Laptop Studios: Mobile Audio Solutions
Laptop studios are taking musicians by surprise, enabling artists
to have a project recording studio that can fit in a backpack. Just
imagine being able to compose your music in a park or anywhere you
They also make gigs a dream for dj's and anyone who uses programmed
sounds with their music. Just plop down the laptop beside some turntables,
hook up final scratch (a great dj tool), and instantly you have
access to lots of digital music to spin, or throw down some custom
loops to mix along side some vinyl records.
Independent artists can use this mobile versatility for other music
related tasks, like writing content for your website, or marketing
an ad campaign. The freedom of being able to work on your projects
while not having to be tied down at your home PC will increase your
productivity level, and help you achieve more creativity in your
Although some say technology has dampened the creative process
in making music, I would have to disagree. By embracing new technologies
like laptop audio stations, I feel that we can expand our creative
style, by producing music in uplifting environments, anywhere a
laptop can go.
Mobile Sound Devices
Mini midi controllers and portable sound modules can be plugged
in to your laptop providing hardware quality synthesized sounds.
This is only some of the latest technology for audio oriented laptops,
how about a Tascam USB mixer combined with Protools on a laptop
would give you the ability to mix down tracks in some of the most
USB devices have allowed for great expansion of these mobile studios
in many ways. Guitar players can use devices to allow them to pug
in there guitar and record directly to disk, some mini disk and
mp3 devices have mic preamps built in allowing for you to have a
portible digital recorder at you dispoal that can fit into your
pocket. These file can then be transferred to your laptop for further
post auidio editing.
Setting Up a Mobile Recording Studio
First off you are going to need a laptop, the newer and faster
laptop you buy the more versatile your new mobile recording set-up
is going to be. Any thing in a Pentium 4 range will be sufficient
to run the basics and the mac G4 and G5 laptops have proved to be
great workhorses for mobile audio workstations.
There is some simplicity to doing this because your studio is
based around using the minimal amount of equipment and by using
software to compensate for large hardware that is difficult to travel
with. But it also will very on what you need to fill the needs of
what you will be using it for (ie. Mixing down tracks or editing
audio clips, sound restoration, or to composed synthesized/sampled
tracks and remixes). The laptop is the heart of you rig, along side
this use a synthesizer module this is basically a hardware synthesizer
that is controlled my a software interface on the laptop. These
devices can usually be used through midi, USB or fire wire.
To give your rig some freedom of using your mouse for all of your
tasks, then you will want to add a midi controller, both MidiMan
and Evolution manufacture a 2 octave, very portable keyboard. If
you plan to do on location recording than the usual microphone and
preamp will be needed, a good alternative to traditional microphones
would be wireless microphones resulting in less cables to carry.
There are great USB devices for interfacing all of your audio channels
to your laptop instead of using an internal sound card. These devices
may also include microphone pre-amps.
- How to Mix Down a Song
Creating the initial tracks, mixing down the song, and then mastering
your musical projects. This article goes in depth on mixing levels and
techniques to improve your songs.
- Creating a Demo Tape
Every record label has its own guidelines for submitting demos. This
is a general guide for some of the production standards when creating
your demo tape.
How to Set Up and Record
This article explains how to set up and record vocals. The equipment
that you need to get started and some recording techniques.
The Flanger Effect
There are countless effects out on the market that help mold, shape,
and totally distort your sound. But today I'm going to tell you a little
bit about, one of the more popular, and commonly used effects, the flanger
- Reverb Tutorial
What reverb is, and tips when applying reverb to a track