Home Recording Studio for Beginners: Equipment & Setup
Home Recording Studio for Beginners: Equipment & Setup
Building a home recording studio is a lot easier than you would think. With recording gear becoming more and more affordable, you can mix and master your own tracks whilst keeping to a respectable budget.
Saher Galt has made an amazing video that breaks down all the recording equipment you will need for your home studio.
If you watch the video the whole way through you will probably understand that there are a few different pieces of equipment you will need to start up your studio.
We have recommended some entry-level recording equipment to help you start recording music!
ComputerAny PC/Mac will do as long as it has a decent amount of RAM and a good processor. Your harddrive will need to have a large capacity too, as recording audio files takes up a lot of space!
DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)The DAW is a powerful piece of software that you will record into. There are many DAWs out there, with the most popular DAWs being Pro Tools, Logic and Cubase.
Cubase Elements 7 is an affordable version of the popular Cubase DAW and is highly recommended.
Free DAWs include Reaper and Audacity, although professional results are much harder to achieve due to lack of functionality.
Audio InterfaceAudio interfaces are cheaper than ever now. It's like plugging in a professional grade soundcard into your computer externally, with preamps built-in to connect your microphones up to.
If you are a singer/songwriter, a simple 2 input audio interface will be enough. If you are going to be recording a band, specifically a drummer, you will need between 4-8 inputs to capture all different parts of the drum kit in one take.
Focusrite audio interfaces have a good reputation and are very affordable. The Scarlett is USB powered, whereas the Saffire Pro requires a Firewire or Thunderbolt port on your computer - please check first!
Not sure which connectivity to use? Read our guide.
MicrophoneFor recording things like vocals and capturing drum cymbals a condenser microphone such as the SE Electronics X1 is recommended.
For recording guitar cabs and snare drums, the Shure SM57 would be ideal for the job.
You don't need anything too fancy when you are starting out. Make sure you invest in a versatile microphone (such as the X1 or SM57!) that can be used for a wide variety of uses.
Studio MonitorsBuying a bigger sized speaker model of a studio monitor isn't always the 'best' option. If you have a small room, a 5" speaker will be ample and would save you money.
That said, the smaller sized speakers don't produce as much low frequency - so you can either opt for the bigger sized speaker (such as an 8") or add a subwoofer to your setup if you need a lot of bass - necessary for dubstep and similar genres.
As Saher advised, active monitors are generally easier to manage and a set of Yamaha HS Nearfield monitors are ideal for affordability, whereas KRK Rokits are the more stylish of the two.
Acoustic TreatmentAdding acoustic treatment to your room makes a HUGE difference to how you hear your mix. When mastering your track, you need to be able to hear it with precision and clarity so that you can get the mix right.
A pack of the Auralex Roominator acoustic foam might be enough to treat your room - give our acoustic specialist a call on 0151 448 2699 and he can talk through the needs for your studio.
And that's about it! You're ready to connect it all up and start focusing on the fun part - making the music.
Got any questions on how to setup your home studio? Drop us a comment below!
The SM57 unidirectional dynamic microphone is exceptional for musical instrument, guitars and for vocals. With its bright, clean sound and carefully contoured presence rise, the Shure SM57 is ideal microphone for live sound reinforcement and recording. It has an extremely effective cardioid pickup pattern which isolates the main sound source while minimizing background noise. In the studio, it is excellent…
Yamaha HS5 Active Nearfield Monitor - 70W, 5" Go to almost any major studio in the world and you're likely to find a pair of Yamaha's famous NS-10M monitor speakers. Acknowledged by professional sound engineers and producers to deliver an unflinchingly honest reflection of your mixes. The new HS series builds on this legacy by providing even further detail and…
The aptly named SE X1 large diaphragm condenser is one of the coolest, sexiest new mics for the MI market in years. The mic is hand built in sE’s own facility in Shanghai like all their products, and boasts a 10dB pad and bass cut to add to the hand crafted capsule. There is not another brand on the market…
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is an easy to use interface perfect for budding/first time producers and musicians who want a studio-grade soundcard at an affordable price. A 2-in/2-out interface with Focusrite's renowned pre-amp technology for routing high-quality, low distortion audio to and from your Mac (OS X Lion ready) or PC. Like all models within the Focusrite scarlet range of…
Roominator-DST Kits span a wide variety of applications, addressing the acoustic and aesthetic needs of the small project studio as well as the most demanding professional mix/mastering environments. Whether it's your first studio, a home theater, or a Pro Tools Suite, the Roominators-DST Kits are designed to dramatically improve your acoustics, and give you a great designer look! Now you…