through a USB hub. So I would encourage you to do that. Don't plug your interface into a USB hub. 38. Power And Audio Cables: Okay. One other kind of weird oddity is that these cables are these things all need power. Okay, so I'm gonna run another cable out of all of this stuff that's gonna be ah, power. Oops. So the red cable means power. So, in this way, one thing we really want to do is keep our power cables and our video or our audio cables separated. Okay, So, for instance, I'm gonna try to do this, so I'm going to kind of bundle my power cables together. But I'm you know, if you're trying to be neat and tidy, you might want to bundle all your cables together, right? And then, like, kind of Velcro them up so that it looks nice and clean and neat, and you can do that. And you told us to do that. But two bundles, not one big bundle of all the cables running around your room. Um, you want to bundle your power cables separate from your audio cables? Okay. So, like, when you're right around here, you might wrap these all together so that they're in one kind of bundle. That's OK, but we're gonna make a separate bundle for our power cables, and we're going to keep them away from our audio cables. You don't need to keep them in separate rooms or anything like that. Just, you know, make two different bundles. Um, group them together, you know, try to keep him six inches apart. Whatever the reason is, if you stack all your power cables and your audio cables that same in the same kind of group of stuff, you can get a little hum in your audio signal from all the power. Um, so we want to keep audio cables and power cables separated. Okay, So make two piles of cables. Um, what I like to do is, you know, there's gonna be a lot of cables coming into your computer here are under your desk, right? Or around your desk. Try to route all my audio cables off to the right and on my power cables off to the left. Um, that seems to work pretty well. Just keeping this separated as possible. It's not the end of the world, but you generally will get a better sound if you can keep them separated. Cool. Um, all right, let's go on and talk about what Mike's you should get 39. Mics: Okay, um, let's talk about what Mike's you should get if you're gonna be doing recording. Um, now, you could spend millions of dollars literally on microphones if you wanted to. Um, I'm gonna assume you've got a room. Kind of like what I have. You had a small studio. You want to be able to record some things here and there, but you don't want to spend millions of dollars on microphones. So here's what I would recommend to get you started with microphones get at least one dynamic mic and one condenser Mike, that'll get you off the ground, you'll be able to record a guitar. With that, you'll be able to record voice with that, Um, and it'll get you in pretty good shape, right? So I don't want to go into a whole like thing about microphones. I have gone into a whole big thing about microphones and other classes so you can check out some of those other classes to go deep into, you know, microphones and what the difference between a dynamic and a condenser Mike is. But let me just keep things simple and say for a dynamic mic, the standard Theo Old safety. The standard that everybody uses and everybody loves is a Shure, sm 57. That's this thing. Okay, or ah, an alternative will be in sm 58. That's this one. Okay, so this is a 57. This is a 58. Um, get one of those. Have one of those. Those air. Just such a standard microphone that you absolutely have to have one if you're going to do anything, this is what you would use to record anything that's really bombastic. Um, if you're gonna record any drums, if you're gonna record someone singing, but kind of aggressively, actually, this is great for any kind of singing. Um, this is actually this one. Ah, is what I'm actually using to record my voice right now. Um, they're just all around. Really great, tough, rugged. Mike's. So get yourself at least one of the two of these. Which one doesn't matter? All that much of 57 or 58. Have one of those handy. Um, so that will be a really good start, you know, get to if you if you want to go more than that, You know, um, these air not super expensive. They're going to run you about 100 bucks. Maybe 120 or so. Um, but eso they're pretty reasonable, and they're pretty easy to find. The next thing will be a done. A condenser mike and a condenser is that much more? Is much more all around. Ah, my much more sensitive Mike. It will capture a lot more of the room. Um, you would use it for anything that's a bit more sensitive. I would use it to record strings. I might use it on acoustic guitar. Um, I would maybe use it on voice, but probably not very often, Um, that kind of thing. These mikes tend to be much more expensive. They tend to be much more expensive. But, um, I could recommend to you this one called an 80 2020. Mike. Ah, yeah. Audio Technica 2020. I really like this, Mike. Ah, it's a good all around condenser Mike, and it's fairly cheap. It's again about 120 130 bucks. Um, it's a really good sounding mike for the money, so you can shop around and find all kinds of condenser mikes, and you can get some really awesome stuff this one. I'm just gonna say, um I've been using these for the last year or so. Um, I got a pair of them and been really happy with them. They're really inexpensive, but they sound really quite good. They sound like a very expensive microphone. So if you don't know where to start, this is a good, great place to start a good condenser. Use this for all your more sensitive sounds and then use that sm 57 or 58 for anything a little bit more aggressive. That'll be a really good place to start for all your microphone needs from there. Build up a collection of microphones. Um, as you find the need to get something a little more sensitive little more specific than go after that thing. But this would be a great starting point for only 250 bucks or so 40. Mic Preamps: Okay, Mike, Pre amps. This is, um, another of the more expensive things that you might encounter. Um, wanting toe have what Mike preempt does is you plug in Mike into it and it to simplify it kind of wildly. Ah, these Mike praise sweetened the sound of your mike. Um, they add power, they add color. Um, and they can really change the the sound of a mike. Ah, for the better. Most of the time, you can get crazy, Expensive mic pre amps if you want, um, and off all the time. You need a mic pre amp. But you don't have to buy one of these. I'm gonna recommend you don't buy a separate mic pre amp. Because the audio interface you bought probably has a mic pre amp in it. Um, let's look at hoops. Here we go. Here is, um that focus. Right. Um, audio interface that I talked about before. If it has a microphone input one that looks like that it has a pre empt in it. So I mean, it kind of has to. So this is one mic pre This is good. So this has two inputs, right? One of them looks like a mike, and one of them looks like an instrument cable. Right? So that means this unit has two inputs, but one mic pre. Okay, so you can plug in one mike at a time to this thing, you're gonna play one mike in and one guitar. And if you want, um, you can't plug to Mike's in because it only has one mic pre, um, so you could buy a separate mic pre, um, and plug more mikes and if you want it, But I think that's a bit excessive, especially at this stage. If you're just building your home studio weight on Mike preys until you really feel like you're not getting the sound you want, you really need something to really sweeten the sound. Then look at one of the more expensive Mike Preys Mike preys ca NBI anywhere from $1000 to $10,000. Um, so I would encourage you to not by a separate mic pre use the one that's built one or more that are built into your audio interface. Ah, for now, because they'll be fine. They won't be amazing, but they'll be fine, you know, um, so don't invest in my preys until you really feel that you need them 41. Outboard Gear: okay. There's a whole host of other outboard gear you could get. Outboard gear basically means, um, any physical unit. That's not software. That's a hardware thing that you have to route your signal through. Um, I I don't think you need any of that right now. Um, other things you could get would be, like, affect units, like a reverb, um, a delay. Harm anizers. Um, more pre amps. Ah, patch bays, Things like that. Patch Bay is a little bit different, but, um, you don't need to patch bay right now either for the configuration we've looked at. So there's tons more out. There's tons more outboard gear you could get. If you want to look around some of the websites that sell this kind of stuff, you can see all kinds of stuff. Um, don't invest in any of that until you really feel that you need it. I know it can be a little alluring because it looks really cool to have this racks of stuff . Um, but it's gonna be really expensive, and you're probably not going to need it, At least not right away for just getting started. Building a home studio. You don't need that stuff yet. You could do almost all of that in software. There is an argument to be made for some of the outboard gear having ah, um, or analog sound getting a, ah, warmer tone and things like that. That can be true. Um, so there is something to be said about that, but in general, the cost isn't worth it yet. For you, probably. So if you've got nothing but money on your hands, then go nuts by all the outboard gear you get you want. But, um, if you don't have unlimited sources of money, you don't need any more outboard gear. Um, this studio that we've designed so far is going to be great. And it's going to get you everything you need, um, to be sounding really great. Okay. Eso don't get allured by tons of outboard gear. You probably don't need it yet. Um, all right, let's move on. And let's talk about other hardware, just some kind of other odds and ends that I thought of that you might want to consider getting 42. Furman: Okay, let's talk about a couple other just odds and ends that you might want to have around your studio. The first is the ever important Furman. Okay, so ah, Furman is the full name of this thing is a firm in power conditioner. And Furman is the company name F U R m a N um, But these air so ubiquitous in studios that we've kind of just grown to calling them Furman like you need a firman. Um, it's just kind of a funny thing, but they are, ah, really important toe have. It's essentially a really fancy power strip is all it is. Um, there are a bunch of different models that they'll all be fine, But what a power conditioner does that a power strip doesn't do is that it regulates power coming in. So, for example, um, some of them have, ah, meter like this on the front. So when they're plugged in, you'll be able to see it going all the way up to the amount of voltage or the amount of vote volts That is appropriate for where ever you live, coming into the unit from the wall. So you'll plug this into the wall, and it'll say there's 120 volts coming in for me. I mean, the I'm in North America, So that's what I get. Um, but let's say, you know, lightning strikes my building. There might be a big spike in power, and it might go all the way up to here right off power conditioners gonna regulate that spike a little bit. So it's not gonna fry all my gear if we get hit by lightning or if it falls down a little bit. The power industry is going to kind of smooth it out to make sure that all my gears getting a steady 120 volts. Um, so that's its main purpose is just to make sure all your equipment is getting a steady amount of juice. Um, most of them. So if you go to the back of them, there'll be a whole bunch of outlets and in the front. Sometimes there's one outlet in the front, and also sometimes there's lights. So these air little lights that you can pull out. Um, I have two of these in my studio, Um, and they're the only things that's plugged into the wall. So? So everything else is plugged into the Furman. Um, especially my computer and especially hard drives. They all go into the Furman. Other things you know are less sensitive. But those things I really care about a steady amount of voltage. And I don't want to fry my hard drives because I need those. So everything goes through a firm it, um, but especially hard Drive's. So I plug one of these into the wall and everything else into it, and then I leave it on all the time. Pretty much, Um, they're handy. They're kind of essential. And like I said, there's a bunch of different models of these. There's cheap ones and expensive ones. Cheap ones are about 100 bucks. Expensive ones. Maybe 3 50 or so. You really need an expensive one. Um, they all did. I think some of the really expensive one have batteries in them so that if the power completely cuts out, it will give you a little bit of time to shut everything down correctly. But, um, those are really expensive and not really necessary. Um, just something like this that will regulate the power. Protect your hard drives in your computer will be good. I have had a computer completely die because my building back when I lived in a department was hit by lightning and it was plugged into the wall and it completely find the laptop so it can be an issue. So I recommend getting one of these, maybe even two of them, if you like. 43. Clamping Mic Stands: You know, another thing I really like is clamping. Mike stands, Um, this isn't normal. This isn't normal stuff, But it's something that I've gotten used to having that I really like. Um, this one on the screen is a little more fancy than you need. These could be really cheap. Let me show you, Um, what I use to actually record my voice right now. What I have here is a mic on the stand, and it's on this arm that just clamps to my desk. Um, which I really enjoyed, because when I'm not recording, I just do this. I just send it over there. I don't need it anymore. Uh, and then what? When I'm ready to record, I just grab it and swing it over here. You know, we can adjust up and down and over. That's really nice. Actually. Use one over here to store my iPad. Also, this one can go up high. So what? I need to film things with my iPad. I can adjust this and and move it around. So I really like these little clamping stands there handy and, um Ah, they're cheap. S o ah couple of these. If you if you're so inclined, you might dig it 44. Music Stands: Okay, Uh, you might want a couple of music stands. Um, you know, these Air Chief 50 bucks or so, um, they're useful, obviously, for holding sheet music while you're singing, but also, you know, holding lyric sheets holding percussion instruments. Um, you know, you can tilt him up to be flat and then put a cloth over them and use them to hold Mike's or anything else that you're not using is a really versatile. I think I have 123 of them in my studio. So, um, have at least one s so that if you're recording a vocalist, they can hold their lyric sheets. You really don't want someone recording with a piece of paper in their hand that's going to create a lot of noise. So given something like this, so get one or maybe even two of these, uh, they're cheap, and they're pretty essential 45. Mic Stands: okay, then, of course, Mike stands. You're gonna want a little arsenal of Mike stands. Um, you know, try to get one for every bank you have, at least. So if you're gonna start off to Mike's, be sure you have at least two stands. Um, I would recommend always get boom mic stands like this. A boom like stand is a mic stand with his extra arm at the top that you can adjust, you can get regular Mike stands without the boom without the extra arm. It's just a straight pole. But the thing is, if you get a boom mic stand, it's much more versatile, and it can act like a regular mic stand. You can just set it to be straight up and down. If you get a regular mic stand without the boom, it can Onley act like a regular mic stand. It can't act like a boom. So when in doubt, just get boom mic stands. They're pretty cheap, you know, 50 bucks, probably even less. Um, you can get like three packs of them. Don't buy fancy, expensive ones. Um, I mean, don't get ones that are gonna fall apart, but also you know you don't need really fancy ones. You're not. You need more rugged ones If you are using these on stage, and they're gonna get thrown around a little bit, but you're not you're gonna take care of them, so you can get, you know, come cheap ones. Uh, it doesn't matter all that much. So get two or three of these. Have him around. You know, keep the keep your mikes on him if you like. Um, and you have just essential things that that you'll need Boom mic stands. 46. Velcro Cable Wraps: the last thing in this kind of general odds and ends kind of stuff is Velcro cable wraps. Um, highly recommend getting ah ah, bunch of these they come usually in packs of, like, 100 or something like that. Um, what these are is basically, they're just used to wrap cables together. Remember, you're gonna want to keep your audio cables and your power cables separate. But if you care about neatness, you can use these to wrap bundles of cables together that are wired. You can also use these to wrap cables that aren't doing anything. It's good little hook on your wall, um, and wrap your cables nicely so that when you need to use a cable, it's not all tangled up, and you don't have to spend time a nodding it and all that stuff. You can use these to keep your cables nice and neat. They're super cheap and save you tons and tons of time. So get a get a little bag or box, or however they come of 100 or so of these little cable wraps, you'll be glad that you have them 47. What Next?: Okay, That's it. We've gone through, um, everything that I think you need to build yourself or really great project studio, home studio, production, studio editing suite office, whatever you wanna call it. Um, so that's what I do. I hope you I hope you had fun. I hope you enjoy this class. What comes next? The next thing you need to do is figure out how to use this studio, figure out how to make some noise. Uh, so for that, I would recommend all kinds of other courses. Uh, you can find a whole bunch of stuff for me, and I'm gonna give you help on how to find more stuff for me. Uh, in the resource is section at the end of this class. So that's your next step. Your next assignment. Figure out how to use this thing. Learn how to use your dollar. Really? Well, if it's able to, and I can help you with that. Learn how to, um, do some sound design music theory, whatever. L to like to help make awesome tracks. Okay, let's go into one more video, and then I'll get to that bonus stuff 48. Thanks for Watching!: All right. This is the last video that I always put in my classes where I just got to say thanks for taking this class. I hope you had a fun time. It was a quick little in an outclass. It's something that a lot of people have asked me about. So I thought I just make this this relatively short class. Most of my classes are much, much longer than this, So hopefully you had fun. Hopefully, you learned a lot. Um, thanks for taking it. Thanks for being one of my online students. Be sure to check out this stuff after this. Um, in it, I'll talk about a, um, an online community. We have a private Facebook group for just my students, Um, and ways to get access to some of my other classes as well. So please jump into that. Um, it's just gonna be text. So it's gonna come up next year, is gonna have to read some stuff. Sorry. That's how it works. Um, but yeah, I hope. See, with another class. Thanks for being here and, uh, have a great time 49. Bonus Lecture: Hey, everyone want to learn more about what I'm up to? You can sign up for my email list here, and if you do that, I'll let you know about when new courses are released and when I make additions or changes to courses you're already enrolled in. Also check out on this site. I post a lot of stuff there and I check into it every day. So please come hang out with me and one of those two places or both, and we'll see you there.