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SOUND ADVICE: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO HOME RECORDING EQUIPMENT

COMPUTER

When building a digital-based home recording studio your computer is the foundational piece – the platform from which everything else will connect and function. The most important component of which is speed; the speed to handle large-scale projects; the speed to utilise software and an audio interface; the speed to ensure that you’re not worrying about lag or waiting on your computer to catch up in the middle of a recording.

 

If you are looking to invest in a computer for you home recording studio here’s what you need to know.

 

Desktop vs. Laptop

The larger housing of a desktop computer can allow for greater processing power, which means you’re getting faster speeds and extended storage. Desktop computers often have space for more inputs and outputs than laptops, which allows for a more sophisticated setup without engaging extra hubs or external ports, while the extra room also opens the door for significant customisation when it comes to RAM, hard drives and video cards.

 

AUDIO INTERFACE

Your audio interface is the connecting piece of equipment that bridges the space between sound making gear and recording, editing and mixing software. As a routing box it’s where you plug in microphones, speakers and headphones.

 

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface & the AKAI EIE Pro 24-bit Audio Interface Expander

 

When choosing an audio interface it’s important to take the following points into account.

 

Number of Mic Preamps

The number of preamps dictates the number of microphones you can record with at once. For vocals there’s a chance that you will only need a single preamp. To record drums or multiple instruments at the same time at least four preamps will be a likely requirement.

 

Speaker Outputs

Whether it’s XLR, 1/4” or RCA, it’s important to ensure your interface and the outputs of your speaker match.

 

Headphone Jack

This is needed to connect headphones into your audio interface, and allows you to listen for the finer…

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