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Stay Home! Make Music!

Stay Home Make Music

In these challenging times many of us are at home to help slow down the spread of Covid-19 - and that's good! Also we at DAN MOI work mainly from our home offices and are thankful for those who keep the delivery of goods going.

However, for some of us there is certainly more free time these days (after the home office, taking care of the kids, some time outside, etc.) to spend on music - time for the home studio! Therefore we have collected some ideas for you, which are based on our experiences of the last years. Many well-known companies from the professional and home studio sector are currently offering free software (time-limited) for us musicians - we spice them up with a few tips of our own for you!

For all following suggestions you will find enough tutorials on the popular video platforms. 😊

What you will definitely need is a computer. For the following ideas you do not need big machines. Your usual equipment should be able to handle them.

Microphone

From our long experience the following microphones (in the low-cost range) have proven to be perfect:

Sennheiser e845(S)

It is perfect for live and studio use of the Jaw Harp. This dynamic microphone has been accompanying us on stage for many years and is also suitable for the home studio. It now has a follow-up, but is certainly available at a reasonable price at various online portals (eBay etc.).

AKG C 3000

For all other instruments, from guitar to flute or kalimba, an inexpensive large-diaphragm condenser microphone with versatile possibilities. This microphone is also available as used item at a reasonable price on many platforms. But for the condenser microphone you need a 12V phantom power from a mixing console or directly from a suitable soundcard. And that brings us to the next point.

Sound Card

The built-in sound cards in desktops and laptops unfortunately quickly reach their limits in the home studio. This affects sound quality, latency and the preamps, among other things. We therefore recommend the use of an external sound card.

Focusride Scarlet: Solo or 2i2

Very recommendable are the small red soundcards from Focusride and here especially the Focusride Scarlet Solo or 2i2. Best sound also in the microphone preamplifiers at a relatively small price, robust and flexible. The sound card then directly in connection with a DAW...

Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

A DAW is the "software heart" of the home studio. This is where everything comes together and where everything is controlled.

Ableton Live

The digital audio workstation Ableton Live is a very intuitive recording and composition program that we love to use. Currently Ableton offers 90 (!) days trial duration for the demo version. In Ableton you already have effects, looper, synthesizers and much more.

Steinberg Cubase/Wavelab Elements in the #stayhome Collection

Steinberg currently offers this unique collection for 60 days free of charge.

Free DAW programs

The following programs are free of charge and have only minor limitations compared to the paid DAWs.

Waveform Free (formerly Tracktion7)
Cakewalk
Pro Tools/First
Studio One 4 Prime
Audacity (audio editor exclusively for editing sound signals)

Plug-Ins

For beautiful reverb, exceptional echoes and other effects, you'll need high-quality plug-ins for your DAWs. These are effects, synthesizers/instruments and drum machines. These plug-ins are mostly compatible with all DAWs, by the way.

Soundtoys Effect Rack

The finest effects from the US noble brand can now be used free of charge until 30 June.

FabFilter

Award-winning effects from the Netherlands - test them now 30 days for free.

Free Plug-Ins

You can find free (!) effects and plug-ins (synthesizer or drum machines) here:

Jhud Vocal King Pro (compressor)
Fuse Audio Labs RS-W2395C (equalizer)
Acon Digital Verberate Basic (reverb)
Ben Schulz JP-ME-1 (reverb)
Fanan Clarinetica (virtual clarinet plug-in)
Beatassist ITS (rhythmic synthesizer)
Electronic Sound Lab ESL-110 (virtual drum machine)
Sampleson Push (the one button synthesizer)
Visare Tone Style Organ (virtual organ)
Manda Audio 7Q (equalizer)
Manda Audio MT Power Drum Kit 2 (virtual drums)

And here is a free sample library from the highly acclaimed studio with cinematic-orchestral sounds from their latest project. Free of charge on the occasion of the Corona crisis:

ProjectSAM - The Free Orchestra

 

Making Music Together

And then? Where are the others with whom I love to make music? At the moment surely and hopefully at home! But you can meet and work on your ideas and projects almost simultaneously. For example on Splice, a platform created directly for musicians all over the world. Here you can share, edit and publish your music projects with your friends or even musicians you don't know yet. The cloud feature runs, if you like, in near real time.

Soundful wishes,
Your Dan Moi team

 

Disclaimer

We receive neither financial nor material support from the above mentioned companies and have no business relationship with them. It is only a personal recommendation without claim to completeness.