April 09, 2015
An Intro to Pro Audio: From Mics to Recording Gear
Professional audio equipment is a musician’s best friend. The equipment on which your music is played can make or break your music career. These days you have a lot to choose from as you put together the perfect set up. From speakers and travel cases to having the proper microphone, it may seem there is a lot to remember.
One word of advice is add different accessories as you go, otherwise you’ll end up splurging on a ton of stuff all at once. Test things out, a little bit at a time and adjust accordingly. What is your budget? Stay within it and don’t get drawn in by all the fancy stuff you see. Once you have an idea, then you are ready to invest in some professional quality gear. Make double sure to educate yourself on what each piece of equipment can offer your career. To make it easier, we have compiled an easy guide along with some trade secrets to get you started.
Microphones are the main requirement to record your music. There is a huge difference between the mic built into your laptop computer, and a professional mic. Are you looking for something to record with or for performances? If your disposable income is in the lower range, we recommend a versatile USB setup like the Rode Microphone. When you are able to invest in a higher studio grade, our Lewitt Audio set up is up to any recording task you can dream up.
You have finally reached a point where you need to consider stage sound. Awesome! Having the best live sound packages will determine just how well your performance will go (and if you have fans or not.) Artists all over can confirm, that sound quality is the key component to any live show. For smaller shows, check out the Harbinger M120. If you’re playing to a larger venue, we suggest dropping a little more cash into a larger set up, like the Peavy DM115.
When you are logging long hours in the studio trying to get that final track nailed down, having a flawless set up is crucial. Avoid the chance of errors with the right recording package. Take into consideration the type of space you will be recording in. You can choose from packages like the Apple Complete standard if you’re travelling to different studios a lot. If you have your own personal studio, you may choose to opt for the deluxe Antelope Audio.
The technical side of professional audio is often overlooked. Ensuring you have exactly what you require to pull off that demo tape is pretty important. Explore all your options from the basic to the expansion options available to you. Though there are hundreds of software options available, choosing the right type is actually really simple. You can go classic and reliable with Ableton or explore the ultimate bass capabilities of Spectrasonics. Whatever you choose, make sure you’re having fun in the process!
Rarely are we ever without our mobile devices, especially if you’re on the go between studio and stage. Keep everything central and at your fingertips with some iOS compatible accessories. You can tie all of your pro audio directly to your iPad or iPhone with some really cool accessories. From tablet clips, a handy metronome watch , multimedia interactives or mixing trays so your tablet fits perfectly and within reach at all times. Check out our full list of accessories here.
Those white earbuds that came with your laptop just aren’t cutting it anymore. Take your pro audio sound to the next level with some awesome professional headphones. Fifty bucks will get you studio quality headphones with flawless playback capabilities. Audio Technica and AKG K72 are up to any recording task. Looking for something to use for recording live? Then consider going the hi resolution route with the Audeze LCD-2 or the Beyerdynamic DT `1770.
If you live for the magic of festivals and mixing live to thousands, then you will really want to make sure you have some tough, versatile DJ gear in your arsenal. A good case will protect your pricey investment from dust and weather. If you mix at weddings and birthday parties, then you will want a case that is both road ready and portable, like the Gator G-Tour. If you tend to mix directly from source files on your laptop, then the ProX Truss will work perfectly. It features a rack perfect for setting your laptop on. Don’t forget your controllers and mixing boards too! Visit us online for a complete listing of all of our must have DJ gear.
Lighting and Stage Effects
No performance is complete without the special effects of lighting and stage effects. Whether you want to go big with colors and lights or just looking to add something extra to the nightclub, the possibilities are endless. Take the time to plan your lay out and available power supply. Playing a smaller venue? You certainly do not want to blind your audience with too much going on, so stick to a standard stage lighting system. For a bigger venue, try some stage lasers! And be sure to grab some sturdy travel cases while you are at it.