As an indie musician, you probably have the DIY (do it yourself) spirit, and may be interested in recording music at home. With some time, effort and a surprisingly small budget, you can absolutely see your dream of an in-home recording studio come to life. But, you’ve got to have the right equipment. But where do you begin?
Here are five must-have items for your home recording studio to help you get started:
- A Recording Device: It’s likely that the sound card in your computer will do the trick, but if you want a better sound, consider purchasing a high-quality sound card with digital audio converter (DAC), microphone pre-amps and MIDI input/output.
- Software: Once you have the device to record with, you’ll need sequencing software (like Pro Tools) on your computer that records analog audio from a microphone or MIDI data from electronic instruments. This software will allow you to edit and mix multiple tracks, add effects, and export audio files to CD.
- Microphone: It’s worth spending money on a good mic. And don’t overlook the pop filter, a small, transparent piece of piece of material that blocks noises from hitting your mic; namely, it protects the mic from hard “p” and sharp “s” sounds that you won’t want in your recording. They range in price from $10 to $40, and are well worth the money.
- Monitor speakers are important because they broadcast the audio exactly as it’s being recorded, which is the best way to be sure that your recording will sound the same way it did when you were playing it.
- Headphones are one of the most important pieces to any home recording studio. If you’re recording songs in a multi-track format, (drums, bass, keyboards, etc all separately), you’ll want to use a pair of headphones to listen to the previously recorded tracks as you lay down a new one. Good headphones will cancel out noises that interfere with recording during multitrack recording, so the only thing that’s recorded is the new track. A good pair, like the Sony MDR-7506, cost a mere $100.
There are a ton of other tools that you’ll need or want in your home recording studio, including: mic stands, cables, drum keys, acoustic wall treatments, external hard drives and much, much more. This list should give you a good starting point, and then you, as the new home studio owner, can take it from there!
Tell us what you think: What do you think are some of the most essential tools for home recording?
The SongCast Crew