Main steps to record your music at home
Nowadays, no need to spend hours in a studio (after waiting weeks for a session) to record a song. The evolution of technology and its accessibility make it easy to be able to record at home.
This article is aimed at both beginners and those already involved in musical creation. Know that, if you want to make a living out of music , you will have to invest to in you! How do you want people to care about you and listen to your songs if you do not make the effort to offer them (and you) something professional (or close to it) ? To do this you must make the right choices ! So what does it take to record at home ?
The heart of the studio: the computer.
This seems obvious but the first thing you need is a computer. And do not neglect it ! It will be the heart of your home studio. Windows or Mac, you have the choice, what is important is to choose a powerful machine with a large storage capacity. If you have a computer dedicated to creating it's even better! Desktop or laptop, you be the judge depending on your usage.
Capture your voice : The Mic
Second obvious equipment, the microphone ! It is also important that the computer because it is what will record your voice. There are several types of microphones. USB microphones are generally more used for podcasting than singing. Opt for a condenser microphone. Prices start around $ 100. If you have the budget, you can focus on the models at around $ 200 and you will find very good value for money. I have the "BlueBird" by Blue and it is great!
Get your wires up : The Audio Interface
It is what will connect your microphone to your computer. Most interfaces have a USB connector. Prices start quite low and go high! Everything depends on your usage but be careful while choosing a good model because its quality will impact on your recording. I have the Apogee Duet 2, (because i work on Mac) which also allows me to connect my monitors* ! This is a very good piece with a nice design and the recording is quite transparent. Price is quite high, you can find good products to start at around 200$. It is second most important piece after the computer to record yourself at home.
Listening: Monitors* and Headphones
Before recording you must think you will want to hear what you sing ! Monitors (speakers) are here for. In fact, the built-in speakers in computers usually color the sound (highlighted bass, treble too bright ...). The monitors will provide a neutral listening without disturbance. I use the Yamaha HS 5 which fully give me satisfaction.
During recording, you'll want to have a return of your voice that goes into the microphone. The headphone can also be used to check the mix and some details that you will not ear from your monitors. I think Audio Technica offers ones of the best headphones on the market. Several models are available and the prices are affordable.
Okay.. but how to record : The DAW
Once the main equipment acquired, let's get a software ! Windows or Mac, there are several softwares called DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) : Cubase, Protools, Logic Pro, Ableton Live, Reaper... You can start with free software like Garage Band on Mac or Audacity for Windows. If you want more options for editing and mixing you will have to buy one of the softwares I have mentioned. But for your first recording it will do the job.
You now know the main equiprement you need for recording at home ! Before pressing the "Record" button note some additional elements that can help you improve your recording
- Choose good quality cables
- Think of the acoustic ! Foams exist to insulate your room and avoid sound reflections.
You must record your voice on original and quality music. People do not want to listen to a new artist who uses old and already heard instrumentals. That is why you will find high quality beats online on my website. Original and ready for recording you can buy Hip Hop and R&B instrumentals for your next project.
Remember, you can have the best equipment, what will make the best recording before everything ... is YOU !
Work Hard and Be inspired !
Related : How To write a catchy song