Do you really think I can build this [compressor, preamp, eq]?

Many people are amazed that a normal person can make a quality piece of pro audio gear on their own – like a compressor, preamp, or eq. This post is about where to start and what you should expect. It’s not rocket surgery – you are simply copying a great engineer’s work and trying your best not to screw it up. If you are meticulous and can pay attention to small details, you can build great gear too.

For “great gear” to be born, you need a combination of three things:

  1. knowledge of basic electronics theory
  2. quality components and the means to work with or install them
  3. excellent attention to detail, plus creative problem solving abilities

Below, I’ve listed some companies that supply great kits and components along with great instructions. Be aware that instructions are probably the most important thing to have when you are starting out! More advanced kits may simply contain a a schematic, a PCB, and perhaps a parts list (BOM – bill of materials). It’s better to have someone hold your hand when you start out so you can learn in a more comfortable manner.

I’ve noted the relative skill level you should have before jumping off into one of these projects. Start out with a success or two under your belt, increase your knowledge, then move on to more difficult things.

PREAMPS

COMPRESSORS

Finally, check out DIY Recording Equipment for a comprehensive overview of just about every audio DIY project, from microphones to EQs. This site is an excellent resource!

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