I
NPUTS AND
O
UTPUTS
A studio setup won’t get far without the ability to get sound in and out of
the electronic and digital domains and connected to the computer. Addi-
tional hardware gives physical control for the virtual parameters of software.
We’ll start building our studio by assembling the gear we need for inputs
and outputs. The ultimate goal is a complete creative workspace, as shown
in Figure 2.1.
Transducers (microphones, monitors, headphones) are essential for getting sound
in and out of the electronic domain.
A separate control room isolates the recording area from the sound of the computers.
Keyboards shown here include keyboards with sound production abilities and
instruments designed for controlling soft synths, such as this USB-powered M-Audio
Radium.
Control surfaces with banks of knobs and sliders, like the Evolution US-33e shown
here, provide remote access to software parameters (see p. 55).
An audio interface, like the M-Audio FireWire models shown here, gets audio in and
out of the computer (see p. 50).
External hardware like these vinyl turntables and cross-fader are great for those
times when software just doesn’t feel and sound the same as analog equipment.
Make sure you have a computer capable of running audio software (see p. 60), and
an application for recording and hosting software instruments and effects (see p. 71).
Shown here are Apple PowerBooks running Ableton Live.
Figure 2.1 A fully equipped,
computer-based studio in
action. M-Audio (www.m-
audio.com) set up this studio,
so it features its products.
Notice that even this digital
audio manufacturer still uses
some vintage keyboards.
(Photo courtesy M-Audio)
48
C
HAPTER
2: C
HOOSING
Y
OUR
T
OOLS

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