Before the advancement of technology and electronics, it was thought impossible to make decent music at home.
However, with modern technology, anyone can have access to a recording studio from the comfort of their home. Not only do these recording studios create amazing sound quality, but they also work in the same way a professional studio does.
Now, more people are beginning to take advantage of this innovation to record and produce music at home, and you can join them.
Fortunately, you can buy all you need to make the best home recording studio without overspending. Sometimes, you can even get the equipment for free.
The best part about having your own home recording studio is that you can record whenever inspiration strikes, regardless of the time of day. You don’t need to spend money renting out a space and most likely not recording to your satisfaction.
This article will guide you on how to create the best home recording studio. You will learn about equipment, costs, software packages, and so much more.
Home Recording Studio Essentials
A home recording studio consists of equipment you can use to record or produce music without leaving your home. This studio will have several tools that work together to create top-notch music. Some of them are:
Most music producers these days record digitally, and to do so, you need a laptop or computer. Luckily, many computers have the processing power to handle recording and editing. So, you don’t have to purchase a device specifically for recording — you can probably use the computer you have.
Back in the day, people argued over which computers were better for audio tasks: PCs or Macs. However, as time went on, this line blurred, and no one really bothered because they both worked equally to get the job done. Therefore, you can use either to produce the best music.
With that said, here are some factors to consider in a computer to ensure you get the very best out of your recording equipment, because who doesn’t love a high-performing computer?
Having a laptop that lags when trying to perform tasks can be annoying. This is why the central processing unit (CPU) speed is essential when your computer needs power to process audio.
You should pay attention to the cores and clock speeds. The higher they are, the better your processor will be.
There are two types of hard drives: the HDD (hard disk drive) and the SSD (solid-state drive). If you want a better experience making music, you should upgrade your computer to run an SSD. With an SSD, your computer will boot and respond faster.
You might not see the difference initially, but once you install your digital audio workstation (DAW) and other software, you will notice how fast the SSD truly is.
You don’t need to use your computer’s RAM to the fullest before you can enjoy your DAW. An adequate amount should suffice. Anywhere from 8GB of RAM and above should be fine for making music.
However, if you plan to do some heavy recording with large-sized sample libraries, you should probably acquire a higher GB of RAM.
DAW is simply the recording software you use on your computer to record, edit, and do anything else to your music.
Older recording studios had to use tape machines. On the other hand, modern DAWs allow you to do much more. You can record or edit musical interface digital interface (MIDI) and audio.
MIDI is how digital music instruments, such as recording drums or synthesizers, communicate with one another. There are several DAWs out there, and choosing the right one goes a long way in making music to your liking.
The next essential tool is the audio interface. All sounds, whether going in or out of the DAW, have to go through your audio interface before they reach their destination.
An audio interface converts the analog signals coming from your microphones or instruments into digital input so your DAW can record them.
Furthermore, it converts the digital signals to audio played from your headphones or speakers.
This is why picking a high-quality audio interface is important because it allows you to hear the full quality of your track and then make the proper adjustments to the mix.
External Hard Drive
You should always back up your work.
Most people starting out fail to back up their data, which could be counterproductive. You should do this because your computer could die out of nowhere, and when this happens, you will be glad that you have a backup of your work.
You can use headphones to mix in your home studio, but you may tire after using them for a long time. Many engineers use monitors to do most of their audio tasks.
You might think that studio monitors won’t play sounds properly, but they are speakers created specifically for producing clean, flat, and clear sounds.
They help to create an uncolored sound with all the unwanted background noise. Also, they are better than standard audio speakers that alter the audio to make music sound decent.
Instead, studio monitors play sound as is, with flaws and all. This way, you can hear all you need to tweak and do so accordingly.
Just like audio interfaces, studio monitors differ and create different sounds. Therefore, you need to choose one according to your preference.
You can use your speakers to play your tracks from the DAW. But, to hear the nuances of your track properly, you need headphones.
There are closed-back headphones and open-back headphones, so it is up to you to decide which you prefer.
Some engineers think mixing music properly using headphones is impossible, but that cannot be further from the truth. You can use this piece of equipment for mix referencing and tracking.
If you are just starting out with limited funds, you can use headphones as a replacement until you can afford monitors.
If you plan on only using VSTs and samples, you don’t need microphones. However, you’ll need one to record your own sound or voice on your DAW.
There are different types of microphones to choose from, and the options can be overwhelming. But, try to be thorough because not all mics do the same thing, and one might not be suitable for every task.
Most people use their microphones for recording vocals, so this should be your focal point. There isn’t one mic for all voices, meaning you need to find a decent microphone that matches your singing style or at least covers a wide range.
MIDI is the technical standard that digital tools use to send information to one another. The MIDI carries this information to the instruments, telling them when to play the notes, which notes to play, among other instructions.
You can use a mouse to write MIDI, but most people prefer to use a MIDI controller to play their notes.
A MIDI controller makes audio tasks easier. You can use it to input MIDI, and the controllers possess keys, knobs, pads, or other forms of input.
You can find plugins in your DAW. These are tools you use for mixing, mastering, and sampling, among others.
The majority of DAWs come with built-in plugins, which you can use to make a high-quality track. But, if that is not enough, you can install additional software (third-party plugins) to take your audio quality to another level. Regardless of your niche, there is a plugin for you.
You don’t need to have samples in your home studio, but having a library of them is a great way to make the best out of your studio.
Finding samples isn’t hard, but be careful not to use copyrighted audio in your songs, so you aren’t rejected by distribution companies or sued.
To work with samples, you should get them from a library that already has cleared samples you can use right away.
Different audio cables have various purposes, depending on the studio context. For example, your microphone may use a USB cable. Alternatively, it could function using XLR cables. Your monitors, speakers, instruments, and microphones most likely need varying cables for proper connection.
Ensure you buy industry-standard cables to get the best possible sound quality.
Acoustics play a huge part in any recording. Without the right studio design or space, your recording will not meet your desired quality. You can style your room in several ways to optimize the acoustics.
Corners, ceilings, and walls can cause echo and reverb during your recording. You need to treat these places with paneling or materials like curtains and pillows.
You should ensure the space is adequately treated and has other factors to boost your creativity. Treat the recording studio as a safe space where you can express yourself through your music.
Home Studio Recording Kit
If you don’t want to build your own home studio, you can always opt for a home recording kit. This kit is the quickest and most straightforward way to make a recording studio at home at a reasonable price.
The kit will contain everything you need to begin your recording journey. You can start recording almost immediately with a kit, and you don’t have to worry about compatibility.
Home studio recording packages should contain the essentials for quality recording. Here are some items you would find in a home recording studio kit:
- Audio Interface
- Mic Shield
Guide to Selecting the Best Home Recording Studio Kit
Recording kits differ, and you need to understand what you are looking for before purchasing one. Here are some of the factors you should look out for.
First, take a look at what the kit has inside. As we mentioned earlier, some of the more common components are an audio interface, cables, a microphone, a mic shield, and software.
However, some advanced home recording kits come with studio headphones and monitors, while others only have headphones or none at all. You can find some with a shock mount or pop filter. Some all-in-one recording studios are portable and work with your tablets and phones.
Most manufacturers make their kits with podcasters and designers in mind. However, you should always research reviews and marketing material to determine who uses the kit you want to buy.
We all love recording kits because they make the recording process easier, but truth be told, you will probably want to upgrade the equipment at some point. When this time comes, it’s best to have a package that offers versatility to always connect these newer elements.
More does not necessarily mean better. When picking a kit, try not to look at quantity but quality. Sometimes this means you might have to buy certain equipment separately. This is better than buying a kit that has it all but does not function at optimal levels.
Is Using a Home Recording Kit Advisable?
It all depends on you and what you are looking for. You should consider some factors before deciding if you need a kit or not.
For one, do you have the time or skill to select each component of your studio? These components include microphones, DAWs, and others. Second, do you want a simple solution to home recording? If yes, then this kit is for you.
Most kits come with built-in DAWs and tools that are incompatible with other components not in the package. You should think about this as you decide whether or not to buy a kit.
Another reason to get a kit is if you are looking for something affordable to get started with. A recording studio bundle has an affordable price range.
Setting up the best home recording studio is not as hard as you might think. All you need are a few essential tools to aid in your audio tasks and achieve amazing quality.
If you are not up to the task, you can always purchase a home studio recording kit. This kit comes with everything you need to start recording in a few short minutes.
Hopefully, you can set up your studio perfectly and get started recording.
If you enjoy this article, there are others like it that inform you on the best items and methods for recording.