I've thought it might be helpful to some of you if I gave you some hints to start your own home studio, in particular, for buying the recording equipment that can be a little tricky to choose.
I know very well that it seems difficult to decide what to buy or not. I have plenty of friends who launched their own home studio, and they've called me for advice or ideas on microphones, comp, eqs and so...
First things first.
You have to set a budget.
You have to identify your real needs.
Then before you buy everything on musicianfriend.com or zzsound.com, you should go to your local store to try the gears before you buy them, or realize that you can't afford to buy them.
The thing is that you will never be able to own every piece of recording equipment that you are dreaming about. I have my own studio - there and you can see we have lots of microphones, preamps, eqs, compressors, control surface blah blah blah - and I've been working for more than 12 years now in the audio industry... I'm still a kind of audio geek, everyday there are plenty of delicious stuff that are launched on the market and that I'd love to possess... well, I know I don't really need it.
An audio gear is valuable when you use it - often, if not everyday - otherwise it's useless and you should rent it when you need it.
In fact, to start making beautiful recordings, you'll only need :
- one good (preferably two) generic microphone;
- a good microphone preamp;
- an audio interface;
- a recorder / editor / sequencer with the computer to run your sofware;
- a pair of monitors.
But you will also need accessories like :
- microphone stand;
- microphone mount;
- headphones (for performers and for you);
- audio cables;
- pop filter;
so ? easy uh ?
Let's start with the beginning.
What is a good generic microphone ?
Well, it's a microphone that you can trust in - almost - every situation from voice recording (that represents at least 50% of all recordings made) to instrument recording, noise recording
There are plenty of good microphones out there, but a good one is the one you can afford & that you will trust.
Not every microphone is created equal !
Some are real crap, don't be fooled !
And some microphones are very specific to the stuff you have to record, you'll be surprised.
There are huge differences between a Schoeps CMIT cannon mic & a U87 for example, and you wouldn't use them indifferently on voice recording or field recording.