How To Set Up a Home Recording Studio For Beginners

microphone-DAW

The need for multi million pound studios is almost extinct, gone, vanished, peaced out!
You can now deliver quality music from the comfort of your own home, for a snippet of the price, but remember hiring a Studio will come with highly trained and Professional Engineers… Doesn’t matter though because you’ll have all the time in the world to learn and get to know your equipment.

In this article we’ll give you 10 tips and advice on how to set up your home recording studio, and start you journey on your musical path.

Creative people ie. Singers, Songwriters, Rappers, MC’s, Beatmakers, all have one thing in common, and that is the need to get their talent heard. It’s important that talented people share their gift and now that computers, the internet and the affordable pricing of equipment have all made it easy for us to do that, there’s no excuse!

1. Computer
You’ll need to choose a computer. This will be the main part of your home studio. This will run your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) as well as connect to your Audio Interface. Specs are important as you need to be able to run your software and audio interface without problems with latency. Macs or PC’s, what to decide it’s your choice, but bear in mind Logic Studio (DAW) is only Mac compatible.

2. DAW
Digital Audio Workstation. Whether you choose Reason, Logic Studio, Pro Tools, FL Studio to name a few. Take note that these all have different learning curves, some more steep than others, but like everything else the more hours you put in the better you’ll become.

3. Audio interface
An audio interface converts a signal from Analog to Digital. It allows you to connect Mics, Synths and other external equipment to be recorded on your DAW. This will connect to your computer through USB, Thunderbolt, Firewire depending on the manufacturer. Here we’ve given a few examples to choose from and as they’re all different, you’ll have a different amount of Ins and Outs that will allow you to plug in external equipment.

4. Microphone
If you’re planning on recording then you need to invest in a good mic. You don’t have to break the bank, because nowadays you can purchase a good mic for very affordable prices. If you’re planning to record live drums then and instruments that are percussive and loud then you should think about buying a dynamic mic like an SM57 like the one’s you see your favourite Artists on stage performing with, theres a reason they use them mics and that’s because of its durability. Now, if you’re plans are to just record vocals, maybe beatbox (beatnakers) then you can take a chance on purchasing a condenser mic. These mics are more sensitive than dynamic mics but it doesn’t mean they are better. The sensitivity of these mics means it wouldn’t be wise to put it in front of a bass drum.

5. Headphones
You’ll need a good pair of headphones, if you’re making beats and you’re not able to blast the volume which you shouldn’t really because your ears are precious. Invest in a good pair of headphones. Beats by Dre seem to be the choice for some producers but they’re a little pricey. Find a pair that you like the sound of and get used to how other commercial songs sound on them.

6. Studio monitors
These are different to normal speakers by way in design. Normal Hi Fi speaks are made so they sound good. If you get into mixing your own tracks (which you should) then invest in some studio monitors. These will help your tracks translate well on other systems, whereas normal speakers will make you think you need more bass or more hi’s when infact… you don’t. Even if you don’t get into mixing, at least when your mates come round you can brag about it!

7. Pop Shield
Pop shields are important to control plosives, as in P’s and B’s and look good on your mic stand. You can easily make a homemade one with a pair of tights and a coathanger, but I’d recommend you purchase one… they look better!

8. Storage
External Hard Drives are also an important piece in your set up. This will give you more storage space for your work. It’s a good idea to back up anything you record because you never know when a hard drive will give up on you. If data isn’t saved in more than one place… it don’t exist!

9. Room Choice
As this is a beginners home set up we realise you might not have the luxury of a spare room that you can acoustically treat, but we have to say that the room you choose will also play a big factor in your recordings and mixing. If you really want to get serious about your music then treating your room with acoustic foam will eliminate flutter echos, standing waves and other problems that can occur in a room. The good thing is though, you don’t have to go all out and pay a wad of foam. Bookshelves, clothes, coats hung up people in a room make a difference to the sound that’s coming out of the speakers and will get rid of a few issues your room might have.

10. Midi Keyboard
This will allow you to manipulate the hundreds of software synths you’ve collected in the time you’ve managed to complete your setup. Some have dedicated drum pads which gets rid of the need for a drum pad machine, but there’s no harm in having one of those bad boys in your arsenal.

11. Lava Lamp
This is optional, but can create a calming mood in your set up and create an ambience of tranquil bliss, sparking all kinds of inspiration… or maybe not.

Hope these 10 tips have helped and if there’s anything you’re not sure about leave a comment below.

P.S. If you need any help as a music artist check out our services below. Click on the service you’re interested in for more info:

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