The shit you’ll need when looking to create a bad ass digital recordings studio at home…
1. A damn good computer
OK you don’t need a super computer per se, We’re making music here and not recalibrating satellites. Let’s be real here if you are reading this you probably already at least have some kind of computer at your disposal. You don’t see a beat but you will need a system that is at least able to be the center of your home recording center.
Now the next question will be Mac or PC. Regardless of what either camp says, just use what you are comfortable with. There is killer music being made on both Mac and Pc so to hell with the fanboy crap. Go with what you are already familiar with. The biggest thing and the most important here over which system is for you to make sure you get as much ram as possible. I mean, stuff that system which as much quality ram as you can afford. Hell, strip for a weekend if you have to.
2. A good DAW or Digital Audio Workstation.
A DAW is software that you will use in order to not only to record but to edit as well as mix and master your stuff.
I’m going to suggest going with Cake Walk, Audition, Pro Tools ( which is one of my favorites), Cubase, , and Studio One. These are all kick ass programs that you can’t go wrong with so just be sure you use what goes great with your computer as some of these are MAC only and PC only. Check for demos of all of them and run with what you think works best!
3. An awesome audio interface
You’ve got to have a way to take those analog and acoustic sets from your vocals or guitars and then be able to sprinkle some boss on it to turn them into a digital signal. This is why you have to have an AI ( Audio Interface).
Graham says, “Most DAWs work with just about any brand of audio interface. This leads to an endless list of boxes to choose from. Let me give you a suggestion: limit yourself to just 2 channel interfaces. What I mean is, don’t buy more than you need.”
4. A good studio mic.
Microphone check, one two what is this? – Phife Dawg.
A Mic is essential for sure. Never let anyone tell you different. Mics are important. However ( dramatic pause) if you are the primary person in the studio or you are laying the instrumental tracks one by one then frankly you don’t need more than one or two mics at the most.
You also need to pay attention to your budget when it comes to mics as too many people throw tons of money at a mic that that is overkill.
5. An awesome pair of studio quality headphones.
This should go without saying as you are going to need to be able to actually hear the art you are producing. I’m not going to get on a soapbox about which headphones are the best ::cough Sennheiser HD280 :: but you should do some research and listen to what sounds best for you.
6). Finding Space – Who needs a guest room?
Apparently we needed a guest room as my wife put her foot all the way down when it came to me turning our extra room into my lab. You know who wears the pants in my house now don’t you. We were already in the midst of getting our basement worked on at the time so I asked the contractors from Finishedchicagobasements.com about turning a portion of our storage area into my in home recording studio. Not only did they help with everything from flooring ideas and wall acoustics but they had some leftover sound dampening material from a job they completed on a luxury Naperville basement remodeling job that they tossed in for free. Of course I hooked them up with a great tip and a promise to plug them in this article. Thanks again to Frank and the guys over there at FCB! The best Chicago basement contractors ever.