So, you’ve decided to create your own recording studio at home? Cool. We at Violet Microphones would love to share our knowledge. The industry we all love so much can’t do without new and promising faces and boy do we all know how hard it can be to take the first steps. Therefore it is always a pleasure to consult the young sound engineers and future producers who are looking to set up their first recording space at home (we’ve all been there).
Set your own pace
One of the most important things you need to understand is – don’t worry about the budget. Basically, chances are if you can afford a living space, you can afford a home studio, even if very basic. There is absolutely no need to spend big bucks right away. One can simply start by installing the basic gear needed for a decent recording and build up from there.
Things you’ll need:
Keep in mind that you are putting together a home studio. This is meant to be an entry-level environment where you can do a decent recording and a creative space, if necessary.
The most essential thing therefore is a computer.
Computers equipped with better-than-average sound cards are preferred. A digital audio converter should also be in the computer’s spec list.
Other items required include such a thing as microphone.
We really could go on and on from here but since you are at the start of it all, we’ll keep it simple. Don’t rush when choosing your first studio microphone – it will be the “sound of your” studio.
Various artists may come and go bringing their gear with them, but the characteristics of your microphone will have a huge role in shaping the sound of their performance. A condenser type microphone is preferable.
Speaking about budget – this is where you should try to not go “cheap”.
Investing in the cheapest, “affordable” mic you can find in the nearest music store will show… and to be honest, could tell a lot about how serious you really are about making music.
To put it simply, there’s a saying “crap in, crap out” and a bad, mass produced low-end microphone can lead right there. When choosing the main tool of your studio, look for chances to test the product – see what sound you like, do research and find out what other people (in your genre, style of music) are using and make an informed decision.
Headphones or studio monitors are used as a referencing tool, enabling a person to get a good approximation of the sound/performance that is being recorded.
Scout the web shops and visit music stores to try out various designs and manufacturers. Consider spending over $100, if possible.
The sequencing software (DAW) is also important.
In home studio this software gives you the ability to edit or mix your recordings, add various effects and ultimately – get your audio files into the CD or media of your choice.
Software like ProTools and logic Pro are considered to be industry standard. We highly recommended that professional software be purchased. Free of charge software usually lacks many important features and capabilities. Make sure that the computer in your home studio is only devoted for recording sound. Your DAW should be able to use every bit of memory at your disposal when active.
A preamp/audio interface and MIDI input/output will be needed.
Preamps and audio interfaces really deserve their own article so our advice for a novice is – do not shy away from conversing with people on music production sites. Usually it is easy to find guys or gals who are more than willing to help out a fellow engineer.