In just a few decades, home recording studio equipment is more accessible than ever, and it’s changing how music makers record and release music. In fact, you don’t need a professional recording studio to create mind-bending music – you can do it in the comfort of your own home. With the right music-making equipment, you can unleash your creativity and let the world hear your voice!
If you’re new to making music, it can be challenging to get started, so we’re here to guide you in the right direction. Up-and-coming audio producers often get caught up in an endless cycle of gear acquisition, but it’s more important to invest in a few staple pieces of equipment that will ease the music-making process. And the best part is you can start with what you have to create professional, polished music. Let’s go!
How to Set Up Your Home Recording Studio
You don’t need to sacrifice quality while recording music at home! You can create professional music and podcasts with high-quality production with the right audio recording setup. These simple tips allow you to convert your living space into a professional recording studio!
Choose the Right Space
First, you must pick the best recording space to create your masterpiece! Of course, you can still make a great audio recording if you’re working with limited space, but it’s best to avoid rooms with low ceilings if possible. This is because rooms with low ceilings reflect sound and can muddy the sound. If you’re stuck recording in a room with a low ceiling, try acoustically treating your room to prevent reverberation.
Treat Your Room for Recording
For music-makers, “treating your room” means soundproofing your space. Most people use soft materials that absorb the sound waves to ensure they don’t bounce off the walls. If you’re interested in an affordable option, you can purchase a set of square acoustic studio foam for a low price. However, you can always use blankets, mattresses, and any other soft materials at your disposal to treat your home recording studio.
Remember, there’s no universal solution for room treatments, but you can always work with what you have to create a versatile recording studio!
Find Ways to Reduce Background Noice
Recording audio at home comes with challenges, like reducing background noise. If you have loud neighbors or roommates or even live near a busy street, you’ll need to put in extra work to minimize background noise.
Before you press record, take a moment to absorb the noises in your environment. The air conditioner, fridge, and a loud hard drive on your computer may seem inconsequential at first, but these sounds can make a huge difference in the overall quality of your audio recordings.
Avoid frustration by making a noise reduction checklist before recording so you never miss a beat!
Learn a Little More About Mic Placement
If you’re using external microphones, you’ll need to set them up properly before recording. Placing your microphones in the right place will make it much easier to mix and master your tracks.
For instance, your vocal tracks will sound much better when your mouth is about 6 to 12 inches from the microphone. If you’re too close, the vocal tracks will sound heavy, but if you’re too far away, the vocals will sound thin and airy.
Also, be mindful of the microphone’s angle when you’re recording. Whether you’re recording live vocals or instrumentals, it’s essential to position the microphone to align with the source of the sound.
Test Your Mixes Everywhere
Recording audio at home may be convenient, but it does have some drawbacks. It’s challenging to get an accurate representation of your final mix when you’re playing it back. In this case, studio monitors are the ideal tool to hear all of the frequencies in your mix.
Even if you can’t access a studio monitor, you can always test your final mix on different speakers. Listen to your track in the car, Bluetooth speakers, phone, and any other speaker you have. If you start to notice any glaring errors that persist on different speakers, you know that it’s time to make a few adjustments.
5 Essentials for Your Home Recording Studio Setup
You don’t need fancy equipment to create a recording studio at home! It’s easy to get distracted by the newest peice of recording equipment, but there’s only a few that are essential to the music-making process.
If you’re working with limited resources, stick to the following tools when you’re creating your home recording studio setup for a stellar final product!
1. Internet-Connected Device
The first and most important item you’ll need to create your home recording studio will be your computer or laptop! Whether you’re making music in a professional recording studio or in the comfort of your own home, your computer is the epicenter of your creative process.
If you’re using a computer or laptop to create music, ensure you have the right operating system to accommodate your digital audio workstation, and you should be good to go.
Although some DAWs make it possible for you to save your music to the cloud, others may require you to save music directly to your computer, so using a computer with a large amount of storage may be beneficial.
The great news is that if you don’t have access to a computer, DAWs like Soundtrap for Education allow you to make music on any internet-connected device, such as your smartphone or laptop. And since you can store your projects in the cloud, you won’t waste storage space with tons of audio files!
2. Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
A digital audio workstation, commonly known as a DAW, is the software you’ll use to record, edit, mix, and master your projects. After writing your song or creating a podcast script, you’ll record the audio directly into the DAW.
Every DAW comes with unique features, but some DAWs are better than others. When you’re in the market for DAW software, choose an intuitive and easy-to-use option. This way, you can easily splice audio tracks, rearrange them, and more.
If you’re not sure where to start, Soundtrap for Education is the ideal DAW for those learning audio production. Complete with over 800 instruments and sounds, you can use Soundtrap for Education to collaborate with your friends in real time and store all your projects in the cloud.
3. Audio Interface
Most DAWs come with plenty of virtual instruments and exciting sound effects, but if you’re using external instruments, you’ll need a way to transfer the sounds into your DAW. There are a few different ways to do this, but the easiest way is with an audio interface.
Simply put, an audio interface will convert the input from your microphone and instruments into a format your computer and DAW understand. There’s no need to spend an arm and a leg on your audio interface, just choose an option that is durable and reliable. However, an audio interface may not be necessary if you’re only using a microphone.
4. Monitor Speakers
While you could have a fully functional at-home recording studio without monitor speakers, they’re great equipment to keep in your arsenal. However, purchasing speakers for audio production differs from a surround sound system.
This is because monitor speakers will accurately represent how your audio recordings will sound when listeners use their own speakers or headphones.
When selecting your monitor speakers, choose ones with their power supply so that you don’t need to purchase a separate amplifier unit. Additionally, your monitor speakers should have separate inputs and a good frequency range to ensure you can hear all the sounds properly.
Investing in high-end monitoring speakers will certainly help you produce stellar audio tracks, but studio-quality headphones can perfect your mix! Unless you have access to a professional recording studio, outside sounds can easily slip into your recording, but headphones make it possible for you to hear the best version of your audio recording.
There are quite a few different headphones to choose from, but your best option is to go with closed-back headphones because they ensure that external sounds don’t interfere with your recording.
Create Your Musical Masterpiece with Soundtrap for Education
Soundtrap for Education is the ultimate audio production platform for students and teachers to create and edit audio recordings. Pupils and educators can easily tap into their artistic side with this intuitive audio platform that facilitates a creative learning environment for every subject, regardless of the student’s age or experience level.
With Soundtrap for Education, students and teachers can collaborate with advanced cloud technology at any time or place. In addition, the platform comes equipped with a robust resource portal, with tutorials, an external curriculum, and lesson plans to complete the educational experience. And to ensure privacy, teachers can keep student collaboration safe and secure with invite-only groups in Soundtrap’s versatile digital environment.
If you’re ready to enhance your educational experience with an intuitive cloud-based audio production platform, start with Soundtrap for Education! And be sure to share this article with other teachers in your network to help spread the joy of learning through sound.