Tuesday, January 10, 2017

4 Recording Packages to Get Started with Home Recording

If you’re looking to start recording audio, there’s some essential equipment you’ll need. For most purposes, you’ll need an audio interface, microphone, and headphones to get started. This list can easily grow with more complex recording projects, but this is just the basics. There are a few packages available that have all the equipment you’ll need, so we’ve covered some of the best options available.

Behringer Podcastudio

The most basic recording package available is the Behringer Podcastudio. This package includes a dynamic microphone with stand, mixer, headphones, and audio 2 channel audio interface as well as the required cables to set it up. The microphone is plugged into the mixer, which is connected to the computer via a simple 2 in 2 out USB audio interface. The mixer features one XLR input as well as a few ¼” inputs. There is also the option for phantom power for condenser microphones.

There are a few pieces of software included with this setup, however they are free and can easily be downloaded.

Though this setup is advertised for podcasters, it can also be used by musicians who are recording simple tracks. This setup can be used to record direct guitar and bass, vocals, keyboard, or electronic drums with a line output.

Focusrite Scarlett Studio Pack

The Focusrite Scarlett Studio Pack Studio pack provides a few more options than the Behringer Podcastudio, but costs more. This package includes the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, which has two XLR/instrument inputs. This allows for up to two microphones to be recorded at once, so it is capable of stereo recording. The interface also has a separate headphone output and line outputs for monitor speakers.

This package includes the Focusrite Scarlett CM25 large diaphragm condenser microphone that can be used on a variety of different instruments. There is also a pop filter for recording vocals that will prevent plosives from being picked up by the microphone. The package comes with a boom microphone stand. These work great for any recording in the studio, especially when working with vocals or drums. An XLR cable is included for connecting the microphone to the audio interface.

To monitor your recordings, there is the Focusrite HP60 closed-back headphones. Since the headphones are closed-back, they’ll work great for recording alongside the condenser microphone since they won’t leak much sound.

Cubase LE 6 is included, which is a free version of Cubase. This program has a few limitations compared to the full version, but most will find it sufficient for their home recording projects.

Steinberg UR22 MKII Recording Pack

Another package similar to the Focusrite is the Steinberg UR22 MKII Recording Pack. This audio interface has similar features, such as 2 inputs and preamp, separate headphone and monitor outputs and instrument inputs. This interface has the advantage over the Focusrite 2i2 since it also has MIDI input/output, allowing for recording of electronic instruments such as keyboard and electronic drums.

The Steinberg recording pack comes with the ST-H01 studio monitor headphones as well as the ST-M01 studio condenser microphone and XLR cable. Unlike the Focusrite package, there is no included microphone stand or pop filter.

Recording software is also included with this package, such as Cubase AI and Wavelab LE for use with a computer, and Cubasis LE for recording with an iPad. The iPad recording capabilities are great, since they make this package very portable and allow you to easily record on location.

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Pack

The Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Pack18i20 pack is the best package available for anyone looking to expand their recording studio in the future. Though significantly more expensive, this package includes the Focusrite 18i20, which is a great audio interface with many inputs and preamps. This audio interface can be used for recording anything from a single guitar track, so a full band all at once.

This package also comes with a Rockville RCM02 pro studio condenser microphone as well as a shock mount and XLR cable to connect it to the mixer. This condenser microphone would be great for anything from vocal recording to acoustic guitar. There is no included microphone stand, so that will need to be purchased separately. The package does include an isolation shield, which goes around the microphone and prevents it from picking up reflections, allowing it to sound as if it were recorded in a vocal booth.

The Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 includes Pro Tools First Focusrite Creative Pack and Ableton Live Lite for recording music, so there’s no need to purchase a DAW or look for free solutions before you can get started.

The one disadvantage of this package that’s worth mentioning is there are no included headphones or monitor speakers, so they will need to be purchased separately. If you want to find out more about choosing headphones for the home studio, click here.

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