The Best DAW Recording Software

best 2017 daw list

A digital audio workstation to an audio enthusiast is like a canvas to a painter.

DAWs are the best recording software to allow you to capture and create your music and advance your music production capabilities as far as your imagination lets you.

You can harness the power of editing features, audio format settings, high volume track amounts, effects inserts, automation controls, audio inputs, virtual instruments, digital mixing boards, online collaboration, MIDI controllers, professional experience, song composing and more.

The music recording capabilities of the best DAW softwares on the market are massive and virtually limitless.

DAW For Beginners

I wouldn’t say any one is the best recording software or DAW over the other, so you have plenty of choices and there is definitely an option that works for you at your budget; free and paid DAW. The free versions can be a good place to start if you do music as a hobby or if you aren't completely committed to pursuing music as a career. Top DAWs used by full time producers and engineers can cost a bit immediately, but using a professional DAW will do a few things for you:

  • Prepare you to work with professionals
  • Enable you to utilize the best plug-ins and features to make your music
  • Compatible with other professional music studios
  • Saves you time and money (If you don't make hits you won't get paid!)*

*I'm not saying a paid DAW will automatically make you better. What I am saying however, is that a free DAW will not give you all the features that professional producers have available to them. Which means, when making music with a free DAW, you may be at a disadvantage, and we can both agree that it would be in your best interest to work with the best DAW available for your needs.

The Best DAW Softwares In 2017

Let’s review some of the top DAWs, the computer requirements to run each option and what’s new with them so that you can find the DAW that offers the most value for you.

1. Pro Tools 12

Pro Tools at the time of this publishing is at version 12. It is best known as the industry standard, so being able to find Pro Tools in the majority of studios is expected, which makes transferring session files is expected, which makes transferring session files over to another studio other than the one you worked on a bit more convenient when Pro Tools is owned. Sessions can handle up to 128 audio tracks, 32 inputs and 60+ plugins. Pro Tools now comes with a 2 GB sound library and about 75 stock plugins to use right out the gate.

DAW Requirements to run Pro Tools 12 on a Mac and PC are:

  • Mac or PC Intel Core i5 processor
  • 4GB of ram
  • 17 GB of disc space
  • USB, firewire, or thunderbolt port

Some New Features:

Soundbase quick sound search

Loopmasters 2GB sound library

Project Revisions

Collaborate in the cloud

Freeze, Commit & Bounce

Batch Fades

I Pad Control


Find the cheapest price for Pro Tools 12



2. Logic Pro X

Logic Pro X is a widely popular and one of the best DAW, which is made by Apple. At the time of this publishing Logic is at Logic Pro X Version 10.3. With up to 255 audio channels, 255 Aux strips, 256 busses, 66 effects plugins, 21 software instrument plugins and more. The DAW has several cutting edge enhancements for music production, recording and editing audio. This is often the daw for Mac that most producers would go for, if they decide not to go for the best industry standard DAW - Pro Tools 12. Apple's Logic Pro X is a top DAW and if you got a MAC, this may be the best choice for you. If your budget doesn't allow you to go with Pro Tools, but you still want a professional DAW that will enable you to work at highest level in the music industry, Logic Pro X should be on your radar!

DAW Requirements to run Logic Pro X on a Mac are:

  • 4GB of Ram
  • Display with 1280-by-768 resolution or higher
  • OS X v10.11 or later
  • Requires 64-bit Audio Units plug-ins
  • 6GB of disk space.

Some New Features:

Enhanced Piano Roll Editor

Groove templates

Drummer

True Stereo

Built-in arpeggiation and effects

Smart Control

Advanced automation

Real Time Fades

Upgraded mixer



Check the best prices for Logic Pro X here



3. Cubase

Branding itself as the most complete DAW on the market today, Cubase is an extraordinary DAW. It allows for unlimited audio, instrument and MIDI tracks. 256 inputs and outputs and 90+ effects processors.

DAW Requirements to run Cubase on a

Mac or PC are:

  • OS X 10.11 / MacOS Sierra 64-Bit Windows 7/8.x/10
  • 64-bit Intel or AMD multi-core processor
  • (Intl i5 or faster recommended)
  • 4 GB RAM (8 GB or more recommended)
  • 18 GB free HD space
  • 1366 x 768 display resolution (1920 x 1080 recommended)
  • Graphics card with DirectX 10 and WDDM 1.1
  • USB port for USB-eLicenser (license management)
  • OS-compatible audio hardware*

New Features:

Mix Console History

Cloud Collaboration

Zoning In

Groove Templates


Get the Cubase for less than $100!


4. Nuendo 7

Nuendo now at version 7 is known in music for one of the leaders in innovation for  modern TV, Film and Audio post production. Including high end film post production and automatic dialog recording (ADR), VCA faders for audio-post, multi band effects and more. 

DAW Requirements to run Nuendo 7 on a

Mac or PC are:

  • Mac OS X 10.9/10.10
  • Windows 7/ 8.X/ 10
  • 4GB Ram
  • 15 GB of Free HD space
  • Display resolution of 1920 x 1080 recommended
  • Display resolution (Minimum 1366 x 768)
  • Graphics card with DirectX 10 and WDDM 1.1
  • DVD-Rom dual-layer drive
  • USB port for USB–eLicenser
  • Internet connection for license activation

New Features:

Render in place and render export

VCA Faders

VST MultiPanner

Multiband Envelope Shaper

Pad Shop

HALion Sonic SE 2


Get Nuendo 7 for the cheapest price available


5. Digital Performer 9

Currently Digital Performer is at Version 9 and is known for winning the Electronic Musician editor’s Choice Award in 2016. Digital PerformerAllows for unlimited audio tracks, 99 Stereo busses, 20 sends per channel and Unlimited sequencer tracks.

DAW Requirements to run Digital Performer on a

Mac or PC are:

  • Mac 10.6 or later Windows 7,8 & 10
  • Mac or PC with Intel Core Duo CPU 1.83 GHz or faster
  • Multiple processors or a multicore processor is required
  • 2GB of Ram required (4GB recommended)
  • Display Resolution 1024 x 768 required
  • Display Resolution 1280 x 1024 or higher recommended

New Features:

Reduced Host Buffer Latency

Automation Lanes

Spectral Display

Mute Midi Notes

Customize track layouts

Music XML Export


Find the lowest price for Digital Performer 9 


6. Ableton Live

Ableton Live is a diverse tool for pre and post audio. Now at version 9 Ableton Live allows for unlimited audio and midi tracks, 12 send and return tracks, 256 mono audio inputs, 256 audio outputs.

DAW Requirements to run Ableton Live on a

Mac or PC are:

  • Mac OS X 10.7, Windows 7 or Windows 8
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 1024×768 display
  • Broadband internet connection for installation
  • 3GB free disk space
  • An Internet connection
  • An Ableton account

New Features:

New sampler modes and capabilities

Improved Waveform Meters and Colors

Wireless Sync network

New Filters and Instruments


Check here for the best prices on Ableton Live


7. FL Studios

FL Studios is currently at version 12 and known for its efficient work flow and creative tools. FL Studios allows for 103 external audio outputs and inputs, 103 insert and send tracks, 10 FX slots per track. FL is also famous for being the DAW used by Soulja Boy to make his hit song Crank Dat. 

DAW Requirements to run FL Studios

on a Mac or PC are:

  • Windows 8,7, Vista & XP
  • 2 GHz Intel Pentium 4
  • 1 GB of Ram
  • 1 GB Free HD space
  • Sound card with DirectSound drivers
  • ASIO/ASIO 2 compatible

New Features:

Multi-touch capability

Real-Time Stretching

Fruity Formula Controller

Redesigned look


Get FL Studio 12 for under $200!


The Best Audio Interface of 2017

the best audio interfaces for your home studio

Today I will talk about audio interfaces.

It can be a tricky job to choose the right audio interface for your recording home studio.

Audio interfaces have a lot of features, and there are especially a few of them you should focus on that I will talk about more here, to help you make the best decision for you and your needs.

I will start off by talking about a few things you will need to know about to be able to make a decision about which interface works for you.

​I will then move on to list the best interfaces right now, with descriptions and where to find it.

​Okay, lets get going. Here's a quick navigation to start out with, before we move on.

​Audio interface: What to think about

Here are four important factors you need to think about before buying your new audio interface. Whether you want an audio interface for mac or are looking for the best audio interface USB, keep reading. There are a lot to think about before you buy your new audio interface to make sure it works for your needs and with your computer, so hang on. 

1. Audio interface connectors

There are four options of cables that are commonly used when connecting an audio interface to computers. These are USB, Firewire, Thunderbolt and PCIE.

USB: USB 2.0 is the most common connection type people use. This is due both to its price and almost universal compatibility on both Windows PCs to Macs.

Firewire: Firewire connectors transfer data at a more consistent rate than the USB. This means that it is a more reliable choice when recording more channels at once. Firewire are mostly found on Macs. Therefore it isn´t going to be possible for everybody to use like the USB ones are. Do you own a PC? You may still be able to use FireWire, if your computer supports the installation of a FireWire Card.

Thunderbolt: Thunderbolts are faster than both Firewire and USB and has lately gotten wider popularity with newer semi-pro interfaces. Its already well established on macs and are getting more into the Windows PC market.

PCIE: These ones offer additional processing power and very high fast data-transfer. Thanks to this it has long been the standard for the professional audio interface and recording studio. They have lost their popularity in recent years because of many users wanting the ability of being able to take their recording audio interface out on the road and work from many different places and countries.

Ultimately, whichever of these choices you go to are up to you, but I recommend going for a USB one if you´re on a budget. They may be the slowest out of the bunch, but they are still more than enough for most recording home studios. Always look up the compatibility of your computer to make sure you have the right connection, too, to avoid any disappointments once your package arrives.

2. Input/Output count

To be able to calculate how many input/outputs you need, ask yourself the question ‘how many instruments/voices will I record at the same time?’. On the most basic audio interface you will usually find 1-2 I/O, while a professional one may have over 20. As an example, if you´re a solo musician you may do fine with 2-4 I/O, while a smaller songwriting team probably need at least 6-7 of them. Some who record bands need over 20 I/O, so it really comes down to what YOUR needs are and what YOU plan to do.

2.1 Types of Input Channels

Please be aware that hardware companies label their products as having X amounts of inputs and Y amount of outputs. This, however, does NOT mean that you can use all the inputs/outputs to record at once. The companies don’t specify further, so when it says something along the lines of

- (Product name) 16*8 inputs/outputs

they may include for example:

- Headphone outputs

- Line inputs (that override microphone inputs)

- Hi-Z inputs (that override microphone inputs)

What you have to look for is the ‘simultaneous audio’ to find out how many inputs your audio interface can record at the same time.

So, watch out so you don´t buy an audio interface with 16+ input channels, when only 2-8 are mic-inputs. The rest of the inputs are usually either line inputs or optical inputs.

- Line inputs requires the add-on of an outboard mic preamp, to be used as a mic channel.

- Optical input, which is a digital input that needs both the addition of an outboard mic preamp, AND a digital converter with an ‘optical out’ to use as a microphone channel.

3. Form Factor / Size and shape of your interface

There are two different options when it comes to the size and shape of your interface:

- Rackmounted Interfaces

- Desktop Interfaces

Rackmounted interfaces are larger in size, and you mount them by using a standard size rack unit.

Desktop interfaces are smaller ones who sit next to your computer.

I recommend starting out with a desktop interface, since they are cheaper, easier to use and you don´t need any special mounting.

The rackmounted interfaces usually have more input channels, so this may be the choice that more advanced studios goes for.

4. DAW compatibility

Usually not an issue, since most of the top selling DAW’s are compatible with any interface you want to buy, it´s still good to check it out beforehand. The DAW compatibility can be hard to find on the box of your audio interface, so a hot tip is to check out the products website. Like I said, this is usually not an issue but it would suck if you end up getting one that isn´t working for you.

I recommend going for an USB audio interface if you’re building your home recording studio on a budget, as this will get the job done well for the bucks. There are a few models to choose from, but the ones I recommend are….

Best Audio Interfaces 2017

TASCAM US-2×2 USB Audio Interface: This 2-channel USB audio interface is faring well in terms of what you get for your money. With its audio specs, compatibility with macs w/o even having to install anything and an easy-to-read angled design, this is a great choice for your desktop and mobile studios. I/O’s are also included for connecting synths and drum machines.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface: This is one of the best selling USB audio interfaces in the whole world, thanks to its high quality and focusing on mastering 3 things; getting the best sound for you, getting the fastest speed and giving you the most effortless experience. You can record using two inputs at once and you can easily take it anywhere and ‘just’ connect it to a computer using your usb cable, plug two mics/instruments in and record studio quality audio! Easy.

Focusrite Clarett 2Pre 10-In/4-Out Thunderbolt Interface with 2 Clarett Mic Preamps: This one uses a thunderbolt connection which offers extraordinary low latency, and gives you a two pristine mic/instrument preamps perfect for singer-songwriters. It also comes with an ADAT input so that you can expand your interface to up to eight extra digital mic preamp channels. This one is ideal for the one building his home recording studio with a little higher budget.

Universal Audio Apollo Twin High-Resolution Thunderbolt Interface: This one only works with macs and require OS X 10.8 Mountain or 10.9 Mavericks. Among its feautres are the highest dynamic range and lowest noise of any desktop interface, and its desktop recording delivers legendary analog studio sound and feel. This one is ideal for the intermediate to advanced home studio who want professional quality.

Rack mounted audio interface

If you´re looking for a home recording studio setup that´s somewhere between intermediate and professional, with 10 or more I/O a rack mounted audio interface could just be the right choice for you.

Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 Professional 20 In/20 Out Firewire Audio Interface: This one comes with eight high quality Focusrite pre-amps that provides one of the best interfaces in its class. It is a high quality 24-bit/96kHz Firewire and Thunderbolt compatible interface that gives you really impressive audio quality. It got a total I/O count consisting of 20 inputs and 20 outputs, and users report that the headphone amplifiers are powerful and has a great sound.

MOTU 8M Thunderbolt Audio Interface: The MOTU 8M is a hybrid audio interface that has been highly recommended ever since ADAT-equipped audio interfaces became popular. This one offers one of the cleanest sounds around, and the total channel count is 24*24. It comes with both Thunderbolt and USB connectivity, which means you’ll get an exceptionally low system latency. If you got the means for this one, it´s frequently reported to be a really good one.

Antelope Audio Zen Studio: The Zen Studio is a professional and portable audio interface that´s fitting for both the modern day producer/engineer that´s always on the go, as well as for professionals who work in a location. With it´s flexibility and 12 mic pres combined with pristine sound and high quality, this is an audio interface that many are pleased with.

The Best Studio Monitors For Your Home Recording Studio

studio monitors for home studio

Studio monitors are possibly viewed as the single most important tool for achieving that great, professional sound we´re all aiming at when we want to build our own home recording studio and take it to the next level. But how do you know where to start to look? And how much do you really need to spend to get a pair of good studio speakers? Don´t worry, we got you covered so just stay with us and continue reading.

Why studio monitors?

You should use studio monitors in your home studio as opposed to just ‘regular’ speakers. This is because your Average Joe might not notice a difference, but to a professional it means the whole world of a difference switching to studio monitors. When you go into the studio to record it´s extremely important that you hear the sound as clear as you possibly can with no interruptions – you don´t want people listening to your recording and be able to pick up disturbances in their high-fi audio systems.

Which studio monitor should I go for?

Studio speakers come in two forms; powered/active and unpowered/passive. To be able to make an informed decision it´s important to know the difference between these two. Powered speakers mean that they have an onboard amplifier, which means that you can perform by plugging the monitors in to an audio source and power outlet.

Unpowered monitors on the other hand needs an external amplifier to function, as opposed to the powered ones. The benefit of using an unpowered speaker is that you can use the same amp head onstage as you do in the studio. Unpowered, or passive, speakers also helps to take away interference In the sound. This is because there´s no electricity power components in the cabinet of the monitor.

When you make your decision, don´t forget to think of the actual size of your home studio too so you get a size that´s not too big. In a smaller studio a compact pair of monitors could be just the right fit, while in a bigger studio it´s only natural to go for bigger ones.

Okay, so now you know what to think about when you want to buy new studio monitors.


Lets move on to the next part..

..Which one to go for!

Here are a list of the best studio monitors for home recording!

I decided to make this list based on a few criteria: First, I decided to use one pick per brand to give more variety in my selections to you guys. Second and last, I decided to have a $2500 price cap since this is a list aimed at home studios, and I want to keep it fairly affordable while still giving options in different budgets and price classes.

Okay, here is my list of the best studio monitors for home recording:

1. KRK Roskit 5 G3

When you start looking at professional studio monitors online, you will quickly notice that you will see monitors with distinct yellow dots. This is the KRK Roskit 5 G3 you are seeing! For the entry-level price group these are the most popular and highly recommended set of monitors out there. The new third generation model of this monitor offers an improved high-frequency clarity and a versatily array of options for fine tuning the frequency response of the monitors. This is an excellent choice in its price range and a good option for those of you on a budget.


2. Yamaha HS8 

The Yamaha HS8 has a flat frequency response and a deep and impressively tight bottom end, which gives a deeper bass response without having to sacrifice the mid-range clarity. This model is based on the original Yamaha NS-10s from the 1970’s, but has some welcome updated technology. Some of the features include a unique mounting system which takes away vibrations and extra large magnets for a smoother response over a wide frequency range. These are usually regarded as high value for your money, since they by many are regarded as professional, great quality!


3. Neumann KH 120

The Neumann KH 120 is a compact studio monitor aimed for use as a rear loudspeaker in bigger multi-channel systems. The highly regarded Neumann company are mostly known for its microphones, but in 2010 they started making studio monitors. These monitors features, among others, MMD (Mathematically Modeled Dispersion) waveguide, a composite sandwich cone design and titanium fabric dome drivers. These monitors accurately represents the music by being precise reference monitors, so they will not brighten or flatten the material you record. Neumann KH 120 are precision manufactured to ensure a perfectly matched pair which will deliver excellent imaging and soundstaging, so you will definitely not be disappointed if this is what you are looking for in your studio monitor speakers.


4. PreSonus Eris E5

The PreSonus Eris E5 are seriously good value for the money, but there is no going around that there´s still a lot that has to be sacrificed in the quality when you drop this low in price. If you can, it´s always good to go up to a minimum of $250, but with that being said lets have a look at these monitors. The difference between these budget studio monitors and others in the same group, is that these won’t make everything sound amazing and it will not add deep bass and bright highs. They will instead do exactly what a reference monitor should; give a revealing an clear impression of your recording with a flat frequency response. I highly recommend these affordable studio monitors out of the budget group.



5. Equator Audio D5

The D5 coaxial studio monitors are geared towards the recording professional who seek a small and affordable, accurate nearfield studio monitor solution. They have a coaxically designed transducer with a 5.25” woofer and a 1” tweeter.

The silk tweeter gives it a different character from other dual-centric speakers, and it leads to the smooth nature of its high-frequency reproduction. The D5 features a wooden cabinet, which includes a wood front baffle for optimum performance. This is extremely high value for its money, and many people are impressed at how accurately and clear their recordings sound! Many people say it feels like they ‘are hearing music for the first time’ since they´ve never heard it so crisp.



6. Adam A7X

The X-ART ribbon tweeter used in the Adam A7X monitors offer incredibly impressive specs and is built into a well-designed speaker. The ribbon tweeter’s frequency response goes so high that the speaker stays flat all the way to 50 kHz, which if you didn’t know is way beyond what the human ear can hear. The Adam A7X is extraordinarily clean and flat, which makes it very detailed in the parts of the frequency range you DO hear. Many people love their stereo imaging and revealing honestly, so these ones might just be the ones you’re looking for.


7. Genelec M040

The M040 is geared towards home studios and smaller project studios and it has a bright and forward sound. The difference between the Genelec M040 and other more expensive Genelic studio monitors is that this model sacrifices a little bit of the overall colume and a little bit of the bottom-end response. One thing that may be an added bonus for the home studio owner; the port is down-ward facin which means that you can easier place it against walls. It has a number of eco-friendly features and overall offers a balanced series of compromises which makes it more affordable while still keeping a high quality and being a good choice.



Recording Microphone

neumann u87 recording microphone

At first finding the best recording microphone can be confusing. Your rap studio mic may be different than your friends singing microphone. There are a lot of recording mics out there, and its not always easy picking the best microphone for you. We're here to help you with that!

We will cover some of the best microphone for vocals that you should be looking into. Remember, if you have the opportunity, you always want to test the microphone to hear which one you record and sound the best in.​

Studio Mic - The best vocal microphone

When choosing a recording microphone, your budget will and intention of use will play a big part. Since this post is about recording studio microphone used for vocals, we will not discuss microphones for instruments. 

When investing in a microphone for singing, the costs can quickly add up. A professional studio mic can begin at a few thousand dollars and up to tens of thousands. The good news for you is that our team has put together a list of the best professional microphone for vocals that won't break the bank!

If you're starting out looking for a vocal mic, you probably already heard of the Shure SM58. They also have the Shure SM58 wireless which would be more for performing on stage. The brand name Shure is probably already familiar to you, and if it's not, then you might as well start getting comfortable with them because Shure microphones are one of the most popular and widely used singing microphone.

1. Shure SM58 

One of the main reasons why the Shure SM58 recording microphone is the number one on the list of studio microphone is because Shure SM58 mics are used everywhere! We have the SM58 at our recording studios in New York and London as well. These mics are durable and used to both in as a studio mic and as a performing microphone! This is one of the mics you will want to have in your professional music and home recording studio. The best part about the Shure SM58 mic is that it's cheap!

2. sE Electronics Magneto

For the $100 dollar price range, the Magneto can be one of the best mics for recording your songs. sE Electronics is a household name in music equipment, and their microphone sE Mag​neto is a great option if you are on a budget. This mic gives good vocal detail, although the top end can be a bit airy, while the warmth on the mics low end isn't as great as pricier studio mics.

3. AKG D 5

Similar to the Shure SM58, AKG is a known and respected brand when it comes to music and recording studios. This singing microphone can be a great solution for artists who want to invest in a mic that can be used both on stage and at their home studio. This model has a super cardioid pattern that makes the microphone less susceptible to feedback. Combined with a good balance of vocal range and the right sensitivity to capture dynamic extremes, the AKG D 5 performance can be quite a bit more accurate than their competitor, the SM58.

4. Rode M3

Similar to the above microphones, Rode is a company that needs no introduction when it comes to music equipment. The Rode M3 condenser mic has a small diaphragm and its generally great for multiple things. Not only can you record vocals, but also instruments. On top of that, the Rode M3 is very easy to carry with you on the go! You can use a 9V battery or phantom power, which adds flexibility to this microphone. I myself have a Rode mic, but not this one. 

Best Microphone

These last microphones are the best, but they still won't break the bank and will provide you with the professional recording quality you are looking for. Keep in mind, you will probably want and need to end up owning a few different microphones for different reasons. Again, it all depends on what your intention is. Are you an artist looking to record vocals by yourself or are you looking to build a production and recording studio? Many of the microphones mentioned here are the exact models that we are using in our recording studio and that top music industry artists and producers are using as well!

5. Neumann TLM 103

Neumann are considered one of the best companies in music equipment. Their microphones are legendary in terms of quality, durability and preference. The TLM 103 gives a bit of a lighter pop feeling to the voice. Although this microphone is a bit more expensive than the first 4, if it is within your budget, I would highly recommend it. It is a big step up from the lower budget microphones, while still under $1,000 dollars. This is one of my favorite microphones to record with. We have this one in both of the studios in New York and London, and the U47 and the TLM 103 are my mics of choice. Like many things in music, microphones are subjective, and just because I may like how I sound in them, that doesn't mean other microphones won't make you sound great too. However, Neumann are known to have the best microphones and these are definitely worth the investment.

6. Shure SM7B

This microphone is found everywhere too! From music studios to tv and radio, you will find this studio mic as a favorite by many! The Shure SM7B is a dynamic microphone with a wide range frequency, giving you a clean and natural sound. This is a great investment if you can't afford a Neumann but you still want to upgrade your music gear from the $100 price range. The good thing about these microphones is that you will always have an use for them. As your budget grows and you build your recording studio, a lot of these microphones will remain with you for years if you take good care of them and over the years that pays off by saving you money and giving you flexibility in your recording capabilities.

7. Neumann U47

Originally I wasn't going to include anything about this vocal microphone​ in this post because the intention is to keep the recommendations within a budget that anyone can afford. However, when talking about the best recording microphone, it would feel wrong not to mention the U47. This microphone is just about as good as it gets and it's in every professional studio. The price for this mic may be above your home studio budget, but if you are looking for the best microphone to record your vocals, this is it! Check it out, put it on your Christmas list and work hard on your music so that you can afford this microphone! And yes, this is definitely one of the best microphones for vocals if not the best period.


 

The Best Pop Filter To Record Vocals

pop filter

So…you’re wondering what a pop filter does and how to use them? Maybe you’re wondering if they are even necessary to include in your home equipment? And after you´ve read enough to know you want one, which model should you go for? If these are questions you´re having, then keep on reading..

pop filter

What is a pop filter for?

Pop filters are a simple but indispensable tool to have in your studio equipment. Pop filters reduce noice caused by the impact of air moving quickly between you and the microphone, and enable a clean and crisp sound. Filters are especially good at handling plosives, which are sounds like “B” and “P”. Plosives are caused by extra air going in the microphone causing that heavy  breathing/bass sound that most of us want to avoid.
Pop filters also shield your microphone from getting saliva on it and therefore prolongs the life of your mic. In the worst case scenario without using a pop filter, you end up getting mold on your microphone due to the moist. That would mean a ruined microphone!

What is a pop filter made of?

Pop filters are composed of either a semi-transparent material like woven nylon stretched over a frame, or a fine mesh metal screen instead of the woven nylon one. Which material you choose to go for is up to you, since it´s mostly about preference. Some people prefer the nylon one because it´s easy to just replace it if it breaks, whereas other people prefer their pop filter to be made out of metal because it lasts longer.  You can also make your own filter at home, using tights that you stretch over for example an embroidery hoop or any wire you may have laying around at home that you can make a circle out of.

It´s important to keep a distance between the pop shield and the mic itself, so make sure you don´t attach it directly onto the microphone! If you do this, you will get vibrations in your recordings which are distracting.

So, I think´s pretty clear now why filters are important for recording vocals and that it´s highly recommended to use them. The next question is…WHICH pop filter do I go for? That´s what we´re gonna focus on now, with comparisons and by exploring the best pop filters on the market.

Best pop filter for your recording studio

Nady MPF-6 6-Inch Clamp On Microphone Pop Filter with Flexible Gooseneck and Metal Stabilizing Arm 

This is a top rated professional pop filter for microphones, and it´s also one of the best selling pop filters out there, due to its great value for the price. It clamps onto any microphone stand and has a swivel mount for easy positioning. This pop filter has a really high quality for its price, which explains its popularity. While other pop filters in this price range often lack in quality, this pop filter manages to keep the quality high while providing a really good price.

Stedman Corporation Proscreen XL

This one comes a little pricier than our first alternative, but for a good reason. This pop filter has a metal screen which are a preference for many, since they don’t tear like the nylon one easily does, and they´re also easier to clean. The Proscreen XL is made using an exclusive patented material that stops plosives and gives you a great recording experience. The secret to this pop filter it that it uses downward-angled holes in the filter, which leads unnecessary sound pressure away from your microphone. Oh, and are you worrying about how to clean your new awesome pop filter? Just use some milder detergent and water and wipe your pop filter with and it will be as good as new!

Auphonix 6-inch Pop Filter For Blue Yeti Microphone

This pop filter is made for the Blue Yeti microphone, which is a widely popular USB microphone you just pop into your computers USB port. This pop filter clamps directly to your microphone, without leaving any marks. This pop filter can also be used with any other desktop USB microphone by attaching it to your desktop. It also features a double screen mesh for the best distortion-free recording.

Nady SSPF-4 Spider Shockmount with Integrated Pop Filter – fits any microphone with 38-53mm diameter – Vocal recording, large condenser set up

This is a little different from the other ones, since it´s a large spider shockmount with an integrated pop filter in this 2-in-1 solution that keeps your studio mess-free. This pop filter features a pinch clamp holder that fits any microphone with the diameter 38-53 mm. Some prefer this type of pop filter since it save some space to have it mounted on to the shock absorber.

Hip Hop Blogs

Hip Hop blogs

There are a lot of top music blogs out there on the Internet in 2016. But how do you know the best hip hop blog to stay on top of the best rap music and underground indie hip hop blogs that you can contact and get them to play rap music. If you are like many artists out there, you probably have asked yourself these same questions. We got you covered! We'll be sharing some of the top rap blogspot you should be reading to stay up to date and rap music blogs to submit music to and get exposure!  

​Best Music Blogs

​Top music blogs have had a big role in the success of many artists, bands and producers. In 2016, more and more hip hop blogs receive thousands of visitors a month and this has helped many of the best upcoming rappers gain recognition. Hip Hop blogs are a good way for you as an artist to stay on top of relevant news in the music industry and if you contact some of these blogs, they may post your music on it! If you haven't before, it's about time you make the top music blogs part of your marketing strategy as an artist. 

​The first list is the most important music blogs with news and quality content that will keep you up to date on the latest hip hop music.

Top Music Blogs You Should Be Reading

​I am aware that the last top music blogs list has an EDM blog, but they still cover a lot of good hip hop content. On top of that, as an artist, you cannot limit your sources of information, specially in the music industry. 

The next​ list of hip hop blogs are some of the rap blogspots I would recommend you getting in contact with to play your rap music, post news about your mixtape and even do an interview on you. 

Hip Hop Music Blogs

Hip Hop blogs

Some of the music blogs on this list were also on the list above. The reason for that is because the small rap blogs won't provide you and your music with enough visitors and exposure. For that reason, we are focusing on the best music blogs that you should invest time messaging and sending them your rap music!

rap blogs submit music

The hip hop blogs featured in this top music blogs list is intended to help you stay up to date on hip hop music news and to give you some places where you can jump start your promotion. Rap blogs offer a great opportunity for you to expose your music to new fans and to engage with the hip hop community. Take your time to formulate a message you want to deliver to your hip hop fans and develop a marketing strategy incorporating these new hip hop blogs. Don't be discouraged if some of the best hip hop blogs don't publish your music right away. Things take time. Build an image, build your fan base and network with rap blogs, this is a long term relationship. At the start, indie hip hop blogs and small rap websites can be a good place to send your music to. We've provided you with the top hip hop blogs to submit music and the best music blogs to stay up on current news. Stay tuned to our page because we will be updating the list and adding more content to help you build a fan base and market your music to the world!

Home Recording Studio

home recording studio

10 recording Must Have for AT Home Studio 

For most artists and producers beginning, building a home recording studio can be a difficult task. Getting the right recording equipment for the right price. Then there’s a whole lot of choices to choose from. At the end of the day, it just feels like a complicated process if you’re new.

The good news is, it’s not as hard as you may think. We will be going over exactly what you need step by step to build a recording studio ay home. We will list 10 music recording equipment that you must have to get started!

A couple of years ago, building your own home recording studio would have been extremely expensive. The studios setup would have taken a lot of space, the equipment was expensive and musicians really needed to go to studios to record their music. Today, building your own home recording studio is cheaper than you think! There are of course, many expensive studio setups out there, but in this guide we will be focusing on how to build a home studio on a budget.

Essential muisc Studio Equipment

Here we have the 10 equipment you will be needing to get started in your music journey. You will notice how it’s really simple and easy to get a studio from the ground up and to start recording professional music at home!

10 Home Recording STudio Equipment
YOU must have

This is the basic setup for a music studio, the price and quality of the equipment you buy will set the direction of how “professional” you want your studio to be. The great thing is that there are a lot of options for different budgets when it comes to building a music studio at home. The focus here will be to build a home studio on a budget, however, with that in mind I will be making suggestions for you to build a fairly decent home studio, since sometimes the difference between a few hundred bucks can also be the difference from a mediocre studio to a great one!


1. Computer For making music

It’s no surprise here that I am recommending a Mac. They are more expensive than the windows pcs but the soundcard on macs are better, the quality of your recording will be better and macs’ last longer. They are standard in many professional music studios and they are unlikely to catch virus or slow down as time goes. Although a slightly higher initial investment, macs would cost you less and give you a better sound quality when recording at home.

macbook for home studio

2. Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

The DAW is the software music producers and artists use to make and record music. There are a large number of DAW’s out there, prices ranging from free like Audacity, to industry standard like Pro Tools. Some of the most common DAW you should consider are as follow:

  • 1. Apple Logic Pro X: This DAW is for Mac’s so make sure you get a DAW compatible with your Operating System: You can purchase Logic Pro X in the App Store.
logic pro music recording software
  • 2. Avid Pro Tools: This music production software requires no introduction. Pro Tools is an industry standard in music production and recording. If you can afford a license or a Pro tools subscription, you will be well equipped with the best DAW.
DAW Pro Tools home studio
  • 3. Steinberg Cubase: Steinberg is a respected company in the music business. Since 1996 and 1999, Cubase worked with VST plugins and VST instruments. Today Cubase is a popular DAW used by many. Combine Cubase with Steinberg’s audio interface, you are well on your way to recording professional music!
DAW Cubase 8 Home Recording Software
  • 4. FL Studio: The famous music production software that Soulja Boy produced his hit song “Crank Dat”, FL Studio is a great DAW solution for artists wanting a complete DAW solution with free lifetime updates for a good price.
Digital Audio Workstation
  • 5. Propellerhead Reason: The last one on our home recording studio section for DAW is Reason 9. Reason offers a lot of features other DAW’s don’t. Again, at the end of the day, the DAW you decide to go for can depend on your budget, operating system and perhaps the features and compatibility with the DAW of producers/artists you are working with are using, if you intend to share sessions.
digital audio workstation reason 8

Now you have the computer and the digital audio workstation, now its time for an Audio Interface. This is the hardware that you will plug your microphone and headphones into and it’s also what will connect to your computer, converting the sound from analog to digital.

Here are some Audio Interface cards you can have in your home studio

  • 1. Presonus AudioBox

  • 2. Focusrite Scarlett

  • 5. Steinberg UR-22

4. Headphones

When you are making beats or recording, having the right pair of headphones is essential to making good music. For me, every time before I record, I spend some time just vibing to get into the song. There are two types of headphones, closed back and open back headphones. For your home recording studio, you will want a closed back headphone.

1. Audio Technica M50X

audio technica m50x

The Audio Technica M50x is one of the best headphones for a really good price. Audio Technica is a respected company with great music equipment. As a matter a fact, many studios use both Audio Technica headphones and microphones.

2. Sennheiser HD280 Pro

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro

Sennheiser needs no introduction when it comes to their headphone expertise. If your budget allows you, this may be your ears best friend.

3. Sony MD 7506

Sony MD 7506 headphones for home studio

Sony headphones are great choice for a cheaper option to the Sennheiser. Sonys' quality and reliability makes this a headphone you shouldn't overlook!

Now its time to get a mic for your home recording studio! The microphone you go for will depend on what you want to do with the microphone. In truth, microphones are a personal choice. There is not one mic that is the best, so you will have to find what microphone you sound the best in. With that in mind, there are a list of condenser mics that should point you in the right direction. You can check here for the best condenser mic list. I would recommend the Neumann 103 (condenser mic) for your home recording studio and a Shure SM 57 (Dynamic Mic). These two microphones will cover a range of voices/instruments and give different feelings. The Neumann 103 is one of the cheapest Neumann microphones. Neumann make world class microphones and the TLM 103 is just at an affordable price for every home studio to get one. As for the SM 57, it has been one of the music industries favorite microphone for decades!

Neumann TLM 103

Neumann tlm 103 home recording studio

Once you’re done making beats or recording your vocals, you will want to hear yourself. That’s where a good studio monitor comes in. Studio monitors have always played a big part in the mixing process. You will find the KRK Rokit to be fairly inexpensive and really good studio monitors. The two monitors you should look into are the KRK Rokit and the Yamaha HS5.

7. Reflexion Filter

If you are recording in a room that isn’t acoustically treated, you will definitely want a Reflexion Filter. There is only one recommendation I would make for this, the RF Space. The RF Space reflexion filter has been used by top celebrities from all styles, ranging from Blake Shelton, Soulja Boy to Justin Bieber. This is also the reflexion filter we have in our studios in New York and Europe.

sE Electronics SPACE PRO

se space pro reflexion filter

8.Pop Filter

Pop Filters are not all the same. They vary in price and quality. Although if you are on a budget you can probably do without it or you may want to go for a cheap solution. Many microphones come with a recording bundle and include a pop filter. You can read more here about Pop Filter.

9. Cables

You will need 3 XLR cables to start you off. The size of these cables can vary depending on your room size and the setup you will want to have for your home studio. Usually you will want 1 long XLR cable to connect your condenser mic to the audio interface and 2 other shorter XLR cable to connect your studio monitor.

XLR Cables
10.Mic Stand

The last piece of equipment for your home recording studio is a microphone stand! Yes, now its time to shine. If you took our advice and purchased all the 10 equipment for your home studio, you will have a reflexion filter. These reflexion filters are slightly heavy when mounting on your stand, so be sure to purchase a decent microphone stand.

I got my home recording studio equipment setup, now what?

Now you are all ready to start making and recording professional music from your home studio! Check our posts and stay tuned to our continuous posts on how you can market your music and how you can make money with your music online in 2017!

Benefits of SEO

seo optimization

Hi guys, today I’m going to talk to you about the benefits of SEO.  There are a lot of positive things about doing SEO to your blog or website. The issue is that many people tend to forget (or not even know about!) this. Many people create websites and blogs hoping to get a lot of readers only with their content (e.g blog post, page) without having to do anything else. They are hoping to make it big off of the content alone. I’m the first one to agree that your content is very important. But what many people forget is that you need people to find your website first! How else will you get people to read and share your content? That´s where SEO comes in! It allows you to optimize your website/blog in order to rank high in search engines (mainly google) and by ranking high in google you drive way more traffic to your site. There are a lot of benefits from learning about and applying SEO. Whether it´s for your own personal use or for a business, I have so much to say on this topic.  But lets get started so you can see the benefits of SEO for yourself!

seo optimization

Here are the top 6 benefits of SEO:

1. SEO Will Increase Your Traffic

Like I said before, by using SEO you tell Google that your site is credible enough to be ranking high. Hopefully you rank on the first page (SERP), which leads to increased traffic to your website. Depending on what the aim of your website is, this can convert into a lot of money. With different reporting and analytical tools out there you can track your traffic. This will allow you to literally see how your sales go up. Talk about motivating!

2. SEO Is a Low Cost Marketing Strategy

Don´t get me wrong, you can outsource your SEO and end up spending a small fortune. But you don´t have to! You can learn SEO and apply it by yourself and you will notice results. SEO is all about making your website user friendly in order to rank high on Google (who loves user friendly websites). It´s not about the latest tech or anything that costs a lot. SEO is all about targeting users who are already actively searching for your product or service. Talk about a big benefit of SEO!

3. Your Competition Is Doing It

Chances are that your competition is already doing SEO to their websites, so you better catch up quick! Look at your competition and see what SEO tactics they have applied, and make sure you do it better. SEO is only getting more popular and more and more websites use it. If your competitors all use SEO, they are most likely ranking higher than you and thus making more sales.

4. Brand Awareness

People trust Google a lot, which means that if you rank high on Google people will trust your website and brand more. If you do your job good enough you may even end up being the authority in the field you´re in. You want your website to rank high so you get more exposure to your website, which lead to higher brand awareness. Target keywords in your niche and gain even higher authority by ranking on the first page for different search queries. Think about it yourself – you probably trust websites that rank high, and rank high in other related keywords because they seem more familiar to you. Another factor is that when brands known rank on top results, people associate the brands to one another. Therefore, if you are ranking among known brands who have established brand image and are known to the market, this will help you establish your image as well.

5 Makes Your Website More User Friendly

There´s a number of things SEO will do to your website to make it more user friendly, for instance it will make your text easier to read and your website quicker to load. Despite it´s name Search Engine Optimization it is more about the user than the search engine, so always keep that in mind.

6. New Customers That Will Assist Your Growth

Businesses with websites grow twice as fast than those who don´t, and you make that gap even bigger with the right SEO applied to your site. Target relevant keywords in your niche and see new customers coming in!

These are some of the main benefits of  SEO and I strongly suggest you consider SEO for your website or blog! It will help you rank higher in Google and get more traffic. Here you can learn more about SEO and how to do it yourself. I hope this guide was helpful, and please leave feedback below!

Is Wealthy Affiliate A Scam?

Wealthy Affiliate Review 2016

One of the many questions people starting in affiliate marketing with the wealthy affiliate university have is: Is wealthy affiliate scam or legit? Here, I will attempt to answer that question for you from my personal point of view.

Wealthy Affiliate was started in 2005 by Kyle and Carson. Since then, the wealthy affiliate university and their community has grown in numbers. Kyle, Carson and the entire wealthy affiliate community communicate with new members in live chat, emails and posts. This not only adds transparency to wealthy affiliate, but actually helps beginners learn a lot quicker by asking the community any questions and avoiding common mistakes, which leads them to succeeding faster. Wealthy Affiliate Scam or Legit? Well, the company claims to teach people how to build an online affiliate business, which they do. The company Wealthy Affiliate also provides tools such as Jaaxy and others such as website builders for their members. 


The quality of the information and tools provided by Wealthy Affiliate university is useful and does work when applied. As they have many members who are earning thousands of dollars a month from affiliate marketing.

Wealthy Affiliate Scam - Legit

When evaluating whether or not wealthy affiliate university was a scam or not, a few things were taken in account.

  • 1. Does it have a product?

Yes it does.

  • 2. Does it offer value to the clients/members?

Yes, and the Wealthy Affiliate network and live chat is extremely useful.

  • 3. Does Wealthy Affiliate deliver on it's promise?

Yes, as in terms of teaching you how to become a successful affiliate, which tools to use, how to begin the journey and how to monetize. However, whether you apply the knowledge and become the next success story, that is entirely up to you.

Wealthy Affiliate

  • 4. Does Wealthy Affiliate program actually pay their members?

Yes they do. I know there are a lot of affiliate programs who have strange rules and complicated payouts. Wealthy Affiliate has a good history with both members and affiliates.

Wealthy Affiliate Scam Results

After all the research and the countless reviews available online, the conclusion is that wealthy affiliate is not a scam and is in fact legit. The company does what it promises and many people are building successful businesses online. What I personally feel is important to know is, that although wealthy affiliate may teach the right information and the community may be very supportive and helpful, unless you take action and apply what you learn, you won't succeed. If you still have questions check our wealthy affiliate review. to find out more about you can start your affiliate marketing business online.

How To Do Your Own SEO

how to do your own seo

Since I know it can be confusing trying to figure out how to do your own SEO to get views and a high ranking in Google for your website, whether it´s for your business, affiliate marketing or a blog, I decided to make a guide on how to do your own SEO. To begin with, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the name for the activities you do to your website and pages in order to make them more search engine friendly. By making your pages, and whole website, search engine friendly you are more likely to get a higher ranking in Google and other search engines, resulting in more people finding your page. This way you reach an even bigger audience. There are three different types, or steps, of SEO that you should think about; on-page, off-site and technical SEO. Together these assure that your page is fully optimized and ready to rank as high as possible in Google and the likes. I will go through what these three different types all mean now.

How to do SEO yourself

On-page SEO:

This is the steps you should take when learning how to do your own SEO. Make sure that your page and its content is up to Googles and other search engines standards. There are a number of on-page factors that you need to think about in order to rank high in search engines, among others:

Do It Yourself SEO

The Content of Your Page:

Google and other search engines want their results to be of relevance to the people who are searching for the information, so it´s important to write your content with the reader in mind. What can the reader get as information from your page/post? Make sure it´s informative and serves the reader. Don´t write too short posts, since it tells Google it´s not really there for the reader. Also make sure you don´t copy somebody elses content, as this will be punished by Google. Google don´t want duplicate content showing up on their results, so make sure you avoid this one. Other things to think about are avoiding too long paragraphs, and find good keywords and the title tags.

Title Tags:

Title tags define the title of your post/page and search engines often use these to display preview snippets for pages. Google displays the first 50-60 characters of a title tag, so make sure you don´t make yours longer. The title tag is so important since it´s the ‘preview’ people get up of your page when they search on it in search engines – make sure you make a relevant one! After content the title tag is one of the most important on-page SEO-tactics, and shows up both in your browsers, other websites and search engine results pages (SERP) . Here is an example of a title tag from my own page, where as you can see I have chosen “Karan Exclusive |Rap Maker – Beatmaker -” as my title tag.

example of a title tag for how to do your own SEO

 

 

Titles:

Since, like I just said, title tags are so important it´s also important to optimise the title itself. Here are a few things to think about:

*Place the most important keyword in the beginning of the title tag, since it’s been proven that Google places a higher emphasis on keywords that are in the beginning of the title, and it thus will rank higher. Don´t try to stuff in too many keywords in the title, you don´t want it to look forced and like a sentence that´s created just to pop in as many keywords as possible. Google will notice that and de-rank you, since they really want to assure that all their top results are user friendly and not created just to get clicks.

*Make sure you have title tags that makes sense, so you don´t end up with a title that has your desired keyword in the beginning but doesn´t make sense to the reader. Google won´t like this, so make sure your title tag actually makes sense.

How to do SEO yourself: Off-site SEO

This part of the SEO has to do with the links going in and out from your website/post, the brand mentions and the social engagement. In a nutshell: Off-site SEO helps you improve the factors that  drive organic search engine traffic to your website/post

Inbound links:

These are the links going to your site from other websites. Almost all experts agree that the links pointing to your website matters a lot to Google, so it´s important the quality of the links pointing to your website have and the number of backlinks pointing to your website. In the past you could get away with spammy link building, but Google penalizes that now. Try to get links from .org (non-profit) and .edu (education) sites since they are considered high authority from search engines. Use softwares to scan your competitors inbound links, see if you can acquire the same link or get ideas for similar backlinks.

Outbound links:

Outbound links are the links from your website pointing to other domains. These links matter, among others, because it helps the search engines understand what niche you´re in. It also helps increase the trust and quality of your website, which will help your website/posts rank much higher. Outbound links also offers a good way to get in touch with other bloggers and people in your niche, thus helping you build your network. Try getting links that are within your own niche, this will help drive targeted visitors to your website. Exchanging links can help you on how to do your own SEO, as you can get other relevant websites to exchange links with you on content and keywords that could be mutually beneficial.

Brand Mentions:

Getting brands to mention you and your website and write about your stuff is increasingly more important, and Google and other search engines are placing more importance on this. Google themselves have confirmed that the future of SEO lies in being genuinely mentioned and linked to, and it doesn´t necessarily mean with a hyper link. Just a mention without a link counts too! Think about ways to get mentioned and get other websites/brands attention.

Social Engagement:

Social engagement indirectly affects your website/business in a lot of ways. Social media kan lead to link building, social profile growth, better visibility of your content and increased traffic to your website. All of this helps the ranking of your website. Social media allows you to connect with your readers and get a more personal connection.

Technical SEO

This last step has to do with how well search engines can crawl and index your site and content. Here are some of the most important things to think about when it comes to technical SEO:

Speed:

Google ranks how fast sites load, since nobody stays on a page that loads slowly and it therefore is considered non-user friendly. The most common issues for a slow page has proven to be (amongst others)  unoptimised images, a slow web host and too many plugins in use. Use this link to diagnose your website before you make any changes, so you see what you have to do.

Smartphones and SEO:

 

*Another thing that has become increasingly important to think about is if your website is optimized for cell phones. See how your website looks in cell phones, if you´re site is on wordpress you can make sure the theme you use support smartphones.

Duplicated and thin content:

*Get rid of duplicated or too thin content. Too thin content is usually around less than 500 words, or longer but filled with a lot of ‘nonsense’ to fill out, without adding any value to the reader.

 

I hope this information on how to do your own SEO was helpful, I will write more in depth about the different steps I outlined above later, so stay in touch. Please leave feedback in the comments! You can learn more about SEO and affiliate marketing with Wealthy Affiliate. If you’re not familiar with it, you can check our wealthy affiliate review to continue on your SEO and online business journey.

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