Thanks to quarantine, SO MANY musicians don't have the option of recording in a studio or with their band members. It's important to think about how professional you need your studio to be, what instruments you're focusing on recording, and what your budget really is. (For mine, I need to be able to record incredibly high-end, professional vocals for producers & DJs, and I had a $1,000 budget this month. So I focused on what would give me the most bang for my buck, and what would make my vocals sound the best they possibly could: a nice mircophone, some yummy plugins & a mic shield) As you can see in my "Dead Horse" video, my home studio is coming along nicely! Dead Horse - Cover Video
Now more than ever is the perfect time to setup your own! Here are the five key ingredients to a successful home studio:
1. Computer - you need a computer capable of handling a lot of CPU load - I personally have a super souped up Macbook Pro, which I maxed out to be able to keep up with all of my music projects. You can buy one refurbished for pretty cheap, or used on Ebay if you don't have the budget for a brand new machine. If you take care of it, they'll last forever! My Macbook is a 2010 model and it's still killing the game.
2. DAW - despite what online engineer snobs may say, you can make a successful music project in lots of different DAWs. There is not right answer here. I personally use Logic Pro X - it only cost $200, and you can compose, record, sample, and use midi along with hundreds of presets, loops, and built in plugins. But Fruity Loops, Ableton, Reaper, Studio One, etc. are also other options. Just find whatever works for you and your budget.
3. Midi - if you're planning to produce music, compose, or songwrite, you're going to need a midi keyboard. That's how you'll play in notes, edit and transform your midi in real time on your DAW. This can be a small, portable and fit in your backpack kind of keyboard, or it can be a huge, weighted synth & midi keyboard that doulbles for performances. The choice is yours!
4. Microphone - if you're planning to record vocals or live instruments, you need a great sounding microphone. There are mics of all makes, shapes and sizes - take some time to research what you really need and find one that fits your budget. You can also start with a cheaper microphone and then later when you have the budget, invest in a more high-end one. I started with a Rhode NT1-A for vocals two years ago, and just upgraded to Slate Digital's condenser for more high-end projects. Just find one that you like that will get the job done!
5. Sound Treatment - think about how you want your music to sound: clean, classy and lots of clarity, right? Hums in the background, popping, clicking, outside noises, are going to muddy up your mix and make it sound amateur. Unless you're into lo-fi chillhop or something. So to get a clean and clear sound, you need some acoustic treatments - for me, I used foam paneling in a corner of my room, along with a fuzzy rug on the floor and a microphone shield that attaches to my mic stand to get a lovely and isolated vocal sound. Basically, you want fabrics & foams to pick up the sound waves and soften them instead of refelcting them back into your microphone. And this goes for all types of microphones, for all instruments, but it's especially important for lead vocals.
So there you have it! The five essential ingredients for your home studio. If you have all five of these things, you can create music or any genre and any caliber quality you desire! I will make a separate blog post about my favorite plug-ins, microphones and more soon!
Thanks for checking out my blog of "Majik for the Masses"