The internet allows anyone to put their talents on display for the world, so it’s no surprise that home recording studios have surged in popularity. From song covers to documentaries and political commentary, more people than ever are broadcasting over the digital airwaves. However, home recordings can sometimes sound like amateur demos rather than a professional product. Whether you’re creating your next album or a weekly podcast, these four upgrades can make your recordings sound more polished.
Splurge on a Vocal Mic
If there’s one element of your recording studio to go all out on, it’s your main vocal mic. This mic is the star of your setup and is especially important if you’re recording spoken words like audio books, podcasts or news rather than music. A condenser microphone is the type preferred by most musicians and podcasters because it’s great at picking up subtle inflections in a person’s voice.
Add a Preamp
If you want to take your recordings from amateur hour to radio-ready, you need a preamp. A preamp adds definition to the audio from an instrument or microphone before it goes into the amplifier for recording and processing. A single high-quality preamp can even do the job of a much more expensive professional mixing console if you record track-by-track, which makes it an excellent option for achieving big studio sound on a home budget.
Another major difference between a professional studio and a home setup is the room acoustics. Fortunately, you can upgrade your acoustics on a shoestring if you know what you’re doing. Installing acoustic paneling on your walls and adding absorber pads under your monitors is a great start. You should also remove items that can interfere with acoustics, such as glass picture frames and metal furniture, from your studio.
Upgrade Your Cabling
New cabling is an upgrade that provides a lot of bang for your buck. A bad cable can degrade your sound and make even the best equipment and most talented musicians sound bad. Consider buying custom cables to get the most out of your setup. They cost only a little more than high-end retail cables and are engineered to fit your needs and get the most out of your equipment.
Are you on a tight budget? You don’t have to make every upgrade at once. Start small and add a new element whenever you have some extra cash. Even the smallest improvements can pay off with a big difference in recording quality.