Working a home studio is exciting and interesting as you can have lots of fun recording the music. However, having a highly functional recording studio at home is crucial to be successful in recording good quality music. The quality of recording depends on the tools you use and how efficiently you set them up to deliver the results. Are you planning to set up a home studio at your place? If yes, then this guide will assist you in setting up a recording studio that is perfect for your home. Every detail and tool of the recording studio should be paid attention as home recording studio is something which you make music and is a creative hub for your talent. The space of the home studio should be inspiring for you to get charged with your creativity.
The home studio is made more accessible for music lovers with even a small corner to dedicate to the recording. Availability of robust consumer electronics and advanced technology has further made the job easy.
Just before few years, recording music and mixing it all by yourself was a tough and unthinkable task. But the availability of home studio recording equipment has made it a cakewalk for musicians. Today more musicians are choosing to record and mix music at home studio either in a bedroom or a garage without renting expensive recording studio to get the job done. It is easy to set up a home studio that suits your recording requirements while staying in your budget.
But before planning and purchasing the essential tools for the recording studio, It is necessary to decide on the amount of space you can dedicate for the studio. The equipment can be purchased depending on the size of the studio. Hence it is crucial to allocate space for the home studio before moving further.
Essential Equipment for Home Studio.
A home studio is not a place to record music but to produce music using a collection of gadgets and equipment. You will need a few essential pieces of equipment which function together to create music to your taste. The flowing is the list of equipment required by the home studio irrespective of the size of the studio.
- Laptop or a Computer
- DAW Software
- MIDI Keyboard
- Audio interface
- Studio Monitors
- Virtual instruments
- Cables and samples
The guide will walk you through each requirement in detail for you to have a clear idea of how to set up a home studio.
Essential Equipment to Set Up a Home Studio
An external audio interface is a primary requirement for setting up a home studio. If you think my laptop or computer already has an inbuilt audio interface, then why do you I need one? Undoubtedly your system does come with an audio interface, but will it be able to accommodate superior grade microphone into its port? And also if you st up converter hack or similar thing, there are high chances that the sound card won’t deliver high-quality clear music. Any issues with the sound card will only make things difficult in recording the music.
The built-in cards do not come with the feature of responding over the signal. Apart from the above, the external audio interface enables you to connect to superior quality microphones and speakers. If you think the external audio interface is expensive, then not all the models are costly. There are various brands with different features available on the market, and you can choose the one that best suits your budget and requirements. Make sure to buy an interface that is compatible with your computer or laptop. It is recommended to check the system requirements before buying one.
Having a good microphone is crucial for a home studio as the recording the vocals, live instrument of mixing music needs clarity in recording, and the audio output should be fresh and crisp. Again there are different types of microphones, higher-end models are susceptible to the sounds which result in delivering crystal clear music recording.
There are also affordable microphone brands that do a good job when it comes to record. The condenser microphone with a cardioid pickup pattern is the most versatile ones in the market, which is inexpensive. Dynamic microphones are extremely cheaper varieties can produce quality recordings. The most popular and high in demand microphones for the home studio is Rode NT1, and Shure SM-27-SC are reputed for delivering cleaner sound under most circumstances.
Studio monitors are most commonly known as speakers which help you in listening to the recorded music. The details delivered by the studio monitors make first-time users little overwhelmed. However, your home studio doesn’t have to have high-end speakers to listen to recorded music in detail. There are several speakers at reasonable prices available on the market that are reasonably good in providing details. But high-quality speakers are the best, and the output cannot be matched or compared to the inferior models. You can always go for superior ones if they are in your budget; otherwise, it is fine to go with a cheaper alternative that is industry trusted.
A home studio setup cannot accommodate all the real instruments, and hence there are high chances of going for virtual devices. A right MIDI keyboard can do the job correctly for you. The MIDI keyboards are not very expensive and are reasonably priced, and hence there is no reason not include one in your home studio. You can either connect the keyboard via the audio interface or USB port. There are several budget-friendly compact keyboards on the market that can fit in both home studio and budget. There are also keyboards with extra keys available for those who want to play more keys.
Stands and Cables
Connecting all the hardware properly is a significant step for the recording to be successful and deliver expected results. You will need cables to connect all the devices and gadgets for music production. Having enough cables on hand will save time and efforts in case of any cable turns out faulty. Right quality USB cables,1/4 inch cables and XLR cables are perfect for recording purposes. You can narrow down on the number of wires required by making a note of all the ports of the instruments, devices and gadgets. It is advisable to have one or two primary cables extra as spares.
Stands are required for mounting microphones. The sound delivered by the microphones is enhanced when mounted on the stand than on placing on the floor. For a condenser microphone, a shock mount works well. Look out for universal shock mount if you are beginner, but make sure to check the compatibility of the same with your microphone before buying one.
DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation. Having the right recording software in place is crucial to record the music from various instruments and vocal. A quality DAW software enhances the sound output quality and hence requires you to buy a basic version which can meet the standards of professional recording. With so many versions available on the market, choosing the one that fits your recording requirements and budget is manageable. If you are a beginner, then entry-level versions work right and do not need to have a professional version unless you are keen to buy it. There are both cheaper varieties and a higher-end version. High-end versions come with advanced tools and features compared to low-end versions of the DAW software.
Although DAW software manages to produce music from various instruments, sometimes the quality of the sound produced may be inadequate. If you regularly use an instrument in your recording and it dominates other instrument sounds, then it is good to buy it as an individual instrument. You can find great deals on live instruments at most stores or can search online for deals and discounts on the music instruments you like to buy. Playing a real instrument like piano, violin or guitar in live delivers far more great recording results when compared to the one produced by the DAW software. Sampler library is a perfect way of having all the live instruments in one place.
How to Set up A Home Studio?
Having the list of things, you do need to buy for a home studio sorts out the shopping list and consider half the job is done. Now that you know what is required for setting up a home studio, let us see how to set them up for maximum music output. Setting up a home studio is more of a plug and play, but you will make sure that few things are done to have a reasonably good recording studio at home.
Decent Sized Quiet Room
The quality of the recording dramatically depends on the recording environment, and nobody wants to hear outside noises in their records. In a professional recording environment, even acoustical treatment is dealt with great attention to remove reverberations if any. However, for a home studio, you do not want to spend a fortune to create a professional recording environment. But assigning a quiet room in your home accomplish almost the same quality as a professional environment. It is ideal to have a carpeted room with no or few windows to keep noises at bay. You can get the acoustic treatment done to your walls and doors using inexpensive and budget-friendly products available on the market.
Studio Monitors Set Up
The angle of the studio monitors plays a vital role in hearing the sound produced. Initially place them on either side of the computer or laptop screen and play. Try adjusting them slightly while playing the music till you feel the sound you hear is clear. The ideal angle of the studio monitors is 45 degrees down facing each other, where the sound waves produced should be perpendicular to your ears and meet behind your neck. If the position does not meet this requirement, try adjusting until it is achieved.
Placement of Your Microphones
Placement of microphones in the right position on our audio interface is crucial for the perfect recording. We recommend you buy condenser microphones that suits your audio interface; these require a power source to work. Although your audio interface can provide the power, you will need to turn it on or off by pressing a button or flipping a switch. Your audio interface manual can provide you with required details if you are unable to find the switch or button. The switch is generally located on the front panel next to the mic input.
Software Installation and Plugins
Once you are successful with all the earlier setup steps, the next and final step is to plug everything and install the software and drivers. The setup time and process vary depending on the software and hardware you purchased for the home studio. In most of the cases, installation should make things ready to go; the only thing you need to do after installation is authorizing the software. But if things are not working after installation, then it is better to go through the manuals to find out if you have left out any step. Run a test recording to ensure that everything is good and working right.
Hope we have provided best of guidance for setting up a home recording studio. Use the above steps to make your home studio set up a stress-free experience. Home studio recording experience is exciting and fun as it can be done anytime you are in the mood for some music without the need to travel anywhere. While the collection of gadgets and tools required for producing music is crucial for home studio, setting up all of the gear is also equally important.