Set Up Your Own Home Recording Studio
Compared to last year (or any other years in our lives, for that matter), we all are spending a lot of time inside our homes. And these challenging times have compelled us to find our little creativity from the comfort of our own homes. So just like thousands of others, if you too have turned to music, a quick high-five right there! Also, now that music is your hobby, what is stopping you from setting up your home recording studio, right in your humble abode?
If you think it’s going to be a super expensive affair, let’s get this clear – setting up your own home recording studio is not at all expensive. Many brands have affordable yet exceptional quality equipment that makes setting up a recording studio at home easy and accessible.
So today, we’ll be telling you about the top 10 products you need to get started with your very own one!
1. A Music Production Computer or Laptop
A good computer is the heart of every music recording studio. Investing in a good quality monitor that offers requisite features is super important. Whether it is a laptop or a computer, it doesn’t matter. If you are a beginner, you can also consider working with your existing computer/laptop until you feel confident enough to buy a new one.
Once you are confident enough and wish to start your recording sessions in full swing, it will be advisable to invest in a dedicated music production PC. Acer Nitro 5 15.6″ is an amazing laptop to get started with. You have many other options, such as the ASUS ZenBook Flip 13″, which gives you the portability and flexibility you require.
2. Obtain a Studio Monitor
Studio monitors are the primary source of music mixing in your home-based studio. You have numerous options of studio monitors, each of which comes with its sound characteristics. A PreSonus Eris E4.5 or Yamaha HS7 would be excellent to start with.
Our favourite studio monitor comes from one of the most reputed brands in the music industry – JBL. So you can consider investing in the JBL 308P MKII 8in a 2-way Powered Studio Monitor. If you’re looking for something more cost-effective, opt for the JBL 305P MKII 5in 2-way Powered Studio Monitor.
3. Listen To Your Beats With a Set of Headphones
This is, again, an essential piece of equipment without which recording is impossible. While there are several types of headphones, you need to opt for the ones that deliver realistic sound quality.
Our top picks for comfort, practicality and value would be the Sennheiser HD280 and the Sony MDR-7506. Both are a brilliant combination of comfort and excellent sound quality at an affordable price. When it comes to top-notch quality headphones, you can consider Mackie MC-450 Open-Back Headphones, which feature a clarity-enhancing design. A more economical alternative is the AKG K240-STUDIO Pro Over-ear Semi-open Studio Headphones, which feature a semi-open, circumaural design to deliver exceptional quality sound.
4. Record Your Vocals With an Exceptional Microphone
Your home recording studio would be incomplete without a couple of microphones in hand! You need a good quality mask to record your singing as well as music sessions. While there are two types of microphones – dynamic and condenser, you need to know that the latter is perfect for studio work. The condenser microphones have a higher frequency range and a much better response.
We’ve listed out some of the top microphones – Sennheiser E835 Dynamic Vocal Microphone, Shure SM58 Live Vocal Microphone and the Shure PGA58 Dynamic Vocal Microphone (XLR to 1/4″ Cable). Each of these is high-end microphones with unique frequency pick up patterns. The rugged metal bodies make them durable and perfect for outdoor usage as well. For good quality, budget-friendly alternatives, you can consider investing in the Behringer Studio Condenser Microphone.
If you want to learn more about the different types of microphones and what one is best for you, click here to read our blog post. And if you’re overwhelmed by all the various kinds of microphone stands and accessories that you can purchase, click here to learn more!
5. Redefine Your Style With a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
Just like photography, videography or any other creative work – music, too, requires post-processing. These final edits and touch-ups are essential to fine-tune your work, which is why you need to consider investing in software that offers you various options. And DAWs is just the perfect tool with which you can manipulate your music as you wish to.
Avid Pro Tools HD Software is one of the most comprehensive software out there with various professional tools. If you are a beginner, you can opt for the Presonus Studio One 4 Recording/Editing Software, which offers similar features at a much lesser price.
6. Don’t Forget Third-Party Plug-ins
The more you experiment with your DAW, you’ll realise that while DAWs offer the best, you can do a lot more. And third-party plugins help you do that! High-quality stock plugins are exceptional and give you a whole range of new options to work with. Thanks to these tools, you can transform your recording experience and give them a wholesome, new character.
You may have opted for a home studio, but that doesn’t mean you settle for less! Get these plugins, and you’ll notice the beautiful difference it brings into your music recording experience.
7. You Should Also Consider Audio Interface Equipment
An audio interface is an external music card that connects audio signals from external inputs to your PC. You have a range of available options, each of which offers different features and comes in varying budgets. You are free to choose one that suits your requirements perfectly.
One of the top audio interfaces is the PreSonus Quantum 2629, featuring thunderbolt 3, state-of-the-art 24-bit/192kHz converters and rock-solid clocking providing an impressive 120dB of dynamic range. Another budget-friendly alternative you can consider is the Behringer UMC 22, an ultra-compact 2 x 2 48kHz interface with a professional-grade mic preamp. It also boasts a powerful phone output for direct monitoring of your session.
8. Don’t Forget The Cables!
Connecting all the equipment you purchase is only possible with USB cables, so consider buying a couple of them. They are convenient, and you need to opt for cables of different lengths to meet additional requirements. If it is not included in the box, you would also need a separate USB cable to connect your audio interface.
StarTech USB-C 3.0 to eSATA Cable is a pretty great option to get started. It has great compatibility and helps cut down the setup time with plug-and-play installations. A cost-effective alternative is the StarTech Mini DisplayPort Male to DVI-D Male Cable – it is a longer cable and perfect for the times when you need to connect devices at a distance from each other.
9. One Instrument To Rule Them All – MIDI Controller
With the amazing software available out there, the MIDI controller is something you need to consider adding to your studio. These controllers come in the form of keyboards and allow you to emulate the sounds of every other instrument. For a beginner, a 25-key MIDI controller is just perfect. You can consider moving to the complex versions once you get the hang of using a MIDI controller well.
The best options we have are Nektar Technology Impact LX88+ USB MIDI Controller Keyboard which features 88 keys. For beginners, you can invest in Korg nanoKEY 2 – Slim-Line USB MIDI Controller, a 25-key MIDI controller that is super budget-friendly too. If you are after a product in the middle of the range, we recommend the Novation Lanuchkey MIDI, a 49 key USB keyboard controller that features 16 velocity-sensitive trigger pads that provide greater control over dynamics and can be used to launch loops, samples and more.
10. Go Pro With Acoustic Foams and Panels
These simple yet highly effective tools are essential for the acoustic treatment of your music. Acoustic foam and panels are some of the most overlooked equipment when it comes to music recording. Many also end up confusing acoustic foam with soundproofing panels. Let’s get this clear, acoustic panels simply control how sound is reflected, balancing its diffusion and absorption. This only enhances the entire sound recording experience.
With these essentials in place, we’re sure you will have a fantastic recording experience right in the comfort of your home. And yes, this is the right time to pursue your dreams, passions and hobbies – so get started with music recording right away!
Want to know what microphone stands and accessories are right for your microphone? Click here!