If you wish to produce music at home, there are simple ways to procure and install even the most complicated audio equipment to give you studio-like production quality. The list can get pretty long if you want a professional setup, however, we have a list of the basic equipment you need, to set up a pretty sophisticated production studio at home. Here is the equipment you need, feel free to leave out stuff you feel will not be necessary:
An Audio Interface
You could simply use your computer’s microphone or a low-end microphone plugged into the sound card but if you want to level up the production quality, you will be much better off with an audio interface as built in sound cards will not provide any control over the signal. While an audio interface will give you the ability to use high-quality microphones and other equipment for recording. A few of the affordable ones include the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 and Presonus AudioBox 22VSL, all of which come with high recording quality and two microphone inputs.
Whether you plan to record vocals and/or instruments you will definitely need multiple microphones. You can drastically improve the sound quality by using good microphones. Although different microphones are used for different sound types and instruments, you could go for affordable ones with versatile capabilities like the Samson C01 or the Behringer C-1. More importantly, a quiet and echo-free recording space or room is necessary to even realize the benefits of a good microphone.
Like the name may sound, they are actually not displays but speakers which reproduce recorded sound as accurately as possible. You can go with good quality sound speakers too if you feel that these are unnecessary but they can help you get a good sense of your recorded audio, especially if you listen to your own voice.
MIDI Keyboard or Controller
You may want to use only live instruments, in which case, you may not need these but if you plan to make use of virtual instruments in your music you will need a good MIDI keyboard to play these virtual instruments. These are available at a cheap rate and you will not need any expensive ones for home recordings. Most MIDI keyboards provide the basic controls you need.
You will definitely need some cables to connect all of the hardware we just mentioned. In general, any device that is USB-based will come with USB-A to USB-B cables so you will not need to buy them separately. However, microphones always use an XLR interface and you will have to purchase XLR cables for each of the microphones you use. The studio monitors we mentioned will also need XLR or 1/4″ TRS cables for connection.
DAW or Digital Audio Workstation Software
You will need good software to make the most of all the hardware you purchase. One of the most popular ones is Cubase. It is powerful and flexible and runs on both, the Windows and OS X platforms. You can start with a free trial and later purchase the power packed entry level version for under $100.
All of this should be enough to help you produce some great music at home.
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