I’ve always wanted to get into music, and a musician friend who produces and plays lead guitar for an indie band revealed that making music on a computer is now easier than ever. It’s a daunting prospect for someone who’s looking to get their feet wet. For those looking to creating their own personal mixing studio, here are some useful tips to help ease you in.
1. Keep your system as simple as possible. A netbook is a great start, especially if your life already revolves around the portable device. I have the ASUS Eee PC 1025CE set up for the job; and it’s perfect for a beginner like me. As you progress, you might want to consider upgrading to a notebook from the ASUS N Series, perhaps take a look at the N55SF. It is equipped with SonicMaster technology that has been co-developed by ASUS and Bang & Olufsen ICEpower® and delivers quality, pitch perfect audio through a combination of audio hardware and software. Some points to note include more precise processing protocols and codecs, specially-designed speaker construction, and larger resonance chambers, along with a bundled SonicMaster subwoofer. We’re talking serious Hi-Fi quality audio from a portable PC.
2. The most vital tool for mixing is a decent set of monitor speakers or a good pair of headphones. You simply can’t expect to produce a good mix unless you have a high quality and accurate reference point to begin with. So don’t pinch pennies. If you don’t have a SonicMaster-equipped N Series, you might want to spring for a pair of new ASUS MS-100 speakers. These boys are compact and stylish; and draw power through USB on a 3W RMS. Of course, they’re not professional grade, but they work just fine for any beginner’s setup. The MS-100 feature dual 54mm speaker drivers that can generate up to 93dB of sound with less than 3% distortion.
3. Pick a good spot for your setup. You want somewhere comfortable but without too much distractions. Ideally, it should also be as far away as possible from anyone who will complain about the noise. Also, take some time to learn about acoustic treatment and invest in some acoustic tiles. The best place to look is eBay.
4. Don’t be tempted to buy everything until you have at least a passion for making your own music and well, some aptitude. If you were to get in over your head right at the very start, chances are you simply don’t have the time to learn and master it all. You might just end up disappointed and a whole lot of electrical clutter to boot.
5. Also, don’t blow all your money on the best software at the start. Being with some free software to work up your skill sets. Try an online platform like Myna, Aviary’s free multi-track audio editor, for you simple remixes. You can drop in audio files, make edits with damaging the original tracks and record sounds straight from your browser tab.
6. Develop a love-hate relationship with forums. They can be great at helping you with your problems because chances are someone out there has had a similar issue and can share some good tips. But forums may also be infuriating, especially when you’re looking for buying advice. A simple question can generate up to 30 replies when there is only 10 options in the market. User discretion is advised.
7. Last but not least, keep an open mind and don’t set your sights too high. You’ll almost certainly fall short. When that happens, don’t be demoralized – breathe, take a break and then, start working on making it better. Things will fall into place naturally.