I am preparing to start home recording and wondering what gear is needed for a starter? I tried to search in the forum but only to find a thread 3 years ago. Somebody told me the most important part of any studio environment is THE ROOM where you will be recording. Everything else is second. Is that ture?
Hi, Lynn. Wow, that subject has given many of us a lot of stress when starting out. There are a plethora of options, and you’re always worried if you should have bought something more expensive or less expensive.
Here’s an excellent link that I spent a lot of time reading when I needed to familiarize myself with what I needed to have, I think you’ll find it useful:
Microphones – can you get by with a USB mic? Technically yes, but I’m leery of using them in a home studio. To each his own, and everyone’s voice is not for every microphone, but I’d stay with a good beginner mic with an XLR connection to start out.
Shock mount – you definitely need this, along with the stand. Many shock mounts are sold with microphones. If your mic did not come with one, you’ll need to get one.
You’ll also need a PC or laptop for your editing software, and a quality audio interface (FocusRite Scarlett is a good example) for the microphone to run into, then send a converted digital signal by Firewire to your PC. Additionally, I use a pre-amp, which has some additional tweaks that help my voice sound a little more vibrant.
Headphones – they should be studio-quality dynamic, not just for casual stereo listening. You want to hear every aspect of your recording in order to edit properly.
Don’t forget – acoustic treatment for your room. Auralex foam tiles, moving blankets, a closet full of clothes … whatever it takes, make sure you have something to absorb or diffuse echoes. You want good flat audio when recording.
Software – I’m not familiar with Audacity, but I know many who use it. For budgetary considerations, there are plenty of free versions of recording software that do as good a job as the paid versions – the main difference is the paid versions have some additional features or looks that experienced users find useful. I use Adobe Audition 3.0 – free. My VO coach uses it also and gets professional results with it. The important thing is that you learn how to use it so you can edit effectively and efficiently, and make your audio as good as it can be when auditioning or sending a job to a client.
Finally – as much as you can, budget for the best equipment you can afford. Used equipment is great as long as its in good working order, but you’re always better off buying quality. And there’s nothing wrong with recording in a closet if you get the results needed to land the job.
I hope that gives you something to go on. You’ll find many schools of thought on equipment (especially microphones) and setting up a studio on a budget, but don’t forget that it’s the person operating the equipment who has the greatest influence on producing quality voiceovers. :)
Best of luck in setting up your home studio. If you like, feel free to send me an email to chat further. Take care!
Joe “Zunardo” Jankowski firstname.lastname@example.org
Wow, Joe, a huge thanks to you, the answer is very helpful.:-)
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