Lil Brian’s Home Studio

C74A4167-C048-476D-8211-258E0C581B8B_large.JPEG.jpg

This is the current headquarters of “Lil Brian Productions.”

It wasn’t always this equipped as you see here… It all started from a young kid who wanted to pursue his interest in making music. Continue reading along to see how my Home Studio evolved to what it is today!

2011_large.jpg

2011: I was a sophomore in high school at the time and to be honest, there are times I like to visualize my room like it was because this was one of my most creative times. This was before I had a MIDI controller and was plugging things in manually on the Piano Roll in FL Studio. Ironic, but I had plenty of inspiration and motivation around me whether it was coming from my life and family, or from my experiences in band (peep the marching snare at the bottom right). The Casio keyboard was given to me by a teacher when I was in Freshmen year of High School. And before I had the Audio Technica AT2020 Condenser Mic, as you see in the left corner, I was recording vocals with a cheap Logitech mic! Crazy huh..you gotta start somewhere!

2012_large.jpg

2012: This is the year I was given a new desk. That’s really the only major change that happened. I did enjoy every part of that desk though; it had plenty of desk space, a bunch of drawers for storage. Overall it was just what I needed for my workflow being that I liked to write and journal a lot as well.

Soon after, when I was starting my Junior Year of High School, my father unfortunately passed away and that forever changed me and my outlook on life. It definitely impacted my music and productivity as well..

2014_large.jpg

2014: My studio didn’t really change much in 2013, that’s until I started inheriting money from my father passing away. Instead of buying Jordan’s, I decided to invest my money on music equipment. Piece by piece I put it all together. First it started with the two white 5″ KRKS (studio monitors), then eventually I got my first MIDI Controller, the Akai Professional MAX49.

Soon after I got a new Macbook Pro, another MIDI Controller, a new mic, which happen to be the Sterling Audio ST6050, and I also got Auralex Acoustic Treatment for the walls, along with a fresh coat of paint, and other little room decor to match.

My favorite piece of equipment in this picture had to be the Akai Professional MAX49 (MIDI Controller). That was my pride and joy. The only problem with me was that the touch faders weren’t as responsive as I wanted them to be and the drum pads were set 3×4. I liked the classic 4×4 drum pads like the classic MPC’s had.

2015_large.jpg

2015: Sometime in early 2015 I first had laid my eyes on the Akai Professional MPK249. I was immediately sold when I saw the 4×4 drum pads, and boy was I amazed by the different colors the pads illuminated. I had to get it!!! I sold my MAX49 for the money, which was painful to do because I loved that MIDI controller, but it was time to move on and adapt. I eventually didn’t like how my wooden desk took up a lot of space in the room, so I got rid of it and replaced it with a glass desk by Mainstay that I got from Walmart (which is what you see in the picture),

I also tried putting my set up in corner to make space, but it turns out, it was a bad idea because of the fact, corners build up bass frequencies and it’s a bad environment to mix in. I actually changed the set up later as you will see…

If you want to take a tour of my Home Studio back in 2015 click here!!!

2016_large.jpg

2016: This is what my studio looked like in 2016. As I was doing my research on Minimalism, and Tiny Homes, I started to be fond of the idea of ‘taking advantage of all the square space” in my room. So I looked up loft beds and found what you see above on IKEA. This loft bed/desk combo was awesome at first, but I eventually got rid of it as you will see later.

The other major change of my set up was getting a Special Holiday Edition of the Akai Professional MPK249. I saw the red color and I had to get it as soon as I could!

2017_large.jpg

2017: Although the IKEA Loft Bed/Desk combo was nice and convenient, it was no longer comfortable for me, so I went back to a regular desk setup, with everything setup on the other side of the wall. Nothing really changed besides that..

2018_large.JPG.jpg

2018: I actually recieved the On Stage WS7500 Series Workstation Desk as a gift for the Christmas of 2017, but this is what my setup looked like for most of the beginning of the year. I actually bought a TV for my setup, but as you can see, I went the total opposite direction again and simplified things soon after…

IMG_2010_large.JPG.jpg

Around April 2018, in efforts to minimize my set up, I bought a cheaper desk, and resorted to a laptop. The goal was to have all my works in one place. But due to the low specs of this HP Laptop that I bought, I had no choice but to resort back to a Mac Mini setup…(My mom said I’m crazy by how much I buy and sell things…lol)

IMG_2220_large.JPG.jpg

And around the end of 2018, after saving up money from doing some Holiday work, I upgraded my studio again, getting rid of my laptop and going back to a Mac Mini, with a new Samsung 43″ 4k TV to go with it! I actually got a Nintendo Switch on Christmas Eve, which I was dying to get ever since their launch in 2017. But due to some technical reasons on FL Studio on the Mac OS, I had to sell my switch to get a laptop AGAIN, just so I can properly work on my beats.

[If you’re curious what the tech issue was, there are plugins in FL Studio that are still 32 bit, which the Mac OS version of FL Studio can’t run because it’s in 64 bit…which meant the only way I could work on my beats that used 32 bit plugins, I had to get a Windows PC, so I could run the 32 bit version of FL Studio.

Somebody tell Image Line to hurry up and update all there plugins to 64 bit so I can run everything on my Mac Mini again!]

C74A4167-C048-476D-8211-258E0C581B8B_large.JPEG.jpg

2019: After much trial and error, this is what my Home Studio ended up as. It’s almost a fusion of where I started with the basic Laptop setup and where I’m going, with the big TV and Mac Mini set up.

I find myself using the KRK Speakers less these days, and relying more on headphones, a cheap bluetooth speaker, and my brother’s car speakers to reference my mixes and masters. I actually work more in the corner where you see my laptop and MIDI Controller. But I see myself going back to a desk in the center set up where everything is in one workstation. Once Image Line updates all the plugins on FL Studio to 64 bit, I might just get rid of my current laptop and work strictly on my Mac Mini, but then again, I’d probably get a Macbook Pro again so I can work on the go and bring my works with me.

I hope you enjoyed reading about how my Home Studio evolved, but to be honest, this is only the beginning from here!

If I had to recommend what Artist/Producers should get to start making music, I would tell them; all you need is a simple set up, which doesn’t cost much, and I’d say, focus more on the craft rather than the equipment, because there is an stigma in the music making community that you need super high tech gear to make good music. Yes, it does help, but many hip hop artists have started out from making records in their bedrooms or with their own little set ups. And with the evolution of Audio/Music Technology, making clean music is more affordable and possible than ever before!

I would write a list for those wondering what is needed to start making music, but that’s a blog for another day!

Follow Lil Brian on Social Media to stay up to date by clicking the links below!

Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

Who is Lil Brian?

“Lil Brian” is an independent Music Artist/Producer, born and raised in Hollywood, FL!

To begin, music and rhythm always gravitated to me at a young age.

My earliest experience with music and performance started in my Elementary School’s “Singing Stars” choir program at Pasadena Lakes Elementary School. Although I only participated in my 4th grade year, this was around the same time I started to have interest in writing songs, being inspired by the early music of the 2000’s; specifically by artists such as Usher, Ne-Yo, and Sean Paul. Around this time was when the idea to write songs first sparked my mind. I wrote a few songs but I didn’t take off further until later in life.

My interest in music continued on to Driftwood Middle School, where in 6th grade I played the Alto Saxophone, then in 7th grade, I switched to playing percussion.

Around the end of my 7th grade year is where I decided to start writing lyrics again, except this time, I knew I wanted to take my interest in music serious, specifically in the hip hop/rap genre.

[One of my main inspirations of this time came from discovering a CD named “The College Dropout” by an Artist named, Kanye West. At first I skimmed through the album until I found a familiar track that I loved, which was “Jesus Walks,” and after realizing Kanye was the man behind one of my favorite rap songs, I decided to give the CD a chance and that’s when I chose to thoroughly go through the album and the rest is history… This album is one of the main things that sparked and inspired me to become, “Lil Brian”]

I shared many great experiences and performances with my fellow bandmates throughout my years at Driftwood Middle School, but this was not the end of my pursuits and passion for music.

I continued on by joining the drumline of the Spartan Pride Marching Band at Hollywood Hills High School. Freshmen year, I started as the 2nd Bass, then moving on to Snare Drum for the rest of my high school career.

These are the years that sparked the most of my dreams, visions, and creativity. From performing with the band in Orlando at the “Battle of the Bands” event, as well as Marching in Chicago at the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade in 2011, to performing every year at my high school’s talent shows; these are the times I learned the most about showmanship and what it truly means to be a musician and a performer.

Alongside from being a musician in my school’s Band Programs, I spent much time doing research on what was needed to record and produce music of my own. Slowly, I transformed my bedroom, to my “home studio,” where I made all of my earliest works.

My mind wasn’t too much on school, due to lack of interest. But I always had a bright mind and ideas of being an entrepreneur and being a provider to my family, being that my family didn’t have the best financial situation at home.

My mother was a single mother and my father was in and out of my life. My father actually tragically passed away in 2012 when I was in 11th grade, when I was only at the age of 16 years old. This truly affected me in my life…

Although I wasn’t the best student academically, I enrolled to Broward College in attempts for an AA in Music Technology after high school.

Even as I began my first classes in College, family related issues still struck, which distracted me from my studies, which only resulted me to eventually drop from my classes.

At that point, I felt the school setting no longer served me well, and sitting at a school desk was only holding him back from providing to his family.

This is when I researched more deeply about success, financial freedom, and what it actually takes to run a music business, sell music, and sell beats.

And in September 2016, after much research on music and the industry behind it, I decided to go independent and I officially founded “Lil Brian Productions LLC” setting off my future career in the music industry and my pursuits to impact the world through my art, music, thoughts, and expressions!

From that time up until now, I’ve been experimenting, improving my business. I actually went through a bit of rebranding with my business, in efforts to better represent my brand, business, and message.

And as far as “Lil Brian Productions” goes, my goal with my business is to share quality and impactful music/art to the world, collab with likeminded artist and producers, and help beginner music artists and producers with the info they need to succeed!

At this time,  I am currently preparing  my official catalog of music and beats for it’s official debut!!

Follow me on Social Media to stay up to date with all of my pursuits by clicking the links below!

Facebook | Instagram | YouTube