VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Use the audio studio at The Workshop

Setting up the interface

1

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 the power switch on back of interface
2

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

3

Launch the Focusrite Control program on the Mac by clicking on the icon in the dock

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

2

Plugging In

After turning on the audio interface, plug in the microphones you are using and configure the proper settings. The following steps are for plugging two microphones into the audio interface. Notice that there are slightly different steps depending on what kind of microphones you are using.

1

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

Plug the second microphone into Input 2 on the back of the interface.

Plug third and/or fourth microphones into Input 3 and 4 on the back of the interface.

If using a RE20 (podcasting mic) refer to Step 3 below for a slightly different set up.

2

Check whether the microphones need phantom power to work:

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

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

3

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. Repeat for second microphone. Then turn on phantom power.

4 Plug headphones in Headphone jack
5 On the computer in the Focusrite Control program, under Device Settings, make sure both Analogue 1 and Analogue 2 inputs are set to MIC
6

In Focusrite Control, under Output Routing, adjust faders for inputs 1 and 2.

Setting up the audio software

3

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
3

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
4

Rename Track 1 something significant - for example, the name of the person you're recording

Rename Track 2 something that differentiates it from Track 1 recording - for example, your name

This keeps your files organized.

5

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

Change input source for track 2 - click Default Stereo Input and change to Mono → [02M] Focusright Thunderbolt: Input 2

This tells the track where to record from. Input 1 is set to record one microphone and Input 2 is set to the record the other microphone.

6

Arm both tracks to record by selecting the R buttons on each track

This indicates that we will record onto these tracks 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!

7

Adjust levels by turning gain knob for Input 1 and 2 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. This will record both microphones onto two separate tracks.
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.

4

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.