Building A Home Studio
As close as 10 years ago most people would not even consider building their own home studio. You had to save some money, make friends with a studio owner and work something out with them to get a decent demo on the cheap. But thanks to technological advances now most groups record their own music in their own homes or apartments, and most of them achieve studio quality! It is basically a no brainier because once you get the equipment the studio is right there at your service 24/7, it's a one time small investment.
If you want to make a recording space at home there are some things to be considered, but it is much more easier and cheaper than you might think.
So lets say you just decided to make a home studio in order to record your first demo. The first thing you need to know is what kind of music you are going to be recording. This may sound silly but it is very important because depending on the type of music that is going to be recorded it will determine your necessities (space wise & gear wise).
So lets go with the most complex scenario (and the most popular), a rock band, a 4 piece rock band. You got a singer/guitarist, a bassist, a drummer and a keyboard player.
This setup could turn complicated because you have a lot of people to record and chances are that you will not be able to record them all at once because of space limitations, insufficient mics, not enough inputs in your recording interface and so on and so forth.
A good place to record would be a basement because usually the ambient noise is lower there. Attics are great too, but most homes do not count with those so lets stick to the basics. A great place to record (and this is where I would prefer to do it) is in a room with a walk-in closet. The walk-in closet would play the roll of the recording room/booth and the room would play the roll of the control room.
Recording in a walk-in closet is great because since it is full of clothing you will no have to worry much about insulating and ambient noise. The best way to record the band is one or two at a time. If the band is not comfortable playing one at a time a good idea is to place one of the members (the one about to be recorded) inside the closet, and the rest of the band in the "control room". Place a mic in the "control room" and feed the signal to the member inside the closet via headphones. That way he will be able to listen the rest of the band while recording.
NOTE: Make sure you are monitoring with headphones because if you are using a pair of speakers you will most certainly get feedback.
If the keyboard player is going to be recording via midi then you will have some spare inputs to record someone else simultaneously. The big challenge here will be the drums. Since probably you will not be able to fit the drummer inside the closet a good idea is to switch positions and record him in the room. There is going to be slightly more ambient noise but you can deal with that later in the editing process.
It's always a good idea to explain the musicians how things are going to be done so that they can prepare themselves.
OK so what is absolutely essential to make this happen?
You will need:
At least two microphones (the more the better) (Condensers are great for vocals and acoustic guitars) (SM57= The jack of all trades)
A DI Box
Closed back headphones (The more the better)
A headphone amp/splitter
And last but not least a console or a recording software with an interface.
The following are not essential but it is always good to have them around:
A Y splitter
Tubes for amplifiers
Tape ( that always comes in handy )
Article by J
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Is this going to be expanded on? It hardly even touched recording media or the recording rig. But all in all, a good start. I wish I had a room like that to record in, I'm 18 and stuck in my parent's basement...
Also, as much as Ultimate-Guitar is a wasteland of pre-pubescent knobs, these articles helped me a lot when I was learning. Take it all with a grain of salt though, because some of the suggestions in these articles are pretty high-end/professional.
Home Recording @ UG.com, Part One
Cheap little home studios is what keeps Rock N Roll full of sweet, sweet blood.
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