We are living during a time where pretty much anybody can release their own music online. You don’t need to obtain a record deal anymore to become a successful artist, due to platforms like YouTube and social media.
What you will need however, is a decent home recording studio, and that doesn’t necessarily mean splashing all your cash on the best equipment on the market.
Computer and DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)
Naturally, you’ll need to start with a dependable computer as without one, the rest of your equipment is pretty much useless. Whether you choose a laptop or PC is up to you, but make sure it runs fast, has decent processors and plenty of storage. You can also buy an external harddrive for more storage later on.
As for your DAW, what you purchase should depend on what music you are going to create. I use Logic Pro X which is perfect for creating cinematic soundtracks. If you write beats, I suggest Ableton, if you want to create electronic music, Reason will be your best choice, Pro Tools is always a good choice when you’re recording live instruments. A good decision is to do some research before you purchase a DAW as you want the best possible outcome for your music.
Studio Monitors and Headphones
When mixing and mastering a track, you should always consider what it will sound like through different types of speakers. Car speakers, phones, stereos, televisions etc. all have different sound qualities and you have the difficult task of making your music sound good through all of them. Investing in a decent pair of studio monitors and headphones will make all the difference in your editing. It may also be worth getting subwoofers as well if you are making music with a lot of bass. Gear4Music has plenty of options for monitors, headphones, and various other recording and musical equipment you can buy. Make sure to check the descriptions of the products as not all monitors may have the specific traits you are looking for.
There are a ton of microphones in the market that you can choose from, whether they are dynamic or condenser. However, you will need to pick one that is perfect for your home studio.
Condenser microphones tend to be the better choice for recording audio. Although they are more fragile, condenser mics are highly sensitive to sound and produce vocals with decent clarity. You’ll want a condenser with a large diaphragm as it can capture a wider range of frequencies. If you tend to use your mic for other instruments such as a violin or guitar, it may be worth grabbing a couple condensers with small diaphragms as they would work better with live instruments. A couple of microphone stands and XLR leads may also come in handy.
Audio Interface and Midi Keyboard
Unless your music is being made solely from instrument samples via VSTs, you’ll need an audio interface. This piece of equipment is essential when connecting your microphone, or any instruments you may want to record live, to your DAW.
On the other hand, a midi keyboard is needed when using VSTs. Midi keyboards are fairly easy to find and can be relatively cheap, depending on what size you want. If you are creating music using instruments that have a lot of dynamic range, I suggest buying a midi keyboard with 3 octaves or more. If not, or you want something that’s more travel friendly, one or two octaves is fine for creating your music.
A Decent Space for Your Studio
Most people nowadays tend to record music from their bedrooms which is perfectly fine and quite honestly, more affordable than renting a studio.
If you do have the luxury of having a spare room which you can repurpose as a recording studio, I would definitely recommend you do so. Having a space where you can apply wall padding (acoustic foam) will make all the difference to your audio. They will help reduce reverberation and noise levels which in turn, makes your recordings clearer and easier to edit.
If you are recording from your bedroom, don’t worry because you can still create music with the same outcome, as if you were in a studio. Just make sure to have a clear space, where you can focus on recording vocals or instrumentation with the best possible clarity. Make sure you have enough space for the equipment you’ll need as well.
Most importantly, staying creative and motivated will help you create unforgettable music. Utilising your studio, social media and your own passions will help you become a successful artist.