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Home Studio Music Recording Part 1-2 - The Hardware

Home Studio Setup

Part 1-1 - The Hardware
Part 1-2 - The Hardware Continued
Part 2 - The Software
Part 3 - How I Use the Hardware and Software Together

You can tell from the picture that a lot has been added to my home Studio setup. I've decided to add a part 2 to this series on the hardware for the items I've added. Visit part 1 here.

Hardware I've Added
-Avid Eleven Rack
-Presonus FaderPort
-MXL 990 Microphone, Stand, and Pop Filter
-Monitor Stands
-Audio Technica Studio Headphones

Avid Eleven Rack

Eleven Rack

The Avid Eleven Rack (from here on out I'll call it the 11R) is an effects processor and simulator that can basically replace an amp and emulate other Guitar cabinets and pedal effects in the studio or used in a live setup to connect directly to a PA.  You can disable the internal amp simulator and use your own amp as well. It also keeps you from having to buy a ton of pedals. There are websites out there that allow you to download effects that other 11R users have created. The tones I use are some that I found online and modified. This things has a ton of options for connections and you can even use it as a preamp for your microphone. You have the option to edit the settings with the hardware or software. Since I don't use Pro Tools for my DAW I didn't want to pay the hefty $640 retail price so I bought mine on eBay for about half. 

Information About the Eleven Rack
-Get incredible emulations of classic Amp Tones Inspired by Fender, VOX, Marshall, Soldano, and Mesa/Boogie
-Enhance your tone with classic stompbox effects inspired by MXR, Electro-Harmonix, Ibanez, Pro Co, Univox, and more
-Gain realistic response and tone with the unique True-Z impedance-matching guitar input
-Customize your sound with convolution-based cabinet and microphone emulations
-Get the performance you need through powerful onboard DSP acceleration
-Record up to eight simultaneous channels of 24-bit/96 kHz audio—with near-zero latency
-Stay in tune with the built-in guitar tuner
-Customize time-based effects through tap-tempo control
-Have the connections you need to rig up your gear for recording:
-One XLR mic input with 48V phantom power
-Two 1/4" line-level inputs
-Balanced stereo XLR outputs and dedicated 1/4" outputs (for amp connection)
-Two 1/4" FX sends and returns
-AES/EBU and S/PDIF digital I/O
-1x1 MIDI I/O
-Stereo 1/4" headphone jack
-Pedal/footswitch input
-Get high-speed USB 2.0 connectivity with your Mac or PC
-Take your sound from the studio to the stage with full standalone functionality
-Eleven Rack Expansion Pack Included
-Expand your tonal versatility with guitar amp Tones Inspired by Bogner, Celestion, Fender, Marshall, --Matchless, Roland, and more
-Re-create the legendary thunderous bass tones inspired by the Ampeg SVT
-Enhance vocal and mic'd instrument performances with studio-grade processing and tools
-Add life to your tone with dynamic stereo delay, multi-chorus, and other effects
-Bring more authenticity and character to your rig with full speaker breakup emulation

Official website link
Link for Ebay listings
Link for preset downloads

Presonus FaderPort

Presonus FaderPort

The Presonus FaderPort is a mini mixer you can use with whatever DAW you like. I initially set it up with Cubase 5, but have since switched to Studio One. The FaderPort allows you to make quick adjustments to the track your working on and allows you to easily switch tracks. I like the idea of being able to adjust by a physical fader. The awesome part of this mini mixer is that the fader is motorized. This thing has sped up my recordings. I purchased it from Guitar Center for about $129.

Official website link
Link to purchase at Guitar Center

Monitor Stands

You want your monitor speakers to be at ear level when you're playing back your recordings for the best sound representation. I had been looking around for a pair of speaker stands and I have to say they are pretty ridiculously priced.  My solution was to use a pair of candle holders I found at Target. They placed the speakers at exactly the right level and another great thing is they were only $10 each.

MXL 990 Microphone

MXL 990 Microphone

It's really hard to pick out a microphone because you don't usually have the luxury of trying them out before hand. Most of the time you pick one out based on reviews or recommendations from a friend that may have the same microphone. So I basically went to Amazon and started reading reviews on microphones. The MXL 990 had some great reviews and fit my purpose, which was to record acoustic guitar and some vocals (not me of course).  For the money it's a well built microphone price at around $100.

MXL 990 Specs:

-Tube Type:Pressure gradient condenser microphone
-Diaphragm:6 micron gold-sputtered
-Frequency Response:30 Hz - 20 kHz
-Polar Pattern:Cardioid
-Impedance:200 ohms
-Equivalent Noise Level:20 dB (A-weighted IEC 268-4)
-S/N Ratio:80 dB (Ref. 1Pa A-weighted)
-Max SPL for .5% THD:130 dB
-Power Requirements:Phantom Power 48V (+- 4V)
-Current Consumption :<3.0mA
-Size:60mm x 130mm / 2.36 in. x 5.11 in.
-Weight:1.2 lbs / 544.3g
-Metal Finish :Champagne

Official website link
Link to purchase on

This song was recorded with this microphone in the verse and bridge. I think it sounds great!

Audio-Technica Studio Headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-MX30

I chose to buy some studio headphones to help with playing back my recordings. It also helps me for recording when someone is watching TV or trying to sleep. I ran across these when they showed up on It turns out Amazon had them for about the same price and I grabbed a pair. They sound great to me and the price was right!

ATH-MX30 Specs
-Advanced build quality and engineering
-40 mm drivers with rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils
-Tuned for enhanced detail, with excellent mid-range definition
-Collapsible for space-saving portability
-Designed to excel for studio tracking, mixing, and field recording

Official website link
Link to purchase from

All the songs below were recorded by me with my instruments. If you'd like to follow new music as I release them you can sign up for a Soundcloud account, download the app, and follow me. Enjoy! Part 2 will be software.

This post first appeared on Home Tech Dad, please read the originial post: here

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Home Studio Music Recording Part 1-2 - The Hardware


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