Studio Hardware Basics

This wiki page is a supplement to the induction and can serve as a reminder and for trouble-shooting while using the studio.


  • Microphone -selection, positioning and care
  • Recording computer basics, file management and system defaults
  • Overview of analog audio signal flow - input and output


This induction focuses on a simple user-case, where the studio is being used to record one singer (or voice-over).

  • RODE Broadcaster Microphone (mic)
  • Mic lead
  • Mic Stand
  • Pop-Shield
  • Focusrite Microphone Preamplifer (mic pre)
  • Avid HD I/O
  • Apple MacPro and Cinema Display
  • Digidesign Control 8
  • Adam A4 Studio Monitors.

On Arrival

When you get to The Edge - check in at reception and one of the friendly Visitor Service Assistants (VSA) will let you in, and sort out your microphones.

Step One - Power On

First up, lets turn on all the equipment - if its already on at the start of your session you can skip to Step Two - Restart/ShutDown.

Equipment Rack

Start with the bottom of the rack and work your way to the top. First the two Avid audio interfaces.

Then the focusright mic pre-amps.

Next is the Apple MacPro

Then the Digidesign Control 8

Make sure the volume is down on both speakers and headphones!

Turn on both speakers and check the volume is in the centre ( you can always turn it up later)

Next check the Akai MIDI controller

If you are using Pro Tools - Make sure the Akai is UN-PLUGGED - otherwise Pro Tools will hang on boot

Step Two - Microphone Set-up

Grab your microphone (mic) and pop shield from the cabinet. We are using the Rode broadcaster.

Lets set up the mic first - make sure you have the right clip, and the nut that holds the clip on to the mic. Its attached to the mic in the photo below.

Screw the mic clip onto the stand - twisting the mic stand shaft is easier.

Attach the mic to the clip, using the nut.

Grab a mic lead from the wall

Plug in the female end to the mic.

Make sure you tight the mic stand!!

Or this happens…

Plug the male end of the mic lead into input A1 of the bottom Focustrite.

Next attach the pop shield.

Analog Signal Chain

Now its time to check our analog signal chain or signal flow. For our example with a singer, your signal flow looks like this:

We will step each element now.


First find a spot in the room to record. If you are recording yourself, you will want to be in reach of the computer keyboard.

If recording someone else, have a listen to the “room tone” - try to find a spot that has the lowest noise from the computer and air-conditioning ducts.

Aim to be between 5 and 10 cm from the microphone, remember the broadcaster is an end-address microphone. Point the end not the side at your sound source (singer).


Phantom Power

The RØDE Broadcaster requires 48V phantom power to operate. Press the MIC 48V switch on the Focusrite pre-amp.


Now you are ready to check your microphone pre-amp gain. While someone is speaking/singing into the mic - set your level with the pre-amp gain knob. Starting at 0, turn the gain up slowly.

You are aiming for a signal range between the middle two green bars on both the Focusrite pre-amp and the Avid HD I/O.

Red = bad/distorted sound.

Computer Set-up

If you have a USB hard disk or flash drive - plug it into the front USB of the Apple Computer, not the desktop USB hub.

Log - in

Log-in to the Recording Studio computer as:


This account is refreshed (wiped) on log-in!

The desktop, downloads, and any other “studioedgeuser” documents are wiped and empty, every time the computer starts or studioedgeuser logs off and back in.

Disks and Usage

There are two scratch disks you can use to record onto. Make sure that one of these disks is where you save files and record to.

File Privacy and Back-ups

Scratch disks are temporary, shared storage.

  • Both drives will be wiped and reformatted when full
  • Other users can see and read/write/delete your files

Please take your files with you on an USB drive or stick.

facilities/recordingstudio/basics.txt · Last modified: 2021/07/23 11:30 by Andrei Maberley
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