Greetings friends! First and foremost- We hope this message finds you well.
Let me ask you something… How many unfinished projects do you have? How many masterpieces have you started that you will “finish tomorrow”? We’ve found more time on our hands inside our home studios, so let’s make the most of it! The lines between home and professional studio has been blurred over the years thanks to advances in recording and mixing technology, and recording artists like Tame Impala and the rising-star FINNEAS have both produced critically acclaimed albums from the comfort of their own homes in just the past couple of years.
So read what we at Mixware think are some of the essentials for a bedroom producer today.
Portable DAW MIDI Control Surface
The Icon Pro Audio Platform Nano is one of the smallest DAW midi control surfaces on the market today. It features a motorized fader, jog wheel controls, and many other features in an extremely portable form-factor. It works excellently either as an addition to your studio without compromising the rest of your setup, or as the main centerpiece for controlling your recording sessions wherever they may take you.
Icon also has the Icon Pro Audio I-Controls an even smaller mixing midi controller for your transport and fader controls. It features 9 Faders and Encoders, 18 customizable midi buttons, and is designed directly for use with Logic Pro, Ableton, Cubase, Samplitude, and Nuendo. The I-Controls fits easily into any backpack and will pair perfectly with a laptop setup in your home studio or on the go.
The QCon Pro Series and Platform M+ are Icon’s full sized control surfaces if you’re looking to upgrade your studio to the next level. They communicate via MIDI and HUI protocol with just about all DAW’s to give you true tactile control in the studio. Icon also offers extensions for these control surfaces so you control up to 32 channels simultaneously!
Between recording sessions it’s always important to keep your gear as fresh and protected as possible even in your own home. We can never overlook a pet on the prowl or an inattentive loved one that could scratch or seriously damage our gear when we’re not paying attention. Accidents happen and Decksaver has shown time and time again that investing in your equipment’s well-being is one of the bets insurance policies for your gear. Decksaver offers covers for synths, mixers, grooveboxes, and even more!
Another important tool in the studio is going to be your MIDI keyboard to track out ideas and smooth out the entire artist workflow. Big or small a MIDI keyboard gets the job done efficiently, and is a staple tool for good reason in any home or professional studio. The Icon Pro Audio IKeyboard Nano and Mini Series meets those needs by providing keyboards from 25 to 88 keys, semi-weighted keys, and provide extra mappable MIDI controls for direct DAW integration.
Probably the most important piece of gear a producer needs is a USB interface to record from their outboard gear into their DAW. The Icon Pro Audio Platform U22 is a professional quality interface with 2 inputs and 2 outputs perfect for any home studio setup. It’s full metal design gives it a rugged and durable build quality you can trust, and it utilizes USB 3.0 for high speed low latency audio processing.
When recording a larger setup like drums or even an entire band you will need something with much more than 2 inputs. The Phonic AM Gold Edition mixers are the perfect solution for these sort of cases. They all feature USB connectivity and come with either 5, 6, 8, 12, or 14 inputs for both live and studio environments. Phonic leaves no compromises in terms of sound quality with their analog ultra low-noise pre amps inside each of their mixers, and they also include internal recording and playback via microSD.
Now when thinking of the difference between a home and professional studio setup one of the first things we think of is the actual sound of the room itself. Sound treatment is something we cannot avoid as producers and sound engineers, and so the best way to approach such is with an audio analyzer. There may be no such thing as a perfect sounding studio, but we can’t deny that we want to make it sound as close to perfect as we can. Phonic offers the PAA3X and PAA6, two advanced audio analyzers designed to tune our recording environment and equipment.