As you know, these days everything is recorded directly onto your computer’s hard drive (or the new solid state drive aka SSD). We start assuming that you already have a computer, desktop, or music production laptop, it does not matter, though a laptop gives you more freedom of movement.
Now you need the following:
- Recording Software
- A microphone
- A microphone stand
- A pop filter
- An audio interface
- Optionally, you can add a microphone preamplifier, an ahrdware compressor, etc.
Why do I need an audio interface?
Most computers today come with a built-in sound card. In this way, you can connect the computer speakers, headphones, and even a microphone. Although the onboard sound cards may be enough for listening to music, the lack of quality components or connectors will not help you if you need professional recordings.
If you want high-quality and better sound, you must have a dedicated audio interface. What does a dedicated audio board do?
First, it allows you to connect microphones, instruments, and equipment that give the signal line. Then converts the received analog signal to digital and sends it to the computer. Finally, when you play music, audio from the computer converts the digital signal to an analog signal that can be heard in speakers, monitors, or headphones.
After a short search on the net or a walk to the audio shop, you realize that there are many types of audio interfaces from which you can choose.
Maybe you will ask the following questions:
- How many inputs and outputs do I need?
- What is the difference between USB and FireWire?
- Why do some interfaces sound better while others do not sound quite so good?
- What is a good preamp?
- What’s up with the sample rate at different sites?
A reasonable quality interface can now be yours for well under £200/$250.
Portable audio interfaces are far more practical. If you have one of these sound cards, I can tell you’re on the good track to building a great mini studio.
If you already have an audio interface, you need a music software for recording and editing audio. Check the list below for some of the popular audio editing and recording programs:
- Reaper (one of the most affordable music software)
- FL Studio (free life updates)
- Acoustica Basic Edition
- AVS Audio Editor
- Acid Music Studio
- Adobe Audition
I make a list for you to look at some of the best 4 mics under 200$ with will fit perfectly for your home studio.
- Shure Beta 52A
- AKG Perception 420
- Neumann TLM 102
These microphones are affordable but are not necessarily cheap.
Also, you will need a microphone stand and a pop filter. A Pop Filter is an anti-pop noise protection filter for microphones, typically used in a recording studio.
Always you must record vocals or instruments in MONO (NO STEREO). A stereo track is wasteful of space on the hard drive and makes problems when adding effects or making the final mix.
And to not forget about the speakers. Check here Best Affordable Active Monitor Speakers.
I hope these tips will help you to purchase the best tools so you can make your home studio and enjoy making music.
Read more: Get Started With Your Home Studio