You’ve been toying with the idea of being a musician for a while. You’ve bought a few of the basics like a microphone, stand, and pop filter. If you’re going to record music that you’re proud of, you’re going to need a few more audio accessories to add to that.
You should also get cables, headphones, speakers, an audio interface, and a computer to mix your sound. These aren’t the only items that should be on your shopping list.
To help you get started, here are a few more accessories that you’ll need to pick up in order to create your full home studio.
The audio interface allows you to hook up your headphones, speakers, and microphone to your computer. Audio interfaces come in different sizes with varying numbers of USB ports.
If you’re recording an entire choir of people you’ll need a larger interface than if you were just recording yourself for example.
There are two types of microphones that you can pick up. Which one you get depends on what you want to use it for.
Dynamic microphones are the most common ones you’ll find. When you see your favorite musical artist or comedian on stage this is probably the one that they’re using.
They’re good in noisy areas. If you have loud roommates the mic won’t really pick them up. Dynamic Mics also work well with bass drums and other instruments.
Condenser mics are the ones that are used when recording in a booth. As long as you’re not going to be using instruments, this will be a good first choice for you.
They do pick up subtle sounds so if you have loud pets or roommates, you would be better off going with a dynamic mic.
If you want your microphone to work then you’re going to need XLR cables for them. You can pick these up for pretty cheap but you still don’t want to go with the cheapest option.
Nine times out of ten, a cheap price usually means cheap quality. Still, a cable is a cable. Don’t break your bank over it either.
Each one of your microphones is going to need a stand to hold it. The rules for the XLR cables sort of apply to the mic stand as well.
Mic stands will wear out over time. By going ahead and investing in a quality stand, you’ll get a longer-lasting product.
Your mic is going to pick up every puff of air you make. As you can imagine, this will ruin your take. The solution is to pick up a pop filter.
Pop filters aren’t that expensive and will stop your mic from picking up any extra noises you make while you’re talking or singing.
Headphones that are used for mixing can be expensive. The good news is that if you’re recording by yourself you only need one good pair. When picking out your headphones you have two options, closed back and open back.
Closed back headphones give you the ultimate in isolation so you can focus on mixing but the sound quality isn’t as good. The reverse is true for open back ones. The sound quality is amazing but they don’t offer as much isolation.
Whatever you choose, it may be a good idea to pick up an extension cable of some kind. The cables that come with the headphones are always way too short.
Getting a computer is going to be your biggest expense when you’re starting out but it’s a necessary one. You won’t be able to record, mix, or edit your audio without having one.
You need one that’s fast enough for the job. Unless the computer you have now is prehistoric, it should be able to handle it. If your current computer runs sort of slow, you should replace it as soon as you get the chance.
DAW/Audio Interface Cable
DAW stands for, digital audio workstation. It’s the software that allows you to record, edit, and mix your audio on the computer. As we said earlier, the audio interface is what allows you to plug your equipment into the computer.
You can get these two as a combo deal. In fact, if you’re starting up your first studio, it’s recommended. You may not have too much money to throw around yet, and the combo is cheaper than buying them separately.
You can do all your mixing on headphones, but if you don’t have a lot of experience with mixing yet, it’s not recommended. You’ll want to use monitor speakers to mix for a while.
Monitor speakers offer higher audio quality and using them gives you the chance to hear how your mix actually sounds. Even after you’ve gotten a lot of practice in with mixing, you still always want to double-check on the speakers.