There are several different ways to set up a home recording studio. This could be very challenging and paralyzing for those new to home recording. However, knowing what basic and essential equipment you require can make set up a lot easier because the truth is that most people are of the belief that you need a really huge budget to set up a studio.
Well, that’s correct if you are setting up a standard, commercial studio. But then, to configure your decent home studio, you don’t have to break the bank. You do not have to get frustrated or confused about the things you need to get started.
This article will highlight the basic and essential things you require and some of these things you already have. With the following items below, you can setup a simple home studio for anyone new to home recording.
- A decent computer
- DAW (digital audio workstation)
- Audio interface
- Quality Microphone(s)
- Studio monitor speakers
- Pop filter
- Mic stand
#1. A decent computer
You probably already own a computer. But if you are thinking of getting a separate computer from your personal one, then you can pick from this options:
Mac, PC desktop or laptop; anyone is good, it’s all about choice. The most important thing is to go for that one you find more convenient and feel more comfortable working with. You should try to get as much RAM as possible because this will definitely make recording much easier and faster.
#2. DAW (digital audio workstation)
This is a program/software used for recording, editing, and sometimes mixing and mastering music on your computer. There are so many options you can pick from like; audition, sonar, cubase, reason, pro tools, studio one, etc. just get one you can afford and supports you computer.
#3. A good audio interface
This is the device that helps you connect your computer to other equipment like your guitar, microphone, keyboard, etc. Most DAW are compatible with any type of audio interface so just settle for one that is reasonably priced, preferably two channel interfaces. Some of these audio interfaces include; M-audio M-track plus II, universal audio Apollo twin, presonus audiobox, apogee ONE, Mackie onyx blackjack and more.
#4. Quality Microphone(s)
Microphones are very important but for a start you only need one or two mics and as time goes on you may decide to purchase more mics for specific purposes. For vocal recording, you may want to go for the classic large diaphragm condenser vocal microphone but then, you really do not have to spend more than $100 on a mic.
#5. Studio monitor speakers
To hear the sound of your recordings, you need a pair of good quality monitor speakers. Despite the fact that most people now use the headphones for this purpose, studio monitor speakers still deliver flatter frequency response that provide a greater neutral sound that helps judge your mix objectively.
There are several high quality studio monitors out there but then, you should get one that is affordable. Do not buy more than what you need.
At a certain point, your studio will require so many XLR cables but for a start, you will only need three; “two short XLR cables for your studio monitors” and “one long XLR cable for your microphone”.
Make sure your audio interface has XLR connectors before you purchase your studio monitor cables. If your audio interface uses a TRS cable, then you will have to get the right cables suitable. Good quality microphone cables can be quite expensive but you can always find good ones that fall in a reasonable price range.
You can record and listen to your mixes on your headphones. At times it can be a little challenging but it can be done. As a matter of fact, some people find it more convenient than the monitors. You can start with the headphones until you can afford the studio monitors.
There are two designs of headphone considered to be standard for studio purposes
- The open back headphones used for mixing – this gives you excellent sound quality at the expense of reduced isolation.
- The closed back headphones for tracking – this gives you excellent isolation at the expense of reduced sound quality.
For those new to home recording, the closed back headphones are really necessary.
#8. Pop filter
The pop filter filters out unpleasant vocal sounds called “popping”. It occurs when the “B” and “P” sounds are pronounced. This is also a necessity for your studio and they are quite cheap.
#9. Mic stand
A quality mic stand is one gadget you cannot afford to over-look for your new home studio. The qualities of mic stands vary with their prices. A solid mic stand can be a little expensive but if you are on a tight budget, you can always go for a cheap, reliable mic stand.
If you get these components, you will have a decent and functional home studio. You will also have all the professional equipment you need to create great sounds. Take your time to learn and master these equipment and you will see great results in no time.