What I hate about YouTube videos “what you need to get started!” is that they assume everyone has $1,000 or so to start with, or they already know everything about everything. Here’s a TOTAL BEGINNER RUNDOWN.

COMPUTER

Chances are, you already have a capable one. Maybe a tower. Maybe a Macbook. Maybe a cheap Dell or HP. But, this cost doesn’t count, so… start there.

AUDIO INTERFACE

The main ones you should know about: Focusrite “Scarlett” series.. Presonus “Audiobox”, Behringer UMC series (they’re hard to find these days). Lesser-used: Steinberg, Native Instruments, MOTU. Most everyone goes with Focusrite, as you can find them everywhere. What this box does is lets you connect a microphone (via an XLR cable, ideally) OR an instrument cable (1/4″, typical guitar cable) directly to it (same hole– those are called “combo jacks”), and then to your computer, via a USB cable. If you are serious about getting good quality recordings, you need to invest in something like this.

MIC

Obviously you know what a microphone is. But, there are two common types– DYNAMIC (handheld LIVE mic) and CONDENSER (the more common studio mic). Get a condenser. The most-loved mic under $100 is the MXL V67G. Beautiful sound and at a VERY cheap price.

MIC CABLE (XLR)

Don’t use an XLR-to-1/4″ cable. You’ll lose quality in the sound, and also signal strength (volume/gain). A simple XLR cable (female to male) is what you need to go from most any mic, to an audio interface. $12.

HEADPHONES

You don’t have to go apeshit, price-wise. I bought a set of Sennheiser HD202’s for like $29 several times over the years (now they’re more rare and expensive). They’re still my favorite studio headphones. I also love a simple $35 set of Audio-Technicas. I don’t remember the exact model #, but they might be off the market. Just awesome headphones for the money. I own a $150 set of Beyerdynamic DT770s (the 80 ohm versions) but honestly I oftentimes prefer the Sennheiser or AT’s.

POP FILTER

It’s the round black mesh screen that sits in front of the mic, and attaches to the mic stand. Search Amazon and find any for $8. You need one, because they make your vocals sound a lot better, and they limit “plosives” (hard p’s, t’s, etc.)

MIC STAND (straight or boom)

$20 to $30. You don’t need a pic of this. If you’ve ever seen a local band or a concert, you’ve seen a mic stand. Boom stands offer a lot more… record yourself sitting down, or standing… they’re great for recording acoustic guitars, sitting down.

RECORDING SOFTWARE

Don’t buy into the hype of people saying “you need Pro Tools.” Pro Tools sucks ASS. It sucked ASS in 1999, and still sucks, 21 years later.

Get REAPER. Watch the superb instructional tutorials by Kenny Gioia in the VIDEOS section of that website. Pay close attention. You can literally do anything. While Reaper is a free download, and they ask you to buy a license for it after 60 days…. it will work, unrestricted, for several years. But the personal license is only $60. Hell, I’ve spent more buying groceries for a week. Invest in it. It’s worth it.

That’s all you need. That’s only about $250 worth of stuff.

Stay tuned for new YouTube content from me, throughout the rest of the summer, and into the winter. I’m so tired of seeing people NEVER GET TO THE POINT with their videos. Stop babbling! Stop the fancy editing bullshit! People need info, and quickly. That’s where I come in.

Love you. Stay safe, healthy, and please continue wearing your mask EVERYWHERE.

-Chris Caulder

Below:

A helpful video showing how you can do it. Now, Graham recommends Pro Tools First (free version of Pro Tools) but I say HELL NO! Get Reaper. Other than that, it’s one of the better videos out there. But, that Behringer isn’t as cheap anymore, and it’s hard to find, new. Again, stay tuned for my video. I have searched YouTube endlessly for helpful videos and they all take TOO FRICKING LONG and they don’t CLEARLY EXPLAIN IT so a total novice can understand. Again, people… STOP THE BABBLE. We don’t have time to sit through 14 minutes of blah blah blah. All of this shit can be shown and explained clearly in 180 seconds. “Hold my beer” and I’ll show you (by the way, I don’t drink). But seriously. Ugh. Enough of the time-wasting! 🙂

 

 

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