One of the best recent developments for independent artists is the improved ease, quality, and affordability of home recordings. No matter the amount you have to invest into your recording studio there are certain basics that you need to think about and components of the studio that are needed.
Audio Interface How you get the sound into your computer is the first thing to think for your studio. You need to understand how many inputs you have and the quality of your audio-to-digital converter. Also, if you want to go super simple on audio interface there are now products like Blue Microphone’s Icicle USB Converter, which enables you to directly plug an XLR microphone into your computer through the USB port.
Listening To record and master the music in your studio you to be able to hear an accurate representation of the sound. Now of course you don’t have $15,000 to spend on earth shattering monitors like professional studios but understanding basic sound dynamics and equipment can go a long way in getting that sound right.
Quality Recording This entails high quality microphones and music production platform. There is a whole gang of music recording platforms; the most widely used are ProTools, Cubase, Logic, and Cakewalk. My advice is to look into all of them a little bit and see which you produce. But, they all are used to record and produce music.
In a recent article in Billboard Magazine they did the math on what you need to get if you’re building a home studio with between $1000 and $5000. These are the packages they suggested for a quality home recording.
The $1000 Studio
The recommended audio interface is the Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 which costs $249.99. Get at least two microphones and keep in mind that interfaces that cost less than $250 rarely have more than one input.
For condenser mics get either the Blue Spark (which costs $199.99) or Sterling AudioST55 (also $199.99).
For dynamic microphones, the Sennheiser E609 is a great one for about $100. This mic can be used for a variety of instruments and even vocals.
Shure SRH440 are great headphones if you don’t have the liberty to blare your speakers 24/7 in your parents basements. But headphones are also valuable so that all the band members can hear how the levels of music sound in the recording mix.
The $5000 Studio
Now obviously this is a bit heftier of an investment but if you have the cabbage you will be able to build a home recording studio with incredible quality.
Audio Interface-Apogee Ensemble, $1,995
Studio Monitors-Adam A7X, $1,399.99
Condenser Microphone-Neumann TLM102, $699.99
Dynamic Microphone-Shure E609, $99.99
Headphones-Shure SRH840, $199.99
The final note I would add in getting your equipment and setting up the studio is that you can never underestimate the power of getting a music engineer to help out with the process. When one of roommates set up our home studio he had a buddy of ours who was a music engineer help with the whole process. Now if you can’t find an actual music engineer get someone to help who has a good sense of sound dynamics. The thing most people do not realize is that getting a quality sound is as much a science as it is an art. Happy recordings music fam.