Music studio equipment can get really high priced really fast. I’m differentiating here between just any home recording studio, and one that exclusively is established for recording and producing music. In case you are a voice over actor or podcaster exclusively, you will get by with considerably less in the form of studio gear. Musicians will almost definitely be needing, and hence, paying, more.
But that doesn’t mean you need to go broke. Remember my goal in creating these articles has become that will help you create the highest quality audio for your lowest amount of cash, and that is still true for your folks recording music within their home studio.
In order to make this short article optimally applicable for the most folks, my example is going to be one or two people creating music over a computer using multitrack recording and audio editing tools. Things get pretty variable and other when you start referring to full bands or orchestras. I’m also planning to assume for this example that this musicians already have the musical instruments that might be on the recordings. Oh, and I also assume anyone recording includes a computer…pretty much any computer made during the last 10 years can do.
Okay, so the basics are these: you play in the music, which undergoes a microphone and then into a computer, which converts the sound into computer files that may be heard and manipulated from your audio software. See?! How hard is the fact that? Alright, yes. It may be helpful to have a somewhat more information.
Let’s start with the initial piece of music studio equipment you might not have, the Microphone Boom Stand. Let’s also say you are a guitarist and singer. Ultimately I might recommend two different kinds of microphones here, one to your guitar (acoustic for your example) then one for the voice. But let’s talk minimums here. We’ll choose one microphone, a large diaphragm condenser (side-address) of the USB ilk. At this particular fabulous reason for time probably the most bang-for-the-buck you will get in audio recording is a USB microphone. They cost a lot less than their traditional cousins, and they also don’t need a special computer interface or microphone preamplifier. Just plug it in your computer and go. You can utilize exactly the same mic for your guitar as for your voice, as we will be recording one part at a time. Guitar first, then singing, etc. You only need one mic for that.
So what other hardware do you need? Uh, well let’s see. Something to hold your mic while you play guitar is about the only other thing you’ll need. If your USB mic didn’t already come with one, you can a mic stand from your local music store for affordable. Heck, if you wish to you can duct-tape your mic to your desk or simply set one over a pillow over a chair or something.
In case we’re done with hardware, what next? Yup, software. You’ll need software that may record multiple tracks and mix them together, which we’ll call tracking and mixing. You’ll also need audio editing capability. Luckily you will find recording software applications on the market who do both functions, the lowest expense of which can be free. “Audacity” is a program spmfgs is open-source freeware that may record, mix multiple tracks together AND edit audio. In fact Audacity is the most incredible value on the face of the planet. But since it is free, you will find limitations, especially where musicians are worried, like in MIDI functionality. So you may want something with a little bit more capability. There are numerous choices out there for a range of prices, that it can create your head spin. Personally I use a program called Reaper, by Cockos for tracking and mixing, and Adobe Audition for editing (no affiliations), though in fact, Audition is just one of those programs that can do it all. I just like the ease and work flow in Reaper.
And that’s it! Yup, a personal computer, a USB mic and a few software you may get you commenced using a very small budget (starting at about $25 for your USB mic). You’ll want a couple of headphones too, though you can get by having a regular old kind of ear-buds if you have to. Then all that you should do is record that guitar part, hit “save”, add another track next to the guitar track, record your voice on that 2nd track when you pay attention to the initial track on your own headphones. Boom. You’ll probably want to add another guitar or another voice or two for harmonies, etc. No worries; just rinse and repeat, adding tracks as you go. When you have everything recorded, make use of your mixing software to pan the instruments and voices left, right, and at the center just like a group would be on stage. This creates a nice stereo sound. And then make sure nobody is just too loud or soft within the blend, hit “Save” again, and you’ve got a song. Now just open the song in your editing program, snip off any extra sound right from the start (a count-in or perhaps a cough, etc.) of the recording. Fade the conclusion out, make sure the whole thing is loud enough, save it, and you’ve got yourself a song which you recorded all on your own home music studio.