The digital revolution has seen to it that just about anyone can build a home recording studio. From barely talented weekend warriors to amateur acts who only need that big break, recording at home offers an outlet. You can keep it simple or make it complicated.
As someone with my own home recording studio, I have been asked by others how complex it is. They want to know how much I’ve spent on equipment and software. They want to know if I soundproofed the room, installed a high-end mixer, and so forth. Here’s how I look at it: recording at home can be as complex as you want it to be.
A Computer and Some Beats
I know some amateur hip-hop artists who make their own music and sell it directly to fans. Their home recording studio is by no means complicated. They buy beats from the pros at Supreme Tracks, then combine those beats with their own lyrics using a computer and home recording software. Their biggest expense was investing in studio-grade mics.
These guys do not have a complicated setup. They don’t need one because their beats are professionally recorded. Their main task is to find the right mix between the beats and their vocals. They don’t need a fancy setup to do that.
A Mid-Range Setup
Personally, I have invested in what I consider a mid-range setup. I don’t do hip-hop, so premade beats are out of the question for me. In fact, all my music is original. I write the music and lyrics. I play all the instruments. I do all the vocal tracks.
I need a modest mid-range setup because I am recording everything from scratch. My system consists of a high-end PC with a professional-grade software package. I have a selection of studio mics as well as two mixers. My studio isn’t soundproof, but it’s not a problem for me as my house is almost always quiet anyway. I can use software filters to remove any inadvertent sounds that might creep in.
A Pro Level Setup
The artist in me would love to have a pro-level setup. I just don’t go that far because I can’t afford it. I do not have tens of thousands of dollars to invest in all the best equipment. But if I did have that kind of money, I would also invest in a properly designed and built studio space – whether that meant remodeling my current studio or adding on to the house.
One of the things that makes a studio pro level is the acoustic quality. First and foremost, the studio itself is soundproof. But then the acoustics within the studio space is designed to allow for the purest and cleanest sound possible. That way, engineers have a clean signal to mix and master. They can work their magic without having to worry about dealing with signal noise.
I suppose building a pro-level setup would mean investing in new mics along with some effects boxes, a digital audio workstation, and a couple of other pieces of choice equipment. I would probably want to upgrade my computer, too. As for my software, that’s already pro-level. That would not need to go.
It is good that we amateur musicians have options for recording at home. Studio time and production services are expensive. Sometimes it is worth spending a bundle for professional music production and recording. But other times you just want to record at home. To do that, you can make your home studio as complex as you want it to be.