Recording music at home may seem overwhelming especially if you have no idea where to start. Whether you have experience in doing so elsewhere or not, setting up a studio even with the basic equipment can seem quite tough. However, thanks to the availability of recording software and tools at reasonable prices, anybody can have access to them. Although even amateurs can record music at home there’s a lot of information that you need to grasp. To help you understand the process in its simplest form, we are here to guide you on how to record music at home.
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Equipment You Need To Record Music At Home
A dependable computer that does a good job of audio recording and has sufficient storage is a must for recording music at home. While some people opt for a full desktop, you can also go for a reliable laptop as it will get the job done too. A computer is going to act as a backbone for your recording system at the convenience of your home.
Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
A piece of software that is necessary to record, mix, and edit audio clips is known as a digital audio workstation. You can either select the free options that come with your computer such as GarageBand for Apple computer and Audacity for PC, or you can also purchase them at relatively reasonable prices. GarageBand works great even though it’s free of cost. On the other hand, Audacity is a great tool but has a huge learning curve so it’s going to take time before you get the hang of it. If you do not mind purchasing a DAW, you should go for Trackition that is both powerful and user-friendly.
The key to a good pair of headphones for recording music is to get the ones that have a closed back so that the least amount of audio bleed happens. Precise sound replication in addition to powerful frequency response is essential for the headphones you use while recording music. It’s important because this tool should be able to eliminate the majority of outside noise if not all. If you already don’t own a pair of headphones that tick all these boxes, we’d recommend you to check out the Senheiser HD 280 Pro Closed-Back Monitor Headphones.
While it’s doable to use the built-in microphone in your laptop when you’re recording your first song, you would have to get your hands on a good quality microphone in the long run anyway. So, we’d advise you to purchase one that does a great job at capturing rich quality audio. If you’re on a budget, check out the Shure SM57 microphone that you can get for under $120. Even though it’s not the best in the market for recording vocals, it’s a great one for guitars.
An audio interface helps to convert the audio signal from your microphone to the computer. In the case of an audio interface, you’ll get better quality ones at higher prices because the expensive ones do a better job of replacing professional mic preamplifiers found in recording studios. Our recommendation of a great audio interface is Universal Audio Arrow that you can get for $500. However, if you’re not willing to spend that much you can go for PreSonus AudioBox Interface at $129, or the Focusrite Scarlet Solo Interface at $109.
How To Set Up The Equipment
Install Your DAW
The first step is to install the digital audio workstation on your computer if you don’t use one that comes free with your device. As long as you’re using one that is compatible with your device the installation process should be pretty straightforward.
Connect Your Audio Interface
You’d require a wall plug and a USB cable to set up your audio interface, which should be pretty easy to figure out just by looking at the cable. Sometimes your computer may automatically recognize the connected audio interface. If not, you should install relevant drivers that you’ll most likely find in the CD that comes with the tool. In case it doesn’t come with the hardware, just download them from the manufacture’s website. Then, restart your computer after installing any new software.
Plug In Your Headphones and Microphone
Now connect your headphones and microphone to the relevant ports on your computer. For the microphone, you need to use an XLR cable where one end goes to the microphone and the other to the computer.
Test The Levels
After you’ve set up all the equipment it’s time to check for levels. Depending on the DAW you use, you should be able to record a song right away. Simply look at the audio tracking meter by testing it out while talking. You’ll see how it goes up and down depending on the volume and pitch in which you speak.
How To Test Your Creativity While Recording Music At Home
Setting up your own mini studio at home can indeed be overwhelming given that you’re subjected to so many new equipment pieces. However, what you should keep in mind is creativity has nothing to do with rules. So, there’s no right way to record your piece. As long as you enjoy what you’re recording that in itself is a portrayal of your creativity. Simply focus on creating music that is in sync with authenticity and you’ll be shocked at what you’re capable of doing.
As you can see, if you can get your hands on the minimum recording equipment you can record music at home by yourself or by collaborating with a friend. Our simple guide here should help you get started on your dream music project. You can also try this out if you do not have the money or space to record music in a professional music studio.