Home Studio Set Up - Simple But Effective
Today anyone can record music, no longer are the days of paying hundreds of dollars in a platinum record studio to get decent quality. Recording vocals is very easy, and with the power of technology it has become very compact. Here are a few things you will need in order to get started
What do you need for your Home Studio?
Having a "Million Dollar" studio set up is great. but what if i told you matching their sound is not as hard as it make look.
You can easily set up a recording studio right in your bedroom.
Whether you’re a rapper, singer, or someone who records voice-overs, this a basic studio setup is all you need.
Lets jump into the set up for the bare minimum
1. A Solid Computer
Just about any decent laptop or desktop, you buy in the store can get this done. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you already accomplished this step. If so, great. You’re already on your way to success. Just make sure that the computer you’re using isn’t too low quality. If the memory isn’t up to par (at LEAST 2GB of ram), it might affect your ability to record your music.
Mac or PC?
It doesnt really matter both are powerful tools for recording
2. Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
A digital audio workstation, otherwise known as a DAW, is software for your computer—one of the most important things you will use. Common examples of a DAW are Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Cubase, FL Studio, Garage Band, and more.
A DAW serves as the bridge to all of your hardware. Essentially, the DAW will connect your microphone, instruments, keyboard—whatever you want to use—directly into your computer.
You might assume that a higher price means higher quality, but with DAWs, that isn’t always the case. You need one that is going to be able to get the job done, so if you can find DAWs bundled with mics and other useful accessories, you should absolutely go for them—especially if you’re on a budget.
I use Ableton Live 10 or Reaper and I love it.
3. Audio Interface
An audio interface acts as the front end of your computer recording system. For example, let’s say you connect a microphone and record yourself singing. The mic converts the physical vibration of air into an equivalent (i.e., “analog”) electrical signal, which travels down the connecting cable into the interface’s mic input. From there, it goes into the interface’s built-in mic preamplifier, which boosts the low-level mic signal up to a hotter line level — something that’s necessary for recording. (The quality of both the microphone and preamp have a significant impact on how good a recording sounds.)
An audio interface is basically an external (mostly USB) sound card. The Focusrite Scarlett 2I2 is a great option.
A good USB audio interface will have a microphone preamp built-in. Condenser microphones need 48v phantom power.
Whether you’re a hip-hop artist, musician, or something in-between, the studio microphone you use is everything. For hip-hop artists, especially, you don’t necessarily need a top-of-the-line mic to start out. If you’re a rapper, you want to get a condenser microphone.
But keep in mind, you usually do get what you pay for. Contrary to popular belief, not all microphones are created equal. If you have the right person mixing and mastering your music, they can help make your music sound quite a bit better, even with a bad mic.
Also keep in mind that if you have a condenser microphone, it will most likely need a power supply. You can get these separately, or you can ensure that your audio interface has one built-in.
5. Studio Head Phones
Headphones are crucial because they’ll enable you to pay attention to the details that are going on in your music. They’ll also make it so you can hear the rap beat, while you’re recording.
If you’re editing your latest vocal track, but you want to ensure the levels are up to par, you’ll want a quality pair of headphones to isolate the good, the bad, and the ugly in your track. Mostly, there are two kinds of headphones you’re going to want to focus on using. The two most common headphone types are closed back and open back.
You’ll also want to pay attention to frequency response and independence when you’re shopping around. A lower impendence set of headphones might require an external headphone amplifier.
For recording, closed-back is the better option, to minimize sound leaking from your headphones, and into the mic. Closed-back are also going to run you a little less in terms of money, but they lack overall quality. But they are better for isolating sounds and tracking vocals.
Open-back headphones are better for music production than they are recording, due to sound leakage. If you’re using the headphones for producing (and have a separate pair for recording), they are also a great investment.
Open-back headphones provide a more-true sound and a wider stereo field.
6. Studio Monitors
If you’re on a budget, these are optional – headphones will suffice. Studio monitors serve a similar purpose that headphones provide, but they are better for overall tracking and sound quality. They are good for mixing and mastering tracks, as you’ll want to hear how the overall sound plays outside of the confines of your own headphones. While some people don’t opt to use studio monitors, you’ll really regret not having any, as your time from draft to final copy will take much longer.
A great set of monitors is the 2 Rokit 5 monitors (this was my first set of monitors). Now I have 2 Rokit 8 monitors. RP5G3-NA, the price is great, and the quality is top-of-the-line.
An important note before purchasing monitors: It’s important to make sure whether you’re buying a single monitor or a pair. You should buy a pair since you’ll be mixing in a stereo field. But it’s actually more common for monitors to be sold individually, and not in a pair. So pay extra close attention.