So let’s talk about creating your home recording studio. So to create your studio you must consider what your budget is and what your goals are. If you are planning to record drums and or full bands then you would need a much more expensive studio. If you are planning for vocals or guitars only then you won’t need to spend to much. In this case we will talk about a small home recording studio for Guitars, Keyboards and Vocals. We will not cover instruments. However we will discus microphones and setup. So here are the basic components that you will need.

    1. PC or MAC – Your computer and operating system will be important to ensure you have enough processing power to handle recording, mixing and mastering. This may not be something you have to much of choice in so what you will have to do is ensure that the DAW Software can be run effectively on your computer.
    2. DAW or Digital Audio Workstation is a hardware device or software app used for composing, producing, recording, mixing and editing audio like music, speech and sound effects. DAWs facilitate the mixing of multiple sound sources (tracks) on a time-based grid. We are going to focus in on computer software DAWs. There are many choices today to choose from. Their cost can range from nothing to 1000’s of dollars. Most of them work basically the same way. My personal favorite is Mixcraft by Acoustica®. They have two versions available right now. Mixcraft 8 Recording studio for $89.00 and Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio for $179.00.
    3. Audio Interface: You will need an audio interface to connect your instruments / Microphones to your DAW / Computer. Behringer has an inexpensive interfaces. The Behringer XENYX 302USB Mixer around $49.00. The video below gives you all the information on this mixer.

The Focusrite Scarlett Solo 2nd Generation USB Audio Interface is another affordable solution at $99.00. Both come with DAW Software. With the Scarlett Solo USB audio interface, your recordings will sound just how you want them to. Plug straight in to record your guitar and vocal simultaneously on independent channels so they can be mixed separately. The super-low latency* brings confidence to your performance, letting you record and monitor with software effects in real time. Connect your headphones and home speakers or studio monitors, turn up the volume and totally immerse yourself in sound.

    1. Kits: There is also a nice recording package that I found: Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio 2nd Generation Recording Package which includes: (Around $199.00)
      • Scarlett Solo (2nd Gen) USB audio interface
      • CM25 large diaphragm condenser microphone
      • HP60 closed-back headphones
      • 3 metre / 10′ XLR mic cable
      • Stand clip, for attaching the microphone to a stand
      • Bundle code for your free software
    2. I did an earlier blog on What Microphone Should I Buy?, but it is so important to ensure you have a great sounding microphone. This is an area that can become difficult. The reason is that different vocals will sound better in different microphones. Some voices will sound great with a microphone costing 99.00 and sound worse on a $2000.00 microphone. I recommend starting off with a low cost good quality condenser microphone. I would suggest a price range around $100 for you microphone. The MXL 770 Vocal Condenser Microphone at $99.95 is a great choice. Make sure you get a pop filter to go along with your new microphone no mater which one you purchase. This microphone comes with a case and a shock mount. Below you can hear the quality of this microphone. I do like the warmth of this microphone.

      If you notice in the video you can see the pop filter and the distance she stays away from the microphone. When you get to close to the microphone if your head turns as your singing it will make the volume go up and down and will require careful compression when mixing the vocals to ensure smoothness in your recording. Further away will help keep the volume the same although you will still require compression on your vocals.
    3. Headphone and Studio Monitors. This is an area that can get expensive. When your mixing and mastering your tracks you need quality speakers and headphones. These headphones will be needed for the vocalist. You can use one set for both. I really like the KRK headphones and would recommend the KRK KNS8400 Closed Back Studio Headphone but they are around 150.00. They are comfortable and their strength is that when utilized they replicate music as it should be heard. They also have an inline volume control which really helps.Studio Monitors: There are two basic types Passive Unpowered and Active Powered. While many use the terms powered/active and unpowered/passive interchangeably, they are not actually the same thing, although they definitely go hand in hand most of the time. When someone mentions a speaker as being powered or unpowered, they are referring to whether or not it has a built-in power amplifier. As for active and passive, that refers to the type of crossover system used. So before you purchase Active/Powered ensure your audio interface supports those monitors! KRK is the brand that I like but they start at 270.00 a pair. M-Audio AV32 Powered Studio Monitors are about 99.00. The reviews seem to be from 4.5 to 5 star reviews though my research. I researched and found a good video online about the monitors.

I did want to recommend that I only go to one place online to get my equipment. American Musical Supply because of the great customer experience I have had and also because they have credit for 3, 5, 8 and 12 month payment plans.

So I did some looking for equipment packages and at American Musical they have a complete Studio Recording Bundle. $299.00.

PreSonus Studio One 3 Recording Bundle Features

  • AudioBox iTwo bus-powered USB/iPad audio and MIDI interface with cable
    • 24-bit resolution, up to 96 kHz sampling rate
    • 2 combo mic/line/instrument inputs
    • 48V phantom power for M7 condenser microphone
    • Balanced stereo line outputs for monitor speakers
    • Powerful headphone output with independent level control
    • Zero-latency monitoring via internal mixer
  • Capture Duo recording software for iPad
    • Simple, intuitive, mobile recording solution for Apple iPad
    • Records two stereo tracks at up to 24-bit, 96 kHz
    • One-tap recording
    • Direct wireless transfer of sessions to PreSonus Studio One
    • Editing functions include cut, copy, paste, split, and duplicate
    • Works with any MFi-compatible (iPad) interface, including the internal iPad microphone and PreSonus AudioBox iOne and iTwo
  • Studio One 3 Artist recording and production software (DAW)
    • Elegant single-window work environment
    • Powerful drag-and-drop functionality
    • Unlimited audio tracks, MIDI tracks, virtual instruments, buses, and FX channels
    • Easily configures to PreSonus AudioBox iTwo interface
    • 28 Native Effects 32-bit effects and 4 virtual instrument plug-ins
    • 6+ GB of third-party resources
    • Compatible with Mac and Windows
  • Eris E4.5 Active Studio Monitors
  • M7 large-diaphragm studio condenser microphone
  • Nimbit Free account to distribute and sell your music

I hope this helps to give you ideas for equipment for your home studio. In the next blog we will discuss The Setup of Your Home Recording Studio.