MacBook Pro Accessories You Need to Turn Your Remote Office into a Production Studio
It’s easier than ever to create your own at-home production studio. Advancements in technology have made it possible to build a high-quality space, even on a relatively tight budget. And in our ever-remote-leaning world, producing from home may be more important and convenient than ever. Below are our essential products and accessories for turning your remote office into a production studio.
You’ve probably gathered that we’re big fans of Apple’s MacBook Pro around here. Specifically, the 16” version is a favorite, as it truly performs when it comes multitasking. And since production requires running heavy pieces of software, the MacBook Pro 16” is a machine that can handle it. It’s great for audio production, video production, editing, and handling multiple files. Plus, it’s lightweight and portable, making it a great option for a remote work setup.
The MacBook Pro 16” boasts AMD Radeon Pro 5000M, which means that playback is seamless. Its processor and memory are what you’ll need if you’re working on a large production project. The 2020 model is great, but they’re also rumored to be releasing a 2021 version that may include the M1X chip and contain some other intriguing upgrades[MOU1] .
If your budget allows, we’d recommend creating a workstation that includes your MacBook Pro and a large desktop monitor as well. A work hub can make editing and production much more streamlined, especially if you’re working with a team of people who need access to the screen, while still affording you the flexibility of a laptop. LG’s ultrawide options for desktop monitors offer plenty of surface area for creators to see and edit. Apple also offers some 5K LG options that are large and offer incredibly crisp displays.
If you’re recording sound, the audio interface is the tool that lets you get the sound “into” your computer so that you can edit and produce it. The audio interface should easily plug into your computer, but be sure to check for compatibility before choosing one. Audio interfaces are usually relatively small and portable, but you’ll want to pay attention to the quality of sound they transfer. The Apogee Duet interface is highly recommend by numerous artists and producers; it boasts the ability to connect to multiple instruments and devices and offers great sound quality.
Editing Software (Digital Audio Workstation)
In order to record, produce, and edit sound, you’re going to need digital audio workstation software, or DAW. There are a ton of DAW options on the market, some of which are free (but offer limited capabilities) and others that are paid (which offer more capabilities). Examine your budget and your specific needs to determine which option is right for you. Some popular free options that are compatible with a MacBook Pro are GarageBand and Pro Tools First. One of the most popular options when investing in a DAW are Pro Tools and Logic Pro, both of which are also compatible with Apple products.
Your audio monitors, or speakers, are obviously important when creating your at-home production studio. If they don’t offer balanced, true sound quality, then your editing and production will be off and may vary wildly from speaker to speaker. Selecting studio monitors specifically is important because they’re meant to flatten the frequency of the sound. In other words, they provide a more accurate representation of the sound than other types of speakers.
Audio monitor placement matters, too. According to Jonathan Morrison’s helpful video, you’ll want to make sure that your monitors are not too close to you and not too close to the walls so that the sound doesn’t distort due to distance. Offered in a wide range of sizes and price points, you’ll need to examine your unique budget and needs in order to determine the right options for your space. A few that we recommend are the Focal Shape 65 and the Yamaha HS5.
Microphone (Whether you’re renting multiple options or need a long-term solution).
Another element that plays into the quality of sound that you’ll achieve in your at-home studio is your microphone choice. The two main categories you’ll need to consider are dynamic microphones and condenser microphones. To break it down in its most simple explanation, dynamic mics pick up on loud sounds like drums while condenser mics are better at picking up quieter sounds like voices. A dynamic mic is more “general” and less sensitive, which makes them more affordable than condenser mics. While both mics are good to have on hand, the type of microphone you should select will depend on your unique needs. If you need an option that can provide decent all-around quality, the Electro-Voice RE20 microphone is a dynamic option that also does well with voices. As for a pricier condenser option, the Rode K2 condenser microphone is a strong choice.
Finally, there’s no reason to invest in the time and money it takes to convert your office into a production studio if you don’t pay attention to the room’s acoustics. Even the best equipment won’t perform to its ability if the room in which you’re recording is echoey and loud. This, however, is a relatively easy fix.
First, there’s a reason you see rugs on the floors of recording studios — they absorb sound. Adding a rug to a room with hard floors is a good idea. With other soft materials like a sofa, pillows, curtains, and throw blankets, you’ll help reduce the room’s ability to echo. There are options you can purchase, too, that will help you treat your room before recording. Installing a “cloud” on your ceiling, bass traps in the corners, and foam panels on the walls can make a major difference regarding the sound you create.
For one-off projects or collaborative efforts that require more equipment, the experts at eTech can help you nail down exactly what you need. From rental equipment to genuinely good advice, we’ve got what you need to make your at-home production a success.
About eTech Rentals
eTech Rentals a national technology solutions provider located in Southern California specializing in rental technology integration. eTech is committed to long-standing client relationships and consistent, reliable local service, trusted by expert event planners, film and entertainment production companies, and businesses in California and nationwide.
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