Learn Your Gear
The Best Midi Keyboard Audio Interface Computer Sounds for FL Studio
THese Recommendations ARE STRICTLY FOR FL STUDIO!
What’s Important in a MIDI Keyboard As a Producer?
The first thing I look for, is integration with FL Studio. Sometimes it’s not easy to find this information. (The keyboards suggested above work well with FL Studio.)
Next, I recommend a MINIMUM 49-KEY! As you progress as a producer, it’s important you have enough keys to play beautiful melodies. A 61-Key would be even better, but they’re BIG! (I’ve had a 49-key for 10+ years, and it’s been perfect with no restrictions on my creativity and melodies.)
Finally, you have to decide how much you’re willing to pay. Remember.. a MIDI Keyboard has NO SOUNDS in it… you use the sounds inside your DAW. When you pay more, you’re getting better quality keys while playing, and other features like knobs, sliders, and drum pads.
Audio Interface Quick Tips
An audio interface is a big part when it comes to performance, and having smooth playback. If your audio interface is causing you problems with driver issues, not handling your large projects, or restricts you in terms of cable connections.. these are the worst things to experience as a producer who is in the middle of that creative moment.
It’s easy to YouTube a “best audio interface” article or video.. but the question is why are they recommending a certain product?
The Focusrite series has continued to always been great for me, but in later years, I have experienced issues with their drivers on Windows 10. (Sometimes I had to re-record an entire course because of their drivers!) I’d still recommend this product for producers using FL Studio, especially with their 3rd gen series out now.
The key components you’re looking for in an audio interface is how many things do you want to plug in, how many things do you want coming out of the audio interface, the interface’s driver reliability (which is sometimes hard to get information on), and quality of the pre-amps (which boosts your microphone/instrument signals.)
The above mentioned are great tools, which I have used for many years, only recently upgrading to the Mackie Big Knob 3×2 as it has a lot of cool features like switching to different speakers, cutting the audio in half if you’re talking to someone, and it’s honestly been really reliable in terms of drivers so far.
Audio interfaces can get REALLY expensive. But it all comes down to what YOU are using it for.
Us producers don’t need anything special, we just need reliability, for the most part.
Someone recording REAL instruments would differ, though… and need more inputs for microphones and instruments.
The Focusrite 3rd gen or Mackie Big Knob are great choices in FL Studio.
Because of the pandemic, speakers have been picked over like crazy!
Do Reference Speakers Really Make a Difference?
Speakers are crucial to accurately hear what’s going on inside your song.
When you buy “consumer speakers”, think Beats by Dre headphones.. typically they sculpt the frequency spectrum to make the music sound bassier, or brighter!
But.. as a producer mixing your own music, it’s important you hear the music in a transparent way to make accurate mixing decisions.
And that’s where these “Reference Monitor Speakers” come into play.
They are designed to give you a flat response, which.. “in theory” allows you to hear your music more accurately, which in turn allows your music to sound consistent across multiple audio devices!
The goal you’re wanting to achieve from mixing is translation.
You want the music to sound good on any speaker! But sometimes, it doesn’t work that way.. for a couple reasons.
First, the ROOM YOU ARE IN MATTERS!
The price of these reference monitor speakers can get expensive, but if the room you are in is not properly treated with acoustic treatment, you’ll never be able to accurately make critical mixing adjustments, regardless the price of your speaker!
The suggestions are great reference monitor speakers to get you going, but mixing is going to take A LONG TIME to really grasp.
Additionally, I’ve always liked a bigger speaker as it allows you to hear the lower frequencies, which are important for making beats! An 8″ woofer is what I’d suggest, but depending on your room size, it may not fit! Some people say putting a big speaker in a smaller room isn’t good because you’re adding to the problem that small rooms suffer from (which is intense bass build-up, not allowing you to accurately hear the music.)
There are also 6″ speakers out there, too, which you may not have known!
And as a bonus.. a subwoofer is a really nice add-on, if your budget and room allow for it. Note, you’ll need FOUR SPEAKER CABLES if you buy a sub woofer. (I’ve listed a sub above.)
Monoprice is an amazing price-to-value choice.
I am extremely happy with their quality and price-point.
Purchasing the Right Audio Cables for Your Studio.
Audio cables are actually really confusing, especially once you get down to the concept of unbalanced and balanced cables.
But to keep things simple, what you’re after is TRS 1/4″ or XLR cables.
The audio industry is really easy to trick people into thinking they need to spend a lot of money on speaker and video cables.
The truth is you don’t.
Here’s a super funny article of a COAT-HANGER VS. MONSTER AUDIO CABLES!
There is deep science behind how audio travels down a cable, and how it’s susceptible to EMI (electromagnetic interference), and how there’s different techniques to combat these issues such as using twisted pair wires, adding metal sheathing, and the such.
But these Monoprice cables are built very well, at a fair price.
I’d recommend them for all your studio cables, from speakers to microphones to connecting various hardware devices.
Well-built, and great audio.