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. The Workshop's audio interface is a Focusrite Clarett 8PreX.

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]


Launch the Focsurite Control program on the Mac by clicking on the Focusrite Control icon.

The Focusrite Control program works in conjunction with the physical box to control the digital side of the audio interface.


Plugging In

After turning on the audio interface, plug in the microphone you are using and configure the proper settings.


Plug the microphone into Input 1 on the back of interface with an XLR cable.

If using a RE20 (podcasting mic) refer to Step 4 below for a slightly different set up.


Check whether the microphone needs phantom power to work:

  • If condenser microphone: yes, press phantom power button 
  • If dynamic microphone: no, do not press phantom power button

Phantom power sends 48V power to the microphone through the XLR cable. Refer to microphone guide if you are unsure whether you are using a dynamic or condenser microphone


If using Electro-Voice RE20 (podcasting/radio mic) plug XLR cable into Cloudlifter (blue box) and then use another XLR cable to connect the Cloudlifter to the microphone. Then turn on phantom power.

4 Plug headphones in Headphone jack on the audio interface
5 Check Focusrite Control program is set to MIC for Analogue Input 1 under Device Settings

In Focusrite Control program, under Output Routing, adjust input faders

Setting up the audio software


Setting up the software

After the interface is turned on and microphone plugged in, set up your DAW (digital audio workstation).

The following steps are for Adobe Audition, 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 name of the person you're recording or the microphone you're using

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.
2 Turn off the audio interface
3 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.