Recording a demo is an important aspect of starting off in the radio industry. It can get your foot in the door at many stations – if it’s done well. To nail yours, read up on our “Create the Perfect Demo Tape” first. However, you may need to ensure you have the correct setup to record your demo. Here are some top tips on how to establish the perfect home studio.
First of all, you’ll need a computer with a soundcard. This will act as your digital recording device. The soundcard’s preamp will more than likely be too noisy and not very good. This means that you will probably need to buy a mic preamp or a small mixer. The mixer will allow you to mix sounds that will be included in the recording. It will also let you add additional microphones, audio players, recorders and playback devices.
An essential piece of equipment for your home studio is a microphone. While your computer may come with one, you’ll need to get an external mic for the best results. There are countless different models on the market. Do your research and find one that works the best for you. A good mic cable and a mic stand will also help you produce good, clear recording.
Headphones and good speakers are just as important. When recording your demo, connect your headphones and only listen through them. Good fitting headphones are a must to prevent any unnecessary sounds being picked up by the microphone. The speakers that are built into your computer will not give you the clearest sound of your recording.
When you begin recording, you’ll need a quiet space to ensure there are no distractions. Soundproofing acoustic screens can be purchased to eliminate the sound hitting off the walls around your room. Alternatively, closing heavy curtains, going into a small closet or even recording underneath your duvet cover can be a substitute.
Software is certainly a must. Having the correct equipment is useless without something to record into. With software, you’ll be able to add music, sounds and special effects. You can spend between €100-€1000 and beyond on programmes. Some notable ones are Adobe Auditon and Audacity.
Once you have all the necessary aspects of a home studio, it’s time to get it all connected. Recording the audio is, of course, the first step in creating your demo. Make sure when using the mic to be close to it in order to eliminate the sound creating an echo.
However, this being said, don’t go too close either. What will happen is sounds like B,F or P will be too strong and uneditable. Some people recommended holding it three to four inches from your face or the distance for your thumb to your pinky spread apart. Make sure to test out the sounds and sensitivity beforehand.
Although your computer is vital for your home studio, make sure to keep it away from the microphone as possible when you’re recording to avoid picking up any sounds from it. Even a fan in the device could interfere with your recording.