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Home Studio Tips

September 12, 2017


Not everyone can always go into a great studio, like Stagg Street Studios (above) anytime they get inspired or have a musical idea. These kinds of studios can get expensive really quick if you are not focused nor totally prepared.


To get ready to use the professional studio, you have to work your material, then re-work it.  Next you have to rehearse it, then re-rehearse it.  Then you should test it in front of a live audience of some sort, and re-test it.  Finally you need to review it thoroughly, and, you got it, re-review it. After completing these steps, you might be ready to invest your time and money in a professional studio. Realize of course, that changes will happen in the studio. And do work with a good producer.


In the meantime, your home studio will allow you to really spend time developing your material. This is what I use my home studio for exclusively. I record ideas as they come, and I can easily lay down base tracks that give my songs form. I can do this repeatedly,  and at anytime of the day or night that I feel like, making all the changes that happen as a song evolves. And I can end up with reasonable demo quality in my studio by paying attention to a a few things.


Of course I want good sound. I also, under no circumstances, want to be an engineer, nor become a slave to the recording equipment. My setup is pretty basic: and older Pro Tools platform, some good mics ( AKG 414 is very versatile go to standard ), a good interface ( Apogee Ensemble ), and a decent mic pre amp. With the pre, I got an ART Pro MPA. This is not an expensive pre ( about $250-300 ), but by making a modification, I changed this pre from being "ok" to being quite damn good. That change was to replace the stock tubes with Telefunken tubes ( see below ). I've replaced tubes in several pieces of equipment with Telefunken's. This is both an easy and affordable upgrade to your sound.


The main tips in this post are to realize the use of home studio versus a the use of a professional one.  By realizing it's proper use, you can build one with minimal equipment investment; a few basic pieces. And lastly, you can upgrade your equipment by making affordable modifications in order to get good sound quality. A home studio is not designed to compete with nor replace a professional studio, so build and use yours wisely.






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