Home studio vs professional studio
There is an opinion that a good-quality vocal recording could be done merely by means of a professional sound studio. In other words, if you try to do it at home, the result will be very flawed.
But it is a myth. Experience has proven that a home vocal recording is more than possible. In fact, if you have a proper knowledge, skills, software and hardware, the result could be almost the same as at studio.
It is worth noting, however, that a home studio requires a single sum payment for buying a necessary equipment and acoustically treating of the room. On the other hand, if the recording is doing at the studio, you will pay hourly.
A poor-quality vocal recording is the result of most of musicians and novice sound engineers have trouble understanding how does voice recording and processing work and what is required for it.
However, making good-quality records at home is not so hard as might appear at first sight. You don’t have to buy the high-end equipment or do the complex soundproofing. Basically, if someone tells you that a home good-quality vocal recording is impossible, you shouldn’t take his/her words as gospel.
It happens that recording at small commercial studios is so poor that there is no chance to recover it to proper quality. Why is that happening? Because the key part of it is a quality of the original recording. Often studio records come out so low-grade because truly professional studios and experienced sound engineers is a very rare kind.
For at home vocal recording you would need a microphone, headphones, amplifier, digital audio workstation software (DAW) and sound card (it is a PC component or external USB audio interface). Also you should know how to build a vocal booth. Quality of the final vocal track depends largely on the quality of this equipment and your skills.
Must have device list for a home studio
- Microphone: There are many types of microphones. You don’t need cheap karaoke microphone or gaming headset. For a good quality records you need condensed microphone which is capable to record wide frequency range 20Hz-20kHz
- Microphone stand;
- Headphones: There are 2 types of studio headphones: open and closed. Open headphones made for mixing purproses, you feel more comfortable sitting long time mixing with open headphones. But you need clean vocal track without any noise so you should choose closed headphones.
- Pop filter: It’s noise protection filter which helps you to elemenate ‘popping’ sounds during singing or rapping.
- Audio interface: Modern USB audio interfaces have mic preamps so you don’t need any external pre-amplifier device. Just plug in your mic cable to your audio interface, set the levels and record your vocals. Focusrite Scarlett is a good choise.
Remember that you wouldn’t get a good-quality sound out of a poor-quality record. Even using a processing FXs.
Also remember that the fewer devices you are using during recording, the better will be the sounding of a voice. Any device, even the most expensive, is adding distortions to the original sound.
In conclusion, it’s worth noting that recording vocals at home allow you to relax, distract yourself from external factors and focus on singing. Your own home-based studio makes it possible to sing and rap whenever you like.
Watch this Tinashe home studio tour. Nobody can say that she has poor-quality records.