Tag Archives: Night School

How to Build a Computer: The Complete Guide

How to Build a Computer: The Complete Guide

Building a computer from scratch gives you the perfect machine for your needs, but it can be daunting the first time around. Here’s our complete guide, from picking the parts, to putting it together and installing your OS.

This Night School series was originally published in 2011. We’ve gone through and given it some much-needed updates: we changed outdated references, added some new resources and tools, and expanded a few sections. Enjoy!

Lesson 1: Hardware Basics

For our first lesson in building your own PC, we start with a little computer hardware basics.

Lesson 2: Choose and Buy Your Parts

In this lesson, we’ll show you how to most effectively pick out and shop for your parts.

Lesson 3: Building the Computer

Assembling your computer can seem daunting, but it’s actually pretty easy. In lesson 3, we show you step-by-step how to put everything together.

Lesson 4: Installing Your Operating System

Once you’ve put it together, you’re past the difficult portion. Lesson 4 deals with installing your operating system and get everything up and running.

Lesson 5: Further Resources

There’s a lot more computer-building info out there than we can fit into one Night School. In our final lesson, we share some other resources that should help you in both the building and post-building steps.

If you’d like all of these lessons in a printable format, I recommend sending each article to a service like Readability or Pocket. That way, you can print out a clean, readable version that you can reference as you build. Thanks for learning with us this week!


Check out the full Lifehacker Night School series for more beginners lessons covering all sorts of topics.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete Guide

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete Guide

Over the last month we’ve learned all about the basics of music production, posting new lessons on a weekly basics. With the lessons finished, now you can get the complete guide and find out how you can learn more.

Want all of these lessons as a PDF? Download one here. Just be sure to visit the online lessons as well to watch the videos or you’ll miss out on a lot!

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 1: Setting Up Your Home Studio

In our first lesson, we take a look at the equipment you’ll need to set up a home studio. You don’t have to get it all, but rather pick and choose what you’ll need to record the kind of music you want to make in your home.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 2: Recording Audio

After setting up your home studio, you need to know how to use it! This lesson will start you off on the basics of recording and getting used to your DAW software.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 3: Using Virtual Instruments

You can create some awesome tracks with recorded instruments, but you can do so much more with virtual ones. Implementing them into your music allows you access to all sorts of sounds you otherwise wouldn’t have, from blips and beeps to an entire orchestra.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 4: Mixing

The most difficult part of making your music sound good is achieving a good mix. While it’ll take a lot of practice to become great at mixing, this lessons discusses the basics so you can get started on the right foot.

Further Resources

These lessons serve as a basic introduction to music production, not a complete course. You’ll need to learn more through practice, but additional resources can help as well. Here are a few we recommend:

  • Lynda.com: Lynda offers plenty of in-depth lessons on all kinds of software. If you’re looking to learn more about Cubase or any other DAW, they’ll likely have you covered. While it costs a minimum of $25 per month, that’s a low price to pay if you’re only going to subscribe for a month or two and get a few lessons. I’ve learned a lot through Lynda and consider it one of the best video lesson sites online.
  • Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio: Regardless of the software you use, the most important skill you can have is the ability to mix. This book will help you learn a solid mixing skill set.
  • Gearslutz: When you have a question during the learning process, this message board is the place to go. Even if you don’t have a question, you can learn a lot from reading what others have asked in the past.

Thanks for learning with us! If you follow these lessons and make some great music, share it in the discussions bellow.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete Guide

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete Guide

Over the last month we’ve learned all about the basics of music production, posting new lessons on a weekly basics. With the lessons finished, now you can get the complete guide and find out how you can learn more.

Want all of these lessons as a PDF? Download one here. Just be sure to visit the online lessons as well to watch the videos or you’ll miss out on a lot!

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 1: Setting Up Your Home Studio

In our first lesson, we take a look at the equipment you’ll need to set up a home studio. You don’t have to get it all, but rather pick and choose what you’ll need to record the kind of music you want to make in your home.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 2: Recording Audio

After setting up your home studio, you need to know how to use it! This lesson will start you off on the basics of recording and getting used to your DAW software.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 3: Using Virtual Instruments

You can create some awesome tracks with recorded instruments, but you can do so much more with virtual ones. Implementing them into your music allows you access to all sorts of sounds you otherwise wouldn’t have, from blips and beeps to an entire orchestra.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 4: Mixing

The most difficult part of making your music sound good is achieving a good mix. While it’ll take a lot of practice to become great at mixing, this lessons discusses the basics so you can get started on the right foot.

Further Resources

These lessons serve as a basic introduction to music production, not a complete course. You’ll need to learn more through practice, but additional resources can help as well. Here are a few we recommend:

  • Lynda.com: Lynda offers plenty of in-depth lessons on all kinds of software. If you’re looking to learn more about Cubase or any other DAW, they’ll likely have you covered. While it costs a minimum of $25 per month, that’s a low price to pay if you’re only going to subscribe for a month or two and get a few lessons. I’ve learned a lot through Lynda and consider it one of the best video lesson sites online.
  • Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio: Regardless of the software you use, the most important skill you can have is the ability to mix. This book will help you learn a solid mixing skill set.
  • Gearslutz: When you have a question during the learning process, this message board is the place to go. Even if you don’t have a question, you can learn a lot from reading what others have asked in the past.

Thanks for learning with us! If you follow these lessons and make some great music, share it in the discussions bellow.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete Guide

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete Guide

Over the last month we’ve learned all about the basics of music production, posting new lessons on a weekly basics. With the lessons finished, now you can get the complete guide and find out how you can learn more.

Want all of these lessons as a PDF? Download one here. Just be sure to visit the online lessons as well to watch the videos or you’ll miss out on a lot!

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 1: Setting Up Your Home Studio

In our first lesson, we take a look at the equipment you’ll need to set up a home studio. You don’t have to get it all, but rather pick and choose what you’ll need to record the kind of music you want to make in your home.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 2: Recording Audio

After setting up your home studio, you need to know how to use it! This lesson will start you off on the basics of recording and getting used to your DAW software.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 3: Using Virtual Instruments

You can create some awesome tracks with recorded instruments, but you can do so much more with virtual ones. Implementing them into your music allows you access to all sorts of sounds you otherwise wouldn’t have, from blips and beeps to an entire orchestra.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 4: Mixing

The most difficult part of making your music sound good is achieving a good mix. While it’ll take a lot of practice to become great at mixing, this lessons discusses the basics so you can get started on the right foot.

Further Resources

These lessons serve as a basic introduction to music production, not a complete course. You’ll need to learn more through practice, but additional resources can help as well. Here are a few we recommend:

  • Lynda.com: Lynda offers plenty of in-depth lessons on all kinds of software. If you’re looking to learn more about Cubase or any other DAW, they’ll likely have you covered. While it costs a minimum of $25 per month, that’s a low price to pay if you’re only going to subscribe for a month or two and get a few lessons. I’ve learned a lot through Lynda and consider it one of the best video lesson sites online.
  • Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio: Regardless of the software you use, the most important skill you can have is the ability to mix. This book will help you learn a solid mixing skill set.
  • Gearslutz: When you have a question during the learning process, this message board is the place to go. Even if you don’t have a question, you can learn a lot from reading what others have asked in the past.

Thanks for learning with us! If you follow these lessons and make some great music, share it in the discussions bellow.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete Guide

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete Guide

Over the last month we’ve learned all about the basics of music production, posting new lessons on a weekly basics. With the lessons finished, now you can get the complete guide and find out how you can learn more.

Want all of these lessons as a PDF? Download one here. Just be sure to visit the online lessons as well to watch the videos or you’ll miss out on a lot!

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 1: Setting Up Your Home Studio

In our first lesson, we take a look at the equipment you’ll need to set up a home studio. You don’t have to get it all, but rather pick and choose what you’ll need to record the kind of music you want to make in your home.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 2: Recording Audio

After setting up your home studio, you need to know how to use it! This lesson will start you off on the basics of recording and getting used to your DAW software.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 3: Using Virtual Instruments

You can create some awesome tracks with recorded instruments, but you can do so much more with virtual ones. Implementing them into your music allows you access to all sorts of sounds you otherwise wouldn’t have, from blips and beeps to an entire orchestra.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 4: Mixing

The most difficult part of making your music sound good is achieving a good mix. While it’ll take a lot of practice to become great at mixing, this lessons discusses the basics so you can get started on the right foot.

Further Resources

These lessons serve as a basic introduction to music production, not a complete course. You’ll need to learn more through practice, but additional resources can help as well. Here are a few we recommend:

  • Lynda.com: Lynda offers plenty of in-depth lessons on all kinds of software. If you’re looking to learn more about Cubase or any other DAW, they’ll likely have you covered. While it costs a minimum of $25 per month, that’s a low price to pay if you’re only going to subscribe for a month or two and get a few lessons. I’ve learned a lot through Lynda and consider it one of the best video lesson sites online.
  • Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio: Regardless of the software you use, the most important skill you can have is the ability to mix. This book will help you learn a solid mixing skill set.
  • Gearslutz: When you have a question during the learning process, this message board is the place to go. Even if you don’t have a question, you can learn a lot from reading what others have asked in the past.

Thanks for learning with us! If you follow these lessons and make some great music, share it in the discussions bellow.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete Guide

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete Guide

Over the last month we’ve learned all about the basics of music production, posting new lessons on a weekly basics. With the lessons finished, now you can get the complete guide and find out how you can learn more.

Want all of these lessons as a PDF? Download one here. Just be sure to visit the online lessons as well to watch the videos or you’ll miss out on a lot!

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 1: Setting Up Your Home Studio

In our first lesson, we take a look at the equipment you’ll need to set up a home studio. You don’t have to get it all, but rather pick and choose what you’ll need to record the kind of music you want to make in your home.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 2: Recording Audio

After setting up your home studio, you need to know how to use it! This lesson will start you off on the basics of recording and getting used to your DAW software.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 3: Using Virtual Instruments

You can create some awesome tracks with recorded instruments, but you can do so much more with virtual ones. Implementing them into your music allows you access to all sorts of sounds you otherwise wouldn’t have, from blips and beeps to an entire orchestra.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 4: Mixing

The most difficult part of making your music sound good is achieving a good mix. While it’ll take a lot of practice to become great at mixing, this lessons discusses the basics so you can get started on the right foot.

Further Resources

These lessons serve as a basic introduction to music production, not a complete course. You’ll need to learn more through practice, but additional resources can help as well. Here are a few we recommend:

  • Lynda.com: Lynda offers plenty of in-depth lessons on all kinds of software. If you’re looking to learn more about Cubase or any other DAW, they’ll likely have you covered. While it costs a minimum of $25 per month, that’s a low price to pay if you’re only going to subscribe for a month or two and get a few lessons. I’ve learned a lot through Lynda and consider it one of the best video lesson sites online.
  • Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio: Regardless of the software you use, the most important skill you can have is the ability to mix. This book will help you learn a solid mixing skill set.
  • Gearslutz: When you have a question during the learning process, this message board is the place to go. Even if you don’t have a question, you can learn a lot from reading what others have asked in the past.

Thanks for learning with us! If you follow these lessons and make some great music, share it in the discussions bellow.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete Guide

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete Guide

Over the last month we’ve learned all about the basics of music production, posting new lessons on a weekly basics. With the lessons finished, now you can get the complete guide and find out how you can learn more.

Want all of these lessons as a PDF? Download one here. Just be sure to visit the online lessons as well to watch the videos or you’ll miss out on a lot!

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 1: Setting Up Your Home Studio

In our first lesson, we take a look at the equipment you’ll need to set up a home studio. You don’t have to get it all, but rather pick and choose what you’ll need to record the kind of music you want to make in your home.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 2: Recording Audio

After setting up your home studio, you need to know how to use it! This lesson will start you off on the basics of recording and getting used to your DAW software.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 3: Using Virtual Instruments

You can create some awesome tracks with recorded instruments, but you can do so much more with virtual ones. Implementing them into your music allows you access to all sorts of sounds you otherwise wouldn’t have, from blips and beeps to an entire orchestra.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 4: Mixing

The most difficult part of making your music sound good is achieving a good mix. While it’ll take a lot of practice to become great at mixing, this lessons discusses the basics so you can get started on the right foot.

Further Resources

These lessons serve as a basic introduction to music production, not a complete course. You’ll need to learn more through practice, but additional resources can help as well. Here are a few we recommend:

  • Lynda.com: Lynda offers plenty of in-depth lessons on all kinds of software. If you’re looking to learn more about Cubase or any other DAW, they’ll likely have you covered. While it costs a minimum of $25 per month, that’s a low price to pay if you’re only going to subscribe for a month or two and get a few lessons. I’ve learned a lot through Lynda and consider it one of the best video lesson sites online.
  • Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio: Regardless of the software you use, the most important skill you can have is the ability to mix. This book will help you learn a solid mixing skill set.
  • Gearslutz: When you have a question during the learning process, this message board is the place to go. Even if you don’t have a question, you can learn a lot from reading what others have asked in the past.

Thanks for learning with us! If you follow these lessons and make some great music, share it in the discussions bellow.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete Guide

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete Guide

Over the last month we’ve learned all about the basics of music production, posting new lessons on a weekly basics. With the lessons finished, now you can get the complete guide and find out how you can learn more.

Want all of these lessons as a PDF? Download one here. Just be sure to visit the online lessons as well to watch the videos or you’ll miss out on a lot!

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 1: Setting Up Your Home Studio

In our first lesson, we take a look at the equipment you’ll need to set up a home studio. You don’t have to get it all, but rather pick and choose what you’ll need to record the kind of music you want to make in your home.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 2: Recording Audio

After setting up your home studio, you need to know how to use it! This lesson will start you off on the basics of recording and getting used to your DAW software.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 3: Using Virtual Instruments

You can create some awesome tracks with recorded instruments, but you can do so much more with virtual ones. Implementing them into your music allows you access to all sorts of sounds you otherwise wouldn’t have, from blips and beeps to an entire orchestra.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 4: Mixing

The most difficult part of making your music sound good is achieving a good mix. While it’ll take a lot of practice to become great at mixing, this lessons discusses the basics so you can get started on the right foot.

Further Resources

These lessons serve as a basic introduction to music production, not a complete course. You’ll need to learn more through practice, but additional resources can help as well. Here are a few we recommend:

  • Lynda.com: Lynda offers plenty of in-depth lessons on all kinds of software. If you’re looking to learn more about Cubase or any other DAW, they’ll likely have you covered. While it costs a minimum of $25 per month, that’s a low price to pay if you’re only going to subscribe for a month or two and get a few lessons. I’ve learned a lot through Lynda and consider it one of the best video lesson sites online.
  • Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio: Regardless of the software you use, the most important skill you can have is the ability to mix. This book will help you learn a solid mixing skill set.
  • Gearslutz: When you have a question during the learning process, this message board is the place to go. Even if you don’t have a question, you can learn a lot from reading what others have asked in the past.

Thanks for learning with us! If you follow these lessons and make some great music, share it in the discussions bellow.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete Guide

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete Guide

Over the last month we’ve learned all about the basics of music production, posting new lessons on a weekly basics. With the lessons finished, now you can get the complete guide and find out how you can learn more.

Want all of these lessons as a PDF? Download one here. Just be sure to visit the online lessons as well to watch the videos or you’ll miss out on a lot!

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 1: Setting Up Your Home Studio

In our first lesson, we take a look at the equipment you’ll need to set up a home studio. You don’t have to get it all, but rather pick and choose what you’ll need to record the kind of music you want to make in your home.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 2: Recording Audio

After setting up your home studio, you need to know how to use it! This lesson will start you off on the basics of recording and getting used to your DAW software.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 3: Using Virtual Instruments

You can create some awesome tracks with recorded instruments, but you can do so much more with virtual ones. Implementing them into your music allows you access to all sorts of sounds you otherwise wouldn’t have, from blips and beeps to an entire orchestra.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 4: Mixing

The most difficult part of making your music sound good is achieving a good mix. While it’ll take a lot of practice to become great at mixing, this lessons discusses the basics so you can get started on the right foot.

Further Resources

These lessons serve as a basic introduction to music production, not a complete course. You’ll need to learn more through practice, but additional resources can help as well. Here are a few we recommend:

  • Lynda.com: Lynda offers plenty of in-depth lessons on all kinds of software. If you’re looking to learn more about Cubase or any other DAW, they’ll likely have you covered. While it costs a minimum of $25 per month, that’s a low price to pay if you’re only going to subscribe for a month or two and get a few lessons. I’ve learned a lot through Lynda and consider it one of the best video lesson sites online.
  • Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio: Regardless of the software you use, the most important skill you can have is the ability to mix. This book will help you learn a solid mixing skill set.
  • Gearslutz: When you have a question during the learning process, this message board is the place to go. Even if you don’t have a question, you can learn a lot from reading what others have asked in the past.

Thanks for learning with us! If you follow these lessons and make some great music, share it in the discussions bellow.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete Guide

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete Guide

Over the last month we’ve learned all about the basics of music production, posting new lessons on a weekly basics. With the lessons finished, now you can get the complete guide and find out how you can learn more.

Want all of these lessons as a PDF? Download one here. Just be sure to visit the online lessons as well to watch the videos or you’ll miss out on a lot!

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 1: Setting Up Your Home Studio

In our first lesson, we take a look at the equipment you’ll need to set up a home studio. You don’t have to get it all, but rather pick and choose what you’ll need to record the kind of music you want to make in your home.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 2: Recording Audio

After setting up your home studio, you need to know how to use it! This lesson will start you off on the basics of recording and getting used to your DAW software.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 3: Using Virtual Instruments

You can create some awesome tracks with recorded instruments, but you can do so much more with virtual ones. Implementing them into your music allows you access to all sorts of sounds you otherwise wouldn’t have, from blips and beeps to an entire orchestra.

The Basics of Music Production: The Complete GuideLesson 4: Mixing

The most difficult part of making your music sound good is achieving a good mix. While it’ll take a lot of practice to become great at mixing, this lessons discusses the basics so you can get started on the right foot.

Further Resources

These lessons serve as a basic introduction to music production, not a complete course. You’ll need to learn more through practice, but additional resources can help as well. Here are a few we recommend:

  • Lynda.com: Lynda offers plenty of in-depth lessons on all kinds of software. If you’re looking to learn more about Cubase or any other DAW, they’ll likely have you covered. While it costs a minimum of $25 per month, that’s a low price to pay if you’re only going to subscribe for a month or two and get a few lessons. I’ve learned a lot through Lynda and consider it one of the best video lesson sites online.
  • Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio: Regardless of the software you use, the most important skill you can have is the ability to mix. This book will help you learn a solid mixing skill set.
  • Gearslutz: When you have a question during the learning process, this message board is the place to go. Even if you don’t have a question, you can learn a lot from reading what others have asked in the past.

Thanks for learning with us! If you follow these lessons and make some great music, share it in the discussions bellow.