Home studio essentials should include a sturdy microphone stand, pop filter to reduce vocal plosives and high quality cables – cheap ones may cause unwanted background noise or cause the microphone to distort sound quality.
As well as needing a computer and audio interface, production software such as DAW (digital audio workstation) will also be essential in creating your music.
An essential piece of equipment for any home studio is a microphone. While a fully fledged professional studio will possess many more, starting off can be done with just one or two. A reliable workhorse mic such as the Shure SM57 or Audio Technica AT4040 should work great when recording vocals and most instruments in addition to needing various accessories like pop filters, stands and balanced XLR cables for your recording sessions.
Rode NT1-A condenser mic is an affordable solution that’s great for recording almost anything, thanks to its versatile nature and require for power (phantom power) from something such as an audio interface or mic preamp.
Electro-Voice RE20 ribbon mics are widely acclaimed and found in top studios and radio stations around the world, due to their warmer tone. Ribbon mics offer incredible vocal detail as well as picking up string instrument sound very effectively.
Finally, headphones will come in very handy when recording. These are designed specifically for use with audio interfaces and will enable you to concentrate solely on what’s being recorded without being affected by external factors or speakers in the room.
An excellent pair of headphones will also prove essential in monitoring situations where you must listen to what’s coming through your monitors. When shopping for nearfield active models, make sure they feature flat response – they should not produce hyped highs or lows when used in small spaces – to provide accurate listening experience.
Finding a pair of headphones suitable for home studio use is essential. To achieve optimal results, they should provide long sessions while being comfortable and sound quality are crucial components of success when mixing. Durability and fold-ability should also be important considerations when purchasing headphones for use at home studios.
There is an array of headphones on the market, so choosing the appropriate type for your needs is of utmost importance. Some are better designed for listening to music while others excel at mixing. Open-back headphones are great for mixing as they allow you to hear all audio sources surrounding you; however, public use may make these noisy; therefore closed-back models provide greater isolation from external noise sources and recording instruments more effectively.
Focal Utopia headphones are one of the best headphones designed for mixing. Engineered specifically with mixing in mind, their massive 56mm drivers encased in steel provide ample sound pressure while the over-sized ear cups ensure comfort during long listening sessions. Furthermore, these premium headphones boast crisp highs, deep bass levels, natural soundstage reproduction and clear high/low transitions for an engaging audio experience.
Audio-Technica’s ATH-M50x headphones provide another excellent choice for mixing. The soft cushioned ear cups and adjustable headband allow for customized fit; plus these flat frequency response headphones have an amazing soundstage and are extremely comfortable over long periods of use.
While headphones can be found online and in stores, it’s essential that you know exactly what type of pair you are searching for before making your selection. Make sure the budget allows and the features are present that meet your requirements; keep options open by keeping an eye out for deals when available.
Addition of a midi controller to your home studio can provide a tangible advantage, helping to streamline productions while expanding workflow and add depth. These controllers often come equipped with additional controls like knobs, faders, touch strips and pads that can be assigned for specific functions within DAW as well as parameters of virtual instruments or effects plugins.
There is a range of midi controllers designed for home studio use that feature various key sizes and styles to meet the specific needs and space constraints of any individual home studio space. Many come equipped with USB connections so it’s easy to plug it in and start producing music instantly; some models such as Novation Launchkey specifically target Ableton Live; however most are compatible with major DAWs such as Cubase.
Most midi controllers feature a modulation wheel that allows users to alter various characteristics of their sound, including vibrato (a characteristic that changes pitch depending on how hard you press a note) – making your tracks come alive! Artists typically utilize this wheel when adding vibrato, creating emotion and life within their tracks by adding vibrato.
Add a MIDI controller to your studio, and you’ll gain the ability to create beats and melodies in real-time instead of relying on prerecorded sequences or templates. Working more tactilely allows home producers to avoid digital modifications that often make the sounds uninteresting or synthetic; with modern MIDI controllers offering so many features you’ll easily be able to find something suitable that meets both your requirements and the budget constraints of their studio.
An audio interface is essential to home studio production, providing access to microphones, instruments and studio monitors while relieving strain from your computer’s sound card and improving its performance. Audio interfaces offer superior analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion as well as features tailored specifically for music production such as headphone outputs that enable you to work on mixes in headphones without picking up distracting sounds from computer speakers.
Many audio interfaces come equipped with XLR inputs and combi-jacks, which can accommodate microphones as well as line level gear like electric guitars. Many interfaces also offer headphone outputs – an indispensable feature when monitoring during recording sessions – because using quality headphones makes for much more effective monitoring than simply using computer speakers alone. Some more expensive interfaces even feature multiple headphone outputs so you can send different mixes directly to individual headphones sets.
No matter the budget of your home studio, there are affordable solutions available. It is key that you select one which meets both current and future production needs and future growth potential.
Once your home studio setup is functional, you may feel an irresistible urge to add more gear. While purchasing new equipment can be exciting and fulfilling, it’s essential that existing gear be organized and in good condition to prevent becoming bogged down with cables and hardware and make finding what you need easier when working on projects.
No longer must you visit a professional studio to record your ideas; all that is needed now is a personal computer with DAW (digital audio workstation) software installed to get going. There are various DAW options available so it is essential that you choose one which best meets your requirements.
Most DAWs include a selection of stock plugins to provide you with a solid foundation as your skillset evolves, but for a comprehensive home studio setup you will require third-party plugins from Waves, Native Instruments or Universal Audio for greater sonic diversity and signal chains.
Steinberg’s Cubase is an industry-standard digital audio workstation (DAW), featuring in high-end professional recording studios worldwide. Packed with tools for writing/composing, editing and mixing/mastering tracks as well as providing instruments and sound effects to give your productions that extra umph!
PreSonus Studio One 6 is an advanced DAW designed to take your music from concept to completion. It provides comprehensive tools for recording, editing and mixing as well as an innovative MIDI arrangement tool which converts MIDI data to sheet notation.
FL Studio is the ideal DAW for creating pattern-based beats. Its intuitive workflow enables fast programming of drums, synths and sound effects; plus one of the largest collections of virtual instruments tailored specifically towards hip hop, EDM and R&B styles.
If you’re on a tight budget but looking to create your home studio, there are several free DAWs you can consider when selecting your DAW software. Apple’s free Logic DAW provides Mac users with an excellent DAW option; Bitwig Studio works great on PCs without top-of-the-line hardware and even allows multiple computers to collaborate as one big jam session!