How to make MUSIC! Step 1? Build a studio, then record a song.

Hey! Saher Galt here and I’m going to
show you how to build your own recording studio then how to use it to make great
recordings. I think it’s the most exciting time to be a musician. There’s no more barriers. You don’t need
a label big-name studio and you don’t even need of lot of money. If you want to produce your own music you can and I’ve put together this
series of videos to show you how. We’ll start with the basics then we’ll zoom in on the details and we’ll go through setup, tracking, mixing and mastering
along the way. Here we go. So a lot of studios center around a
digital audio workstation or DAW for short which is basically a computer
outfitted with some software and an audio interface. For the computer, don’t worry about pc vs mac it doesn’t matter but you’ll probably want a 64-bit platform a lot of ram and a fast processor. You’ll also want enough free hard drive
space to hold your projects which can easily be gigabytes in size each. The
audio interface is a kind of professional grade sound card it will
have better sound and lots of crucial features for audio production a regular
computer sound card won’t have. You want one with multiple inputs that allow you
to connect microphones, keyboards, direct in guitars, as well as outputs for
headphones and speakers. In terms of determining which interface you need,
well interfaces are differentiated by the number of inputs and outputs they have. So, for example, if you’re recording a band and especially if you need to mic up the
drum kit, you’ll need lots of inputs recording simultaneously. Or maybe you do acoustic guitar, vocal arrangements in
which case you might only need a couple inputs. Interfaces are also set apart by
the quality of the components. A really important one being the preamp which
brings up mic levels and it can do so cleanly or with some noise. You’ll also be coming across specs like
bit depth, you’re going to want 24-bit and sample rate, this is a number you can
worry a little bit less about. I should mention before I go on if you have questions about interfaces
or anything else I’m going to talk about well you can just ask me in the comments. OK so your interface passes the sound
along to your audio software. The software is what you’ll use to mix and
edit the audio you’ve recorded. ProTools, Cubase and Reaper are a few of the most
popular programs out there and, despite what anyone says, they’re
equals in terms of sound quality. There are some design and feature
differences but any of those and the myriad of other programs out there can
be used to make a great recording. Choose the one that appeals to you the
most, makes sense to your brain, and run with it and don’t look back. Now that we have the DAW squared away we need microphones to get some sound into the equation. If you’re a singer or plan
to record vocals at all a proper vocal mic is crucial since
vocals are the centerpiece of most productions. If you want a mic that can get you
pristine, super detailed vocal tracks you want a large diaphragm condenser. The Shure KSM 42 is a mic I really like. It’s extremely transparent, it’s very low noise and it has a gigantic
sweet spot. For an all duty microphone pick up some Shure sm57s. You’re going to use them somewhere. They’re great on snare drums, toms,
acoustic guitars, electric guitar cabinets, you can point them at just about anything and get a good result. That brings me to another point, mics
differ in lots of ways, from the basic design: dynamic vs condenser,
diaphragm size: larger or small, polar pattern: cardioid, shotgun, omnidirectional and so on and all of this has an impact on what the mic picks up, how it colors to sound and
so forth and in the next video we’ll talk about which mike to use in which
situation. It’s also something that you get a feel
for the more your record. Hey, that gives me an idea, if you’re
ahead of the game and already have a specific mic that you love, share what it is and what you use it for
in the comments. I’m hoping the comments for these videos will turn into a kind of compendium of our collective knowledge and we can all
help each other out. Alright now we need some speakers to
playback are recording so we can hear what’s going on. You want what we call monitor speakers
which our studio speaker is designed to have as flat a frequency response as
possible. That way you can get a clear picture of what’s going on in your mix
without the speakers emphasizing certain frequencies and be emphasizing
other ones. You’ll want near-field monitors which, as
the name might suggest, sit near you. And, since I’m outlining the most
efficient, simplest setup, get powered monitors because then you don’t need to worry
about an amplifier. Now once you have all the gear, hook it up! This is easy. Depending on
your audio interface it’ll connect your computer either via
Thunderbolt firewire USB or PCI. It will have its own set of drivers for it to
work properly on your computer which you should install according to the
manufacturers directions, then make sure your interfaces off. And now you want to connect your
speakers to the first two outputs of your interface. Most interface outputs
tend to be TRS balanced connections and most pro audio monitors will have
quarter inch, TRS or XLR balanced connections as well and you want to use
these. Basically avoid unbalanced connections. Then you’ll plug your
microphones into the mic inputs. If you have condenser mics, like the KSM42, make sure you put them on channels that have phantom power. Phantom power is usually controlled by a
switch on your interface that might say 48 volts. Make sure all your condensers have
access to phantom power, dynamic mics like the SM57 don’t need phantom power.
If you play keyboards or synths, you can plug these directly into the line ins
of the interface using instrument cable. Your interface might also have a high Z
input which is made for things like guitars with pickups, electric or
acoustic. Now it’s time to turn everything on. Always turn your interface
on first, then power up your monitor speakers. When powering down turn off
your speakers first, then turn your interface off. Doing things the other way around will make a nasty pop on your monitor
speakers which probably isn’t great for them. And guess what? That’s it! That’s all the
gear you need to make a great recording. Now you have it set up and you’re ready to rock. We’ll talk about recording technique,
mic positioning, levels, room treatment and generally how to get the most out of
your voice and instruments next time. Alright any questions post in
the comments make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss
any upcoming videos in the series and share this video with any musicians that
you know. You’ll help open the door to a world of music that just wouldn’t have
existed before and that’s a great thing. OK thanks for watching I’m Saher Galt.
I’ll see you next time.