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Home Recording Studio for Beginners: Equipment & Setup

Published: Wed August 27, 2014  News Feed

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!

Computer

Any 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.


Steinberg Cubase Elements 7 Avid Pro Tools 11
Steinberg Cubase 7 Elements DAW Digital audio workstation recording software Pro TOols 11 Daw Software

Audio Interface

Audio 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.



Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Focusrite Saffire Pro 26
Focusrite Scarlett audio interface usb recording home studio setup Focusrite Saffire Pro 26 audio interface thunderbolt firewire

Microphone

For 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 Monitors

Buying 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.


Yamaha HS5 KRK RP6 G3
yamaha hs5 nearfield active studio monitors speakers studio home recording studio KRK White Studio monitors active nearfield studio

Acoustic Treatment

Adding 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.

Auralex D36 Roominator Auralex D36 Roominator
Auralex D36 roominator acoustic treatment acoustic foam insulation Auralex D36 Roominator Charcoal Purple acoustic treatment foam equipment isolation

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!

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