Pro Audio Equipment Fundamental

Modern audio engineers and producers have access to a wealth of fantastic equipment that simplifies their workflow and enhances their final mixes. While it’s possible to get by without a deep understanding of this technology, all creative pros can benefit from learning how the gear they use in the studio works. In this course, instructor Greg Wurth explains the inner workings of some of the most influential pieces of pro audio equipment.

Throughout the course, Greg shares images, diagrams, and audio examples that can help you grasp how this equipment functions and why you might want to opt for one piece over another. Greg dives into working with different microphones and preamps, describe the main types of compressors and equalizers and shows how an analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converter works. Plus, he covers analog summing—the process of combining multiple audio channels down to a stereo signal—and analog emulation.

You hear about the solo artist doing everything in their bedroom, releasing music through social media, and turning into a Billboard-charting artist. However, having a talent for singing, producing, or playing an instrument is just part of being a musician. If you’re interested in recording and doing it all yourself, you need to invest in pro audio equipment.

Studio Setups

Not everyone interested in recording music needs to search for the proper studio and spend money to book a few hours. Instead, with the right know-how, you can do it yourself.

Or, if you’re an independent studio owner, you might find that, within this relationship, pro audio equipment attracts a higher-caliber performer. In all cases, recording begins with a computer but requires additional gear to create a meaningful product.

When might you want to invest?

If you’re creating a bedroom studio or a dedicated home studio for yourself to put together higher-quality demos.

If you run or are planning to create an independent or semi-professional studio outside of your house, where you’ll be working with and enhancing the sounds of other artists.

If you operate or work in a professional studio and need to maintain your audio system to keep pace with, if not surpass, your competitors.

If you DJ or play live and need to take your sound out on the road.

Where to Begin with Pro Audio Equipment

Even for audio enthusiasts, it’s no easy task to understand what each piece of audio equipment does, why you need it, and the differences between beginners and professional gear. However, along with software, you’ll want to invest in and refine the sound and recording quality with:

Microphones: This piece of professional audio equipment transforms your sound immediately when you upgrade. Because microphones tend to pick up sounds differently or are ideal for particular instruments, professional studios often have multiple types available.

Monitors: Monitors in a recording studio look like a set of speakers. Yet, this piece of pro audio gear works with your microphones. While microphones are essential for picking up the sound, monitors reproduce what you just recorded. Higher-quality monitors let you hear every detail.

Professional audio interface: The interface often serves as the connection point or hub within your recording setup. It connects to the computer to deliver the sounds and sends them to the monitor for playback. However, no single best professional audio interface exists. Instead, it comes down to your individual needs. Bedroom and home studios, for instance, benefit from a multi-functional interface with digital conversion, mic preamps, and monitor management features rolled in.