EQUIPMENT

10 things you need to know to set up a home recording studio

 

Many artists prefer having their own home recording studios, but coming up with your own home studio is not easy. It needs months of planning and weeks of trying to execute the designs. You have to consider a lot of things before setting up your home studio. Take into consideration the prices of the items you need while remembering quality is equally important. Cheap is not that cheap so you should get quality equipment so as to get good results. However hard the process seems, you can always make it easy by utilizing some tips and tactics people have used in the past.

You need to know the type of sound that you will be recording as this will give you a startup plan. Take note that it will also determine the items you will purchase. Before purchasing any of the items, do your research and know the different types you can get.  You can do without some things at the beginning since you will purchase them later as your studio continues to grow. The following are 10 essentials of setting up a home recording studio.

Today, everything needs a computer and that also includes recording. This is the biggest expenditure since you need an above average computer. Ideally, when it comes to home recording most of it will be spent recording with a computer. It is likely that you already own a computer that is capable of being the hub of your home recording studio.

Go with what is familiar to you and what you can use comfortably. Choose a Mac, a PC laptop or any other desktop that you find being user friendly. What is important is you should like the computer and you will be comfortable using it on a regular basis. Do not pay close attention to the brand and model. Remember to also check the specifications to see if they match what is required in a recording studio.

A Digital Audio Workstation is the software used to record, mix and edit music on a computer. Originally they are designed to mimic the look and feel of an analog mixing board from the pre-digital times. Take note that the visual design of this software has remained basically the same. Pro Tools, which has been the most popular option for a long time, is a great DAW for studios of all kinds. Choose a DAW that matches your budget, your skills of using a computer and your style of music.

Once you have bought the software, the next thing you’ll need is an audio interface. It is the primary purpose of providing all the necessary connections for sending your music to the computer when recording, and from the computer when you are playing it. These include digital conversion, microphones, preamps, DI boxes, headphone amps and monitor management. Ensure you have the best audio interface for your studio.

Recording studios typically carry several dozen microphones or more. Each one is designed to create a different sound and has more or less the same applications. Common categories of studio microphones include dynamic microphones, condenser microphones, ribbon microphones, large or small diaphragm microphone stereo or matched pair microphone, variable polar pattern microphone and USB microphone. They are essential in the studio because you cannot do without them.

With so many microphones being used in a typical studio, a good number of stands are important too. While small home studios often have only 1 or 2 stands, professional studios may require many more. It is the same case with microphones; their stands come in all shapes and sizes. Each one is designed for a specific condition and purpose so make sure you have the right variety and the most suitable ones.

A long time ago, mixing was done on ordinary speakers you could find in an electronic or music store. The speakers used today are different and are now known as studio monitors. They have a lower frequency response which provides a more neutral sound. Studio monitors make mixing easy and their prices are a bit higher than ordinary speakers. Nevertheless, beginners can still afford them by buying from affordable stores or through auctions of musical equipment. Get the best studio monitors that you can afford since they will be responsible for assisting you in getting the best neutral sound you can achieve.

The time will come when you will be using a lot of cables in your studio. The important thing is that in the beginning, all you need is three One XLR cables which are used to send sound from your microphone to the audio interface and two more to send sound from the interface to your studio monitors. XLR microphone cables are the most common type of cable used in recording.

Unlike most studio gear which can seem quite foreign to us, headphones are the one piece of equipment that we feel we have a good understanding about, because today, so many of us are using them. But the truth is while you may own a great pair of headphones to listen to music on the go, headphones for professional audio is a whole different ball game. There are 2 special studio headphones that are recommended for recording and those are the closed back headphones for tracking and open back headphones.

A pop filter device is used to filter out an unpleasant vocal item known as “popping”. It is very useful when you are starting your home studio. Make sure you get a quality pop filter that will give you excellent results.

And the next project to handle is the acoustics you will use for your room. Here, we use a mix of acoustic treatment solutions. They typically include Bass Traps, Acoustic Panels, and Diffusers. Ideally, you should buy all three at once and put them together. Complete room packages are quite expensive, so it is advisable you just buy each piece one at a time instead.

If you are passionate about creating audio sounds then a home recording studio is definitely something you should think about. Having said that, you should know that the equipment you’ll need to get along with the software and any other additional things to create your home studio, do not come cheap if you’re looking for top quality goods. But, it’s definitely worth it!

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