Recording yourself at home is not as difficult as it seems, or as many people tag it to be. You can produce a good sound, worthy of listening to, with just a few clicks away, right from the comfort of your home. I know this because this is what I do. I have a home studio where I record myself, edit and produce all or most of my videos and audios. Let’s take a look at some of the gear I use for this.
A sound computer with plenty of storage
It doesn’t matter whether the computer is a Mac or PC, make sure it’s a good one with at least 8gb RAM (my personal recommendation), it’s very necessary to have a computer with a high processor, it makes your work faster and easier; this cannot even be overemphasized. It is also advisable to get an external storage device like a hard drive, flash drive or any other means of media storage if the internal storage (ROM) of your computer is low.
To successfully record yourself at home, you should go for the best since you’re not using a proper studio. Get a good quality ‘studio-standard’ microphone that can filter the surrounding sounds. You don’t need much to get started, 1 or 2 would work just fine. If you cannot afford a good quality microphone at the moment or if you’re working on a budget, get the microphone you can afford and also get a pop filter alongside it; the pop filter is used to reduce fast air on the microphone caused by plosive sounds (plosive sounds are those popping sounds caused by the pronunciation of letters such as ‘p’ or ‘b’).
The quality of your headphones is also very important when you’re recording at home. You need to hear yourself; what you’re playing or what you’re singing, plus good headphones are also useful for blocking out the noise from your surroundings so you can hear intricate details of what you want to listen to.
This device converts simple acoustic sounds of vocals or guitars into digital signals; it allows you to plug in cables for your microphones, keyboard, guitar etc. to a computer and record through USB (which is the most commonly used method). It also has output ports that enables you to connect your speakers and/or headphones to play the audio either recorded or real time. There are so many wonderful audio interface devices out there but I’ll personally recommend a very very amazing one, which is the one I use: the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2?
A DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)
A DAW is an electronic device or application software used for recording, editing and producing i.e mixing and mastering audio files. There’s a wide range to choose from (Pro Tools, Cubase, Ableton, Logic etc). You can first try the free version to see if it is compatible with your computer and if you like it and then make a purchase later; I would personally recommend Pro Tools because that’s the DAW I use and it’s pretty easy to use too.
Studio monitors perform the same functions as headphones but in a more advanced and powerful capacity, it allows you hear the tiniest details of recorded or mixed sounds. Music may sound amazing when you use headphones, but may sound terrible when you play them through studio monitors. I know they can be a bit on the pricey side, but as your studio advances, you can start with cheaper options or fairly used options.
You’ll need well earthed and quality cables for all your connections to avoid distorting sounds in your audio mix. The quality of your cable and jack/cannon plugs play a big role in the quality of your sound. It is almost always better to use a shorter cable for your productions because the longer the cable the longer the resistance. The only long cable you’ll even need for now is a long XLR for your mic.
A properly balanced microphone stand is also an important component in your studio as it is not advisable to hold your microphone in your hand.
You do not need to break a bank to record at home, simply start out with what you have and make do with it until you grow and advance in budget and get the proper gear of your choice.