A New Piece of the Home Studio

Over the past few years, I’ve been saving up and buying pieces to keep up a small home studio. It’s not high end gear, but it’s good for what it does. I have an M-Audio 2 channel interface for guitar input, but I can accept powered or unpowered xlr and MIDI. For the mic, I went with a Blue Yeti Pro. There are better options for various applications, but as I’m not a singer, it’ll make a good all around microphone. After playing around with it I soon discovered that a pop filter and shock mount were not really optional. For monitoring, I went with a good pair of studio headphones to get started.

I had been using an old Dell workstation with Ubuntu for the software interface, but since I had to replace my ageing Windows laptop, the new one will become my DAW. Reaper is effectively free, and will serve until something justifies upgrading to Reason or something similar.

But since Christmas brought with it a couple cash gifts, I was able to put that toward the newest addition: a 49-key Novation Impulse MIDI keyboard. Even better, it comes with a ton of great software, including a free edition of Ableton Live. I’m no pianist, but this tool will allow me to put down some backing tracks, and create some drum and bass grooves for experimenting with the guitars and saxes.

With this addition, I have enough to do just about anything. There are still additions on the horizon, though, as money allows. A good pair of bookshelf monitors will be nice, and a stand alone monitor will allow easier viewing than the laptop when I’m working at home. I’d also like to consider some software amp and effect modeling for the guitars, but that can wait. The only questions now are what do I record first, and how can I setup best to take the keyboard and laptop in a live situation?

Jason Blair