Everybody listens to music, though we don’t always realize the effect it can have on us. For those who love it, it can be a dream to one day start recording or producing your own music. But where do you even begin? If you never studied music, the idea of beginning can be daunting, which is why this article will help to give you an idea of where to begin.
What equipment you need will be listed below, but the most important thing is that you have a dedicated space. Whether it’s a bedroom or a garage, there are two things you want to check; the first being the condition of the room. If it’s falling apart or been subjected to wind damage, all of your equipment is going to suffer. Secondly, make sure the room is soundproof — you don’t want to deal with angry neighbors.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the equipment you’ll be needing.
This seems unnecessary to mention since almost everybody owns a computer these days. However, it needs to be a computer that can handle the audio recording software you’ll be using. It’s lucky that most computers these days are fast enough to handle simple audio recording software, but if you want to upgrade after you’ve been doing this for a while, feel free! But for now, use what you have.
A Digital Audio Workstation + Audio Interface
The DAW is the software you will be using to record and edit your music, while the audio interface is the hardware that links it all to your computer. The two can often be bought as a combination package. It’s important to shop around, researching what you need for your specific intention. Much like the computer, you don’t need to start off with the expensive gear straight away.
In the beginning, a lot of your studio time will be spent alone. There are two different types of headphones, closed-back which offers isolation with lower sound quality, and open back, which boosts sound quality but offers lower isolation. While you’re still getting on your feet, closed-back headphones are the way to go.
Microphones, Stands, and Filters
Eventually, you’ll amass many microphones for many reasons. One thing to keep in mind when buying a microphone is whether its output matches that of your Audio Interface, it’s important these work together, or you’ve wasted some money. Secondly, you want to make sure you have a decent stand that won’t keel over or break: stability is key when recording.
While shopping around, remember that there is a huge range of microphones, and they all do different things better. Some specialize in recording vocals, others guitars, percussion, etc. Really think about what you’ll be recording in your studio while keeping in mind that electric guitars and bass guitars might need different microphones.
Lastly, is a pop filter. Pop filters counter the sound of wind-bursts, produced by the “P” and “B” sounds. While these aren’t necessary, it’s recommended if you want the cleanest possible audio.
Mind Your Cables
Make sure all of your equipment has the necessary and correct cables. You never want to be in the position where you think everything is recorded and finished, just to realize something is wrong due to a small, easy-to-miss mistake.
Once you have everything you need, it’s time to start recording. Over time, you might find more things you wish to add to your studio, which is fantastic! It’s a good sign you’re growing as a producer. Have fun, and good luck!