October 19, 2020

5 Basic Things You Need To Start Your Own Recording Studio

a woman recording in studio

If you are planning to set-up your first make-shift recording studio at home, then this post is for you.

Whether you want to record your own songs, voice-overs or podcasts, this post will give an insight into the basic tools-of- trade required to start recording immediately!

So without wasting any more of your precious time, let’s dive in shall we?

Now before we begin, I’m going to assume that you have a Personal computer or laptop or have access to one.

If the answer is No, then I’m going to advise that you get one as in yesterday. A PC or a Laptop is a basic requirement for home recording.

Now let’s get to the fun part. So what do you need to start a basic home recording studio?

That depends on the nature of your project, budget, and skills amongst others.

But for the purposes of this post, we will stick to the basics.

The following items are just some (Not all) of the tools that can help you capture high-quality professional recordings!

  • Audio Interface
  • Microphone
  • Monitors
  • Stand
  • DAW

AUDIO INTERFACE

An audio interface is basically another name for an external soundcard. This is one of the most important tools required to capture high-quality recordings.

In most cases, some beginners try to bypass this by connecting a microphone directly to the PC internal soundcard instead.

But this usually leads to disappointing results because the audio quality is usually average or poor.

recording studio diagram
Basic Recording Set-Up using a audio interface

If budget is a huge concern for you, then there is another way.

You can purchase a 48V phantom power.

Say you have a basic standard external computer sound, then you can connect this to the phantom power and still manage to achieve above-average audio quality.

Recording Studio set up using phantom power
Basic Recording Studio Set-Up using a Phantom Power

MICROPHONE

It goes without saying that you need a microphone to record vocals. But not any mic.

A condenser microphone is recommended for studio recordings and broadcasting purposes.

These types of microphones usually require 48 Voltage power (from the audio interface or Phantom Power) in order to function.

But USB Microphones are also popular because the audio interface is built-in! The connection is direct-to-pc/laptop, that’s it.

Before making any purchase, make sure you check the features and reviews of the product.

A podcast equipment Kit includes a condenser microphone, a pop filter, a boom arm, a shock mount, a cable and a phantom power (in some cases)! How cool is that?

Microphone connected to audio interface and laptop
Image courtsey of Alctron

MONITORS

Monitors can be quite pricey. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find high-quality budget monitors. Reference monitors are speakers specifically designed for recording studios.

The sound is usually raw, which allows you to hear the details of your recordings and make adjustments. Normal Hi-Fi speakers don’t allow you to do that because the sound is “complete” and crisp.

However, for most people starting out, a good pair of reference monitors might turn out to be costly. If that is the case, monitor headphones are an alternative. You can basically get the same results at a fraction of the price.

STAND

There are different types of microphone stands such as the floor standing, desktop, and studio boom arm stand.

For recording artists a floor stand is the preferred option; for podcasts or voice-overs, a desktop stand or studio boom arm is recommended.

However there’s no hard and fast rule, it’s a matter of preference. Your studio set-up will determine the type of stand you go for.

DAW

DAW is the acronym for Digital Audio Workstation. Just in case you are confused, this is another term for recording software.

You need software to capture the vocals and audio. There are different kinds of software packages for music production and recording.

In most cases, these software packages have the same or similar features. Don’t try to test and use different packages at the same time.
Pick one (preferably user-friendly), learn it and stick with it.

Pick one (preferably user-friendly), learn it and stick with it.

Of course, a home studio wouldn’t be complete without accessories. You need additional items such as a pop filter, Canon cables and a mic shield (not mandatory though).

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CONCLUSION

This is not a complete list but if you have these five basic tools, you can launch your studio in no time. You can upgrade your set-up as you progress, it is up to you.

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