How to setup a home recording studio?
Perhaps you have always wanted to record yourself or your band? Now is the perfect time to learn how you can do it.
Home recording is one of the fastest expanding areas of the music industry. Every year, companies create new programs, enhance already existing programs, and engineer more interfaces so you can create higher quality music from the comfort of your home.
What does this equate to? You being confused and intimidated because the chances are, you have no idea how to use it?
Unfortunately, the home recording industry has been regarded as extremely complex. The truth of the matter is that while recording music is as much an art as it is a science, anyone can do it. All it takes is a little ingenuity and a lot of dedication.
On the other side of the spectrum, cost has been a huge factor that has held many great musicians back from recording from their home.Just four years ago, the cost of home recording equipment was astronomical.It made more economical sense to rent time from a professional studio and hire someone who knew what they were doing instead of trying to do it yourself.
Now the times have changed and so have the prices.
Depending on what you are looking to do, you can put together a decent home recording studio from Rs.10000 all the way up to Rs. 1,00,000
The reasons why you would want to take the time, money, and effort to record yourself vary from musician to musician. Recording yourself is a great way to analyze your sound and technique so you can hear where you went wrong in a particular piece of music.
If you think you need a full band in order to make a song sound full, you would also be incorrect.
With the great technology out there and MIDI (more on that later) you can be a one-man-band. It’s a fantastic way to fine tune your ear and get valuable production experience.
In order to get off on the right foot, there are some things you should look at buying before hand.
What Equipment Do I Need?
This article is assuming that you already have a home computer or laptop. If you don’t, we’ll cover some options for you later.
Your computer can be viewed as the heart of your home recording studio. It’s what runs your software and what transmits the signals from your instruments into your computer so you can transform them into a song.
Now, you may be looking at your computer and thinking, “Gee, I don’t see any ports that fit my guitar cable or tell me where to put it.” The reason why you don’t see anything is because there isn’t anything there at the moment. This is where a sound card or interface comes in.
Sound Card/Interface – A sound card allows you to use a connector (usually included with the sound card) to hook up all of your microphones and cables to your computer. You may already have a sound card and only need to buy a connector. How do you know if you have a sound card? If you look on the back of your computer you can usually tell by three colored holes. There is usually a line in/out and a microphone. Your computer could have more than three holes depending on how advanced it is. You also may see a serial gaming port.
When you buy a connector it should come with all of the proper jacks. The most important ones to have are a 1/4 inch jack for your guitar, one XLR for your mic, and two midi ports.
This sounds complicated but simply walk into your local music store ( Our very own SoundMonk Music Store) and explain that you need a connector for your sound card and it won’t be an issue.
However, if you’re anything like me, the sound card is far too much work. With the possibility of a new sound card installation, finding the right connectors, and knowing what you already have, it can get complicated.
While sound cards are the most inexpensive, the next option is only slightly more and makes life far easier. Using an interface is what I like to call “plug and chug home recording.”
An interface is essentially a box that plugs into your computer via a fire-wire connection or one USB slot. It contains everything you need to plug in your microphone, guitars, midi, and monitors. As a huge bonus, many of the companies that make these interfaces partner with software companies to make bundles. This means that you kill two birds with one stone because you get your software and interface at the same time. In the long run, this can actually become more affordable then the sound card option due to the bonus software that comes with the interface. If you were to buy the software separately, you would end up paying roughly the same amount minus the great interface. In the end it comes down to personal taste.
Condenser microphones are far more sensitive and are great for acoustic instruments, cymbals, and vocals. While you can get condenser microphones for live performance, a large diaphragm condenser mic is perfect for home recording vocals.
Condenser microphones are a great addition to any home studio. The reason we don’t use them for guitar amps or saxophones often is due to the fact that they crack the signal because they are so sensitive.
Software: There are many types of software available that will help you to record via computer. Some of the most popular brands include Cubase, Sonar, Cakewalk, Sony Sound Forge, Apple Logic, and many more. The options are limitless.
MIDI Keyboard: Is an acroymn for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It hooks up to your keyboard and send a signal with vital information to your computer software. It is not an audio signal, rather a device that sends data back and forth from your keyboard to your computer. It tells your computer what note you are hitting, when you hit it, how hard you are hitting it, when you let that note go and moved to another note, and when you changed a program.When all of that information enter your computer, it is processed. All MIDI data is completely transformable. This means that you can make those notes sound like a piano, violin, or even an orchestra!
Once you assign the sound you want for the data, it is played back and recorded into a track. Now you can add more tracks of midi and create your own band from your keyboard. While it takes practice, MIDI is an extremely useful tool for anyone who has a passion for music. You can arrange musical masterpieces for orchestras or find that unique sound to add to your song.
Lights… Camera… ACTION!
Once you have the gear, you need the room for it. Ideally, everything should be able to fit into a small office or bedroom.The quieter the location, the easier it is for you to get better recordings. As odd as this sounds, the deader the room acoustically, the better you are. Some musicians think the more echo and the bigger the room the better.This simply isn’t the case for recording, only live performance.When recording at home you want to add all the effects with your software and have no outside interference.
Now that you fairly have an idea of Home Recording Studios, you can contact us at SoundMonk to assist you with the setup. Feel free to visit our music store or browse through our online music store www.soundmonk.com for all the equipment within your desired budget.