Are you a budding musician who wants to construct your own recording facility? Start small, but where should you actually begin?
It’s becoming more and more typical for music producers, musicians, and even enthusiasts to have a home recording studio. The great thing about today’s recording studios is that you don’t actually need much to start making music.
With computers and plugins taking the place of studios, thousands of pieces of branded studio equipment are now more readily available and less expensive than before.
Work within your budget and be aware of your needs.
If money is scarce, you may want to adopt a minimalist strategy and purchase reasonably priced, small-sized equipment. You’re better off starting with the fundamentals as long as it accomplishes the task. However, if you have extra money to invest, you can splurge on a set of studio tools that is more advanced.
But before making a purchase, it’s crucial to establish a clear objective.
- Do you enjoy making music as a hobby?
- Or do you want to use it to support yourself full-time?
Author of the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective Individuals Stephen Covey asserts that successful people always begin with the end in mind. The kind of equipment you’ll buy will therefore depend on the purpose for which you build up your studio and how you envision it.
written down your objectives and mission? Let’s discuss the necessities for a home recording studio now.
1. A Music Production Computer (Laptop or PC)
The centre of your studio will be your computer. The majority of your work will be done on a computer, from recording to mixing to composition and arrangement. In general, a laptop or desktop computer powered by a Core i5 processor and having at least 16GB of RAM is a decent place to start.
Should I Produce Music on a Mac or Windows Computer?
Purchase a laptop for music creation if:
- On the go recording and songwriting are your plans.
- Want to play, DJ, etc. using the same laptop that you use for music production.
- producing music as a pastime.
- You don’t intend to record elaborate and expansive cinematic scores.
Purchase a desktop computer for music creation if:
- You want to set up a recording studio.
- To create larger scores or songs, you’ll need a higher powerful CPU.
- Budget-conscious and willing to give up mobility.
- aspire to pursue a career as a music producer.
- choose upgradeability for the future.
- Obviously, depending on your demands, there are different justifications for choosing a laptop or computer.
In contrast to a laptop, you’ll nearly always get more years out of a custom music production PC. Additionally, faster storage drives (SSDs), more RAM, and a faster CPU are your allies when it comes to computers for recording and producing.
However, in my experience and as a supporter of mobile music creation, the majority of producers are able to create quality music without the aid of supercomputers.
a few machines for music production to give you an idea.
- Get an Apple computer, such as the Macbook, if you have the funds to do so and wish to use a DAW like Logic Pro. The Macbook Pro is popular with DJs and music producers. I enjoy it because of its dependability and Core Audio, the built-in Mac digital audio infrastructure.
- The PC Audio Labs You’re probably better off having a custom-built PC that is made for music creation rather than purchasing off-the-shelf PCs. PC Audio Labs’ engineers build some fairly good machines for music creation.
2. Choosing a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
The programme you use for recording, editing, mixing, and producing music is known as your DAW.
A free DAW called Garageband is already included with Mac computers. Then, for $199, you can upgrade to the full edition of Logic Pro X, one of the most comprehensive DAWs on the market and a popular choice among music producers.
Again, your needs and objectives will determine which DAW you choose. With so many options, let me to provide some clarification:
Dependability and Assistance
Select a DAW with dependable updates and support. Selecting DAWs with a large community of engaged users is beneficial. This is helpful because, whenever you run into a problem, you can nearly always locate a forum on the internet where the solution is posted.
Strong communities like these exist for DAW manufacturers like Presonus Studio One and Reaper. Additionally, the business continuously incorporates new features requested by users into the DAW.
DAWs that work across platforms
Using DAWs that are compatible with both Windows and Mac these days pays off (and sometimes Linux). This creates more chances for collaboration with other music producers worldwide who might be using different computer operating systems.
If you were to have a dual OS setup in your home studio, it would be best for you to use a cross-platform DAW like Studio One and Reaper.
Whether you like it or not, working in “industry-standard DAWs like Pro Tools or Steinberg Nuendo” will occasionally be required if you work professionally with music, especially in broadcast audio. Being a producer that is proficient with Pro Tools pays off.
Apart from that, I’d advise you to test out a few DAWs to get a feel for producing with them before choosing one. See if the UI is user-friendly and if it makes it easier for you to create music. Are the supplied instruments, plugins, and effects sufficient for your production requirements?
Here are a few brief suggestions for new DAW users:
- Get Logic Pro if you use a Mac, without a doubt. At $199, it is the most comprehensive DAW.
- Reaper is a cheap and versatile programme that works with Windows, Macs, and Linux.
- Studio One by PreSonus Studio One is a fantastic DAW to start learning with and is only $99.95.
- Producers of electronic music should use FL Studio. It began as “fun” software but has since evolved into a serious DAW with a full sequencer, arranger, and other features.
- The “staple” of electronic music and DJing is Ableton Live.
Industry-recognized DAW for broadcast, commercial recording, mixing, and mastering is Pro Tools.
- Steeper learning curve with Cubase. However, it is a very reliable DAW and appears to be the preferred choice for many creators of music and cinema.
3. An Audio Interface
Imagine the audio interface as an external soundcard that you may connect to to record analogue audio from instruments and microphones into digital audio on your computer. An audio interface is necessary for high-quality audio mixing and recording because it contains better analog-to-digital (ADC) and digital-to-analog (DAC) converters.
If you want to record anything, including live performances, guitars, vocals, and guitar amps, you’ll need an audio interface.
Having a dedicated audio interface will help you with shorter audio latencies even if you don’t intend to record, especially if you utilise a lot of virtual instruments and plug-ins on your DAW.
The top three considerations when choosing an audio interface are as follows:
- How many inputs and outputs will there be? Are you going to record a band? Consider how many inputs you typically require when recording. I often advise buying a 2-in/2-out audio interface as a bare minimum.
- Computer connectivity: Although FireWire, Thunderbolt, and PCI-card audio interfaces are available, USB is the most often used audio interface link. For those just starting out, pick a USB-C (USB3.0) audio interface because it provides quicker speeds and thus lower latencies.
- Phantom Power: Check that the audio interface you purchase has pre-amps with phantom power if you intend to record with condenser mics. Although it is a standard for the majority of audio interfaces, it still pays to check before you buy.
Several well-liked audio interfaces for newcomers are:
- Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen) – The Focusrite Scarlett series is a well-liked option for many music producers thanks to its high-quality preamps, which include the new ‘AIR’ function that adds “silver” to your recordings.
- This USB-powered audio interface has two ins and two outs, a mic preamp, a single instrument input, and a number of included Mac and PC software applications.
- 96-channel PreSonus AudioBox USB A reliable 2-in/2-out audio interface, MIDI I/O, and a free copy of Presonus Studio One Artist DAW are all included for less than $100. a serious matter.
- Looking to learn more about suggested audio interfaces? See our article on the Top 10 Audio Interfaces We Recommend For Serious Music Production.
5. A Microphone
Depending on the recording you intend to do, you could purchase a variety of microphones for your studio.
On the other hand, if you can only afford one microphone, I’d advise investing your cash in a reliable condenser one, like the Rode NT1-A.
But everybody advises getting the Shure SM57!
Yes, the Shure SM57 is a fantastic dynamic microphone, primarily due to its outstanding versatility for capturing many instruments. Additionally, because of its higher SPL level, it is better suited for capturing loud sounds like drums.
However, a dynamic microphone can never produce a vocal that sounds as luscious and full as one recorded with a large-diaphragm condenser microphone.
Due to its rich, warm tone, a condenser microphone sounds more broadcast-ready. Voice-overs, cosy voices, and acoustic instruments like violins and guitars can all be recorded for your tunes.
Generally speaking, a condenser microphone is a fantastic place to start because you can use it for more audio and music tasks.
Do USB microphones count?
The convenience of USB microphones is their sole benefit. It is therefore perfect for those who regularly host online conferences, seminars, or live streaming.
But as a musician or music producer, I’d advise choosing XLR microphones. Consider purchasing microphones as a wise investment. They will last you a lifetime if you take good care of them.
How to pick the ideal microphone for your recording studio
The reality is that every microphone has a unique sound character, and that character translates differently for various instruments and vocalists.
An MXL 770 microphone, for instance, is ideal for recording male rap or raspy female voices. However, recording the same vocals with a Rode NT1-A gives male raps greater depth and female vocals more sibilance.
What you intend to capture will also influence the kind of microphone you should purchase. In general, dynamic microphones are preferable for recording percussion while condenser mics are frequently utilised to record vocalists and single instruments like an acoustic guitar.
The best method to choose a microphone for your studio is to try it out anytime you can in a real music store. Naturally, not everyone has the opportunity to test microphones at their neighbourhood music retailer, so here is what I advise instead:
Just buy one microphone, and use it for hours.
I prefer to approach microphones from an artistic perspective rather than focusing over picking the “perfect” microphone.
Make as many recordings with your new microphone as you can after purchasing it. Try out various microphone positions, methods, and equipment. You’ll eventually start to become familiar with its traits and tone. Take use of that by imaginatively adapting its sound to your work.
You’ll eventually outgrow the microphone and start to have the itch to try a different one. Simply repeat the procedure after that by purchasing a new microphone with a different character.
I suggest the following basic studio microphones:
X1 A by SE Electronics
– The X1 A will take beginners a long way for just $104! I actually employ one at work. The mic has a natural frequency response, can withstand 150dB of very high SPLs, and is equipped with a low-cut filter and switchable attenuation. This is the one mic that can be used to capture vocals, acoustic instruments, percussion, and electric guitars.
– This $70 condenser mic, one of the most cost-effective options available, has a sturdy carrying case and a complimentary shock mount. This versatile microphone will give you that cosy sound without sacrificing top-end clarity.
A Rode NT1
– You can buy one of the most popular mics used by musicians, studio owners, and singers if you’re seeking for a complete package. Although Rode mics cost a little more, they are always a good investment.
A pop filter, shock mount, 20-inch microphone cable, carrying pouch, and the Rode NT1-A are all included.
Pro Tools Home Studio Setup:
For a good home studio setup, you simply need the following eight essential pieces of equipment:
- Sound Interface.
- Cord for a microphone.
- Standing microphone
- Shield Pop.
- Monitor Speakers
- Treatment for acoustics.
How much does it cost to setup a recording studio at home?
What does a home recording studio cost, then? Depending on how modern your studio is now in terms of technology, it can cost anywhere from $500 to $20,000. You have two options for your recording studio: you can go all out and buy soundboards and synthesisers, or you can utilise a brand-new laptop with a few mics.
What recording software is best for Mac?
Some of the top Mac audio recording applications are listed below:
- Using Movavi Screen Recorder.
- Audio piracy
- Live Ableton.
- Mac audio recorder Apowersoft.
- Apple Audio Recorder
Is Mac Studio a CPU?
With a starting price of $1,999, the more cost-effective entry-level model of the Mac Studio is fitted with an Apple M1 Max chip that offers a 10-core CPU, 24-core GPU (upgradable to 32-core), 16-core Neural Engine, Media Engine, 400GB/s memory bandwidth, and up to 64GB Unified Memory.
Can you connect a Studio Display to an iMac?
Install your Studio Display’s plug into a wall outlet first. Connect the Studio Display to your Mac or iPad by connecting the provided Thunderbolt cable to the Studio Display’s Thunderbolt 3 connection on the rear.
What do you need for a beginner home studio?
- with the subsequent nine things:
- a computer
- Audio interface/DAW combination.
- Monitors for studios.
- Two or one microphone.
- Some cables.
- one mic stand
- a Pop Filter.
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