Author Archives: Arthur

Important Things to Look At When Buying a New Studio Computer

Most of the time, monitors, DAW software, microphones, and even the recording studio itself sums up a quality recording studio. However, if there’s one thing that made all of these things possible, it’s the computer.

This is why it’s just as important to make sure you have the best computer for all your studio needs.

I’ll say it from the start that you could be a Mac or Windows user– your call, since the parts that make up the studio computer is what will give you a quality experience. And these are what you really need to check before buying a new studio computer:

  • Storage
  • Connectivity
  • Form Factor
  • RAM
  • Processor
  • Monitor

Storage

The HD quality of audio files today can easily fill up a 1TB storage drive and even faster if you factor in a handful of musical instruments into the mix.

In fact, 1TB these days just won’t cut it. This is the norm when it comes to entry-level studio computer setups. A solid state drive is also recommended for faster performance. It’s also quite a hassle, really to bring an external storage device everywhere you go. This is why a computer or a laptop with more than 1TB of storage space is always recommended.

If ever you still find yourself needing more space, there’s no harm in getting an additional external storage device.

Connectivity

It’s also important that the studio computer can be modified to accommodate to all your gears.

Come to think of it, you’ll need a port for audio interfaces, controllers, displays, external drives, mouse, keyboard, and many more. Regardless, a studio computer that already supports USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt is almost always critically needed.

Form Factor

This is yet another important thing that you should keep an eye on before buying a new studio computer.

It’s a given that most music producers have their own studio but working away from the studio is also critically vital. Depending on your needs, a laptop may suffice but the need for a tablet or an iPad is always welcome and a possibility.

At the end of the day, you want to make sure that this is capable of supporting your beat.

RAM

Your studio computer should have at least 16GB of RAM– more if you’re also running a handful of virtual instruments and sample libraries.

If you’re not sure how much you really need, then look at the size of your sample library because half of it is what is usually needs. Regardless, it’s best you go with more than half because Windows itself can also take up a lot of RAM easily.

Monitor

It’s always best for music producers to see the entirety of the raw audio file as this makes it a whole lot easier to see flaws or out of tune notes.

While it’s true that a lot of laptops comes with a screen, it’s usually not enough, especially if you’re dealing with a long project. An ultrawide monitor is usually preferred by professionals as this gives you all the details you need at one glance.

Check out WePC’s Best Black Friday Monitor Deals to get the best ultrawide monitors at very affordable prices– possibly the cheapest this year.

Processor

The speed of your processor is not really a big of an issue when it comes to editing and creating music.

In fact, older computers are more than capable of recording audios easily. But this is not to say that you shouldn’t go with the fastest processor if you have the opportunity because doing so gives you a future-proof build at the same time.

Where Can I Find the Best Deals?

There are a lot of online stores these days like Amazon, Best Buy, eBay these days that you can buy products from. And considering the fact that Black Friday and Cyber Monday is just around the corner, it’d be best to be a little more patient to get the best deals at cheap prices.

Now with all of these said, chances are you’ll get nothing but the best performance from your next studio computer.

Finding the Easiest Music Production Software for Beginner

Band in Recording Studio
As recording software get more advanced, and computers, becoming much faster, there is no contradiction that with every passing year, it may be seen that the decade past classic analog apparatus is slowly fading out. However, with lots of appliances available it’s not usually easy for a novice to comprehend every fitting together of a piece of a puzzle to configure the big picture of the present-day recording studio. In this article, we’ll cover a guide to music production software for a beginner.

Music production software for beginner guide

Digital audio workstation

First, will start with the humdinger of all recording software, and this is the digital audio workstation usually known as D.A.W. This workstation is the software’s fulcrum that lets the record producer record, edit, and mix, the whole song right from his computer. Prototyped, after consoles of classic analog, the initial aim of producing the earliest digital workstations was to maintain a majority of similar design and workflow. However, it wasn’t long before the software’s upgraded version became the new industry grade. Thus substituting analog consoles in all but most in elite pro studios.

Software plugins

With each digital audio workstation, there exists a group of other mixed programs. These programmes are known as plugins.

These plugins are inserted on single tracks to carry out certain tasks. Through this creative technique of plugin insertion, the digital audio workstation has been able to minimize resource processing while at the same time providing the record producer with add on’s extensive selection from third party companies.

Virtual instruments

Since not many record producers have enough tools to create a whole song they need an excellent way of faking certain sounds from time to time. Here, the solution requires that they use virtual instruments that can provide access to dozens of instruments sounds, for only a meager hundred dollars. They can copy some incredible instruments like piano and drums.

However, they cannot convincingly replicate other tools like a guitar.

The virtual instruments may not sound as substantial as a five thousand dollar electronic drum kit or keyboard. But the good news is if the record producer does not have superb playing skills these instruments will help him a lot. The devices have built-in features that enable the record producer to edit notes. Thus, it almost feels like accurate swindling.

Editing software

HeadphonesToday, music is condemned for being a little perfect, and this new perfection standard is mostly due, to software used for editing becoming so advanced. A record producer can now take a hot chick that cannot be able to sing at all and build her into a big pop star. Well, this is just a slight exaggeration.

Anyway, whether people like it or not they should know that software used for editing is here to stay and when used responsibly it can be a valuable arsenal weapon of a record producer.

The two usual forms of editing are pitch editing and time editing. With pitch editing, a record producer will be able to have the power to fix with razor-sharp accuracy most out of tune vocals.

While with Time Editing, it presents the simplest version of fixing timing problems. This editing type enables a record producer to cut out particular notes and paste them back on the beat.

The three essential plugins

Of groups of plugins used in a particular song, three core tools are used virtually on each track. They include equalization, compression, and reverb. When a record producer uses just these three plugins, he’ll be able to Mold and shape any instrument’s tone.

For any beginner record producer with a need for certain aspects of recording, mastering and mixing music, when he follows the above music production software guide. He’ll be able to record, edit and mix music.

Choosing The Best Noise-canceling Bluetooth Headphones: Sony vs. Bose

Listening to bluetooth headphones
It is quite difficult to write a comparative article on the sound quality of two devices as after a particular price range all sound producing devices look good. Here we are talking about the Bluetooth headphones of two famous brands with the noise-canceling feature. After testing the Sony-MDR 1000x, it made me change my opinion about BT headphones. Sony is believed to make best headphones in the world if we consider shape and comfort. This Sony headphone was given 8.4 stars from a reputed gadget reviewer website but its competitor Bose quiet comfort 35, an 8.8. And this made us review it by ourselves.

The best noise-canceling wireless headphones on the market:

Sony MDR 1000x Noise Cancelling & Bluetooth Headphone

BoseThe battery charging time is around four hours while it plays music for up to 20 hours. This headphone has touch-sensitive control which enables you to pause, next track/previous track and change volume so quickly. You can also disable the noise canceling by just one tap. But the material it uses is mostly plastic to reduce the weight. MDR gives you the same sound quality as in the wired mode. You can also use it in wired mode if the battery is completely drained. After testing it for few days in subways, it was clear that the MDR 100x is capable of canceling extreme noises to a tolerable level.

Bose Quiet Comfort 35 Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones

SonyNow we compared this one with MDR in different places like parks and subways to understand the noise frequency band which it can reduce. After switching both the headphones frequently, it was clear that MDR was capable of canceling the broader range of sound frequencies than Bose QC 35. But both did an excellent job to cancel the noise and produce quality sound.

Now after comparing their noise-canceling abilities, we moved on to compare their sound quality by hearing many different music genres. After listening to the same on both, we felt that the Bose QC35 produced less dynamic sound and the sound was lesser alive than the sound produced by MDR.

Final verdict:
In the end, after using both the headphones for a long time, we can conclude that both the headphones are highly comfortable and produce superb sound quality. If we dig deeper into the technical part, we find the Sony MDR seems much better.

Ultimate Guide to Microphone Stands for Studio Setup

Jamming in the studio
A microphone stand is a device with an arm like metal rod which is attached to a standing pole. The arm holds the microphone in a horizontal position aligned to the upright standing pole. The microphone stand is used to place the microphone in a much more convenient way. To hold the mic either in a head-over position or around the mic which would hold firmly with a standard upright pole like a bass system, a guitar, a drum kit, a piano or any other kind of musical instrument.

Fundamentals of setting up microphone stands in the studio:

TYPES OF MICROPHONE BASES

Microphone stand baseThere are two types of ground bases for the microphone stands, solid and tripod. The solid type of ground base for the microphone is flat and round or square, with a firm stand rising from the middle of the field base. The tripod ground base for a microphone stand gets its name as it rests on a ground base three-pronged similar to that of a camera tripod. The basic kind of round base is substantial and cumbersome so that to maintain a low center of gravity but it is not that much extensive.

TYPES OF MICROPHONE STANDS

Tripod Stands

These types of stands are used to place on the bases that are three-pronged. They are easy for storing, and they are meant to be versatile in order to allow for an additional boom.

Tripod Boom Stands

These stands are designed to work as a basic tripod, but it has an arm built on the top. This structure allows for a wider reach than a regular standard tripod stand.

Round Base Stands

Studio MicrophoneA round base stand is an aesthetic hallmark of a microphone stand. These can be useful for professional singers as they occupy lesser floor space and they are harder to trip over because musicians plan to become active.

Low-Profile Stands

The stands are kept low on ground-based microphone stands. They are geared to grasp sounds from many low-setting instruments like a guitar amplifier or a kick drum.

Desktop Stands

The stands are as that of a low-profile position, but they are not designed for musicians. The primary aim is to make comfortable for podcasting and bedroom recording while remaining seated.

Overhead Stand

The microphone stands are helpful when one needs to hold the microphone stand in an extreme height or angle with a drum overhead. This model is the biggest and costliest of all stands, primarily as they are also known as large tripod microphone stands.

Types of SSD and How to Choose the Best One for Music Production

Best SSD for music productionAs advances in technology keep getting more and more complicated, so does the ease of communication, scientific research, discoveries and a general upgrade of people lives come about. One of the main pillars upon which all this is supported is storage of music and information on long term or for a little while. SSD is an especially popular form of storage as it not only provides security for the data, but it comes with high integrity which assures you that there will be no data leaking from your drives or getting lost mysteriously.

However, before going on a quest to find the best SSD storage solution for your home or music production needs, be sure to have some important selection factors in mind to avoid getting low-quality products that will break down on you at any moment. Here are some useful pointers to finding the best SSDs and how you can note the difference between what is suitable for your needs and when you are going overboard.

How to choose the best SSD for music production:

1. Storage Capacity

SSD DriveThe storage capacity of your drives will determine the kind of information which can be packed therein. If for instance, you intend to work on a multimedia project, the files will no doubt be bulky so you should always choose a drive capacity that is higher than that of the records you intend to store on it. SSDs usually have capabilities in the terabytes so you can rest assured that all the data and information you work with are incrementally stored and can be accessed directly from any other device. As these drives tend to come in a small form factor, the storage capacity is often within the range of terabytes so you can be assured of massive storage capacity without limitations or restrictions of the kind of files you could save on the SSD.

2. SSD Encryption

This is a critical aspect to making your selection of an SSD drive to power through any project you might be having in mind. If files are not encrypted, then they are prone to destruction or even theft, and as such, the files should always be in an encrypted format when being stored. Different SSDs come with the various formats for encryption, and in other cases, you might even set your security key which will from that moment onwards be used in the sealing of files which then enables only authorized users to access the information. If your SSD is encrypted, it will tend to stand up to even the meanest of attacks such as those carried out over a network connection so even when you leave it plugged into a connected machine on a network, the files and folders will still be in a safe condition.

3. Locks

Like dongles, drives also have a manual lock which prevents writes made to the archive without consent or authorization. However, most locks are usually in a digital form, and an encrypted hash has to be matched up with a key hence ensuring that all the information is safe from unauthorized access. Moving the drive itself should be after all the locks, and access codes have been entered or overridden to avoid getting hacked from outside.

4. Durability of SSD

Computers to produce musicLast but not least on our list of selection criteria to choosing an SSD drive is how long it will continue to serve your needs. Is it robust enough to stand up to the effects and ravages of time on data? Does it come with other features that protect it in the case of a fall or other accident? A durable SSD will survive a fall and still contain all the data intact.

In conclusion, SSD drives have become increasingly popular owing to their ability to hold more data for longer without losing even a single bit. With such a drive, you can store all your files, projects and other information securely and with assured integrity. Each of the five tips that have been listed above will surely be a good starting point in your selection of a storage drive to securely keep your important files. The selection process is also reliant on other factors like the kind of project you are doing or the brand you have established the trust to continuously supply you with the latest technology.

How to Choose Speakers for Music Mastering

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Adding a speaker system to your entertainment or living room will have a big impact on your media consumption. If you’re used to only having the sound produced by your television, you’ll be amazed at what an immersive experience a speaker system will create. Watching movies, sports or listening to music will be more enjoyable for you than ever before. To select the right speaker system, you need to know how a system is set up, your budget and the best brands of studio speakers. You need a guide on how to choose speakers that are up to the challenge. Below are what to consider when choosing a speaker.

The Type of the SpeakerKRK Studio Speakers

The initial step in choosing a good speaker is to select what kind of speaker is required: if it is a floor-standing speaker, a subwoofer or satellite speaker, and an on the wall, on the ceiling or an outdoors speaker. Determining the type of speaker will rely on the purpose for which it is going to be used for. Now, all these several speakers have different qualities and features. For instance, subwoofers are the tiniest speakers with incredible performance whereas; floor standing speakers are the larger ones with a wide range of frequencies and deep bass. Therefore, a proper decision has to be made as to which one to prefer.

Effectiveness of Subwoofer

This sound element enhances the fullness and depth of surround sound as well as sound quality. Mainly, it generates the rumbling sounds you hear when watching action films and the deep bass thump when listening to music.

Effective subwoofers would be the larger ones. Nevertheless, the issue with this sort of subs is that the extremely deep bass leads to poor sound quality of home sound systems. If you would like crystal-clear sounds without the deep bass, you should choose smaller subs. A better alternative would be to purchase some small subwoofers to ensure that the sound quality is improved without the irritating sound resonance.

Amplifier and Receiver

An essential component of your home stereo is the amplifier or the receiver. There has to be a correspondence between the speaker’s power requirements and the receiver capability to provide it. The receiver is reliable for providing power but also to handle the peaks that occur when music is played. Speaker sensitivity (also called speaker efficiency) is the decibel output of the speaker. The sensitivity range runs from very inefficient (85db) to very efficient (105 dB). The more efficient the speaker, the less amplifier power it needs to provide similar performance levels. A strong amplifier is required to cover for inefficient speakers, but even then, you might lose out on fidelity because of the dynamic range.

The Type of Sound you want

The first kind of sound – the clean and accurate sound – is provided by sealed box speakers. These speakers are usually floor standing or bookshelf speakers, which means that they take up some room space. Floor standing speakers are usually the choice of the fine-eared because they provide the highest level of sound fidelity. Usually, floor standing speaker are the most expensive ones, although they do make a long term investment. If you are short on money or space (or both), the next best thing would be bookshelf speakers.

Size and Weight

The size and weight of the portable speaker are another features that you want to consider before purchasing one. If you need to be able to carry your speaker wherever you do, then you want to find a compact speaker. An easy mobility portable speaker will weigh under one pound and shouldn’t be more than 8 inches long. If you want to be able to bring your speaker with you during yoga, running or other fitness activities, then look for a very small one that comes with an armband. The SimplyVibe SV-X3 Sports FM/MP3 Player and Portable Speaker is an excellent choice for a compact speaker on the go.

Stick With Well Known Brands

You’re also going to want to avoid purchasing brands that you have never heard of before or brands that are usually the cheapest on the shelf that you’re looking at. Well, known brands have the financial backing to research and develop their products, which means that you’ll be purchasing a much higher quality speaker than if you were to buy the cheapest just to save money.

What is a Speaker Dock? Audio Docking Station Explained

Speaker DockA speaker dock or a docking station refers to any system with the capacity to accommodate an electronic device while playing music as well as charging its battery simultaneously. It acts as a base for all types of audio equipment, inclusive of music players. As defined above, speaker docks primarily serve two purposes i.e. charging the docked device and playing music from it.

This demands the presence of an external source of power since the power used to play the music is not sourced from the battery being charged. The portable audio device i.e. the audio player sources power directly from the dock, this facilitates the direct transfer of both energy and electricity. In rare cases does a company produce a speaker dock and a corresponding music player for it. Most companies specializing in speaker systems and audio hardware make different types of speaker docks. Some docks have the capacity to handle various audio devices while others can only handle one type, brand or style. There are two types of docking stations in the market: combined docking station and standalone docking station.

Differences between standalone and combined docking station

Docking stations have turned out to be the most awesome option when it comes to connecting your home based collection of music out to the real world. However selecting the particular speaker that fits your preference is an issue.

A standalone docking station is the smallest, most portable and cheapest option in the market. This is the type of docking station that has only one playback feature which is the dock. Being ideal for traveling, a stand alone docking station can help you listen to your favorite music while on the move as they are also light in weight. Combined docking stations are bigger and more expensive, but have the presence of another rolled in feature which could be anything like an alarm or a DAB radio. Essentially they are speaker systems of high-quality allowing for the excellent production of sound. Combined docks are the most prevalent in the market as they run on mains as well as battery power.

Do docking stations have auxiliary support and Bluetooth?

Most docking stations have an extra connector which is used for plugging purposes into the jack. The advantage here is the capacity to play music from other devices such as your handset. Most modern docks come with Bluetooth connectivity allowing for pairing with a Bluetooth enabled player.

Other functions of docking stations:Speaker Dock

Docking stations are not only meant for playing music and charging. Some are utilized as alarm clocks and digital clocks. Bearing a “sleep” setting, most docking stations have the capacity to allow a user to play music for specific set periods before automatic deactivation. Some speaker docks come with wireless remote control, this allows for a user to alter his preferred list of songs and even perform voice adjustments from a distance; maybe while seated on the couch. Some speaker docs synchronize the music stored on the computer with that stored on the portable audio device; this can be achieved wirelessly if the distance is short.

Good Headphones for Both Music and Gaming

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Nowadays, there are many top-quality headphones available on the market, so it could be confusing for you to buy the right one. Unfortunately, some of the best headphones can be quite expensive. If you are looking for a set of mid-range headphones that can give you excellent audio at a lower price, then you should consider the following types of headphones for both Music and Gaming. Find out why you should buy these headphones.

Audio Technica ATH-M50 headphones

These headphones are not only designed to be used by DJs and professional studios but also for by those who want to enjoy their favorite music through the best possible device. When you think of high-quality headphones, you should look features like excellent sound quality, durability, comfort, value, and portability.

Audio Technica ATH-M50 sound quality is excellent within the low range. It has bass that can rumble and shake through the earphones, while the high and mid ranges can stand up to any of the expensive models. When you are using these headphones, the high pitched beeps and noises will be sounded out, and you will notice that the rich detail is crystal clear in every sound. If you take the time to compare the sounds from the more expensive models, you will see that these earphones can match up quickly, even though they are selling for lower prices.

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro

One of the unique features of Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones is their effective but passive noise cancellation. This may explain why some users found them uncomfortable due to the way they cup the ear to ensure all sound remains inwards. Users have reported using them in travel to the same effect of noise canceling earphone, which may appear to be a bonus.

As they are known for their solid sound quality, they are the headphones of choice for a broad range of users. They are enjoyed as the best monitoring headphones, especially for those who need to work on a mix in the studio and not disturb others around them, as well as the average Music lover.

Other headphones for Music and Gaming:

– JVC HA-RX900
– Corsair Vengeance 2000 Wireless 7.1 Gaming Headset
– Razer Kraken 7.1

These pair of headphones were designed for high-end, home entertainment purposes and even professional sound engineering or DJying. If a consumer is looking for a nice and robust pair, this might be a model that would suit them quite well.

So to summarize the above headphones have a robust construction and excellent sound quality. The unique design of these headphones some with swiveling ear cups and ability to fold up makes them very convenient, as well as the ability to easily interchange a broken part on the headphones.

The headphones are designed with huge aperture drivers which offer an excellent function to ensure that users can benefit from high clarity sound, which is a plus point. In addition to those features, you will discover that this model is the real deal; less expensive and can still supply excellent sound to rival any of the other top brands on the market.

Essentially, the above five should be the ultimate headphones for you, because you will be getting the best sound quality possible without spending a fortune.

How to Buy a Home Cinema System

Home Cinema Theater SystemHome cinema systems bring movies to life in ways that are hard to come by any other means and if you are going to buy one for yourself, it’s only wise that you know how to go about it. So here is a simple buyer’s guide to a home cinema.

All in One Theater System

The first thing that you want to think about is the surround system which with its immersive audio qualities and refined psychoacoustics (the way you perceive sound) will take your movie experience to a whole new level. So what are your options here? An all in one system is one way to go as it has all the different packages needed for your home theater. This includes speakers and cables with an option for DVD/Blu Ray Player. You can trust an all in one system to convince you of being in the middle of the action.

2.1 And 3.1 Systems

If for some reason you are not interested with the all in one option, there are definitely other ways to go about it like the 2.1 and 3.1 systems that come with two or three speakers which can be placed strategically around the house for maximum effect.

5.1 And 7.1 Systems

Alternatives to this include 5.1 and 7.1 systems that fall just short of a full home theater and come with up to seven speakers, subwoofers with the option of a DVD/Blu Ray Player. Sound track reproduction works best with this system as each of the 5.1 channels can have a dedicated loudspeaker. The 7.1 pushes the boundary for cinematic experience further by delivering the audio experience with seven speakers and a subwoofer making substantial improvements to sound quality. They also come with wireless capability (meaning that your room doesn’t get untidy from too many cables) and the ability to route radio or video to separate rooms.

Soundbars

Soundbars stand out too as relates to a good cinematic experience. If you don’t want too many speakers everywhere in your room, you might consider this not to mention there is always the option of adding a subwoofer and 3D Sound Plus for greater audio ambiance.

Of course, it goes without saying that you will need HDTV to experience the real thing. Home Cinema Systems are built with them in mind, and the more recent your TV technology, the better service your home cinema choice is going to give you. Older systems work well with older technologies, and it’s always advisable that you look out for compatibility issues before you make your decision.

How The Best Midi Keyboard Should Look Like

bmidikey

If you are a musician or just someone who has a fondness for music, a MIDI keyboard is one of the best companions to have. Especially if you are doing gigs or making music on-the-go, having one at easy access can help you create beats that all of your listeners will definitely love.

Because there are a lot of MIDI keyboards available for purchase on the market, it is easy to get one that does not have all the features you might need to create music. In this article we will show you what best features you should be looking for such a keyboard.

Connects well with your computer

The MIDI keyboard is a virtual instrument that comes with a USB cable. You can easily plug it in a laptop and start making tunes. However, while you do not need special drivers for it to work, you do need to test whether it will be compatible with your PC in the first place. Musicians usually use an Apple desktop or a Mac in their home studios, and these are usually very picky when it comes to external that you are trying to plug in.

The best part is there are MIDI keyboards that charge while they are plugged in via the USB, so there will be times when you do not need to use an external power supply to use it.

Keyboard count

The keyboard count ranges from 25 up until 88. If you are just doing music gigs and touring a city, maybe a 61-key MIDI keyboard is already too big to lug around. This will really depend on what you require as a musician when you are on-the-go. However, if you are going to use this at your home studio, you can go as big as the 88-key MIDI.

Note that that 49-key, 61-key, and 88-key MIDI keyboards come with full-size keys. This might be something you want to consider if you want to produce more expressive music.

Added playing features

You can use the keyboard as your on-the-go piano, but some come with additional playing features that you might want to be on the lookout for.

The Aftertouch is a playing feature that gives more texture and expressiveness to your music. Once you hold down and sustain a key, the MIDI data will play a vibrato note. Of course, you can always use the pitch wheel by your left hand, but an Aftertouch feature makes it convenient for you to control volume and rock those vibrato notes just by adding pressure on a key.

Factors to consider when choosing a MIDI keyboard

The features listed above can be commonly found on MIDI keyboards, but you might be looking for other features to fit your playing needs.

For instance, if you are focused on synths, you might need to get an XY controller pad and faders. And if you really want to use it as a piano, you probably need to get a sustain and dampen pedal input. This will bring the complete piano experience into your virtual studio.