There used to be a time when releasing music was a strenuous task that would wring the artists dry of money. But with technological advancement, the music industry advanced just as fast. With sites like YouTube and Soundcloud allowing their users to upload their songs, it’s now easier than ever to share your musical boon with the rest of the world. And pair that with the mass availability of affordable recording gear and you have all the incentive in the world to start right now. After all, many great artists stared out with a DIY setup, from Justin Bieber to the belated Juice WRLD.Formerly a dream to people on a budget or without much available space, mixing and recording a track simply requires a few essential equipment, and making a couple of inches of space on the table. If you’re an aspiring artist sitting at home thinking how you can give your talents a platform, the first thing you need is a decent recording studio, so we will be showing you simple steps to setting set up a recording studio at your own home. Whether it’s in a small corner of your studio apartment or the vast space in the garage, space utilization and equipment placement is all that matter.
You can also read: Best in-ear Monitors for Singers
How to Set Up a Recording Studio
When you’re planning a dedicated recording area, keep these things in mind.
- Select the correct room: Majority of the homes aren’t designed keeping home recording in thoughts. The obvious lack of varied surfaces and high ceilings that you’d find in a professional recording studio might throw you off the game at first, but there are ways to get around that. Some rooms are better for recording than others. If possible, choose a room with very few windows, a solid wood door, and carpeted floors. The space needs to be somewhat “dead” in absence of echoes. You can easily incorporate digital reverb to any recording, but it’s next to impossible to reduce undesirable live reverb.
- The walk-in closet is your best choice: A clothes closet can be an excellent recording station, and the rest of the space can act like a control room. The clothes hanging in the surroundings do a swell job is absorbing sound, and the door prevents outside noise from seeping into the room.
- Soundproof the room: Make sure to give your room the ultimate acoustic treatment to deactivate reverberation. You can buy acoustic foam sound absorbers which will go on the walls and capture unwanted echoes. Bass traps, a special kind of sound absorbers go in the corners. Setting in enough sound absorbing gear can set you back at least $300, but you can also replace the high quality gear with foam or cheaper foam to reduce price while soundproofing.
- Pick a desk chair and desk: Most of your time inside your recording studio will go by with you seated at the desk. Select a chair and desk that are ergonomic enough to support your body posture through the endless hours of recording.
Important Equipment for Your Recording Studio
Now that you know how to select the right room, it’s time to fill your space with the correct recording equipment. Here’s how to set up a recording studio with seven crucial equipment:
- Computer: The personal computer in the recording studio will serve as the hub. Instead of planning on a smartphone or tablet, refer to a computer. Trust us, you’ll grow to appreciate the full functionality.
- DAW: A DAW, or digital audio workstation, is the software fueling the computer-based recording. A few of the most sold brands would be Logic Pro X, Pro Tools, Digital Performer, Ableton Live, Reason, and Cubase. Most are compatible with either PC or Mac, but remember that Logic only works on Mac. There are a ton of free programs too, including Sonar Cakewalk (Windows exclusive), Audacity, and Garageband (Mac exclusive).
- Digital audio interface: Also called a DAC or digital audio converter, the digital audio interface converts analog signals into digital formats. Your computer will then process this information.
- Microphones: Microphones will be one of your biggest investments, so we suggest not skimping on this step. You’ll have to equip your recording studio with three kinds of microphones. Dynamic microphones can be used for vocals as well as mic-ing high intensity instruments, such as guitar amps and drums. Condenser microphones include small diaphragms and large too, and care capable of recording almost every instrument. With that said, they need 48v phantom power to power up. You’ll also want a pair of ribbon microphones to add details on acoustic guitars, vocals, brass instruments, and electric guitar amps.
- Microphone accessories: Apart from the microphones, no recording studio would be complete without some reliable pop filters (they take out plosives from voice), microphone stands, and balanced XLR cables to link the recording source to the microphones.
- Studio monitors and headphones: No matter how high-quality your microphones or preamps are, everything will dull down without great studio monitors and headphones. You need them to properly evaluate the sound grade of your work.
- Preamps: A preamp, short for preamplifier, is sadly one of the more underrated elements in a studio equipment despite being a super important one. It goes within a digital audio converter and microphone, adding character and warmth to the recording. Plus, most studio engineers know they are key to recording instruments and vocals alike. In fact, a few microphones sound lifeless without a preamp.
Budget and space are obviously vital points to consider in how to set up a recording studio, but creativity and conviction can help you just as much. Probably you didn’t notice the little space you have by the corner, or didn’t know which equipment would properly equip you to make the best music, but now’s the time to put your mind to the task and just do it!