How to build a virtual studio

I found this article quiet interesting and seeing as you can do it for free, I thought it made the article even better.

Hopefully it will be of use to some of you peeps out there.


Thanks a lot for sharing this. I used to subscribe to Computer Music (sister pub to Music Radar) and their collection of free software was very impressive. Their offering of a limited Samplitude 9 one issue turned me on to one of my favorite DAWs. I’m trying to keep my new setup a bit lean & mean, but I’ve been thinking of picking up one issue of CM to gain access to the current collection.

Interesting, but it doesn’t seem to talk about DAWs, which are the centrepiece of your studio, and what is required to use plugins with.

My favourite free DAW is Ardour which I highly recommend.

Reaper is also popular here, but it’s not free (in any interpretation of that word).



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If you want a free DAW that’s totally capable and unrestricted, I highly recommend taking a look at Tracktion Waveform Free.

Combine that with some of the wonderful free instruments & effects out there (like those listed in the OPs linked article) and you’re off to the races. You still need a computer and audio I/F, but you don’t have to spend a bunch on software to have a very workable situation.

Cool article @SgtColon , thanks for sharing. I’m on the Reaper train like a lot of people on here, but it seems like many of these programs would work in tandem with many different DAWs.

Yes, plugins mostly conform to standard formats and can be used on most audio applications which use those formats.

Common formats are:

  • VST2/3
  • AU
  • AAX
  • LV2
  • CLAP

You do need the version for your platform (Windows, Mac or Linux) and some of these are platform specific, although Linux can use some Windows VST plugins with tools like Yabridge and Wine.



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Awesome info @Majik !! I don’t know much about that yet, but I will certainly reference back to this. I’m still pretty beginner with the DAW and plug ins, though for easy practice setup, I often just go laptop with everything into a focus Scarlett, then into reaper. A Marshall jubilee plug in came with the audio interface that I love for a lot of electric. Acoustic sounds great to my ears in most songs with just a little reverb and delay :+1:

For acoustic, reverb is often all you need. You could also try a little chorus.

For general mixing, things like compression and EQ are commonly used.

EQ allows you to change the frequency content of selected tracks or, even, the whole project (if there is some shrill top-end, or boomy bass, for instance). It’s also used to create space between instruments (for instance, between bass and guitar, or guitar and vocals).

Compression allows you to reduce the dynamic range and increase the general “loudness” of the track/project. A little compression is common (in fact I doubt there are any modern commercial recordings in any genre which doesn’t use some compression).

You may want to explore these things, especially if you are mixing more than one track.

But, on the other hand, if you are happy with the results you are getting, it’s not at all necessary.



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@SgtColon Thanks for the article, appreciate it!

I started years ago with an old version of Cubase LE 4 that someone gave me out of the kindness of their heart. I played around with it until I was able to get Ableton Live Lite that came free with my Scarlett 2i2 audio interface at the time. I’ve eventually gotten a much more current version of Cubase Pro that I’m learning (Steinberg had a sale finally).

I will say that I have had the pleasure of playing around with some of Spitfire Audio’s samples. Some of their LABS instruments are pretty good. Almost couldn’t believe they were free. They also have their Originals line, which are very inexpensive. Spitfire also gives away their BBC Symphony Orchestra (Discover version) which is a nice sampling of an orchestra (definitely not junk).


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