Recording in a professional studio is often a costly affair. This is why many musicians prefer to record at home to save on costs. With the great advancement in technology, you don’t need to spend thousands of $$ to set up your own recording studio. Anyone with a decent budget and a passion for music can do it. This trend is increasingly becoming popular and below are some home recording tips that help you in setting up a quality but affordable home studio.
Studio Setup: The most important aspect of home recording is to have a good setup. You need to have a dedicated space with acoustical treatment so that your recording is free from errors. For studio setup, you will need some basic resources which include: a computer, microphone, monitors, sequencer etc. By following these simple home recording tips, you can setup a recording studio at home by spending the least amount and great audio quality.
1.Computer: For your audio recording work, you need to have a fast computer which is capable of running a sequencer and other essential plug-ins. 2-4 gb of ram and at least a dual core processor is the minimum requirement. Otherwise the audio recordings will have lots of dropouts. Use a high end silent processor fan and a silent PSU(power supply unit), otherwise your recordings will have lots of hiss and noise.
There are built-in audio PCs which are excellent for home recording but can be a little costly. These PCs come with compatible hardware and software and the fan noise doesn’t prove as a deterrent while recording.
2. Microphone: There is a wide variety of microphones available in the market and before selecting one, you must know the intended purpose of these mics. Some are good for vocals, others are for instruments like drums etc. Whichever microphone you choose, it must be sensitive and accurate to give you a good quality audio recording.
For indepth article on Mics, please visit my older post:How to Choose a Microphone for Home Recording
3. Monitors: They are your ears, and needless to say, I would recommend the maximum budget for this equipment. What you hear is what you get, and better monitors mean better judgment. It is important to know the quality of sound that you are recording and for this, you need to have proper studio monitors that do not color the sound. Please don’t hook up your hi fi speakers and start recording and mixing! There are good near filed monitors like Mackie and KRK which come for less then $400 a pair.
4.Sequencer: Choice of sequencer is one of the important aspects of home recording tips. The choice of the sequencer depends upon your method of recording. Whether your work will be loop based or based on traditional tracking, you will get a suitable sequencer for you very easily. If you intend to only mix and master, you would need the sequencer and plugins accordingly. The smart thing would be to first ask yourself what exactly you would be doing. Then research the market for the appropriate software.
Acoustics: Another important thing for home recording tips is to know about acoustics and maintaining good acoustics at your home studio. Reflected sound waves can degrade the quality of your recording. To nullify the effects of sound reflection, sound absorbing materials should be used on the walls of your home studio. There are some cheap alternatives, like acoustic foam, which will help you get basic acoustic treatment for your studio. For in-depth tips on sound proofing, please visit my older article:Tips on Studio Soundproofing
Levels: The final pointer of your home recording tips is the level of the track at which you will record the audio. For best possible results, it is recommended to record at the hottest level. The signal must be loud enough so that it can mask any noise existing in the system. But it should not be too loud so that the signal gets distorted. Put in a compressor /limiter in your track before you record. This will stop any accidental clipping of audio signals due to high levels.
I hope you had fun reading these home recording tips. I would love to hear your questions or comments. Happy Recording!
By Rajiv Agarwal