Everyone—in fact most of us—can’t afford a $10,000 microphone, but that is thankfully not necessary to build a home studio. All you need is a good-sounding room, a good-sounding instrument or voice, and a keen ear for production. Some of the essential tips that go into building a home recording studio include the following:
Site Your Studio
Try to avoid putting your performance room in a basement or garage because there are too many ambient sounds that are hard to block out. An ideal recording studio setup consists of two connected rooms with no contiguous walls with a bathroom or kitchen. Also, the space should have a barrier between it and the rest of the occupied rooms.
Buy or Borrow Gear
You’ll need all of the following items to get your home studio running: Microphones, cables and stands, a mixing board, and a computer.
Cables tend to get bought last, and that may be why so many home studios don’t have enough microphone stands or cables. Be sure to have long enough, high-quality cables to get from the farthest corner of the performance room to your recording device without stretching.
Get more mic stands than you think you’ll need. Also, make sure your stands are weighted, especially if they’ll be holding a heavy, higher-end vocal mic.
A large-diaphragm condenser mic is the right tool for vocals and almost everything else. But if the price is too steep, you’ll need a minimum of five microphones: three on the drums and one each on a guitar or bass cabinet. You save time and energy by having a dedicated studio drum set, one where the mics stay clamped on.
The computer should be the least expensive component in your home studio because less-than-new computers have very little cash value. Find out your computer’s system requirements and choose a used desktop machine that meets them.
Lastly, tune your room with the simplest possible signal path. Before you spend a lot of money on rack effects, make sure you can get good sound with the basics, such as instruments, mics, a mixing board, and a recorder.
Learn more with the online audio engineering classes provided by Apprentice Academy. Call (615) 570-3030 for more information.