Tag Archives: Studio Setup

Home Recording Setup for Under $500

With prices on most audio gear dropping substantially the last few years, there has never been a better time to start recording your own music at home.
It can be daunting trying to decide what equipment you want/need, which is why we’ve put together this easy guide that covers the essentials for starting home recording.

Audio Interface

An audio interface is what will allow you to plug in guitar/bass/keyboards/microphones in to your computer. A good audio interface should have a flat and wide frequency response (put simply, the interface should be able to handle a wide range of sounds without altering the tonal qualities of them, such as distorting). You also want an audio interface that allows different input types, importantly XLR (for microphones) and Phone/6.5 (guitars/bass/keyboards).

 

ART DTI Audio Interface : $115.00

 

Microphone

The workhorse of the studio! There are all sorts of microphones, each designed to record specific types of sounds in specific environments. For home recording, you’ll want a good all-round microphone that can handle a wide range of sounds (vocals, acoustic guitar, piano etc).

 

Behringer B-1 Condenser Mic : $115.00

Microphone Accessories

 

Speakers / Studio Monitors

Studio monitors are somewhat different to regular speakers. Home speakers are usually designed to tweak the sound (add bass/treble) to get the best possible performance from them. Studio monitors are designed to add nothing to the sound being played through them. This is to let you hear the “pure” form of your recording.

 

Behringer MS40 Monitors : $185.00

 

Recording Software

For newcomers to home recording, the software used should be relatively simple to use. Many professional recording applications can cost thousands of dollars, which is why Audacity is such a good starting point; it’s free. For a beginner, it will be able to do everything you need to do to record your tracks.

 

Audacity : $Free

RODE Podcaster Review

from bin-false.org




Over all I am giving the crown for the “Best Podcasting Microphone” to the Rode Podcaster, it’s built in headphone monitor, support for Windows, Linux, and Windows (Linux & Vista/Win7 after a firmware update) really make this a fantastic mic. When you factor in it’s high-end sound quality, exceptional build quality, and Rode’s reputation for making great mics – it’s a clear winner!

We have the RODE Podcaster at Australia’s lowest price; you won’t find it cheaper anywhere else!

Grass Valley Storm Mobile – Capture Box for Laptop

from VideoAktiv Digital

At this year’s IBC show Grass Valley, a new mobile capture solution. The Storm Mobile break-out box is eponymous for mobile use and can also record full-HD HDMI signals.

Portable Recorder: With the help of the Storm Mobile can operate a laptop as a portable recorder. The box is connected via an ExpressCard/34.

Make sure to pick up a Grass Valley Storm Mobile before they run out!

Roland MA-15D Studio Monitor Review

from Gear Junkies


The MA-15Ds feature a built-in Bass Enhancer, which operates on psycho acoustic principles that converts low frequencies into a series of overtones the human ear cannot distinguish from the original low frequencies. This allows the listener to perceive bass frequencies outside of the normal range of the speaker cone, without overdriving the woofer. With the Bass Enhancer the MA-15Ds offer a strong low-end in a very compact set of reference speakers. In addition the MA-15Ds offer a Sub-Out port, to connect a sub woofer.

We have Roland MA-15D on sale now!

How to install a BlackMagic Intensity Pro


This is a basic Howto tutorial for setting up and using the Black Magic Intensity Pro capture card. It is a $200 hardware, and records HDMI or component signals. It has HDMI inputs and outputs, as well as a breaker cable for Component inputs and outputs, allowing you to record and play on your TV at the same time.

This video shows the basics of installing the Black Magic card into your computer and how to set it up using Component cables. If you aren’t sure you have open PCIe ports, first, USE GOOGLE IMAGES to search what PCIe ports look like. Second, OPEN UP YOUR COMPUTER, and see if any of them are available. Any size PCIe port will work with the Black Magic.

This capture card is the internal version of Intensity Pro. It requires an open PCIexpress port, and works in any size PCIexpress. If you have an x58 based motherboard with True USB 3.0, you can use the Intensity Shuttle. The Shuttle is EXACTLY like the Intensity Pro, but is completely external and because of that is easier to set up. To check if you have USB 3.0, look for a blue USB port. As for checking if you have an x58 based motherboard, check your system specs or look on the box of your motherboard.

Buy a new BlackMagic Intensity Pro at Australia’s cheapest price.

Using the Edirol UA-25EX in your Home Studio

The Edirol UA-25EX was released a few years ago, but is still a great choice for use in your home studio, especially now as the price is within most home budgets.

from Roland

Rugged, compact, and feature-filled, the UA-25EX is a portable-interface powerhouse. Ideal for computer-based audio engineers who appreciate mobility, this 24bit/96kHz USB audio interface is equipped with pro-grade microphone preamps, a newly-developed analog compressor/limiter, and ground-lift functionality for studio and stage.

  • High-resolution 24bit/96kHz performance with pro-grade mic preamps
  • Onboard analog compressor/limiter with variable attack times and threshold control
  • USB bus powered, low-noise, wide-range power supply
  • Two mic preamps and XLR/TRS combo jacks with 48V phantom power, Hi-Z port for guitar-direct connection, S/PDIF optical I/O, MIDI in/out
  • Ground lift for studio and live stage use
  • Bundled with Production Plus Pack from Cakewalk By Roland



We have Australia’s best price on the Edirol UA-25EX

Matrox Announces Matrox MXO2 Mini for Avid Media Composer 5.5

Matrox® Video Products Group today announced support for the newly released Avid® Media Composer® V5.5 editing system. Matrox MXO2 Mini turns a user’s HDMI screen into a professional-grade video monitor with unique color calibration tools. The small, lightweight, external box is ideal for file-based workflows in studio, on set, in the field and in OB vans. It provides HDMI, analog component, S-Video, and composite output and cross-platform support for Macs and PCs, laptops and workstations. Users can also take advantage of the Matrox Vetura Capture application for quick and easy capture to Avid DNxHD or other popular Avid-supported codecs. Media Composer V5.5 adds support for new 720p and 1080p workflows with Matrox MXO2 Mini including the ability to select PsF or true P output in 1080p modes.

“We spearheaded our openness initiative with the Matrox MXO2 Mini and this decision has proved very fruitful. This platform has given Avid Media Composer release 5.0 an excellent HDMI monitoring tool for digital workflows,” said David Colantuoni, Director, Product Management, Avid Technology. “In addition, our new release of Avid Media Composer 5.5 brings new format and frame rate support and unique H.264 delivery options with Matrox MAX technology. Our continuing relationship with Matrox is a benefit to our mutual customers.”

“Avid’s support of Matrox MXO2 Mini was the talk of NAB and IBC 2010, giving Media Composer users a very cost-effective HD monitoring solution at just $449,” said Wayne Andrews, product manager at Matrox. “But that’s not the only benefit of Matrox products for Avid users. The version of Matrox MXO2 Mini with the built-in MAX H.264 encoding accelerator option at just $849 lets Mac users deliver H.264 files for the web, iPad, iPhone, and other mobile devices, directly from Media Composer at speeds up to five times faster than software alone, without sacrificing quality. Matrox MAX even lets them deliver directly from Media Composer up to three times faster than other popular encoders.”

Matrox MXO2 Mini for Avid Media Composer V5.5 will be demonstrated at NAB 2011 in the Matrox booth SL2515.

Key features of Matrox MXO2 Mini for Avid Media Composer

  • Turns an HDMI screen into a professional-grade video monitor with unique color calibration tools
  • Small, lightweight, external box for use in studio, on set, in the field, and in OB vans
  • Cross-platform support – Mac and PC; laptops, desktops, and workstations
  • HDMI, analog component, S-Video, and composite output
  • Stereo RCA and up to 8 channels of HDMI audio output
  • Three-year hardware warranty and complimentary telephone support
  • Matrox MAX option for lightning fast H.264 encoding directly from Media Composer on the Mac

Buy the Matrox MX02 Mini for desktops or the Matrox MX02 Mini for laptops
View all our Matrox products

Hands-on with the Roland VR-5

Roland’s much anticipated all-in-one video/audio mixer and recorder, the VR-5, has just been released.

Earlier this year, Harmony Central had a hands-on preview of the Roland VR-5.



Some VR-5 features include

  • 5-Channel Video Switcher (3 video sources, PC input, video playback)
  • 2 Mono and 5 Stereo Mixable Audio Channels
  • Built-in scan converter for PC input
  • Built-in dual LCD monitors with touch control for easy video source selection
  • Three video layers for 2 video sources plus DSK (downstream keyer)
  • MPEG-4 player/recorder
  • USB video/audio class device for web streaming

The Roland VR-5 is on sale.

Introduction to Adobe After Effects

Video Copilot have put up an excellent series of videos covering the basic skills you need to be able to use Adobe After Effects.

…you’ll learn everything you need to know to start using After Effects today. This is not an overview of the software, this is a real training series that covers advanced techniques for Motion Tracking, Color Keying and even 3D Title Design.

Why should I learn After Effects?
After Effects gives you the power to create amazing visual effects and motion graphics. These skills will surely make you more valuable at work or to a future employer.

Introduction to After Effects

Watch the rest of the series here
Pick up a copy of Adobe After Effects and get started!

How to Make a Freddie Wong Video

Freddie Wong is a video production and special effects guru, who has one of the most subscribed to channels on YouTube. Below is just one of his amazing videos, and a behind the scenes look at how it was put together.


Skydiving Out My Front Door by freddiew on YouTube

Behind the scenes

Skydiving out my Front Door – Behind the Scenes by freddiew2 on YouTube

What equipment does Freddie use?
from Freddie Wong’s FAQ

What camera do you use?
We use a variety of HD cameras – basically whatever we can borrow and whatever happens to be available. We’ve used, in the past, everything from the Sony EX1, the Panasonic HVX200, and the Canon 5D/7D/550D.

We have the Sony EX1 on sale, but if you’re looking for a cheaper HD camera, the Sony HXR-NX5P, JVC GY-HM100E and Sony HVR-V1P are all excellent choices.

What software do you use?
It depends on what we’re doing – for video editing, we use Final Cut Pro, and for effects, we use Adobe After Effects. But I’ve made videos with everything from iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, Avid, and Final Cut Express.

We also have Adobe After Effects CS5 for Mac and Windows. You can download a copy of Windows Live Movie Maker here.

Where do you get your sounds? Where do you get your gun sounds?
Sounds are from a variety of sources. I have a fairly big library of things I’ve recorded myself as a result of needing certain sounds for different projects. I also use a few sound effects libraries. For gun sounds, I would recommend you look at video game sound effects replacement packs – things like replacement gun sounds for TF2 or Counter Strike – those are a good place to get some meaty gun sounds.

Where do you get your music?
Usually the music is composed by myself using a combination of software samplers and recorded guitar/bass in Logic Pro. Occasionally I’ll dig into a royalty-free sound library like the music samples from Soundtrack Pro or Pro Scores by Video Copilot.

You can purchase over 1000 professional sound effects here and here, but there are also a few good sites with free sound effects to get you started.

Other equipment you may need
Once you start to get more serious about video production, you’ll want some serious equipment! Below is a list of common studio equipment that you’ll want get your hands on