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music THE ESSENTIALS OF MUSIC HOME STUDIO

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25 years ago, you would have needed a professional recording studio to do what you can do at home today.
The technology, since the beginning of multimedia, has reach such a level, you can record music professionally on a small budget. The questions for musicians who would like to produce their ideas are: How to start? What kind of budget? What kind of gears?
To the second question, home studio equipment is coming in all prices, but you do not need to invest in very expensive gears to start.
First, as the name says, the studio is at home and home may be an apartment. Your studio is usually in a small room and If you are like many musicians we know, you may like working late and want to avoid any disturbance with your neighbors.
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Place foam modules on your walls to absorb the echo and sound that may be loud at times. You may work with a headset but if you need sound adjustments, nothing’s better than monitors.

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Cannot work without a computer. PC or MAC is up to you, MAC seems to have the preference of many musicians. You may use your current computer/laptop, make sure the processor is fast and the memory substantial especially if you use the computer for other purpose.
You need to provide your computer with a workstation software also called DAW (digital audio workstation), allowing to record, mix, sequence, add effects, modify, fade, etc.
As a beginner, Reaper, Logic Pro or Studio One are used by many amateurs but if you have professional ambitions, the industry standard largely used by professionals is Pro Tools. Complete, it could be complex to use but many tutorials are available online.
In most cases you will generate the instrument sounds via a midi controller directly connected to your software but should you want to add the analog recording of a guitar through a microphone, you will need an audio interface that will transfer your analog signal into a digital one. The keyboard controller does not need to be 88 or 73 keys.

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The last items are: A pair of loudspeakers specially made for studios also named monitors. Monitors have a wide definition allowing to hear a large spectrum of frequencies. They can be very expensive; their quality will help you do better mixes. Choose monitors function of the size of your studio and budget.
You will as well need sets of cables to connect your gears and a headphones.
Overall, if you start from scratch with a new computer and without breaking the bank, you can start your own studio for less than $5,000.00. Of course, if you add sound banks such as spectrasonic, it can add up pretty fast. It is a lot of money for many but think how much an hour of pro studio renting would cost you…
 

Nate North

Business Member
indieBIZ
Great post man! I think this could be really helpful to people that are getting started on putting together a home studio.

I'd add the following reccomendations.

1 - Sony wh-1000xm4 headphones. I've owned all the headphones. I've got AKG 701s, HKs, Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, ATs. and even a Nueraphone. While some of these headphones have better sound quality than the xm4s, nothing beats them for all round long term use. They are extremely comfortable, wireless, with long battery life, fast recharge, and the best noise cancelling you've ever not heard. An inexpensive and widely available headphone that works well for a variety of use cases. If you want to get really serious about mixing, you can do better, but for general use, as an all round solution, they can't be beat.

2 - Alternative DAWs - The DAWs mentioned above are all very good, and you can make whatever you want within them. There are a lot of people that say you have to use protools, but this is somewhat a herd mentality thing from yesteryear. It was your best possible solution in 1999, but VST additions available in all DAWs have closed the gap almost completely. Point being that if you have a $3000 pc, you don't need to buy a mac to produce a good track, regardless of what you will hear many people say. Something similar happens with Final Cut Pro, which developed a cult like following in the 90s and 2000s. A large number of people will tell you that you simply can't chop up a video without an expensive mac and FCP. Not true. An interesting alternative DAW for some types of music is Maschine, which has both limitations and advantages. It's entirely loop based, and comes with custom hardware that can be used to great effect by someone properly trained in the workflow.

3 - VST Host solution - Kontakt is a go to host solution for many, and does a great job as an interface between your DAW and your VSTI's.

4 - VSTIs - For many modern composers, these are your primary tools. If you are new to modern studio production, this is a very large area of information that you should spend time familiarizing yourself with. A great VSTI can take your music to new heights, and provide endless inspiration.

I'll list a few here, and maybe some other people could add their own lists. There are too many VSTI's for any one person to mention.

Spectrasonics Omnisphere for synth work. If you were trapped on a desert island with only one synth, this is probably what you'd want.

Evo Grid strings for dynamic horror strings. If you can't get your strings to sound like a real horror orchestra, this one goes a long way.

Joshua Bell Violin for a solo violin. It's the world's best violinist playing an actual Stradivarius violin, with every expressive possibility available.

Tina Gao Cello for Chello. Similar to the above, it's a solo chello instrument with a lot of character.

Reflex Nexus for old school rave and hip hop synth.

SonuScore "The Orchestra" is a great all round orchestra VSTI that covers the bases. It has some automation features for basic things, and sounds great.

Trillian for bass guitars. Includes all the mandatory studio basses, sound quality is great.

I won't pick a piano plugin, since there are many good ones, and it's really a matter of taste.

I could go on for days, but I'm more interested in hearing what other musicians have to say. What are your favorite VSTIs?

5 - VSTs - Again there are thousands of these, many of them worthwhile. I would say that Izotope's products can be very useful for optimizing your sound quality. Valhalla reverb is a good free choice for a verb that you can plug in and use easily. Guitar rig, Line 6 Helix, Nueral DSP, all make excellent universal effects racks for just getting creative with effects. They are primarily geared for guitar, but they do include a large number of modular rack effects than can be applied to anything with a bit of creativity. Again, I could go on forever.

as a primary keyboard for a small studio, you can do a lot worse on a budget than the Komplete Kontrol S61 keyboard, or it's full or mini variants. There are others in a similar price and performance range. It's personal taste really, but you definitely need a midi controller that offers some extra controls. Just a few extra sliders that are assignable can end up making a big difference in your workflow once you get used to it.

I encourage people to continue Martial's thread. This could be a very useful resource for film composers taking those first steps!
 
Great post man! I think this could be really helpful to people that are getting started on putting together a home studio.

I'd add the following reccomendations.

1 - Sony wh-1000xm4 headphones. I've owned all the headphones. I've got AKG 701s, HKs, Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, ATs. and even a Nueraphone. While some of these headphones have better sound quality than the xm4s, nothing beats them for all round long term use. They are extremely comfortable, wireless, with long battery life, fast recharge, and the best noise cancelling you've ever not heard. An inexpensive and widely available headphone that works well for a variety of use cases. If you want to get really serious about mixing, you can do better, but for general use, as an all round solution, they can't be beat.

2 - Alternative DAWs - The DAWs mentioned above are all very good, and you can make whatever you want within them. There are a lot of people that say you have to use protools, but this is somewhat a herd mentality thing from yesteryear. It was your best possible solution in 1999, but VST additions available in all DAWs have closed the gap almost completely. Point being that if you have a $3000 pc, you don't need to buy a mac to produce a good track, regardless of what you will hear many people say. Something similar happens with Final Cut Pro, which developed a cult like following in the 90s and 2000s. A large number of people will tell you that you simply can't chop up a video without an expensive mac and FCP. Not true. An interesting alternative DAW for some types of music is Maschine, which has both limitations and advantages. It's entirely loop based, and comes with custom hardware that can be used to great effect by someone properly trained in the workflow.

3 - VST Host solution - Kontakt is a go to host solution for many, and does a great job as an interface between your DAW and your VSTI's.

4 - VSTIs - For many modern composers, these are your primary tools. If you are new to modern studio production, this is a very large area of information that you should spend time familiarizing yourself with. A great VSTI can take your music to new heights, and provide endless inspiration.

I'll list a few here, and maybe some other people could add their own lists. There are too many VSTI's for any one person to mention.

Spectrasonics Omnisphere for synth work. If you were trapped on a desert island with only one synth, this is probably what you'd want.

Evo Grid strings for dynamic horror strings. If you can't get your strings to sound like a real horror orchestra, this one goes a long way.

Joshua Bell Violin for a solo violin. It's the world's best violinist playing an actual Stradivarius violin, with every expressive possibility available.

Tina Gao Cello for Chello. Similar to the above, it's a solo chello instrument with a lot of character.

Reflex Nexus for old school rave and hip hop synth.

SonuScore "The Orchestra" is a great all round orchestra VSTI that covers the bases. It has some automation features for basic things, and sounds great.

Trillian for bass guitars. Includes all the mandatory studio basses, sound quality is great.

I won't pick a piano plugin, since there are many good ones, and it's really a matter of taste.

I could go on for days, but I'm more interested in hearing what other musicians have to say. What are your favorite VSTIs?

5 - VSTs - Again there are thousands of these, many of them worthwhile. I would say that Izotope's products can be very useful for optimizing your sound quality. Valhalla reverb is a good free choice for a verb that you can plug in and use easily. Guitar rig, Line 6 Helix, Nueral DSP, all make excellent universal effects racks for just getting creative with effects. They are primarily geared for guitar, but they do include a large number of modular rack effects than can be applied to anything with a bit of creativity. Again, I could go on forever.

as a primary keyboard for a small studio, you can do a lot worse on a budget than the Komplete Kontrol S61 keyboard, or it's full or mini variants. There are others in a similar price and performance range. It's personal taste really, but you definitely need a midi controller that offers some extra controls. Just a few extra sliders that are assignable can end up making a big difference in your workflow once you get used to it.

I encourage people to continue Martial's thread. This could be a very useful resource for film composers taking those first steps!
Great comment. Those who are interested in producing quality music for media and need guidance in the gears to acquire will find great tips from your comment!
 
This is really cool
My favorite vst is actually from a mobile app DAW called Caustic 3. I'm not sure if it's actually a vst per se, Idk if the developer used that paradigm to create it, but its based off of a modular synthesizer sort of set up. Other than that, I like to use FLStudio's sytrus.
As far as equipment is concerned, my home studio consists of a lot of behringer equipment. They have a lot of great quality at low price points.
 
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This is really cool
My favorite vst is actually from a mobile app DAW called Caustic 3. I'm not sure if it's actually a vst per se, Idk if the developer used that paradigm to create it, but its based off of a modular synthesizer sort of set up. Other than that, I like to use FLStudio's sytrus.
As far as equipment is concerned, my home studio consists of a lot of behringer equipment. They have a lot of great quality at low price points.
Thank you for your contribution, so many brands are producing so many gears at all prices. Home studio is a reality for most, it is possible to start creating with a minimum of investment.
 
Hi great post!
I use Logic Pro X, some plugins for my audio work
headphones are AKG K182 and Audio Technica M20x
Scarlett Solo USB sound card, Tascam Dr 05, a bunch of lav and wireless mics
Mics: Shure MV5, Shure SM58, Audio Technica R875
 
Great post man! I think this could be really helpful to people that are getting started on putting together a home studio.

I'd add the following reccomendations.

1 - Sony wh-1000xm4 headphones. I've owned all the headphones. I've got AKG 701s, HKs, Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, ATs. and even a Nueraphone. While some of these headphones have better sound quality than the xm4s, nothing beats them for all round long term use. They are extremely comfortable, wireless, with long battery life, fast recharge, and the best noise cancelling you've ever not heard. An inexpensive and widely available headphone that works well for a variety of use cases. If you want to get really serious about mixing, you can do better, but for general use, as an all round solution, they can't be beat.

2 - Alternative DAWs - The DAWs mentioned above are all very good, and you can make whatever you want within them. There are a lot of people that say you have to use protools, but this is somewhat a herd mentality thing from yesteryear. It was your best possible solution in 1999, but VST additions available in all DAWs have closed the gap almost completely. Point being that if you have a $3000 pc, you don't need to buy a mac to produce a good track, regardless of what you will hear many people say. Something similar happens with Final Cut Pro, which developed a cult like following in the 90s and 2000s. A large number of people will tell you that you simply can't chop up a video without an expensive mac and FCP. Not true. An interesting alternative DAW for some types of music is Maschine, which has both limitations and advantages. It's entirely loop based, and comes with custom hardware that can be used to great effect by someone properly trained in the workflow.

3 - VST Host solution - Kontakt is a go to host solution for many, and does a great job as an interface between your DAW and your VSTI's.

4 - VSTIs - For many modern composers, these are your primary tools. If you are new to modern studio production, this is a very large area of information that you should spend time familiarizing yourself with. A great VSTI can take your music to new heights, and provide endless inspiration.

I'll list a few here, and maybe some other people could add their own lists. There are too many VSTI's for any one person to mention.

Spectrasonics Omnisphere for synth work. If you were trapped on a desert island with only one synth, this is probably what you'd want.

Evo Grid strings for dynamic horror strings. If you can't get your strings to sound like a real horror orchestra, this one goes a long way.

Joshua Bell Violin for a solo violin. It's the world's best violinist playing an actual Stradivarius violin, with every expressive possibility available.

Tina Gao Cello for Chello. Similar to the above, it's a solo chello instrument with a lot of character.

Reflex Nexus for old school rave and hip hop synth.

SonuScore "The Orchestra" is a great all round orchestra VSTI that covers the bases. It has some automation features for basic things, and sounds great.

Trillian for bass guitars. Includes all the mandatory studio basses, sound quality is great.

I won't pick a piano plugin, since there are many good ones, and it's really a matter of taste.

I could go on for days, but I'm more interested in hearing what other musicians have to say. What are your favorite VSTIs?

5 - VSTs - Again there are thousands of these, many of them worthwhile. I would say that Izotope's products can be very useful for optimizing your sound quality. Valhalla reverb is a good free choice for a verb that you can plug in and use easily. Guitar rig, Line 6 Helix, Nueral DSP, all make excellent universal effects racks for just getting creative with effects. They are primarily geared for guitar, but they do include a large number of modular rack effects than can be applied to anything with a bit of creativity. Again, I could go on forever.

as a primary keyboard for a small studio, you can do a lot worse on a budget than the Komplete Kontrol S61 keyboard, or it's full or mini variants. There are others in a similar price and performance range. It's personal taste really, but you definitely need a midi controller that offers some extra controls. Just a few extra sliders that are assignable can end up making a big difference in your workflow once you get used to it.

I encourage people to continue Martial's thread. This could be a very useful resource for film composers taking those first steps!
hi what do you use for guitars? On Logic Pro X, I use GuitarRig 6
 
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