Rebuilding the Home Studio

Friday June 24, 2011 at 2:38pm music, recording Comments (0) »
Rebuilding the Home Studio Image

Some of you may have noticed that the music page still reads "returning soon".  One might argue that this has proven false.  Still, for the last few months I've been wanting to get back into recording again.  The problem with this is that I've only ever borrowed the equipment I need to do it well, and I don't have access to much at the moment.  I've been wanting to buy some of my own stuff for a while too, but things have been a bit tight lately.

Not that I need real high end stuff, mind you.  I've been quite happy with the results I've managed with quite a meager setup, but after looking around at what I'd buy were I do reconstruct my home studio, I do need a few hundred dollars to put into it - a few hundred dollars which I don't really have at the moment.  Anyone who wants to make donations is welcome.  Really.



Anyway, last weekend was Fathers Day.  My first, since our little girl was born back in May.  Combining this fact with the aforementioned desires, Sheri decided I should go ahead and buy the first "piece" of what I wanted.

After some consideration, I decided the first piece was a mixer - even with nothing else, I could record some guitar & bass tracks.  I've got a decent recording machine, some DAW software I like and instruments to play, but I didn't have any way to connect the dots.  In the past I have bridged this gap by simply running an analog tape-out from a borrowed mixer to the line-in on my computer - and I found this to work well.  I considered looking for a simple USB audio interface instead of a full-out mixer, but I enjoyed my method and I would eventually like to be able to do some multiple-mic'ing on instruments.  Plus, for what I wanted to spend, I was going to get more features out of a mixer.  Also, I like to be able to do some pre-recording eq & gain teaking instead of relying on the software for all of it.

I ended up going with the Behringer's Xenyx X1204USB.  4 mic inputs, 60mm faders and a built-in usb audio interface (which i'm looking forward to trying out).  In addition, this board has a built in compressor and other effects which I really didn't need, but the identical model without effects was actually a few bucks more.  Anyway, I've definitely got some room to grow with it.


The only other things I really need are some decent mics.  I've done most of my previous work with a Shure SM58, and that proved to be a good mic - and one that I may return to.  Right now, however, I have my sights on a pair of SM57's - mostly because they are legendarily good at everything, and I need a versatile mic.  I'm also tempted to pick up one of Behringer's condenser mics at some point - mostly because they're exceptionally inexpensive and fairly well reviewed.  A condenser would be pretty awesome, even if I'm not sure I'll ever have a house quiet enough to use one (see previously-mentioned baby girl). 


My mixer arrived yesterday but, due to the Meetup (more on this to come), I haven't had a chance to do more than take it out of the box and "oooh" and "aaaah" over it a little.  I'm hoping to have a decent mic setup in time for next year's RPM in Feb.

And some songs written, too.



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