I believe in being helpful and therefore, I’ve put together the following list of products (mine included) that I find myself recommending, referencing, or otherwise using for personal reference. It’s an intentional short list absent of a lot of tech gear because gear is always improving and a mixer or microphone I recommended two years ago might not be the best option today. Enjoy.
A great spectrum analyzer with pretty much everything you’d need for only $14.99.*
Audio-Technica Installed Sound Support
Not the best name for an app but it’s free and includes a BASIC analyzer and some good reference material. I used the RTA in this app before I upgraded to the above Spectrum Analyzer.*
SPL (deciBel) Meter featuring RT60, Leq, Spectrum Analyzer, Spectrogram, Chart Recorder, Signal Generator, Polarity Checker, and Mic calibration.*
*Instead of relying on the phone’s microphone, go with a professional reference mic like the Dayton Audio iMM.
Reaper is a digital audio work station, for Mac and Windows, that’s affordable and easy to use. Let me just repeat that last phrase for about five minutes. You can also download a fully-working evaluation copy.
For Windows users who need something super easy for recording audio, Audacity is the way to go. It’s free and has the ability to edit and clean up the audio files.
Live Wire Cable Tester
Cables testers come in all shapes and prices and this is the one I own. I’ve used the cheap ones and I’ve used the expensive ones – this one is right down the middle. It can test most every cable type you have and tell you what’s wrong if it tests as bad.
Galaxy Audio CM-130 Check Mate SPL Meter
It’s an SPL meter, it works, you need one. It’s more accurate that your free iPhone SPL app. Need I say more?
Radial Engineering ProAV1 Single-Channel Direct Box
I’ve recommended this DI to a countless number of people who have the same question; how do I get computer or iPad audio to my console? The ProAV1 will convert a 3.5 mm stereo plug, RCA cables, and others into a LOW Z output required by the console.
I offer several in-depth guides which you can find here:
Sound Systems: Design and Optimization: Modern Techniques and Tools for Sound System Design and Alignment
Where should I put our speakers? What can I do about speaker coverage problems? For anyone with these questions or who is interested in sound system optimization, this is the book I always reference.
This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession
Music is a powerful force and as an audiophile, musician, and audio tech, I want to learn as much as I can about what EXACTLY is music and WHY it affects people the way it does. It’s an easy read and I learned a lot.
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio
There are many books on mixing music and they tend to be overly simple or focus on the details of studio work, such as what plugins to use and the settings. That being said, there’s a lot to learn from studio engineers and if you already have a good handle on mixing music, this book is terrific. I even did a full review on it here: Mixing Secrets.
- EQ Vocals: The Five Primary Areas of Modification
- How to EQ Speech for Maximum Intelligibility
- How Do Techs Magically Pinpoint a Problem Frequency?
- How to Remove Audio Feedback through Equalization
FTC Disclosure: Some links are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission when you make a purchase. I have experience with all of these companies and products and recommend them because they are useful, not because of the small commissions. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel they will help you achieve your goals.