A lot of people ask me how to get started on YouTube and what kind of equipment I use to produce my work. As far as how to get started – it seems so simple, it hurts, but honestly, just start. Whatever you are passionate about, whatever excites you, write down a script of what you want to say and record it! Be open to critique and collaborative ideas from friends and family. Don’t be afraid of trying new things. If you are just starting, you have a lot of room to really craft your channel, so take time, play around with style and vibes until you find one that you like. Get on a regular uploading schedule and engage with your fans and followers. Ignore the haters, don’t reply to them, don’t feed trolls! Ultimately, if you are in YouTube for fame and fortune, re-think the career. It’s a long process to build up your following, so be patient with yourself! If you’re doing what you love, just enjoy the journey. If you get to 50 subs, celebrate with a cake and friends, if you get to 500k celebrate (but make a bigger cake ;)) My ultimate advice: stay humble, stay kind – to everyone.
As far as equipment – I honestly am no pro, and nothing I do is fancy. But here are some resources if you are looking to get into the game and have somewhat of a budget:
Recording & Audio Editing Software:
Adobe Audition – A fairly high quality program, but not necessarily industry standard. But if you’re just getting started messing around with some interfaces and don’t need to record and edit anything but vocals, this would work just fine.
Audacity – This is where I started! It’s a completely free software that gives you basic recording and limited editing tools. But this is what I was using when I recorded “Let It Go” – so you don’t have to have anything fancy to make it work for you.
Equipment for Audio and Visual:
Line 6 POD Studio UX2 – I have only begun dabbling in processors for my mixing. Honestly, this is mostly used for my live events to line in tracks and my voice to those listening and watching! I’d say this would be an essential piece to buy if you are recording your own instruments such as guitars and bass. There of course are a range of quality and ability, but this one is fairly middle of the road in my opinion. It’s not too complicated for a novice, but if you’re needing more than just basic use, then it offers some nice features without breaking the bank.
C2G 3ft Pro-Audio XLR Male to XLR Female Cable (3′ XLR M to XLR F) – Need these to plug everything together, if you got the POD Studio! Make sure you’re getting the correct Male to Female cable!
Microphones and Stands:
I put two links for these because both places may have some good deals or discounts or even bundles for these mics. This is THE mic I use pretty much for every cover I do. I don’t necessarily tote it as the best mic ever, because it is definitely not. Weirdly enough, I’ve used a few other mics but can’t get the same sound I want that I have gotten from this one for the past 5 years! It’s probably due to my lack of understanding of how to make good mics work for me! But if you’re looking for a bargain on a decent recording mic and are ready to upgrade from your webcam mic – this is a very solid choice for beginners!
- Tech-y note: this a dynamic mic – which maybe lacks the range of a condenser mic, and also tends to pick up a few more noises in the background if you’re not careful about your soundproofing/filtering. Condenser microphones are a bit more pricey, but you won’t have to work as hard with editing out some background discrepancies. With that said, I’ve been very happy with my trusty ol’ dynamic shure fm 57!
Yeti Professional USB Microphone – This is another mic that I have used over the years for various recording projects, not usually for vocal covers though. I know a lot of us creatives like to dabble in a bunch of different areas of artistry, and this is a good mic! Bestbuy will discount this mic from time to time, I was able to snag mine for $99. So, if you’re interested in other voice related recording, not necessarily singing, even voice over for narrative purposes, this is a very solid mic. The best part for a lot of non-tech people and who need something simple, this is a USB hookup mic. Very simple setup!
MXL – Microphone Pop Filter – A basic for all voice-related arts! This little tool will cut down on some of the harsher consonant sounds you will make, especially plosive sounds (“b” and “p”) – it will reduce some background sound, but is more for cutting down on sounds right on top of the mic, and will help with your sound from peaking the mic, but you will still have to be aware on the recording whether you are, or not.
RODE – Microphone Shock Mount – An All-in-One Pop Filter and Shock Mount – something I don’t have too much experience using, mainly I have not had too much issue with too much abuse on my mic. I definitely recommend a pop-filter, but the shock mount, honestly, while it brings value to keeping your mic stable and cuts back on wear and tear, if it’s an accessory you can live without, do so.
Samson – Microphone Boom Stand – A very standard piece of equipment you’ll want eventually as you record. You sing much better, or vocalize in general, when standing. It allows your diaphragm to work better. I have a couple of mic stands and unless there’s a necessary reason, I don’t recommend buying anything crazy expensive. This is a very sensibly priced once for its quality.
WORK IN PROGRESS –