Home » What you need to set up a home recording studio: A Beginner’s guide

What you need to set up a home recording studio: A Beginner’s guide

If you are ready to build that long awaited home recording studio in your spare room but is a bit confused about where to start, here is a list of what you will need to set up a home recording studio.

These are the main equipments that make up any recording studio and it is all the equipments you will need to get started.

Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

I am assuming you already own a computer, so I am skipping straight into the list of DAW. A digital audio workstation (DAW) is the software program you will use to record, edit and mix your music. Without this you cannot do any music production work.
There are a ton of DAWs out there, but depending on your setup, you may want to go for the industry standard ones, which are Pro tools, Logic Pro and Ableton Live.

Pro Tools is the most popular among professional engineers, while Ableton Live is use mostly by electronics and dance music producers. While Logic Pro is the most

If your intention is not to compete with commercial standard muisc, then you can go for other popular DAW such as Reasons, FL Studio and Cubase.

With the advancement of technology, the sound quality and usability of Reasons and FL Studio have developed more and more over the years.

There are some professionals in the industry who use Reasons, maybe not for the major projects, but they use it nonetheless and I am personally considering getting a copy of the latest version.

Another DAW that I came across in the recent months is the Presonus Studio One 3. Personally I have never use the DAW before, but I have been watching tons of YouTube video tutorials and I am impress with the ability of this software program.

Studio Monitors (Speakers)ableton live 9

Studio monitor speakers are specially designed for music production purposes. They are designed to produce sound at a fairly flat frequency response across most of the audible frequency range, so the sound that it reproduces is close to accurate.

Your computer built-in speaker or Hi-Fi speakers are not suitable for recording studio because they usually emphasize a particular frequency range–usually the bass frequency. Using any one of these speakers can be a major issue when it comes to getting your music sounding great

Note: The placement of your studio monitor can have a greater impact on the sound quality, more so than the monitors themselves. So it will be important to get your monitor placement right.

Two studio monitors that are popular among home studio owners are the Yamaha HS50M and the KRK Rokits. These monitors are not just popular because of price but because of the quality of sound they produce in a home studio environment.

Audio Interface

The audio interface is an external soundcard that allows you to connect professional microphone and other musical and recording equipments to your computer.

What you need to consider when choosing an audio interface is, the number of inputs and outputs you with need and the type of inputs and outputs, which will depend on your size of set up.

For example, if you are just recording vocal or yourself playing the guitar, you may only need two microphones input and two line inputs. The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and the Presonus AudioBox 22VSL are two very good quality audio interface suitable for this size.

If your intention is to record your live band or more than one live instrument playing all at once, you will need more inputs as with the M-Audio 8-Channel audio interface.

Headphones

Choosing a headphone for your studio is similar to choosing a studio monitor, in terms of sound quality and accuracy. Studio headphones are design to reproduce every detail of your sound accurately and evenly.

In the studio, you will use the headphone a lot, so I would suggest getting one that is comfortable that will not cause fatigue over long listening period.

Microphones

sE electronic MicrophoneI am sure if you are setting up a studio you will be recording vocals or other musical instruments, so how can I not include microphones?

When choosing a microphone consider the pick up pattern, you want a cardioid polar or a microphone that also offer a cardioid polar pattern. Cardioid polar pattern is the first choice for vocal recording because it picks up less background noise in the surrounding area. Try going for a condenser microphone because it is the most popular choose for recording vocals.

I would suggest you get something like the sE Electronic studio bundle, especially if you do not have a booth, because you get a pop shield and a sound diffuser along with the microphone.

Note: Your audio interface or mixer must have a phantom power supply if you choose to get a condenser microphone

You can find good quality cheap microphones such as the Shure SM58. But keep in mind that this is a dynamic microphone that is commonly used to record guitars and aspect of the drum kit.

But a lot of home studio owners (myself included) have been experimenting with the SM58 on vocals, because it is an industry standard microphone and it is very cheap and found that they get great result with it in the studio.

Cables

Cables are often over looked when writing the list for what you need to set up a home recording studio. Maybe because cables is seems as secondary to the other equipments. But they are very important because they connect everything together.

Some equipment comes with its own cable, such as the controller or the audio interface. But for the rest of the equipments, you will need cables, such a XLR and ¼” Jacks.

I would suggest you get very good quality cables, because they are more resistance to floor noise or noise in general. You do not want to get a continuous buzzing from your equipments after you finish setting up your studio. What quality of music do you think you will produce in a noisy environment?

These are the primary equipments that you will need to start a home recording studio. Without each of them you can’t get going. If you need more detail information on the choice of equipments for your studio and how to connect them, get my FREE eBook, where I provide in-depth info and signal flow diagram showing you how to string the studio