Earlier this fall, I managed to sell a composition for an upcoming ad campaign. I can’t really go into specifics about that song yet, but be assured that once the ads go live I will be bringing them to your attention. I decided to take a portion of the earnings from that sale to invest in home studio equipment. My goal is to start working exclusively in Pro Tools in order to become versed enough to list it on my resume and to be able to produce professional quality recordings on my own, should the opportunity arise again.
The good news is that because Avid is currently rolling out the new Mbox 3 and Pro Tools 9, I’m in a great position to acquire an Mbox 2 for a great price and get it bundled with the new Pro Tools for a little bit extra. The other needs I have are for mics and a MIDI controller. Which ones you ask? Well that’s what I’m trying to decide.
One mic I’m seriously considering is the Apex 460, a tube condenser microphone that manages to provide a very high level of quality for a very affordable price. It is essentially a clone of the much more expensive Telefunken M16 for about $1200 less, but I have heard that the cut-rate parts might not be worth the savings. Another idea is to get Audio Technica’s AT2020, a high-quality/low-cost condenser mic that can be used on a variety of sources. The AT2020 is affordable enough for me to consider getting two off the bat for stereo recording. I expect that this is the mic I will go with.
As for MIDI controllers, I’m less certain about where to go. My work up until now has been produced in Apple’s Garageband which includes a keyboard “musical typing” interface, so I haven’t had to think about MIDI controllers. Since I will be doing most of my MIDI composition with Reason now, I will need to get a controller. M-Audio is essentially the standard for this type of equipment, and I expect that I will start my search with their Axiom line. If you are reading this and you have any suggestions, I’m all ears.
One of the biggest obstacles towards setting up a home studio was unexpected: space! My apartment is 425 square feet, and there isn’t an extra inch anywhere in the floor plan. We’re going to have to rearrange furniture to allow space for a desktop, and it will probably end up in the bedroom. I do most of my live recording in there anyway because it’s much quieter than in the living room with the buzzing refrigerator and mewing cat.
So that’s the plan for now. As soon as the check arrives, I’ll pull the trigger. Expect lots of updates when the time comes.