Recording Studio Setup - The Gear You NeedFeb 23, 2023
Setting up a recording studio at home can be a daunting task, especially for beginners who are not familiar with the different types of gear and equipment needed. However, with the right guidance and advice, you can create a professional recording environment that will help you to achieve high-quality results. In this guide, we will take you through the essential gear you will need for your home studio, including audio interfaces, studio monitors, headphones, microphones, drum mic packs, mixing desks, and computers.
An audio interface is an essential component of any home recording studio. This device connects your computer to your microphones, instruments, and other audio sources, and it converts analog signals into digital signals that can be recorded on your computer. When selecting an audio interface, you should consider the number of input and output channels, the quality of the preamps, and the compatibility with your computer.
One highly recommended audio interface is the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface. This audio interface provides two high-quality preamps, two inputs, and two outputs, which makes it perfect for recording vocals, guitars, and other instruments. It also has a direct monitoring feature that allows you to monitor your recordings with zero-latency. The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is compatible with Mac and Windows computers and can be found on Amazon for $169.99.
Studio monitors are specialized speakers designed for audio production. They are designed to produce an accurate and flat response, which makes it easy to hear the nuances of your recordings. When selecting studio monitors, you should consider their size, frequency response, and power output.
One highly recommended studio monitor is the JBL Professional 305P MkII 5-inch 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor. This monitor provides a flat and accurate response and has a 5-inch woofer and a 1-inch tweeter that can produce a frequency response of 49 Hz – 20 kHz. It also has a power output of 82 watts, which is sufficient for most home recording studios. The JBL Professional 305P MkII can be found on Amazon for $149 each.
Headphones are an essential component of any home recording studio. They allow you to monitor your recordings without disturbing your neighbors or family members. When selecting headphones, you should consider their frequency response, impedance, and comfort.
One highly recommended headphone is the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones. These headphones provide a flat and accurate response and have a frequency response of 15 Hz – 28 kHz. They also have a low impedance of 38 ohms, which makes them easy to drive with most audio interfaces. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones are also very comfortable to wear for long periods and can be found on Amazon for $149.
Microphones are an essential component of any home recording studio. They allow you to capture the sound of your voice, instruments, and other audio sources. There are many types of microphones available, including dynamic, condenser, and ribbon microphones.
- Dynamic microphones are rugged and durable and are suitable for recording loud sources, such as drums and guitar amps.
- Condenser microphones are more sensitive and are ideal for recording vocals and acoustic instruments.
- Ribbon microphones are less common and are suitable for recording soft sources, such as strings and woodwinds.
One highly recommended microphone for vocals is the Audio-Technica AT4053b Hypercardioid Condenser Microphone. This microphone provides a natural and transparent sound and has a hypercardioid polar pattern that helps to reject background noise. It also has a frequency response of 20 Hz – 20 kHz and can handle high sound pressure levels. The Audio-Technica AT
4053b can be found on Amazon for $599.
For recording instruments, one highly recommended microphone is the Shure SM57-LC Cardioid Dynamic Microphone. This microphone is durable and versatile and can be used to record a variety of instruments, including guitar amps, drums, and horns. It has a cardioid polar pattern that helps to isolate the sound source and a frequency response of 40 Hz – 15 kHz. The Shure SM57-LC can be found on Amazon for $89.
Mic leads, also known as XLR cables, are used to connect your microphones to your audio interface. When selecting mic leads, you should consider their length, durability, and shielding.
One highly recommended mic lead is the Mogami Gold Studio XLR Cable. This cable is highly durable and has a lifetime warranty. It also has a 100% shield coverage that helps to prevent interference and noise. The Mogami Gold Studio XLR Cable is available in various lengths and can be found on Amazon for $39.95.
Drum Mic Packs
Drum mic packs are specialized sets of microphones designed for recording drums. They usually include a combination of dynamic and condenser microphones that can capture the different sounds of the drums, such as the kick, snare, and cymbals.
One highly recommended drum mic pack is the Shure DMK57-52 Drum Microphone Kit. This kit includes three SM57 dynamic microphones for the snare and toms, one Beta 52A dynamic microphone for the kick drum, and two PGA81 condenser microphones for the overheads. It also includes mounts and cables for each microphone. The Shure DMK57-52 can be found on Amazon for $599.
Mixing desks, also known as audio mixers or consoles, are used to control the levels and effects of your audio sources. They can be analog or digital and can have different numbers of channels and features.
One highly recommended mixing desk is the Behringer X32 Compact Digital Mixer. This mixer has 16 channels and can be expanded to 32 channels with the addition of a digital snake. It also has 16 programmable MIDAS preamps and a built-in 32 x 32 USB audio interface. It also includes onboard effects and a 7-inch color TFT display. The Behringer X32 Compact can be found on Amazon for $1,399.
Computers are an essential component of any home recording studio. They are used to record, edit, and mix your audio recordings. When selecting a computer, you should consider its processing power, storage capacity, and compatibility with your software and hardware.
Mac computers are widely used in the music industry and are known for their stability and reliability. The top three Mac computers for studios are:
Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.3GHz Intel Core i9) - $2,199 on Amazon
Apple iMac (27-inch, 8GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 3.1GHz Intel Core i5) - $1,799 on Amazon
Apple Mac mini (16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 3.0GHz 6-core Intel Core i5) - $1,049 on Amazon
PC computers are also widely used in the music industry and offer more customization options and affordability. The top three PC computers for studios are:
HP Envy Desktop (Intel Core i7-10700, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) - $1,209 on Amazon
Dell XPS 8940 Tower Desktop (Intel Core i7-10700,
32GB RAM, 1TB SSD) - $1,649 on Amazon
- ASUS ProArt StudioBook Pro 17 Mobile Workstation Laptop (Intel Xeon E-2276M, 32GB RAM, 2TB PCIe SSD) - $2,999 on Amazon
Wireless systems can be used to connect your instruments and microphones to your audio interface without the need for cables. They can be especially useful for live performances and home studios with limited space.
One highly recommended wireless system is the Shure BLX14R/MX53 Wireless Headset System. This system includes a BLX1 bodypack transmitter, a BLX4R rack-mount receiver, and a MX153 omnidirectional condenser headset microphone. It has a range of up to 300 feet and a frequency response of 20 Hz – 20 kHz. The Shure BLX14R/MX53 can be found on Amazon for $549.
Setting up a home recording studio can be an exciting and fulfilling project. By selecting the right gear, you can create high-quality recordings and unleash your creativity. The key components of a home recording studio include an audio interface, a strong desk, studio monitors, headphones, mic sets, mic leads, drum mic packs, mixing desks, computers, and wireless systems. When selecting your gear, consider your budget, your needs, and your preferences. With the right gear and some practice, you can create professional-sounding recordings from the comfort of your own home.