You are experimenting with your guitar or keyboard, and suddenly it comes … Inspiration. The idea is there, and you can not materialize it until you’re in a studio. So why wait? If you have decided that you are going to dive into the world of music, surely set up your home recording studio is one of the best investments you can make. Of course, there are certain keys that you must keep in mind to get the most out of it … We’ll tell you here!
Why is a home recording studio a good idea?
As a musician, one of the things that can most benefit you and boost your development is to have a space in which you capture your thoughts and give free up your creativity. That place is the recording studio. The argument is the one we have tried to transmit in the first lines of this post: if you do not have to depend on other people, if you have your home recording studio, available at any time you need it… then the only limit is the one you put. And the budget, of course.
When deciding to mount in a home recording studio, there are plenty of options: from the most economic, that is, a team composed of the necessary tools to be able to experiment, shape a musical idea and create your own demos; to more advanced options and to higher budgets, with which you can have a system capable of recording with an almost professional quality. Without a doubt, before deciding, you must assess how much money you have, what use you are going to give it and what level of knowledge you have; but you should know that today, it is possible to have a home recording studio without the need to make an exorbitant investment and enough to get results with a quality more than acceptable.
Then… what do I need?
Before we go into detailing the necessary components that you will need to create your home recording studio, we must remind you that to manage the equipment and get the most out of it, you must have a basic knowledge of recording and mixing. Also, it is important to know where to set it up… The acoustic of the room is fundamental to achieve a neutral sound (without frequency alterations). Ideally, you should get profesional advice -such as the one we can give you at MusicNexo– to carry out an acoustic treatment of the room; however, if this does not fit into your possibilities, some things that can help you are placing carpets and panels on the walls and ceiling to absorb the sound, or put elements on the walls (shelves, furniture …) to avoid they are parallel.
Once you have your room, it is time to mount the equipment … Here go the basic elements that you will need!
¿Mac? ¿or PC? There is a high discrepancy in the sector on this point; however, the truth is that it does not matter … The essential is that the computer has a powerful RAM, since it will be the central brain of our recording studio at home. From there on, it’s all about taste and needs, although it is important to evaluate if you choose a desktop computer or a laptop, the latter offering fewer benefits but has the advantage that you can take your projects where you want.
DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) is the software you need on your computer to record, edit, mix, or make all kinds of arrangements in your music. Some of the most recommended are Pro Tools, Cubase, Sonar, Audition, and Studio One, however—luckily—there are plenty of software alternatives for all levels and wallets. Eventually, it does not matter so much about the program, but what you do with it, so choose the one that you find more practical and easy to use.
This hardware, needed to manage the inputs and outputs of the computer, as well as to process the sound, will be responsible for converting the acoustic/analog sounds into a digital signal and vice versa. As with everything, in interfaces you also have options and ranges to choose from but do not bring the house down … This is a home recording studio, not a professional one so that it will suffice with a two channel interface.
Because you need to listen to the sound you record, the studio monitors are critical in your home recording studio. With them you will carry out sound monitoring (that is, analysis of the recording in order to make corrections or decisions), so it is important that, when choosing them, you take into account the dimensions of the room and the position in which you are going to place them in relation to you, so that the frequency response is as flat as possible..
If you have a very tight budget, you can opt for studio headphones that, although they are not as accurate as the monitors, have notable advantages in case the studio is not soundproofed (or does not have adequate acoustics), or you have to move to another site.
The last of the basics to set up your home recording studio is a high-quality microphone that lets you record voices or the sound of your instruments directly from an input line. The best thing is that you choose a condenser microphone (they are inexpensive nowadays), as they are perfect for recording voices or instruments without distortion (that is, without amplifier).
A bonus? A MIDI keyboard and a control surface
If you are no longer a beginner and you have spent time in recording studios, the chances are that you want to go further and set up a more elaborate studio. In this sense, there are two more components that will be very useful for you:
– MIDI keyboard: maybe if you’re a guitarist, you have a guitar; or, if you are a singer, you have your voice … but, when it comes to recording a demo or an idea, you need use a bass, drums, keyboards, etc. Well, you can get those through the MIDI keyboard, wich emit sounds from a virtual sampler.
– Control surface: after a long time tucked into your home recording studio, it may be a little messy to control everything with your computer mouse. Therefore, we have recommended professionals to get a control surface.
With this, you already have the most powerful instrument to grow as a musician: your recording studio at home. Enjoy it!