Many people think that to record great professional sounds and recordings that they need to pay thousands and thousands of dollars to a professional studio, this is not the case.In fact, most of us can create great sounding music from our own home. How you may ask? To accomplish this you need to buy some equipment and if you are really interested in creating a home studio then you would want to set a budget and try your best to stick to it. Most recording equipment are very expensive, so most people will start out with the necessary items to get started and then start to gradually purchase more equipment and upgrade the current items they have. Many home studio’s are now “mixerless”, basically that means they don’t use an actual mixer, they may however have a mixer on their DAW (Digital Audio Work station) we will learn more about a DAW in another article later.
To plug in your microphones, instruments many will use an Audio Interface. These come with various data connections like USB 1.1, USB 2.0 and Firewire. An audio interface has built in preamps which make your sound on your recording a lot more clean and crisp sounding. The M-Audio Fast Track Ultra is a good starter interface, it has many features for the price. It connects to your computer via USB 2.0 and it’s compatible with both PC and Mac.
The M-Audio Fast Track Ultra has 4 microphone ports in the front which all have a preamp’s. The two on the left (1,2) are for both microphones and you can also plug in 1/4″ jacks from say your guitar patch cable, electric drums, keyboards or amplifiers. The other two to the right of those are standard microphone jacks for only microphones. This audio interface also has phantom power for condenser microphones! The M-Audio Fast Track Ultra also has Midi in and Midi out on the back. It has jacks for your reference monitors and other 1/4″ jacks. One of the reason’s I like this audio interface is because it has two separate headphone jacks on the front of the console. They both have their own volume control as well!
This unit itself sells for $349.99 which is a great price for the amount of different features you get with it!
Now this just makes your instruments sound good and a center to plug everything into and monitor the sounds, there is plenty more equipment needed for a home studio and recording. To actually record your instruments, vocals, sounds or whatever you need a DAW or recording program this will be covered next!