The How to Home Recording Studio – Recording a Great Sounding Record at Home Doesn’t Have to be Rocket Science
by Owen Critchley
Warner/LoudThud recording artist
Author of Easy Home Recording Blueprint
Let’s define the title of this article, The How to Home Recording Studio, and how you can realistically achieve the commonly shared dream of all aspiring recording artists: Affordable, professional recording at home and in a way that does not require an engineering degree. In other words, how to record songs simply, cheaply and sound great.
With that in mind, bare with me because it is very important you read and understand the simple, but vital Golden Rules of recording professional quality sound at home. Then, this article’s goal of being part of the solution and not the problem, can be successful. Ready?
The How to Home Recording Studio: Top 2 Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is it even possible to make professional sounding recordings at home?
The answer is most definitely, “Yes,” and most experts would agree with that, at least in theory. But, ask these same experts whether it’s possible to make great sounding records at home without mortgaging your home to do it! This is where the controversy starts and the usefulness of most expert opinion ends. The unfortunate thing is that the variety of opinion and the volume that these opinions are offered, saps the budding dreams and confidence of songwriters and aspiring recording artists.
Q: Ok, then how can I record professional sound at home without spending a fortune?
If you remember nothing else, remember this: Sound actually requires just a few basic ingredients to be in place, and then recording professional sound simply and affordibly, becomes a very real possibility for everyone.That goes for beginners too. But how?
You see, sound requires a simple pathway to follow, free of obstructions, on its journey to our recording software. Without this pathway in place, sound is extremely prone to injury, and therefore, sudden loss of quality and fidelity.
Most home recording studio enthusiasts, by not understanding sound’s simple needs, create a pathway that mortally injures their source sound. It is already thin, distorted and amateurish, before it even arrives to the recording software.
The How to Home Recording Studio – Top 3 ingredients for successful home recording
- Choosing the correct, simple, affordable and effective external input device (i/o box.) Do NOT use a built-in computer sound card. Do not give in to the temptation to make your source sound travel through multiple effects units before reaching your recording software.
NOTE: Simple to do, incredible textures can be created within the recording software. I’ll talk about this more in subsequent articles. For now, keep the sound clean going in. Trust me, the gains in sound quality will reward your patience regarding laying on the effects too soon in the process.
- Know the “sweet spot” when setting your input volume to capture and retain healthy sound. Too quiet and the sound is thin and without body. Too loud and digital distortion rears its ugly head.
- Easy to use recording software. Do not sabotage your ambitions and creativity by creating a home recording set up with a steep learning curve. Simply put, it just isn’t necessary.
The How to Home Recording Studio – Now that we’ve stripped down the process, we’re absolutely golden going forward
The simple pieces we discussed above are the backbone and perfect foundation of all great recordings. As is so often true, less is more. Recording professional quality sound in the home recording studio, the power, clarity and beauty you dream of lies in a simple, perfect method.
In the next article, we’ll talk about some specific home recording tips.