Getting yourself set up to record music at home can be a daunting task. There’s no shortage of things to think about - which products you need (and which you don’t), how much to spend, which brands to go for, and how best to spread your budget across the dizzying array of potential options available to the modern producer or musician.
Whatever style you're going for or type of project you’re working on, there’s a few essentials that you’ll almost certainly need. Unless you’re going full-on lo-fi, you’re going to need a laptop or PC that’s equipped with enough computing power to run some modern music software.
On top of that, you’ll need a decent pair of speakers, or better yet, studio monitors, to hear what you’re working on. And you’re going to want to invest in an audio interface or sound card, to send the audio from your instrument or microphone into the computer. Finally, you’ll need a DAW, or digital audio workstation, to record, edit and arrange your music.
Once you’ve get your home studio space sorted, you’ve only just begun. There’s lots to learn about recording music at home, whether you’re looking to lay down some licks on the guitar, croon into the microphone or record any number of other instruments. Fortunately, there’s a whole host of tutorials spread across MusicRadar that’ll be relevant to just about musician or producer, regardless of your style or skill level. Read on to find out more.
Best beginner DAWs 2022: music production software recommendations for newcomers
The best beginner DAWs will be easy to use compared to their grown-up siblings, and will offer just enough of a track count to handle any newcomer’s needs. The Digital Audio Workstation has become the foremost essential component in any home or project studio, with the very best DAWs becoming the nerve centre that combines all your hardware and software instruments into a central hub.
Within this hub is where you record, edit, mix and master your projects, taking them from scratch demos to finished tracks. If you’re just starting out on your music production journey, however, how do you choose the best beginner DAW for you and what are the main points to consider? Find out more in our guide.
Best budget studio monitors
Every music producer will reach a stage in their life when they need a pair of their very own pair of the best budget studio monitors. After a while, a pair of studio headphones alone just won’t do.
If you’re old enough to remember standard definition TV, you’ll remember how amazing it was to watch your favourite film in high definition for the first time. To a home recording enthusiast, installing your first set of 'proper' monitors has that very same effect - but as this guide will prove, you don't need to rely an unlimited bank balance or an amazing studio space to get a great sound anymore.
Recording vocals - the fundamental principles
While drum recording techniques are all about context and adaptation, vocal recording is almost always the opposite. There's a huge amount of creativity and personality brought to bear on drum takes, but the vast majority of the sonic expertise that goes into producing a great vocal track is applied after the fact (except for the performance itself, of course), and so the key, especially for the beginner, should be to get the absolutely cleanest, clearest and best vocal recordings you possibly can.
20 quick and dirty recording tips
You could spend a lifetime reading about how to record audio, but most of us just want to get on and do it. If speed is of the essence, check out our 20 bite-size pieces of advice to get your vocal, instrument and other recordings sounding top-notch, and make the most of our advanced techniques for making the most of your live performances, vocals and sampled sounds.
PreSonus Studio One 5 Professional review
The fourth full version update to PreSonus’ now well-established DAW for Mac and PC introduces an extensive list of new features and improvements based on user requests, and the developers’ own thought processes and realisations.
With its responsive, modernist interface, smooth workflow and innovative-but-relevant feature set, Studio One 5 truly represents the state of the art in virtual studio design. It’s quite incredible how far Studio One has come in the decade since its launch, and version 5 is mature, stable and an awesome update to an already superb DAW.