What is good my fellow Musicians, Producers, Young Artists, Rappers, Home Studios, Singers, Songwriters, and Beat Makers alike.
I was in a conversation a while back with a young man that I've been mentoring for the past year. There is much to be said and much to be learned.
He shared with me a song that he had spent hours writing, practicing, and recording at a local recording studio. His message was great and I loved the Boom Bap style beat. I'm proud of the project...
Some of the issues I had with the recording involved the hundreds of dollars he spent to have this studio record his song as well as the lack of mixing, which muddied his song down and made it difficult to hear the elements in the song.
There were many other things we conversed about, but I encouraged him, "For the price point at which you paid for that recording, you could be learning how to work with audio tools and get your own home studio equipment that will sound just as good if not better than" the mix he paid for.
I want to empower artists like you to take control of your music career and learn the ins and outs. Learn recording techniques, so you know what to look for and listen to when making a radio ready song. Value and take pride not only in your craft, but in understanding and respecting the grind of other artists as well.
If you can relate, here are a few things you'll need as you get your home studio started:
Before you Get any Gear:
I'm sure you've already noticed, there are so many choices and it can be easy to get overwhelmed. It isn't difficult to find great sounding, affordable gear nowadays. First, you've got to know how to use it, and secondly, you don't need all that equipment... I'll repeat:
You don't need all that equipment to produce great sounding music...
That's right. Especially when you are first getting started. You need to find minimal, high quality gear, learn it, become familiar with it and stick to it.
If you don't know how to use it, it won't help you...
Make it Count:
Dollar signs at up. You want your network and your knowledge to grow like this, not your debt. So before you get going on an expensive shopping spree, you need to know these things:
- First, you'll need a computer. Most laptops are powerful these days. I don't recommend a tablet because you are going to need a lot of memory and power, and these tend to distribute the power from your music to the multiple background functions with less power overall... I highly recommend anything with an i5 processor or faster combined with at least 8Gigs of RAM (random access memory). You can always upgrade the RAM.
- PC will only run PC DAWs (digital audio workstation).
- Apple will only run Apple DAWs.
- Each have their pros and cons - Each have their hits and misses.
- BONUS TIP: If you set it up right, you can use a USB drive to double your computer speeds (I do it 100% of the time).
- Next, you need to decide which DAW (digital audio workstation) you are going to COMMIT to... And that's exactly what I mean, COMMITMENT.
- Your computer will more than likely determine which DAW you are able to work with, so make sure you follow the DAW operating system requirements.
- Once you've narrowed down your options, narrow your options further...
- Every DAW has a learning curve, depending on what kind of learner and time you are willing to put into learning your DAW, you may choose an easier interface over an advanced mixing / mastering DAW...
- Download and install that program... Boring... (Mine took days to download and another day to install).
- Now you need an audio interface, also known as an external sound card. There are a ton of interfaces on the market, but you can get away with a relatively cheap, highly rated interface.
- FocusRite has had a long history of great audio products (plus I have personal experience working with FocusRite).
- I hear good things about Apogee.
- How are you going to hear your music? Gotta get some studio headphones and/or studio monitors... When you're first starting, I monitors/headphones with a flat frequency response (no ear trickery).
- KRK has some great products for studios on a budget.
- How are you going to record your songs? You need a good studio microphone, preferably a condenser microphone.
- You can get decent results from just about anything out there, but RODE NT1-A is an affordable, solid and highly versatile first mic, used by professionals all the time.
- Invest in cables... Make sure you've got whatever cable required for your mic to input into the audio interface (XLR) and your studio monitors (XLR or 1/4 inch).
- If you plan on making beats, get a midi controller or drum pad machine; it sure beats drawing in notes manually and requires some more skill to "program"
- Lastly, do some research about mic placement and songwriting, then get to making Records!!!!
You should be able to get your most basic budget studio setup for under $350. That's not much for investing in your music career and future...
Save up my friend, learn as you go, DON'T MAKE ANY EMOTION BASED PURCHASES, and most importantly,
Have FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A lot of FUN!!!!!!!!!!!
Music is fun. And it can be frustrating... But make sure you have fun and share your recordings with others that you trust, who might take you to the next level.
Check out my friend Graham from the Recording Revolution. He has created a full downloadable home studio gear guide that can help you get an idea of what gear to look for and consider, as well as a budget for different levels of gear... (I do not get any money from Graham for this recommendation. But I know, respect and trust him as a mixing engineer)
Get your gear guide here.
Got your Gear, Made a Record, Now What?
If you've known me for a while, you will know that I have a passion for empowering, sharing resources and encouraging others to learn their craft. I believe in the revolution that is changing the music industry and I am personally experiencing this revolution... I want you to be a part of this revolution, so I also offer Coaching and Mixing Services to anyone who wants to improve the sound of their mixes, so they can stand out on the charts as well as grow in their knowledge as a home recording artist.
If you're interested in having a coach help you along this journey, or you want to improve the mix of your songs, get in touch with me; I will be more than happy to help. I look forward to helping you take your songs to the next level:
I hope you enjoyed and learned something new from this article. I look forward to working with you. If I should add something to the list, feel free to let me know or comment below. If you think someone could benefit from this information, go ahead and share this article. If you have your own home studio, send me a picture of it; I'd love to see what you guys are doing. If you have questions, feel free to contact me. What would you like to know next? Let me know in the comments below. Do me a favor, smash that like button, share it, let me know what you guys want to learn next, be nice to someone, and have a great day!