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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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…
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)
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!]
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!
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