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Examples of Blueprint Drawings Made in Illustrator

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Search for Symbols on Google & Create your own

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Days 4 & 5 - Designing an Audio Recording Studio

While most beginners underestimate the importance of this step, the truth is…

A well-designed room can be the difference between smooth sailing and major headaches down the road.

So to spare you the months of frustration… In this section, we’ll go through the ENTIRE step-by-step process of setting up your recording room the RIGHT WAY. So let’s get started.  First up…

The Top 4 Things to Avoid

Choosing a room is less about finding good qualities, and more about AVOIDING bad ones.  Particularly, these 4:

1. Small Spaces

The general rule of thumb is: the bigger the room, the better.

Big rooms allow for:

  • More space for multiple musicians, and…

  • More space for your ever-growing collection of gear/instruments

Not to mention…they sound better (more on that topic later). While beginners might prefer the privacy and coziness of smaller rooms, my advice is… Be smart…and choose the bigger one.

2. Noise

In everyday life, you forget how much noise is actually around you.  But once you hear it through a microphone, all that noise is magnified 100x. All these things are common sources of noise that can easily ruin your recordings:

  • Cars

  • neighbors

  • plumbing

  • birds

  • crickets

  • wind

  • rain

So pay close attention to which rooms are the worst noise offenders, and choose the quietest one with the fewest neighbors.

In addition to avoiding outside noises, you must also realize that YOU will undoubtedly be a source of noise for OTHERS. Ideally, you want a perfectly silence space where:

  • you can make as much noise as you want.

  • at any time of the day you want.

But since very few rooms are like that…Some degree of soundproofing may be required in order to create a useable workspace for yourself.  

3. Poor Flooring

For your recording room, hard flooring such as concrete, tile, or hardwood is ideal.

Carpeted rooms often cause problems for two reasons:

  1. studios get a lot of foot traffic, and the carpet wears out quickly.  

  2. carpet absorbs high frequencies, but not low ones, which hurts the acoustics.

If and when you need carpet, such as for a drum kit, you can always lay down an area rug instead. The other problem to watch out for with upstairs floors especially is excessive foot noise.  If possible, choose a downstairs room instead.

4. Poor Acoustics

Bedrooms in a typical family home look something like this:

  • They’re small,

  • With low ceilings,

  • And parallel walls made of drywall.

Sadly for us…It just so happens that ALL those features NEGATIVELY affect acoustics. Ideally what you want is a large room with high ceilings, asymmetrical walls, and lots of irregular surfaces.  However, the chances of having access to a room just like this are virtually ZERO. Pro studios have them, but only because they spent tons of cash to DESIGN them.  You, on the other hand, will most likely need to compromise. Don’t expect perfection, just choose your best option. You can always improve the room sound later by adding acoustic treatment (and we’ll get to that part in a bit). But if at all possible, it’s best to use a room with great natural acoustics, as it will be less work for you later.

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Day 6 - Designing a Recording Studio Continued

STEP 1: Choose the Best Room

In an average household, you might have the option of 2-3 rooms to set up your studio.

If you only have one option…then just use that.

Otherwise, you have a decision to make…

And since some rooms are better for recording than others…

STEP 2: Clear Out the Room

Once you’ve chosen a room, it’s time to prepare it for the project ahead.

So before we start adding new things INTO the room, let’s take everything that we don’t need OUT.

  • Clear off all floor space

  • Take everything off the walls

  • Remove anything that vibrates

If the room also doubles as bedroom, living room, etc…you may not be able to clear it out completely, but anything that CAN be removed, SHOULD be removed.

STEP 3: Add Acoustic Treatment

  • Previously in Chapter 3, I showed you everything you need to know to put together an amazing acoustic treatment plan on virtually any budget.

  • Now that you have an empty room to work with, it’s time to put all that knowledge into practice.

  • So put up your acoustic treatment, and come back when you’re done.

STEP 4: Arrange Your Workstation

  • Now that you’ve got an empty room with great acoustics, it’s time to add some gear.

  • Since your desk/chair will always be the centerpiece of your room…

  • It makes sense to start with those two.

  • While any desk/chairs you have lying around the house can be used for starters…

  • Ideally, you probably want your workstation to look a little more professional if at all possible.

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Video Production Equipment - Camera

If you’re making a video, you need a good camera. And if you’ve done any reading about video production tools or video marketing, you know that there are a lot of opinions out there. We’ll start with the basics. You can definitely use a DSLR for filming. It won’t get you the same level of quality as a professional-level video camera. But it’s a lot cheaper, and the video quality improves all the time.

Many people who sell videos online use DSLRs, and the quality is great. Almost all DSLRs can record in 1080p, the standard for online high-definition video. And many are capable of recording in 4K as well.

For a mid-range DSLR (like the Nikon D3500), plan on spending in the $600+ range—though you can often find great deals online.

If you do go with a DSLR, it’s especially important to get a tripod and an external mic. We’ll talk about those in a moment.

For even better quality and more in-camera features, you’ll want to invest in a high-end video camera. What will you get with a video camera? Better image stabilization, the better focus during zooms, and improved sound pickup, for a start. Of course, you’ll pay more for that quality. A good mid-level professional video camera will cost you about $1,300.

Video editing hardware

You can edit video on almost any device. Most smartphones can download capable video-editing apps, and just about every computer can run one as well. But if you’re going to be doing a lot of video editing, you may want to consider upgrading your hardware. Many top videographers use Apple hardware for their video editing, but Windows PCs have caught up in graphics processing power, too.

The main thing to pay attention to is that your computer has enough graphics power to let you edit at full speed. Lower-end graphics cards and laptops may have difficulty making changes to very large files. And that slows down your computer. For most people, editing on your current device will be fine. If you notice that the process is slow and you think you might benefit from something faster, it’s time to consider making a change. As future professionals, we will use Apple MacBook Pros or custom PC like Alienware that have high end Video Cards and RAM expansion bays.

Days 7 & 8  - Designing a Photo/Video Studio

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Video quality is about content. If you’re showing viewers something valuable or interesting, they’ll come back for more.

But it’s not all about the content. You still need your video to look good. If your content has very low production quality that interferes with the viewer enjoying the video, you’re going to lose viewers whether your content deserves their attention or not.

So if you want to make money with your videos online, you need to step up your production game. Here’s a checklist of 10 video production equipment items that you can use to get professional-quality video.

Tripod

No matter how good your camera’s stabilization is, you need a tripod. Even small shakes can be visible in a video—especially if you’re using a DSLR with a zoom lens. A tripod turns even a basic camera into a much better video production tool. A tripod will seriously improve the video quality from any camera.

You might be surprised at the price of tripods when you start looking; there seems to be no upper limit to the cost. Most beginners will be fine with the most basic tripods, like the Mactrem PT55. Stepping up to higher-end equipment will get you smoother panning, lighter weight, and increased portability. No matter how still you think you can hold a camera, you need a tripod. It doesn’t need to be the best one out there. But it’s indispensable.

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External microphone

While video cameras have better audio pickups than DSLRs or phones, they still leave much to be desired. And if you’re using something smaller, the audio will likely be terrible. These devices aren’t designed to capture high-quality sound.

External microphones significantly improve the quality of your audio. This is especially important when you’re filming video lessons, courses, interviews, or anything else that contains speech. Fortunately, you can get a solid external mic without breaking the bank. It’s important to think about the type of mic you need. Omni-directional microphones capture sound from every direction, while shotgun and directional mics focus sound capture in a specific direction. The best choice for you depends on exactly what you’re recording. We’ll also talk about lavalier mics a bit later.

Lavalier mic

Will your videos include people talking? Then you’re going to want a lavalier mic. This is a small microphone that clips to a collar or lapel and provides high-quality sound pickup. It eliminates background noise and records clear voices.

If your videos aren’t going to include many people talking, you can add this to your “someday” list. But most people who are going to be creating a video on a regular basis will want to have at least a couple of lavalier mics in their gear bag.

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Lighting

Good lighting makes a huge difference in the final quality of your video. If you’ve ever seen a video where an interviewee is poorly well, you know that it’s distracting. Unfortunately, getting your lighting right is complex. You need to consider different types of light, foreground and background lighting, shadows, and equipment.

And that equipment can get expensive. If you’re just getting started, you can use a reflector to take advantage of ambient light. It’s just a matter of getting it set up to properly reflect the light. (You’ll also need someone to hold it unless you get a reflector holder as well.)

An entry-level reflector is an affordable way to start lighting your videos better. You can get a 5-in-1 reflector with translucent, white, black, gold, and silver surfaces. If you want to step up to a more versatile and powerful lighting solution, you can use a softbox. These are large cloth boxes that cover bright bulbs to give you a soft fill light.

Editing/production software

We’ve talked in detail about beginner video editing software in the past. Suffice to say here that it’s absolutely necessary. With some basic editing skills, your video quality will go way up.

You don’t even need to get into advanced techniques like color correcting or complicated cuts. Just editing out your vocal pauses and inserting some text is enough to take your video from amateurish to pro-quality. Mastering editing and production software is a long process. But you can get started with just a few basic tutorials and you’ll see an improvement in your video quality right away. Our program uses the beginner software iMovie, but as we progress in the program, we use professional software like Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro.

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Days 9 & 10  - Starting a Graphic Design Business

Step 1: Consider your Level of Motivation

 

Motivation and commitment are very important when it comes to creating your own successful business. So ask yourself: are you motivated enough? Are you fully committed? If the answer is yes, you’ve already got one of the hardest parts done and dusted. Many people struggle with making their business successful because they lack the commitment and do not put all of their energy and determination behind it.

But if you’re thinking of starting your own graphic design business simply because you’ve landed some new clients lately, think again. That should not be the only reason to devote your time and money to a startup business. Because starting up a business is hard. You will struggle. And without proper motivation, you may be tempted to throw in the towel when the going gets tough.

There will be times when things will be difficult. Clients will move to your competitors. There may be times when you struggle to find work. You won’t be making big bucks straight away. But it will be your motivation and urge to succeed that will keep you going. And if you’re not motivated enough, it won’t take you more than a few months for doubts to creep in. However, if you’re highly self-motivated, this is all you need to move forward. If you have a passion for graphic design, this will take you a long way with your business.

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Step 2: Understand your Skills

 

Graphic design is a very broad industry. There are lots of avenues to explore. So if you want to start your own graphic design business, you need to understand your own skill level.

You’ll also need to figure out exactly what your prospective clients expect from a graphic designer. There’s a chance you’re not yet aware of all of the services that are in demand.

According to some of the leading graphic design companies, clients usually have the following requirements:

  1. Brand strategy

  2. Logo designing

  3. Web designing

  4. Social media designing

  5. Animation

  6. Typography

  7. Brochure designing

  8. Infographics

  9. Poster designing

According to a recent study, the current market for graphic design is worth $15 billion in the United States alone. Logo designing and branding take up about $3 billion of that market on its own.

So besides your passion, you also need to consider the current market size and trends. Assess your skills and determine how you can enhance your profitability by utilizing and expanding on those skills.

Step 3: Develop your Skills in Different Areas  

 

Are you an expert at logo and web design but have very little idea about infographics? Well in that case you need to consider spending some time studying the market. These days, the demand for infographics is increasing dramatically. Graphic design companies are getting many more orders for infographics than they ever did before.

So you need to expand your horizon by enhancing your skills for these different services. The aim of the game is to become a “one-stop solution” for all the things your clients might ask for, but also have a specialization in a certain area, such as branding.

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Step 4: Develop your Mission & Vision

 

By now you know what type of service you’re going to offer your clients. You have a good understanding of the graphic design industry.

But you cannot start just anywhere. Graphic design is a highly competitive industry. You’ll first need to work on your company mission, long-term goals, and your vision.

Once you’ve determined your primary mission, it’ll be much easier for you to develop your business strategy. Start thinking about what would you like to achieve and how are you going to make it happen. Are you hoping to secure at least 10 clients within the first two quarters? Then you’ll need to assess how many people you need to reach out to.

Your marketing strategy is going to be dictated by your objectives. You’ll need to develop not only Plan A, but Plan B, C, and even D in case your first attempt doesn’t yield the expected results. Having short and long term goals is vital to assess your progress. You should check your progress regularly and measure how far you are from where you want to be.

Step 5: Work on Pricing

As you’re well on your way to starting your very own graphic design company, make sure to do some industry analysis to find out what the going rate is.

Gather detailed information about how different services are being priced by other companies in the industry. Then, adopt the best pricing structure for your services. You might need to come in slightly lower at first in order to build up your clientele and get your name out there.

As a startup, you’ll need a solid plan to attract clients. Try and offer them the best deal but make sure that you don’t go in too cheap. You have to prove to your clients that you’re giving them the best deal and something that will add value. Always remember, many clients will be willing to pay top dollars for a premium service. So divide your service quality into categories and provide clients what they’re willing to pay for.

Step 6: Get a Proper Workspace

The type of workspace you have for your business depends on your finances and client base. Lots of successful graphic designers started in the owner’s own home. You can follow that path if you’re not willing to spend too much on office space at first. However, make sure that your workstation is ideal for doing all of the projects required.

You should be safe from all interruptions and distractions. Then as your business grows, you may want to consider moving to a larger office space to accommodate your employees. Having the right workspace is vital to ensure professionalism and to enhance productivity. Having a great space will also make a good impression on your clients.

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Step 7: Get the Right Gear

You’ll need a high configuration computer system, professional apps and top of the range software to offer the best service to your clients. While some of the basic graphic design software is free of charge, most of the professional applications will have a one-off price or subscription cost.

Based on the type of services you’re going to offer, do some detailed research on the tools you’ll need to do the job. Invest generously to develop your system so that you can offer a professional service to your clients. We can assure you that this will secure a good return on your investment in the long run.

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SECTION 15 LECTURES

Sample Floor Plans/Blueprints

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