Welcome to the Individual Studio Components page of the Essential Audio Reference!

Your basic studio has microphones, DIs, pickups, or some other means for obtaining audio. With the resulting signal comes a chain of audio which is routed first into a preamplifier.


This two-channel micrphone preamplifier is a very nice and expensive preamp, but depending on what you have to spend, you can really make some nice audio productions anywhere.

The next device in the chain is most likely an Equilization unit, digital or analog, which will allow the engineer to apply an EQ curve that customizes how frequencies respond in playback.



The next device could be an number of compression/expansion units, modifiers, or effects. The first device is an Avalon Mic Pre. This device is a mic pre with built-in EQ and Compression options:



classic comp

In contemporary audio, instead of this signal feeding into a mixing board, it feeds directly into a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) onto the computer via a number of methods such as Firewire, USB2.0+, and HD rigs of different sorts. Pro Tools is a very commonly used professional audio workstation. Among other DAWs are Logic Pro, Reaper, Mixcraft, and Presonus interfaces.


Pro Tools 9


Logic Pro



At this point the instrument or sound source is being recorded into the computer after having been altered along the way. There are a multitude of options for how to handle the audio in post-production, too. Any number of effects and alterations can be made after a sufficient level of the sound source has been captured. For more on that, play with effects and discuss with your friends in our forum!

Remember that there are cheaper and more affordable DAWs and mic preamps. Here are a few ideas to get you started:


Mobile-Pre USB 2-channel interface


US1641 14-input interface


Of course, with microphones, cables, a preamp, and a DAW, you're read to get recording on a basic level!

© Michael Fish (Contact)
Western Michigan University
1903 West Michigan Ave Kalamazoo, MI 49008.
Last updated:  4/23/13 13:47