Whether you’re looking to set up a recording studio at your home or start your own recording business, there are some basic items you need to invest in to make sure you get the highest quality audio recordings possible.
Without these basic items, your musical masterpiece might end up sounding more like it was recorded on a toy microphone when you go to edit it later.
Before you start looking at the newest microphones, drum machines, and mixing boards, you need to make sure your computer can handle the editing software you need to make sure everything flows smoothly. Without a powerful enough computer, you’ll find yourself spending more time waiting for the program to launch, and less time making music. There are benefits to many different kinds of computers, from Windows operating systems to Macs, so it’s always best to do your research before making an investment into a new recording computer.
Even if you don’t see yourself recording vocals in the near future, investing in a high-quality microphone is one of the most important pieces of recording gear in your studio. Not only does a high-quality microphone help to cancel out background noise, but it can also be used for one-on-one acoustic recordings with your guitar, or to help pick up the right tone from your kick drum. Different microphones are specialized to pick up on different tones, and pairing a good quality piece of equipment with the right recording software and environment can make your next performance feel like it’s on cloud nine. You will also need a good microphone for live vocals for your next performance.
If you are on the go, you will want a decent audio recorder.
When it comes to studio monitors, accurate sound reproduction is the goal. Having the right studio monitors and speakers can make a real difference when perfecting your playing, not to mention when debating between different musical arrangements. While not as crucial as a microphone or high-quality computer, making sure your studio monitors or speakers are optimized to pick up on even the slightest sound change can help make the mixing process go that much smoother. That, and who can say no to quality surround-sound while working on your next project. As with any piece of recording gear, make sure to take into consideration the sound of your studio and the output you are looking for, as too large of a studio monitor can overwhelm a space and might cause more than a few angry neighbors. While not always used for recording, stage monitors may be something you need if you are planning any live performances. As well, you may want some decent guitar amps to get the right sound.
Much like a mixer on stage, an audio interface captures the most accurate sounds possible. But instead of projecting these sounds out into the audience, an audio interface feeds them directly into a computer program so that you can edit and record them as you see fit. The true master of the recording studio, an audio interface allows you to hook up your midi controller, instruments and microphones to your computer to capture the most accurate sound possible. While you might not need the largest audio interface for at-home recording, making sure you can feed all of your instruments through to your computer as needed is a huge help when producing a multipart musical piece. Make sure to do your research on the best audio interface for your unique setup and recording or mixing program, as different audio interfaces work for different programs.
Any music buff will tell you a good pair of studio headphones is a must have for any musical production, whether that means listening to your latest playlist or running a sound check. Good headphones are noise canceling and can be relied on to produce the most accurate sound possible from any input. When investing in a pair of headphones, try and look for a pair that are durable, and can stand up to prolonged use without issue. In many cases, you’ll end up using your headphones more than your studio monitors, so make sure to test out the sound accuracy of different styles of headphones to figure out what works best for your needs.
This may seem like a given piece of equipment, but a good mic stand can make or break a recording studio. Whether you’re looking for a standing mic for vocal recording or a shorter mic stand for up close and personal jam sessions, a mic stand allows you to support your microphone without worrying about it getting in the way of letting the music happen. For larger studios, it’s always a good idea to invest in multiple mic stands so that you can adjust your equipment to meet the musical needs of your next recording session. And if you find yourself hosting a podcast or running an opinion blog, consider investing in a fixed table mic stand to help prevent audio interference while recording.
Anyone who has spent more than ten minutes in front of a microphone has had the dreaded “pop” noise that comes from saying the letter “p” incorrectly. A pop filter is made to help reduce these kinds of audio feedback loops, and can also double as a layer of protection for more sensitive microphones. By being able to register subtle vocal changes without worrying about feedback, you can ensure your next recording goes off without a hitch. The nice thing about pop filters is they can usually be adjusted to fit almost any microphone without an issue, so long as you make sure to invest in a high-quality option.
Not only is soundproofing a must to keep your neighbors from pounding on your door at all hours of the day, but it can also help prevent echos in your recordings and can help ensure you get the clearest sound possible during your next performance. Soundproofing not only helps mute external noise, but it can also help limit the amount of reverb that is picked up by your microphones, meaning you’ll spend less time trying to adjust for noise when editing. While it is possible to make your own soundproofing, many companies offer custom soundproofing to help reduce bass reverb, quiet noise pollution and make sure your studio is acoustic-friendly.
These are only a few of the many pieces of equipment that can help make your next recording session go off without a hitch. For example, adding a turntable to your recording studio would be a major benefit. That’s why it’s important to do your research when shopping for recording gear, as there are plenty of options to choose from and factors to consider before making the investment. However, any price is well worth it when you hear that crystal-clear playback for the first time.