How to Set Up a Home Recording Studio for $1300 or Less

As technology has become more widespread and affordable, it’s finally possible to set up a recording studio in your home. Even better, you can do it right from the comfort of your home. All you need to do set up one of the rooms in your home for use as a studio, and procure the proper equipment from Amazon.com. This article explains how to do both.

Get your home recording studio equipment

1.      Computer

These days, virtually everyone owns a computer of some sort, so we’re not going to include this in our total cost of setting up a home studio.  And most (if not all) modern computers are fast enough to process your raw audio files. I’d recommend that you use the computer you already have now. But if it’s too aged, you might want to upgrade. A classic example of the Macbook Pro. Other computers that are excellent for music production include the HP Envy and Dell Inspiron.

2.      DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)

The Digital Audio Workstation refers to the main software used to record, edit and mix music on a computer. Studio software were originally designed to resemble the working of analog mixing boards that were used before the digital revolution.

Currently, Pro Tools is the most popular Digital Audio Workstation, ideal for all purposes of music production. However, it’s not your only option. Other great recording studio software include Cakewalk SONAR, FL Studio, and Ableton Live.

Pro Tools, the household name in audio production, goes for $599, with annual renewals worth $99 after every 12 months. This software is simple enough for beginners, and yet rich enough for seasoned producers. 

3.      Audio Interface

Now that you have the software, it’s time to get your audio interface, which is a hardware device that provides the connections to send your music IN to your computer for processing. The Audio Interface also provides connections OUT of the computer for playback. With most audio interface devices available in the market right now, you also get a ton of other features, including DI boxes, digital conversion, mic preamps, headphone amps, and monitor management.

The Focusrite Scarlett Solo (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools, which goes for $99 on Amazon, is ideal for your home studio.

4.      Microphones

Microphones are a recording studio essential. Professional studios use different types of microphone to capture different sounds from different situations. But at this level, you don’t have to worry about these variations. The Neewer NW-700 Professional Studio Broadcasting Recording Condenser Microphone, available on Amazon.com for just $33.99, is idea for your home recording studio. Even better, this microphone comes with its own stand, so you don’t have to spend more procuring a separate stand.

5.      Headphones

For the headphones, you’re well served by the Sennheiser HD280PRO, which is lightweight, and comfortable. This pair of closed-ear headphones goes for $99 on Amazon.

6.      Studio Mirrors

Studio mirrors are also referred to as nearfield monitors, or studio monitors. Contrary to what the name suggests, these are not ‘mirrors’ but rather speakers that produce a flat frequency response. This way, sound is played as it is, complete with flaws, so that you learn about what flaws you need to iron out.

The top-quality, KRK RPG53 Studio Monitor is available on Amazon at a cost of $299.

7.      Cables

While professional studios have dozens (even hundreds) of cables, you’ll just need two cables to start with in your home recording studio. Buy an XLR cable for connecting your microphone to your audio interface device, and at least two others to connect the audio interface to your studio monitors.

The Mogami Silver Series XLR cable, which is top-notch quality, goes for just $27 on Amazon. That means you get at least 3 $81.

8.      Pop Filter

Pop filters are not ‘essential’ to your bedroom studio, but it doesn’t hurt to buy one. Your mouth expels strong bursts of air whenever you pronounce ‘b’ or ‘p’ sounds. While singing, these blasts are heard as low-frequency ‘thump’s known as pops. Pop filters are used to solve this problem and catch this blast before it hits the microphone’s diaphragm.

The Stedman Corporation Proscreen XL pop filter goes for $55 on Amazon.com.

Now the maths

Assuming that you already have a computer, you need the following:

  • DAW (Pro Tools) – $599
  • Audio Interface – $99
  • Microphones – $34
  • Headphones – $99
  • Studio Monitors – $299
  • Cables – $81
  • Pop Filters – $55

Total – $1,266

Setting up your room for a recording studio

How well-designed your room is could make all the difference regarding whether you have a smooth sailing, or go tumbling down the road. This section provides some tips on how to set your room up so that it works great as your on-demand music recording studio.

  • Choose the right space – if you only have one room, the choice is simple. But if you live in a bigger house where more than one room is available to serve as your home recording studio, you want to choose the bigger room.
  • Noise – often, we are not aware that there’s so much noise around us. A microphone magnifies all this noise so that it’s a hundred times louder, so much so that you wouldn’t be able to record any meaningful music. When looking for a room or spot to use as your home studio, try as much as possible to avoid cars, neighbors, birds, plumbing, crickets, rain, wind, generators and even air conditioners. These can easily ruin your recordings. Another thing is that you want a silent place where you can make as much noise as you want without anyone getting bothered. If it’s not possible to choose a room where outside noise is minimized, you might have to do some soundproofing, which keeps inside noises in and outside noises out.
  • Flooring – for your home recording studio, you want a room that’s got hard flooring (concrete, hardwood, tiles, etc.). Carpeted rooms are likely to cause issues down the road. Typically, carpets have a negative impact on room acoustics. Also, avoid excessive foot noise from upstairs floors (that’s if you’re in a downstairs room).
  • Prepare your room – before you set up your home recording studio kit that you just bought, it’s important that you get everything you don’t need out of the room.
  • Set up your home recording studio equipment – do some experiment to find an arrangement that you like. There are no set rules for this. Basically though, the idea is to have two areas set up: 1) the mixing/desk area for the sound engineering, 2) the recording areas for the musician.

Conclusion

One of the biggest problems with home studios compared to professional ones is room acoustics. For now, you can just start with whatever best room you have. And then as you perfect your recording studio, you can invest in porous or resonant absorbers and other equipment to improve room acoustics.

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Five Important Mindsets All New Long Term Care Insurance agents Must Have

Long Term Care Insurance Agents only have one aim and that is to be successful. Sadly, success is not easily achieved by everyone and not everyone can be a winner in their in the Long Term Care Insurance industry. What makes other people successful and why do other people fail to achieve their dreams? One person may be more skilled than the other but he never seem to achieve the thing that he wants the most. Why is this so? Well, achieving success selling long term care insurance is not only based on how skilled or talented you are. While that may be one big factor, there are other key players in the way to success to building a career in the long term care insurance industry.  These may include dedication, flexibility, passion and of course, attitude.

If you wish to finally give justice to your skills and increase your chances of achieving in the rapidly growing industry, here are some mindsets that you must have:

  1. Believe in you.
    When it comes to the career ladder in LTCI, your attitude will be everything. No matter how talented you are, you will never reach the top when you do not have confidence in yourself. On the other hand, give a mediocre man a boost of confidence and he can surely conquer the world. Confidence is a big thing.You just have to believe and you will surely can begin selling Long Term Care Insurance. 
  2. Great company can bring you everywhere.
    When you are trying to conquer the Long Term Care Insurance world, you will need good connection..lots of it! The type of people you surround yourself with will surely determine how high you can go. With that in mind, spend more time with people who can edify you and will make you believe in yourself. On the other hand, spend (or even, avoid) negative people who bring you down.
  3.  Always have a vision.
    As we all know, your actions will be shaped by your thoughts. If you wish to follow through on your dreams of becoming a long term care insurance agent, then you must find motivation to do so. The best way to do this is to make your dreams visual. You can create vision boards or you can crate treasure maps. Identify which works well for you then, by all means, do it
  4. Be open to challenges.
    As they say, challenges are stepping stones to success. After all, no one has ever climb a mountain without encountering cliffs or peaks, right? Taking on challenges are essential to growth. It does not matter if you have overcame them. What matter is, it has taught you something– something meaningful that it has helped you grow
  5. Always be contented.
    When you always take a look at what you don’t have, it will be impossible for you to be motivated to get what you wish to have. Negative thoughts will happen in the first few months of selling long term care insurance but this can surely hinder the progress that awaits you. The best thing that you can do is to look at what you have and how great you are. That is the only way to propel yourself forward.

When you have these mindsets, you will certainly have a blueprint for success.

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6 Tips for Writing Great Rap Lyrics

Rap is one of the most widespread forms of modern poetry. Lyrics are what distinguish between a good and a bad rapper. Good rap lyrics are personal, and flow, blending into the song and making a profound theme. Writing great rap lyrics is a precise art, and it takes patience and practice to master. However, anyone can get started creating some decent rap lyrics by following the easy tips in this article.

1. Brainstorm

The first step to follow when writing great rap lyrics is to brainstorm so you can come up with a theme for the song. There’s no limit to what your lyrics can be about. A lot of rappers create lyrics on something that’s happened either recently, or in the past. You might also want to create lyrics for a dance-type song, or talk a little bit about yourself. Basically, it’s all just about your preferences, as well as an understanding of what might be lyrics for a good song. Keep in the mind that the title of your song should indicate the theme. But don’t let the title tie you down, you can always come up with this later.

Start writing a draft story for your lyrics. Story-raps have been popular since the birth of hip-hop, but you’re not actually restricted to telling a story. Your lyrics can just as well be non-story. The important thing is to take the listener on a journey through the lyrics.

2. Know your Beat

Choose a beat that you know you’ll be comfortable with. If you rap pretty fast, then you definitely want to settle on a fast beat. If on the other hand you’re a slow rapper, then choose a beat that can match your pace. Start by listening to the beat a couple of times to get the rhythm and absorb the mood of your song.

3. Write awesome lyrics

Now that you’ve thought about your song’s theme/story, and familiarized yourself with the beat, it’s time to get to the lyrics. Build the ideals you collected above into lyrics, and keep in mind to maintain the rhythm. For some rappers, it helps to listen to the beats as they write the lyrics.

4. Keep it personal

An important rule of the thumb is not to lie about who you are. If you’re trying to get a certain point across, consider using hyperboles (extreme exaggerations). Usually, lines in a rap rhyme, but the words you put in there don’t have to match precisely. Anyway, it all depends on how you say them. Keep your audience in mind always, and cultivate a unique, personal angle.

5. Organize and memorize

Once you’ve got a good idea of what you want your lyrics to be (you should by now), it’s time to organize the ideas so that they make sense and flow. Break your ideas into verses keeping in mind the layout. This done, you’ll also want to memorize the lines so that you can internalize the rhythm and flow of the rap.

6. Rap and share

Now that you’ve created a rap lyric and accustomed yourself to the flow and rhythm, it’s time to rap and share. You start by recording yourself rapping in a room, then take it outside to the crowd. If you’ve no interest of doing the song yourself, you can consider selling your lyrics to already established artists. If it’s something phenomenal, you’ll most likely get top-dollar on it.

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Top 8 Hip Hop Artists in the Market Right Now

Has there ever been a better time for the independent hip hop artist to thrive?

No.

Independent artists can easily connect with fans, get invitations to live shows, and make money while at it. Unlike about a decade ago, when most new talent needed association with industry bigwigs and producers to really break the glass ceiling, one can easily make a website, and start cultivating an audience right from day one. All an independent rapper needs to create, distribute and promote their music is a laptop, and some determination.

In this article, we’re going to look at the top 8 hip hop artists in the game right now. This list is a combination of well-known veterans, talented new comers, savvy business minds, and lyricists from New York, LA, Atlanta, and all over the country.

The artists who’ve been featured to this list embody the grind, hustle, entrepreneurial spirit and determination that represents hip hop culture.

1)     Tech N9ne

This is the number one hip hop artist in the game today. Tech N9ne has proved himself to be the true king of the independent hip hop game for years on end, and nobody has really come strong enough to unseat him. This hip hop artist from Kansas City, along with the likes of Mac Miller, is one of very few independent rappers who’ve made it to Forbes yearly Hip Hop Cash Kings list. Others to have made it to this hall of fame include Eminem, Puff, Birdman, and Hov.

Tech and Travis O’Guin, his partner and Strange Music CEO, have built a very powerful organization that’s raking in 8 figures each year. Most of their profits come from touring merchandise and music sales. To be independent means being able to do things by yourself, to cut the middleman and create, distribute, organize, book, promote, negotiate and market for yourself. If there’s anyone who’s been able to do this super-well, that’s Tech N9ne.

2)     Chance The Rapper

Chance The Rapper is always shutting down major label deals and sticking to his own independent grind. Based on a Complex article on the cost of booking rappers, it appears that Chance is doing a $35,000 fee per show. That’s enough money to easily rake in between a million and three million in annual income, even after subtracting expenses. And this is notwithstanding all the money he makes with endorsement deals, feature appearances, and writing music for other artists.

Chance is faring quite well on his own, and there isn’t any chance why he might want to sign up with a label (unless, of course, the label is offering 100% creative control – which is highly unlikely – and an obscene amount of money).

3)     Joey Bada$$

Joey Bada$$ is no less than the shining star of the New York hop scene. Aged just 21 years, this guy has got a lot of vision for his brand. Joey has managed to cultivate a loyal fan base who’ll follow him everywhere he goes. His debut album, B4.Da.$$, launched at position 5 on the Billboard 200, and managed to sell over 53,000 copies in just the first week.

4)     Tyler, The Creator

Tyler, The Creator appears to be following up in the steps of Puff Daddy. The guy has got at least three very successful albums under his belt right now, and he’s already laying the groundwork for his own music empire that spans radios, record labels, online and TV. For his age, Tyler has accomplished just about anything every young artist dreams about. He’s even collaborated with Kanye and Lil Wayne on his gold single ‘Yonkers’.

5)     Nipsey Hussle

Nipsey Hussle has been an independent artist for a very long time. Even before signing to Epic Records, he was already on track to be one of the best hip hop artists of our time. With his bold Crenshaw campaign, Nipsey has managed to set a new standard for hip hop music. Together with Chance The Rapper, Nipsey has taken ‘independent’ in the hip hop game to a whole new level. With the Mailbox Money hit in 2014, Nipsey charged $1,000 for a single copy.

6)     Yo Gotti

Yo Gotti comes across the board as a low-key hustler who’s making some quiet money in the industry right now. Although he might be the most underrated independent rapper right now, don’t get it twisted, his music is deep. Since releasing his ‘Youngsta’s On a Move Up’ tape back in 1996, Yo Gotti has never run out of moves. He signed a distribution deal with Epic Records for his Collective Music Group label in 2013.

7)     Fetty Wap

Next to Future and Drake, this New Jersey rapper is the hottest artist in the game right now. The guy has got some unbelievable songwriting up his sleeves, and a distinct melodic style. Fetty has managed to score one hit record after the other. His self-titled debut, for once, sold 129,000 equivalent albums in just week one. For an independent rapper without a lot of practical exposure in the industry, this is no small achievement. Fetty has managed to cultivate a loyal fanbase who support his work. Without a doubt, this is one of the best rappers today.

8)     Young Thug

This list could not be completed without mentioning Young Thug. Although the guy has gotten himself into one of the most complicated record label situations in history, he’s still an indie to reckon with. Back in 2016, he was said to be signed with 300 Entertainment, officially managed by Rich Gang, and then he also had ties to 1017 Records. The guy has got a lot of interesting and exciting hip hop vibe up his sleeves.

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It Takes Courage to Coach

One of the most fulfilling professions, if not the most gratifying one is being a life coach. The thought of being able to get through someone attain his goals in life is what keeps me going as a life coach. I consider this job as priceless, and probably my clients and/or counselors view it the same as I do. Practically, no sum of money or incentives could recompense the intangible and indefinable benefits that a life coach like me could bring about to someone, and that is absolutely rewarding.

The best thing about my job is that, I have the opportunity to learn and discover something significant from the experiences of my clients, and that I utilize the same learning and/or knowledge in helping others. Needless to mention, my job as a life coach entails a give and turn procedure. By the looks of it, I am founding a mutual relationship with my clients, one way or another.

As a life coach, I get the opportunity to influence other people’s lives, and the most interesting part of it is that I also take pleasure of the chance to discover something from them, for my own benefit and personal development. I believe that experience is your best teacher. Coming from family that has experienced almost everything life has to offer, I think I have the necessary tools of a fine life coach. I also believe that there is something good in every hardship, sorrow, pain, difficulty and the like. These are essential ingredients and/or pieces that make individuals strong, not the other way around.

My objective as a life coach is to guide those directionless people to the ideal path of success. Nonetheless, directing them to the premeditated path is just the initial step of the course because making them realize their aspirations is the eventual point. It feels seriously pleasing to see and hear your counselees reach their dreams, that are once fantasies, in life because technically, their victory is also yours.

To be an effective life coach, I consistently place myself into my clients’ situation so I may be able to comprehend them, and only by then I could give consequential advices and resolutions to their problems or how would they be able to achieve their goals. It goes without saying that I also intend to feel their hardships, joy, excitement and a host of their emotions. Moreover, I always have fun sharing with their difficulties and happiness. Why? Their momentous as well as terrible experiences spice up and add meaning to my profession, in one way or another.

As a life coach, my role is almost the same as a coach of a sport. Generally, we work as a two-man team with my client, and I act as the leader. I urge and encourage him or her to work rigorously, and at the same time, enjoy while achieving the goals. We evaluate our progress regularly; I listen to him/her and vice versa, we ask ourselves what else should be done to meet the target and we keep paddling the boat until the purpose is attained. On top of that, I provide my clients with continuous feedback and advices the whole process.

The key to being an effective life coach is to always stay positive and enthusiastic, especially when I am dealing with my counselees. Certainly, they all look up to me, so I have to be hopeful/positive as well as encouraging. My counselees see me as their foundation; their source of strength and motivation, and so I have to meet their expectations. In the end, my goal is to transmit this enthusiasm and hope on to them. Indeed, the challenges that my job bring about are never easy to manage. Nonetheless, these challenges reveal the best in me, and when I am at my best, I am able to serve my clients effectively and efficiently.

As a life coach, I focus on helping my clients on several aspects of their lives, such as the following:

A. Relationship and intimacy

B. Career development and planning

C. Creativity for writers, artists, performers and musicians

D. Entrepreneurial and business development

E. Family and parenting

F. Spirituality and personal growth

G. Work/life balance

H. Motivation and time management

I. Health, aging and lifestyle

J. Finances and budgeting

K. Effective Parenting

I am assiduously working with my clients in specific areas of their lives, as though I own those concerns. With this, I am able to do something significantly and differently to help them improve on their relationship with their families, friends or workmates. I have several clients whom I have supported in attaining success in their professions and careers, leading their organizations and workforce effectively. I also have clients whom I have transformed, doing great jobs on their respective businesses and similar ventures. Moreover, I was able to successfully lead my clients’ path to attaining a better spiritual life. In addition to that, I have helped my clients’ in managing work and life effectively.

Accomplishing something in life is one thing, but sustaining the same is the most crucial one. As a life coach, it is my responsibility to help them stick to what they have achieved and never let go of success. If it is possible, dream for more and go beyond what you have attained. Life endlessly evolves and so must our aspirations as well. Don’t stop from having a vision and/or dreaming because if you have dreams you will have reasons to live and when you have reasons to live, you will never have reasons to quit.

Well, everyone can use most any measure when speaking or defining success, you can gauge it through elegant homes, expensive dress, dazzling cars, having good working relationship with families, workmates and friends, booming business, having intimate and close relationship with God, and so much more. But for me as a life coach, success is something that anyone cannot spend or the equivalent, success is like how my clients and the people around me would describe me when they are talking to someone else. Nothing else is more fulfilling and rewarding than hearing those words of gratitude and praises from clients, and it is definitely something I can be proud of as long as I live. So, this is the essence of being a life coach.

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Zilla Rocca

Zilla Rocca is one of the most profound independent hip-hop artists in the game at all times. The producer, emcee, and pulp aficionado has made his name in his Philadelphia proving grounds, as well as on the national stage. About a decade ago, back in 2006, Zilla Rocca formed the 5 O’clock Shadowboxers together with Blurry Drones, a producer based in Seattle. The two cultivated the stylized, sharp sound that they’ve now come to refer as noir hop.

After his 2010 global debut with Bad Weather Classic EP, Zilla Rocca followed up with a number of solid singles, which all culminated to the release of the Nights&Weekends flagship. He also worked with Wrecking Crew Cohorts Small Professor and Curly Castro in 2012, helming their top-rated Wu-Tang Pulp mix tape.

Since 2013, Zilla Rocca has knuckled down with his own imprint – Three Dollar Pistol Music, where he has continued to release top-notch independent solo music. Zilla has also engage in collaborative work via his re-invented Group Project – Zilla Rocca & the 5 O’ Clock Shadowboxers.

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“Weak Stomach Remix” with Curly Castro live at the Downtown Independent in Los Angeles

“Bottomfeeders (Small Pro Remix)” & “No Resolution 2″ with Curly Castro live at the Hidden House in Phoenix

“McNulty” with Curly Castro live at The Fire in Philadelphia

Live with Curly Castro at The Slingluff Gallery in Philadelphia

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