Main content

A basic home recording set-up

When recording from home there are a few things that you need!

1. A quiet room to work in

Choose the room in your house that can best shut out noises like sounds from the street and your housemates (children and pets included!).  Also find the room that has the least amount of 'reflective surfaces', so not too many windows, tiles etc. You want to work in the quietest, cosiest room in your house.  Furnishings like curtains, blankets and furniture do a great job in catching unwanted acoustics in a recording setting. If you have a closet you can set up in, even better! All your clothes will do a great job of catching reflections and blocking out external noises. 

2. A device to record into

You can record your audio using your smartphone, tablet or your computer. You can also record audio into a portable recorder such as a Tascam or Zoom recorder. The main difference across devices is editing: smartphones and tablets work from software apps that are simple but can also be a bit limiting. Portable recorders will still need the files loaded onto a computer to edit. 

3. Recording software

You can choose to purchase software such as Audition (Adobe), Logic Pro (Apple) or Pro-tools (Avid). Alternatively, you can work with freeware like Audacity (Windows and Mac) or Garageband (Apple). Garageband works on iphones ipads and Macs. Audacity is yet to have a mobile app. If you are wanting to work from an android phone or tablet you can use Wavepad.  There are options for all budgets and a lot of online tools for learning how to use any of these programs!

4. Headphones

Not earbuds! To work with audio recording and editing we need to have 'over the ear' headphones that give us a clearer higher quality audio listening as well as shutting out some of those outside noises that can be distracting. 

5. Microphone + soundcard

The microphone is one of the most important parts of your home recording set up. Unfortunately gaming headset mics, earbud mics and other microphones that aren't specific to recording professional/semi professional voice will not get the quality you need for audiobook narration!

The easiest route is to work from a USB microphone that can plug straight into your computer or device (tablet or phone). A few microphones we recommend are The AT2020USB+ Microphone, The Blue Yeti USB Microphone and The Rode NT Mini USB Microphone. All of these microphones come with desktop stands and are made for home recording the voice (think podcasting, audiobooks, great quality skype calls!)

The other route, that can vary across all budgets is getting a vocal mic and an interface.  There are a lot of options out there and you can search it all!  It comes down to your budget and what you are wanting your equipment to be able to do.  If you want to expand your home recording studio to be able to record instruments then working from an audio interface is the way to go.  If you are just going to be recording voice then stick to the usb mic!