VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Use the audio studio at The Workshop

Setting up the interface


Set up the audio interface

The audio interface is the first thing you should turn on. It amplifies the microphones and routes the signals to the correct places.

1 Turn on audio interface using power switch on back of interface

Log onto the computer using the public login
Username: vculpub
Password: [no password, leave blank]

3 Launch the Focusright Control software by clicking on the icon in the dock.


Plugging In

The Yamaha keyboard, Korg analog synth, and Moog Theremin all need to be plugged into the audio interface to record or play because they don't have their own internal speakers. 


Plug 1/4" cable into Input 1 on the back of interface

2 Turn the master volume knob on the audio interface all the way down to the left. The keyboard especially is very loud when you first turn it on.

Plug other end of 1/4" cable into OUTPUT L(MONO) on the back of the instrument you want to play.


Turn on instrument by pressing the power button or switch

5 Turn on the Genelec speakers and Genelec subwoofer (subwoofer is located on the floor to the left of the desk)
6 On computer, in the Focusrite Control program, under Device Settings, change the input for Analogue 1 to LINE

In Focusrite Control, under Output Routing, adjust the fader for input 1.

Setting up audio software


Setting up the software

The following are the steps to set up a recording with Adobe Audition, which is one of our favorite programs. Most sound programs are laid out similarly, but there will be some differences. Refer to LinkedIn Learning tutorials for help learning new programs.

1 Open Adobe Audition 
2 Go to FileNewMultitrack Session

New Multitrack Settings:

  • Change the name of the project (will make a folder with this name)
  • Change the location of the project to Saves Drive or Nexis
    This is crucial - the computer will delete anything not saved in the Saves Drive or in Nexis
  • Sample rate: 48000 Hz
  • Bit Depth: 32 bits
  • Master: Stereo

Rename Track 1 something significant - for example, the type of instrument

This keeps your files organized.


Change input source for track 1 - click Default Stereo Input and change to Mono → [01M] Focusrite Thunderbolt: Input 1

This tells the track where to record from. Set it to Input 1 because you plugged into Input 1 on the audio interface.


Arm the track to record by selecting the R button

This indicates that we will record onto this track specifically

After selecting R, you will see green levels to indicate Audition is receiving sound. If you don’t see green levels, you are not getting sound!


Adjust levels by turning gain knob for Input 1 on audio interface, looking at levels in the track. You generally want your peaks to be around -10 db, or a little bit of yellow to be showing. You do not want any red on the level meter.

8 Click the red circle in the bottom center of screen to record
9 Your recordings will appear as .wav files on left side in the Media Library. The actual files are located in the folder that you saved the multitrack session to in the Saves Drive.


Turning off

When you're done, please follow the steps below to ensure your files are properly saved and the equipment is turned off before leaving.

1 Make sure your files are saved onto the Saves drive or Nexis or your own storage system.

The order that you turn the equipment off is very important. It is the opposite order that you turned everything on.

Start by turning off the instrument using the power button.

3 Turn off the subwoofer
4 Turn off the speakers
5 Turn off the audio interface
6 Unplug any cables and neatly return to the cabinet. Throw away any trash and put back anything else you used. Return the checkout plaque to the front desk.

Using the instruments

Using the Yamaha Keyboard

The Yamaha keyboard is powerful and to get a grasp of all of it's features you should check out the manual. The steps below will let you get started with basic functions.

1 Scroll the data wheel (large black knob to the right of the screen) to change the way the notes sound.
2 Switch to Voice mode to play single notes rather than pre-recorded songs
3 The keyboard can function as a MIDI keyboard - plug a MIDI cable into the MIDI output on the back of the keyboard and into the MIDI connector cable on the back of the audio interface. Then set up a MIDI track in Ableton, Logic or another MIDI-enabled program (Adobe Audition does not do MIDI).

Using the Korg Monologue

The Korg Monologue is a monophonic analog synthesizer.


Using the Moog Etherwave Theremin

The Theremin is a classic electronic instrument. It is a single oscillator that uses two metal rod antennas to control pitch and amplitude.

1 Left antenna (horizontal hoop) changes volume
2 Right antenna (vertical rod) changes pitch