Thursday, July 24, 2008

Create! Build your own home studio

Hey hey hey!

Do you have a home studio set up? If not, why not?

OK, I'm not talkin' about a super duper expensive Pro Tools ten thousand dollar monitor isolated breathing so the aliens won't hear the total harmonic distortion dealio.

Nope. It can be as humble as a tape recorder and a cheap mic. The important thing is to have something to record your ideas, no matter how primitive.

Currently, here's the simple rig I've got:

- My guitar rig
- Sure SM57 microphone
- an old Boss BR-532 digital 4 track recorder
- Adobe Audition audio editing software

I use the recorder to track all guitars, and then I transfer the data to my computer. (The soundcard on my computer sounds lousy, and I should really get an interface. However, I need to do my research on that!) Once it's on my hard drive, I load the tracks into Audition, and spend as long as I want mixing, adding effects, and tweaking the song. Check out my myspace page for some songs I recorded this way. Keep in mind - I really don't know what I'm doing with the recording process! I'm just foolin' around!

You can build your own mini-studio for super cheap, too. Here's what I'd recommend to get started. Keep in mind, you can spend thousands of dollars on studio gear, and the more you spend, the better it'll sound. But the important thing is to get started capturing your sonic ideas, and learning the fine art of songwriting, recording, and creating.

- Get a cheap mic. Try Radio Shack. Plug it into your computer. Research this - make sure everything will connect before you buy!

- Download the FREE Audacity recording software.

- Put the mic in front of your amp, and rock on!

Now, if you want to spend a few more bucks, try upgrading your microphone. The Sure SM57 is an industry standard, but research your choices. Some way to get it to your recording program is super good, too (ie, an interface.)

Software is nifty. There's the great debate raging among basement guitarists - standalone digital recorder vs. recording software. While I'm not familiar enough with the gear to give an authoritative viewpoint, I lean towards software. The flexibility available in the program I use blows the boss recorder outta DA water, bro! I can put all sorts of effects on the tracks, cut 'n paste sections, and do whatever. It's neat.

The point of this blog? Not to give even an informed opinion on recording gear. Nope, I don't know enough. Please do your research before buying anything!

But I do know this. You should set up a studio ASAP. It's fun, and it'll help you learn - about recording, songwriting, and most importantly, about how you sound! As I mentioned previously, listening to yourself on tape/hard drive/CD is a brutally honest and helpful learning experience.

Rock on!


1 comment:

Rick said...

Cheap home studios are awesome. I just use my effects pedal (zoom g2) into my soundcard (soundblaster audigy 4) which is cheap. I use the input of course. I capture with audacity and have fun with it. Works well!! Check out the demo of FL studio as well,