What do you recommend for home studio recording equipment?

Mark Lynch
Voice Over: English

I have been using my local booth but want to equip myself with a decent home recording studio. Please can anyone recommend a package, or share any tips before I buy? Already have a decent computer.


  • 4 months ago
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  • 6
Kasper Michaels
Voice Over: Canadian

depends on your budget. you can make do with an ironing board and a duvet, but it's not very professional looking. A specified "vocal booth" usually start at around £1500. From your question, I'm not sure if you are looking for just a booth or the mic and gear to go with it.

if you are looking to set up at home, your first goal is a good space to record in. The best equipment in the world won't help a bad recording space. Then that space needs to be treated. Blankets and duvets on walls and windows, or actually sound dampening material. I built my own booth from pvc pipe purchased at B & Q and moving blankets. I later updated the blankets to actual sound blankets from VocalBooth2Go, but those might be a little pricey when first setting up. Total cost of my booth, mic, daw, gear(interface, cables, stands, lights, desk) was around £500.

If you are looking for the mic and gear as well, lots of packages online. check online for packages that include mic, mount, stand and interface from RODE or Focusrite, or maybe Behrenger. Again, it's about your budget.

I'm interested in what your "local booth" actually is. is it someone nearby that happens to have one? not everyone has a local booth. sounds interesting.


  • 4 months ago
  • 1
Declan McHugh
Voice Over: English

Vocal Booth To Go Blankets do indeed Rule!

I had one first, but the difference in sound absorption when I doubled up with a second, made the expenditure well worthwhile.

I still wonder about adding a third, but I'm worried it might actually deaden the space too much....

Declan


  • 4 months ago
  • 2
David Meller
Voice Over: English

Hi Mark. I built a booth into the bookshelves I have in my workroom by removing some of the shelves to create the space. I then lined it with some of the foam sound absorbent tiles I got off the internet. The tiles on the 'walls' are glued in place but the 'floor' I have left unsecured as this allows me to move the microphone back and forth if necessary.

Equipment wise, I was advised to make sure the microphone is a good one and I was also advised to make sure I have a good playback speaker. I use an Aston Spirit Microphone and an Avantone Cube playback speaker.

There are a number of suppliers out there who do packages and prices will range from under £100 to well over £500. If you know anybody who can advise you specifically as to equipment and the space you want to work in, it's worth having that conversation before you buy. I am lucky enough to have access to music professionals who advised me on both of those aspects before I committed to purchasing anything but you could try speaking to whoever you deal with at the facility you currently use.

Best of luck. Hope you get sorted.

David


  • 4 months ago
  • 3
Brendan McCoy
Voice Over: English

As the guys above say, it really depends on your budget. But there no point blowing all your money on an expensive microphone, a top of the line audio interface, good neutral sounding pair of monitoring headphones, and a decent set of powered studio monitoring speakers, if you haven't got your recording space sorted. And when I say "sorted", I mean making sure your recording space is as soundproof from outside noise source ingress as possible and then treating the space you're recording in against reverberation. This is definitely where you should spend the lions share of you budget, especially if you're you long term goals is to level up your gear to the types of industry standard mics like the Neumann U87 or even the TLM 103 which as stated above are far less forgiving of a less than ideal recording space.

Now, as mentioned above you can help treat the reverb in your space with the likes of sound blankets (work very well but are expensive), foam tiles (not really anywhere near as effective as people assume for the price), or my personal favourite choice Rockwool acoustic insulation (the stuff that is usually used in the construction of professionally made acoustic panels) it works great to deaden reverb and can be got relatively easily and cheaply for the amount of coverage you can get out of a few packs, but you will need some DIY skills to either make you own panels to treat your space (if you don't have outside noise ingress issues) or if you need more outside noise isolation, to build yourself a hard walled booth to then completely line inside with the Rockwool (the thicker the better, and try to leave an air gap between the outer wall and the Rockwool slabs if you can as this helps increase it effectiveness).

Now on to gear, I'd start out choosing a decent reasonably priced audio interface that should last you a few years like a Focusrite Scarlett Sole 3rd Gen or the EVO 4 by Audient, you can also get either of these as "Studio Bundles" sets with a half decent microphone and okay set of closed back headphones for monitoring plus all the cables (you will need to source you own mic stand... and shock mount with the Focusrite set, but the EVO 4 recording bundle does has a shock mount with it's mic). The mics in the bundles aren't the best and will need upgrading in time, but I know quite a few people who have used (and still use) those mics that come as standard for regular work for the BBC and the like. After that, the best bang for you buck is probably the Audio Technica AT2035 or the Neat King Bee II (which has now been released and will hopefully be available in the UK very soon!) Although if you have a less than Ideal space with a little bit of noise ingress and still a bit of reverb you might be better suited to a shotgun microphone rather than a large diaphragm condenser, in which case my top budget picks are probably the Audio Technica AT875R or if you can afford spend a bit more then the Sennhieser MKE600, and if you can afford a bit more than that then go for the Ride NTG5 (it sounds amazing and on my voice even better than the industry standard shotgun microphone the Sennhieser MKH416).

Anyway, I hope that helps a little rather than confuses the situation further!
Take care and best of luck setting up your space!
Brendan :)


  • 4 months ago
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Christian Mahne
Voice Over: English

I would add a bass trap somewhere in your room treatment if you can fit it in. You can make one yourself following the instructions online or get a prettier looking one from the likes of GIK acoustics.

Everyone has their own mic suggestions, so try as many as you can at the music shop before you buy. I'd suggest steering clear of the USB mics to keep your future options more open later. This will mean buying a decent encoder. I wanted to buy British so wound up with an Audient ID4 Mk II which I consider excellent.

Also, get a boom arm. (eg Rode PSA1) It makes your setup much more adaptable,, say between sitting and standing. Did anyone say decent headphones too? And finally finally finally, learn how to master your clips properly. Just recording and sending isn't enough, but that's a whole different thread


  • 3 months ago
  • 5
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