How to Make a Recording Studio

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:11
Have a musical itch? Do you want to set up your own home recording studio? With all the gear required, it can be tough to know where to start. While studio-making can be overwhelming, the basics are actually pretty straightforward. You can...
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Have a musical itch? Do you want to set up your own home recording studio? With all the gear required, it can be tough to know where to start. While studio-making can be overwhelming, the basics are actually pretty straightforward. You can learn how to plan a studio, what essential gear you'll need, and how to set it up in order to start cutting tracks as soon as possible.

Part 1
Part 1 of 3:

Designing a Studio

  1. 1
    Find a good location. The best recording studios are in windowless, well-insulated rooms. Depending on the size of the group you want to record, the room should at least be able to hold a small table for your computer and interface. There should also be room for the performers.
    • Avoid rooms with lots of outside noise. Aim for the quietest space possible. You don’t want a great take interrupted by your neighbor’s lawnmower.[1]
    • In general, bigger is better. Try to find a room that won’t be too cramped and that has space for several musicians and all your gear.
    • Pay attention to the room’s floor. Ideal rooms will have hardwood, concrete, or tile flooring, which is better for acoustics. Carpeting will absorb high-frequency sounds, but not low ones.[2] It may also get worn down by high foot traffic.
    • Pick a room with good overall acoustics. This usually means a larger room with fairly high ceilings, asymmetrical walls, and irregular surfaces for sound dispersion.[3]
  2. Step 3 Map out the basic set-up.
    There's more to a recording studio than just microphones and musicians. In most studios there are two major systems. You’ll need to understand and organize these according to your interests and the projects you intend to record.
    • The first setup is the recording system. This takes in audio from instruments and microphones and records it either digitally (using a computer or digital recorder) or to tape.
    • The second system is called the monitor system. This includes an amplifier and speakers for the recording engineer to listen to the recording as it is being performed, as well as after the recording to do mixing and editing.[4]
    • You can set up a home recording studio with a pretty small budget. At the very least, you’ll need a computer, a DAW/Audio interface combo, studio monitors, one set of headphones, one mic, a few cables, and one mic stand.[5]
    • It is possible to put together a basic setup for around $400. You probably don’t want to go much lower, though, or the music quality will suffer.
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Part 2
Part 2 of 3:

Getting Gear

  1. 1
    Get a computer with plenty of RAM. The more powerful your computer, the easier the producing of music will be. By power, that means lots of storage space and lots of RAM. Upgrading RAM and storage is the most important thing because this will give the computer faster and smoother running speeds.[7]
    • For most audio software you’ll want a computer with at least a dual-core processor. If you intend to mix lots of tracks, however, consider a quad or multi-dual core.
    • It's important to have a separate computer for recording. Don't use your personal computer with all of your pictures, games, and music on it. Pro Tools and other recording software will require a lot of operating space.
    • Apple MacBook Pro is a popular model for many do-it-yourself musicians. This is because the model has lots of storage space, lasts for years, and is very portable. Apple also offers upgrades for RAM, memory, graphics chip, and other options. The computer costs between $1200 and $2500.
  2. Step 4 Get some high-quality microphones.
    Typically, most recording studios have some combo of dynamic and condenser microphones for performers to use. Dynamic mics are better for louder sounds and are more durable. They are used for guitar amps, drums, and other loud sources. Condensers are more delicate and expensive but also more detailed, bright, and clear than similarly priced dynamics.[12]
    • A good dynamic or condenser microphone costs $80-$200.
    • Be sure that your recording interface has Phantom power when using a condenser mic. This is usually a button or switch labeled "+48," and powers the electronics inside the microphone. If this feature is not available, most microphone preamplifiers can supply power and will be more affordable than buying a new interface.
    • Dynamic mics do not require power, so they can simply be plugged into an interface and used with no preamplifier. In some cases they sound better with a preamp, however.
    • Some mics also have USB outputs. While these can be plugged straight into a computer, they tend to be of lower quality. Electric instruments will also plug straight into a DI unit or Direct box, which connects to the computer via USB.[13]
  3. 5
    Be frugal when buying gear. Like music itself, music production is an art and not a science. The price tag on your gear does always not lead to better quality. Low-end equipment in today's amateur home studios would have been unthinkable to top studio engineers just a few decades ago.
    • It's possible to record radio bangers on a home studio setup. Expensive gear is great and can lead to great recordings, but don't let that hold you back from making great music.
    • Take advantage of free software. Native Instruments, Ohmforce, Camel Audio, SSL, and other respected audio companies offer free virtual instruments and effects.
    • Consider using old analog gear. Most studios are digital these days, but the really good ones still have analog gear you can work into your rig. If you want to put your studio on the map, consider adding a plate reverb unit or a reel-to-reel tape machine. You can record on one of these and bounce the audio into your DAW when you're done. These kinds of sound can't be replicated digitally.[14]
  4. 6
    Have some musical instruments on hand. Most studios assume musicians want to play their own gear to get a more accurate recording. This makes the engineer’s job more difficult, because she’s got to spend a lot of time setting up unfamiliar instruments. Some studios, however, will have gear in place that the engineer knows and can use to achieve a particular sound.
    • Try having a variety of gear around. Amps, effects pedals, and guitars are good.
    • If you have more money, also consider keyboards and synthesizers, drums, or even a piano.
    • If you are going to be creating music in a purely software instrument environment, it is advantageous to have a USB MIDI keyboard or controller, as these will give you the tactile feel of a musical instrument such as a piano, which can greatly aid creativity.
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Part 3
Part 3 of 3:

Setting Up the Studio

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