GratuiTous’ Home Studio Tour [Oct. 2017]

GratuiTous’ Home Studio Tour [Oct. 2017]

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Welcome to my home studio!

I’ve never really done a studio tour before, and now that I’m moved into my first home, I thought this was an awesome time for you to see the gear I have and how I do my tutorials 🙂

As I mentioned, I’m not one to buy tons of expensive gear.

Sure, the odd piece of expensive gear will give you better results, but it’s most important to be wise with your money.

Make sure you’re going to be using it enough and that you can actually afford it!

So how I’ll do this is redirect you to a bunch of articles I’ve already written about my recommended gear to buy when starting up.

If you’re interested in a certain piece of hardware, just follow that link.

If you have questions about how I set things up, just leave a comment – I’ll get back to you !

Midi Keyboard

Anything over $350 for MIDI Keyboard is getting into luxurious features which I personally don’t really use.

This is the thing:

When you first start as a music producer.. all of this gear is fun!

You want to buy things to get hands-on or somehow improve your workflow.

But in my experience of using FL Studio, the best route is your mouse and keyboard.

I’ve tried the Mackie Control Universal and even using my MIDI Keyboard’s sliders.

Other DAWs might be better with integration of hardware’s features, so maybe I’ve had a bad experience because of FL Studio’s poor hardware integration, but I still feel a mouse and keyboard are your best bet.

Audio Interface

It may surprise you.. but a very similar audio interface with the same features and price-point can actually be night and day in terms of good performance.

This is again from first-hand experience.

My first audio interface was an M-Audio Fast Track Pro. (I didn’t even link to it because I had such a bad experience with it!)

I was so excited when I first got it lol – I then plugged in my microphone only to realize.. it could barely power my Shure SM58!

I brought it into a local music shop to see what the problem was. We tried powering the audio interface with a wall wart (plugging it into direct power instead of USB power) and there was no difference.

He then suggested I use a condenser microphone, and that’s how I ended up with my first condenser microphone lol (An Audio Technica 2035 – decent mic!)

The reason this worked better is because it takes less power to amplify a condenser microphone than it does a dynamic microphone.

So the problem with the Fast Track Pro was that the preamps were extremely weak. I had to turn up my volume pretty much full, then just back off a tad.

After awhile I got fed up with this and bought a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4.

Get this.

For the same price and pretty much same connectivity, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 just worked.

I was able to have full control of my microphone’s volume, and it also had those awesome halo lights around the volume knob indicating if you were distorting or not.

Moral of the story:

Yes, brands do matter when it comes to audio interfaces.

Read reviews, but I do recommend the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4.

(Make sure to get the second generation of the Focusrite when purchasing.)

Reference Monitor Speakers

Upon purchasing my first set of studio reference monitor speakers I was so excited when waiting for shipping.

Once shipped to my door, I had all these thoughts in my mind of how awesome they’re going to sound cause of the size of them!

After getting the speakers set up – the M-Audio Bx5a Deluxe Speakers – I again had instant disappointment!

Why?

I thought these big 5″ speakers would be full of bass and I’d be able to have an accurate representation of my music as a whole.

WRONG!

I ended up buying a subwoofer to compensate for the reference monitor’s speakers lack of low-end.

This helped tremendously, but depending on your living situation, it may not be ideal! (And my next suggestion may not be either..)

I eventually upgraded to a different brand and bigger speaker.

I decided on the Yamaha Hs80m‘s (an 8″ woofer this time. Also, there’s a newer version out now.)

And this was more along the lines of what I was wanting out of my speakers.

Since we create beats, we need to hear our low-end. It’s crucial for accurate mixing and mastering.

I also used to use a subwoofer with these speakers too! And I really liked the combination of the speakers and sub together, you just have to make sure your sub isn’t too loud which would skew your mixing judgment.

(But with my current living situation, I can’t use a sub because of noise and respect to other people!)

So depending on your living situation.. headphones might be your best choice.

Headphones

I don’t know tons about headphones, and I haven’t tested tons of brands either.

My current headphones are the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80 Ohm version.

They’ve been pretty good headphones!

And the thing with headphones is they may fit one person’s head great, but another’s not so much.

I’ve never found these headphones overly comfy, and they tend to hurt my head after longer sessions with them, but for the price and reviews of them, they’ve been a good choice I think!

Preamp

So why do you need a separate preamp if your audio interface already has a preamp?

My understanding is that the more expensive preamps can provide better power to your microphone and bring out its true potential. (From what I’ve read.)

My current single channel strip preamp is an ART Voice Channel.

It’s not overly expensive, and gives me a taste of what it’d be like to have pro gear ?

I have been browsing from time to time for an expensive preamp because like I said, I do create tons of videos, and I’d sure put it to good use!

For an example, I’ve checked out the (DISCLAIMER – These prices might make your eyes open large lol):

And typically you can get these for a bit cheaper if you buy used!

It’s amazing how expensive these things can get lol – that’s why it’s important to do your research, know what you want, and know that you’ll put it to good use! (And maybe make money off the piece of hardware to justify the cost haha)

Computer

As mentioned in the video above, I recently built a new computer specifically for music production.

In the link above I show you the exact parts I used and even how to put the computer together in the video!

Conclusion

So there’s the tour of my home studio!

Hope you enjoyed it and it inspires you 🙂

Let me know if you’d like to see something else that I don’t usually show in my other videos!

About The Author

GratuiTous

GratuiTous is a Christian music producer striving to perfect his skills as a beatmaker, mixer, and mastering engineer. His articles strive to keep things simple, yet touch on the topic complex enough to have a decent understanding. He also releases FL Studio email series!

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