Building a home studio can be frustrating and daunting, however, with basic knowledge about the essential studio gear, it could turn out to be a simple and satisfying experience. You do not need tons of equipment and a fortress of gear, you do not need months of planning and hours of studies, you do not need to be a geek nor does it require a fortune to spend. All you need is a basic set of essential and affordable software and hardware to start producing music at home.
Sound design and synthesis play a major role in audio production especially when the producer is defining a sound signature for himself or his project, and this is where synthesizers, whether analog or digital, come into play. Since the 70’s, synthesizers have been emerging and expanding in forms, types, and methodologies, and with the modern computer technologies, soft-synth plugins widened the choices and combined different techniques in synthesis offering way more complex options and routing capabilities. Let’s take a look at the top 5 types of synthesis: Wavetable, Additive, Subtractive, FM, and Granular Synthesis
Mixing and Mastering Audio are two independent yet related stages in audio production about which many people get confused and find difficulty understanding their differences. Both stages are important however one needs to understand them separately and have enough knowledge to get to know what they both add to the production process.
Whether you are producing and mixing a project or simply recording your voice or instrument, a set of speakers are essentially required, however not any kind of speakers, but flat studio monitors. Why are they called flat? It is because they have a flat frequency response when it comes to the reproduction of the signal they are receiving from one end to vibrate accordingly on the other end. Speakers receive an analog signal coming from the analog domain such as a mixer or a microphone, and translate that signal and vibrate accordingly in the acoustic domain, the domain of air molecules. This act of translation affect your listening experience and therefore alter your decision in producing, mixing, and mastering music.
Choosing the right microphone for your recording is very critical and can be confusing. A microphone is a transducer or translator of an acoustic signal, sound waves, into an analog signal converting the vibration of air molecules into electrical energy, an audio signal. A good translator will definitely give you a good result. You don’t want your vocal or instrument to sound different, this is why it is very important to choose a microphone that can give you an excellent conversion. Depending on whether you are recording vocals, instruments, or ambiance, there are main 3 types of microphones to consider: Condenser, Dynamic, and Ribbon
Just after you buy your favorite synthesizer, drum machine, speakers, microphone, MIDI controller, or instrument, you realize that there is no use for them without cables to connect them and transfer signal from one to another. Cables are the veins of your studio setup for without them your gear would just sit there and decorate your studio. Not only they are necessary for routing your gear but they have a huge impact on the quality and the power of that signal they transmit. Cables come in different types and categories, from analog ones transmitting electrical signal to digital ones transferring binary data.
In our modern age, DJ’ing has become very popular with the expansion of electronic music on the worldwide map and the rapid evolution of technology that is constantly offering new gear and introducing contemporary tools, options, and extensive features, giving DJs and Producers a palette of choices when it comes to building their set-up. From classic DJ’ing using CD & Vinyl Players, to digital DJ’ing and live performance using MIDI controllers, digital mixers, acoustic and analog instruments.
During the late 70’s early 80’s, analog synthesizers manufactured by different brands were using their proprietary standards to synchronize instruments, such as CV/gate, while musicians who chose different synthesizers for their studio set-ups or live performances found difficulty in coordinating their gear with the absence of synchronization. This is when a new protocol called MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) was introduced by Roland founder Ikutaro Kakehashi, and along with Dave Smith & Sequential Circuit MIDI got implemented in 1983. This standard allowed different instruments to communicate with each other and with computers, and this spurred a rapid expansion of the sales and production of electronic instruments and music software.