Building a home studio does not need to be the same as building a house. In fact, you can do it very easily in a bedroom and I will show you what you need to build your simple studio.
Home Recording Studio Essentials for beginners
The first step is to get a simple studio set-up that is within reach of your budget. The other reason to keep it simple is that you want to make music as soon as possible and not spend too much time learning how to use complicated equipment.
You are now on your way to building your own simple beginner studio and here are the things you will need:
- A computer/laptop
- DAW Software
- Audio Interface
- Studio Monitors
- Microphone Stand
- MIDI Keyboard
Yes, that is all you need to record music at home. Now we will go into details about each of them.
Computer or Laptop
Almost all music these days is made using computers and the computer will be the central part of your studio activities as the recorder, mixer and storage for your productions. You will need a fast computer with a lot of hard disk and memory. There is much debate about what is best out of MAC or PC/WINDOWS based computers but it really comes down to what you prefer and in most cases, for a beginner studio it is the computer you already have.
This is when you get to make some decisions. There are many of them to select from but the most popular choices are Presonus Studio One, Ableton Live, Cubase, ProTools and Reaper. Read my article about music recording software for more details and recommendations.
This is s box that plugs into your computer by USB (sometimes FireWire) that allows you to connect your instruments and microphones to the computer and lets the computer send sounds back to your monitors or speakers. Some of the more popular USB audio interfaces for home studios are the Presonus 24c and the Focusrite 2i2. The M-Audio Air 192|6 is also a good interface and is ideal if you want to use it next to your other gear with a level knob at the top.
You will need these because you want to hear the sounds in detail when you are recording and you want to turn off the monitors when recording with a microphone so the rest of the song is not recorded to your microphone tracks.
Studio monitors are special speakers which do not alter the sound so you get a nice clear sound making it easier to mix music accurately.
If you are going to record your voice or an instrument like acoustic guitar then you will need a microphone that will plug into the audio interface.
Using a microphone stand to clip the microphone onto will help get a better recording because the movement of the microphone or tapping your hands on the microphone when recording can get onto the recording.
MIDI Keyboard / CONTROLLER
This is what you will use to play the music into your DAW software. If you are not a keyboard player you can substitute this with pads but in most cases, a keyboard is the best option for a beginner studio. You can read my article about MIDI controllers and get more information and recommendations.
AND THERE YOU HAVE IT
There is not much more you need to get started. You can now make your own music with the set-up above. I should mention you may need cables to connect everything but the cables you need will depend on the equipment you buy so make sure you get them when you buy the equipment.