Thinking about setting up a home recording studio on a budget? Worried about which equipment to buy? This article is going to help you filter the essential equipment according to your need and budget.
Whether you are an experienced voice actor or an aspiring one, setting up a home recording studio can be exhausting, from figuring out the list of equipment you need and then selecting which one to buy, keeping budget in your mind. Well, here is a non-exhaustive list of things you are going to need to get your studio up and running.
These are the basic requisites to set up a home recording studio. Let’s get to know more about them so that you can decide how much you need to spend on each piece of equipment.
1:- Computer/Laptop: Computers are a must nowadays. You cannot work anything out without a computer be it a laptop or a PC you have to have one. If you own one, well you can cut out a major equipment expense, but if you don’t, you need to get one that can run a Digital Audio Workstation or DAW. With rapid advancements in technology, most computers can run a variety of recording programs but they also get old or outdated very fast. Always check the compatibility of your program with the piece you are buying on the manufacturer’s website. If you have your hands tied get as much RAM and a better processor as possible.
2:- Digital Audio Workstation or DAW: DAW is a software that enables you to record, edit and mix your audio. In the market, you can find different types of DAWs, depending upon your needs, your computer’s compatibility, and budget you can choose the right one for you. Either on a tight budget or not, choosing the one which suits your need is a difficult job because each DAW has its own merits and demerits. Although some DAWs are available for free, professional ones are going to cost you.
3:- Audio Interface: Well, you are going to need an audio interface to get your recordings into your computer and out of it during playback. Computers do have an audio interface, but they are only good for watching movies, not for recording works. Make sure you choose an interface that is compatible with your computer and DAW. A quick tip, when starting up, the all-in-one audio interface is always a great choice.
4:- Studio Monitor or Headphone: These may look like normal speakers from the outside but inside they are different. Like normal speakers they don’t amplify a particular frequency or note, they just give out as it is. Studio monitors are important to understand how your recordings are going to sound. You can also use studio headphones for the same. A good quality studio headphone is definitely not going to be very cheap but not so expensive either. Whichever you buy, just don’t go on spending too much.
5:- Audio Cables: Quality audio cables are something you should never compromise with if you want your recordings to be smooth and without unknown disturbances. Quality cables ensure that your recordings remain intact and free from any kind of interference. Audio cables should be balanced having a positive and an inverse signal canceling out each other so that no external or unwanted noise is mixed with your recordings.
6:- Microphones and Accessories: When starting you might feel confused between dynamic mics and condenser mics, as dynamic mics are good for recording live audios and voices. On the other hand, condenser mics are more sensitive and detail-oriented. Since you are just starting, go for the large-diaphragm condenser mics. With mics, you will need a few more little things such as a mic stand, a dead cat ( a device used on mics to cancel wind noise), and a shock mount to avoid unwanted vibrations getting picked up by mics. Want to know more, review this Detailed Guide to choosing your microphone for voice over.
7:- Soundproofing: Soundproofing your recording room is extremely important to make it a studio. Sound has certain patterns that it follows, like bouncing back from walls which we call reverb. You can always use some bass straps on the corners of your room because bass mostly lies there. Also, you must employ sound treating foams on walls to avoid the reverbs. These foams specialize in sound absorption and are not expensive, perfect for starting up your home studio.
Keeping an eye on the budget you can always make adjustments to this list, but make sure you have them if you want your equipment to support your work. Your recordings are your work of art and you should not let lack of equipment hamper its quality. So, no matter you wish to do only voice over or offer well synced dubbing services to your customers, you would need to have a good studio setup to offer the best of your voice.
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