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Today's best budget audio interface deals

Go for a desktop whenever possible. Microphones are super sensitive, so a noisy room will lead to noisy recordings. I worked on a laptop for years, and fan noise was a constant problem. Macs crash less. Because of this, updates and bug fixes for recording software will often be released for Mac users first.

How to Set Up a Home Recording Studio on a Budget

With that being said, most recording software and hardware is compatible with both platforms. Macs are also more expensive, so this may influence your decision. Just make sure your audio interface and software is compatible with whatever you choose. The following 4 specs are what count. Hit the guidelines below, and your computer will handle nearly any recording session with ease.

If a computer was a car, the CPU would be its engine. Clock speed is like the number of cylinders an engine has. The higher the number, the faster the CPU. A fast CPU will handle large recording sessions gracefully. If the CPU has multiple cores, this is even better. Multiple cores will allow it to multitask more effectively.

It can be difficult to compare CPUs especially those with a different number of cores. More RAM will make your computer run faster, particularly when working with large, complex projects. This is where your recordings will be stored. If you end up filling your hard drive, you can always buy an external one.

In fact, speed is even more important. The best hard drives are solid-state. If your computer has a solid-state drive, it will be much snappier when playing back and recording projects with large track counts. The Mac Mini is seriously underrated. Opt for a solid-state drive and maxed-out memory for even more power. Even the baseline unit is more than enough. Your audio interface is the heart of your home recording studio.

Interfaces vary widely in features. Some have knobs to adjust the volume of your speakers and microphones. Others accomplish this through a software control panel. This is where high-end interfaces often differ from cheaper ones. The more preamps, the more microphones you can record at once. To record drums or people playing together, go for 4 or more.

CHAPTER 1: The 9 Home Recording Studio Essentials for Beginners

When it comes to mic preamps, people get distracted by quantity. They think more is better, so they buy cheap interfaces with 8 preamps. Cheap preamps will add noise and distortion to your recordings. This will become a permanent part of your tracks, and it can add a harsh, brittle quality to your music. Quality is more important than quantity. Avoid cheap interfaces with 8 preamps. Instead, go for an interface with 4 or 2.

You can then use software to shape the tone. This is an essential feature, and almost all interfaces have one. Make sure your computer has a free port of that type available.

Today's best budget audio interface deals

Microphones are the ears of your home recording studio. They convert sound into electricity which gets sent to your interface. Microphones work the same way. One might sound better than another in a specific situation. Avoid them. If you plan on recording lots of guitar amps, you may want to invest in an additional microphone. The Shure SM Studio monitors are speakers designed for use in home recording studios.

A kitchen would be the worst place for a home recording studio. But why would you want to do that, anyway? Wooden floors are desirable as carpet only absorbs high frequencies, which can make the room sound muffled. When you record vocals, for example, a strong reflection from the ceiling can cause comb filtering — which is very bad. Quite often you will only have one room available to you. Or maybe you have a temporary setup in a bedroom or living room.

Before you consider acoustic treatment, you need to make sure to organize your room in the right way.

The main thing to consider when designing the layout of your room is the position of the speakers. Many monitor speakers have bass ports on the back. In fact, sometimes it can even be detrimental. The reflection from the wall can cause more issues than the bass buildup that comes from having your speakers near a wall.

Tutorial: Home Recording On A Budget

Position your speakers the minimum distance from the wall according to the manual. Then, if you can, reduce the bass on your speakers. If the speakers are the same distance from the wall behind them the front wall as the side walls, move them. This can result in a buildup of standing waves.

Home Recording Studio Setup for Beginners: 5 Essential Items to Own

In turn, this causes some low end frequencies to appear a lot louder than they are. Your aim here is to reduce the volume of the first reflections from the speakers into your ears. Strong reflections from can cause comb filtering and a range of other issues. These come from the nearest walls to the left and right of the speakers. By positioning the speakers along the longest wall, you are moving that reflection point further away from the speakers.

This reduces their volume, as they must now travel further before reaching your ears. If your head is halfway between the front wall and back wall, OR halfway between the floor and ceiling — you will hear a distinct loss in bass.

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The distance between the speakers should be the same as the distance from your head to each speaker. Unless your monitors are specifically designed to be mounted on their sides, position them upright.

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Most speakers are designed to be angled inwards pointing at your ears- not pointing straight ahead. Also, consider the vertical angle of the speakers. You have to make compromises. Now that your speakers are in the ideal location, you can consider treating the room acoustically.