Monday, March 2, 2009

How To Build A Home Recording Studio

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The Rock,Blues Guitar Blog....presents....

How To Build A Home Recording Studio

By G.W.Williams

Hi, I am Rock,Blues Guitarist, GW Williams. And welcome the the Rock,Blues Guitars section on , " How To Build A Recording Studio In Your Home.

1.) First I am Going To Tell Everyone the cheapest way to make a pro recording home studio on a very tight and limited budget.

2.) Then After that - I am going to Tell you what equipment I'd use to build a more expensive Studio.

Low Cost Professional Recordings

TASCAM 2488neo 24-Track Digital Recording Workstation

This in this first part we will talk about using only a - TASCAM 2488neo 24-Track Digital Recording Workstation.

With the TASCAM 2488neo 24-Track Digital Recording Workstation - you get enough solid - ALL IN ONE digital Recording Studio,....just think, it comes with built in digital mastering effects such as professional reverb and much more, great eqs or equalizers, a CD Mastering for the finished product all built into this machine. This is a great buy at $799.00, and you get a 24 track studio, with 8 pro mic inputs and can make up to 250 tracks. If you play other Instruments such as Keyboard and have a digital drum machine, not to mention, your guitars it's almost endless the amount of Instruments and vocals you can do.

The one thing I love about these machines is the ease of use, it does take a few hours to learn about the machine, you do have to read the Instructions, but I love the speed that this baby runs at, you can cut and paste music, edite,delete, store songs, store a full CD if you wish, you can burn the CD when your done. And once the CD is finished, just take the CD over to your Computer and run off 60 copies an hour. And I know you have a computer or you woudn't be reading this right?

The advantages of doing this is awesome, you can sell your CD's in concerts, at your favorite church, or how about on the Internet, and in Stores.......yes friends, you can make a professional CD using this Tascam 24 track digital workstation. Also I have use this machine to run a line from my professional guitar floor boxes and professional modeling effects processors and it works beautifully. I also like directly connecting my acoustic guitar into this Tascam 24 track, the sound is awesome, also do mic my acoustic guitars to give it that pick sweeping sound that you can't get by just running a line from the guitar, but that is normal if your running a line into the 24 track striaght from the acoustic guitar. I found that combining both methods running a line from the guitar gives it a fuller sound, and by also taking a microphoning the guitar you get that ligt and airy string sound, this allows for the most perfect acoustic sound you can get in a top pro studio, and you can do this on this 24 Track digital work station.

Now just think - only extra's you'll need to buy for your studio is, a set of headphones and at least 2 microphones.....of coarse this is bare bottom line, for spending the least amount of money you can and sell a CD. You will have to listen back into your headphones, untill you place the finished CD into a stereo system or your car stereo system to hear what it sounds like without the headphones.

The Specs are below for the - Tascam 2488neo 24 - Track Digital Recording Work Station.
Updated mastering effects include multiband compression, EQ, and noise shaping for pro-sounding CD mixes
3-band EQ on 24 channels, 8-inputs and stereo bus with high and low sweepable shelving bands, and full parametric mid band
Three aux sends on all channels except the effects return
Loop effect provides reverb, delay, chorus, and more on an aux send and return
Assignable guitar multi-effects processor for overdrive, distortion, chorus, delay, flange, and more
Up to eight assignable dynamics processors for compression during recording or mixdown
Dedicated stereo compressor on the stereo output
Eight inputs: 4 XLR with phantom power double as 1/4" mic/line inputs, plus four more 1/4" mic/line inputs
Nineteen 45mm faders including master fader
LCD display for viewing meters and editing parameters
250 virtual tracks
CD-RW drive to record Audio CDs, import/export WAV files and backup hard drive
High-speed USB 2.0 jack connects to PC or Mac for data backup and SMF/WAV files
Recording resolution: 44.1kHz, 16-bit or 24-bit
TASCAM 2488neo 24-Track Digital Recording Workstation Specifications:
Audio performance:
Sampling frequency: 44.1 kHz
Bit depth (resolution): 16-bit/24-bit (user-selectable, per song)
Crossfade time: 10 ms
Number of tracks: 24 (8 may be recorded simultaneously)
Frequency response: INPUTS A to H STEREO/MONITOR/EFFECT SEND: 20 Hz 20 kHz +1.0/ 1.0 dB (trim at min.)
Noise level: (inputs with 150 Ohms terminator, INPUTS A to H STEREO/EFFECT SEND: <90>96 dB 20kLPF+A curve
Crosstalk: Faders at nominal, INPUTS A to H STEREO/EFFECT SEND/MONITOR: >80 dB @ 1 kHz (trim at minimum, 20kLPF+A curve 1 input at max)
Dimensions: 21.5"W x 5.7"H x 14"D
Weight: 17.6lb.

Microphones - Since we are creating a limited budget Home Studio - Here's my choice for Mic's

MXL V69 Mogami Edition Tube Microphone

You need a great mic, even if you can only afford only one mic, this mic really puts out, it has very low noise and is a large diaphragm condensor,mic with warm sweet sound, vesaltile shock mount,power supply and 7 pin XLR mic cables and wins screen. This is Phantom Power Mic. yet the Tascam digital recording unit has phantom power on it so they will work together fine.

Remember, a great mic is needed, and mics equal to this can cost over $1000.00.

But This mic is only - $299.00. ...if you can get 2 of these then do so, or get 1 of these and a regular Sure hand held, but whatever you do, you will not regret buying this microphone. It can not be over stated, thast you need a great mic, sure you can work on eq untill the cows come home, but you won't get this warm sweet sound without a mic like this and the price is right.

Mic specs below -
MXL V69 Mogami Edition Tube Microphone Specifications:
Type: Condenser pressure gradient mic with large 25mm diaphragm capsile
Frequency Range: 20Hz-18kHz
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Sensitivity: 22mV/Pa
Impedance: 200W
S/N Ratio: 72dB (Ref. 1Pa A-weighted)
Equivalent Noise Level: 22dB (A weighted IEC 268-4)
Max SPL for 0.5% THD: 140dB
Power Requirements: 110/220 Vac, 50-60Hz
Size: 1.96in. x 7.48in. (50mm x 190mm)
Weight: 1lb
Metal Finish: Black/Gold

Headphones - Head phones you can get at any store, the sound you want should be the best, if your spend less than $100.00, you won't have a set of headphones that will give you the right response. Many stores let you try out the headphones, so ry out a few and get the best quality you can.


Large Professional Home Studio

We will be covering the subjects of - Professional Sound Mixers , 24 Track Digital Recorder's or Multitracks, Professional Reverb and Effect Processors, Mics, Speakers,cables and much more.....

Even if you are building the Budget Home Studio before this Article you should really read this. I plan on talking shop about recording arts and ect.....and how to get the best results with your equipment.

First lets start with the mixing console of the sound board -

The - Mackie 24x8 8-Bus Series Mixing Console Factory B-Stock MSRP- $1999.00 for sale new online, the lowest price ever.

A great mixing console can help, create better sound reinforcement, when using eq systems,reverbs effects, compressor-Limiters, effect processors and the ability to route many times more mics,plus record live concerts and much more.....

There's no doubt that even vocals recorded from a mixing console and routed to a digital recording units such as the (Tascam 24 Track Digital Work Station ) sound far better than just running a mic striaght into the Tascam 24 Track, the reason is simple, the eq's have better ranges and with sweepable mids or para-metric eq's, you're able to dail in the sound much better, a great mixer has better pre amps, and a much warmer sound. By routing in good eq units you can get even a better more controled and taylored sound, sure you can do a great job on the Tascam 24 track All In One Work Station - but adding a mixer takes you to a far higher level.

With The Mackie 24 Channel - 8 Bus Routing Out puts you get lots of options. One thing I like to say before starting, is you can order the professional meter bridge or just use the lead meters on the unit. But this is one very nice looking board with the meter bridge added, has that real studio look to it.

Any ways - This mixing console comes with sweet sounding preamps,4 band channel eq's,pristine professional quality, this very board is used in small professional studios around the country. And I am talking real studios, not just home studios.For the price this compares to sound boards costing 3 to 4 times as much. It's a great investment for your studio and is my top pick for sound boards in a price range anyone can afford. Also if you own your own home like I do, then it's great for having people over to practice if you have your own band.


24 Track Digital Recording

Tascam 2488neo - 24 Track Digital Work Station

Yes this is the same 24 Track unit listed above, so go back to the top of the page and read about it if you haven't done that already, I think this unit is awesome and with a Great Mixing console it is an unbeatable combination in the Home Studio.

Equalizers - The Peavey PV 231EQ Graphic Equalizer -

I have always loved the control I get using Peavey Eq units, and trust me I have used a ton of them. A great eq unit can help you balance out sounds and get great harmonics on your sound system, most people know about eq's for preventing feedback, but the real truth is, eq's help you get the sound you want while recording, the most perfect sound that you can create, and most home studios have at least several of these. They can be used in many different ways, they can be used routed through the mixing boards send and return, or - they can be used seperatly on each channel for each instrument using the mixers send and return on each channel, or they can be used from the output of the mixer to the recording units.

I found that for the cleanest sound,when recording I run my eq's from the boards main out puts to the Tascam Digital's how I do it....from my Mixers Main Outputs I run a line to Reverb Effects Processors, then from the reverb unit I run a line to a a Boss Compressor-Limiter unit , from the Boss Compressor I run a line to the eq unit and then a line into the Tascam 24 Track Digital Work Station.

Anyways, my eq unit is the last in a chain of units I use on each output channel from my Mixer.I make sure it's the last unit in the chain or line of rack mount units and the reason why is simple- after sound has passed through the reverb and compressor I try make the sound sparkle with warm and clear highs and lows, that is why the eq is last in my chain of gear before it goes to the 24 track.

Sure there's a lot of ways to do it, most people add reverb after the recording is done, but I do it before I record into the Tascam 24 Track Recorder, the reason I do it first is because I have been running sound for years and I know the perfect amount that I want on my music, I really don't go very heavy on reverb either, I use only a very slight amount, but I use the eq unit to get the perfect sound that I want for my music.

Like I said there's many ways to record, that's the great thing about recording, everyone has a different style, and a different sound. That's why music is called an art, each artist must paint his own picture on his recordings.

Here's The Peavey Eq Specs - For This Rack Mount Unit

2 RU dual 31-band
Switchable 12-band or 6 dB boost/cut range
Variable 24 dB low cut filter
Variable 24 dB high cut filter
XLR balanced I/O
Output level LEDs
Bypass switch with status LED
45 mm center-detent control sliders
Peavey PV 231EQ Graphic Equalizer Specifications:
Channels: 2 stereo
Bands: 31 per channel
Connectors - XLR balanced inputs and outputs
Frequency Centers: 20 Hz, 25 Hz, 31.5 Hz, 40 Hz, 50 Hz, 63 Hz, 80 Hz, 100 Hz, 125 Hz, 160 Hz, 200 Hz, 250 Hz, 315 Hz, 400 Hz, 500 Hz, 630 Hz, 800 Hz, 1 kHz, 1.25 kHz, 1.5 kHz, 2 kHz, 2.5 kHz, 3.15 kHz, 4 kHz, 5 kHz, 6.3 kHz, 8 kHz, 10 kHz, 12.5 kHz, 16 kHz, 20 kHz
Control Range: Selectable +/-12 dB or +/-6 dB
Input Impedance: 50k ohms
Output Impedance: 600 ohms
Maximum Output Level: +21 dB
Level Control: +/- 10 dB
Signal to Noise: >93 dB unweighted
Distortion: 0.005%
Roll-Off Filters: 18 dB/octave, butterworth
Low-Cut: Variable state 10 Hz to 250 Hz
High-Cut: Variable state 3 kHz to 40 kHz
Power Use - 15 w


Reverb & Effects Processor

I have used a lot of reverb units, and each has a different sound all of there own.
If you have a studio with a lot of eq's you most likely need a reverb unit for each eq unit, most eq units have a Left and Right inputs and outputs and all reverb units have stereo left and right Inputs and you can run a line from the reverb units left and right channels into the Eq's left and right channels.

Lexicon MX400 Dual Stereo/Surround Reverb Effects Processor - New On Sale $399.95 ......MSRP is $799.95

This Lexiocon Reverb Unit and Effects Processor - is a pro studio rack mount reverb unit, has many beauitiful & rich, reverb algorithms, delays, effects. This is my choice pick as the most affordable and highest quality reverb for the money today. Maybe you can spend less somewhere else but you won't have this quality of sound from a reverb unit.

Lexiocon specs are below -

17 legendary Lexicon (Copyrighted Reverbs) You can't get this anywhere else.
Lexicon delays & modulation effects
dbx© compression
7 effect routing options
99 Factory and 99 user programs for Stereo mode
99 Factory and also 99 user programs for Dual-Stereo mode
25 Factory and 25 user surround programs
USB "Hardware Plug-In" feature with
VST plug-in software
MX-Edit Editor/Librarian software
Dual S/PDIF Digital Input/Output
24 bit, 48kHz/44.1kHz sample rates
Large front panel LCD display
1/4" balanced/unbalanced TRS I/O
Analog Audio Inputs connectors: 4 - 1/4" TRS balanced or unbalanced
Impedance: 50k Ohms bal., 25k Ohms unbal.
Input Level: +4 dBu nominal, +24 dBu maxium 48kHz or 44.1kHz
A/D Conversion: 24-bit, 48kHz 128 x oversampling
Analog Audio Outputs
Frequency Response: 10Hz - 20kHz +0 dB/-0.5 dB
THD+N: <0.0019%>109dB (A-weighted) A/A
Crosstalk: Typical <-80dB 20Hz-20kHz Digital input and output: Dual RCA phono format S/PDIF 24-bit Sample rate: 44.1 or 48kHz Frequency Response is awesome, the best I've ever heard. 10Hz-22kHz ±0.5 dB @ 48kHz USB 1.0 for MX-EDIT¦ Editor - Librarian and VST - Audio Units plug-ins MIDI In/Out 5-pin DIN Foot Pedal 1/4" phone jack Lexicon MX400 Dual Stereo/Surround Reverb Effects Processor Specifications: Power - 117 VAC or 230 VAC, 18 Watts Size (W/H/D) 19" x 1.75" x 7.25"



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  2. Hi,

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  3. Great blog! Another mix checker for me is to actually leave the track playing, and leave the room- listening with the door open.
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  4. Hey..great posting..just picked up a 2488Neo....I like recording with two mics...what would you suggest for a mic pre amp with compression...and would I need a two channel?