Not so long ago you needed a solid label deal or specific friends with a recording studio to record your own music. Luckily, time changed. Now every single artist in the world is able to create and record his own music at home, but how? And what do you need? And what if you are on a low-budget? This and many more is what you are going to learn in this blog post.
7 Steps towards a succesful home studio
Step 1) Recording your music professionally starts with being able to record your music. This means that you need a laptop or computer with USB ports. Here are some laptops I suggest when you are trying to spent less than $500:
Acer Aspire 5
Acer Aspire E 15
HP Stream 11
Lenovo Chromebook Duet
HP Chromebook x2
Acer Swift 1
HP Chromebook 15
Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook
Samsung Chromebook 4
Step 2) Recording your music professionally will only be possible if you have a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). I recommend you to invest some money into this, because it is a lifetime investment. Here are my top three favorite DAWS:
Fl Studio (You can even use the free-version nowadays)
Step 3) Recording your music professionally will force you to buy an Audio Interface. An audio interface is basically an external (mostly USB) sound card. A solid audio interface will have a microphone preamp built-in. Condenser microphones (which will be explained in step 4) need a 48v phantom power.
Here are some of my most favorite audio interfaces:
- Audient ID4 (Low Budget)
- Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (I use this one)
- Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2 (Low Budget)
Step 4) After you set-up your computer, DAW and audio interface, it is time for you to get your hands on a professional microphone. This is important, because it is your voice which will set you apart from others and your Unique Selling Point needs, in this case, to sound great.
So, here are some of the best microphones you can get as an up and coming rapper:
AKG Pro Audio C214.
Rode NTK Tube Condenser.
AKG Pro Audio C414 XLII.
Rode NT1A Vocal Condenser.
Neumann TLM 102.
MXL 770 Cardioid Condenser.
Blue Yeti USB Microphone (You can win this in my December 2020 challange!)
Step 5) Studio headphones are, in my opinion, the most important thing when it comes to making and recording your own music. A great headphone brings you unique insights of your own music that you cannot hear with your speakers or Airpods.
It is up to you to choose which one you want, but again, try to invest in yourself and buy something that lasts for a couple of years (costs more, but works longer).
Here is my top 7 headphones for rappers:
- Koss Porta Pro On Ear Headphones.
- Mpow H7 Bluetooth Headphones.
- Audio-Technica ATH-M50x.
- Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO (You can win this with my December 2020 Freestyle Challange)
- Skullcandy Crusher Bluetooth Wireless.
- COWIN E7.
- Beats Solo3 Wireless.
Step 6) Studio monitors cannot be missed when you are building your own home studio. I have to admit that building a home studio on a low-budget is extremely hard, but it is possible. I still do recommend you to invest in yourself and buy Rokit KRK 6 or higher speakers to work with, but let us dive in some other options too.
These are my top 5 budget studio monitors:
- KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit 5 Generation 3 Powered Budget Studio Monitor.
- KRK RP5G3W-NA Rokit 5 Generation 3 Powered Studio Monitor - Pair.
- Mackie CR Series CR3 - 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Budget Studio Monitors.
- Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers - 2.0 Active Near Field Monitors.
- JBL LSR305 Studio Monito
Step 7) This step is all about 'filling' your studio with the right equipment. Think about: Cables, Microphone stands, Monitor stands, Isolation shields & a pop filter. Let us dive into each segment and narrow it down to the most simple explanation I can possibily create.
- Cables: Most of the time the only cables you need are LONG XLR cables to connect your speakers with the Audio Interface.
- Microphone stand: Having an adjustable microphone stand can really help you in the long way. Maybe you like recording sitting on your chair, maybe you like recording and jumping around. You do not need one, but it can be useful.
- Pop filter: Most microphones come with a pop filter, but if they are not included, make sure to get your hands on one. Why? Because pop filters will help filter out the harsh 'T' and 'S' when you record your music.
- Isolation shield: This is not nessicary, but can be useful if you want to go for the most professional sound / recording. Some rappers also use blankets and other creative ideas that will help to isolate the room from echoing sounds.
Thank you for reading this blog post, I hope you learned something. Let me know if you have any complaints or tips for me, feel free to send them in the comment section below or on my Instagram @soundsbyfrenk.