Tech Setup: Set up a sound system with beats and a mic so you and your friends can freestyle. There are many different sound setups. For a typical setup you will need a mixer with at least 2 mic inputs. Inputs are usually 1⁄4 inch or XLR (three prong) inputs. For best results you want to use a grounded 1⁄4 inch input or an XLR. You will also need a stereo line input channel and a sound source. Usually your sound source connects to the mixer using 1/8″ to RCA cable. Your mixer will then connect to an amplifier or stereo and speakers that have good mid-range fidelity. This will improve your technical understanding of the sound system. (See sound setup).
A cypher is a circle of people freestyling, usually without gear. So get a cypher going with some other freestylers. Make the space, facilitate the cypher, keep it going smoothly. Make sure egos don’t get wack and keep the flow moving to new voices. To start a circle you need to be extra bold and project your energy and intention into a group of people. You will have to raise your voice and make your intentions clear. You have to be willing to be the first to freestyle, and encourage someone to follow you.
If you’ve always freestyled with your friends either in cypher or in studio, you might be used to an environment that’s ready to go: the sound gear is setup or the cypher is already hot, so all you have to do is start freestyling. You also need to be able to be a self-starter, so you can setup your freestyle environment if your friends aren’t around. Get your friend to show you how to set up the sound gear. Watch how others start a cypher. Your friends will be happy that you are helping them get things started, and you’ll learn some things that will help your freestyle technique.