CHEAP HOME RECORDING

We get hit up by a lot of punters wondering how they can record at home. A lot of people have a tight budget so we thought we’d get our resident audio geek, Mr DJ Debris, to walk you through some options for setting up a cheap home studio.

THE BASICS:

If you have a relatively new PC or a Mac (less than 5 years old) recording yourself at home is quite achievable with a small budget.
The 5 main items you’ll need to purchase are:

* Audio interface for your computer
* Microphone
* Microphone stand & cable
* Headphones
* Software

AUDIO INTERFACE:

Line 6 Toneport UX1

Line 6 Toneport UX1

A good audio interface to start with is the Line 6 UX1. These can be purchased from most online music equipment retailers for around $89.

Manufacturers link: http://line6.com/toneportux1/index.html

Retailer link: http://www.jrrshop.com/line-toneport-p-5445.html

The Line 6 UX1 is good for recording microphones and guitars but doesn’t have any stereo inputs for sampling. If your goal is to make beats and record vocals I would suggest spending a bit extra on something like the Yamaha Audiogram6. This is a great unit and offers many more options. It includes a built in mixer & compressor which will make your recording sound much better. The Yamaha Audiogram6 can be picked up online for around $149.

Manufacturers link: http://www.yamahasynth.com/products/audiogram/index.html

Retailer link: http://www.jrrshop.com/yamaha-audiogram6-6channel-audio-interface-p-7754.html

Both of the Audio Interfaces I have suggested work on PC or Mac and because they are USB they work great on laptop’s too.

MICROPHONE:

MXL 990

MXL 990

A nice microphone to start with is a MXL 990. They have an amazing sound for the price. The MXL 990 can be purchased online for around $59.

Manufacturers link: http://www.mxlmics.com/condenser_mic/900_Series/MXL990/mxl990.html

Retailer link: http://www.jrrshop.com/mxl-marshall-990-p-4875.html

A mic stand, headphones and cable can be picked up altogether for around the $100 mark from most music equipment retailers. You might want to consider a pop shield for your microphone if you have a loud vocal delivery.

Retailer link: http://www.sweetwater.com/shop/studio/

SOFTWARE:

Reaper

Reaper

The Yamaha Audiogram6 interface that I suggested before comes with Cubase AI which is a cut down version of Cubase. That should be sufficient for basic recording but if you want some really great production/recording/mixing software that works really well on PC and Mac then try Reaper. It sells for $50 from their website but you can try it for free for for 30 days before purchasing. Reaper has been getting rave reviews everywhere and there really isn’t much this software can’t do. It has been compared to Logic and Pro Tools which is amazing considering the price tag.

Manufacturers link: http://www.cockos.com/reaper/

If you get stuck using this software they have an good online manual which is easy to digest: http://www.cockos.com/wiki/index.php/Reaper_Documentation

When you finish a song you’ll need to burn it to disc. Most of you will have some sort of burning program installed but in case you don’t you can try these free programs.
PC: http://infrarecorder.sourceforge.net/
Mac: http://burn-osx.sourceforge.net/
They have great options for backing up your data and burning your final audio disc.

If you just want to burn audio discs then iTunes will do the job for PC and Mac.
http://www.apple.com/itunes/overview/

As for production and recording techniques…
If you search Google, Youtube etc. you can find some great tutorials for making beats and recording.

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~ by Hilltop Hoods on October 2, 2008.

10 Responses to “CHEAP HOME RECORDING”

  1. Great article, will def look into. Can you do one on DJ too?

  2. Hey thanks… it was like just yesterday me and my friend were wondering on how to do this.
    Can you tell me what turn tables you use? equipment and brands.. stuff like that,
    Cya,

  3. We use Technics 1200’s Chris.
    And yeah Alex, we might get Debris to do a blog on deejaying down the track.
    Thanks

  4. hey again… not sure if this sounds like a stupid question but if u have ‘Reaper’ does that mena u dont need a ‘line 6 toneport ux1’?

  5. Yeah you’d still need an audio interface to record music into your computer.
    Reaper is an interface that you use to mix and to facilitate recording.

  6. hey guys , when or if u do a dj article , can you also explain mr dj debris setup he uses for your live shows and whats best ? ive noticed debris has a cdj, 2 decks yet only a 2 channel and sometimes has a akai mpc hooked up as well and ive seen reflux use 2 cdjs , 2 decks and only a 2 channel mixer . would be really good to hear what u guys use 😀 many thanks boys PS i know u guys are busy but can u check my brothers myspace out as he is a aspiring mc cheers – http://www.myspace.com/truthhiphop

    daniel

  7. ive only really starting making beats, still finding the right program, lately ive just been using a demo of fl studio, its pretty shitty and is more made for drum and bass, having said that, its got hip hop aspects to it, but it still be compared its stil rat shit

  8. Of course, a PC/Mac 5 or so years old would have problems with a DAW without track deep freeze capabilities if you intend of building something utilizing a lot of VSTs and vocal processing. I use Ableton Live in my work, and when I did the remix for The Loose Cannons single, I had to use ONLY Ableton, since the soundscape I had created was to hardcore for my laptop. So if anyone’s using a more mediocre computer, Ableton does direct input from your mic with a good buffer control system, although a USB or non-bulk sound card is a far better option. And the way Live is put together, you can DJ with it to, like I do at shows.

  9. Very nice article. Just tested REAPER and like it a lot. But what do you guys use for just creating the beat itself? MPC or something like that or software? Would be nice to know, because I’m searching a good solution for that, Fruity Loops is, as Daniel said, not really useful.
    Greetings from Germany 🙂

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