The 2010s experienced rapid growth in the number of independent music producers and artists, making it the decade of the home recording studio boom. Even though these studios were not a new thing ten years ago, because of the modern mainstream music styles, production techniques, and social media platforms, new kinds of artistic content creation jobs were born throughout the entertainment industry. Consequently, musicians and other creatives distanced themselves from big recording studios to create their own, and supply their work demands as well as others’.
Although some might argue that it has been a negative shift in artistic quality, it has opened the doors of possibility and creativity for thousands who would not have the means or the time to be able to book a big old recording studio. Technology has opened the way for instant collaboration, and new music gear is more accessible than ever. The only thing hard to get is talent, and a lot of practice to develop the skills, but in today’s world, producers can make a hit record with a laptop and a mic.
So, to close this decade and welcome the 2020s, we decided to make a list of the crucial elements needed in a home recording studio. We contacted the great Juan Diego “Godi” Gaviria, Colombian music producer, mix engineer, guitarist, and frontman of the rock band Radio Paila, to ask him for his take. If you are a creative out there, or you know any, who is thinking about starting music production, engineering, film production, as YouTuber, as Instagrammer, photographers, film scorers, or just fans of music gear, this list is for you! Get to build the ideal home recording studio.
“A little obvious, but it is never a bad thing to mention.” – Godi
While there is a vast array of microphones in the market, Godi suggests getting for any condenser mic that is on your budget range. Good and cheap mics are available on a quick search on amazon.
- AKG C414 XLII – for vocals, guitars, almost anything.
The piece of gear that will connect your microphones and instruments to your computer. Godi takes the same approach as the microphones, but highlights the needs for each studio: get a small interface if you only have a microphone to plug, or get a big one with multiple input/outputs if your setup requires various elements connected simultaneously.
The Digital Audio Workstation is a piece of software that will allow you to record, edit, and produce audio. There are excellent DAWs out there, so the “right one” comes down to workflow preferences:
Also, some of these DAWs have “easier” connections with hardware pieces, so this can also affect your software election.
XLR – Pop Filter – Stand
According to Godi, it makes no sense to waste a lot of time and money on this. These days, most of the gear is sufficiently well done to satisfy average studio needs. Whatever you can afford should work nowadays, so you can “Amazon” these, buy them online, or go directly to the music store.
Audio Plug-ins are quite famous in our digital age. Back in the day, to get to a particular sound, engineers and producers had to pass the sound signals through different pieces of hardware like compressors, limiters, etc. Now, classic plug-in brands and new ones are developing complimentary software that will emulate hardware to alter sounds infinitely.
Godi recommends searching for Bundles. Buying individual plug-ins can get to be quite expensive, and bundles will alleviate those prices. Some companies highlighted are:
Crucial for Home Recording Studio
The next and last two elements of our list are all about listening. Godi made specific emphasis on spending a considerable amount of the budget on the music monitoring elements, “you can have cheap mics and interface, but with a good pair of headphones or monitors, you can make the production sound incredible.”
These are loudspeakers developed explicitly for audio production and engineering. Audio Precision is the core of Studio Monitors, and they come in many different sizes. The critical part here is getting the monitors that will give you the exact sound of what you recorded and your work at the DAW. Godi suggests spending time and researching about these for mixing purposes.
A great pair of headphones are needed to achieve the expected final product. These carry out the same task as monitors but on a different approach, and audio perception is a little more subjective on these. Godi suggests getting to know your headphones and understanding what frequencies are mostly present to avoid getting tricked by false judgment.
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