With a few adjustments, you can turn a simple bedroom into a full recording studio, complete with all of the software and hardware you need to create and mix professional music tracks. While advanced recording equipment can cost a lot of money, you can still put together an impressive studio on a modest budget, thanks to the wonders of digital recording technology. No longer do you need massive mixing boards to manipulate individual frequencies, so just decide what you can afford and begin building your dream studio.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Digital audio software
- Soundproof foam
- Audio interface
- Musical instruments
- Audio cables
- XLR cables
- Monitor headphones
- Microphones stands
- Microphone pop screens
Choose the right computer. In order to process and edit large music files, you will need a computer that can handle complex operations. Choose a computer with at least a dual-core processor.
Set up your computer near a corner of the room. By recording near a corner, you will achieve strong natural acoustics, which work especially well for vocals.
Cover the walls of the room in thick, soundproof foam. This will further enhance the quality of your recordings, as well as giving you the freedom to play loudly in an uninhibited environment. If you have limited experience with home installation, you can purchase basic soundproof foam that includes hooks for easy hanging.
Choose the right software for recording and mixing. If you want full control over your recording and mixing experience, you will want to install a professional digital audio program like Logic Pro, Pro Tools or Cubase. If you're just starting out, you may want to begin with a simpler, more user-friendly program like GarageBand, Audacity or Mixcraft.
Purchase an audio interface with USB or FireWire capabilities. This device will allow you to hook up all of your instruments to your computer using a single box. If your budget allows for a more advanced interface, you may want to purchase one with a built-in mixing board, which will give you heightened control over your music.
Plug the interface into the corresponding USB or FireWire port of your computer. If the interface includes a CD-ROM, you will need to insert it into your computer and install the necessary drivers.
Plug your instruments and microphones into your audio interface using standard music cables. For professional microphones, you may need to use XLR cables.
Set up the microphone stands near the corner, and place the microphones on the stands. For vocal recordings, hook a pop screen to your microphone stand and place the screen about an inch in front of the mic. A pop screen, or pop filter, is a small, circular device that latches onto your mic stand and filters your voice to eliminate the popping sounds caused by hard letters like "p" and "b."
Plug your monitors into the audio interface. You will need a pair of professional monitoring headphones in order to hear every nuance of sound when mixing music, and a set professional studio monitors in order to hear how the music will sound over a PA system.
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