Need help setting up my first studio

techfra

New member
Hi all!

Complete newbie here. I'm happy to be a part of the community! Please forgive me if I posted this in the wrong thread.

I was hoping someone could help me understand how to wire up the equipment that I purchased for my first home studio. I really want to master this equipment and learn how to use it while understanding how it is all set up (wired together). I am completely new to this and I have to say it seems very overwhelming. However, I'm sure there are a bunch of pros in here that can do this type of stuff in their sleep. Any help you can provide would be great!!

More about what I am wanting to do and achieve:

I am wanting to create new music and even remix existing songs. Sometimes I may just create new music with and without vocals, while other times I may want to take an existing song and just add my vocals to it. I was hoping I could list everything I purchased here and someone could help me out with a diagram of how to connect everything together. I'm also hoping someone could shed some light on MIDI cables as I haven't been able to completely grasp what they are used for yet and when I should use one. I'm also confused about having home studio speakers and how to prevent the sound that is coming out of the speakers from being transferred to the mic while singing.

I'm really hoping to better understand everything after seeing a diagram of how you would set up what I purchased in your home studio. I'm super excited about getting this set up and I look forward to really learning this stuff!

The DAW that I will be using will be Ableton.

Here is the list of items that I purchased:

Audio Interface (The second one I purchased last year. Not sure if I even need it now? I'm also not sure if I even need either of these if the mixer will do the same job plus more?):
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QNZ3V34
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QR6Z1JB/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00

Vocal Transformer:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JKLMDGX

Mixer w/ Effects - 16 Input:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I0Q8LIO

Microphone Condenser - Phantom Power:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GGGQK56/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s01

Headphones:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08BTFXHHN/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00

Studio Speakers:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B088VSBV65/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s01

Keyboard Controller:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083WHBMWT

Ableton Push 2 Controller:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M1DW7IP

Midi Splitters (I bought 2 b/c I wasn't sure which one would be better. I'm not sure if I even need one?):
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08NJS5FV8
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C4W50D8

Cables that I bought:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001UJEKZ6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s02
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000068NTU/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RLLJ91J/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s01
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000068O3F/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s01
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01JNLTTKS/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s01
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01AYSNMDO/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005HGM1D6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00

I know this is a lot to ask and look over! Being a complete newbie I just really want to get this set up correctly w/o damaging anything so I can make everything work great together. If anyone has the time to diagram this out for me that clearly shows what kind of cable goes where I would be extremely grateful!

Thanks in advance to anyone who wouldn't mind doing this!
 
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rob aylestone

Well-known member
Joking aside, why did you source this all from Amazon? Some things are a bit, er, weird. What is the mixer for? And that voice gizmo? Is it some kind of favourite device you love? The multi input interface probably means the mixer is simply pointless. The single input interface is great but two interfaces? Midi thru boxes and splitters are useful for multiple midi devices, but yo7 don’t have any midi connected devices do you? As I see it you have a mic as your main input, but where does it go? I’d suggest the vocal gizmo you have bought probably allows line input, so you could connect that via usb and I think your daw will send the midi to it so it has the tempo and note data, and then you send it audio to process and it sends it back via the line out, so the mic goes to the interface. The midi controller keyboard doesn’t need the 5 pin midi either.

it’s a workable system. You’ve just bought things you don’t need in the connection department. If I understand it correctly, what you need is enough USB connectors on the computer. Bigger interface, master keyboard, vocal gizmo, push controller etc, so you plug the mic into the interface, the gizmo into the interface and the interface into the gizmo speakers into the interface and sort of it’s done. Did you buy the JBL speakers on a recommendation. Personally, I have a very large expensive JBL PA in my hire stock, but I’d never have thought of studio monitors from them? What are they like at the bass end?

cables wise, no need for midi cables, splitters and you need an xlr-xlr for the mic, ¼” to ¼” for the return to the gizmo from the interface to get audio for treatment into it, the. The cables to go to the speaker. Send the mixer back.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
two jack-jack, two speaker cables and he's done. I wonder what the mixer was actually for?

Seriously though. Amazon is cheap, quick and convenient, but so much of their cable inventory is really horrible stuff, sold cheap and it even feels like cheap cable - when another cable can be quite nice. If you must buy from internet sources, then one stop shops are not so common now - but you have big dealers in the US, and we have have a couple in Germany. I buy higher price items from a smaller circle of dealers, and my cables and connectors from another.

The OP wanted a diagram - but maybe he'd have been better drawing that before ordering that big pile of bits. MIDI cables are a good one - I've not used one for years now. I have 16 MIDI outputs on 2 rack units that used to be how things connected, but now, it's virtually all USB from the keyboards and modules. It's taken nearly 40 years for them to be starting to be phased out - but we still talk about MIDI every day - despite none of the actual interconnects really using it. We refer to MIDI tracks in the DAW and MIDI channels on the hardware gadgets, but we just manipulate MIDI controllers and notes the same way we did with the old DINs and cables, but without any actual MIDI connections. How do you explain that to newcomers?
Buy a MIDI device, so buy some MIDI cables that you don't actually need?
 
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techfra

New member
Well, this is a bummer. I was hoping what I bought was good stuff and would work nicely together as a starter setup. I'm completely new to this and I was going to return what I don't need. I watched lots of other videos of people making music and etc and they all seemed to have a similar set up so I based my purchasing on that. I was thinking after further digging into what I bought that the mixer would probably be the main interface for all the devices. The voice gizmo as you called it simply just seemed cool and I thought I would try. Not sure if the mixer practically does the same thing or not. I just bought the speakers that I thought would deliver a good enough sound in a small space.

Are you guys saying that I basically bought junk and this will not work for what I'm hoping to do?
 

LazerBeakShiek

AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
The voice gizmo as you called it simply just seemed cool and I thought I would try. Not sure if the mixer practically does the same thing or not. I just bought the speakers that I thought would deliver a good enough sound in a small space.

Are you guys saying that I basically bought junk and this will not work for what I'm hoping to do?
The voice thing is probably an impulse buy, and you could go without it. Does it do anything cool? There are software vocoders online for free, if that is what you want. Send the mixer back. Send midi splitters and midi cables back, nothing 5 pin midi needed. The Push 2 is pretty heavy and sophisticated hardware. Id would send it back and use soft synths and soft samplers as VSTs in the DAW. Not first studio material.

Junk?...everything after like 1994 is garbage. It should be ok to do what you want though.
 
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TheSynthDev

Member
Assuming you have a basic knowledge of how electricity works, wiring up your studio is not too difficult. You will need to purchase some basic supplies like wire, connectors, and a soldering iron.

The first step is to identify the power supply for your studio. This will be the outlet that provides power to all of your equipment. Most equipment in a studio will run on 120 volts, so you will need to find an outlet that provides this voltage. Once you have identified the outlet, you can begin wiring your equipment.

Connect each piece of equipment to the power supply using wire. Make sure to use enough wire so that there is plenty of slack between the power supply and the equipment. This will allow you to move the equipment around without having to worry about unplugging it.

Once all of the equipment is connected, use connectors to connect the wires together. This will create a circuit between all of the devices and allow them to share power from the outlet. If something goes wrong with one piece of equipment, it will not affect the rest of the circuit.

Finally, use a soldering iron to solder all of the connectors together for a more permanent connection. Make sure not to overload any one outlet by connecting too much equipment at once; always read the manufacturer's guidelines for your particular devices before hooking them up!

--
Jason Hook. I enjoy remixing old songs using Audacity together with UnMixIt for vocal removal or isolation
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
The Scarlett 8i6 is fine, It's got mic inputs, line inputs for keyboards if you use device audio, and midi if you use the midi output from a keyboard. It provides the audio output to the speakers. The NT1 is good microphone, not peaky or harsh. The JBL 305s are adequate, unless you are working with lots of bass. They don't go very deep. You can add a subwoofer if required.

Hookup is pretty straightforward. Plug the Scarlett into a USB port and install the software. The Monoprice 1/4" TRS plug to XLR cables will hook the speakers up to the Line outputs of the Scarlett. The Solo is redundant. The mixer is probably redundant unless you need some special connections that the 8i6 doesn't provide. (I can't think on any unless you need to connect a bunch of instruments and mics at the same time. It only records 2 channel audio in any case). As Rob said, the vocal transformer is an effects box which may or may not be valuable. Do you need robotic voices? It might be a fun toy to play around with but its not necessary.

You need an XLR-XLR cable for connecting the mic to the interface. You have midi cables for hooking up the keyboard controller. The Ableton controller is USB. I don't use Ableton so I can't really comment on how it works. I only see one MIDI device, so the 4 banger splitters aren't needed.

You've got bunches of cables like the patch cables. Don't need all of them.

Things you definitely don't need are soldering tools, wire and connectors. You have more cables than you need already.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Learning to solder is great, but not an essential skill anymore. I can solder and built fuzz boxes in the early 70s from kits you bought from magazines, but if I need a cable nowadays, it’s so cheap to buy them premade.

the thing with the mixer is nothing to do with its quality, but it’s function? It takes in audio sources, does things to them, let’s you balance them up, then sends it out to your recording device, your computer. Your focusrite takes in sources and allows your computer to do exactly the same thing, so the mixer functions are duplicated.

everything you have connects via USB, so you don’t need any midi cables at all. Ableton controller and midi keyboard all work via usb for maximum flexibility.

you sort of did things the wrong way, buying audio equipment without any purpose. You’ve not mentioned anything about your music needs? If you are into electronic dance music then you also need the right drum sounds, the synths the samples, or if you are into reggae you need different drums, samples and synths. This is where the fun is. For the first time yesterday I discovered I have some really nice techno samples, because for the little job I needed those sounds. Never loaded them before in my life!

can you play piano ? I ask because you picked a mini size key master keyboard. Great for bashing in drums, but terrible if you want to play piano, the. You need full size keys and a sustain pedal. What do you intend doing with it?
 
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