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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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 fewgoodsites 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