The Essentials of a Home Recording Studio

Outline:

a) Define the home studio,
b) Take a look at the essential elements
c) The recording process, and finally..
d) Getting off the ground.

The Home Studio is the ideal tool to materialize your ideas of compositions. It can even become a real passion if you start well! In fact, this is how many audio professionals begin their careers. So what is home studio? Nowadays, a home studio can be a grab bag of accessories and tools that allow you to record and process audio.

But no matter what combination of tools you use, among them will be four major elements: A computer, an audio interface, microphones, and finally the listening monitors. Though it this one is not required, we’re going to add MIDI keyboard controller to the list as it has plenty of features that even non-pianist musicians can get plenty of use from it.

Below is an example of a very minimal home recording studio that has all of the essentials. Providing you have these materials, you can get off the ground.

home studio

It is rare that you find people recording on analog these days as they are too expensive and highly inefficient.

This small explanatory diagram details the basic connections of a home studio. Note that the monitors selected for this scheme are active and do not require a power amplifier (which would be placed between the sound card and the monitors if they were passive). For a complete guide on home studio monitors, visit: http://www.hollagully.com/the-top-10-best-home-studio-monitors/

The sound signal is transmitted as follows:

• Your microphone captures the sound waves of your voice or instrument and is plugged directly into your audio interface. Microphones for home recording are typically dynamic or condenser. Click here for a complete guide.

• The audio interface converts the analog signal into binary (digital) data so that it can be processed by the computer. The computer receives these digital data and processes it via the software and plugins you have installed and run. You can record the signal, modify it, etc. For a complete guide on audio interfaces, visit:
http://www.hollagully.com/best-audio-interfaces-usb-firewire-thunderbolt/

• The computer then returns the processed signal to the audio / digital interface for transmission to the speakers (and / or headphones if necessary). To do this, it will convert the digital signal received from the computer to an analog signal (this is the reverse operation of just now).

• The speakers (and / or headphones) play back the analog sound signal!

So this briefly explains the recording process. There are many options for recording software out there and if you’re just getting started then going down this rabbit hole will likely be a daunting task. There are simple options that can get you off the ground running – most notably would be Garageband which is free and comes stock with any Apple computer.

The goal here is to get yourself set up with the bare minimum to start recording. From there, let the passion develop and invest further once you’ve displayed a level of commitment that can justify further investments. There are some excellent entry level products that allow for outstanding results. This is where you want to set your focus in the beginning.

Resources: Hollagully

RECORDING | Drum Microphone Set Up

The sound of drums sets the tone for the overall quality of production. If the drums of your demo or EP sound bad, that’s enough to affect the feel of the rest of the entire recording. Even if your guitars sound great, even if the voice of the singer has never been so clear and powerful: if the drums don’t smack, the whole production will be judged badly.

Capturing a good drum sound can be complex. It is very common to use eight microphones or more, and their quality and placement is absolutely paramount. Once you’ve managed to properly place the mic’s and get a good recording, it is still necessary to know what to do with all these tracks. How to give them that punch and clarity that characterize the albums of your favourite artists?

Surely you are wondering how you can compete with the “real” studios? How to do well on a small budget, few microphones and limited space?

IN TRUTH, GETTING A GREAT DRUM SOUND WITH FEW MICROPHONES IS NOT SO COMPLEX.

You do not need a big budget to achieve a professional drum sound . You just need the proper training and a few simple techniques to make the most of your material and your recorded tracks.

You already have a good part of the material. You just need a little knowledge and practice.

ENTER: WARREN HUART.

Warren Huart runs an online audio training program called Produce Like a Pro where he teaches students a wide variety of recording, mixing, and production techniques that translate just as well in the home studio as in large professional ones. 

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