From pod-casting to entire albums, there are many reasons to create a home music studio. Regardless of your technical objective here are 4 basic building blocks that have proven paramount to home recording; a space, a source, a recorder and a capture method.
The World English Dictionary defines the word studio as;
a room in which an artist, photographer, or musician works.
I would consider this to be a very simple yet effective way to describe the home recording environment. The home music studio is a room designed and outfitted to capture your creative expression for the purpose of sharing it with others. So back to our original question. If you want to learn how to make a home music studio you will need to begin with 4 basic elements.
In understanding how to make a home music studio, the first thing you need is some type of space. The issue here is knowing what you are trying to accomplish. Are you recording an entire band? What type of instruments will you be using? Are you recording a single vocal with a musical accompaniment? Answering these question can really give you a clear picture of what to create in your home music studio space.
Once you have an idea of what you're trying to accomplish in your studio, next you need to address some questions about the space itself. Is it isolated from outside sound sources? If not you will need to process some ideas to block out those outside noises. How are the acoustics in the room? Does sound die out quickly or are there lots of bounces and echos when a sound is made within the room? Smooth walls, larger spaces, and sharp corners can be a sound nightmare for recording if not addressed.
Once you have your space, you also need the source you intend to record. I know this may seem obvious but my point here is to process exactly "what" you are going to record. The same considering for space must be given for the source as the answer to several questions will help determine what other elements are needed in your studio.
Are you recording vocals? How many do you hope to record at one time? What about drums? Are they acoustic or electronic? Do you hope to record an acoustic piano or will an electronic keyboard be a better option. Take the time to think through every element you're planning on recording in your home music studio. You can save yourself time and money by not investing in unneeded equipment.
We both know your home recording studio would not be much of a studio, without a way to actually record. Let me encourage you to process this tool a bit deeper though. In today's modern recording world, there are basically two categories of recorders, both of which are digital.
Option one is to record on a computer, otherwise known as a digital audio workstation or DAW for short. Recording on a DAW involves a decently fast computer with a good amount of disk space. This computer would then connect to some type of analog to digital audio converter. There are many options today for this type of recording.
The second recording option for the home music studio world is called a hard disk recorder. The hard disk recorder does not require a computer to connect to in order to capture audio. Some units also have built in mixers and CD burners allowing a full project to be recorded, mixed, and mastered on one unit.
A Capture Method
The last building block for learning how to make a home music studio is relatively simple. You need some way to capture the sound your recorder is going to record. The most common of which, is a microphone. There are many different types of microphones or mics. Most mics are created with a specific use in mind and they all vary in price and quality. Other capture methods include direct connections and Musical Instrument Digital Interface, or MIDI for short.
You too, can learn how to make a home music studio. I will be covering each of these areas in more detail through future posts. What are your thoughts and comments? Please include them in the section below.