Build An Affordable Home Recording Studio In A Recession

Praverb shares knowledge on the necessary equipment needed to build an affordable home recording studio. You will learn how to improve your home recording for around $600 dollars. This content is geared towards DIY recording artists who have a computer and recording software (I use Adobe Audition 3.0).

The Equipment
My audio interface is the most important piece of equipment in my arsenal. My wife actually bought the Focusrite Saffire equipment for me 3 years ago.

Two years ago I detailed my recording studio via YouTube (you can see the video above). The Focusrite Saffire USB 6 provided phantom power which powered my condenser microphone. The microphone is the second best investment that I made. The cables that you use are also important.

The Benefits of Owning a Home Recording Studio
  • Cost effective
  • Accessibility
  • Ability to record anytime
  • Able to re-record material without spending money
  • Creativity in regards to recording space
Home recording studios are a must for those that want to save money. Home recording studios are usually expensive to set up yet they pay off in the long run. I have been recording at home since 2002. Recording space is always an issue yet I utilized an extra closet to make it work. I utilized mattress pad from Wal-Mart to reduce the reverb.

I recently switched locations due to the birth of my son which presented another challenge. I bought the Auralex Mudguard Microphone Isolator

Why Did I Start Recording At Home

I started recording at home as a hobby. I found that I enjoyed the sound of my voice and I loved to rhyme over industry beats. I was a struggling college student that had a lot of pent up aggression. I tried to record at studios yet I felt like I was wasting money. So I found a solution, my aha moment occurred when I was in the studio wasting money. I thought to myself, "I can buy my own equipment and learn how to mix my vocals."

It started with Cool Edit Pro 2.0, thank you Peter Quistgard. I slowly added equipment and eventually taught myself how to mix. In the beginning I struggled with understanding a lot of the terms.

Do you have a home recording studio? What do you enjoy the most about having a home recording studio?

Image provided by Danny Stanford

The Ultimate Graphic Designer Directory

I decided to write this post after fielding questions about graphic design. A lot of artists (rappers, emcees, singers, beatmakers) contact me about album cover artwork.

There are tons of graphic designers that can make your CD artwork/single artwork stand out. A lot of artists struggle with finding available graphic artists. You can find graphic designers on forums, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, DeviantArt, Pinterest, Instagram and more.

The goal of this post is to make your search easier.

Why did I put this Directory together?

I put this directory together because I value CD/Single artwork. I struggled finding artwork when I started releasing material (music) to the masses in 2004. I found that a lot of my friends were graphically challenged haha. They could rhyme well but they couldn't design.

I found graphic designers on niche forums. This post was created to answer the question, "Do you know any graphic designers?"

My goal is to facilitate relationships. A lot of artists release material WITHOUT artwork because they do not have the funds (the barter system works people!). These artists also lack the knowledge in regards to finding graphic designers.

How did I put together this directory?

I put together this directory by utilizing a specialized Twitter List. The idea to organize people into Twitter Lists came from Lilach Bullock.

I utilized the Visual Giants list that I created. The Visual Giants list is full photographers, videographers and graphic designers.

I also reached out to people on Twitter and Facebook and asked them if they knew any graphic designers (Thank You for the responses!).

I found a lot of graphics designers on

I also found a website the highlights album cover artwork. The website is called Mixtape Wall

The Correlation between Music and Art

I few years ago I checked out this awesome post about beautiful music album covers. The post made me think about the correlation between music and art.

Artwork is the first thing that people see when they search for your project. Album cover artwork is always present on iTunes, Bandcamp, SoundCloud, Audiomack, etc. The awesome passage below sums up the relationship between art and music.

And the best way to get a potential buyers’ attention is with an eye catching album cover. We all know you can’t just judge a book by it’s cover but it doesn't hurt to give a CD a spin based off a sexy piece of art. - Smashing Magazine

It is all about presentation. I believe that we (as humans) gravitate towards things that convey professionalism. If you present an amateurish looking album cover than your fans will assume that you are an amateur.

The goal is to draw them in with the artwork and keep them listening with the music (Good Music). You have nothing to lose!

Having quality artwork makes it easier for your promotional efforts as well. Sharing cover artwork is an effective promotional tactic. Encouraging your fans to use your artwork as their avi extends the reach and visibility for your project. This tactic is very effective on Twitter.

If you think about it, the album cover is the last expression... other than the way your music sounds. Because you can own a persons album on iTunes, be a huge fan and listen to their music all day... and never see their video, never see their live show, and JUST see the cover as it comes up in your phone/iPod. So that's when I realized the most important thing is just that cover. - John Mayer on the importance of album artwork

This list highlights people or companies that are graphically superior. Make sure you have a budget for the artwork and approach the designers with respect.

This list will be updated often (so please check back)!

The 22nd Design
808 Shirts

Adam Wimberley
A Dezignz
Alexander Wright
Alexandros Kelekis
Allegedly, Of Course
Amperio Designs
Andrew Kelsall
Angelo Logan
Anderson Designs
Andreis Costa
Anne Marie-Kirwan (Website Designer as well)
Anthony Arts
Art by JLC
Art by Shake
Art Vaisanen
Arvid Wessman
Atrayo Harper (Graphic Design based clothing line)
Aurion Designs
Bishop Designs
Boo Haha
Bunbury Creative

Cam Floyd
Castle (Website Designer as well)
CB Designs Shop
CG Hearn
Clinton Durham
Craig Flux Singleton
Creative Munkey (Website Designer as well)

D1N Designs
David Enco
Designs by Guru
DiArt Works
Dion Lynk
Djé Eelbode
Dzire 2 Dzine

Egdar Mattey
Eric Nine

Fab Ciraolo
Fernando Creative
Flyland Designs
Firman Productions
The Fresh Community

Gb Grafix
gk2 designs (Does Twitter Layouts)
Goodidea Street
Gunslinger Graphics
Gustav Images

Haterproof Design
Hk Covers
Hustle Mill

Ill Dill Design
Illus aka Adam Wallenta
iNanz the Unseen
INS Designs

Jake Catt
James Dunne
Jasper Staal
Joe Deans
John Smalls
John Sullivan
Jonathan Thompson
Joshua Decker
Joshua Drakes
Justin Barber

Keren Yishi'i Media Group
Kevin Hackett
KicDrum Products
Kid Flint
Kj Anderson
Know Life
Kodax Graphix Designz
Krystal Flores
KS Designers
Kyle W. Knapp

Lauren Watkis
LDN Graphics
Lilley Films

Made You Look Graphic Design
Manu Pillai
Marco Brunato
Marcus Thomas Art
Markus Designs
Marlon Vincent
Martial Artisik
Marwan Shahin
Masood Tahir
Memetic Supply Co. (Dr. Quandry)
Mfumu Design
Mike Gfxx
Millz Graphixx
Mixtape Masters
Mixtape Wall
Mr. Krum

Narley Designs
Ness Graphica
Nick Polifroni
Nightmare, Inc.

On Deck Agency

Pathetic Pixels
The Photo Doctor
Pink Dyamond Graphics (Does Twitter Layouts as well)
Piombo Graphics
Professional GRF
Proph Bundy

Quinelle Holder (Website Designer as well)

Renasantz Graphic Designs
Rod Steele
Roelie Vuitton
Romain Jacquet Lagreze
Ryan Wheaton Illustration

Sam Gfx (Website Designer as well)
Sean Johnson
Sean L. Miller
Sholto Smith
Shorty Illustration and Graphic Design
Simon Banda II
SimpLy NewTroN
Skarr Akbar
Skrilla Design
Sophie Cocheteau
SpDesigns (Website Designer as well)
Steezy Designs
Street Hustler Gfx
Sunday Morning
Suzy Defaux
Sydney The Artist

Top Level Design and Print

Umbrella Custom
Untouchable Designs

Votary Media (Website Designer as well)

William Isamael
WNA Visual

XVII Media Co.

Yo Gfx Designs
Yo Promotions

Zion Eye Media (Website Designer as well)

If you find this post helpful let me know by leaving a comment or sharing this post via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, email, and other social media sites.

I count on YOU the audience to share this post. I know that I can't spread this by myself (that is why this blog post is public).

After you get your graphic needs met you might want to find out where to submit your music to. Check out The Ultimate Hip-Hop Blog Directory (Search Hip-Hop Blogs That Accept Music Submissions).

This is an ongoing post. Please link me to graphic designers that are not on this list by using the comment section below. I will make sure that they will be added ASAP.

Image provided by Know Life

Stepping Into Social Media (Buy Now)

It is widely known that social media is one of the most powerful tools to promote your music nowadays. Artists that produce quality music but do not know how to reach the right people will most likely never be successful. Since there are more and more platforms and social media has been scaling up immensely, it’s hard to keep a clear focus.

Stepping into social media, it’s not easy to find your way and find the most effective way to promote your music. You have to choose platforms that are interesting, set goals and identify your target audience. But what are the best techniques to reach these people?

With these questions and subjects in mind, our friends at wrote a to-the-point eBook based on experience promoting music, in order to help people perform better in social media. It covers subjects such as:
  • Preparation and positioning based on marketing principles: a clear definition of your goals, target audience and competition.
  • Approach in each development stage.
  • Tips, tricks and methods for 5 different platforms (YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit & Facebook).
  • Why you don’t need to pay for advertisement.
  • Facts & numbers that will help you on your way.
All in all, this guide will help you improve your efficiency, acquire new listeners and reek in those likes and shares. The guide was available for free.

Buy the Book below:

Check it out, and if you find any of the information found inside the guide useful, show your support by taking a minute to write a customer review on the book page.

* This book is designed for Kindle. If you don’t have a kindle, you can conveniently read it on your computer by doing a quick install of the official Amazon Kindle Reader, which can be found HERE

3 Guaranteed Ways To Increase Your SoundCloud Interaction

Soundcloud is one big cocktail party. Over 10 million registered users utilize this awesome site.

SoundCloud is an audio message board!

The interactive website makes it easier for people to share their music with the world.

According to Wikipedia, SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform that allows collaboration, promotion and distribution of audio recordings by users.

I am grateful for SoundCloud founders Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlfross. They have made it easier for me and countless others to share our content with the world.

I gravitated towards SoundCloud after witnessing the success of my friend Ben Z. Ben, a Wisconsin based emcee, picked up on the collaborative potential of this site and he collaborated with countless artists from all over the world.

I was amazed at his genre-blending ability and organizational skills. He also recorded an awesome Audiobiography that changed the way I viewed SoundCloud.

SoundCloud is awesome because of the interactive component. The SoundCloud Community does an excellence job working with the SoundCloud Heroes to devise creative opportunities.

The SoundCloud heroes are promoting National Poetry Month (this month) with this collaborative project.

Think about the popularity of SoundCloud for a minute and ponder this. Drake, yes that Drake, shared "Started From The Bottom" on SoundCloud. Pusha T shared "Exodus 23:1" and J. Cole utilized SoundCloud to premier "Power Trip", "Miss America" and "The Cure". I hope you see the trend here. SoundCloud is also the go to audio resource for versatile beatmaker Ta-Ku. They utilize SoundCloud because they understand the interactive and sharing potential of the website.

UPDATE: Jay-Z premiered "Open Letter" and Pusha T premiered "Numbers On The Boards" today on SoundCloud.

I gravitated to the community because it gave me the ability to interact with creators of sound.

I quickly noticed that a lot of users were not utilizing the site to well interact. Artists would post tracks and just go on with their day (I can speak from experience because that is what I did).

So I decided to create a blog post that revolves around improving your interaction on SoundCloud. Below I will highlight three tips to help increase your SoundCloud Interaction.

1. Listen

Your listening experience will be enhanced if you take the time to listen to other artists. Open your ears and listen to the sounds of the world.

Praverb Tip: My listening experience is not restricted to one genre I try to listen to various sounds. I am appreciative of creative people.

2. Comment

The listening process is the first step and commenting is the second step. Take the time to leave feedback for material that you enjoy. I have found that people usually reciprocate. You will also notice an increase in your SoundCloud followers as well.

Leaving comments is awesome but not all comments are created equal. Leave meaningful comments when you can!. If you really enjoy a track let the artist know. That little pat on the back goes a long way.

Leave comments that show you listened to the track. It can be a feeling, the song lyrics, the production, etc.

Reply to comments as well. Take the time to show your gratitude. I tend to reply to every comment. Yes! every comment.

Praverb Tip: I usually follow everyone back that follows me and I try to listen to one of their songs. I usually drop feedback on everything that I listen to.

3. Repost

If you like a song repost it! Share the music that you love.

Reposting is similar to Retweeting in this regard, your reposted song will appear at the top of your feed. Think of it as pinning a post on Facebook. This is the first thing that people see when they check your profile. You have the ability to share what you are listening to with the masses.

Image provided by Know Life

How to Promote Your Music By Finding Your Niche

It is well known that if you want to get different results you need to do something you haven’t done before. To move quicker than your competition and work a lot more efficiently than them, you need to take some things into consideration before deciding how you are going to promote your music.

Why should you limit your niche and how can that be more profitable?

If you sell something to EVERYBODY you end up selling it to NOBODY. By EXACTLY defining your target audience you already have more chances of success than somebody who hasn't done this first and starts promoting right away.

The reason is, your music will be targeted easier and your listeners will love it. Find a niche where you can dominate as opposed to competing with EVERYONE in the music industry.

Needless to say if you got this figured out, promotion costs (and in the costs we include TIME as well, not only money) will be lower because you know where your audience is, what they are looking for and you don’t waste your time and money promoting in places that aren't beneficial for you.

Don’t be the small fish in the big pond, be the biggest fish in the small pond!

It is important to be an absolute master in your domain. Don’t waste time by trying to develop abilities that you are not good at to please people.

Find out what you are good at, you surely have an idea about this up until now, and develop them to the point of mastery, it takes less time and you will find it a lot more pleasurable and feel that you are "on your path".

Stop doing what everybody is doing and stop wasting time to please everyone. Know who are you promoting your music to, understand the power of Social Networks, forums, YouTube, and other sites.

Establish your target audience and start promoting in your niche. I promise that you will achieve more success doing it this way.

In other words don’t just invest and hope for the best but figure out carefully what you are good at. Find out who is interested in listening to your type of music and promote in places that are already filled with these people so there is a much higher rate of converting them into real fans.

This is a guest blog written by Hip Hop Crash Beats: For more information about this topic and for industry quality instrumentals please visit



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