If you’re into creating music, then you’ve probably floated the idea of building a home music studio – a place you can rustle up new mixes.
Ten years ago, creating a room like this would have been prohibitively expensive. You needed a massive budget to afford all the equipment. Today, though, electronics are cheap and getting cheaper.
What this means is that we’re now entering a world in which the average person can build a studio from scratch with practically no issues whatsoever. There are some caveats though.
How to create a home music studio – from scratch:
Choose The Simplest Audio Setup Possible
Audio can get complicated. If you dive right into a complicated setup recommended by your favorite YouTuber, you can quickly get out of your depth. Ultimately, you get overwhelmed, and eventually, you quit. All that time and money wasted for nothing.
But Don’t Go Too Cheap …
With that said, you don’t want to go cheap. You need your equipment to be decent enough to serve you for years. You don’t want a cheap import that breaks after a couple of years. That would not be good.
So what do you need for your home studio?
A Fast Computer, Preferably A Mac
When it comes to creating a home studio, by far the most significant expense is the computer. Ideally, you want to buy the fastest one that you can afford, but you don’t have to necessarily. Machines going back five years are probably plenty fast enough for your needs.
The second thing on the list should be headphones. Some music enthusiasts spend thousands of dollars on their sets, but there’s no need – at least not to start.
There are two types of standard types of headphones that you’ll encounter.
The first is “open-back.” These are mainly for mixing and offer superior sound quality at the expense of less isolation.
The second is “closed back.” These prioritize isolation over sound quality and are best for tracking.
Microphone And Mic Stand
The type of microphone that you choose depends very much on the kind of recording that you want to do.
For those who want to produce a 3D sound effect, look for the best binaural microphone you can afford. These puppies will help you capture sound from multiple directions at once, making the listener feel as if they are there, listening to sound in real life.
If you’re planning on mainly doing work electronically, then a regular microphone will suffice. These tend to be much cheaper than studio recording mics.
You also need to consider the quality of your stand. Studio mic stands, like everything else, can get pricey. There is, however, a good reason for this. Premium products come with a host of features that enhance performance. Some, for instance, come with exclusive vibration damping technology that helps you isolate the mic from the rest of the room.
For the majority of beginners, though, this level of technology probably isn’t necessary. If you’re starting, all you really need is something reliable. Then, if you find yourself making heavy use of your music studio, you can upgrade.
If you’ve ever watched a live recording, you’ll have seen a pop filter. These are guards that sit in front of the microphone and prevent low-frequency audio blasts from messing up your recording.
Again, you can spend a fortune of these, but there’s usually no need. A basic pop filter will do.
Studio Monitors (Speakers)
While a lot of home studio users do their mixing on headphones, the old guard always used monitors.
Monitors are actually quite different from regular speakers. In general, studio monitors have a neutral sound compared to many off-the-shelf speakers. They sound much more like how things sound in reality instead of how they sound after mixing. This feature makes it easier to judge whether your mix is correct and what it will be like when played through the average speaker system.
Just like everything else on this list, studio monitors can get pricey. It is not uncommon for enthusiasts to spend more than a thousand dollars on a single pair.
Again, you don’t have to go that high. There are plenty of brands offering a quality experience for less.
Importantly, speakers are optional. If you’d prefer to work with headphones alone, go for it. Just remember to calibrate them to produce a neutral sound.
Finally, you’ll want to grab some cables. You’ll need two short cables for your monitors if you use them, and a long XLR cable for the mic.
Congratulations – you have a home music studio!