Home Recording Blog
~ January, 2006
February, 2006 
~ May, 2006
~


Other Diary Entries... 
In The Beginning... 
Beginners Start Here
 
The Keyboard is King!
 
~ My Keyboard Family 
I Wanna be Eight Again 
Getting the Perfect Take 
Dare To Be Different  
Dare To Be Different #2 
Read The Flaming Manual! 


Jim's Home Recording Gear & Setup
This is about as basic as it gets. 

A generic PC running Windows XP Professional; a pair of powered Alesis M1 near-field monitors; one Audio Technica (AT3035) condensor mic, and one Shure SM58; secondhand Casio CTK-551, and Casio MZ2000 keyboards; a Takamine acoustic guitar; a Behringer EURORACK UB1002 mixer; a ZOOM 505 guitar effects pedal; an old secondhand 100watt amplifier; and finally, a home made 'pop' filter. Oh, and lots of cables and leads.

Let's take a closer look at all this...

The computer...

17' BENQ flat screen monitor
Generic keyboard
'The Box' containing a 2Ghz AMD XP2000 processor
Realtek AC'97 Audio card
S3 Graphics ProSavageDDR video card
40GB hard drive
80GB hard drive
512MB RAM
CD-ROM
DVD Burner
Floppy Drive

Note: This system was bought as is, off the shelf. The only thing I have added to it is an extra 80GB hard drive, another 256MB RAM (bringing the system up to 512MB), and a DVD burner in place of the CD burner.


The recording and playback gear...

From Left - Right...
Home made 'pop' filter (two plastic plates and a pair of stockings - preferably unused)
Audio Technica condensor mic
Pair of Alesis M1 monitors
Behringer UB1002 mixer (see below)
Digitor headphones
'Cassie' my secondhand CASIO CTK-551 keyboard (this keyboard has now made way for my CASIO MZ2000)
Oh, and a secondhand ironing board/keyboard stand

 


The Behringer Mixer setup...

This little Behringer mixer as about as small as you can get for it to be useful within a solo home recording setup.

There are no onboard effects (you have to use your software to add those), but it does have Phantom Power which is essential if you are using a condensor mic of any sort.


The 'Studio' 

View 1...
As you can see from these photos, I have made no attempt to sound proof my 'studio' (in the conventional sense), in any way.

However, there are so many normal household effects in the room that I don't feel special sound proofing material is necessary. 

These two large bookcases, all filled to overflowing with books and magazines do a very good job of absorbing any echoes bouncing off the walls.


View 2...
Another smaller bookcase and dresser soaking up extraneous noise opposite my recording setup.

View 3...
Another view of the room behind my keyboard and monitor setup. Quite frankly, there is not much spare room to move in this 'studio'. If there is any echo at all, I have yet to hear it!

Hmm... What are those signs on top of the monitors?

Every song I write and perform, every song I record and produce has to have a bit of 'magic' in it somewhere. I am not talking about the abracadabra school of magic here, but some element that maybe only I am aware of, and enjoy listening to or singing over and over again. 

In every case, the 'magic' reveals itself as if by accident in the course of the work I am doing at the time. I never know what bit of magic I am looking for before I start on a song, but I know it when I hear it. And it's only when I hear it, that I know I am getting close to finishing the work.


I firmly believe that no matter how good your last project was, The Best is Yet to Come. If you don't believe that, then you may as well give up now, and retire.

I am constantly surprising myself with my song writing, and with recording and producing my own material. Every time I sit down at the computer to work on another song, I learn something new and I find this endlessly fascinating and exciting. 

The sign is there to act as a constant reminder of this fact, and to encourage me to produce the best song writing and music I am capable of.

 

JIM LESSES: Sometimes I Wake Up Naked

Go straight to CD Baby and order the CD...

 

JIM LESSES: American Dream

Go straight to CD Baby and order the CD...

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