Arts & Entertainment, Music

Building Your Home Studio


Lesson time 13:39 min

Ready to start building out your home studio and making tracks of your own? Here's Joel's advice for what gear you need and what you don't.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Everything Ends Up Digital • Your Computer Setup • DAWs • Hardware Can Come Later • No Headphones • Studio Monitors • It’s About Your Ideas Not Your Gear


You could do this in your fucking bedroom. You really could. I have heard absolutely disgusting shit come out of some really high end studios, and I've heard some amazing shit come off some little kid's laptop in LA. I think I signed one. Ultimately, you're going to end up in the digital realm. No matter what. Whether you're a guitarist, a cellist, you play the fucking jazz flute, doesn't matter. You're going to end up on a computer at some point in digital format. Not just because digital format's better-- well I mean, in terms of portability, yeah it is better. Because you know-- how were you planning on distributing your music? On cassette? This whole argument about, oh, we record in analog, oh, we record in digital, oh, we record on gramophone-- doesn't matter. Because at the end of the day, your delivery method is digital. That's just the way it is. Now it might not be the ultimate, most fidelic thing-- like 24 inch tape could provide sonically-- but I mean, if you want your stuff on a TV show, or synced in a film, or rebroadcasted else on other radio shows, or uploaded on the internet, or on iTunes, it's going to be digital. So capturing that sound is going to be locked to the digital domain no matter what. So you might as well become nice and cozy with that whether you're a pianist, or a computer Synth guru kind of thing. First things first, you've got to get a good little computer. And that could be anything from a cheap laptop to a decent sized Mac or PC, either, or. All these apps are all cross-platform. So Mac, PC, whatever. You know? I just prefer PC because I don't know, I like it. I can get in under the hood a lot more often on a PC than I could on a Mac. But then when you kind of start to get a little more serious into it, you're going to need a good DAC, which is Digital Audio Converter. I've been using RME DACs forever. I think investment wise, it was like the best thing I ever bought-- was like a good ASIO PCI card from RME. And it just had eight ins, eight outs, which was more than enough because I only-- even to this day-- really only need one stereo set of inputs at a time. Unless you start patching crazy amounts of gear, and then you're going to need sick I/O for that. But to get started, like a four by four-- four ins, four outs-- or even two in, two out like the Echo MIA-- which I think is discontinued-- but there's a whole bunch of similar products out there. The point, is that it should be a dedicated audio processing card and not the one built into your motherboard and stuff like that. Just because that's not-- the drivers for it and all that stuff just aren't up to par to handle the throughput of having all these VSTs and running them in really low latency. That's the first thing you need to get started. To start producing music on your own-- I mean, yeah, you're going to need a digital au...

About the Instructor

Before he was deadmau5, all Joel Zimmerman wanted for Christmas was old toasters to take apart. Now, you can watch him take his music apart. In his first-ever online class, Joel teaches you how he approaches melodies, mixing and mastering to make unique sounds you can't find in a cookie cutter sample pack. You'll not only get his lessons, you'll learn how to create your own music without spending money on million dollar gear.

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6 hours of instructions, 23 video lessons, and a downloadable course workbook.

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