How to start recording at home
I remember in the 90's, when you wanted to record a demo, EP or Album you had to save hundreds, if not thousands to visit a studio. While studio's have a place for those with larger budgets, it is so easy and affordable to create your own studio at home.
This can be in your living room, bedroom, garage or attic space.
Here's a quick guide on what you need & how to start recording at home:
Maybe you already have a PC or Mac if not, then pick up a decent desktop or laptop which will serve as the backbone of your home studio.
It just needs to have decent storage and capability of processing the tracks you record. PC if recording at home or a Laptop if you want to make your set up portable and also have the best of both worlds!!
People get very confused with what software they should use, how it works and if they will be able to use it. THE ANSWER IS YES - IT'S NOT AS DIFFICULT AS YOU THINK!!
Most DAW (Digital audio workstations as they are commonly known) are pretty user friendly and there's tons of instructional info on YouTube for nearly every platform out there, should you need it.
We love Reaper around here because it's quite powerful and easy to get started with. It is also quite cheap. In fact, they don't even charge you up front and if using for commercial use, then they ask that you pay ~$50.00 (~€40.00) cost.....which is pretty good.
Then you have Ableton live, Logic, Pro Tools among those also available. There's literally thousands.
Plugins are also available for all platforms, letting you add different effects loops etc.
Lots of the plugins are free so go explore!
3. Audio Interface
So, for those of you new to this, an audio interface is what connects your microphone or guitar / keyboard / drums to the software (DAW) so that you can record.
Quite simply, if you are a singer songwriter who wants to record guitar & vocals, then a 2 channel audio interface is normally sufficient most popular interfaces connect to your PC/MAC/IPAD via USB connection)
If you are recording a band set up (all at once) or want more inputs then a 4 or 8 channel upwards is the way to go.
We recommend the Roland Rubix & Zoom interfaces which are great for both those starting out and for the more advanced home studio enthusiast!
So, lots of options here. Again, for those unsure here's a simple explanation of microphones and which one might suit you the best!
A Dynamic Mic is those you will see a band using at a gig or concert (the ones with the round heads). These can be used for recording if doing so on a budget. However, a Dynamic mic doesn't offer that studio quality in quite the same way as a Condenser Mic (See below) not unless you are paying imat the high end of the scale.
A Condenser mic has a wider frequency range so in simple terms, means it will capture a wider range of sounds / signals and are great for studio recording. Condensers can be used for vocals, guitars, amplifiers, piano's etc. There's really no end to their use! They can be used to record in spaces or for overheads for choirs, orchestras, you name it!
If your budget stretches, then you could buy 2 or 3 mics to cover you for the various applications but we live in the real world too :-)
Here's some of our recommendations to help you get started:
The budget friendly Gatt DM-700
The Industry Standard and incredibly reliable Shure SM58
The budget friendly Stagg SUM-40
The incredible (check out the online reviews!!) Sontronics STC20 Pack
6. Monitors (Speakers)
RCF have being in the game for years now. Their AYRA PRO5 monitors are fantastic and priced really well for what you get. Lots of features and internal science has being put into their design but I won't bore you with my nerdish info!! Go check them out for yourself!
Check them out here: AYRA PRO5
More on RCF here
Some prefer headphones over monitors and there's those that like both because you hear different things with different ways of monitoring the tracks you have reordered, especially when it comes to mixing them down and getting each individual track (vocal, guitar, oiano, synth etc.) to sit where you want in the mix.
So, on a budget there's the Superlux HD572
Step it up to the Sennheiser HD200
Dig out some old lyrics or ideas you put to one side. Or maybe you are overflowing with song ideas but just unsure about how to record them without paying a fortune. Well, I hope the above helps you.
Start small and build. So let's say you already have a PC, then invest in a interface & mic and use some free software just to get you started.
The most important thing is starting and once you do, you'll be so glad that you did!
Imagine when you mix down that first demo, EP or maybe a complete album for you to share with the world!! Spotify, iTunes and YouTube will be waiting for you to upload your creation!
A full range of cables, stands and accessories are available on our store
Need help, just ask firstname.lastname@example.org
As ever, we are on hand to help you through your musical journey so if you need help selecting or sourcing a specific product, then email us and we will do our best to guide you.
Happy recording and thanks for reading!