5 Fundamentals Of Recording At Home Without A Home Studio

Inspiration is flowing through your head. But something’s missing. No home studio. You’re not interested in paying studio fees. But you also aren’t ready to invest big money in a home studio. 

Can you record at home without a studio and still produce a professional sound? Just follow these 5 fundamentals.

1. Find a Soundproof Location

So it probably won’t be 100% soundproof at home. That’s okay. Just find the quietest place in your home. Then take steps to reduce the sound seeping in even further.

Choose a time of day when noise is at its lowest, as long as the recording won’t wake the neighbors.

Close the doors and windows. Better yet, choose a room with no windows.

Use mattresses and pillows to block sound. Focus these around doors, windows, and vents, and noisier walls since you won’t be able to cover the whole room. Thicker materials are better. Egg crate toppers look like a good choice but usually don’t do much.

Empty room? No furniture = echoes, so put some furniture with soft surfaces in there too. 

2. Get Some Basic Equipment

You don’t have to spend a lot of money. But you need some basics. Buy, beg, or borrow from friends as needed:

  • A computer
  • A decent microphone
  • DAW (Digital Recording Workstation). It’s software that allows you to adjust the sound quality on your computer.
  • Audio interface. It changes sound into a format your computer can understand and work with.

Alternatively, if you have a decent smartphone, check its recording capabilities to save money and time wrangling up this stuff.  Garageband is a free audio interface on Apple devices that is great for beginners. Bandlab is another.

If you have some cash, you shouldn’t spend more than $200 on an audio interface starting out. You can get basic ones for around $50.

Some decent options under $200 are:

  • Behringer U-Phoria UMC202HD 

  • Audient iD4 MKII USB-C Audio Interface 

  • M-Audio M-Track Solo 

3. Check Your Levels

You got some basic equipment for a reason. Before you go live or start recording, do a sound check. As a general rule, a recording level over 0 will create distortion, so shoot for -10 to -12 as a starting point.

Play it back. See how it sounds. Make adjustments to get the highest quality while reducing distortion. 

4. Start with a Basic Recording

Don’t put your heart and soul into your first recording.

You won’t get it perfect the first time. That’s how it’s supposed to be.

Get a feel for your equipment. Make note of how close you need to be, how loud, if you’re in key.

Work on these basics before you give it your all.  Otherwise, you’ll wear yourself out before you actually get to the REAL recording.

5. Keep Working on Quality and Equipment

Because you didn’t overspend early on, you’ll be able to invest in your quality and professional sound as you gain traction in the industry. 

You may need better:

  • Microphone
  • DAW
  • Audio interface

And a good set of headphones can up your quality game. 

You may not have the funds or time to do it all at once. But always think about how you can make this better. 

Recording At Home Without a Studio

Yes, you can produce professional sound at home without a studio. Few but the most attuned ears would know the difference if you follow these basic tips. 

Your audience awaits.