Home Recording Equipment: Basics
Once upon a time before home music studios were popular the only way to do any recording was to go to a professional music studio. The reason for this was equipment was expensive and only qualified professionals had the privilege to use the equipment. Lack of consumer recording equipment made recording at home nearly impossible.
Thank goodness that those days are now long over with, and you can now do your recording at home without the big equipment or high amounts of technical knowledge. This technologically advanced age of the digital world has enabled every musician, no matter how small and unknown, to lay down tracks in their own homes. Amazingly, you can get high quality results with very little gear and expense too.
A good place to start would be the computer. Whether using a desktop or laptop what is important is having USB inputs and firewire inputs. If for some reason you feel your computer needs updating, more RAM will help speed up audio processing and a good sound card, so you can get good quality sound into your computer.
With a computer ready you can now look into the many software programs available, remember to choose one that suits the type of recording you will do. there are so many types of home recording software, but they all do the same thing; they record, mix, edit and master audio. The key here is not to procrastinate, find a software that will work on your computer and start recording. Learning one type of home recording software will make it easy to use any piece of recording software.
The stock audio inputs an your computer are usually not the greatest quality. I recommend looking into audio interfaces, which is the next piece of the puzzle. Audio interfaces are external sound cards that connect to your computer by either USB or firewire. Audio interfaces have great mic preamps, midi inputs/outputs, line inputs and outputs for your computer speakers. Another great feature is they have professional grade connections using XLR and 1/4' adapters, which will maintain sound quality. If you want to record midi then midi inputs/outputs are important and if you want to record your voice or instruments then microphone inputs and line inputs are important to you.
Another important piece of equipment to consider is the microphone you will be using. Here is where your research will really pay off, and here is where you want to pay out for the best you can possibly afford. Microphones and microphone preamps are the crucial link in quality recording, of course your skills as a musician also plays an enormous role. There you have it; a computer, software, audio interface, speakers and a microphone is all you need to get started. Once you understand and see for yourself how it all works you can add to your arsenal of home recording equipment.