Skip to main content

Making a recording studio

I am trying to determine what I need to buy to make a halfway decent studio for my band. Can anyone help? My budget is roughly 1500 to 2000 bucks. Ideally, I would like to use a mixer and computer. Do I need something to go between the mixer and computer? I have a computer with windows xp. Can I use that? Also, I have a nice size room that I am going to build a recording booth in. I have many questions but I'll start with those. Thanks!


pr0gr4m Wed, 03/14/2007 - 13:38
You've got a computer...good. We don't need to get into it's full specifications, but just for the heck of it, what processor does it have, how much ram, and do you have multiple hard drives? How about recording software?

When recording with a computer, there's no real need for a mixer, it can be done ITB (in the box), but you do need an audio interface, something to get the audio in to and out of the computer.

Figure out how many channels/tracks of audio you need to record at one time (simultaneously). Do you plan on recording a full set of drums with each drum mic'd? Are you going to record drums, bass, guitar, vocals and trombone all at the same time? Knowing these things will help you determine how many channels you need.

If you plan on recording basic tracks then doing overdubs for each part, you can probably get buy with just having 4 channels. If you want to record from more than 4 sources at once, you probably want to go for 8 channels. There are some good USB and Firewire audio interfaced available. You just need to find out what your requirements are then we can make some recommendations.

A lot of audio interfaces come with bundled software, so you may be able to save money there buy buying an interface that comes with the recording software.

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 03/14/2007 - 15:00
My computer has a pentium II with 480 MB ram. I'm thinking I may need another one huh? It has no firewire port. Only one hard drive. I haven't gotten any recording software yet.

I will be needing many channels more than 8. Unfortunately my band is in a relationship with a drummer who loves his art and has several drums more than your average drummer and he uses them all. The drums would take up at least 7 or 8 mics. I may be able to convince him to key it down for recording. But I will be recording "live" bands and also over dubbing after. (this is why I thought a mixer would come in handy) Do interfaces come with this many channels? Is the MIX done on the comp with the software? I got to head out for work know. See ya

BobRogers Wed, 03/14/2007 - 15:49
My suggestion would be to work on your two best songs until you have them down cold and then book some time in a pro studio. You'll get a good demo out of it and a lot of education.

Your idea of how you want to record is way out of line with your budget. You are talking about the most equipment intensive and (arguably) most difficult type of recording. Your budget would put constraints on a singer/songwriter. If your goal is to record one band, you will spend a lot more money on equipment and a ton more time doing it yourself.

If you are interested in recording as an end in itself, by all means jump in. But a trip to the recording studio is cheap education and well worth it in either case.

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 03/14/2007 - 20:40
hey man what i would do is find yourself a Presonus Firestudio, some type of ADAT lightpipe converter, and possibly a new computer. that will give you up to 16 channels to multi-track... i dont know if you would have a need for more than that. if you order from musicians friend i think you get free software with the firestudio. check it out. you may have some cash to spare.... buy some good mics.

here are some things you might want to check out.

(Dead Link Removed)
(Dead Link Removed)
(Dead Link Removed)

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 03/15/2007 - 15:09
Hey, how about this.

What if I ran everything through a decent mixer like a Behringer eurodesk then ran that into an inexpensive digital 4 track recorder. Or put the drums (about 7 or 8 mics) through a mixer then using left and right outputs to 2 tracks of a 4 track recorder, bounce them down and have three tracks left to use for the bass, guitar and vocals. Know what I mean? I am not looking for super pro quality here. Just a decent demo recording.

I know it would be a nightmare doing the final mix but what do you think?