for Home Recording
me really detailed details about what I need in my home sound
studio, or things are going to get ugly… and fast!”
At some point, I always have that type of feeling when purchasing
products from a computer store. Thankfully, the feeling fades fairly
quickly, as I trust where I shop.
you should purchase is usually what a manual tells you that you
need. For example, my recording software (Cubase SX3) requires:
Windows XP and a 800 MHz processor;
specific graphic and monitor cards;
DVD ROM and USB capabilities;
a minimum processor speed of 2.8 GHz;
a safe minimum of 512 MB of RAM;
audio hardware capable of supporting a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz.
I could go on and on, but I have a fear of falling
asleep while typing about these specifications. We are composers,
darn it, not computer programmers. That type of detail is what your
vendor should be aware of. Now, having said that, there are still
areas where common sense prevails.
an example, if the minimum amount of RAM is 512 MB (it’s actually
slightly less), then I’m going to add memory. This is something
that I would do on a personal computer, so why not on my studio
another tip. If I’m going to be using midi features a lot
in order to compose and I am a fairly decent pianist, why not get
a full size, weighted keyboard? This type of keyboard is easier
to play as the touch is very similar to a real piano, and the full
size provides a large, unrestricted playing area. I would think
it is common sense to get the better keyboard for a few hundred
sense should also be used when buying speakers. A composer needs
good speakers and headphones in order to edit music properly. However,
exercise caution. How expensive do you want to go? Believe me, you
could pay a fortune. Buy good, reliable speakers and some extra
sound samples. Moderation and diversity are two good words to keep
in the back of your mind when purchasing.
good vendors will guide you in the common sense route, but ultimately
you will have to make a choice between one of two equally good products.
If you feel that you are constantly being pressured to buy the store’s
most expensive products, then go someplace else… use your
inner voice to guide you!
a home studio requires QUIET! Does this mean that you must hire
a contractor to sound proof a room in your house? Yes and no. Midi
tracks don’t require a silent environment. You can scream
your lungs out while you record a midi track on your keyboard. It
will not make a difference, as only the keyboard is linked to the
computer, not your screaming.
for real audio, you may be able to lay down some tracks, provided
you live in a quiet neighbourhood and have nobody wrestling and
thumping around the house. Also, there are hard drives available
that are specifically designed for recording audio. In other words,
they are super quiet and can be in the same room as the person with
course, if you want absolute quiet, you do need sound proofing.
Many composers simply take their project on disc and finalize things
in a professional recording studio. Ultimately, you have many options
available to you on the road to producing a final product.