Getting Started With Home Recording

Home recording is a rewarding way to spend free time and let your creativity flow. If you get good enough at home recording, you may even be able to make a career out of your hobby.

Some hobbies have a steep learning curve, and home recording can be one of those hobbies. Investing in the right equipment, reading about home recording and allowing your creativity to flow can make getting started with home recording much easier. Here’s what to know. 

Know Your Budget

Your home recording studio will require an initial investment from you, because you’ll need to purchase equipment and set up space at home. Most people need to invest at least $300 in their studio, if they’re starting from scratch. This includes basic equipment and a microphone.

Costs vary depending on what you’re planning on purchasing. Shop around, and if you’re on a tight budget, you may need to purchase your recording equipment over a long period of time, which could delay your progress.

This cost does not include the price of a good computer. People who engage in home recording rely on good computers. Recording can make big files that require a powerful computer to manipulate. Just having a basic computer at home isn’t good enough – you’ll need a computer that’s designed to process and store large files. As you’re making your budget, you may need to add in some money for a new computer. Shop around to get the best, most affordable deal. 

Set Up Your Studio

Once you’ve got the money set aside, it’s time to make purchases.  

A Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is a type of software that allows people who record at home to record audio and mix their music from their personal workstation. There are a variety of DAW products available for home recording buffs. You’ll learn more about the best DAW products by doing research and by networking with people who enjoy this hobby for themselves.  

Other purchases you’ll need to make include:

  • Audio interface
  • Monitor speakers
  • Headphones
  • Microphphone (including cable and stand)
  • Popshield

If you’re serious about home recording, you may also want to purchase acoustic treatments that help soundproof the room where you’ll be working.  

Record Your First Track

Once you’ve purchased and set up your equipment, you’re ready to record your first track. Some tips:

Name the track before you start recording. Come up with a naming convention to make it easier to store and organize your digital files.

Set the recording levels. The loudest parts of your track should fall around -10 dbfs (decibels relative to full scale). 

Avoid heavy-duty mixing in the beginning. Mixing tracks adds a level of complication that can leave many beginners feeling lost. Basic mixing is hard enough, so keep your mixing to a minimum at first. 

Home recording takes a lot of time to learn and get good at, so your first tracks may not live up to your own expectations. Keep practicing, and you’ll get better with time.