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Setting Up a home recording studio is tough. As you’ve probably found out there are a ZILLION possibilities when it comes to:
- choosing the right gear
- troubleshooting technical problems
- understanding computer jargon
- making sense of the whole, dumb process
All this choice makes the entire process maddening. A person could chase their own tail for years and never decide on anything. Because of this epic ass pain, I’ve decided to break it down in plain English in the same way I would with my buddies and the 56,000+ members here at RecordingReview.com.
When I wrote Killer Home Recording: Setting Up, my goal was to make the most definitive guide for initially putting together a modern home recording setup ever. I wanted none of the usual “fluff” that goes into the countless, worthless “Amazon” recording books out there. I simply wanted a kick ass guide that was void of all the politically correct crap for understanding what is really going on.
Custom Tailored For The Musician
Killer Home Recording is specifically tailored for the musician (drummers, bass players, keyboard players, and even guitar players) to minimize the damage and learning curve of jumping into home recording.
There are so many things that get in the way and so many features you need to be aware of as a drummer, keyboard player, bass player, or guitar player it’s hard NOT to screw up the buying process. Killer Home Recording: Setting Up goes into LOADS of details to make sure the musician or band member has exactly what he/she needs to jump in and kick ass at audio recording in the shortest amount of time.
I cover the following in Killer Home Recording: Setting UP
- Standalone Recorders Vs Computer Recording
Not sure if a standalone recorder or a computer recording setup is right for you? Make the best long term decision for your specific situation.
- Overview Of The Computer Recording Process
Not sure what the hell is going on? Most us had to learn the hard way. I’m bald for a reason. This covers the overall basic concepts of how the whole dumb thing works. I’m positive you’ll have that grand epiphany where it all makes sense WAY faster after reading this chapter.
- Beginner Recording Gear Stuff
Not sure what mics, preamps, compressors, plugins, recording software, audio interfaces, cables, mic stands, headphones, headphone amps, etc you should buy? It’s a jungle out there. Let me help you.
- Audio Interfaces
While covered in Beginner Recording Stuff, the audio interface has so many damn options it’s maddening. Let me help you find exactly what you need and avoid what you don’t. There are quite a few pitfalls that are rarely explained by the manufacturers BEFORE you buy. Don’t buy the wrong audio interface.
- Recording Software
There are a number of key concepts that absolutely MUST be understood when selecting recording software. I see way too many people selecting their software on a whim and often times they come to regret the decision. I’ll save you a ton of time with this one. You won’t have to stress yourself out over choosing Cubase vs Pro Tools vs Sonar vs Digital Peformer vs Logic vs Reaper vs Audacity
- Mac vs PC
This argument will be going on until one of them goes broke. I try to be objective as possible on this one and make it easier for you to select which computer is right for you.
- PC Computer Stuff
All the "stuff" in the computer is often foreign to beginning home recorders. While you may not need to be able to rebuild an engine or swap a transmission, there are huge advantages to being able to change your own oil. So I cover those kinds of issues with PCs in this chapter.
- Computer Performance Optimization
If you do decide to go with a PC there are a number of things that must be done to get it working reliably. It’s probably not ready for prime time recording right out of the box.
This is a super quicky chapter that explains all the various kinds of cables and basic cable concepts. (As dumb as that sounds there are definitetly a few cable concepts.)
- Beginner Studio Construction
No, I don’t include any plans for building crap. You won’t have the inclination to run to the hardware store after this one. In this section I tear into some of the big time problems that everyone who gets out their circular saw seems to run into. You know the saying, "Measure twice, cut once, and then remember why the hell you are cutting in the first place." This chapter covers the latter.
- Ideas For The Ultra-Broke Recorder
This is one of my favorite chapters. It’s for the guy with $8 to spend on recording gear. Some say it can’t be done. I say that’s a bunch of boloney. Granted, I’m not selling my German mics or high end monitors any time soon. However, I think I can help you scrape buy if you aren’t so endowed in the money arena.
A giant part of recording is cussing. Yeah, you heard me. If you haven’t been mad enough to cuss in a while, start recording. For those times, there are often specific measures that should be taken each and every time. I’m confident that I’m going to knock out most recording problems right off the bat with this one. More importantly, I’m positive that we can avoid most of them in the first place.
Everyone who jumps into audio recording seems to struggle with MIDI. As a guy who’s used it day in and day out since 2001, there’s nothing to be scared of and you certainly don’t need to buy a dedicated book for it. Read this chapter and call it a day.
No one getting started knows what "S/PDIF", "Q", or "Helmholtz Resonator" is. After reading Killer Home Recording: Settinng Up, you still won’t know what those mean, but that’s because no one reads glossaries for fun. However, if you do want to know what those audio terms mean, you know where the answer is.
The Giant Killer Home Recording System
Killer Home Recording: Setting Up is just a small portion (okay, it’s not THAT small…….it’s over 330 pages) of the gigantic, robo comprehensive Killer Home Recording Series that includes 13 different PDFs and over 600MB of mp3 audio clips designed to completely bust through this stupid learning curve that inhibits you from making mega home recordings of your music. Take a look at the entire Killer Home Recording series.
Why Is It Free?
The original plan was to charge $29.95. Then I decided it wasn’t fair. If you are even considering putting together even a modest home recording studio, you realize how intimidating the process is. When a person has to worry about 50,000 factors and none of them make sense, only a jerk would kick such a person when they are down. (I’m more of an asshole than a jerk. Whatever that means.)
In the end it’s not free. I require your email. Why? Don’t worry, I’m not going to fill you inbox with junk mail and I’m certainly not going to EVER give your email away to anyone else. I will, however, be sending you a few emails describing the rest of the Killer Home Recording series. At any time you can unsubscribe and never have to deal with my crap again.
However, as soon as you have your studio setup, you are going to be slaughtered with a problem that is much bigger than initially setting up your studio.
I’m absolutely POSITIVE that after you see what I can during this massive headache known as setting up, that you will encounter an even bigger migraine known as “making recordings actually sound good”. That’s an an even bigger epic struggle! That’s exactly what the Killer Home Recording series will dramatically simplify.
The Killer Home Recording Package Series
As it’s name implies, Killer Home Recording: Setting Up is there to get you initially started so you can start recording your ruckus. However, that’s when the hard part kicks in. We have numerous other titles in the Killer Home Recording series to conquer the actual recording part.
Killer Home Recording: Audio Engineering
There’s a big ol’ damn hidden secret in this audio recording thing for making things sound good. There are specific tactics, specific problems, and specific things you’ve just got to know in order to kick butt in audio recording.
Some of these things bounce all over the web and no one picks up on them. Many of these things are never really taught at all. People waste years chasing the wrong things and using the wrong approach to making kick ass recording.
All along the way they through big money at problems that are often solved with knowledge and tactics. That’s exactly what Killer Home Recording: Audio Engineering does. It shows you how to conquer your problems with out an emphasis on gear.
Killer Home Recording: Audio Engineering lays the groundwork so that you don’t waste years and thousands of dollars making crappy recordings. We’ll nip problem after problem in the bud before they even start.
Killer Home Recording: Electric Guitar
When jumping into audio recording everyone seems to have problems with their electric guitar sounds. People debate which microphone is right (dynamic microphone? Ribbon microphone? Condenser microphone?), which amp is right, which guitar is right, which room is right, etc. It can get down right MADDENING!
The purpose of Killer Home Recording: Electric Guitar is to give you the framework for which to bypass pretty much all of those beginner traps everyone always seems to fall into. For example, back in the day I was told that I absolutely needed a Royer R121 ribbon microphone (for $1,100) to make killer electric guitar recordings. Were my recordings instantly amazing? Was it worth the investment? You’ll get to hear it for yourself.
We’ll make suggestions on what gear to look into and find ways to save you cash doing it.
The Interrogator Sessions: Electric Guitar
In Interrogator Sessions: Electric Guitar I put my money where my mouth is. Are you scared to death your cheapo recording gear isn’t adequate? Everyone is running around scared to death that maybe they’ve bought the wrong recording gear or the fancy, expensive stuff is going to be the solution to all of their problems.
What makes this whole stupid mess so complicated is sometimes the super gear does give super results. Sometimes you may have slightly more fun flushing $2k down the toilet. (Okay, not really.)
We provide 550 MB (wav) of audio clips to let you hear the effects
Microphones – Alesis AM51, Audio Technica AT4033,Audio Technica AT4040, Audio Technica AT4050,Audix I5,Behringer C1,Cascade Fathead II,Gefell M930, Groove Tubes GT57,Karma K58,Karma K10,Karma K6,Karma K35,M-Audio Nova,MXL V63M,Neumann M147,Oktava MK219,Oktava MK012,Peluso 47,Peluso 251,Royer R121,Sennheiser MD421,Sennheiser PL-20,Shure SM57,Shure SM7b,Shure SM27,Studio Projects B3
Microphone Preamps – Presonus Firestudio,Great River MEQ-1NV,Manley TNT Cool Channel,Manley TNT Tube Channel,Martech MSS-10,M-Audio Octane,Presonus ADL 600,Presonus Digimax D8,Presonus Studio Channel,RNP,True Systems P-Solo,Vintech 1272
The Interrogator Sessions: Electric Guitar isn’t only about gear. It’s about illustrating different tactics
Amps vs Emulators
The Effects of 20 Layers
My Mega Layering Trick Experiment
The Effects of Gain
The Differences In DI Inputs
Powertube Distortion vs Pre Amp Gain
Royer R121 vs The World
Taking Away The Toys
Killer Home Recording: Vocals
Not happy with your vocals? Not even sure where to start when it comes to vocal recording. Killer Home Recording: Vocals will jump right in and slam your questions into the ground by conquering the gear questions, questions about microphones, microphone placements, dealing with singers, dealing with sibilance, the mindset that goes into producing, what we are trying to achieve, what you should NEVER say in a session, and more.
If you are just getting started, nothing will leap you forward into great sound vocals faster! Don’t take eight years to figure all this stuff out on your own. Jump in! Conquer!
The Interrogator Sessions: Vocals
Let’s conquer a ton of vocal recording myths with 1.13GB of audio (wav).
Vocal Microphones – Shure SM57,Shure SM27,Shure SM7b,Royer R121,Peluso 251,Peluso 47,MXL V63M,Oktava MK219,Studio Projects B3,M-Audio Nova,Gefell M930,Neumann M147,Karma K58,Karma K35,Karma K6,Alesis AM51,Groove Tubes GT 57,Cascade Fathead II,Behringer C1,Audix I5,Audio Technica AT4050,Audio Technica AT4040,Audio Technica AT4033,Audio Technica AT2020,AKG 414
Is a $100 SM57 that bad on vocals? Is a $2,600 Neumann M147 all it’s cracked up to be? You won’t have to guess. You won’t have to stare at the catalogs and wonder “what if?” anymore.
Vocal Preamps – Vintech 1272, Great River MEQ-1NV,Manley SS,Martech,Octane,Presonus Studio Channel,Presonus ADL 600,Presonus Digimax D8,Presonus Firestudio,RNP,Trident S20,True Systems Solo
How do the big dog $2,000+ preamps compare to the stock audio interface preamps on vocals? You’ll never have to wonder if a preamp is holding you back ever again
Compressors – Spectrasonics Complimiter 610,Empirical Labs Distressor EL-8x,Presonus Studio Channel,Waves Rcomp,Oxford Compressor,URS 1980,Waves C1
Mic Polar Patterns
Cheap Mic Expensive Comp
Cheap Pre Expensive Comp
Killer Home Recording: Murderous Mixing
Without a doubt, it seems that more people are confused about the audio mixing process more than any other part of the recording link. It takes a long, long time to conquer the world of audio mixing, so it makes sense to arm your brain with as much power as possible.
In Killer Home Recording: Murderous Mixing we first tackle the issue of what it is you are trying to do in the first place. As crazy as it may seem, some people really don’t know what their goal is when they sit down to mix. We cover all the deep philosophical crap so that when you sit down to mix, you immediately go to work. You’ll be a man/woman on an audio mission.
Then we dig into the tools. I have extensive sections on EQ, reverb, delay, compression, chorus, automation, distortion, and just about every other tool known in the world of computer recording. While some of this is fairly basic, I hit points and explain uses that you simply won’t find in other recording books.
Then, I get into specific tactics. We take on this whole “loud mix” problem and show you how to beat it (even if it does take me a dozen pages). I show you specifically what to do to solve problem after problem. I’ll show you ways to identify issues in your mix and how to “stress test” a mix to make sure it does exactly what you want it do.
Killer Home Recording: Murderous Mixing will make you feel infinitely more confident when you sit down to mix. Your recordings will sound better NOW!