Jungle AE Recording Studio Blog

Jungle AE Recording Studio Blog

Home Studio Setup for Beginners Under $300! Start making music now!

The home studio setup for beginners is effective and simple.  Streaming quality is achievable!

Home studio setup for beginners should be simple and cost efficient.   Check out this list of gear to get you started!  I began on similar equipment and got pretty good results!
➨ CLICK: Example Recording and Mix with similarly priced home studio set up for beginners.

Microphone

Audio Technica AT2020 Condenser Studio Microphone Bundle with Pop Filter and XLR Cable
$99.00
Home Studio AT2020

I used this microphone since freshman year of college and the next 6 years.  I recorded a couple albums and mix tapes.  Here’s examples of the quality that I was able to get out of this awesome starter microphone!

 

Interface

Focusrite Scarlett Solo (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface + Waves Musicians 2 Bundle
$99.99

home studio interface

The studio personally has the big brother of the Focusrite Solo, which is the Focusrite Scarlett 6i6.  For $99 though,  you can’t beat this quality and also with the included plug-ins, you can get good sounding mixes, these are better plug-in’s than what I had when I first started college.  With this, you can plug in a microphone and provide it with 48v phantom power.  You can also plug in an instrument, whether it be a guitar, bass or keyboard.  This is a very simple to use interface / preamp.  You simply just can’t beat the bang for buck here!

 

Headphones

Status Audio CB-1 Closed Back Studio Monitor Headphones
$79.00
home studio heaphones

We actually use this in our studio!  We were pleasantly surprised at the quality as it is a great Beats by Dre alternative and other headphones priced in the $99-$150 price range.  Status Audio also has great customer service!

Microphone Stand

AmazonBasics Tripod Boom Microphone Stand
$18.00
home studio micstand

No thrills, no frills.  Simple and strong enough to hold up your AT-2020.

DAW (Digital Audio Workstation, Software)

Pro Tools | First
FREE!!!
home studio pro tools first

Yes, this is the same Pro Tools we use at our studio.  Pro Tools First experience is much like the regular version.  You are limited only to 16 audio tracks (but that should be enough for most beginners recording to instrumentals or to a guitar track.)  For more info about the differences, click here.

So, let’s total up this home studio setup for beginners under $300.

Audio Technica AT2020 Bundle: $99.00
Focusrite Scarlett Solo: $99.99
Status Audio CB-1: $79.00
AmazonBasics Microphone Stand: $18.00
Pro Tools | First: FREE!!!

TOTAL: $295.00

 

Higher Budget Alternative

Looking for a higher end alternative to the Audio Technica AT2020 Bundle and have a little extra money to spend?  Check out the Blue Microphones Bluebird Cardioid Condenser Microphone.  It usually costs $299 but since it’s out of stock right now it is on sale for $179.99!  Add a Microphone Cable – 10 Feet for $6.99 and a Nady MPF-2 Microphone Pop Filter for $9.99, your higher budget alternative is $392.97!

Happy Recording New Musician!  Spread your light and love to the world!

 Contact us now!

 

 

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Write Your Music Business Plan

Write Your Music Business Plan

Write your  music business plan now!  Put your vision on paper for a road map to success.

Download a business plan outline at the end of this blog.


Write your music business plan.  It is at the heart of our recording studio.  Check out the video to see how much we value that foundation.

People don’t plan to fail they fail to plan

Written by Charles Acoba, Executive Director of Jungle AE.

In my recent Jungle Raw Interview Chief Engineer, Excel Cruz, asked me why to write a music business plan is important.  I responded with a short answer that people don’t plan to fail but fail to plan.  That will save time which is a commodity that nobody will ever get back.  Business planning is a tool for fund-raising.  It’s an understanding of where the business is today and where the business should be in a certain amount of time.   Business planning is how your business is put together.      

They have many business plan outlines out there

but the ones I put together have three sections: the Executive summary, Marketing and Financial plan.  These plans have raised me over half a million dollars for various ventures.  I usually start at the end. I put together a 3 – 5 year forecast with expected revenues, expenses and profits. After that, I build a marketing plan around it.  If I cannot justify a solid marketing plan for the revenues I go back, then I redo the forecast.  Once I finish the Financial and Marketing plan, I put together the Executive summary.  This summary has my short and long term goals. It also includes a staffing and operation plan.  

Everything in this plan has to make sense if one thing seems off then it will need to be fixed.  Writing out this plan helps review everything at once and you can see things that may have missed.  For example, you want to open up 4 stores after years 2 but did not account for rent or insurance for the additional openings.  You will then need to go back to the financial plan to account to try and get a more accurate profit/loss for the years to come.  With a solid plan, go out and raise funds from investors.  Since you have already thought about ‘what is in it for the investor, then all the questions they may have, you have already predetermined how to answer.              

Goals without deadlines are just dreams.

Do not confuse your dreams with goals.  Dreams are free.  Goals do not come without a price (time, money, effort, sweat).  How much are you willing to spend to get to your goals?  Goals have deadlines.   Little wins in the time frame needed to make goals happen are crucial.  Dreams are just dreams.  People maintain their dreams their whole entire life without ever reaching it.  Now with all that in mind, the goals you set in your business plan needs to be realistic.  

You are the only person holding you accountable for results on a daily basis.  Your plan becomes a baseline for monitoring your progress. If you say you want to complete a certain task by a certain date and it gets done early, you can ask yourself why. Did you occur an unexpected breakthrough? Did someone put in a heroic effort? Or did you just overestimate? What you learn will help you do an even better job next time.

The way your business is put together is very important,

especially for attracting the best people to put on your team.  When people on your team know exactly what they are required to do and understand your business, then less complications will happen.  Putting this all together in your plan can help pre determined detailed reactions when choosing people to put on the team.  Plus, the written record of your goals coupled with a track record of delivering against those goals sends a message loud and clear: You understand your business and can deliver the results you promise. Great team members will respond to that message-as will banks and investors the next time you need to raise money.

To write your music business plan is not just a tool for raising funds but to manage yourself and business, the operations and recruiting.  I have attached the outline of the business plan that has raised me over half a million dollars and in different ventures.  

 

Download a simple business plan outline to write your music business plan here —–> Business Plan Outline

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Mixing Bass Using Filters

Mixing Bass That Cuts

Mixing bass using filters can bring life to the low end in your mix!

Mixing bass using filters can add a lot of character to your mix. While filters might seem like simple, everyday tools for the mix engineer, they are actually quite complex. Understanding their subtleties can help you use them to your advantage. The first thing to keep in mind when mixing bass using filters is the math of what is going on behind a filter. Lets use the example of a high pass filter set at 100Hz. Remember that in music, octaves are found by either doubling or halving a frequency. Up one octave from 100Hz is 200Hz; down an octave would be 50Hz. If your filter is set to -18 db/octave, the decibel level will go down 18 at 50Hz, down 36 at 25 Hz, and so on. When talking about analog filters, there are also other concepts to keep in mind. Resistors and capacitors, the tiny gizmos that move electricity inside analog gear, are not perfect. The way they charge and discharge can create ripples in the filter, small waves that will become visually perceptible when looked at close enough. They can also create an overshoot, or a little boost at the point the filter is set. These characteristics are what give analog filters unique sounds. Many engineers including myself enjoying working with analogue gear for this very reason. Digital filters typically do not have any overshoot at the cutoff point. This is to give the mix engineer better control. If we want our filters to have that sought after analog sound, we should add a peak at the cutoff point.  A great plug-in for this is the F202 that is part of the McDSP Filterbank v6 bundle. This is a technique Dave Pensado uses to help his digital filters achieve more character. Increase the Q or peak value and adjust slowly until you have achieved the desired effect on your track.  A high pass filter set at around 40Hz with a substantial peak will add a richness to your bass that might not have been their before. A low pass filter around 2k Hz with another peak will add precision that will help the bass cut through the mix. Mixing bass using filters can help you achieve a unique, high quality bass track.

– B

Want formal 1 on 1 training by us?  Check out our Jungle Knowledge Audio Classes.

Contact us now!

 

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Make Your Mix Pop Through Moments That Contrast

Make Your Mix Pop


 

Make your mix pop through moments that contrast is a simple way to make your mixes sound exciting that doesn’t involve too much technical skill.

 

Make your mix pop through Recording Revolution video tutorial on how to do it through contrast.  Pretty much they have a song with simple chords and the melodies in the verse and hooks don’t differ too much.  This makes the song dull.  I’m sure you have been given a song or are working on your own song and you say to yourself, everything sounds clean but it just isn’t that exciting.  If you can’t fix it by re-recording then there is a simple way to fix in the mix and that’s by creating contrast.  In the video, they simply add an auto-tune type effect with delay to contrast the clean vocals on the chorus.  Adding this dynamic to the song creates a contrast that makes your brain move with the song, which means your attention is being kept.  You don’t have to always do an auto-tune with delay to create contrast. We are just focused on the principle.

 

There a several different ways to create contrast in a song through a mix.  A popular way to create energy and excitement in a song is by simply raising the overall volume chorus by .5 db- 1.5 db.  If I’m dealing with rap, I’ll add a very light tap delay (that you can’t hear, but only feel) on the verse, and then on the hook I’ll add a little more reverb.  You could also try the “chorus” trick by duplicating the hook vocal twice, and panning one left and the other right.  Delay both duplicates at different rates (under 30ms for both, with the left being a faster delay), and then slowly mix those two in.  Another simple way to create contrast is by the ever so famous “Drake Effect”.  All that really is, is automating a lo-pass filter by cutting out hi’s like One Knob Filter or using a plug-in that cuts sample rates like Avid’s Lo-Fi.  Check out our engineer, Ksenia’s, tutorial called Pro Tools Beat Drops Used On Drake’s “Hotline Bling”.  Drops will definitely help create a contrast between the verse and hook.  Recording Revolution offers up a great video explaining the principles of how to make your mix pop through moments that contrast, click play!

Peace & Love All

-Cruz

Want formal 1 on 1 training by us?  Check out our Jungle Knowledge Audio Classes.

Contact us now!

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Mixing Engineer Young Guru Shares Knowledge

Jay-Z Mixing Engineer Young Guru

Jay-Z mixing engineer Young Guru shares his experiences in the music industry with Dave Pensado in this awesome interview!  Interview starts at 13:40 mark!

Jay-Z mixing engineer Young Guru is more popular than you think.  If you’re a fan of hip-hop, then odds are you’ve heard plenty of music from Jay Z; one of the world’s biggest music icons. The man behind 12 of Jay-Z’s  last 13 studio produced albums is no other than mixing engineer Young Guru. Because Jay-Z has become one of hip-hops biggest influences all time, so its safe to say that mixing engineer Young Guru has helped shape the sound of mainstream hip-hop over the last 15 years.  In 2013, Young Guru sat down with Dave Pensado and Herb Dean to explain some of his techniques and philosophies when it comes to making and mixing music.

Dave Pensado and Herb Dean sat down with Jay-Z mixing engineer Young Guru to pick his mind on how he begins to craft a mix. First and foremost when it comes to crafting a mix , I share the same sentiment as Young Guru, which is to listen to a song and take the general feel or emotion and improve upon that while relying on your personal taste. This means if a song sounds upbeat, bright and happy then think, what can you do as an engineer to build on that ‘happy’ concept. During the interview Young Guru explained that while mixing the song “Empire State of Mind” featuring Jay-Z and Alicia Keys,  that in order to make sure Key’s vocal shined  and broke through the mid range of the piano, he would EQ and boost her vocals around 2k-3k. This made sure her vocals sat in the right place and didn’t have to sonically compete with the piano. Guru also went on to explain that when he didn’t have a fully tracked out beat and was only working with a two track instrumental, he would duplicates the track and eq each one separately and essentially simulate a tracked out instrumental. This is a technique I find myself using typically at the end of every session as I prepare a rough mix for the client. This can be anything from taking all the high to mid range out of a track and leaving the lows to beef up the bass of a song; then taking another duplicated track, removing the low end and slightly boosting high-mid range to bring out whats maybe lacking from the original track.  Jay-Z mixing engineer Young Guru has been instrumental in the rapper’s career as most engineers are for their clients.

– House

Want formal 1 on 1 training by us?  Check out our Jungle Knowledge Audio Classes.

Contact us now!

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