Maximise your home recording set up

Posted on: 20 July 2020

A beginners guide to gear you'll need 

Many musicians are taking the time to improve their recording skills


Lots of musicians have taken the time to improve their home recording skills and equipment while being at home. 

We recently looked at some of the best microphones on the market for recording and now we thought we’d take a look at what gear you need to maximise your home recording set up.

From software to interfaces, synthesisers and keyboards, here's some of our top picks:

Music Recording Software:

A programme on your laptop/computer that lets you record audio, edit the sound and length and add effects to change the outcome.

Logic Pro X

Logic Pro X gives you the feeling of a professional recording studio on your computer (iMac & MacBook Apple products only).  Its new advanced tools give you the opportunity to learn new skills for songwriting, editing and mixing. It has a huge range of instruments, effects, loops and more, giving you the perfect set up from start to finish. This is a popular choice because it is a smooth transition from years of using ‘Garage Band’ (the free music software that comes with Apple products), which is the same format as Logic, so there is no need to learn any new software.

Logic gives you the feeling of a professional studio © Apple

Often considered as the go to choice for music producers © Pro Tools

Pro Tools

Often considered as the go to choice for music producers across the globe, this multi functioning software is able to provide producers, musicians, engineers and all music professionals with the tools that they need to carry out work at the best standard. You can record, produce, edit, mix and master all in one place, whether that’s at home or in the studio.

 

Ableton Live 10 Suite

Used by producers all over the world, this is a great starting place to experiment and is fast, fluid and flexible. It comes with a great selection of effects, instruments and other options to help you create music. Whilst Garage Band is included free on mac computers, Ableton offers a free 90 day trial. 

This is a great starting place to experiment © Ableton

Audio Interface:

A piece of hardware that can connect microphones, instruments and other equipment to your computer, so you can record with ease and improve the sound quality of your recordings.

This is perfect for small spaces © Universal Audio

Universal Audio Arrow

This is often chosen as a preferred interface because of two factors;

  • Size – because of its compact size this is very welcomed when desk space is limited only requiring a small amount of inputs
  • Customer reviews – the online customer review are excellent

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

This is also great on saving on desk space, and is used by a huge global community of musicians, producers and home-recordists. With a design plan that makes it is so simple to setup and use, it also a very popular choice for beginners to a home studio setup.

This is used by a huge community of musicians © Focusrite

This is great for more than a couple of instruments © Audient

Audient iD44

If you need to run more than a couple of instruments, the Audient iD44 is well equipped and can be expanded by adding something like a Audient ASP800 to increase the amount of sources that can be recorded simultaneously. So if you are looking to do drum recording or band demos with other musicians involved, this could be a great place to look. Audient are known for super clean mic-pres but in adding the ASP800 you can use their retro channels to add some intentional colour to your sound. 

Synthesiser:

An electronic musical instrument, typically a keyboard, that lets you create a wide range of sounds, including other instruments or something completely unique.

Virtual Roland Jupiter

For those that are looking for the sounds that a synthesiser can provide but without the actual hardware, a virtual synthesiser is sometimes the preferred choice. Again, saving a considerable amount of desk space and being accessible on the move, you can simply load up the software on a laptop or other remote device and be ready to go. This is particularly popular for musicians that like to work in more than one place.

A virtual synthesiser is sometimes the preferred choice © Roland

This device is laid out in front of you for ease © Sequential

Sequential Circuits Prophet 6

A very well sought after synth for those that are looking for an analogue synth that can produce a very 80’s sound with a simple physical interface. This device is laid out in front of you without having to look in a screen and ‘menu dive’ when changing settings, making it very popular with musicians and producers.

 

Keyboards:

Yamaha MODX offers a great range of traditional keyboard sounds via its sample and synthesis engine, and adds an FM-X engine too! Combining a keyboard, sounds and an Audio interface, these kinds of keyboards can be a great way in to start recording at home and on the move.

Korg Kross 2 is a compact portable keyboard that can even run on batteries! It comes with a massive selection of sounds and effects and is also an audio interface.

Midi controllers / Midi keyboard:

Midi (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) - this is a simple way to sequence music and play virtual instruments on your computer.

With the sounds included in software like Ableton, Logic and the rest, you may find buying a simple midi controller a good choice. These can often come with other controls to manage and interact with software instruments and software. There’s so many different configurations and price points to cover, but some great starting places would be Novation, AKAI, Alesis or Native Instruments. Also, if you want something a little different, it’s worth taking some time to check out Roland products.

Virtual instruments and effects software:

This type of software allows you to use sounds that resemble other instruments and generate sound effects to compliment your recording.

Native Instruments have a wide selection of options and you can buy bundles of these with their Komplete packages. From drum samples to guitar effects, pianos to compressors, you can cover a lot of ground when it comes to having tools to shape your recorded sound.

Waves have long been an industry standard and Waves bundles can be found in some of largest studios in the world. Along with the products which include software emulations of legendary mixing consoles and audio processors, the Waves website is a great resource for tips and tricks to help you get a better mix.

 

 

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