Starting a Music recording studio is no joke. It is one of the most daunting experiences ever. But if done right, the rewards (sonically, equipment) is a break taking.
Let us dive in properly.
The first thing is the location. When opening a studio you should find a location far from the hustle and bustle of the city. External noise can ruin a great recording, plus artist tends to be more creative in a peaceful environment.
Now that you have found your location (in a nice quiet suburb i.e somewhere far from Lagos) the next thing is soundproofing. buy egg crates or aural, and soundproof the entire studio.
The studio should be divided into three rooms.
- The lobby
- the control room
- the sound room.
The lobby is where Friends and family or artists will wait during a recording session.
The control room is where you would house all audio equipment.
The recording room is where the artist would record, and instrumentalists can play.
Now you have the layout. It is time to talk about equipment and its setup.
Mics, Mixers, Compressors, equalizer, DE-essers, cables, preamps, computers, audio interfaces, monitors, effects racks and the list could go on forever.
With lots of equipment for quality outputs, you could spend millions of dollars, or you could choose to spend a little more on the important items. Depending on your budget
For a mic go with a Neumann u87, they run about $2000 to $3000.
For a mixer, the Euphonix is great (especially with the sweet-sounding preamp and onboard compressors) but they would run you almost $30,000.00 dollars.
Alternatively, you can go purely digital and skip the mixer altogether. This means you will need a good audio interface with multiple inputs. 12 stereo pairs minimum. The emu 1820m is a good one (if they still make it).
Then cables (nothing else but Mogami cables. these are the best audio cable in the game).
Don’t forget your preamp. The best pre-amp is Avalons. They run about $2000 dollar but it is worth it. Or you could settle for cheaper tube preamps.
Now monitor is the most important item in any studio. Just ask any sound engineer. Spare no expense here. Yamaha makes a very good affordable Monitoring system that comes with a sub (to effectively measure those troubling low end). This should run you about @1500.
Oh and a computer with lots of memory, a high-end graphics card, and a 2.6ghz quad-core processor. The software used is sonar, because lots of experts recommend this. You could use pro tools ( it would be easier to share productions with other studios because everybody uses pro tools).
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Let’s shed more light on the equipment in the Studio
– Host PC (workstation): This is the system that has the audio recording and editing software installed. It is also connected to your audio interface (will talk more on that next).
There are basically 2 types;
- Apple Mac
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The software includes: Adobe Soundbooth (CS4), Cubase, Protools, Nuendo, etc
– Audio interface: This varies from USB interfaces to firewire interfaces to entire Pro tools systems. firewire interfaces will do the job.
– Microphones: It is advised to get at least 2 types of mics – a condenser and a dynamic mic. And Don’t forget to buy pop filters for your mics
– Midi controllers: These include fader controls (like that of a mixer) and keyboard for sequencing.
– Headphone amps: These help the recording artists hear themselves basically.
You now understand the process of Starting a Music Studio with the needed equipment.
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