Home Studio Music Production - Essential Equipment
Sravan Kumar (Music Director of Needa)
18th November 2009
Music plays a vital role in movies; by enhancing the visuals and making the audience feel the essence of a scene. In a No budget/Low budget movie making, we
don't have the studios, mixing equipments, professional musicians to work on. Rather, with limited resources, good quality music can still be produced. I am writing this article based on my experience of no budget music production.
Well, the term "No Budget" is slightly a misnomer in this case, as we do require some minimum equipment to start with.
Musical Instrument (preferably a Keyboard)
Accessories (like connecting wires, jacks..etc)
Computer Equipment: The computer should have at least 80-100GB hard disk space with minimum 50% free space and 1 GB of RAM. These are some optimal requirements, but it is always better to have a high performance system. The problem with a lower configuration is that the system may get stuck when working with heavy music softwares, which will be very frustrating. I will suggest some models of ACER that cost around Rs35k and has HD monitor, HD sound card with 150GB disk space and 3GB RAM. Make sure that there are at least 4 USB ports, one Mic-in and one Line-in.
The speakers/headphones should be of very good quality, since it is essential in mixing sounds the right way. So, I will suggest a good 5.1 channel sound
system speakers from Creative, Sony etc. Headphones from Sennheiser or Sony are affordable and good. They cost around Rs1500 to Rs3000.
Music Software: The music softwares can be categorized into different groups based on the function they perform, like Voice/Music Recording, Beat Generation, Sound mixing, Sound Editing, MIDI sequencers, VST/DX Instruments/Effects, etc.
Some of the softwares that are commonly used are Wave pad, Sony Sound Forge, FL Studio, Sony ACID Pro, Adobe Audition, Cakewalk, etc. Many hundreds of
plug-ins can be used for enhancing the audio like adding effects, balancing, equalizing, panning, etc. Software like Sony ACID Pro is the heart of all the
music production that I do, since I use it as a central mixing/editing tool with many VST plug-ins imported. You can get a wide variety of softwares
available either in DVDs or on Internet.
Apart from the music softwares, you should also have some Video editing softwares too. It might sound strange, but for doing Re-recording, or composing Back Ground score, video software is must. Some softwares like Adobe Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas, Ulead, etc are commonly used. Since our job is not to edit the
video, but to synchronize the audio with the video, we can use some lightweight software like Sony Vegas Movie Studio. It doesn't have heavy video editing
features like Vegas, but it is the ideal software for BG Score composers.
Musical Instrument: Well, it is possible to create music without using any musical instruments, but having one greatly simplifies the process and
enhances the output. I would strongly suggest a Keyboard/Synthesizer for this purpose, as it has hundreds of sounds, beats, styles, rhythms that are
essential in composing. One can also use drums, pads, guitars, violins, etc that will add more flavor and quality. But, the minimum requirement will be a
Keyboard that has computer connectivity, so that the sounds can be recorded directly into the computer either as an audio file or as a MIDI file. I will
suggest Yamaha keyboards as they produce good sound quality and are available at affordable prices.
Microphone: A very good Uni-directional microphone is essential for recording Voice, or instruments like Guitars, Drums, Violins, etc that don't
have a direct computer interface. The recording can be done in a room/home, but special care needs to be taken that there are no acoustics, no reverbs and no
external noise. I will suggest SAMSUN C03U or a SAMSUN C01U studio condenser microphone. It can be connected through a USB port and costs around Rs8000.
Accessories: You may need some accessories like connecting wires, jacks, etc. For connecting the Musical Instrument to a computer, you may need a
normal computer connector and a conversion jack that shall interface with the Musical instrument. Some keyboards come with a USB connector on them, so that
they can be connected to the computer directly using a USB connector. These connectors come in different ranges available from even Rs10. But I strongly
suggest not to use cheap connectors / jacks because they distort the sound. Its of no use if you have a very expensive keyboard and a cheap jack.
I hope this article was helpful. Please comment on the article in case you find something wrong or something you want to add.
Hi every article of urs is very helpful.....u guys do exactly what i wanted to do. I have a band..death metal band , am onto song prodcutions in my room with video album....slwoly switching to movie making.
i am planning to produce a very low budjet punjabi movie can u help me making songs and music as per situation.
Reply to nitin arora
November 22, 2009 - 02:59
Subject: Re: music enq.
Please contact me on my mailid: email@example.com and we shall discuss...
Romy – NY
November 20, 2009 - 13:54
Subject: Willing to learn Keyboard
Hi I am willing tolearn keyboard for a long time...but i m not able get any teacher nearby...tried out things from google..but didnt work out well...any tutorials...as of now i ve 4 octave piana (Casio)... Is it possible to learn using it.
Reply to Romy
November 21, 2009 - 04:27
Subject: Re: Willing to learn Keyboard
I learnt the keybrd from a classical teacher using the 4 octave casio piano... So, if you ask me..its possible
Chaitanya – NJ
November 19, 2009 - 08:43
Subject: can I be a musician?
You said "it is possible to create music without using any musical instruments, "..
I am a dining table musician. but i create great tunes. can I create my own songs with the softwares without having any musical instruments?
Reply to Chaitanya
November 19, 2009 - 21:32
Subject: Re: can I be a musician?
Yes, you can. Its a bit difficult process, but it is possible. You need to generate MIDI patterns and then fill in the instrument sounds using VSTi. Try downloading a MIDI sequencer and generate some MIDI files. Then import that file into any software like ACID and using the VSTi plugins, fill in the instrument. You can also directly do all this stuff in the ACID itself. Google out few of these terms and you will know how to do it ..
Kishore – hyderabad
November 18, 2009 - 09:06
Subject: you both rock
Ravi and Sravan, You both rock..,
Expecting more from you.
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