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Starting your in home recording adventure By James L Swearingen


Starting your in home recording adventure By James L Swearingen

by James

In most situations people want to head down to their local music store and purchase stuff they’re not sure they’ll need to get themselves started. The somewhat usual result is being sold on something you didn’t need or buying something you don’t know how to operate. In this article I’m going to explain a simple home set up process using equipment you can find at any Music and Arts Center near you. Alright let’s get it guys!

Scenario: For this example we’re going to say the situation is two local musicians (guitarist and singer). They want to set up a simple in home studio to track written songs or even record ideas for songs to record in a more professional studio later.  What will they need?  1) DAW 2) Interface 3) Monitors& Cables 4) Condenser Microphone.  

What equipment should we be looking at? First we will need a D.A.W. (Digital Audio Workstation). People will generally start with a DAW that’s free or inexpensive.  Personally, I see nothing wrong using these inexpensive programs for starters who are literally still in the testing the water phases.  This DAW will allow you to get the job done.  I would highly suggest Pro-Tools, Ableton, or Studio One to those of you who have more experience.

Next would be interfaces!  You shouldn’t be looking for anything too crazy if you are aiming just for a reliable home recording situation. For this set up I would recommend the “UA Arrow” interface.  This is the component that is going to take our “creative sound, piano, singing, or guitar” and turn it into actual audio in your workstation. The UA Arrow offers the best in price and quality.  Just like anything, your gear is an investment. 

Now let’s talk about studio monitors. With monitors, it depends on what you’re doing with your home set up. If you’re just recording then I would recommend a simpler set of speakers like PreSonus Eris E3.5 Studio Monitors. If you goal is mixing then I would suggest something with more of a flat frequency chart like the Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor Pair.  This will give you greater detail in your mixing.  Next we will need XLR or TRS cables to connect from the interface to the monitor’s.  Cables should be short to offer less outside frequency resistance.

Lastly, we will need a Condenser Microphone to capture all the great sound you’re about to record! I saved Mic’s for last because, like studio monitors, it’s a tricky investment.  I’ll offer my favorite low budget and industry standard mic choices. If you’re “balling on a budget” then I would look into the BLUE Spark SL Large-Diaphragm Studio Condenser Microphone.  This mic is good for all around personal recording situations such as rapping, singing, or picking up room noise for effect. My industry standard choice would have to be the Neumann TLM 102 Condenser Microphone. This mic is known for its reliability. Of course there are better ones out there but this will never let you down.

To everyone that took out the time to read this article, I hope it helps you on your adventure to finding your sound. Feel free to send me an email or call the store if you have any questions.  I’m here to help you guys out!  Don’t forget our 4th of July sale is coming up! Time to get some great deals on some of the gear you’ve had your eye on.

Signing off

James Lee, Swearingen

Music & Arts Center Corona