What's in my studio?
Updated: May 4, 2020
With everyone taking advantage of their time at home, there are so many people stepping out of their comfort zones to record cover songs & write new songs!
I thought this would be a great time to share what I use in my own little home studio.
But first, lets start with the basics.
What do you actually NEED to record a good quality track?
Listed at the end of this blog post is a list of recommended mic, interface, & software options to get you started. Please note: I provide links to various music stores who are local to me, these items can be found at most music stores.
1. A computer. (Yes, I know, this one is obvious)
Doesn't matter whether you use PC or Mac, the better the processor & RAM capacity, the less hold ups you will have when recording & editing your tracks.
2. A Microphone.
Now there are SO MANY OPTIONS for microphones. But because we are talking decent quality tracks, I'm going to recommend going with a condenser microphone. They offer a higher sensitivity than dynamic microphones and will give you a more clear & accurate sound, which is what we want for a great sounding vocal track.
3. A USB Audio Interface.
What is an audio (or recording) interface? In a nutshell, It is the device which acts as a go between to get the sound into your computer. You will need one with Phantom power for your condenser microphone, pretty much all basic interfaces SHOULD have this.
4. DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) Software.
This is where you record, edit, mix, master & export your track. If you are a Mac user, you will notice that you already have Garageband which is a good, easy to use option. Otherwise there are many options to choose from.
Now you can use any headphones for recording, however studio monitoring headphones will give you a true representation of your recording. You can definitely start with any headphones you already own until you feel the need to upgrade to something more 'serious'. Why do you need headphones? So that as you are recording, you are not muddying up your recordings with the spill into your microphone of your backing, or other vocal tracks.
6. Microphone (XLR) cable & microphone stand.
Now that we've gone over the basics. What do I have in MY home studio setup?
Computer: HP Pavilion Laptop 15.6inch, i7 Processor (Similar model here)
Microphone: Aston Origin Cardioid Condenser Microphone
Accompanied with the Aston SwiftShield Pop filter & shock mount set.
Audio Interface: PreSonus Audiobox 2x2 USB Interface
(My next upgrade will be the PreSonus Studio 1810C USB-C Audio Interface)
DAW Software: PreSonus Studio One Professional
Headphones: Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 250 ohm Closed-Back Headphones
Studio Monitor Speakers: Presonus Eris E3.5 Active Reference Monitors
Midi Controller Keyboard: M-Audio Keystation 61 USB Midi Controller
Plus a few favourite guitars, keyboards & other fun things that have been collected over the years :)
So that's all a bit expensive for someone getting started, unless of course you are keen to have a massive shopping spree and spend up for the long run......
Here are my recommendations for starting out:
A cool one stop setup:
Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio Pack
Comes with Mic, Interface, Software, Headphones & cables.
Only thing you need to add here for a basic setup is a mic stand.
The popular option: Rode NT-1 Kit - a very popular option here in AUS, comes with a nice
shock mount & pop filter for an affordable price.
The under $150 option: sE Electronics X1A Microphone
The multitasker that you can use on stage too: Sennheiser E935 Dynamic Microphone
Note: Yes, this is a dynamic, not a condenser microphone & does not require the phantom power from your mixer or interface. I have added this to my list for those who are a little tight on the budget, however want something that will do both live & recorded music with a really nice sound.
Audio Interfaces (these also come with starter DAW software licenses!)
The popular option: Focusrite Scarlett Solo
Another popular option: Presonus Audio Box USB 96
When it comes to mic stands and cables, something of a good mid range price will should last you well :)