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Home Studios for Beginners

Updated on March 30, 2018
Nathaniel Pierre profile image

Since the 6th grade, Nathaniel was taught hands-on lessons in audio engineering training by professionals, enabling him to work on projects.

Destroying a common misconception

I want to start off by saying that you are still a producer/engineer/musician/artist/etc. if you record and mix in your home. Veterans of the trade record and mix in their homes. Their setup might be state of the art, but their profession and trade are the same as yours. I have witnessed people ridicule a friend or classmate because “they call themselves producers but only use a laptop.”.


Before the 21st century, all you needed was a keyboard to be considered a producer. Have no shame. Technology has advanced in such a way that people no longer need to pay for studio sessions in a well furnished studio suite in order to complete a project. Now that we have that out of the way, let us start by redefining what a studio is.

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So what is a studio?

A studio is a place where an artist, or artists, work. A studio is a workshop. In the studio, the artist works on their material. The material is essentially art. That art includes drawings, paintings, sculptures, writings, music compositions, filming, or even audio recordings. Because a studio is an area where artists work on their craft, that studio is anywhere the artist chooses. The place doesn’t matter.

This series will focus on audio recordings. To be specific, the type of audio recordings we will focus on will relate to music. Please keep in mind that if you are an artist who practice a different craft like film you may still want to stick around as some of my tips may still apply to you and your area of art. Now that we have established what a studio is, we will discuss what makes a recording studio.

If you have a laptop.......you definitely have a legitimate recording studio.

Important notice for people who are not sure which laptop to get.

You can start by looking at some of the Digital Audio Workstations.You can do this by using the search engine or by visiting a music store.

Some of the digital software are the following:

  1. Logic Pro
  2. Pro Tools
  3. Ableton
  4. Ardour
  5. Cubase


If you check online, or on the box, each of those programs should show you system requirements. On the list of the requirements, you will know which laptop/computer to get and which operating systems are compatible with these programs.

To give you an idea, I used was a Macbook Pro and the operating systems I had went from OS X Lion to Yosemite. On that computer, I worked with Logic Pro 9, Logic Pro X, Pro Tools and more. But before I had that laptop, I used a 2007 Dell Inspiron and composed used 3 free software for composing. More about the technical side of studio will be mentioned in the series. There is just so much to write about on the subject that I cannot fit it all here.


Just to think, we use to only have tape machines at our disposal in order to record.

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What makes a recording studio legitimate?

This is the 21st century, as I’ve mentioned before. All you need is a laptop for the basis of your recording studio. In the past, people needed a piano and a tape machine to record analog. Nowadays, you can use digital recording. You no longer need a physical keyboard because there are virtual instruments as well as MIDI. Keep MIDI and virtual instruments in mind because this will come up again within the next few articles.

For the readers who are well experienced with recording, let us pretend that we all are starting as a beginner on a budget that is very low. If you have a laptop, a computer, a smart phone, or a smart tablet then all you need is a great pair of mixing headphones and you have yourself a legitimate recording studio on-the-go. You definitely have a legitimate home studio.



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Getting ready

You now have your laptop, or your keyboard, or even both. Your studio is all set. Where and when would you start the recording process? This all depends on your interface. This also depends on your budget. Most importantly, it depends on data. Please stay tuned to the next installment of Home Studios for Beginners......People Who Want a Different Perspective. There is so much to cover, and I have learned so much over the years from so many talented composers and engineers. I am very excited to share my growing knowledge of the craft.

I am on the acoustic while my friend sets up the recording session. Please stay tuned! Thanks for reading!

Keep this picture in mind. You may see this again throughout this series.
Keep this picture in mind. You may see this again throughout this series.

© 2017 Nathaniel Brown

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