- Audio Interface
- DAW Software
- Power Conditioner
- Acoustic Treatment
- Studio Monitors (speakers)
- External Hard Drive
- Cables & Accessories
Amazingly, many people make some elementary mistakes that can either cost you in excessive amounts of cash - or in an unhappy client - this is one of those often overlooked areas.
It’s the little things that can get you. Make sure you think of them!
Microphone Stand – avoid straight floor and desktop stands which allow only one configuration – a ‘boom’ stand allows multiple options to allow you to find a configuration that works for you and your microphone. For those with very limited space the Desk /Drum Adjustable Boom Mic Stand
Music Stand, hang-able Clipboard or Copy Holder. Be hands free in front of your microphone! If you do get a Music stand, cover it with a carpet sample to reduce vibration and echo off the surface.
Shockmount. Some come with the mic, some don’t. Which one you need depends on which microphone you have. The one above is for the Electro-Voice RE20.
Shure Popper Stopper Pop Filter – great to have, though I have seen them home made with nylons and needlepoint hoops - this tried and true product is a staple in any recording studio that clips onto the Microphone Stand.
Windscreen – not a replacement for a popper stopper, but useful if you tend to breathe on the mic. Typically these are made specifically for a microphone, the one above is for the Electro-Voice RE20 family of microphones.
Microphone/XLR Cables & Monitor cables – there are three basic connector types XLR, RCA , TRS and multiple combination of those three. Which one you need depends on the monitors and interface you purchase. Try Sweetwater’s cable finder: http://www.sweetwater.com/shop/cables/finder.php If you can’t see it on Sweetwater’s Cable finder, ask an expert at the store (most online stores have a tech to call or online chat you can use for this purpose) to let you know which ones will work. If you have to buy them and are unsure, try buying the bundled wires, rather than the plastic packaged. This way you can test the connectors without opening a package and the hassles of trying to return opened items.
Desk– get a dedicated workspace for your EQ to sit on, and for you to sit at for editing, contacting clients and following up on your tasks. The easier you can access and use your space, the more likely you will be to use it. This Computer Office Desk isn't unlike mine in some ways. It's just big enough for my work that has to do with audio. I have my speaker stands on either side of a compact & dedicated space.
Recordable CD's or Recordable DVD's – occasionally you will have a client who wants a demo CD, or a project burned to CD/DVD and shipped to them. You may also find an agent or casting group that doesn't want to be emailed demos, they want them on CD's. So make sure you can make your own CD’s or DVD’s. I recommend buying the CD’s in packs of 25 minimum, and you can keep just a DVD or two around in case you need it. If you really want those CD's and DVD's to shine, you could even pick up an Inkjet Printer that prints directly to printable CD's and DVD's.
Flash Drive aka Thumb Drive – What if the Internet goes down and you need to get a file to a client?! Keep a thumb drive handy and you can go to a friend’s house, library or right to a client if they are nearby. I've even heard of some printing their logo , name, phone number and email, with digital contact card and demo on these as giveaways. While it might be a bit pricey - the client will likely use it or pass it on, and keep you in mind.
Home/Office Surge Protector or Outlet with Remote Control . In a prior post we talked about power conditioners. These are great, protecting your equipment and potentially extending it's life. So why am I know saying get a surge protector? Simple - they have a nice switch on them that allows you to turn all the power on and off. Why is this important? Any gear that you can't easily turn on is a potential excuse you will use to not do work. The electrical outlet with remote seems silly, as is normally used for Christmas lights, but is perfect for that hard to reach outlet. It gives you a great way to power everything on at the push of a button. Just hang the 'fob' on your desk and 'presto' - you're ready to go.
Thanks for following along!
Coming up next week - we'll talk about developing an 'Elevator Speech', why it's important to have one and how not to throw a very forgettable sales pitch at a client.
Mel -Your Audio Pro