With a passion for home recording, the chances are you have all the essentials that a domestic studio should have, but there are some little touches that will make all the difference. To you that might spell ‘money’, but it doesn’t have to. Of course, the pro studios are going to have high end and vintage equipment that are out of reach to most, but you can easily adapt and add some other tricks of the trade to your own home setup to take your home studio to the next level.
We visit a lot of studios and one of the most interesting things we observe from recording in different studios is the variety of different mic collections each place has. Whilst nearly every studio will have the usual studio essential microphones, nearly every studio also seems to have a microphone you’ve never used or heard of before. This allows you the chance to step outside of your comfort zone and try something different, and a lot of the time these won’t be super rare, vintage nor incredibly expensive. This means you can easily bring this aspect and thought process into your own home studio productions. Check out eBay, Reverb.com or even local charity shops for microphones you’ve never heard of and give them a go!
These can create some really unique and interesting effects by sending your guitar or even other instruments such as drums or vocals back through a guitar amp to spice things up. Or for more practical reasons you can record/edit the perfect guitar take and then send it through your amp to achieve a great result. Lots of fun to be had, so just try some random combinations and see which work for you!
It’s amazing the things that come out of a studio’s percussion box. They are always ready on standby to add an additional level to a mix. So, we suggest you build up a little collection of interesting noise-making things, (i.e. shakers, bells, drums) which can be found secondhand and even sometimes in charity shops. They can be a dirt cheap way of adding interest to your tracks and even adding a human feel to an otherwise purely programmed drum track.
Recording at home can be limiting in terms of the space you record in, but there are benefits as the chances are the majority of your equipment isn’t bulky, heavy or permanently wired in. So be liberated. This is your opportunity to hunt out some intriguing and interesting recording spaces outside of your house. From Churches to Village Halls and everything in between, all of which can bring a unique and different sound, not to mention experience to your recordings.
Every pro studio does this. One of the easiest ways to make the recording process go smoothly is to make your creative space feel special and comfortable. Some funky lamps, rugs, unusual lighting can make you feel more inspired in your music. A few little touches can make your space feel amazing.
The key thing is that a pro studio is about much more than just the lovely, expensive equipment it uses. It takes very little to take it up a notch and can, in fact, make a significant difference to the mix.