So you’re ready to hit the rap game and make music. You’re ready to create some good sounds and are looking out for a good setup with a budget? If you have nowhere to look and are confused about how you can set the whole thing up, look no further. DHH has compiled a list of things you will need to start working on your journey. This list is for artists who want to specifically record and mix their vocals on beats. This list will save you at least some of your time searching specifically for stuff that you need.
I am not the complete and final authority on the equipment you will require, but these are some of the best and efficient equipment I have come across to get a great output at the end of the day. It is advised you check in-depth reviews of any equipment mentioned on this list before you buy it. More power and all the very best!
To start off, we’re going to categorise some of the mics we have discovered according to two types – USB Condensers and Condenser Microphones with Soundcards.
USB Condenser mics are simple to use and come in very handy if you are interested in traveling and recording on the go. They are pretty much portable and with a good mix/master will give you a value for money output. There are Microphones like the Samson Go Mic which literally fit right inside ones pocket.
There are other good packages that will also give you a pretty good output such as CAD U37 USB Microphone, M-Audio Nova USB Microphone and so on. These are the 3 mics that we recommend you to check out if you are on a budget and want to give a practice run for your demos or songs. Rest assured these packages will not burn a hole in your pocket.
Now on to the next – Condenser Microphones with Soundcards. If you are willing to shell out some more bucks then there are a couple more commonly purchased microphones that you can get. Starting with the Audio Technica AT2020. This mic also has a full package that comes along with a Roland SoundCard and also a pop filter.
The next microphone we are about to discuss is one that has been used predominantly for vocals. It is even built just for the vocals to be enhanced. It is none other than the Rode NT1A. This mic set the standard for vocal recordings and still continues to do so. It will run you a decent amount but you can be sure that it will be worth every rupee. These are some of the Microphones that have been tried and tested by a lot of emcees in the rap game.
The soundcard is a valuable asset in any recording setup. Microphones connected to Soundcards give out a much better, controlled response to your vocals. The right SoundCard is key to the output quality of your song too. So pick and choose wisely.
The first two good budget Soundcards we want to talk about are the Scarletts 2i2 and 2i4. The Scarlett 2i2 also has it’s standalone package with a SoundCard, Microphone and headphones. The 2i2 has an amazing amp quality and a very rigid build quality too. This is one of the very well known interfaces globally.
The major differences that the 2i4 have over the Scarlett 2i2, is the pad button that attenuates the gain that comes with loud signals. This helps in controlling and reducing clipping. The next difference is that the 2i4’s have a 4 channel output. What this means is that it is accessible to monitor one sound or track on your headphones rather than the sound that your speakers are playing.
The M-Audio M-Track is also a key pick for an interface. It has an almost negligible latency while monitoring, and is a solid aluminum build. It offers some great phantom power to the Microphones. Lastly, but never the least – the Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6. The sound quality and the amount of software that comes with this bundle just spells quality all over.
3) Mic Shield
The Mic shield is a part of equipment that can really take your recording quality from good to great. When building your studio, you can choose this as an add-on to enhance the quality of your recordings because it retains the sound that passes directly through to the other side of the mic. It is also equally important to take care that there are minimal reflective surfaces in front of the mic too. This is because those reflected sounds may also be picked up by the mic.
You can choose to either purchase a mic shield or have one built by the carpenters/metal works. All you need is the right design and foam.
4) Mic Stand + Pop Filter
The Mic stand and pop filters are also essential for completing your studio setups. Mic stands are easily available online and in select music stores. Pop filters are also available and the best thing about it is you can also build your own DIY pop filters.
The purpose of a pop filter is to clear out your hard hitting breaths while you pronounce alphabets (like when you throw a word with a “p” on the mic) while spitting. The filter makes sure that the sound of the alphabet reaches the mic without all the air behind it. This ensures you have a cleaner vocal output which can head on to the mix.
5) Room Acoustics
Last but not least, one of the most essential aspects of any home studio is the acoustics of the room. If you are recording in a large room or a small one, make sure that you have everything you need to ensure the sound gets crisp and clear inside the room.
This means that you cannot directly record beneath the fan, large rooms will cause natural reverb and a delayed hit (due to sound reflection) etc. It is ideal to record in small rooms where you have covered the interiors with foam. If foam is not the option available to you, we suggest you adorn the room with various sound absorbing material like heavy, woolen cloth etc. You can even choose to cover up your windows with these clothes materials so that the noise from outside doesn’t bother you while recording.
These are just some of the tips and tricks towards building your own home studio. DHH urges everyone who is looking forward to building their home setups to research about what will work best for them. All the best in building your studio and waiting to hear the best tracks from each of y’all!