The Basics of Home Sound Recording
Career Path : Audio Engineering
These days with the advances in recording software and file sharing anyone can be a bedroom producer, so why not you? Donât be intimidated by pictures of fancy studio setups â while it is true that audio equipment can get quite pricey, you can make a decent studio for only a few hundred dollars. Hereâs what youâll need:
– Hardware and Software
– Audio Interface
Hardware and Software
Letâs assume you already have a computer â anything that is reasonably fast will do. Serious producers will devote machines entirely for audio but at least try to limit unnecessary programs and have lots of RAM. The more RAM, the less latency youâll have, the time it takes data to get through your soundcard driver when recording in real time. Audio files can get notoriously huge so try to invest in an external hard drive for storage, keeping more memory free when recording. You donât need Pro Tools â any basic freeware recording software online will do. Many audio interfaces or operating systems come with Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software that provide a means of recording, adding digital instruments and effects, and making a solid mix.
This is what connects your computer to the rest of your room, where you plug in mics or instruments (converting analog audio to digital so your software can read it) and wire in the speakers (converting digital back to analog). What type of music do you want to make? Even those in the electronic realm pursuing DJ training will probably want to enhance their sound with vocals and real instruments. Only one or two inputs should be sufficient since with multi-track recording it is easier to record one track at a time and mix the layers later. There are adequate interfaces for as low as a hundred dollars but donât cheap out too much or it will hurt the overall sound of all your better equipment.
A good mic could be the key to your home recording and really make the difference in how your music sounds. While dynamic mics are typically used in concert and for recording loud instruments, a condenser mic with a cardioid pickup pattern will give more versatility and allow the subtleties to shine. Donât settle for what your computer might already have â a couple hundred dollars here can go a long way and last you many years.
You could skip this if youâre planning on recording exclusively live music but it will come in handy for playing synthesized sounds and MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface). Theoretically you could program these virtual instruments with mere mouse clicks but playing along live will provide that natural feel, even if you donât have past experience playing piano.
Lastly, a good pair of âstudio monitorsâ will give you a clear and balanced sound and can be connected to your computer with a single stereo cable, likely through the interface. Quality headphones are also necessary for listening to the pre-existing track as you record and for intricate mixing. Listen to your finished mixes on as many different types of speakers as possible. A sound engineering school will provide far more expertise but this should get you started. Happy recording!
Visit Trebas Institute for recording information or event management school.