Loudspeakers are perhaps the fulcrum of any audio engineer or musicians arsenal, so you should think carefully about what kind of speaker set up you want to have for your recording studio set up or live venue. We’re going to go over the speaker basics in this article to get you at least pointed in the right direction when it comes to speakers.
Firstly, you’ll quickly realize that the amount of choices is mind blowing. There are a full range of speaker set ups, some of which cost less than $100 dollars, to some set ups being worth perhaps millions of dollars. You’ll want to set a rough budget for what you’re willing to get. You need a set of 2 speakers, at least, so if you don’t want to spend more than $500 focus on sets for less than that, or individual speakers for $250 or less. You get the idea.
Once you’re price points are established, the next variable you’ll want to consider is power. Look for the nominal or RMS power rating as this is what any speaker can pump out continuously over the long run. This is not to be confused with peak power, which is the absolute max power a speaker can take in for short burts. Chances are if you only need to fill a small studio or room, you’ll be more than fine with a set of speakers that have a 50w operating power or less, particularly if the sensitivity rating is 90 or higher (most high quality speakers are). If you need to go louder, each 100 square feet of increased space will demand speakers with roughly 25 more watts of nominal power. If the speakers are going to be more than 20 feet apart, you’ll then want to consider getting more than two speakers for an even sound throughout the room or studio.
The other variable you should consider is the frequency response range. If you’re focusing on mid to high pitched sounds you’ll want speakers with a wider high range. Conversely, if you’re focusing on lower bass pitch, you’ll want speakers with a low end FRS range.
In addition, you’ll want a great set of speakers to go with your system for proper track playback. Many concerts and shows are performed outside, so it’s important that if your sound equipment needs to be weatherproof, that you have good outdoor weatherproof speakers. Check out www.outdoorspeakersreivew.net for product reviews of outdoor and marine speakers.
image credits: Carl Berkeley
Let’s be real – Having to go to and from the studio every time you want to record with your band can be a huge and expensive hassle. Why do it? Especially when you share and distribute a large number of musical compositions within a short time electronically which are produced in your own home? This article will show you how to create a simple in house recording studio. We’ll cover the basic equipment you’ll need, as well as other important things you need to consider.
First things first, never forget that no amount of fancy and expensive equipment can ever replace skill. Producing and recording is and always will be an art-form. That being said, taking advantage of available technology can also be considered an art when producing music. Don’t get stuck in the mindset that there is a dichotomy between the technical and artistic side of music. Get good at both! Choose musical production software that is easy to use, flexible and can allow for a wide use of features while also effectively streamlining audio creation in a simple manner, when required.
Next on the list is that you’ll need a solid microphone. This is something that you should be willing to pay good money for, because you’ll really get what you pay for. Make sure you have a good quality screen, and that it can handle the range of pitch you’ll be utilizing in your songs. Any competent music hardware store employee will help you pick the right mic if you come prepared.
If you don’t have a solid computer, now’s the time to invest in one, because not only will it serve as your hub for music production, but it will allow you to effectively distribute content online. Online monetization is becoming the new backbone for the music industry, so don’t think you can do things the old big wig way. Take advantage of all the free trial periods that exist on great pieces of audio software and then pick your favorite one.
The next thing you’ll need is a good sound board. This will allow you to add effects such as a back beat and things like bass and drums without actually needing a musician present! Sound boards vary widely, and don’t think that bigger is better. A good quality board with the basic features might be all that you need.
Don’t overload yourself and just focus on those three things to start. Once you’re up and running you can consider more advanced equipment.
image credit: M Maeghan Donovan
So you’re looking to get into audio engineering & recording? Well, weather you’re considering a full time career in high end sound production, or simply just want to record yourself to upload your songs to Youtube.com, now’s as good a time as any to get started. There’s no time like the Present, right? The reason this is true is that a recording studio was once an elusive and expensive commodity reserved only for the luckiest of groups. Now, though, anyone and their mother can buy a few hundred bucks worth of equipment and easily spread their music to the world. This is kind of your 101 article to getting started.
The first and probably most conventional route is to go to audio school. There exist schools, some accredited and some not, that will essentially give you a degree in audio engineering and teach you what you need to know to get your career started. Moreover, these schools can help you find work when you’re starting out. If you’re more privy to the engineering side of things and want to run big concerts or clubs from the back end, this might be a more fitting option for you. But, if you’re simply a musician looking to easily record your stuff, this might not be the right direction for you.
On the other end of the spectrum you have the basement musician who wants to get the ball rolling with a little bit of cash saved up. Here are some essential pieces of equipment that you’ll need:
- A computer – this is unavoidable in this day and age, but you’ll need this to edit and upload audio files
- Good audio software, such as Finale, will help you tailor your music to the right sound
- A good Microphone – this is probably the most important basic piece of equipment, and you shouldn’t skimp on it if particularly if you’re banking on online exposure.
Once you do this, one idea is to contact an audio school to try and hire a current student or recent alumnus to help you set up and get started. This is a great way to get a quick crash course without needing to drop a lot of dollars.
image credit: mich leemans
Finding an experienced sound engineer is crucial for the success of any large scale recording operation or concert. A great sound engineer can make or break your show. However, it is true that good sound people can be quite expensive. One thing you should try is seeing if local audio schools have internship programs. Many audio schools require their students to get actual job experience as part of the graduation requirement, which can alternatively get you a reasonably skilled audio engineer for much less money that it would otherwise cost. The only downside to this is that he or she might need a little extra help getting up to speed, and might not have the skills that a more seasoned sound veteran might have.
A good sound engineer can really help you get the most out of your set up too. Many people think that in order to get the clean vocals you will need high end expensive recording equipment – microphones, pop filters, microphone stands, high end receivers, sound boards, and a high end computer with the best sound software. This gets expensive really quickly, and truthfully you shouldn’t spend money where you don’t really need to. Most economical equipment can do plenty to get great sound if managed well in the hands of a skilled sound engineer.
Exponential technological advancements of sound equipment have improved the potential quality of music, and now, It is more important than ever that an sound engineer be really up to speed with the latest technology. Computer geekdom and sound engineering basically go hand in hand now. It is important that any sound engineer be familiar with both the tried and true classical equipment such as speaker cabinets and amplifiers, while also being able to integrate that with new age audio software to get the most out of your potential sound.
Keep in mind that sound engineering students often don’t intend on working in a conventional recording studio. Live sound engineering in a variety of different venues presents its own set of challenges in making your sound equipment do best given the current acoustics of the room. Acoustic engineering studies comprise of the study of these vital concepts. For the lead singer, you should have the correct microphone attachment prevent hissing, shrieking, or unwanted feedback. This is just one of many things that has to be considered with any sound venue.
A few tips to help you find a sound engineer which understands all of the above without breaking your budget to kingdom come:
- Contact local sound schools and ask about internships. Try and find a bright, young, and talented individual who will work hard for less money & valuable experience.
- Use the same schools to browse alumni networks
- Take advantage of online job boards and things like Skype to interview as many possible candidates as you can to make sure you find just the right one
Hopefully these tips help!
image credit: Christine Young