Getting started is often the hardest part of a rap career. After you have mentally committed yourself to doing whatever it takes for success, you have to surround yourself with certain pieces of technical equipment that will put you in the right position to achieve success. Luckily, in this day and age, technology is so advanced, you can record a solid track within the confines of your own home without the help of any major studio! That’s right. You have the power to create and record professional quality music…ON YOUR OWN! Here is a list of 9 things you absolutely MUST HAVE in order to build your own homemade recording studio and get your rap career going in the right direction. Check out the list below, not in any order of importance.
1. Create a Vocal Booth
In order to be taken seriously as a rap artist on any level, your music sound quality must meet a decent level. One way to directly address this issue is by creating your own in-house sound booth. The good news is that they are not as difficult or expensive to make as they seem because, guess what…if you have a small walk in closet or even a empty corner in your basement, the structure of the booth is already there! ANYONE can do it, all you have to use is a bit of creativity and your songs will sound significantly more professional. Here is a video that I thought was a very innovative and inexpensive way to set up a decent recording booth right in your house…
Nowadays, laptops play such an integral part of the world community that owning one has becoming a necessity. They are essential for school, business, collecting information and connecting with friends–just to name a few. Rap is no different. Owning a laptop gives you the freedom to explore so many different options with your music to the extent that not owning one would put you at a significant disadvantage. For those of you looking, I recommend the following Macbook Pro…
- Very user friendly
- Great virus protection.
- Compatible with Pro Tools and various other DAW software.
- Extremely Portable and light.
A quality microphone can make or break a track for you. No matter how dope your lyrics may be, if they come out sounding scratchy or muffled, the song will not be taken seriously and your effort will be erased. Spending big money on a microphone is always a wise choice, so if you got the dollars, I highly recommend this purchase. However, with the economy being as it is, not everyone can afford the top notch $7,000.00 mics, so here is a moderately priced one that I recommend. But, be sure to check out other options if you have the dough.
|Acoustic Principle||Externally polarized 25 mm (1″) condenser|
|Active Electronics||Thermionic impedance converter with bipolar output buffer|
|Frequency Response||20 Hz ~ 20 kHz|
|Output Impedance||200 ohms|
|Sensitivity||-36 dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (16 mV @ 94dB SPL) +/- 2 dB|
|Equivalent Noise||10 dBA SPL (per IEC651, IEC268-15)|
|Maximum Output||> + 30 dBu (@ 1% THD into 1kOhms)|
|Dynamic Range||150dB (per IEC651, IEC268-15)|
|Maximum SPL||162 dB (@ 1% THD into 1kOhms)|
|Signal/Noise||> 81 dB (1kHz rel 1 Pa; per IEC651, IEC268-15)|
|Power Requirements||Dedicated Power Supply (110 ~ 120V/220 ~ 240V, 50/60Hz)|
4. Pop Shield
They might be the simplest piece of equipment in the studio, but they serve a crucial purpose in ALL of your tracks. Pop shields are placed a few inches from your microphone and are used to prevent a “popping” noise from effecting the quality of your vocals. They are all relatively cheap and the price is well worth the quality of vocals you will be recording.
The right pair of headphones can completely change the way you listen to your music. With a quality pair, sometimes you can literally hear different sounds in the instrumentals that you normally wouldn’t pick up. Make sure when you buy your pair, that they are a good balance of quality and comfort and that they actually enhance the musical sound for you. The devil is in the details, so make sure you give yourself the chance to get as specific and precise as possible with your music.
Closed, diffuse-field systems “Bass reflex” technology for improved bass response.
Clinically high and mid-range reproduction.
Rugged headband construction.
Single-sided cableSoft ear cushionsGold-plated jack plug 3.5 mm and 6.35 mm adapter.
For obvious reasons, you want your studio monitors to be as quality and clear as possible at an affordable price. After you’ve finished laying down some vocals on your latest track, you want to hear the song in its finest form. Make sure you have at least a decent pair of monitors so that you can not only hear how clean and smooth the song is, but you can also pick up on any flaws that show up every now and then. I recommend the M-Audio BX5 D2 monitors. They provide quality sound at an affordable price. Check them out below!
- Bi-amplified design with 70 watts of distributed power for cohesive, accurate sound
- 5 Inch low-frequency drivers with Kevlar cones for rich, defined lows
- 1 Inch high-frequency drivers with natural solk domes and integrated waveguides for smooth, clear highs
- Optimized rear ports for extended low-frequency response
- Magnetic shielding eliminates interference with other electronic wquipment
Let’s face it, some of us are still bustin’ out tracks in our moms basement and most of us at least have roommates or neighbors we have to stay aware of. Recording music often gets extremely loud and it is important that you do your best to keep your noise in and other noises out of your studio. Soundproof Foam is a cheap and easy way to get this done. So, buy a few rolls of this foam and line your walls with it and before you know it, you’ll be lining the walls of your own studio instead of your mom’s old jacked up wallpaper.
- Anechoic wedge cut offers superior sound absorption.
- Effectively reduce standing waves and flutter echoes
- Won’t crumble with age
- Absorbs up to 60% better than other brands with an NRC of .80
- Class B Fire Rating
8. DAW Software
DAW stands for “Digital Audio Workstation” and it is the essential software that recording artists and producers use for their music. It is absolutely crucial to creating a quality song and the best part is, with practice, it is relatively easy to use. “But what about those big mixing consoles???”– no need for ‘em–…at least for the moment being! After you buy the DAW software of your choice, simply install it into your computer and you have almost all that you need as a recording artist right on the screen in front of you. That’s right. All the beats you hear on Jee Juh were created straight from a laptop screen using DAW software called “Pro Tools.” This program is highly recommended, but feel free to shop around for other programs that fit to your liking. This is an essential part of your home studio, so make sure you get this software up and running before you record any tracks.
Once this in house studio project is completed and you have installed all the necessary pieces to get it up and running, you will need some beats to work with! Make sure to check out the Instrumentals here on Jee Juh, pick one out you like, and lay down some vocals on it with your new equipment! It ain’t the quality of the studio, it’s the quality of the artist so don’t worry too much about having the greatest facility in the world….that will come later!
Try putting together these 9 suggestions and I think you will surprise yourself with the quality of music you can create….