It wasn’t too long ago that a musician or singer had to shell out big bucks to get music recorded, mixed and distributed. But now, with compact computers in every home and a slew of accessories, it is easy to set up your own home recording studio and make the music that you enjoy. Get great channels in cable TV packages and check out shows about audio video equipment to get some ideas for your own music. Here are three essential items you should consider when you set-up your studio.
1. An audio recording software program. Even in this one category there is great variety. For example, ProTools and Apple’s Logic run up to a thousand dollars each while Audacity is free and Apple’s GarageBand comes standard on many Macs. Whatever platform your PC runs (Windows, Apple, Linux), there is a software program that allows you to record multiple tracks (voice, guitar, bass, drums, etc.) and mix the tracks together to your liking. As for your computer, make sure it either has a microphone port or is USB microphone compatible.
2. A multichannel audio mixer. The benefit of having a mixer is that you can set the volume, low-mid-high range, and add effects to your voice or instrument before the audio enters your computer for recording. Mixers range from 30 to hundreds of dollars. In addition to allowing you to refine your audio, a mixer also comes in handy if you want to play with friends. Simply add each friend to a mixer channel and your audio will together go into the computer. Don’t forget to buy an audio cable to attach the mixer to the computer.
3. A condenser microphone. Condenser mics are the perfect fit for recording crisp voices and sharp musical tones. They require either an outside power source, like a powered audio mixer, or a powered USB connection. Mics are sold in electronics stores. If your mic is a USB mic, it will need to be connected directly to your computer’s USB port. If it is an XLR microphone, it will need to be connected to a mixer.
Now you’re ready to start recording. Just open up your software, set your audio levels, hit record, and away you go!