The days when something good could only be recorded in the studio are long gone. Now, to create high-quality content, it is enough to allocate a small amount of space at home and place a couple of gadgets there. By doing this, you can record podcasts and blogs, make music, create content, and listen to it. In this article, I want to tell you what you should pay attention to when creating content, and most importantly, how to create a studio. At one time, I spent a lot of time choosing components for it, and made a lot of mistakes. Now I understand what you can buy in order not to regret it. I was saved only by the advice of friends who were engaged in sound recording. Now I would like to share the experience with specific examples of different brands.
Inexpensive mixer for beginners
First of all, you need to understand that a simple microphone is usually not enough… Any recorded sound needs to be processed. There are a large number of applications for this, but this is not about that now. The main thing to understand is that the more changes you have to make to the sound, the worse it will be, so you should immediately record it as it should be.
A mixing console will come in handy here. After all, it is used not only for creating a mix and processing sound, but also as an audio interface – that is, through it you can connect professional microphones to a computer. There are a huge number of solutions on the market, from the simplest to huge panels placed in concert halls. For a home, as a rule, you do not need to choose something very expensive, since the price is strongly influenced by the number of channels. Therefore, you can choose a relatively inexpensive solution.
I am for home studio opted for Soundcraft Notepad-5… This remote is inexpensive but offers five-channel input and a compact size. Several times I took it with me when I needed to work with sound on a business trip, in the country or in the office. Notepad-5 easily fit into a backpack with a microphone and the necessary cables. And this brand is also part of the HARMAN family, which in itself disposes to him and speaks of a high level of product generally.
It is a legendary brand with a heritage that for over 40 years, which gives the right to talk about a branded traditional sound. The mixer combines professional-grade analog components and a built-in USB audio interface for use with any software. And the renowned pro-grade Soundcraft mic preamps take the bar even further.
The big pluses include robust metal case, which will allow you to use the device not only at home, but also to take it with you. The convenient XLR and 1/4 ” connectors will also come in handy.
The mixer has a two-band equalizer on the mic channel to provide a sufficient level of functionality and comfort of use. There is an LED indication for precise control of the overall input level. You can customize your headphone sound with the rotary fader.
I can’t call myself a sound professional, but somehow I was able to quickly find common ground with this mixing console. Everything is pretty logical and understandable… Therefore, even a beginner will find it easy to customize everything for himself so that his podcasts, voice acting for videos, musical instruments or even live performances sound more juicy and professional.
Naturally, work with both Mac and PC is supported. And among the main advantages of the device are the following:
- High signature sound quality with professional mic preamps
- Easy audio recording and processing on Mac and PC with built-in USB audio interface
- Convenient layout of input channel strips
- Robust metal housing for a positive effect on service life
Which microphone to buy for blogs and podcasts
First of all, you should think about the remote control due to the fact that it will be impossible to use a professional microphone without it. And without it, the sound quality recorded by your computer won’t be as good as you want it to be. But when the remote control is sorted out, it is worth moving on to the choice of the microphone itself.
I had several models of different brands, each of which either broke or got lost at different times. Now I use an AKG P120 microphone… This is a 2/3 ” diaphragm condenser microphone. It is also a fairly inexpensive solution in its direction, which is produced by a top brand. This fact suggests that we get obviously better quality than if we bought some Chinese “no-name”, even if it is a couple of thousand rubles cheaper.
This microphone is also made in China, but passes multi-stage quality control… It cannot be otherwise simple when a serious brand and not only AKG gets down to business.
Main characteristics of AKG P120:
- Audio frequency range: 20-20,000 Hz
- Equivalent noise level: 19 dBA
- Sensitivity: 24 mV / Pa
- Signal to noise ratio: 75 dBA
- Fixed preattenuator: -20 dB
- Low cut filter: 300 Hz, slope 6 dB / octave
- Electrical resistance:
- Recommended load impedance: >= 1000 Ом
- Directional pattern: Cardioid
If you need a professional-grade microphone, then it is better to pay attention to the older AKG models, but for a home studio this is what you need, and in terms of price / quality ratio, it will be difficult to find equal to it.
Quality is expressed not only in performance, but also in the materials of the case. Besides the fact that the case itself is completely made of metal, the mount is made of the same material. It is a pity that there was not even an elementary stand in the kit, but I found it pretty quickly and very cheap. But there is an adapter that allows you to install the device on a microphone stand. Well, no one canceled the fixation on brackets, mikscreens and spiders. Before that, I had a microphone with a plastic mount. Well, I also suffered constantly worry about him.
I mainly work with voice, but AKG P120 can also be used for recording musical instrumentsincluding loud ones like drums. For me, it’s much more interesting to use the Low-cut filter (300 Hz, slope of 6 dB per octave), which is turned on by a toggle switch on the front of the device. This allows you to cut off unnecessary frequencies and sometimes it just saves, especially when you work in less than ideal conditions. For example, in a hotel or in an insufficiently well-prepared room.
Based on my experience, I I can recommend AKG P120 to those who are just taking their first steps in sound recording… You can buy the model cheaper, but saving a couple thousand (or even less), you pretty quickly come to the conclusion that you need to buy a new microphone. With this model, you will not pay much, but you will get something that will be with you for a long time and will fully work out the money spent on it. It is also just pleasant to use, and this is also important in work.
Monitor speakers for home studio
When all issues with sound recording are resolved, all that remains is to install good monitors. My choice fell on JBL 305P MkII with 5-inch woofer… If dry and without specifics, then their characteristics are as follows.
- Woofer size: 127 mm
- Tweeter size: 25 mm
- Tweeter type: soft dome
- Crossover: acoustic 1725 Hz with 4th order Linkwitz-Riley filters
- Power configuration: with double amplifier (bi-amp)
- HF speaker power amplifier: 41W Class D
- Part. feature: 49 Hz – 20 kHz (± 3dB)
- Part. range: 43 Hz – 20 kHz (-10 dB)
- Max. long-term SPL: 94 dBA
- Max. peak SPL: 108 dBA
- Max. peak input level: +6 dBV / +20.3 dBn (-10 dBV / +4 dBn)
- System distortion criteria <10% THD at maximum power with full compressor / limiter on
- Harmonic Distortion: 0.2%
- Coverage area: 120 by 90 degrees (horizontal and vertical)
As it should be, the design includes a high-frequency correction switch. It has three positions and offers to select the boost or cut of this range according to personal preference or room parameters. And low frequency correction will solve the problem (or make it less serious) when installing monitors near reflective surfaces.
The JBL brand has always been famous for taking low frequencies seriously… And these monitors are no exception. Of course, they are not brought to the fore, as in portable speakers or home acoustics, but they work very well regardless of volume. Thanks in part to the two class D amplifiers of 41 watts each.
I rarely experiment with connection methods, but many will definitely appreciate its variability in the JBL 305P MkII. You can use not only the quarter-inch TRS, but also the balanced XLR inputs.
Optional, but a nice addition to such monitors is broad variance… In this case, there is a patented waveguide on the front panel, which, without distorting the sound, makes the stage really wide, which is quite important.
What components to buy for a home studio
We’ve only covered basic examples of home studio components from different brands. You can look for other models, but these are probably the most inexpensive of quality components for a full-fledged home studio.
With them, you can record voice, vocals and music, and during processing, output it for listening on monitors that can convey all the nuances of the recording.
I shared what I collected myself and what I use quite successfully. For a professional studio, these components are not very suitable, but such a studio itself is a very complex and expensive solution. Not everyone can afford it and not everyone needs her… Moreover, you can work with sound at home… Especially when there are inexpensive and high-quality microphones, remotes and monitors.
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