Home Recording Studio Setup: The Essential Recording Equipment

Home Recording Studio Setup: The Essential Recording Equipment Home Recording Studio Setup: The Essential Recording Equipment

Contrary to what some may believe, You don’t need a professional recording studio to produce high quality audio. You simply don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on new equipment.

However, learning how to built your own home recording studio can be a challenge. There are some things you do need to get, but luckily there are plenty of affordable (and free) options if you know where to look.

Below, we'll walk you through the process of building your own home recording studio from scratch so that you can start music recording without every having to leave the house. This complete home studio setup guide will cover the different types of recording studios, what studio equipment you need to get started, and how to avoid common mistakes while you build a home recording. Let's go ahead and get started!

What Differentiates a Home Studio From a Professional Studio?

A home studio and professional recording studio have a few key differences, but that doesn't necessarily mean one is guaranteed to produce a higher quality sound than the other. Generally speaking, professional studios are much more generalized to multiple types of recording needs including vocal recording, beatmaking, instrument tracking, mixing, mastering, and even scoring.

The beauty of a home recording studio is that you're able to personalize the ideal room for your recording needs. Professional recording spaces typically invest more in sound treatment which may make them a better space to record when compared to the average home recording set up.

That being said, if you know what you're doing, you can make amazing tracks out of a home recording studio. The difference between mediocre home studio setups is the design of an engineer's listening position relative to his or her gear, quality of recording equipment, and the experience of whoever's in the control room.

home recording studio

Types of Home Studios

Remember that your home recording studio should ultimately be catered to you. This means that you don't necessarily have to fill all of the positions and flexibility provided by a professional recording studio. To do this, first determine what you want to use your home recording studio for. Here are some of the more common types of home recording setups to take into consideration:

Beatmaking

If you're a producer and you're simply looking for a space to create beats without vocal recordings, then certain aspects of the recording process won't matter as much like acoustic treatment. Instead, you'll likely want a reliable midi controller, studio monitors, your DAW and potentially and audio interface.

Bass traps might be helpful for absorbing sound so that you don't disturb your neighbors, but they're not necessarily needed since you're just creating a space to produce beats. Make sure you keep your monitor speakers, beat hardware, and midi controllers clean and organized to maximize your workflow.

Instrument or Vocal Tracking

Instrument or vocal tracking requires a space with excellent acoustic treatment. The goal is to represent the recorded sound as accurately as possible. In which case, you'll also need reliable mic cable options, mic stands, different microphone options, and extra channels for recording more than one audio source at once.

Make sure that your space is also comfortable for other musicians to relax and be creative in. You might also need music stands along with a space for guests to comfortably sit during downtime throughout a studio session.

home studio

Demo Cutting

Demo cutting is the art of making a rough outline of your song before having it re-recorded, mixed, and mastered. If you're using your studio to jot down ideas, there's no need to invest in the highest quality audio gear you can find.

You'll still need basic recording tools like an audio interface, mic cables, pop filters, microphone stands, and potential a midi keyboard to help outline the beat of a song. However, since you're recording only a draft, you don't need to find the best large diaphragm condenser microphone available-- Instead, create a setup that allows you to get ideas out on paper as soon as possible.

Full Mixing Studio

A home mixing studio is the most complex home studio type and the most similar to a traditional professional studio. In these spaces, proper acoustic treatment is paramount. You'll need to make sure that you have equipment that reflects the entire frequency spectrum as accurately as possible.

This includes more expensive a equipment like near field monitors, sound proofing technology, more channels for a variety of gear, and digital converters for any hardware pieces. On top of this, you'll need the basic gear set up with mic stands, monitor stands, different microphone options, frequency response monitors, pop filters, etc. These studios are the most difficult to create properly.

Choosing The Perfect Room for Your Home Studio

When it comes to finding the right room for your home studio, you'll want to select a space that has the most "dead" air. By that, we mean that you want to reduce the amount of perceived reflective surfaces in your recordings as in accordance with acoustic treatment.

A properly treated studio shouldn't have an "echo" when you clap your hands or make sound. The room sound should be isolated and contained, since this will give you the most control in terms of manipulating your recordings.

Avoid rooms that have windows, or lots of hollow openings in which sound could easily escape. It's just as paramount to envision a proper listening position for mixing and mastering. Ideally, the studio monitors should be in an equilateral triangle position from the engineer. Acoustic panelling is important to increase the broadband absorption between parallel walls where sound can easily bounce from the front wall to the back wall creating tainted recordings.

Acoustics and Soundproofing

Вы можете иметь все самое лучшее оборудование в мире, но если в вашем помещении для звукозаписи ужасный звук, вам будет очень трудно создать отличную музыку. Вот почему вам определенно стоит подумать о том, чтобы обработать комнату такими вещами, как басовые ловушки, акустические панели и диффузоры.

В необработанном помещении ваши живые инструменты будут звучать не так хорошо, как могли бы. Кроме того, микс, который вы слышите из мониторов, не будет точным, и ваш микс, скорее всего, не будет правильным.

Поэтому мы написали целое руководство о том, как обработать вашу комнату. Вы можете ознакомиться с ним прямо здесь.

home studio equipment

9 Essential Pieces of Recording Equipment For Your Home Studio

Я использую слово "нужно" здесь не совсем точно. Я часто отмечаю, что 18-летний подросток записал одну из песен Кендрика Ламара полностью на iPhone. Так что если у вас нет денег, у вас в кармане все равно есть целая звукозаписывающая установка.

Но если вы думаете о том, чтобы создать небольшую домашнюю студию, есть некоторые элементы оборудования и программного обеспечения, которые вам следует приобрести.

  1. Ноутбук / настольный компьютер
  2. Digital Audio Workstation
  3. Микрофон
  4. Аудиоинтерфейс
  5. Monitors and Headphones
  6. Desk and Office Chair
  7. Beatmaking Hardware
  8. Additional Instruments
  9. Программное обеспечение для мастеринга

1. Laptop / Desktop

Первое, что вам нужно, у вас, скорее всего, уже есть. Будь то ноутбук или настольный компьютер, HP или Apple, у вас все готово.

Если у вас его нет, вы можете приобрести ноутбук под управлением Microsoft примерно за 600 долларов. Это может показаться большой суммой, и я согласен, что это так. Но это инвестиция, которая прослужит долгие годы (если вы будете заботиться о нем) и в конечном итоге окупит себя.

Компьютеры Apple немного дороже (около 1000 долларов США), но они поставляются с предустановленной GarageBand, бесплатной цифровой аудио рабочей станцией (DAW).

Если говорить о DAW, то это следующая вещь, которая вам понадобится.

2. Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

home studio setup


A Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is the piece of software you use to record music. And don’t think you have to spend a whole paycheck on a new one — there are plenty of affordable and free DAWs out there. We wrote a whole blog post on DAWs and how to use them , but we’ll summarize some of it here.

Компьютеры Apple поставляются со встроенной в них DAW под названием GarageBand . Это одна из лучших DAW для начинающих продюсеров. Она проста в использовании, в ней есть великолепно звучащие виртуальные инструменты, и она дает вам доступ к тонне эффектов профессионального уровня.

Существует также Ableton Live, который популярен среди диджеев, поскольку это DAW, созданная для живых выступлений. В нем есть режим воспроизведения, позволяющий делать кроссфейды, деформации и множество других функций, которые так нравятся диджеям. Она поставляется в трех версиях: Intro (базовая версия), Standard (некоторые, но не все функции) и Suite (полная версия со всеми возможностями Ableton Live).

FL Studio - еще одна популярная DAW, особенно среди продюсеров, которые любят создавать ритмы. FL начиналась как барабанный секвенсор и постепенно превратилась в полнофункциональную программу для записи. Говорят, что ее функция drag-and-drop очень проста в использовании, что является хорошей новостью, если вы новичок в работе с DAW в целом. Программа также имеет три версии с разной степенью функциональности: Fruity, Producer и Signature.

Если вам нравится GarageBand, но вы хотите немного большего, Logic Pro X - это ответ Apple для вас. Поскольку Apple владеет и управляет этой программой, она недоступна на компьютерах под управлением Windows, но это по-прежнему одна из самых любимых DAW. Как и в GarageBand, в Logic есть огромная библиотека звуков и циклов, которые вы можете использовать, множество плагинов, а также поддержка Apple.

Однако если вы не можете позволить себе компьютер Apple, существует множество DAW, дружественных к Microsoft.

My favorite is Reaper , which can pretty much do everything the expensive DAWs can do but with a simple interface and a much more appealing price tag. You can get the full version for free, but they ask you to buy a license depending on how much money you make from music and how you’ll be using it.

Pro Tools also has a free DAW called Pro Tools First that you should check out. It looks like an especially good option if you plan to upgrade to the full version of Pro Tools at some point.

3. Microphone (Mic Stand, XLR Cable)

home recording studio equipment


Next, you’ll need a microphone, unless you produce electronic music. But if you’re working with any sort of live instrument, you’ll need a mic, a mic stand, an XLR cable, and a pop filter if you’ll be recording vocals. Thankfully, a quality pop filter won't run you more than a couple of bucks, so it's worth picking up one of these tools to improve your overall home studio setup.

Вот микрофоны, которые я бы посоветовал проверить:

  • Shure SM58 (стандарт для динамических микрофонов)
  • Audio-Technica AT2035 (я владею этой моделью и люблю ее)
  • MXL 990 (имеет отличные отзывы).

With these mics, you’ll also need an audio interface (more on that below). But if you’d rather not spend the extra money, you can pick up a USB microphone, which (you guessed it) plugs right into your computer’s USB port. For a quality USB mic, I’d recommend looking at the Rode Podcaster.

4. Audio Interface

Итак, теперь, когда у вас есть микрофон, вам нужно куда-то его подключить. На помощь приходит аудиоинтерфейс. Это оборудование подключается к компьютеру (обычно через USB, но может быть и Thunderbolt или Firewire), а затем вы подключаете микрофон или инструменты к интерфейсу.

Довольно просто.

And you can pick one up for under $200. I use the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and recommend it as the perfect choice for home producers. But you can also look at the PreSonus AudioBox or the Focusrite Scarlett Solo.

home recording studio setup

5. Studio Monitors And Headphones

It’s also very important to get a good pair of headphones and monitors (studio speakers). While we’re all familiar with headphones, there are two specific types of headphones we need to cover: closed-back headphones and open-back headphones.

Закрытые наушники хороши для записи, поскольку они обеспечивают звукоизоляцию. Таким образом, вы можете использовать их для живого мониторинга во время трекинга, и звук из наушников не будет проникать в вашу запись. Единственное, чем больше изоляция, тем ниже качество звука.

В качестве хорошей пары наушников закрытого типа я использую и настоятельно рекомендую наушники Sennheiser HD280PRO .

А когда вы занимаетесь микшированием, вам нужно наилучшее качество звука. Вот почему вы должны использовать либо студийные мониторы, либо наушники с открытой спиной, а лучше всего переключаться между ними.

6. Desk And Office Chair

music recording studio


Центральным местом в вашей студии будет ваше рабочее место - стол и стул. Поэтому имеет смысл тщательно подойти к выбору. И вам не придется тратить на них кучу денег. При необходимости вы можете найти и то, и другое в местном магазине.

Убедитесь, что стол достаточно прочен, чтобы вместить все ваше оборудование - желательно, чтобы стол был высоким, чтобы компьютер находился на более высоком уровне. Если такой возможности нет, вы можете поставить компьютер на что-нибудь, чтобы приподнять его, например, на деревянный ящик (то, что я использую).

The desk chair also needs to be comfy. You’ll hopefully be spending a lot of time in it, so you shouldn’t be thinking about your comfort when you’re in the music-making zone.

7. Beatmaking Hardware

In addition to your basic home recording studio setup, it might be wise to have some hardware equipment you can use outside of your digital audio interface. This way, you can make beats on the go, or practice your music production chops even when you're away from your home recording studio.

At the very least, investing in basic tools like a midi controller will help elevate your decent home studio to a move professional level. Invest in studio gear that makes your home recording studio setup more efficient overall.

8. Additional Instruments

If you're an instrumentalist yourself of plan on hosting session musicians in your home recording studio, it's a good idea to have a couple of tangible instruments as a part of your home recording studio equipment supply. This could include a couple of guitars, a drum kit, even a hardware piano.

Only invest in what makes the most sense for your home recording studio. Make sure your audio interfaces can accommodate the instruments you choose. You'll also want to have plenty of cables for each instrument ready to go.

home music studio

9. Mastering Software

Теперь, когда вы готовы к обустройству студии и записи песен на новом оборудовании, остается рассмотреть последний шаг: мастеринг.

After recording, editing, and mixing, you’ll want to master your tracks so they meet industry standards. eMastered has developed a surprisingly good automated mastering software. You can get online access to it and master an unlimited number of songs.

How to Improve Your Home Recording Studio

Undoubtedly, the most important things to think about while building your home recording studio are building the right room to produce great recordings, investing in the right recording equipment, and honing your skills as an engineer.

That being said, there are some tips to keep in mind that can make the difference between your first home studio setup and a more refined one. Once you've build a recording studio you're happy with, here are some the ways in which you can take your home recording space to the next level.

Keep Things Organized

It may seem like a small detail, but keeping your audio equipment artfully organized improves your workflow and gives you more credibility as a "pro studio" when shown to clients. You'll want to make sure that your mic cables are properly wrapped and stored after each session, and that you regularly dust off your audio equipment for instance.

Make sure your equipment is stored properly and put away after every use. A mic stand can easily tip over, so your microphones should be stored in their proper case after a recording session. Condenser and ribbon microphones especially are prone to damage. A little extra clean up can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Make Sure Your Home Recording Setup is Inspiring

No one wants to lay down audio tracks in a setting without a warm or inspiring vibe. Make sure that your studio is designed so that clients and session musicians feel at ease while they record vocals or lay down a particular section of a song. This could include adding lights, pieces of art that don't interfere with your studio's acoustic treatment, or simply taking the time to keep things clean.

home recording equipment

Ask For Feedback

Remember that building a solid home recording studio is an ever-evolving process. In order to improve your home recording setup, why not ask other trusted engineers for feedback on the listening experience, equipment quality, and overall recording experience of your studio. Consultation is certainly worth the investment especially if you're trying to create a noticeable difference between you and other studio competitors.

Common Mistakes to Avoid While Recording At Home

Learning how to craft a functional home studio is a constant learning process. With that in mind, here are some common mistakes to avoid  while setting up your home recording studio.

Not Spending Enough Time on Layout

Layout isn't just paramount to optimal mixing, it also can make or break the acoustics or your studio. A huge difference between a novice and experienced engineer is the ability to make sound shine in just about any environment. Spend time getting to know the individual parameters of each room is much more important than picking out the most alluring, expensive piece of equipment you can find.

Neglecting Acoustic Treatment

If you plan on live recording or mixing in your home studio, you need acoustic treatment. Keep in mind that it's not just for your own sonic needs-- Acoustic treatment also keeps your sound contained so that you're not butting heads with the neighbors, which is important especially if you plan on running sessions out of your space.

Buying Equipment You Don't Need

Invest in equipment as you go. There's no need to buy something you're not sure your use, even if it's touted as a great piece of gear. Instead, pour more hours into developing your craft as an artist. This is inevitably more valuable in long run, and hopefully, your developed skills will make it easy for to afford your desired gear in the future.

how to record music at home

Underestimating The Power of Atmosphere

Your studio doesn't just need to sound good, it needs to look and feel good too. Make sure that your space is inspiring, clean, and creates a warm environment that invites artists to create. There's nothing more impactful than a first impression of a space.

At the end of the day, don't forget that your studio space should ultimately be designed to serve you. That means investing in the right equipment, which isn't necessarily the "best" equipment. That means spending time thinking about what set up is going to give you the most ideal performance based on what and how you like to record.

As you build the studio of your dreams, don't forget to enjoy the process! Our equipment continues to evolve as we do,  so you're likely to grow with your studio setup over the years. Have fun building a space that inspires you and invites you to create.

Оживите свои песни с помощью мастеринга профессионального качества за считанные секунды!