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Home Studio Basics

by Jayme Gutierrez

Today I thought I’d do quick rundown of the basic things you need to set up a fairly efficient home studio, for those who are interested in setting one up.

-First you’ll need a computer.
Desktops are usually more stable and powerful than laptops, plus you can upgrade parts later on.
Now the dilemma…
P.C or Mac? Well, this is a tough one:
1: Mac= supposedly better than a P.C

…Once you have your P.C, you’ll then need a DAW.
Digital Audio Workstation. This is where all the music is going to be put together. There are lots of diferent ones; Logic, Cubase, Sonar, Ableton Live, Pro-tools, e.t.c..
To me the DAW is like another instrument. It plays a big part in the way I write music, purely because I am able to manipulate whatever I’ve record, until I like the way it sounds!
Moving on…

-Then you’ll need some sample libraries.
Sampled pianos, organs, drums, e.t.c…

-A midi controller. (Keyboard) To trigger the samples.

-A microphone, or microphones.
Essential for recording vocals.
I would definitely recommend at least one condenser microphone for acoustic guitar and vocals because it is more sensitive than a dynamic one, so you’ll get a much clearer sound.

-An audio interface.
This is basically a sound card.
Choosing the right one depends on what you’re going to be doing.
If you need to use microphones for acoustic guitar recordings and more, then you’ll definitely benefit with more than 1 XLR input (a high impedance mic input). If the audio interface has phantom power as well then even better because some microphones, like condenser microphones, need it.
I used to use a mackie onyx 400f, but I don’t think that it’s available anymore. Now I use a Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56.

-Some loudspeakers and amplifier.
For mixing, it’s better to use loudspeakers than headphones.
You’ll also need to treat your room so that you don’t get sound bouncing all over the place and bass collecting in the corners, giving you an inaccurate reading. Bass traps are good for this.

-And finally some headphones.
For recording guitar and vocals, e.t.c.. But don’t expose yourself to loud volumes for long periods of time cos you’ll damage your ears!

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One Response to “Home Studio Basics”

  1. Roberto says:

    Una entrada imprescindible. Muchísimas gracias, y muchísimas gracias también por la traducción!

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