How to set up a Home Recording Studio on a Small Budget
Building a home recording studio doesn’t have to be a HUGE project.
This week we are getting the info from an expert. Walter Williams has traded his Radio Station microphone for a home studio microphone and has really cut himself a big niche in the Australian Voiceover scene. So what does a real working pro do for a home recording studio? Lets ask Walter.
I know a travelling pro who used to stick his head under his Doona and with the aid of a torch read his scripts into a mic and straight into his laptop, in whatever city he was in at the time. It’s a portable solution, but not ideal for making professional voice over recordings. It pays to do your homework if you want to deliver the best sound to your client and compete in an already overcrowded market.
You need a P.O.D. (Point of Difference) and getting started is as easy as A, B, C, D. E, & F.
In today’s blog, I’ll explain exactly what basics you need to start recording and stay classy. So step-by-step let’s build a basic home recording studio for newbies from scratch.
A: Recording Space/Studio
You need to set aside a Recording Space somewhere in your house, flat, caravan, boat, whatever and remember the K.I.S.S. principle…Keep It Simple Stupid…not that I’m calling anyone dumb. A simple home recording studio space can be under a stair case, in a closet or a dedicated room. It just needs to be a quiet zone, where you won’t get a lot of foot traffic from flatmates or family and friends.
Now you need to treat that space to reduce sound reflection and unwanted noise coming in. An easy way to do this is with removalist packing blankets or mum’s old stitch work quilt hanging from a door. If you can afford it buy an something like an SM Pro Audio Mic Thing that not only acts as your heavy duty microphone stand, but also your own portable acoustic absorption and isolation panel, plus staple some acoustic tiles to your walls.
Most of us already have a decent laptop, you can always upgrade later. Until that day, you can use the built in speakers in your computer before eventually laying down some hard earned on a pair of Studio Monitors (Speakers) like KRK, Yamaha or Fostex handy for referencing (listening to playback).
D: Audio Interface
You can’t go wrong with Focusrite or PreSonus and most come bundled with software packages for a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). Your DAW software is used to record, edit, and mix your voice on your computer. The interface is the hardware used to connect your computer with the rest of your studio gear and acts as an exterior sound card for your recordings (since computer sound cards are less than ideal).
The world’s fave studio Condenser Microphone is now even better with the release of the all new and improved Rode NT1. For a start it’s Aussie (made in Sydney) and the complete recording kit includes not only the world’s quietest one inch cardioid condenser microphone, with all new capsules and electronics, but also an interted rycote lyre shock mount with detachable pop filter and even a dust cover. All you need to buy is an XLR mic cable. (all this for less than $300)
If you’re serious about sound buy Audio Technica AT-M50X or Sennheiser HD280 Pro.
These will help you hear every mouth click, tummy rumble or passing car while you record your voice overs, so you can save time later by repeating the line or paragraph during that session. What you have is a simple working home recording studio, perfect for anyone just starting out with home recording. It allows you to start with a minimal investment in both time and money…and it’s the perfect foundation to build upon as your skills mature and your PayPal balance grows.