Music Gear

The first part of the “FOUNDATION SYSTEM” starts with the music gear that you will need to produce music.

You will discover music production methods that will result in better sounding music. I will teach you the same techniques that lead me to become a better mixer, so you can mix better, faster, and FINISH!

For starters, you will need just 4 pieces of music gear to get started.

  • Desktop/Laptop Computer
  • DAW(Digital Audio Workstation) Software
  • An Audio Interface or Digital Mixer
  • Nearfield Monitors and/or Headphones

 

THATS IT! NOW PRACTICE.

Mixing and mastering takes time and experience. So you will need to learn the techniques, but most importantly, practice mixing and mastering to gain experience.

MUSIC GEAR

Lets start with a little more information about the music gear.

 

  • LAPTOP/DESKTOP COMPUTER

First of all, you are going to need a laptop or desktop computer for starters. It can be an apple macintosh computer or a windows based PC. Most people prefer the latter for audio engineering. Personally, I am still using a PC.  The type of computer you choose has no effect on the  audio quality what so ever.

However, the computer that you choose should be powerful enough to handle your operating system and digital audio workstation software(DAW). So keep in mind the specs for your computer, the operating system, and DAW of your choice.

  • DAW(Digital Audio Workstation) SOFTWARE

Secondly, you are going to need a Digital Audio Workstation software. There are many DAWS on the market today. I used to use Cakewalk Sonar, and then made the switch to Pro Tools. I use Pro Tools on my windows based PC and I recommend it to you. Pro Tools is also the industry standard.

  • AUDIO INTERFACE

An Audio Interface is next on the list. Some audio interfaces are small sized box shaped pieces of equipment that sit in a desk. Some are larger rackmountable equipment, and some are larger digital mixers with lots of buttons and faders! They connect to your computer via usb, firewire, or ethernet ports to your computer.

The audio  interface becomes the soundcard for the computer. They will most likely have a variety of XLR and ¼ inch input and output jacks, and usually a monitor volume knob at the very least. I would also recommend that you get one that has 48v phantom power switch or a button to power a condenser microphone.

Consider getting an interface that has digital inputs and outputs, such as adat and spdif. You don’t really need this for starters, but at some point you may want to upgrade.

  • NEARFIELD MONITOR SPEAKERS

In addition to  your audio interface, a pair of nearfield studio monitors are next. These are speakers designed to have a flat frequency response curve ideal for engineers in the mixing position.

Near field monitors come in active and passive designs. The active speakers have their own power source built in and are plugged into an AC power source. The passive speakers rely on another separate piece of equipment called the power amp. The speakers connect to the power amp, and the power amp supplies the power drawing from the AC power source.

  • HEADPHONES

Finally, a good pair of pro audio headphones should be in every studio. Mixing on headphones is another option, but don’t rely on just the headphones. Listening through different speakers and headphones is a practice all mixing engineers do.

Surprisingly, some mixing engineers will use the apple earbuds as another headphone option.

  • MICROPHONES AND PREAMPS

Although you do not need microphones and preamps to mix, I figured I would list it here anyway. There will probably come a time that you want to record audio, and you will need a microphone to record acoustic audio. Otherwise, you can still record guitars and keyboards direct and use plugins to craft their sound. Preamps are built into audio interfaces, so out of the box you will be good for starters. A standalone microphone preamp will offer you better sonic quality. Consider upgrading down the road.

Sweetwater is a great site where I like to shop for music gear.