Wondering how you’ll ever record an album as a broke musician? It’s not as hard as you think.
Although the costs of recording an album in a studio are still pretty high, the costs of setting up a simple home studio have never been lower. You can easily get your hands on some great recording technology and only need a few things to get started.
In addition to headphones and a voice or instrument, here are the 3 essential pieces of audio gear that you need.
1. Condenser Microphone
At a bare minimum, you’ll need at least one microphone or input device when recording yourself at home.
A microphone is ideal for recording vocals, but can also be used to record instruments as well. However, you’ll want to make sure that you consider which microphone to get carefully. Each microphone will have different its own pros and cons.
Generally, a condenser mic will work best in a studio setting, but dynamic microphones are also an option. Be sure to read online reviews when choosing a microphone and ensure that you’re making a quality choice.
While a microphone works well for many purposes, you may need to get a guitar cable if you’ll be recording an electric guitar or another instrument that plugs in. You can get a guitar cable that plugs into your computer via USB or you can get an audio interface to go along with it.
2. Audio Interface
Another essential piece of recording gear that you need to have is an audio interface. An audio interface is a piece of hardware that you’ll plug microphones, guitar cables, and headphones into.
If you’re using more than one input at a time, then an audio interface is essential and will allow you to capture all of the sounds at the same time. An audio interface also allows you to plug in an XLR mic and will be designed with superior sound quality in mind.
While it’s possible to get a USB mic you can plug directly into your computer, it tends to be better to use an audio interface instead. An audio interface will add more versatility and will typically offer better sound quality.
3. Digital Audio Workstation
To record your own music, you’ll also need to have a computer with a digital audio workstation (DAW) on it.
A DAW is a type of audio recording software that allows you to record and edit audio. There are many DAWs out there and some are more geared towards musicians who will be recording real instruments, while others are better suited for people who are making electronic music.
You’ll want to read up on the different options and find out which one is right for you. Some of the most popular DAWs include Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Logic Pro, and FL Studio.
While some of the options are pretty costly on their own, some of them are bundled with recording equipment. Certain MIDI keyboards and audio interfaces will come with a copy of Ableton Live Lite free, for example.
Get the Essential Audio Gear for Your Home Studio
While the above list is a great starting point if you’re new to buying audio gear, there are many other things that you can add to your home studio as well. It’s a great idea to build your studio one step at a time. Slowly add more gear as your recording skills increase and as you learn more about home recording.
Need more home recording tips? Read over our blog now to find more helpful guides for musicians and producers.