The other day I was looking to find a guide for general tips for the home studio. Ideas on improving the workflow, connectivity, processes, sound, etc. Oddly enough, apart from some very specific articles, I could not find anything that would fit into the home studio needs. So I created one for all of us! Let’s go!
Craving equipment we don’t own is a known issue. We put them in our wish lists and then we save money for weeks, maybe months, so we can buy a new shiny device with lots of faders, knobs, and the most important of all, tiny (sometimes a bit bigger than that) lights!
Although we are full of enthusiasm about our new equipment, more than enough of the times, we stick to a few of their features and we make a habit out of using only them instead of utilising our new tools to their full potential. There are a few easy ways to change that, enhancing the functionality of your home studio, without losing the magic and enthusiasm for your new toys.
Before you buy anything… Research!
Sometimes, first things come before the… first! Always research before buying anything! I cannot stress enough how important this is. Make sure you the piece of equipment you are after is the right one for you! Watch YouTube videos, reviews, read on forums about opinions, performance, and figure out if the equipment is a great value for money and serves its purpose. If it is, perfect! Grab it from the shelf. If not, make some room for a few alternative options.
Spend time with your new equipment
OΚ, so now you’ve got this new equipment in your studio. Fantastic! Here’s your best chance to fully understand how it works! Spend enough time with your new equipment so you can understand its full capabilities and use its full potential. Personally, I spend about a day with any new piece of equipment that I purchase and go through all the functions, explore all the connectivity options and making sure I use it properly. Of course depends what device it is.
For example, Mackie’s Big Knob wasn’t too difficult to figure out. It’s a simple monitor controller that gives you a lot of options in managing your I/O. However I did spend some time trying to figure out the best way to wire my studio on it, so I think, I spend about half a day doing that and then I ordered all the cables and plugs I had to solder. As you can see, you won’t be always needing a day, but the more time you can spend learning your equipment, the better!
Read the freakin’ manual!
This goes without saying! And it ties very well with spending time with your equipment. Essentially, you can be reading the manual while spending time figuring out the features of your new device and what you can do with it. You can never know what kind of gems you can find in a manual! The best ones, are the ones you had never thought of!
Stay up to date
Always make sure you have the latest drivers and latest firmware installed to your devices. Especially firmware, can unlock new features on your equipment and give you even more possibilities!
Keep it clean and well maintained
This is self explanatory I think. Good equipment needs good care! Be careful how you use it and always keep it in a top notch condition. If it needs maintenance, make sure it has it, either by yourself, or by a professional!
Position then strategically
Keeping things neat and tidy is one thing, but you also need to consider convenience. If you can place all your equipment within arms reach, you’ve hit the jackpot! It is super annoying and unproductive to have any of your equipment farther than you can reach, simply because you will to change a setting at some point in time. Standing up from your seat to do that can trigger a distraction and get you out of the creativity mood!
And finally, experiment!
Keep your mind open when it comes in using your equipment. New ways of working with them can lead to unimaginable results. Never stop experimenting and trying unconventional ways of making music. This is when knowing your equipment comes really into play. The more you know about their capabilities, the more you will be able to think and use them, creatively, out of the box!
Did you enjoy this article? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
If you would like some more tips for how you can manage your home studio in a better way, click here!