Decades ago, building a recording studio is very difficult. If you’ve done prior research, you would know that most old studio recording equipment can easily cost you a fortune, mainly the analog ones. Thankfully, setting up a recording studio today has become more accessible to everyone financially and technically.
If you’re planning to have a recording studio and need the best equipment, you can read this quick guide on how to look for them.
Regardless of what kind of instrument you want to record, you’ll need at least a few recording microphones in your studio. However, before looking for one, you should know the types of microphones you should buy. There are two popular ones.
The first type is dynamic. It’s suitable for recording percussions and other loud instruments. This is because the sound from dynamic microphones doesn’t easily get muddy despite the loudness of the instruments.
The second type is a condenser microphone. It’s an excellent microphone for those who have quiet instruments or want to record vocals. They can pick up low signal levels, which allows you to record the quietest notes without getting drowned in noise. And with a completely quiet studio, a condenser can give you a rich, clean signal, which can be highly beneficial during post-production.
The computer is a game-changer in the audio recording industry.
Nowadays, a mid-range computer packed with a digital audio workstation (DAW) can easily allow anyone to record songs—even if they don’t have any instruments or audio equipment. It’s now considered a piece of irreplaceable audio equipment, making professional song production accessible to hobbyists and beginners.
And if you do the math, a computer and DAW combo is significantly an inexpensive option compared to getting all the necessary analog equipment for your studio.
If you’re looking for a computer for your recording studio, choose a Mac computer if you want to get started immediately, as it comes with a free yet simple DAW. If you want something more versatile, you can opt for a PC as they’re better workhorses and can easily handle recording multiple audio sources.
Digital Audio Workstations
DAWs deserve a section of their own. When it comes to these programs, you need to know what you need from them before you buy one. For example, there are DAWs that are ideal for making beats. Plus, there are DAWs that are great when it comes to recording guitars and string-centric pieces.
Also, note that the cost of the DAW may vary depending on the product. Some are subscription-based, while you can buy others with a one-time payment.
Audio Interfaces And Mixing Consoles
Now, imagine that you have a tranquil music room. But you still need to complete your basic studio recording equipment pieces.
If you have a microphone or electrical music instrument that you want to connect to your computer, you may need to buy an audio interface. Audio interfaces are referred to as sound cards if you want to be technical. Computers have built-in sound cards; nevertheless, most of them aren’t ideal for studio recording.
The best audio interface depends on the instruments and other audio equipment. For instance, some audio interface acts as a direct box as well. Using balanced cables can convert them to unbalanced ones to allow your equipment to be connected to your computer.
In some cases, audio interfaces are built into mixing consoles as well. So, if you have a big studio with many audio sources, you may want to get one like these. On a different note, if you have a robust DAW, you wouldn’t need to be too picky with your mixing console, as you can rely on your DAW’s virtual mixing console instead.
In recording studios, the speakers in a sound booth are often referred to as monitors. It plays the audio inside the studio to allow a sound engineer or you to listen, away from the performers. There are many reasons why you need a monitor in your recording studio.
Picking the best one can be a bit challenging as the one that’ll suit your studio depends on the characteristics of the studio itself. You can opt for multiple speakers or monitors if you have lots of space in your sound booth. If the area is limited, on the other hand, you may want to opt for a wide stereo monitor instead.
If you don’t have a sound booth in your residential audio recording studio or the space is small, you can choose to get a pair of monitoring headphones instead.
Controllers or musical instrument digital interface (MIDI) controllers are primarily optional. Their role depends on the setup you have. Sometimes, you can use these controllers to ‘control’ the setting in your computer’s DAW. After all, it’s much more convenient to turn a knob instead of using the mouse and clicking and dragging on a slider. Usually, the best controller is the controller that your DAW will recommend.
This post has only covered the tip of the iceberg. There are many standards and specialized recording equipment out there. You can start with the ones mentioned here if you’re still a newbie when it comes to buying and setting up studio recording equipment.