My Home Editing Setup
Updated: Sep 10, 2020
For those who do not yet know me, my name is Kallen and I am a freelance director and editor who deals in all thing’s audio. I recently invested in a home editing setup so in this blog I’ll be talking you through it. I’ll go through the items one by one; discussing what it is they do (if you aren’t already aware) and my thoughts on them now I’ve used them for a short while. I’m happy with all of the gear I purchase so feel comfortable recommending pretty much any of it for someone looking to build their own setup on a budget.
All of the recommendations besides the headphones came from a guy at my semi local music shop whose name I’ve forgotten. The headphones where ones I’d used before when at university and at a couple different radio stations and have served me well in the past. After I got the recommendations, I had a shop around comparing against similar models and checked prices across different sites. I would definitely recommend doing this as I saved £49.95 in total, bringing my costs down to £409.09.
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For those who aren’t already aware, an audio interface improves the sound quality of the audio played out of your computer, also ensuring that you get a more accurate sound when used with XLR cables. If you want to learn more, read this great blog from my friends at BeginnerGuitarHQ, or this blog from Yamaha.
Seeing as I only use my setup for editing and not recording, the Scarlett Solo from Focusrite is perfect for my needs and doesn’t take up much space on my albeit very small desk. The Solo is probably the simplest interface on the market with only a handful of buttons, all of which are clearly labelled. The manual is also very concise without being too long and whilst I haven’t yet had a reason to call them, I’ve heard wonderful things about Focusrite’s customer help line. If you are looking to record and edit with your setup, I would recommend stepping up to the Scarlett 2i2 or 4i4 depending on how many inputs you need.
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Many speakers are ‘tuned’ to create a more favourable sound when playing different types of music, the most common way you’ll notice this is through an enhanced response to bass . Studio monitors are designed with the intention of not doing this, so you get a more accurate representation of what you are producing. This blog from SoundonSound does a fantastic job of explaining this.
I’ve not run into any problems with my HS5’s and find them the best monitor I’ve used at this price point. Online I’ve seen some critique of the way it handles certain frequencies and the amount of bass it can produce. However, if you primarily work with dialogue and basic music compositions I can’t foresee this being a problem for you particularly at this price point.
Foam stands and cables
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…because what’s more exciting than foam and cables? For cables you’ll need some XLR cables (linked above). I use a couple of 1meter (3ft) ones (as I mentioned before small desk), which are made by a company called Stagg and are the “SAC1PS DL 1m/3 ft Jack to Jack Instrument Cable’s”. The rubber is very thick and they appear to be well made. The 1m cables are out of stock at the time of writing but there's some good deals on the 3m and 6m cables.
To stop reverberations through desk vibration, you’ll either need foam risers or speaker stands. Due to limited space, I went with some “acoustic isolation pads” made by Anpro. Whilst functionally they work and the quality is good enough that they don’t just immediately shred to pieces when I put the speakers on them, I would struggle to recommend them. The angle is not steep enough for my liking and whilst their design means there is a little height adjustment, I still cannot get them to an angle that I particularly like. I can’t help but feel it would have been better and more cost effective to have purchased some acoustic foam and cut them myself.
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And lastly, we have headphones! I prefer over ear cans as I find them to be more comfortable for long listening periods and generally they have more powerful drivers. Up until now, the best headphones I’ve used by a mile where the Sennheiser HD 280 PRO’s, so I settled on a pair of those and they performed as well as they had previously.
These headphones are very very well built, and I have seen several pairs survive many various drops, knocks and spills in studios over the years. I also find the padding to be very comfortable, although they can start to apply pressure after a couple of hours or so. I do wish they had a detachable cable (although this might cause some trade off with how rugged they are) and transportation with them isn’t the easiest. With all that being said, these are a strong recommendation.
So that is my gear! If you like any of it, please click on the affiliate links to all the stuff I have recommended, purchasing through these links will really help me out. Feel free to leave me a comment down below and let me know what you think or if you have any equipment recommendations. I will be trying to blog the last Monday of every month so make sure to check back or follow me on Instagram and Twitter @daynesaudio where I’ll announce when I upload a new blog post.