Gone are the days when recording music was left to the professionals who could afford large studios with expensive equipment. Today, with the latest tech all too available for everyone, it’s now easy to afford a low-cost recording setup. If you have a laptop, a tablet, or even a smartphone, with a few well-chosen recording gear, you can have your own recording studio right in your living room. We’ll take a look at the basic equipment needed to record your music at home.
- You’ll Need a Computer
It’s probably cliché that a computer is your greatest asset as a musician. Ideally, you’ll need a good one that is fast enough to get you on your way. But this shouldn’t be a problem today because most people have laptops that are fast enough. You can start with your current laptop if you have one. If you don’t have one, get an affordable one and you’ll be good to go. You can upgrade to a much faster computer later on.
- Get a DAW Program
Even with the fastest computer around, you will not get a lot done without a digital audio workstation program. A DAW helps you record, edit and mix your music. Here you have a few options to choose from. There are basic DAW programs such as Live 10 Intro that you can access as a beginner. If you have a bit more to spend, you can opt for the more commonly used Pro Tools. Since you are just starting, you can explore the many options to find one that fits your budget, skills, and music. Top musicians use Pro Tools.
- Match your DAW with an Audio Interface
The DAW program (software) you have chosen will need a compatible audio interface. The digital interface you choose not only needs to be compatible with your DAW – for smooth sound processing – but it should also be compatible with your computer. You can then use the interface to connect the rest of your gear with your computer. There is an option to buy your digital audio interface along with your preferred DAW. This is the cheaper option to go with as a beginner. Buying a combination of DAW and audio interface also guarantees compatibility and tech support from the seller.
Either way, whether you choose the combo option or buy them separately, make sure that your audio interface is compatible with all the gear you’ll need to record your music. There are options discussed in Essay on Time that will match your preference.
A good microphone is an important item in your beginner studio setup. It determines the sound quality of the recorded voice or instrument sound. For your first microphone, you will need to choose from two types; a dynamic one or a condenser mic. Dynamic mics work better for live performances. Because you want to set up your own recording studio, you will need a condenser mic. Get a condenser mic that has USB compatibility, that way you can easily plug it either in your computer or on your audio interface.
- Get good headphones
You’ll need a pair of headphones for your beginner studio. Headphones help you to listen back to your music in order to tweak it where necessary. There are two types of headphones that you can get for your studio; closed back headphones or open back headphones. While open back headphones may be needed to optimize sound quality, they are not a must-have for your first studio. On the other hand, you’ll need closed back headphones to isolate pre-recorded sound. You’ll also need a supplementary cable for your headphones since the ones that come with the headphones are often short. You’ll probably need to invest wisely here because a cheap cable will ruin your recording.
- Studio Monitors are essential
While headphones will do a great job to help you judge your music, studio monitors are preferred for their precise playback quality. They are designed to fit different listening environments. For your home studio, near-field monitors will be perfect to get your recordings done. Go for a small set of near-field monitors that take up little space. These are designed for desktop use. There is plenty to choose from but you have to consider which one fits most of your needs.
- A mic stand is necessary
No two mic stands are the same. While many of them may look similar, you have to be careful not to pick one that will not last or serve you effectively. This is probably going to be one of the pricey investments you have to make for your beginner studio but it’s worth it. Check your budget and go for a decent stand to start with.
- You’ll need Creativity and Conviction
Getting great equipment to record your music can be stifling especially when trying to figure out which equipment will work best for your type of music. It can also be quite frustrating when you don’t have the means to get the best equipment. But nothing beats what you already have at your disposal – your soul, your fingers and your vocal cords. You’ll need to awaken the artist in you and just sing, play, and perform. While the equipment is necessary, what matters is the final masterpiece. Your imagination coming alive.
You’ll need these and a few more if you want to start making music at home. There are other equipment that you can decide later whether to incorporate in your studio or not. However, if you are just starting, these will do.
Thomas Jackson is a professional freelance writer and also an active member of several writing clubs in New York. He has contributed written material for Assignment help UK which offers the best dissertation writing service in UK. He also offers professional assignment help in his free time. He has written several songs since he was a child. He gets inspiration from live concerts which he does before close friends and family members.
Donate to IndiePulse Music Magazine’s Academic and Music Education Scholarship Program HeartBeat4Kids
IndiePulse Music Magazine creates Scholarships to help Youth In Need of assistance to complete their educational goals and stay in school.