It's necessary to have the proper tools in your recording studio. The only essential home recording studio equipment you need to mix professional sound may be found in this article.
It's only normal to desire that one piece of the jigsaw that takes you one step closer to having a pro studio at home. We'll go through a list of eight items you can add to your studio over time, ranging from beginner to experienced.
- What Equipment Will You Require?
- Is It Possible To Use Any Laptop Or Computer In Home Studio?
- Ideal Room Setup For A Home Studio
- Room Interior Surfaces
- Setting Up Your Home Studio: Monitor Positioning
- How To Take Care Of Your Room For Recording
What Equipment Will You Require?
It is not necessary to spend a lot of money on studio setup equipment. Majority of individuals tend to overspend on equipment when they should be concentrating on their skills. So here is our best advice: before you contemplate updating your gear, ensure you know all there is to know about it.
There are eight essential home recording studio equipment for a good home studio setup:
- Audio adapter
- Cable for microphone
- Stand for microphones
- Voice filter
- Speakers for monitors
- Treatment for acoustics
You may start earning audio work from the comfort of your own home with only these home studio gear.
However, some of these things are optional. For example, many individuals learn to mix using headphones, so they don't need speakers or acoustic treatment.
Let's take a closer look at each point!
The majority of respondents opted for a USB audio interface. The microphones, speakers, and headphones may all be connected to your computer with this piece of home recording studio equipment.
You'll need a more extensive interface if you require additional channels (for recording drums or a vast chorus, for example). You may wish to update to something with stronger preamps and converters in the future.
For a new home studio, a cardioid big diaphragm condenser microphone is an excellent place to start. When recording at home, you should use this type of microphone wherever possible. It can block every sound from the back, bringing you the best sounds even with less-than-ideal settings.
A big diaphragm condenser microphone is the ideal choice for your home recording studio. This mic works well with voices, acoustic guitars, and other acoustic instruments.
Cable For Microphones
Yes, it's tedious, but it's necessary! A balanced external line return (XLR) cable is definitely required.
When it comes to accessories, the middle ground is generally the greatest option. Don't go for the most costly choice, but neither should you go for the cheapest. You want things to last a long time.
Stand For Microphones
Each microphone requires its stand. Keep in mind that these stands do wear down with time. The cheaper the stand, the more likely you will have to replace it soon.
The following are the six basic types of microphone stands:
Tripod Stands – These are the most popular and are intended to be used for a variety of purposes.
Tripod Boom Stands - These tripod stands have a greater reach than regular tripod stands.
Round Base Stands — Excellent for vocalists on stage since they take up less room and are less likely to tumble.
Low-Profile Stands — These are popular for kick drums and guitar cabs.
Desktop Stands — Similar in appearance to low-profile stands, but designed for podcasting.
Overhead Stands - The most costly and biggest of all stands, utilized when high heights and angles are needed.
A pop filter is a useful tool for getting rid of annoying noises like plosives. It serves as a barrier between you and the mic, reducing the effect of rapidly flowing air.
There are two kinds of pop filters to consider for voice actors of various levels of experience: nylon mesh and metallic mesh. Nylon is the most common kind of pop filter and is also the most cost-effective. Meanwhile, the metallic is more durable and smaller.
For your studio, you have two choices: closed-back or open-back headphones. Closed-back headphones are fabulous for monitoring (or mixing on the fly in public places). Meanwhile, open-back headphones are the go-to choice for mixing.
Closed-back headphones are a good choice for your first set. You may still play with them (remember to mix at a low volume and use a reference track).
Speakers For Monitors
Without a good set of studio monitors, learning to mix can be challenging. Regular hi-fi speakers color the sound, which is undesirable. The flat response of special speakers for monitors will allow you to hear the mix as it is.
You can mix using just your headphones after a great deal of work and practice. Even so, it's usually a good idea to double-check your mix on monitors. Just ensure you familiarize yourself with appropriate speaker placement beforehand!
In the beginning, it doesn't matter which speakers you purchase; just get a pair and use them to find out how they sound. You can upgrade your gear set later when you get more experience.
A set of monitor stands or monitor pads is also a good investment. However, it would be best if you were cautious about how you set up your displays.
Acoustic treatments are panels of foam or fiberglass that absorb the room's natural resonance. When mixing and recording, you want to choose a space that is as “neutral” as possible. It means a standard room, with no special shape. As a consequence, the sound of your tiny home studio won't affect your results.
Instead of buying panels (which may be very costly), we suggest constructing your own for a fraction of the price. If your low end is out of control, you should also build some bass traps.
Is It Possible To Use Any Laptop Or Computer In Home Studio?
For recording, any modern computer will suffice. However, if you want to run big projects with many channels, you'll need a machine with a robust CPU and 8GB+ of RAM.
You should also think about the operating system. When it comes to audio, Mac machines are much more dependable and steady. After setting up your computer, you'll need to download some home recording studio software to get started.
That's all you'll need to set up a home recording studio! We may now go on to designing a recording studio.
Ideal Room Setup For A Home Studio
You may have the finest gear on the planet. However, if you don't have a correct setup, your mixes will never improve. Selecting the appropriate space, properly setting it up, and adding some inexpensive acoustic treatment will make your work ten times better.
We'll show you how to accomplish this goal in the following tutorial. Regardless, don't get too wrapped up in it. There is no such thing as an ideal room. It's very improbable that you'll be able to locate the ideal room, place the speakers properly, and handle the space flawlessly.
Even home recording studios planned and constructed by professionals involve sacrifices. Don't become too engrossed in the details of science. Do your best, and then figure out how to work with what you've got.
Let's get started! When selecting a room, there are five critical factors to consider:
- Room's dimensions
- Room's measurements
- Interior surfaces of the room
- Room’s height
- Volume of noise in the room
Try to avoid small rooms since they're an acoustic disaster. The more space you have, the better.
One difference between a small and large space is that the reflections return much faster because the surfaces are closer to you. Another difference is the amount of sound absorbed by objects in the room.
If the room is a perfect square, avoid it at all costs. This causes massive standing waves to form (which are bad).
To reduce the impacts of those room modes, your room should be shaped like a shoebox, with its height, width, and length as mathematically unconnected to each other as feasible.
Room Interior Surfaces
Avoid rooms that have a lot of reflecting, hard surfaces. The worst location for a home recording studio would be the kitchen because it has a lot of hard and reflecting surfaces. Also, a room with a floor-to-ceiling window or a full-length mirror would be a poor option.
Wooden flooring is preferable to carpet because carpet absorbs mainly high frequencies, making the room sound muted.
Vertical reflections will become considerably more of a problem if the ceiling is too low. A heavy reflection from the ceiling, for example, may produce comb filtering, which is highly undesirable for recording voices.
When it comes to mixing, a low ceiling may be just as damaging. Try to aim for a 10 to 12-foot ceiling height.
Room Ambient Noise
Is it possible for you to hear the passing vehicles in the room? The environment should be as silent as possible.
If you don't have a choice, what should you do? Quite frequently, you will only have access to one room; in that case, a makeshift setup in your bedroom or living area is the best solution.
Setting Up Your Home Studio: Monitor Positioning
You must first ensure that your space is properly organized before considering acoustic treatment. This provides you with a blank canvas to create and set up your dream home studio.
The location of the speakers is the most important factor to consider when planning the layout of your space. You can position speakers to the left and right of the listening position. The ideal is for speakers to face you directly.
When you're recording, you're on the go (in most cases). Therefore, it would be best if you can move the microphone around the room. However, that's not the case for the speakers since they tend to remain in the same spot. So here's how to set up your room perfectly.
Place The Speakers Away From The Wall
Bass ports are found on the rear of many monitor speakers. If you put them up against a wall, they'll look great. Also, the manufacturer recommends determining the minimum distance between the speaker and the wall.
However, contrary to common perception, placing your speakers a foot or two (30-60cm) away from the wall does not necessarily result in a more evenly distributed bass response. It can only be harmful in certain instances. The bass buildup caused by placing your speakers near a wall may create greater problems than the reflection from the wall.
The Front Wall And Side Wall Distances Should Be Unequal
If the speakers are the same distance from the front wall (the back wall) as the sidewalls, they should be moved. Standing waves may form as a consequence of this. As a result, certain low-frequency sounds seem much louder than they are.
Place The Speakers Along The Wall With The Longest Length.
This is only true if you have a bigger space. The goal here is to decrease the loudness of the initial speaker reflections into your ears. Solid reflections that come from the speakers' immediate left and right walls may cause comb filtering and a variety of other problems.
You don't need to be aware of all the intricacies; all you need to know is that the first reflections are very troublesome. You may move the reflection point away from the speakers by placing the speakers along the longest wall. This way, they must travel farther before reaching your ears, resulting in a reduction in their loudness.
It's preferable to place the speakers in the center of the wall to preserve a balanced stereo picture. However, this is not a good idea for small rooms. If placing the speakers along the longest wall results in a listening position that is more than halfway across the room, don't do it.
Make Sure Your Speakers Are Straight
Position your displays upright unless they are mainly intended to be placed on the sides. If you don't do so, the right sound will be thrown off.
Direct The Speakers In The Direction Of Your Ears
The majority of speakers are slanted inwards, aiming towards the ears rather than straight ahead. Consider the speakers' vertical angle as well. Tilt the speakers higher or lower as needed if they aren't at the right level.
That's all there is to monitor placement in a home recording studio. Still, don't be too concerned if you can't fulfill all of the requirements. You may now consider acoustically modifying the space that your speakers are in the optimum position.
Taking Care Of Your Acoustics In Your Home Studio
Acoustics is a physics subject. Still, you don't need to know all the physics laws to maintain a high quality in your room. It is not necessary to spend a lot of money on acoustic therapy. If you have the time, you may make your acoustic panels to get better sound quality.
Also, foam acoustic treatment should be avoided. This seems to be the greatest choice, but it's all in the marketing strategies. Foam treatment only affects high frequencies, but we usually have to deal with low frequencies.
If you're short on cash, you may create your version of sound treatment for your studio with common home goods. Instead of absorber panels, try the following alternatives:
- Duvets with a lot of filling
- Drapes and curtains with a lot of fabric
How To Take Care Of Your Room For Recording
A recording studio requires not just fancy equipment but a distinct set of specifications. Working in a one-room home recording studio, however, necessitates certain sacrifices. Here are some pointers for setting up a hybrid recording/mixing studio.
- Make sure the room isn't too “dead”
- Utilize movable panels
- Divide the space into two parts
- Always avoid using foams
Make Sure The Room Isn't Too “Dead”
In general, you'll want to record in a “live room”. Rather than a space with a lot of absorption, this implies a room with more diffusive or reflecting surfaces.
Just be cautious not to over-treat your space while you're trying to achieve the right balance. It means no carpet on the ceilings and walls. That's the worst thing you could do, both in terms of mixing and recording.
Utilize Movable Panels
If the panels you construct or buy are movable, you may configure them to meet particular recording needs. You can make a voice booth with three panels arranged in a triangle. Also, it’s possible to put a panel in front of a guitar cab to cut down on reflections from the other side.
Divide The Space Into Two Parts
One half should be set aside for mixing. Install absorber panels at the speakers' initial reflection spots, corners, and walls. Then, without absorption or treatment, leave the opposite end of the room as it is.
Always Avoid Using Foams
We cannot stress this enough: always avoid using foams. A lot of people use acoustic foam to improve the sound quality of their home recording studio. It's inexpensive, and it takes up less room than traditional panels.
However, DO NOT be one of those people. In a home recording studio, the foam has its merit. You can definitely use it to cure high frequencies. But that's all, Acoustic foam is simply a short-term savings solution, not a long-term solution.
Foam will never address the entire frequency spectrum, particularly not the low end, which is where you most need assistance. Make your own panels and avoid this frequent blunder.
We hope you know all the essential home recording studio equipment by now. Keep in mind that much of what makes a recording studio “professional” has to do with the rooms themselves rather than the technology.
So, for the time being, that concludes this lengthy article. We hope you found it entertaining.