Music Production Studio Essentials: A Guide To Setting Up The Perfect Recording Space 2022


Today, we bring you a complete guide to the Music Studio. From Choosing your equipment, to properly setting up your studio, we have you covered. For your Convenience the section is divided into the studio essentials. Be sure to work through each section if you want to obtain maximum results.

In general these are the common budgets for Home Recording Studio setup

  • Beginner – $150-$500
  • Intermediate – $500-$1000
  • Semi-pro -$1000-$2000

Remember, this is a starting point. Your choice of equipment will depend on many factors including your budget, type of music or musical instrument you play, and what recording or live performance gear you already have.

Enjoy!

The Music Studio Basics

Setting up a home music studio can be as sophisticated or simple as one wants to makes it. Depending on your recording and hardware needs, you can set up a system which is totally run by software or has hardware and software elements combined.

Unless you have a particular preference then the computer DAW solution is what you are going to need to control your music studio. Essentially what this is a computer running a midi and audio sequencer program which can control every element of your music studio. Essentially this the brain and backbone of your operation. If your computer has been baught whithing the past couple of years then you are probably alright to use it. Most sequencer programs can handle about a Pentium 1.4 upwards, but it might be a good idea to purchase some additional ram, we reccomend to less then 512K. If you are planning on purchasing a computer dedicated to your music studio then it is reccomened you buy a music studio computer where everything has been previously set up and the on board soundcard is already set up to start making music. If you are working on PC then the Rain Recording Elementis an amazing choice. If you are Mac based then your choice is a lot easier and you will be purchasing a G5

So if you are using an existing computer to set up your music studio then the first purchase you will need to make is a quality sound card. A sound card can perform up to three distinct functions. Firstly, it provides an output device for audio, soft synths and any other sounds made within your computer. It can also provide a basic MIDI interface, and finally, if it’s blessed with an onboard synth, it can supply you with a plethora of sounds of its own that can be triggered by a sequencer or any other program. You don’t need to worry about internal cabling or settings as the operating system detects the soundcard and tells the software that it’s there. Soundcards can also be used to record sound from external sources. Sounds are recorded and stored inside your Mac or PC as .aiff or .wav (wave) files that can be played back at any time. Two or more of these files playing back at once mean your computer is acting like a virtual multitrack tape recorder. iMac users beware, however, as iMacs aren’t built to take soundcards. They’re limited to outputting audio via their internal audio system or a USB interface and generating their own sounds via soft synths.

Don’t go to Walmart or best buy and buy the latest Sound Blaster card. They are not cheap and are not adequate for what you want to do. These sound cards are more designed for gaming than they are for music production. . There are Sound Card solutions that are better and cheaper. A few things that you want to look for when choosing a sound card are the latency, inputs, and outputs, as well as bit processing quality if you are interested in doing DVD production then it is a good idea to get a 24bit 96 Hz sound card. Two great cards with low price tags are the M-Audio 2496 and the M-Audio Delta. These will most likely fulfill your music studio needs if your running on a desktop computer. The other possibility for a sound car is out boxes, which are ideal for laptops but can also be used for desktops. These cards usually connect via firewire or USB. We recommend the M-Audio Firewire Audiophile 2496 for your music studio

Speakers

Setting up your speaker system for your music studio can determine a large part of your production enjoyment. The problem with computer speakers is the there frequency levels are often very different then more traditional amp powered systems. You could create a master piece on your computer then take it to a friends house a find out that everything that once sounded good, now sounds completely off. Make this investment once, and make it right. Yamaha has just come out with a pair of self powered speakers which are unbelievable priced. The Yamaha MSP5’s are priced at about $270 and are the perfect production solution

The Software

  • Sequencer

Well now that you have your box of toys its time to fill the box with useful tools so you can get your production under way. The first item which you need will be the heart of your studio and probably the most important desicion you make. Your sequencer will be your most used piece of software, and will be your primary tool for creating and organizing the keys you play and the samples you load. For more information on choosing the right sequencer for your needs.

  • Intruments

Once you have your equipment and your sequencer its time to start thinking about instruments. Depending on which sequencer you choosing you might not even need to buy instruments since they are already included in your package. Instruments can be available in various number of forms. From a traditional piece of hardware to a VST plugin the possilibty which one has to create sounds is quite limitless. The trend as been towards a more software approach but this isn’t neccessarly better, though it is cheaper and more conveniant. Many sofware giants are producing and emilating old hardware devices and others are creating an entire new way of synthesis. The nicest thing about software is that everything stays in your computer and there is no need to run audio wires accross your room. Three major instruments which you should consider is a synthesizer, a sampler and maybe a drum maching, depending on your drumming needs.

  • Effects

Effects were the first thing that went the way of software. There are now so many formats and plugins styles that the choice can be extremely overwhelming. Often sequencers have a large collection of plugins that will most likely keep you busy as you grow with your music production. the quality of these plugins is not as good as the ones you would purchase, but they do trick. Your Reverb is probably one of the few plugins you should seriously consider replacing. Currently like Virtual instruments, the most popular plug-in format is VST, which was developed by Steinberg the makers of Cubase. But options such as DirectX, RTAS, and Audio Units are quickly gaining ground.

Controllers

The last thing to consider when building a music-making machine is how you are going to interact with your computer. It is possible to get by on a keyboard and mouse set up, but it is probably not the most practical. What has developed are interface controllers, where you can control all your aspect of music production, such as you knobs, faders, and keys, from one machine. The Evolution 425C is an affordable midi controller which will give you access to knobs faders and keys. But if you have a little more money to spend then the best all-in-one product on the market right now is the Novation Remote 25.

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