How to Build a Home Recording Studio
Making a recording studio in your home or bedroom is not very difficult. Your biggest obstacle will be having enough money to purchase the equipment, but it may not be as expensive as you would expect. In this article I will outline the steps you need to take to make a room into a digital recording studio.
Choose a Computer The first thing you want to do is purchase a reliable computer that is efficient enough to handle intense recording sessions. There are a number of computers on the market that can fit this requirement. Some are made specifically for music production, while others may be intended as personal computers. It really doesn't matter which type you choose, just as long as it has a fast processing speed and enough memory. I recommend a computer that has at least a 2.8ghz processor. Dell and Hewlett Packard make many computers that fit in this category. I personally use a Music XPC Professional C4, which has processing speeds faster than 3.0. It's very reliable, so if you have the money to spend, you may want to consider this particular brand.
Software and Hardware Once you choose a computer, you will need to decide which software or hardware you will need. This is mostly based on preference. Some people may only need software, while others will prefer to have hardware. Different computer programs have different purposes, while some all serve the same purpose but fit different user preferences. I personally use FL Studio to make digital music, then I use Pro Tools to record vocals or instruments. Other people may choose to use Sony Acid, Sound Forge, or Audacity to record vocals. There are many different programs out there for producing and recording music. Some of the most well known ones that I haven't mentioned yet are Nuendo, Garage Band, Cubase, and Hydrogen. What you choose is entirely up to you. My advice is maybe to try out a few programs or hardware until you find something you are comfortable with.
Microphone Next, you should consider a reliable microphone if you intend to record vocals. There are many different types of microphones which all have different purposes. In my opinion, a condenser microphone is best for home and studio recording. The more money you have to spend, the better quality you will find in microphones as you shop for mics in the higher price ranges. However, you can find a pretty decent microphone for around $100 to $200 if you're on a budget. My recommendation for those on a budget is the Audio Technica Digital Reference DR-CX1 Cardoid Condenser. I've used this microphone for some time without any problems. Very reliable and has a pretty good sound to it.
Preamp After you purchase a mic, you will probably need a preamp. Your average studio microphone requires power to work, and a preamp is needed. With the type I have, the Audio Technica one, phantom power is needed for the microphone to work. I can't just plug it in to a computer and expect it to work, it needs a power boost. So for this, I use the Audio Buddy by M-Audio. The Audio Buddy kills 2 birds with 1 stone. What I mean by that is that the Audio Buddy not only serves as a phantom power source, but is also a preamp. If you're using recording hardware with your computer, such as Pro Tools, then it may already come with a preamp.
Soundproofing a Room The last step will be to soundproof a room. This is not entirely necessary, but it can help your recordings sound much more polished and clear because soundproofing a room not only keeps sounds out, but often provides acoustics to vocals and instruments that help them sound better once recorded. I'm sure you've heard about people using cupholders to soundproof a room, as this method was made famous in the movie Hustle n Flow. This way of doing things can suffice, but is not recommended. There are a number of websites on the internet where you can find foam to soundproof a room, as well as instructions. But like I said, it's not entirely necessary for a recording studio to be soundproofed, but it can add a touch of professionalism to your recordings.
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