Recording and producing music is fun and exciting. However, as with any hobby, buying expensive devices and furnishing doesn`t always play an important role in the end result — the main thing is to achieve the correct studio structure and get the basic necessary equipment. Today we’ll find out how to create the perfect mastering and mixing sound studio at home!
Equipment for Your Home Recording Studio
The availability of technology means that everyone can find all the tools they need to create and record music professionally. The problem is that you don`t yet know which of the components you need and which devices are optional. So, if you want to create your home recording studio with affordable costs and efficiently enough to become an expert, then you cannot do without:
- computer or laptop — choose preferably modern models (no older than 3-4 years) for effective music production, OS does not matter;
- digital audio workstation (briefly, DAW) — programs are necessary for recording, editing, and playing music (try paid versions with a budget of $60 to $ 00, or find demo versions with a lot of free useful functions — Logic Pro X, Ableton Live, Presonus Studio One, Cubase, etc.);
- sound card — the component is responsible for the quality of sound entering and leaving the computer (it has a high quality digital to analog converters and it allows you to hear the details of the recording in more detail);
- studio headphones — they allow to hear sound clear, detailed, and balanced;
- microphone (preferably condenser one) — the device converts the vibrations of a sound wave into electrical impulses;
- MIDI controller — such a component is connected to the computer via USB and is responsible for transmitting electrical signals to the software in MIDI format;
- cables required to connect the equipment (XLR, USB, Jack, MIDI).
Additionally, you can purchase monitors (in fact, these are devices that allow you to even out the sound of music on all systems — from car radios to cheap speakers).
When looking to create a quality home music recording studio, remember that there are some basic rules for choosing and setting up a room:
- pick out a room of medium and large size, small spaces give an awful sound;
- choose rectangular rooms (square configuration is prohibited, sound waves will be poorly reflected — the width should not coincide with the height);
- no hard reflective surfaces (no uninsulated windows, mirrors, bare brick, and stone).
Of course, the room should be as quiet as possible, because any background noise is bound to get into the microphones. Therefore, try to neutralize any uproar (from the road noises to the sounds of electric devices working) using high-quality soundproofing materials: mineral wool, foam rubber, cork membranes, and others.
As a rule, the location of monitors in a studio recording space is one of the key points. Follow these recommendations:
- Move the monitors away from the wall at the minimum distance specified by the manufacturer in the instructions. This will allow you to get smoother bass and reduce the effect of wave reflection.
- The distance from the monitors to the back wall and to the sidewall should be different (otherwise the lower register frequencies will start to noticeably protrude from the overall sound).
- It is best to place the monitors along the longest wall in the middle. Thus, the place of reflection will be farther from the speaker, and the novice sound engineer will receive symmetrical stereo sound.
And of course, don’t forget to adjust the height of your monitors because the speakers should not be at ear level. After installation, you can proceed to the acoustic correction of the room.
Setting up the right acoustics
After purchasing studio recording software, it is worth finding acoustic panels that will allow you to complete the arrangement of the room. Where should they be placed? Fundamental rules:
- Firstly, the panel must cover the wall opposite from where the monitor is installed. Additionally, you can leave a gap of about 5 cm between the panel and the wall, which will also help fight reflections.
- Secondly, round off the corners of the room by covering them with acoustic panels with a thickness of 15 cm or more.
- Thirdly, cover the wall behind the monitor with panels for a smoother low-end sound.
It is not necessary to achieve complete jamming (for example, hanging carpets on the ceiling and walls), since some surfaces must still reflect and scatter waves. It is also better to purchase removable acoustic panels in order to flexibly solve the arising sound problems.
To crown it all, preparing a room for a home studio takes several steps, from buying the basic equipment and choosing the right room to positioning the monitors correctly and installing the right acoustics. As you can see, even a novice sound producer can make a small studio at home without spending a fortune on it — everything is quite simple!