How many people dream of having a home studio?
Most of the population.
How many actually achieve that dream?
Well, with our 4 simple steps, you can easily achieve that dream.
You have been living and breathing music your entire life. You have probably recorded some of your music, be it on your own laptop or at a recording studio but wouldn’t it be better if you had a studio in your own home which you could use whenever you wanted?
With a home studio, you are free to create your music, when you want, and however you want.
You can spend as much time in there as you like without having to worry about the costs or booking times. You are king or queen of your own musical world.
It is also pretty sweet to tell people that you have your own home studio.
So, how exactly do you achieve this dream?
Step 1. Choose A Room
Yeah, before you even start to buy your equipment, you need a room to put it all in. Think about which rooms you can use in your home. That is your long list. Now, whittle that down until you only have one room left. That is the room which you will use for your recording studio.
What To Look For In A Room?
Some rooms are better for recording than others, and there are some things to think about when choosing, so choose carefully.
You need space — generally, the bigger the room, the more space you have for your equipment and bandmates. The more space you have, the more you can strut around and perform when you are recording, and we all know that it is the performance which really sells the lyrics.
Of course, you should also know that the bigger the room, the more you will have to spend on soundproofing if you want to soundproof the room. Which leads us onto…
If you are going to soundproof a room (check out our guide here), then the larger the room, the more it is going to cost.
Noise can make a real difference if you are recording, and modern mics can pick up the smallest noises. If you do not have the money to soundproof a room, then you need to think about the room with the least noise.
Which room is furthest from street noise? Plumbing? Weather? Birds? Other animals? Kids? Take a walk around each possible room and really listen to what is going on in there. Choose the room with the least noise.
You want your music to sound as great as it can, and that means the best acoustics. If you have multiple rooms without outside noise, then choose the one which makes your music sound the best.
Ideally, you want a room with high ceilings, lots of space, and irregular walls — the less symmetrical the room, the better. Now, finding a room like that in a house can be difficult, so choose the one which best fits the description.
Step 2. Clear The Room
Once you have found the perfect room, you need to clear it out. You are going to be adding equipment and people to the room, so the more space you have, the better.
This is the simplest step on our list. Once you have found your room, clear out anything which can be cleared out.
Step 3. Add Your Equipment
This is the step which may set you back the most amount of money (unless you are soundproofing the room). You might have some equipment already, or you may have to buy it all. We always recommend buying quality over quantity. Start with great equipment, and you will not have to upgrade.
So, what equipment do you need?
1. A Laptop Or Computer
This can be one of the biggest expenses, as you want something which can handle large audio files, and probably video files at some point.
You probably already have a laptop or computer, so feel free to start out with that and upgrade if it is giving you problems.
If you are in the market for something powerful and with speed, then we recommend the MacBook Pro, though there are many other options out there too.
2. Audio Software/Hardware
You want some type of software which can handle the recording process, and you also want the hardware which can interface between your laptop and the recording equipment. So, what do you go for?
Again, there are many options out there, but we recommend buying both together. Not only does this guarantee that the software and hardware are compatible, but it saves you money too.
Many companies will ship the software with the hardware or offer you a deal when you buy both together. Shop around for one you like but, if you are in doubt, then you cannot go wrong with Pro Tools.
3. Recording Equipment
To record your audio and music, you need a great microphone. This is definitely one place where you should not skimp. Cheaper mics will detract from the audio, and what you record will not be as high-quality as it should.
One or two mics will get you started, and the longer you have your recording studio, the more mics you will amass.
Look for a large diaphragm condenser mic for vocals and a small diaphragm condenser mic for everything else.
One pair of headphone will be fine to start with, and you might add more as your recording studio expands and more and more people use it.
This is another piece of equipment where you should buy quality. You want to hear the audio exactly as it is presented.
Once you have started to amass your equipment, you need the cables to connect everything. This is one thing which is often overlooked, and it can be annoying to have to make multiple trips out to get them.
Plan ahead and know exactly what cables you need. Cables can get expensive as the quality goes up, but you should be able to start with regular cables and not notice any difference in your recordings.
You have your mic but do you have a mic stand? If you like to stand and sing, then that is something which you will need. A mic stand need not be expensive. As long as it holds the mic in place, then it will be fine when you are starting out.
What about filters?
Filters can remove any popping in vocals, along with other things in the music. This may not need to be something you need to buy initially, but it is something to think about for a later date.
No home studio is complete without being comfortable and stylish. Do you want to sit on the floor or a hard chair? A comfy couch can do wonders for those who are waiting to record.
What about the walls? Do you want to stare at bare walls? Put up posters of those who inspire you, photos of the band, or pictures of your last gig.
You might be in a room with no windows. Add in some plants to lighten the room and add in some much-needed oxygen to what is sure to become a dark, sweaty place.
Make the recording studio like a second home, and you will want to be in there more.
Oh, and don’t forget the mini-fridge for drinks and snacks.
Step 4. Arrange
Your room is selected, cleared, and then filled with equipment. Before you begin to record, now is a great time to ensure that everything is set up in a way which makes sense and makes it easier to record your music.
The Benefits Of Two Work Stations
You want everything within reach and for it to be accessed easily. You can do this, but it makes sense to split your equipment in two unless you are only a solo artist without much equipment.
You should split your area into a mixing area and a recording area.
You need a good desk. All of your recording equipment should fit on your desk, and we would even recommend purchasing an extra monitor to hook up to your computer or laptop to better manage the recordings.
If your room is large enough, then the desk can never be too big.
A good desk deserves a good chair too. The chair should be comfortable and ergonomic. You are going to be spending a lot of time in the chair, so be sure that it can support your back adequately.
Set up your desk so that all of the recording equipment can be reached easily.
If you are a solo artist, then you will want to keep your instruments close to your recording station to stop you from having to go and back and forth all of the time. But, if you have multiple band members, you will want to separate them.
What if you have both?
Well, you can choose one of those two options depending on your needs, or you could go for a hybrid set up. If you set up a remote at the recording station, you can start and end recordings, and control some of the recordings, without having to move back and forth to the mixing area. This will allow you to work solo or in a group without having to change any work stations.
Of course, the best way to set up the room is the way which works best for you.
Four simple steps. That is all it takes to create a home studio. There are some steps which will take a little longer than others and, if you have no equipment, you may have to invest some money, but a home studio is achievable.
Start small. You only need a few pieces of equipment to start recording, and then you can start to build from there.
Don’t worry, as long as you have a room where you are recording; you can still tell people that you have a home studio.