Gettng Started, Step 1: Build Your Studio
From Joe Shambro, former About.com Guide
To get started, check out this step-by-step introduction to the basics of building your own home recording studio, no matter your budget!
- The Basics of Home Recording
- Selecing An Audio Interface & Software
- Microphones 101
- Don't Forget The Accessories!
The Basics of Home Recording
A few years ago, the only way to get a listenable recording was to enter a professional recording studio and spend a lot of money to get your songs heard. As computers, recording hardware, and high-tech software decreased in price and increased exponentially in quality, it became easy to make high quality recordings at home.
It takes a little bit of time to get the hang of recording at home; you've got to learn techniques for recording and mixing, and you also have to figure out how far you'd like to go in buying new equipment. Check out these fantastic resources to get you started recording easily.
- Studio Basics - Learn The Basics of Home Recording
- Dorm Room Recording - Recording With Small Spaces (And Small Budgets)
- Setting Up Your Recording Space - All About Acoustics
- Five Studio Tips To Live By - A Guide For New Recording Engineers
Selecing An Audio Interface & Software
When you get started recording, one of your first decisions should be what audio interface and software you'll use in your home studio, if you're planning on recording straight to your computer.
The good news is that if your computer was made anytime in the last few years, it's probably ready for recording without much work! That being said, maxing out your RAM and hard drive space can't hurt. You'll need an interface -- a USB or FireWire attachment to your computer that allows you to input your microphones and instruments into your computer. You'll also need a software package to mix and edit your audio.
- Selecting Your Audio Interface
- Building a Pro Tools System - The Most Popular Recording Software & Hardware
- All About Garageband - Apple's Easiest Recording Software
- Recording Software Reviews - Learn About The Best (And Worst) Software
Now that you've selected your recording interface and software, it's time to pick up some must-have accessories: microphones.
Microphones, quite simply, are the most important part of your signal chain; getting a high-quality set of microphones to record with is really important to getting a great sound. Fortunately for home recording engineers, the price point on really high quality microphones has gone down exponentially in the last few years.
Here's some great microphone resources; finding the right microphone for your needs and budget isn't hard!
- Microphone Types: Dynamic vs. Condenser
- Five Great Mics Under $200
- Using Your Microphones: Microphone Placement Guides
- Product Reviews: Microphones
Don't Forget The Accessories!
Now that you've got everything you need to start recording, don't forget the accessories! There's a few must-haves to run a good studio, even if it's just for your own personal recordings. You'll need a few important accessories, including headphones and cables; you'll also need to figure out how you'll monitor your recordings when mixing, a huge part of producing great products. With a few quick purchases, you'll be on your way to making great quality recordings!