158: Home Recording 101 – If We Were To Start Over In 2023, This Is What We Would Do (And Buy) – Part 1

158: Home Recording 101 - If We Were To Start Over In 2023, This Is What We Would Do (And Buy) - Part 1

Today we're going all the way back to day one of the home recording journey and talk about how to get started recording your own music.

We've been covering some pretty advanced topics, lately, so let's take a step back and discuss what we would do if we were to start over.


Book a free feedback call with Benedikt, the host of the show!

There's so much that goes into recording your own music that it can seem pretty overwhelming. And many people really don't need to hear about the advanced stuff everybody seems to talk about.

They just want to know: "How do I start? What gear do I need, how do I set it up and how do I get those first recordings onto my hard drive?"

This is part one were we cover the always important big picture things to keep in mind and of course everyone's favorite topic: Gear!

Here's a step-by-step plan for you:

  1. Remember and always keep in mind what you are making and why you are making it. This will help you stick with it and overcome the roadblocks that will inevitably come up.
  2. Make it less overwhelming by breaking your big goal down into smaller chunks
  3. Start with your songs, arrangements, instruments and playing technique
  4. Only get the gear you really need

Knowing what we know now, this is the gear we'd get and what we would do with it:

  • Interface (there's better options than Scarletts, these days ?)
  • Microphone(s)
  • DAW
  • Headphones / Monitors
  • Basic room treatment
  • Supplies (strings, drum heads, picks, etc.)

On the episode we talk about specific choices, of course and explain what really matters when it comes to gear, so that you get the best return on your investment without frustration and headaches. 

Let's go!


Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy (click for full transcript)

TSRB 158 - Automatic Episode Transcript - Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy

Benedikt: In the beginning when I started out, I bought tonnes of stuff that I'd never really needed. I had a mixing desk that I never needed. I had a rack with like cheap output gear. I couldn't afford the good stuff, so I bought a bunch of cheap compressors and thought I'd need those really useless things until I figured out what really matters. This is the Self Recording Band podcast, the show where we help you make exciting records on your own, wherever you are. DIY style. Let's go. Hello and welcome to the Self Recording Band podcast. I'm your host Benedict Time. Today we're gonna talk about home recording 1 0 1. So after doing a bunch of like more, Advanced topics lately, we decided that we should do one that is a little more basic, but still relevant, even if you know what you're doing and if you've been doing it for a while. So it's always good to go back to these things. There might be something in it that you haven't thought about in a while. So what this episode is gonna be about is, uh, we're gonna talk about what we would do if we were to start over in 2023 and, uh, what yeah, what we would do, what we would buy, what we would focus on, how we would start this thing. Now this is gonna be a fun conversation. So if you're a new listener, first of all, welcome. Thank you for hanging out with us today. If you are already a listener, thank you for coming back. So grateful for every single one of you. And as always, I'm not doing this alone. I'm here with my friend and co-host, Malcolm Owen Flat.

Hello, Malcolm. How are. Hey buddy.

Malcom: I'm great man. How are you?

Benedikt: I'm great too. Thank you. So before we get into today's episode, I have to apologize to our audience because we got, uh, I got a comment on YouTube and I just have to address this. This was just one comment, but he was so right. Uh, and that was because in on one of our, um, episodes lately, I think it's. Three episodes back or so from this one we had like a 15 or 16 minute banter, which is kind of crazy. . I just looked at it. He just said, I came here for the content and not what, what happened on the weekend? Or something like this, you know? Uh, so the banter is killing me, he said, and I was like, yeah, this is kind of how we do it in our audience appreciates it. But then I went into the, the video again, or like the, the podcast again, and it was, in this case it was like 16 minutes or something, which is really crazy. So we're trying to keep this a little shorter in the future. We're not gonna skip the banter. This is an essential part for us, but maybe not 15 or 16 minutes.

So if you had to

Malcom: sit. Yeah. Yeah. That's pretty long. I can't believe that. That's hilarious. , what did we talk about? Probably tow shoes

Benedikt: and running about all kinds of things. We went down a guitar tone rabbit hole and talked about like guitar emulations, that the episode was not about that at all. Like, it's like really?

Malcom: I mean, that's still like, Relevant stuff to what we do though. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know. to, to Totally, yeah. 60 minutes excessive, no matter what we're talking about. Sorry.

Benedikt: Yeah. ex. Exactly. And there's one thing too, if you are watching this on YouTube, so for those of you who are listening on the podcast app, there's al also a video version of it on YouTube. And if you're watching that, we will have, um, a chapter now for the banter so that you can easily skip it and find where the actual episode starts. So if you're not interested in the ban, just go there and then the episode starts. So we will, yeah. Uh, we're adding that to YouTube. We'll make it hopefully a little bit easier for you. Uh, with that said, yeah, if you have feedback like that for us, if you have like any complaints, anything you want us to change about the episodes or like positive feedback, if you just wanna say what you liked about the, the, the shows that you've been listening to, please reach out to us and let us know about that. So send an email. That's the best. To podcast at the self recording band.com or send me a DM on Instagram if you're there, or Malcolm, it's like at Benedictine or at Malcolm own flat on Instagram. And we really want, you want to encourage you to actually do that. We wanna collect more feedback because as you see, when people tell us something like that, we listen and we improve the episodes and the more feedback we get, the more we can improve the episodes and the whole show. So we really appreciate that. Just reach out, send a quick message, tell us what you like, what you didn't like, what we should do in the future, any episode ideas or whatever we really listen and your topic might be, might become a podcast episode, right? We did that a bunch of times in the past and uh, so please do that.

Reach out. Thank you so much.

Malcom: Yeah, yeah, please do. Uh, we only hear from like, you know, a very select amount of people that actually listen to this. So, uh, maybe what we think, maybe we think people don't mind the banter, but you all hate it. So it's important that you let us know if you want us to shut up and get to the content. um, . Exactly. We, we, yeah. Very, very valuable. But on the other hand, if you do like, The banter. Um, you want us to keep going with what we've been doing and you, you wish we had 30 minutes of matter every episode. You should also let us know that, you know, we need both sides of the picture, .

Benedikt: Absolutely, absolutely. So podcast at the surf recording bant.com or, uh, just DM Malcolm or myself. Uh, it's at Malcolm Own Flat or at Benedictine on Instagram. Awesome. Yes, please. So do we have anything to talk about when it comes to ?

Malcom: You know, speaking about We can keep it quick. Yeah, we can keep it quick. Um, okay. , this, this is just something funny and I encourage everybody to check this out if, if you haven't. Um, and Benny, I actually want your opinion, opinion on this. I don't know if you've seen it, but I made like a very tongue in cheek. What I thought was comedic, uh, YouTube short, where Oh, okay. I essentially said I only need one more guitar. I, I have a less Paul. I've got a Strat, I've got a bass. I've got another less Paul, but I don't have a telly, so I only need one more guitar. And that's like obviously a joke. I've got a. Amazing guitars, a lot of them. And I do want more guitars, but it's always one more guitar. And this , it went pretty, like I got a crapload of views on YouTube, but then on TikTok it went just insane. It's like past 50,000. Oh really? Um, and I. And what's fascinating though is that like maybe 10% think I'm joking, and these , most people are like, what about like, like, dude, you don't have a hollow body. What about like a gretch? Or like, what about a warlock , like my PC Rich? And I'm like, what? Like you're totally missing the point. That's hilarious. It's just fascinating. I'm like, whoa. Like I don't really need anything. If you can't make a record with the guitars behind me on this wall, if you're watching the video, uh, like they're doing it wrong. Like . Yeah. The bases are covered. It's all just a, a want. There's no need involved. . Yes, for

Benedikt: sure. You in fact, you just sold a tell you right? Didn't hand

Malcom: you. I did. Yeah, I did. I want it back. But ,

Benedikt: yeah. That's so, that's super funny. And it also goes to show that if you make a funny or like a polarizing. Um, real or short, or TikTok, whatever that's made for the platform, it just works if you do correctly and if you post what we do for the podcast, oftentimes, like these snippets that often have very, very valuable good content. At least I would think so. Um, this stuff doesn't do nearly as well as the purpose made stuff. I just wanna say that because I've been posting on to TikTok and Reels forever, and some of them do well, but most of them have just a couple hundred views. Uh, because it's not made for the platform, it's just a snippet of the podcast. And although the information is really good, it's never as good as like a funny polarizing, you know, whatever statement that you make. That's just another proof of that. Yeah, totally . But yeah. That's cool though. So did you, was there any actual, any good recomme. That you consider? Did you really don't need another guitar

Malcom: I mean, like, no, I don't need, I, I want another guitar. Um, I, I think Tellies are one of the best studio guitars you can have. Um, so that's why I said it in that video. But like, ultimately I could have said anything, you know, and once I have a telly, I'm gonna be like, you know what? I would love one of those fan Fred guitar or a seven string you know, it's like, it's just a, it was literally just comedic, um, . But, uh, yeah, but what's funny I think is that I think people getting engaged with it about thinking, no, Kelly's not what you need, you need this, uh, is what made it do well. You know, it's just all this interaction on social media. , funny world out there for sure.

Yeah. But

Benedikt: to Totally. But congrats on the, the amount of use though, that's.

Malcom: Yeah. I mean, I don't think it, I don't know. TikTok is a weird place. Yes. It, uh, on, it's like a much darker, weirder spot than, uh, say YouTube . I, I like YouTube .

Benedikt: Yeah, yeah, sure. But you never know. You never know. Um, attention is is good.

Yeah. So good to today's episode because I don't really have anything exciting to share, if I'm really honest. At least nothing that I can think about now. So let's just go to the today's episode. Yeah.

Malcom: We got a good episode. I'm excited for it.

Benedikt: Yeah. And as I said, home recording 1 0 1. If we were to start out, uh, start over in 2023, this is what we would do. Yes. And how we would

Malcom: do it. You know what I would do? I would not buy another guitar to get started recording . Yeah.

Benedikt: Yeah. Probably not. No. So the reason why we wanna make, well, why we wanted to do this is because a, as I said, like it, it's good for the people just starting out just to, to make it less overwhelming, um, to help you not waste money and time. But then also there's a lot that goes into, um, into recording your own music. And even if you've been added for a while, you might have overlooked something, or maybe you have a bottleneck that you should have solved a long time ago, and maybe this episode helps, helps you solve that. So most people, as we often say, don't need to hear about the advanced stuff, you know that, but that's the stuff that most people talk about on YouTube, on the internet in general. Uh, but most people need to hear the basics more often, actually. And a lot of people just want to know, how do I start? Like what gear do I need? How do I set it up? How do I get those first recordings onto my heart drive? And this is what this episode is gonna be about, and we're gonna do it like a, in a step by step plan sort of way. And we're just gonna go through that. And if you have any follow up questions, always reach out to us. And then we'll, we're happy to do another one or a part two. We'll see how, how much we can fit into one episode, because there's a lot to cover. So we're gonna do it. Two, it's like a two part thing where like in one episode, hopefully, but we're gonna start by with like, with the, the real basics and then with the list of things to get and the things you might be able to skip in the beginning. And then we're gonna talk about things to learn, you know, the, so the gear and things you actually need to learn and do. So I would say, yeah. Yeah. Okay. Go. Go

Malcom: ahead Malcolm. One thing I want to add on to this, in case somebody just heard that and was like, well, I'm not a beginner, I don't need this, um, This episode's still for you? It's, it's actually, if, if I'm honest, there was something on this list that just before we started recording this, it was like, I need to work on that . Um, so, and there, there is like a little bit of a, a thing where people can get really good at something while still missing what may be kind of a fundamental, um, part of the, the skill. Like for example, I'm, I guarantee there's someone listening to this that is a fantastic guitarist that doesn't, like, couldn't tell you the name of the strings on their guitar, uh, like very easily, you know, they'd have to think about it, or, or like what the, what each note is on like each fret kind of thing. Like, these are really not hard things to do, uh, or, or understand or learn, but you don't necessarily need to do it to learn to play guitar. Does it help? Yes, absolutely. So what I'm saying is that there's some fundamental skills that, that we're gonna talk about in this episode that you may have skipped over in your journey to become, you know, a recording, uh, d i y musician or band. And if you did skip one of these, that's okay, but now this is your reminder that okay, I, I should go build and learn that skillset, because that's gonna just make everything else a little strong.

Benedikt: Yes, yes, for sure. Very well said. So, yeah, let's start the first thing, and this is one that, it's one of those actually that is relevant for everybody. So the first thing is remember, and before you do anything like remember, and always keep in mind what you're actually making and why you're making it. So, because this will help you stick with it and overcome the roadblocks that will inevitably come up. What I mean by this is you, there was a reason you started recording you, or you wanted to re you record a song or something. There was a project or an an, an idea that you had. Or maybe it was a, a dream that you had years ago and now you're finally actually doing it. Or you know, or you, there's a goal for, for your band or maybe you wanted to, you want to start doing it yourself because you have had a bad experience going to, um, a studio or whatever. There was a reason why you wanted to do this. And if you keep that in mind, and also then if you keep in mind what you're trying to capture, what you're trying to make, like the vision of. Doing here, uh, what the outcome should be, what yours songs should eventually sound and feel like. Um, if you have that, this will make you stick to it, as I said, because, you know, if you lose sight of that, it's kind of, uh, it can like frustrating or you just stop it because you lose the motivation. The why, because it's gonna be hard at some point. It's not easy to learn that. So just remember that. And also it's gonna help you make better decisions if you have a strong vision. If you have a sound in your head, if you know what you're going for, we'll help you make better decisions. Um, you will be more focused. So that is something I have to remind myself all the time, especially when, uh, something's frustrating when I, I try to figure something out, but I, it seems like I can't, or if I can't get the sound that I want, I have to remind myself of like the thing that I actually wanted to do, the sound that I was trying to get, or the reason I was trying to do this, uh, when I learned something new. That is hard. I have to remind myself of the why, why I'm doing this, because otherwise I will just quit and do something else, you know? Um, so, right. Yeah. This is just something I wanna say because it, it is hard and I, I'm, I'm working with people all the time in my coaching program and I see the challenges that they have and they go in super motivated and they wanna do it all. And then almost for everybody, there comes a point where it kind of turns into work, or like into effort because it's not easy. And those who have that strong why and that motivation, they have a, an easier time just sticking with it. And the ones who sort of forget that, they start to question everything and, and it's gonna, it's hard to get them back on track, basically.

So, yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Malcom: Have a finish line in mind for sure. It just, something aimed towards, um, you know, cause by the time you get to editing your vocals or something, then you, maybe you're, you haven't recorded your voice before Nobo. That's a, that's never a good experience recording your voice for the first time. Yes. Um, a lot of people give up at that point. Uh, so you gotta have that, like, okay, what am I trying to do here? Why did I wanna make this in the first place in mind so that you don't get discouraged at your first failure? Gotta keep going. .

Benedikt: Yes. Totally. Cool. So the next thing is make it less overwhelming by breaking it down into smaller chunks. Like if you look at, if you go in and you look at the whole thing, like, I have to set up my first home studio and I wanna record my music. This is a very overwhelming thought. There's so much that goes into it, and you might quit before you even start if you think about it like that. But if you make it less overwhelming and you break it down into, into smaller chunks, you can start by, okay, um, I'm gonna need a computer. So, which is gonna be like, what, what is a computer that would work for that? And then, okay, now I'm need, I'm gonna need a way to get the sound in and out of my computer. So you're looking for an interface, like that's the way you can approach the gear thing when it comes to actually learning how to record you. You can be like, I, I need to know, um, where to put the mic to get a good, like, source tone. And when I figured that out, I can think about how do I now correct my performance? Like how do I edit these things, you know, but whatever. It's like, it doesn't really matter. Um, Depending on, like, it depends on what, what applies to you here in your situation, but just break it down into chunks and don't look at the whole overwhelming thing. Uh, there's one analogy that I wanna, wanted to bring up here when it's like, you know, Malcolm and I are both runners, or at least we, we, I don't know. How about you, Malcolm? If you still, if you're still doing it, but

Malcom: I'm still, I still consider myself a runner. Yes. Yeah, yeah. . Yeah. Let's talk about it for 16 minutes here. No, no, we don't, we won't do that.

Benedikt: But I was just, I'll just say that when I go out on a run, especially a long run or a challenging workout or a fast run, something that is, I, I really don't wanna do, or something that immediately gets hard after like a, a few miles or a few minutes, um, if I think about the whole thing, I might just quit. If I think about how far I have to go until I, I made it like this, this is not a, a very motivating thing to think about. But if I just, so whenever I'm in this situation, if I just. I need to get to this next tree that I see there. And then I focus on that tree and I get there. And then when I'm there, I'm like, okay, now I have to get to this tree and I, all I focus on is the next tree. And then I make it there and I just keep going like that until I made it through the whole run. And that's so much easier if I do it that way. And that's, it's such a

Malcom: good tip, especially on like, the challenge, the more challenging, the more important that idea is. Um, you know, like if, if I'm doing sprints, it's like, okay, I just gotta make it to that fricking signpost. But then what happens is you get there and you're like, I can go further. Yeah, but you didn't think you could even get there at the beginning. Right. Um, you just keep pushing it, pushing it, like it's, it's powerful. Um, achieving your goal allows you to have more gas in the tank in a way. So you wanna set the goal, uh, so that you can actually hit it, you know, yeah. Yeah. Um, and then, and then that's gonna give you like, just like that, that good feeling of like success and allow you to even go

Benedikt: further. Absolutely. Absolutely. So then, um, that's the last thing here before we get into the actual gear and actionable, like recording techniques and all of that, um, start with your songs, your arrangement, your instruments, and your playing technique before you think about all the other stuff. And the recording and the recording gear because it all. Doesn't matter if the song is not good, if the arrangement is not good, if your instrument is bad sounding or like not, not set up properly, or if you just suck playing your instrument. So focus on these things first before you, you, you're capturing it. I mean, you don't have to be the best in the world, of course. And an old beat up instrument can sound cool in the bright hands. Um, so it doesn't have to be perfect, but just make sure that what you have there, the, the source that you're trying to capture and the songs you're trying to record, that they are what you want and that you don't sabotage yourself because yeah, that's just, I can't stress this enough. It's like really, really, really important. And, and so many people skip this. Like so many people make decent recordings of just shitty songs that aren't played well. So, um, don't be that. So it's just so I.

Malcom: Yeah, like we, the kind of thesis of this episode was what would we do if we were starting over? And I think, like for me, um, and how long it's been since I've like actually really done a lot of tracking, uh, for recording, like I've just been mixing and not really being the player for so long, the first thing I would do is start regimenting, uh, and scheduling metronome practice like all the time. Like I would just need to get my chops up with a metronome way, way better, uh, than, than where they're at right now. I'm sure where it used to be something I had down, but like at this point, if I was starting over in 2023, like that, that type of practice for recording specifically practicing for recording would be like the top of my list before looking at gear. Uh, and, and then, I mean, right before that would be, you know, write the songs, you know, make good songs like you said, arrangement, songwriting, but then like the actual practice and prep preparation of being able to play it for the studio in a way that sounds amazing. That would be a huge, huge goal of mine.

Benedikt: Yes, 100%. Um, and, and just know that it's up to you to decide what is good or not. Uh, it's not, it doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be 100% like on the grid or in time. It can be, you know, if might be something that we consider not tight enough, but you absolutely love it. And the only thing that matters is that you like it and that you know that what I have here, um, is something I wanna record and I'm happy with. So, you know, nobody's gonna charge you. It's not a competition either. So just feel free to record whatever you want, but don't. Trick yourself or don't talk yourself into recording something that you actually know should be improved first. That's the thing, basically, like it's, you have to like it and you have to be confident that you actually wanna put that out into the world. You don't wanna be one of those who released a song and then tell everybody, yeah, it, I know that this and that wasn't right, but because it was because of this and that. So there are a lot of people who sent me stuff and immediately apologize for certain things in the recordings when they sent me their stuff to listen to. And I'm, I'm always thinking like, why didn? Get it right then if you know those things. Right. . So

Malcom: that's fascinating. Yeah. Yeah. You know, you just reminded me of a, like a feeling that I've totally forgotten about since I haven't, like, you know, worked as a band, like been a band for so long. Uh, but , there's, there's this hugely important step of, of recording a song to find out, even if it's good.

Because songs when you play them with your band versus when you hear them recorded are totally different things. Um, because one can be really fun to. But not be fun to listen to. Um, and you don't know until you've made a demo of it, which is just like such an important thing. Um, because like, you see this with bands all the time, is when they like, have an idea of what the single's gonna be, and then, you know, you the producer record it and, and you're like, whoa, these guys don't know what they're talking about. Like, that , that song doesn't, doesn't have a course. Like it's just like an eight minute guitar solo. Like, nobody's gonna listen to this. Um, that, like, that is such a real thing. And I like totally forgotten a about that, uh, that feeling of like, oh, this song's gonna bang and then we record it and like, we gotta cut this song. It's no good or we gotta change it dramatically. Yes. You know? Yes. There's such a, a revealing. Uh, it's like, it's almost like looking in a mirror for the first time. Uh, when you finally record a song, you're like, all right, is this any good? Oh, it's kind of boring. Uhoh. Okay, we gotta do something . Yeah.

Benedikt: Which, which also, this is not what this episode is about, but, um, kind of it's part of this conversation is that you need to do pre-pro and demos before you go to the, into the final recording session because otherwise you don't know. And so, uh, this all goes together, but you can only do pre-pro or record anything if you have a home studio, like some basic gear. So with that out of the way, let's get to the, the gear you need when you set at the home studio. So we assume you have good songs. We assume you can play your instruments. Uh, we assume you know why you actually want, want to do this, what your goals are.

Um, at least a vague version of that. Um, it will be, yeah, will become clearer the longer you do it, I think. Um, but we assume all of that. And now you're ready to start. Only get the gear you really need. I would say, because most people, and myself included, we just, we love gear and it can take up a lot of our time. And we go down rabbit holes. We do, we endlessly research search things. We buy stuff we actually don't need. And in the beginning when I started out, I bought a, like a ton of stuff that I never really needed. I had a mixing desk that I never needed, like a cheap one that wasn't good anyway, but I thought I needed one. Uh, because I saw it on studio pictures, I had a rack with like cheap outboard gear because I saw that too on pictures. So I, I couldn't afford the good stuff. So I bought a bunch of cheap compressors and thought I'd need those. Um, ended up getting rid of all of those. Of course, again, um, bought a couple of like really useless things until I figured out what really matters. So only get the gear you really need. And I'd say when you start, the only things you really need is the computer. An interface. The interface is ba, basically replaces the sound card in your computer. So it's just the thing. You need to get the sound into the computer and out of the computer so you can listen to it in good quality. So a computer. Mm-hmm. the interface between the outside world and your computer. Then you need microphones, assuming you capture like real acoustic instruments, signals or vocals. Then you need a doll, a D A W, which is a digital audio workstation. It's a program that runs on your computer that you use to record your music. You need headphones and or monitor speakers. So some device that you trust where you can listen to the things you record. And then you need, if you use speakers, you need basic room treatment. If you record acoustic instruments, you need basic room treatment to make the room sound good or at least usable. And then you need all kinds of supplies, like strings, drum heads, picks, you know, the small stuff. We tend, we tend to forget that you absolutely need when you go into a session. And that's about it. So the computer, including the interface and the software, And I'm just talking about the, the big software, not even plug-ins, like just a doll software. Yeah, just a, uh, you need something to listen on, like headphones or speakers. You need a usable room and then some small things that you shouldn't forget. That's about it. I, I don't think we should get into like the details on, on all of these things, like super into de detail because the, there's so much out there. Like we can't, and we can't recommend the one microphone or the one thing. And we have episodes on that too. I think so. Right. I will just say that a few things have changed over the years. Recording gear has been pretty good for a while. It's like interfaces and all that stuff has been pretty decent for a while, so you can't, you, you really can't go super wrong in my opinion, if you do a little bit of research because all the current stuff just works, I'd say for starters. But a few things have changed lately where, and I need to update my you guys and stuff like that, um, as well there, because I really think that, The typical recommendations we had for a while, like the, the focus ride Scarlets and a couple of other entry level interfaces are maybe not the best options anymore these days because the, it got even better at an even more like affordable price point. Right. And now you can get things like the current, I was just looking at the current, um, I'm talking about interfaces. I was just looking at the current, um, audience evo series, for example. Really, really great interfaces with smart features like automatic gain, uh, adjustments. So you just play the instrument and it sets the gain automatically to leave enough headroom. And, and like things like smart things like that that haven't been there a few years ago. Um, the overall quality of converters and preempts and parts that's built, that are built to an inter, into an interface, um, have become even better. So I. It pays off to just do a little bit of research, read the reviews, and then you'll find something for a few hundred bucks that will do the job just fine. Uh, but it doesn't have to be the Scarlet, which has, which has been the recommendation for years now. And I'm not, I don't wanna touch yet about focus. Right. But, and maybe they will come out with something new soon too. But I think there's better, better things now. So, yeah.

Malcom: I, I think I, I, I really do wanna clarify that if you have a focus, right, Scarlet?

Yeah. It, it doesn't mean it's bad. No. Um, it's totally fine. Uh, it, it worked then it still works, you know, , it's just that your, your money can go a little farther if you're buying something new today, potentially. Um, that said, the focus right, Scarlet got an update. You know, recently, uh, yeah. You know, within the last year, I think, and apparently it was improved. So I, I do wonder if the shootouts that have kind of made it fall a little behind included that latest version, you know, could be. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I, I don't know. I, so that's, that's why I'm saying like, yeah, it's totally fine. Yes, it's gonna do the job. Um, but yeah, if, if you're, you want to buy once, just uh, do a quick bit of research, but you're gonna be fine no matter kind of what you get in that price range.

It's pretty

Benedikt: awesome these days. Totally. I just picked that one actually, because it's the, the absolute like common cliche recommendation that everybody gives. And I just wanna say that there's so many good options now that it can be overwhelming. But on the other hand, if you do little research and you just look at the top sellers with the best reviews and stuff and like, or like new products that get great reviews, you'll find something that suits your needs. The thing that I always preach, uh, has an is, is unchanged though. That is, it's more about the features you need than it is about the, the sound quality. It doesn't matter if one preempt that's built into it is better than the other one or the converters or any of that, all of that is good. Yeah. Uh, what matters is that you have the amounts of ins and outs that you need, that you have the right, like actual interface, like the connection to the computer that works for you, like u sb or Thunderbolt or whatever you want to use, that it has, you know, the functionality that you need. If you need meaty ports, you know, take, have a look at that. If you need a di input, if you need, um, Two or more headphone outs, or if one is enough, you know, these types of things, this is what really matters because they will all sound fine. You just need to find the features that, that you need. I think so. Yeah.

Malcom: Yeah. I, I think you're, you're spot on. Cuz if you look up, you know, focus, right? Scarlet Shootout with something else, it's probably gonna be like, about the sound quality and, and totally ignore the features. Um, like for me, if I was looking for an interface today, I would be, the first thing I would be looking for is headphone outputs. How many headphone outputs does that have? Um, which is probably what I would say most people listening to this podcast wouldn't even consider. Um, but for me that's hugely important. If I want to be able to sit and run the computer with a vocalist beside me singing, we both need headphones, so two isolated headphones with different volumes. Super cool feature. Yes,

Benedikt: absolutely. Just as an example. Absolutely. And it can also be one headphone out, but, uh, multiple line outs, for example, and then you can connect a headphone amp to those line outs. Like just outputs in general, I'd say. Yeah. Yeah, totally. Uh, and, uh, so, and one thing, so because I said what, what would we do if we had, were to start over? So what I would do, uh, when I would buy something, I personally would buy a Mac, which is not what you need to do now, but I would buy a Mac because I've, I just love Apple computers and I'm, I've been in this whole universe for so long that I just can't think of any, like, I can't imagine going back to Windows. But I'm not saying it's better, it's just what I would do. I would get a Mac. Um, not a, like, doesn't have to be a super expensive one. Like even the entry level ones are more than good enough for most needs. Um, so I would do that. And when it comes to interfaces, I would get probably, this is a little more expensive, but it has a reason that I would do that. I would get an rme and I say that because. One thing that I value in recording gear, especially with interfaces, is the stability. And like those rock solid drivers, the super low latency and just the problem free operation that I've had on my R M E interface since like 10 years or so. This is what I really, really, what I'm looking for. So I would get, you know, whatever the, I just, I just configured a home studio for someone and I recommended the fire face, u u CX or ufx or whatever it's called. Um, like a small thing with like two mic preamps. It has like six outputs, I think for monitor, uh, monitors and headphones. It has midy, it has great converters. Uh, but the most important thing, rock solid drivers. So that's just what I personally would do. It costs a little more money than the entry level interfaces, but, uh, you will have it forever and it's not gonna cause you problems hopefully. So,

Malcom: yeah. Yeah, they, they're a great company. Make great gear for sure. I, I don't really have a recommendation for what I would say, just because like we said, they're, they're all gonna be fine. Yeah. Um, So, yeah, just go and get one .

Benedikt: Exactly. Cool. Now the next one and yeah. Oh, sorry, sorry. One more thing. Um, rock solid drivers, but also latency is something you need to think about and whether or not you wanna be able to track through plugins. And like, this is sounding a little complicated, like, but I'm, I'm trying to explain it real quick. Um, latency is when you record something into the computer, you, it goes into the computer and then it goes back out of the computer into the interface. And if you wanna hear yourself while you are recording and some interfaces let you do that through something called direct monitoring where the signal doesn't go into the computer, it stays in the interface and goes out of the interface immediately to the, to your headphones. This is like zero latency monitoring. If you wanna do. Then, um, like that's easy. Even the entry level interfaces can do it because it's purely analog and it doesn't cause any sort of latency. The downside is though, that you can't use any effects on your vocals for monitoring, like compression or reverb or any of that with some interfaces. So if you wanna hear effects on your voice or your instruments while you're recording with those types of interfaces, you would mon have to monitor through the doll and monitor through plugins, which is gonna cause latency again. So the questions you need to ask yourself is, you most definitely want to hear yourself while recording, but you need to ask yourself, do I need like reverb or delays or compression or EQ or any effects while I'm recording? Do I need to hear that in real time? And if so, does the interface provide that as like a standalone sort of thing built into the interface with zero zero latency, some interface do that, some interfaces do that, or is the latency low enough and my computer powerful enough so that I can run through the doll and back out without latency? Right. Sounds really complex, but maybe listen to that again a couple of times and then do some research. That's a really important question though, because, um, monitoring is key to good performance, and that's one of the downsides of the cheaper interface is that they often don't give you that option. They don't have built in effects. Sometimes they just have the, the knob where you can do the direct hardware monitoring, but then it's like bone dry. And so if you, if you need the effects on the monitoring chain, you need to upgrade the interface to something with a DSP built in Effects section or. You need something with low enough latency so that you can run through the computer and back out. Yeah.

Malcom: So a classic example is wanting to record using an amp sim. Uh, so you're just running a clean di into your interface, maybe even using the high Z input on your interface that if you were to direct monitor that, you're just listening to a di guitar, which doesn't sound very pleasing. Right. It's not very inspiring. Yeah. Um, you wanna hear the amim that's in your do so you need that to come to you at a low enough latency that you can still play your parts, which is possible just, uh, just worth making sure that that's gonna work.

Benedikt: Yeah. Cool. Now next thing is microphones. So most people are gonna need a vocal mic. Like most everyone who records vocals will need a vocal mic. Not everyone needs more because some people just do like DI guitars and program drums. And if that's you, then you just need a vocal mic. If you record any kinds of instruments, you need instrument mics too. And I think we both agree that 57 is the thing you can still, like, you could get, I mean there's more options these days, but something like that, an affordable, good quality, dynamic microphone as an all-purpose instrument microphone is what I would start with. And it would probably be a 57 even today.

Malcom: Yeah. Yeah. I, I agree. I brick and love those mics. . Yeah. Yeah, they sounded awesome. Um, yeah, I'm, and I'm coming around on the SM seven B again as well. It's more versatile than you give, like you only really see it on vocals, but like it's actually pretty kick ass on a lot of things, so it's another option.

Benedikt: Absolutely. For sure. Yeah. So all purpose, dynamic instrument, Mike. Then just think about what you're trying to record. If you record a full drum kit, you need more. Of course, if you're recording acoustic guitar or any other like quieter instruments, maybe a pair of like small diaphragm condensers is what you want. Uh, but just get the things you really need. So I think for most, in most scenarios, a couple of 50 sevens, if you're doing like drums or multi mic things, uh, a pair of small di fromm condensers and a vocal mic will do, maybe a kick drum mic or something will do. But you don't need to have a mic locker with like three different large condensers and whatever. I, when you start out it, you don't need that. When it comes to vocal mics, I think we talked about that on other episodes in depth. Our recommendation is a dynamic mic as well, like, uh, SM seven or any, any of those mics that are like that. Uh, because it takes the room out of the equation to a degree, it's easy to mix. It's not very, very cnt. It fits a lot of voices. So I think. It gives you a better quality for the money than a cheap condenser mic. That there are some affordable condensers that are good, but in general, I would still recommend, um, a, a dynamic mic for vocals as well. Yeah, for

Malcom: most people. There, there's many reasons, and again, we've, I think we've had episodes on this. Yeah, I've got YouTube videos about this. It's like, uh, you have to have a treated room, you know, you need to have a quiet, quiet environment. Like if you're using condenser microphones, this is right where a dynamic microphone really takes care of a lot of that for you. So dynamic's like a, an easy first choice if you're not sure. Go dynamic. Um, I, I want to add that the SM 57 is also an underrated vocal mic . Yes. Yes. Um, so if you've already got that, you should try it and just see what you think for some voices it's such a cool sound. Um, you know, and like, you know, if, if it's the difference between you waiting to record until you can afford a, like higher quality vocal mic or just getting it done, I think a 57 is gonna give you something that you are, you'll probably be totally happy with. But you need a pot filter.

Benedikt: Oh yeah, to totally. Um, if you have a slightly higher budget, something like a, a modeling mic can be cool. So the one that I'm talking into right now is the slate Digital ML one that gives you almost like a full mic locker in on, in, uh, on your computer. So I'm using it without any emulation right now. It's just the sound of the mic. It's very neutral sounding, but uh, you can make it sound like several famous types, like of microphones. Does it sound exactly the same? Probably not. If you compare two mics of the same type, they also don't sound the same. So I don't really care. Um, but it's, it's very flexible. You can quickly switch to another model if the sibilance is causing problems with a certain voice, you know, or you can use one that you use in front of a guitar cab and another one that you use for vocals and, you know, it's like very, very flexible. And so that might be a good option. Um, it's a little more expensive than, than, uh, like a, of course, a 57 or an SM seven, but still not crazy expensive. And if you think about the flexibility that you get with it, it might be worth considering.

Malcom: Yeah. I think for me that is the best bang for buck condenser microphone on the mark tip right now. Yeah. Um, that I, that I'm aware of anyways. It's the most versatile. It's definitely good enough for professional use by a long shot. Yes. Yes. Um, and, and it's on the very affordable side of microphones that follow, that, meet those requirements.

Benedikt: Yeah. Agreed. You have your mics, you have the interface. Again, that's the sound card. Basically the external sound card that you plug your mics into, and then you can record onto the computer. Now you need a software to capture all of this. So when it comes to dolls, we can't really recommend anything because it's very subjective and they're all good. The only thing we can say is that there are a few, there's, there are a few ones that the people use that I wouldn't recommend because of certain of, of like reasons we'll get into and. With the ones that work. It highly depends, I'd say, on the type of music that you're making more than, it's not a question of like which one is better, but which one suits you and your needs. Basically, similar to what we said with the interfaces. So what I mean by that is one that is very popular is GarageBand. If you're on a, on a Mac, I wouldn't recommend that unless it's just you capturing ideas and like, you know, doing like demoing songwriting. But if you wanna record seriously or collaborate with others, I wouldn't record, uh, recommend GarageBand because it's limited in like, when it comes to exporting files and a couple of like basic functions that it just doesn't have. So, although a lot of people use it, I wouldn't recommend it if it's not just for demos. Um, when it comes to like serious dos that can do everything. Logic, there's Cubase, there's Pro Tools, there's Ableton. These are probably the, the most popular ones, at least in our sort of world. And there's Ethel Studio and a couple of other things that Beat Makers use. But I'd say these are the most popular ones. And there's Reaper, of course. To me, the difference is they, if you get the pro versions of all of these, like the big versions, they can all. Everything. Basically the difference to me is that, for example, Ableton works very well if you work with MIDI a lot. It's way better with MIDI than Pro Tools or Cubase or, or any, like, Cubase is great, but um, Ableton is just made for that and it's like super cool if you're make an electronic music or a lot working a lot with midi. Awesome. If you're a rock band, I would probably not recommend Ableton and I would go with Cubase or Pro Tools or Logic instead.

Malcom: It's not very wave friendly. Yes. Wave file friendly comparatively. Yeah. Um, can you make it work? I'm sure I'm, I'm absolutely sure that you could record a rock album in Ableton if you had to, but Yeah, it's just, uh, it's designed for a different type of musician. Um, And, which is totally cool, but just something to be aware of. I've got a new, uh, uh, a new approach for helping people find their doll. Mm-hmm. , um, that I wanna bounce off you, Ben, we've never talked about this, but I think what you should do, uh, is figure out your learning style, which hopefully you have. So if, if you learn by videos, for example, uh, find an educator on YouTube that you connect with and learn like, like their teaching style, and then use whatever do they use because they're teaching that do, like, I, I honestly think that. All of the dolls are fantastic. You just gotta find somebody that can teach it to you. It's more about learning it and becoming good with it. Uh, so I would just find somebody that, uh, like you connect with online, they're, they're, they've got a ton of free resources on how to use this do, and that's gonna get you so far. Um, I did that with video editing software just within the last three months. And it's been like such a good decision. Just found somebody that I was like, this guy is my type of person. His videos are great, and he uses Da Vinci result. I'm gonna check that out. And it's just like the quickest I've ever learned anything. Uh, so that's my new recommendation for how to

Benedikt: find a doll.

That's such good advice. And, and, uh, in fact, a lot of my students do exactly that. So when they come into the coaching program, for example, they ask me what I use or they, they know what I use because they saw a video or something of me. Yeah. And they your teacher, right? Yeah. And then they ask me like, do you think it's a good idea if I just switched to Cubase? And I'm like, yeah. I mean, I love it and I use it. And so they, yeah, I wanna, I wanna use it because you use it and then that will make it all easier. And I am totally for that. So people actually do exactly that when they start working with me, they switch some, not all of them, but some of them switch to Cubase because of that reason. Yeah.

Malcom: Yeah. Like if you, if you don't know how to do, like, if you're not already proficient with another doll, it makes total

Benedikt: sense. Yeah. And the thing is, if you do that and you just pick something because of, of an educator that you picked and you learn that you can switch later, If you want. Because once you, when you, when you really understood, as soon as you really understand one do, it's gonna be way easier to, to switch to another and learn that, because you know the basics, they are kind of the same, it's different hockey and whatever. But I could make like, give me, give me a week and, or like, give me two days actually, and I can run a full on session and like any doll, if I, if I, you know Yeah. Studied

Malcom: for hours. Did I ever tell you about when I had to run a, a session in Cubase unexpectedly?

Benedikt: Um, I don't remember. You might. I I'm not, I'm not sure.

Malcom: It, it's a somewhat funny story. . Yeah. Yeah. I essentially was, uh, I went to Shanghai to produce a rock band and we went to this hilarious little studio that was like in the bunker of a building. Um, it was so hot, , it was like so hot that there was water pooling on the computer, like Oh wow. It was like that humid in, in this basement. Bunkered in Shanghai. Um, but yeah, we showed up. I had my computer. And, uh, had been told that there was a USB interface that I could plug into there to run the session on, but they didn't, they had a, a fire wire, uh Oh wow. Interface kind of thing. So I had to use their computer, which only had cubase. Um, and uh, so I just had to figure it out on the fly. And it was awesome actually. we we're, we're totally fine. Um, so yeah, the, like, the, prove your point, very transferrable. Um, but I was sweating in the beginning, both because of the heat and because of like, oh man, I, like, my, my workflow is destroyed. But honestly it was fine.

Benedikt: Yeah. To totally . Totally. That is, that's funny. And it, yeah, and just, you know, when you, I think it's faster to pick someone as an educator, use their doll, learn it with their help, and then if you figure out that you're missing a certain feature, and you will only know once you figured out the doll, like in the beginning, you don't even know what you don't know. So as soon as you. Um, think that you're missing a certain feature or you, you wish you could do X, y, Z, but the doll doesn't do it, then you can switch. And I think this approach is faster, even if you, even, even if that means that you have to learn two dolls, it's faster than trying to do your, the research on your own than finally deciding on one door than learning it on your own. Um, and like that just takes so long. It's, it's so much trial and error. And, and if you just pick someone who shows you the doll within a few weeks or months, and then even if you end up switching, it's still gonna be faster, I think. And, um, yeah. Yeah. So totally agree. So pick a doll. Um, maybe not GarageBand, unless it's really just for ideas. Uh, and again, it's not that this is a bad product. All of the things that I don't recommend is, it's for a reason. All the current stuff is good, it's just there's downsides to some of those things. So the, and, and Reaper, for example, is one that. Don't talk about a lot for, also for a specific reason, because Reaper is very popular too, because it's very affordable. It's not free, by the way, a lot of people say that Reaper's free. It's not free, it's just a, an like a trial period that you can extend forever, basically. But it's not free. You should pay at some point, but it's very popular because it's affordable. The thing is that all the people that I've worked with who use Reaper, Understand just a tiny fraction of it, because it's a really complex thing. It's like the, the workflow and you can customize all of it and it's like, it can do everything. It's not really intuitive. There's quite a learning curve to it. And so I'm, I'm not sure if I wanna recommend it a lot to people. If you, if you understand what it can do and if you figure it all out, it's awesome. Not just for the money, but in general. It's awesome. It's really awesome. But for most people, yeah, it is good. Yeah, for most people, something a little more intuitive might be better. Know, up to you to decide. So

Malcom: here's, this is a broad, outrageous generalization, but if you are a Windows person, I think Reaper is perfect for you. Yeah. . If you were a Mac person, I'm not so sure. Yeah, yeah,

Benedikt: exactly that. Exactly that. If you like to code and customize things and like go into the backend and whatever Photos. Yeah.

Malcom: Yeah, just, just gray ui.

Benedikt: Yeah, exactly. Then repress your thing. If you just want things to work and have it all like look nice and colorful and you click a button and it just does the thing you want, you think it does, then probably not your thing. But yeah, . Totally. Totally right. Cool. Now, headphones, monitors, we, again, we have episodes on all of these things that where we go into more, uh, detail, but in general, everyone needs headphones. Everyone should have some pair of speakers, but I'd say prioritize headphones. So, uh, you need them to record and you, you need them to, to, to have a trustworthy sort of playback system, uh, because your room is not gonna be perfect, especially not in the beginning. So what we always say is like, get a pair of close back headphones for recording, if that is good enough. Also use it for, um, for mixing or checking your recordings if you want. Get an open back pair for mixing if you prefer that, but that's about all you need. And then just get some pair of monitors just so you know what it sounds like on speakers, but it doesn't have to be the most high-end thing because that it's really complicated to set that up properly with the room and everything.

Malcom: Yeah. Yep. And, uh, a tip I've added to this headphone topic is that you actually need two headphones. Um, one for whoever's tracking and one for for you, probably. Oh, yeah, yeah. Um, so unless you're playing all the instruments, you're gonna need a second set. They don't both have to necessarily be the same quality as long as it's good enough to like track with. Um, but somebody should have a decent one that actually represents what you should

Benedikt: be hearing as soon as you dive deeper into mixing, which you shouldn't do right at the beginning. There's other things to worry about in the beginning. Focus on the recording first. Absolutely important. Um, as soon as you dive deeper into mixing though, if that's what you wanna do, then it's time to like upgrade the monitoring and thinking about speakers and room. Then it gets more important. But in the beginning, it's really not. And, and you, in fact, you shouldn't be distracted by like, learning how to mix and mixing techniques and all of that in the beginning, you should really focus on the recording. Can't stress that enough. And so headphones are, uh, enough for most people. Okay. Now, next thing. Is basic room treatment. So if you have speakers, then, and, and this depends on, I I think most people will have one room. Most people won't have a control room and a recording room separately. So most home studios will be one room probably. I might be wrong, but I, I'm just assuming here. If that is you, then, then your room needs to do two things. It needs to give you, if you have speakers, it needs to give you somewhat reliable sort of monitoring situation where you hear your, what's coming out of the speakers and not what's coming off of your walls basically. And the second thing it needs to do is it needs to give you a controlled recording environment so that you can actually capture what's coming from the instrument and also not what's bouncing back off the walls. And it's, if it's one room, there's kind of a compromise. But I'd say listen to our episodes on this topic. First of all, like the one with esco is really, really good for starters and in general. And then do some research and do some basic treatment first. Like, don't go crazy. Don't try to like calculate and analyze and measure right away, just strategically place absorptive material. The thicker, the better behind any sound source that you have that includes your speakers, that includes like a drum kit or a cab or your singer. Just make sure there is absorbers around the source that you're capturing or that you're listening to, to get the early reflections out of the way. And then once you have that, listen to it. Listen to if there is like stuff coming from further away. And if that is too much, depending on how, how big the room is, then treat it further until you like the result. When in doubt, I think more, more is better. In most cases, you can't really overdo it, like most people don't do enough. Yeah, it's like a very complex thing to get into. Just do some basic research. Start with like basic absorbers around the thing you're capturing and behind your monitors. That's, that's really all I can say here. And, and don't think it's gonna be perfect because it's. It's very hard to get a room perfect. Just make it first. First goal is just to make it dry enough. Make it dry enough so that you don't hear obvious reverb and reflections and then you will improve over time.

Malcom: It is, uh, do as much as you can at that moment kind of thing. So if all you can do at that moment and you need to get it done is hang in blankets on stands and throw in a mattress against the door, do that. Um, but it's gonna be a process that's gonna continue over years. You're eventually gonna build some panels and yada, yada, yada, mountain through the walls, and that's all great, but you can't really expect to just be able to like be. Rooms treated. So just build as you go and

Benedikt: just make it work. Totally. And again, we're gonna link to all of these episodes and the show notes, um, because on, on all of these topics we have like dedicated episodes. Totally.

Malcom: Yeah. That Esco uh, episode is like my most recommended episode that I've ever sent out. I send it out like at least once a week. . It's like, awesome. Somebody's got a question. Oh, this answers everything.

Benedikt: yes to. Yes, totally. That one's really, really great. For sure. And Esco Esco is an awesome, uh, has an awesome resource himself. Uh, it's like, it's acoustic insider.com if you go there. Um, there's a blog and the great YouTube channel, and he also has a, a courses and all kinds of things. So. Just go there. Yeah, for sure. The final thing on my list here and, and it's not plugins and it's not like Upwork gear or anything like that because if you pick a good doll, it should have everything you need to be to begin with your home studio. And I wouldn't buy anything besides a doll if I were to start out now. But the one thing you need though, is that's the final thing on the list. It's like small things that we tend to forget, and those are things like cables, like quality cables, nothing crazy, but like quality stuff that doesn't break. Then it's like strings. Picks and different types of picks depending on the instrument you record, of course, drum hits, adapters, all these like small little things. This list will grow over time. When you start, like in the beginning, you won't think about all of the things, but just right, try to think through all the stuff you wanna record and what you could potentially need, and then just get a supply and make sure you have it when you need it. Because when inspiration strikes and you, you got your setup and you just want to go and then you're missing that one little adapter or you don't, you know, a string, you know, you, you. You need to replace a string on your guitar and you don't have any, then you have to stop. And that's frustrating. So just make sure you have all these things. So it's embarrassing

Malcom: when you get into that position. You break a string, you're like, I don't have another set, , because we're done.

Benedikt: Exactly, exactly. And that's one of those things where I would invest more money into then, for example, plugins, when you start out, I would get, like, I would experiment with different types of strings, for example. And you know, a pack of like bass strings can be relatively expensive and if you need like 2, 3, 4 of them for an album, or if you wanna experiment with different types, this can cost quite a bit of money. But that's, that money's better invested than, um, the going out and buying some sort of plugin that you're just saw on YouTube when you don't actually know what to do with it yet. So Right. Definit. Buy those things first because they are gonna make more of a difference. It's, it's really, really, really important. Yeah. I, I

Malcom: had a realization about plug-ins the other day that, that's funny. Is like, because people do love buying plug-ins of course, but then it's hilarious because they end up sending it to somebody like you or I Benny, to mix it and they take all of the plugins off when they send it to us. So it's like you're never getting to realize the value of that plugin really . Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. So try, try and operate on just what you need for

Benedikt: sure. Absolutely. Absolutely. So to sum it up, I'd say we do a two, we actually will do a two-part episode. I know I said it's gonna be all in one episode, but it's just gonna be too long. So let's, let's separate the, the two. Let's keep this the gear episode and the next time we're gonna talk about how to actually get started once you have all these things, how to put it together, how to learn it, how to use it to record your first song, uh, how we would go about it. Um, to sum it up, now you need a computer. Some current computer is good enough. I say I, I said I would buy a Mac, but any sort of current machine that's somewhat decent will do the chop, especially if you're not mixing and it's just recording. Get a computer if you don't have one. Get an interface, an audio interface, get microphones or one microphone depending on your needs. Get a the softer to record with. Get a pair of headphones or two pairs of headphones. If there's more than you in the room, uh, recording, get a pair of speakers just to be able to check on speakers, but prioritize headphones, do basic room treatment, do some research there, and start to improve your room with what you can do right now. And then make sure you have strings, cables, drum heads, picks, adapters, th those types of things. And you should be

Malcom: good to go. Last thing you'll need is just like a couple chairs, you know, make it so you can actually hang out in that room. . Yeah, Couch,

Benedikt: ex. Exactly. Exactly. And, and coffee. And coffee,

Malcom: coffee.

Yes. Yes, yes. But like, really, like honestly, at that point, like Benny's list there, you've got a studio, you know, you've got everything you need to make a record. That's pretty incredible.

Benedikt: Yeah. So what would that, the final thing maybe to say here, what would that cost you or could that cost you? Let's say, let's just, let's add it up real quick. Let's just roundabout. Yeah. Like, and, and let's, let's pretend it's like, let's say US dollars. I would say interface. Couple, like a few hundred dollars. A couple hundred bucks. Yeah. Gives you a good, good one. Microphone. Let's say like run about, depending on the amount of mics you need, it's hard to tell, but like for most people also, a couple of hundred is enough. Yeah. Um, if it's just a vocal mic and maybe a 57 or something. The doll, again, some of the things that would look would be like, fif total would be 1500 or something at this point. Um, headphones, basic room treatment, and then the, I would say roundabout, I'm just, I'm just thinking out loud, but like roundabout. Two to three grand can absolutely get you started. If you add the, the computer. Yeah. Yeah. If you get the com, if you add the computer to that, um, let's say below, it's definitely doable, including the computer. It's doable below 5k. Um, yes. And you, you got, and you got something really decent that you'll have for a long time and that you can record great stuff with. Yeah, I'd

Malcom: say. Yeah. Yeah. I, I think you're in the right price range. I think we're both assuming us here. Yes. Uh, for a currency, just keep that in mind. Um, but that's, that's going to give you something. Um, you can of course go way higher. I did same or, or probably make it happen for lower, you know, just like browse your, your used marketplace on Facebook or whatever, um, and, and just scrounge some stuff if you need to. Uh, yeah. It's all, it's all doable. You can make it happen. Um, but that's a, a pretty good expectation. And, uh, something that I, that is, has occurred to me that it may seem like we're always kind of like telling you to buy stuff, but what we're really trying to do is tell you that yeah, you're gonna have to buy a lot of stuff, but this is what you should prioritize. This is like the order of like, like you're gonna need speakers, you're gonna need headphones, but headphones are way higher on that list. That's what we're saying.

Benedikt: Yes, absolutely. We're gonna, uh, we, we wanna help you not waste money by buying, uh, the wrong things, you know? So, yeah, because that's,

Malcom: it's, it's more common than you would believe to think the wrong things are important. If you walk into a music store, they will try and sell you speakers first. For sure. Yes. And that's, that's not because they're evil, it's just because speakers sell. You're gonna see them, you wanna look at 'em, you can listen to 'em and hear 'em. They're impressive. Uh, and, and it's just like, yeah, studios, when you look at a studio, they've got speakers. That's what you need. Right? But it's like you, you don't, you, you could actually get by without them. .

Benedikt: Yes. Yes, totally. And if you think like, 5k sounds like a lot of money. It is. But on the other hand, if you, if you are serious about this and you think, okay, so I'm spending $5,000 on my home studio setup, then I'm gonna have to invest in myself. Probably. I mean, you can do it with free content only, but I highly, I highly recommend investing in yourself too, because it's gonna be much faster and it's gonna be lead to much better results. So whether you, you know, you join my coaching program, or you buy a course, or you buy someone else's course, uh, invest in yourself, add that to that, then add, um, time to really learn it. And this is still. Gonna cost you less than going to a professional studio and record a produce and, and, and all that, like a full length record. Yeah. And yeah, the, the Pro studio will sound better than what you can do in the beginning. But what you learn here and what you set up here for yourself, you can use that over and over and over again. And if you do more than just a song here and there, if you do e doing EPS full length albums, or if you're gonna use that for five or six, seven years, whatever, over time, this is actually very affordable if you look at it that way because you got, you wanna have your music record recorded anyways, right? And there's no shortcut, there's no super cheap option to get that done. You can either do it yourself or you can get it done by someone else. But in the grand scheme of things, I think even if you invest heavily in yourself, um, and you buy a decent home studio setup, if you can. Like in, in one or two years from now, if you can make a great record, a great EP yourself and it costs you less than $10,000, that's actually still a bargain. So

Malcom: it's just a reality . Um, and, and chances are, you've probably got some of this already. You've probably got a computer or somebody in your band does, right? Um, somebody's probably got a microphone that you can start with. Headphones, you probably, uh, I mean actually, you know what, , everybody used to have wired headphones. Not many people do anymore. So , I guess that's changed . Yeah. Yeah, totally. Um, totally. But yeah, you can try and make it work for a while.

Benedikt: Uh, one thing we've got on this list, by the way, um, if we're gonna talk more about this next time, next episode, but depending on the music you make and prob probably useful for most people is like a small mid controller. I forgot that. So if you're watching this on YouTube, something, something like this, if you can see it here, right? Like a small mid controller just to uh, you know, program things real quick. Um, this is really handy. Thing to have very handy. And it, it's, it's not very expensive too. So low

Malcom: on the priority list, but on the list for sure, there is, uh, Benny and I are at some point this year, maybe even more than once, we're gonna be in the same, same place for the first time ever. We're gonna be in the same physical space. Yeah. And get to hang out. And I've been trying to brainstorm ideas for like content we could make. Stuff we could do that would be cool and interesting and fun and relevant for our audience. And an idea just came to mind, and I would love for people to chime in if this interests you, but what if we tried to make a production on like as cheap as we could, so we had to like source everything, uh, and put together a like super beginner set up and then make a super high quality song as a result. That would be a fun thing to try and make

Benedikt: happen. That's a very cool idea actually. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let us know if you think that's good.

Malcom: Or if you have other ideas for us, totally let us know.

Uh, yeah, totally. What was the, the contact email again? Betty?

Benedikt: Uh, podcast, the self recording

Malcom: ben.com. There we go. Or Instagram's fine

Benedikt: too, guys. Exactly. All right. So hope you found that helpful. Uh, hope it didn't confuse you further, but yeah, just go through that list again. Uh, go to the show notes. If you're watching on YouTube, it's in the description below. And there's a link to the full show notes. If you are on your podcast app. There is a link to, um, there, you see the list, you see links to other relevant episodes. And if you just go through that li list like that, you see it's just five, six bullet points and you just check them off, get the things you need, and, um, then listen to next week's episode when we tell you how to actually set it all up and use it. Yeah, and that's gonna

Malcom: be the place where we mentioned, hey, maybe you've skipped some of these like fundamental skills on your path so far. So if you're already advanced with this next episode, it's still

Benedikt: gonna be relevant. Yeah. All right. Thank you for listening. Talk to you next week. Okay, take care. Bye.

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