This is a series of tutorials over the coming months how to create a good remix. For an overview please take a look at the original topic named How to make a good remix.
Earlier people used a lot of equipment when doing remixing or production, and don’t get me wrong if you still have money to buy all the coolest synths and the expensive hardware it will definitely be worth it. Most of the pro’s do still use them, and they do sound really good. But in modern times computers have become so much cheaper that almost anyone can afford one. And most of the popular synths today are emulated into software versions that live on your computer, making everything much easier for the music producer/remixer on the run. You can produce music almost anywhere and the sound can be manipulated to sound almost as good as with old hardware racks.
What is a DAW?
DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation. This is basically the box witch you make your music with. A DAW can mean different types of multitrack recorders or a computer that can do the same. Multitrack recorders are still very much in use since they are made for the sole purpose of creating music and does it good, the new ones still also might have support for synth software like VST instruments, but the price usually does not come up against what you can get for much less money. That’s why most of mobile producers today have a really good laptop optimized for performing audio really well.
Windows, Mac, Linux..?
This is a very good question, I will not get into the big discussion, witch you will find a lot of opinions on the net, but I will try and give you what options there are under the different operating systems.
Linux is the lesser choice if you are a professional, but there is some free programs out there that will do a very good job and with Ubuntu Studio it is easier for people to merge into the Linux world of music without being a total computer wizard. It’s the cheapest way to get into remixing and production, but you might end up with a headache instead of being inspired to create.
PC, or Personal Computer with Windows is the most popular since it’s the operating systems that most people are using, or it used to be, not sure what it has now in the music world. Most popular music software is developing their software against this system so this is a safe choice. You can get Cubase and Ableton working well here. The only thing that might be a problem is what laptop to choose to get the best for musical performance, not only to get the best speed, but also what will keep the sound clear and keep minimul leakage of computer sound to your output. Lenovo is supposed to have a good grounding of the laptop so the computer buzz does not leak, this would be the recommendation for a PC DAW laptop if that’s what you are going for and comportable with. We have provided you with a few links below to some good offers of Lenovo at eBay.
Mac has for the last years grown to have a big status among designers and artists. And mostly for the reason that their design and specs are amazing. I guess the only disadvantage is that it’s pricy, some times too overpriced. But if you are serious about music production and you want to pay for the best, go for either a Mac Book Pro if you are on the run or the Mac Pro for a stationary studio. These days you can also run Windows operating system within a Mac, but stick to doing what we are here for, namely making music. 🙂 When buying your machine make sure you get as much RAM as your pocket can buy and if you can afford it, SSD hard drives is the fastest on the market and very nice for music production. And on eBay you can get your hands on a few very good deals that make the Mac price deasent if you are lucky see the offers below.
For the mobile producer / remixer a pair of headphones is very important. The frequency specter should go low with that sounds clear and well balanced. Ultimately you would like to have your studio monitors as your headphones, but that’s just not possible. But having the best is not essential here, reference and what you are used to is. Let’s say you have a pair of Senneiser HD-25, they are very powerful and are a solid pair of headphones, very good for DJ use. If you get used to these pair and listen to your tracks on other sound systems, clubs etc you go back to your headset studio and make adjustments, after a while doing this suddenly you have some reference sound in your headphones that you know will be good in the club. This might take years of practice, but once you have your reference point it’s a good idea to hold on to that, if it’s other monitor speakers or maybe even in your car! The car is the place most people listen to music, so you definitely need to check your sound there. 🙂 But remember mastering your tracks should be done with studio monitors and not with your headphones, more important should be done by someone else than you to get a second oppinion, and to get it done by someone that knows mastering is a good idea! For studio headsets there is a few that has an amazing good frequency range, good bass and response and that’s Denon AH-D2000/D5000 as the high end and Shure SRH240-A as a good economic alternative both very well balanced alternatives. You might also consider to get a DAC / amp that sits between your computer and your headphones to get better and boosted sound. Check out links below to the Denon AH D5000 headphones, they rock if you are looking for a new pair!
Thank you for reading this tutorial about Equipment, there is much more you can dig yourself into regarding this topic, like getting more musical instruments, sound cards, microphones, but we wanted to talk about the minimum for a typical minimalistic remixer / producer. If you have comments or other tips please feel free to leave your comment below. 🙂