The advancement of technology and the capabilities within digital music not only allows for various sounds and formats to be available, but is also creating a space where musicians can be recording at home for themselves at the drop of a dime. If you are ready to record, you can set up a space that works for what you need and start moving towards getting your sounds on CD. Following are some of the must haves to get your recording studio up and recording.
Software and a computer. There are several choices that are available with software, but you want to make sure that you have it. This is the brain center of your recording studio and will do more for you and your music than anything else. With your computer, also make sure that you have much memory (RAM), hard drive space, and power that can easily store and keep up with the recordings. Oh yeah, a decent sound card never hurts either.
Foam. One of the most important parts of your recording studio is to make sure that it is soundproof. It’s easy for your instruments or voices to bounce off the wall, causing an echo when you record. Recording foam will deaden the sound and allow you to record what you need without the bounce back. Keep in mind that, depending on the room size and the acoustics, you may not have to foam the entire room.
Mixer. To get the sounds from the instruments into the computer, this is your tool. Make sure that you have enough inputs and outputs to record all the instruments that you want at once.
Preamps. If you want some good sound, don’t just plug your instruments into the mixer. Instead, you should get preamps into the mix. This will allow for instruments, such as guitars and basses, to keep their best sound, then go into the mix board. For example, if you want a bass to have a certain resonance, you can set it up on the preamp, without it changing the main sound of the guitar, as it would if they were both plugged into the mix board.
Monitors. You will need special speakers for after the recording to make sure that you have everything set together right. Monitors will help you to hear both the high and lows of your recording and make sure that it all blends correctly. Some prefer headphones over monitors; however, if you choose this option, make sure that they are recording headphones, designed in the same way as monitors.
Microphone Equipment. It would be nice if you could just set up a regular microphone for recording, but it doesn’t work that easily. You will need to get a recording microphone, which will catch all the sounds from the voice on every side. Attached to the microphone should be a popper, which will stop the hard consonants from recording and muffling the recording.
Compressor. This is an option for recording, but shouldn’t be overlooked. This is specifically used for vocals, and allows the waves in the voice to not reach certain peaks. Instead, it is compressed to equal the rest of the waves. You can then adjust the voice to match the other instrumentation as you go.
Starting with this equipment will allow you to have the basic boosts that you need to cut your first recordings. Of course, you can always add in extra equipment, or take away other equipment, but with the above, you can get a good start to a basic and complete home recording studio.