Recommended 'bedroom studio' setup

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
samsteeno
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Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:20 am
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Recommended 'bedroom studio' setup

Post by samsteeno » Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:49 am

Hey guys! I've been playing with, learning, and enjoying Ableton Live 9 for awhile now and I thought it'd be time to start investing in some gear. I have ordered the Ableton Push controller and it should be here this week (soo keen to finally get it!); I have also ordered the NI Komplete Audio 6 audio interface which comes with Komplete Elements... I have watched a lot of videos and read a lot of reviews and these are the two things I have decided to start with!

I have a Macbook Pro 2009 - 4GB RAM - 320GB HDD. I restored a nice desk with a headphone hook, monitor stands, etc. to work on, I also have a KORG nanoKONTROL2. I own a nice pair of Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones, and use these to mix and produce on, until I can buy a decent set of monitors (was thinking KRK RPG3 6"). I think I will buy a basic SM57 mic to record anything I need.

When buying stuff I want to save up and 'buy once', instead of buying some cheap alternative and 'buy twice' later on; I want gear that will help/keep me producing and mixing for years to come! I will slowly buy and learn each part of my setup.

I want the cheapest but most effective set up, I don't have a lot of money, but I am looking for things to start saving for and working towards; and what I'll need to have decent set up to start producing. I am looking to produce all different types of electronic music. I have also had a decent amount of experience mixing sound live, at church, youth, venue hires, production crewing, etc. I also enjoy DJing and I own a NI Traktor Kontrol S4.

I understand that I have to acoustically treat my room to get the right sound for when I have monitors; I am working on it... I am just starting out producing and I am focusing on 'slowly reading through the big book of producing and Ableton Live'; so I am not really looking for recommendations to spend $2000 on treating my room, $1000 on monitors, and $5000 on high-end gear 'before I do anything'; like I have seen people suggest on other websites.

I will be doing most of my producing, mixing, and mastering ITB (in the box), but you can suggest a cheap solution or tip to get it sounding good (e.g. analog compressor, stereo EQ, etc.).

I am mainly posting on here to see what my fellow Ableton users would recommend for a decent setup, and tips for me to start producing! I value all opinions, recommendations, tips, and replies!
Thanks guys!

stevemac
Posts: 159
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:57 pm

Re: Recommended 'bedroom studio' setup

Post by stevemac » Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:33 am

You have everything you need!

Synths & FX - check
Audio Interface - check
Headphones or Monitors - check
Decent computer - check

you're good to go!


You seriously have more here than almost any beginner. I would spend as much time learning how to make tracks as you're setup is already strong.

Any additions will be about preference and tools you want, rather then need, and you won't be able to know exactly what you want until you're got a bit more experience.

Good luck and get cracking!

102455
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Re: Recommended 'bedroom studio' setup

Post by 102455 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:25 am

samsteeno wrote: I understand that I have to acoustically treat my room
Correction - you may have to acoustically treat your room. It depends on the room.

If you're in a bedroom/lounge then treatment may not be required. If you're in a basement/garage/store room then treatment is more likely to be required.

Basically, soft furnishings = good. Hard reflective surfaces = bad.



Whichever room type you have, you won't need to turn it into an anechoic chamber :-) just put up 2-4 acoustic foam panels.

samsteeno
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:20 am
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Re: Recommended 'bedroom studio' setup

Post by samsteeno » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:53 am

stevemac wrote:You have everything you need!

Synths & FX - check
Audio Interface - check
Headphones or Monitors - check
Decent computer - check

you're good to go!


You seriously have more here than almost any beginner. I would spend as much time learning how to make tracks as you're setup is already strong.

Any additions will be about preference and tools you want, rather then need, and you won't be able to know exactly what you want until you're got a bit more experience.

Good luck and get cracking!

Awesome! Thanks brother! I'm so pumped about having my own producing space, I've experimenting with beats and playing with all different instruments and effects and I'm loving it, I have a lot of friends that rap and want me to make them 'beats'... I feel so cool, haha! So far I haven't met another producer so for awhile I've been wondering 'what else do I need'; everything seems sweet! My Push or Audio 6 haven't arrrived yet but I'll be keen to get started with that and can finally get off my laptop keyboard for mashing out beats and melodies! :o
Thanks for your reply.
The Finn wrote:Believe you me, after the coming apocalypse, when we are all reduced to huddling around little fires in the smoking ruins, your Ableton Push is not going to make any sounds.
https://soundcloud.com/sam-steensen

samsteeno
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:20 am
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Re: Recommended 'bedroom studio' setup

Post by samsteeno » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:58 am

102455 wrote:
samsteeno wrote: I understand that I have to acoustically treat my room
Correction - you may have to acoustically treat your room. It depends on the room.

If you're in a bedroom/lounge then treatment may not be required. If you're in a basement/garage/store room then treatment is more likely to be required.

Basically, soft furnishings = good. Hard reflective surfaces = bad.



Whichever room type you have, you won't need to turn it into an anechoic chamber :-) just put up 2-4 acoustic foam panels.
This is what I needed to hear! I've seen so many 'pros' say to beginners on forums to 'spend all your budget on treating your room before you do anything else', etc. All I want to do is make a few fun tracks and start learning how to produce, I don't want to create the 'perfect mixed song - in the perfectly acoustic room' just yet! I want to learn heaps and enjoy myself.
Thanks for your reply man!
The Finn wrote:Believe you me, after the coming apocalypse, when we are all reduced to huddling around little fires in the smoking ruins, your Ableton Push is not going to make any sounds.
https://soundcloud.com/sam-steensen

fishmonkey
Posts: 4187
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:50 am

Re: Recommended 'bedroom studio' setup

Post by fishmonkey » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:10 pm

102455 wrote:
samsteeno wrote: I understand that I have to acoustically treat my room
Correction - you may have to acoustically treat your room. It depends on the room.

If you're in a bedroom/lounge then treatment may not be required. If you're in a basement/garage/store room then treatment is more likely to be required.

Basically, soft furnishings = good. Hard reflective surfaces = bad.



Whichever room type you have, you won't need to turn it into an anechoic chamber :-) just put up 2-4 acoustic foam panels.
treatment is necessary for almost all rooms if you want to really want/need to be able to hear what your speakers are actually saying. and it's the lower frequencies that are hardest to deal with.

for a beginner it may not be the first thing to worry about, but it is still important to know that the sound of the room will greatly shape some of the sound that you are hearing. at least then you will understand one of the main reasons why a mix that sounds perfect in your room sounds so off in another space.

samsteeno
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:20 am
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Re: Recommended 'bedroom studio' setup

Post by samsteeno » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:38 pm

fishmonkey wrote:
102455 wrote:
samsteeno wrote: I understand that I have to acoustically treat my room
Correction - you may have to acoustically treat your room. It depends on the room.

If you're in a bedroom/lounge then treatment may not be required. If you're in a basement/garage/store room then treatment is more likely to be required.

Basically, soft furnishings = good. Hard reflective surfaces = bad.



Whichever room type you have, you won't need to turn it into an anechoic chamber :-) just put up 2-4 acoustic foam panels.
treatment is necessary for almost all rooms if you want to really want/need to be able to hear what your speakers are actually saying. and it's the lower frequencies that are hardest to deal with.

for a beginner it may not be the first thing to worry about, but it is still important to know that the sound of the room will greatly shape some of the sound that you are hearing. at least then you will understand one of the main reasons why a mix that sounds perfect in your room sounds so off in another space.

If I am only producing in my small bedroom at my desk with smaller near-field (6"?) monitors what would I need to better treat my room with? I understand you ultimately have to see my room, and speakers when I get them, etc. but what are some general rules when it comes to smaller monitors on my desk.
Cheers
The Finn wrote:Believe you me, after the coming apocalypse, when we are all reduced to huddling around little fires in the smoking ruins, your Ableton Push is not going to make any sounds.
https://soundcloud.com/sam-steensen

102455
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Re: Recommended 'bedroom studio' setup

Post by 102455 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:33 pm

The thing here is not so much about needing to treat your room, but more about educating your ears so you know how that room sounds.

You'll need to "learn" the sound of your new speakers too.

Use reference tracks. Something you know inside out. Listen in your new space and see if it sounds "correct" - as you expected it to sound.

Once you have the speakers, move them from room to room and play the same material on them. Notice any changes?

You can compare the sound from the speakers (in the room) to the sound in a pair of good closed back headphones too.

jlgrimes
Posts: 1471
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:55 am
Location: Atlanta, Ga

Re: Recommended 'bedroom studio' setup

Post by jlgrimes » Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:27 pm

samsteeno wrote:Hey guys! I've been playing with, learning, and enjoying Ableton Live 9 for awhile now and I thought it'd be time to start investing in some gear. I have ordered the Ableton Push controller and it should be here this week (soo keen to finally get it!); I have also ordered the NI Komplete Audio 6 audio interface which comes with Komplete Elements... I have watched a lot of videos and read a lot of reviews and these are the two things I have decided to start with!

I have a Macbook Pro 2009 - 4GB RAM - 320GB HDD. I restored a nice desk with a headphone hook, monitor stands, etc. to work on, I also have a KORG nanoKONTROL2. I own a nice pair of Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones, and use these to mix and produce on, until I can buy a decent set of monitors (was thinking KRK RPG3 6"). I think I will buy a basic SM57 mic to record anything I need.

When buying stuff I want to save up and 'buy once', instead of buying some cheap alternative and 'buy twice' later on; I want gear that will help/keep me producing and mixing for years to come! I will slowly buy and learn each part of my setup.

I want the cheapest but most effective set up, I don't have a lot of money, but I am looking for things to start saving for and working towards; and what I'll need to have decent set up to start producing. I am looking to produce all different types of electronic music. I have also had a decent amount of experience mixing sound live, at church, youth, venue hires, production crewing, etc. I also enjoy DJing and I own a NI Traktor Kontrol S4.

I understand that I have to acoustically treat my room to get the right sound for when I have monitors; I am working on it... I am just starting out producing and I am focusing on 'slowly reading through the big book of producing and Ableton Live'; so I am not really looking for recommendations to spend $2000 on treating my room, $1000 on monitors, and $5000 on high-end gear 'before I do anything'; like I have seen people suggest on other websites.

I will be doing most of my producing, mixing, and mastering ITB (in the box), but you can suggest a cheap solution or tip to get it sounding good (e.g. analog compressor, stereo EQ, etc.).

I am mainly posting on here to see what my fellow Ableton users would recommend for a decent setup, and tips for me to start producing! I value all opinions, recommendations, tips, and replies!
Thanks guys!

Do you plan on recording vocals in your bedroom (didn't mention anything on recording)?

If so you definitely want to treat your bedroom or come up with a way to do an outside vocal booth or a small portable one like Whisperroom.


Other than that a lot depends on what your style of music is to make recommendations.

I will definitely say spend to money on the following (Pretty much all studios need these):

1. Decent pair of monitors (not necessarily saying to buy to most expensive pair of monitors but make sure you are getting a decent reference of your sound).

2. A Room treatment kit.(not necessarily say go crazy with room treatment but at the minimum a good deal of acoustical foam can go a long way).

3. Monitor stands.

4. A good desk/keyboard stand/chair setup (This is important. If you aren't comfortable in your environment, this will definitely affect your music you are producing).

5. Either one nice big HDTV screen or (2 decent sized monitors). Once again comfort helps. Having a big computer monitor really helps the workflow with DAW productions.

borg
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Re: Recommended 'bedroom studio' setup

Post by borg » Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:04 pm

a cheap, and maybe powerful, addition:

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/ECM8000.aspx

put it on the sweet spot (the place your head will be when producing, it's on of the corners of a equilateral triangle, the other two points being your monitors), send pink noise through the speakers, take the mic as an input of a track (of course mute this track), and put the spectrum device on this track. you should be able to see which frequencies are causing problems.
if possible, move your setup away from the back wall (sweet spot should be at 32% of the length of the room, if i'm not mistaken, or was it 38%).

this mic can be very good for other things as well: overhead recording, sampling,...
it's a behringer, but will do. it does better in tests than some of the much more expensive alternatives anyway.
andy
2015 MBP, OSX 10.12, Live 10.1 64bit, RME Fireface 800

Dr Dub
Posts: 455
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Re: Recommended 'bedroom studio' setup

Post by Dr Dub » Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:43 pm

I second that you have about more than most Beginners and a really good selection.

In my Opinion, next step would be Monitors which can be quite expansive and this is the one Area where spending some money is really clever, because of two things:

You use them ALL THE TIME you make Music and not just sometimes and good Monitors are quite future proof.

So you might wait a bit and save for Genelecs or Adams which will serve you a really long time.

Another thing might be a nice Mic if you plan to record "real" instruments. A sm57 is always good to have but i would think about a rode nt1a or something like that

Best advise: Don t buy, make music!!!
Live Suite 9 - MBPR 15 - NI Komplete Audio 6 - Push - Brain - Hands - Melodica

fishmonkey
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Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:50 am

Re: Recommended 'bedroom studio' setup

Post by fishmonkey » Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:32 pm

102455 wrote:The thing here is not so much about needing to treat your room, but more about educating your ears so you know how that room sounds.
most rooms that people are using as home studios have terrible acoustics. if you are serious about making music, why would you want to fight with the room sound?

room treatment isn't sexy like buying shiny new gear, but IMO good room treatment goes hand in hand with good speakers.

and these days it is not that hard to do some basic room acoustic testing.

condra
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Contact:

Re: Recommended 'bedroom studio' setup

Post by condra » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:05 pm

I would say spend a bit more and improve on the KRKs, and treat your room acoustically.
Good luck.

Sional
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Re: Recommended 'bedroom studio' setup

Post by Sional » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:55 pm

samsteeno wrote: but you can suggest a cheap solution or tip to get it sounding good (e.g. analog compressor, stereo EQ, etc.). and tips for me to start producing! I value all opinions, recommendations, tips, and replies!
Thanks guys!
1. Your ears.
2. A woman of childbearing age

samsteeno
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:20 am
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Re: Recommended 'bedroom studio' setup

Post by samsteeno » Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:18 am

borg wrote:a cheap, and maybe powerful, addition:

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/ECM8000.aspx

put it on the sweet spot (the place your head will be when producing, it's on of the corners of a equilateral triangle, the other two points being your monitors), send pink noise through the speakers, take the mic as an input of a track (of course mute this track), and put the spectrum device on this track. you should be able to see which frequencies are causing problems.
if possible, move your setup away from the back wall (sweet spot should be at 32% of the length of the room, if i'm not mistaken, or was it 38%).

this mic can be very good for other things as well: overhead recording, sampling,...
it's a behringer, but will do. it does better in tests than some of the much more expensive alternatives anyway.

I think my mate has one of those, was talking to him about room acoustics the other day; I'll see if he can help me clean up my room a bit!
Last edited by samsteeno on Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
The Finn wrote:Believe you me, after the coming apocalypse, when we are all reduced to huddling around little fires in the smoking ruins, your Ableton Push is not going to make any sounds.
https://soundcloud.com/sam-steensen

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