Generally, we would highly advise against home recording as most artists can’t afford the proper room treatment to soundproof their recording space. However, some of you are inspired to write all year-round and want the freedom to record as you please, without having to schedule studio sessions days, even weeks in advance. So if you’re THAT determined to DIY, here are the tools you need. And no, we don’t like cheap-sounding records so we’re not going to advise you cheap tools. If you’re gonna invest in serious home recording, at least do it the right way. Plus… this incredible recording gear is very reputable and you’ll be able to carry it with you when you level up and get your own professional recording studio as most artists eventually do.
5. The Kaotica Eyeball
The staff at Kaotica created something marvelous way before all the copycats “invented” stupid portable alternatives. We’re talking about the Kaotica Eyeball. Which is rightfully the number one portable recording booth in the world. This little thing is such a genius accessory that will enhance by a 100 times your sound quality. You need it and you ain’t even know it. It’s priced at $200 in 2020 (Buy it directly from the producer HERE). Mind you, we bought it at $300 in 2016 and never looked back since. Even people with professionally treated studios use it. It’s a very lightweight soundproofing ball that you dress on top of your mic and it instantly isolates your voice, making it easier for your recording sessions to sound high quality. Notable producers that use it: David Hodges (works with Christina Perri), Aaron Lindsey (works with Tina Campbell), KJ Contech (works with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre), 30Roc (works with Nicki Minaj) etc. Get it if you’re serious about your recording career.
4. Closed-Back Headphones
Here’s the thing… You NEED headphones that will keep the damn backtrack to the lowest possible level without bouncing back in the mic, while offering you enough of a sound volume to hear yourself AND the music while recording. It took us testing over 15 different studio-specialized brands to come to ONE conclusion: Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO. Get these headphones and you’re set for life if you take good care of them. For Europeans, get them HERE, at only about 120 euros, and for Americans, get them HERE at $160. Don’t go searching around for more expensive or more niche headphones. Save yourself the frustration and time and take our word for it.
3. A High-Quality, Easy-To-Use Audio Interface
One title: RME Fireface UC. For those completely new to recording gear, this is a little box that converts your voice into 0s and 1s which are sent to your computer as data and viceversa, THIS is what makes possible the playing of a backtrack during your recording session, so it converts data to sound that reaches your headphones. It’s the middle guy and most often THE MOST important component in a recording studio. A cheap microphone can still sound pretty phenomenal with a high-quality sound card. Now back to our RME Fireface UC. Why this very product? Easy! It provides incredibly low latencies both with single or multiple channels active, it comes with its own TotalMix FX software that allows you to set up 9 completely independent stereo submixes, AND it features the 48V phantom power, so no need for a separate 48V adapter for your mic! That is a huge, huge benefit of this remarkable soundcard. US residents can purchase it HERE for $1350, and Europeans HERE for €850.
2. A Condenser Microphone
These mics are the top of the line in regards to affordable home-recording. Remember we said NOT cheap, but affordable. Meaning you can still buy it if you find the discipline to save around $1.300 (for US residents go HERE, for European residents go HERE). We’re suggesting the Neumann TLM 103 because first and foremost, Neumann has the reputation for having created some of the world’s greatest recording mics, and secondly, for it’s light weight, small size, the extremely low self-noise, large diaphragm capsule, and when paired with Kaotica Eyeball AND the Avalon 737SP, you’re starting to sound very much like a professional. Matter of fact, the aforementioned combination is of such excellency that Thomann offers an exclusive bundle for purchasing both at the same time. With a good engineer, people won’t be able to tell that you’ve recorded your song at home, in an untreated environment.
1. A Class-A Preamp
Every modern amplifier tries to emulate the classic transformers, some managing to get close enough, but not all the way there. Our absolute, all-time favorite is the Avalon VT-737SP. This beast weighs about 12kg (over 26lbs) and offers 4-Band EQ, Tube Channel Strip, Mono mic pre/Opto-compressor, Mic Line and DI inputs, Large VU meter, and dual vacuum tube triodes configured with minimum negative feedback. If you don’t understand what all these terms mean, don’t worry. Most new artists don’t. Let’s just say that you can make up for the lack of room treatment with the right settings on this beast. Here are some very famous, very skilled sound-engineers and producers that work with Avalon 737SP: Scott Storch, Steve Hodge, Billy Howerdel, Johnny K, Young Guru, Dave Pensado. For US residents, the best place to get it at is B&H (priced $3000 HERE). For European artists, Thomann is where you make your studio purchases online (priced £3000 HERE). We know this sounds like quite the money BUT… a great artist will invest in great equipment. An average artist on the other hand -… self-explanatory.