I have been fascinated by recording music at home since one of my first studio sessions back in my teenage days. Those days recording equipment was costly, the hight and birth of home recording technology was a four-track cassette “Portastudio.” The quality was no the best, but it still makes me laugh when people ask me these days if they can record in their home without soundproofing. My desire to learn how to record music at home was much greater than the search for perfect audio quality. Those cassette recordings had more his than a bucket full of rattlesnakes.
In the late nineties, I got my hands on a copy of a Cubase. I recorded into it through a standard computer sound card that had a micro jack input. Not ideal. But with few adaptors, I was able to get a signal into the computer. It was my first experience using a DAW, and I was hooked!
Since then the quality has gone through the roof, and the prices have come right down. You can acquire an audio interface and a microphone package for less than $200. This will be enough to get you started recording music at home with your computer.
What equipment do you need to record music at home?
So what do you need? A computer, with a USB input. Obviously the faster the computer, the smoother the process. But even your standard home computer will do the job. You need a way to get the audio signal into the computer. The standard option for this is an audio interface, like the Focusrite 2i2, or the PreSonus AudioBox 96. These will connect to your computer through a USB port. The USB port allows you to connect a Microphone, plug in a guitar, bass or any other instrument. When the levels are set up properly on these audio interfaces, the sound quality is nearly pro studio quality. With one of these audio interfaces paired with a nice microphone, there will be nothing stopping you to record a pro-quality recording in our home.
Most Audio interfaces come with a free basic recording software, or you can use an online cloud-based DAW, like Melosity for free and it won’t even take space on your computers hard drive. The advantage Melosity has over traditional DAW is that you can invite your friends to work on the same project with you from their home.
Avoid the Gear Acquisition Syndrome and feature race.
It is so easy to put aside your recording project, just because you are missing that perfect bit of equipment, or the perfect virtual synth. The truth is, your recording will only be as good as the song, your playing skills, and your recording skills. The only way to get better at any of the above is to do more of it. Record with whatever you have at any given chance you have and your recordings will get better. The experience you gain by doing will always win over the latest gadget you could spend your hard earned cash on.
So what next?
If you would like to read more about how to record music at home, check out our Ebook “How to set up your own home recording studio: Beginners guide” on Amazon. It will get into more detail about how to set up your home recording space, choose the right equipment, microphone techniques, mixing and more. Also if you have any further questions, I’d be happy to do my best to reply to them in the comments below.