The good soundcard is also a must for home recording. Standard soundcards that come with contemporary computers are not great. They do not have a good frequency response. They are not shielded. They do not have the necessary inputs. Unless you are recording only simple demos you should look for a better soundcard. There are many good soundcards and they all have various characteristics. Some characteristics are easy to explain and some are more complex. I will list some of the obvious ones: number and type of inputs, mixing consoles, and so on. I will skip esoteric ones such as signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio and analog-to-digital (A/D) conversion accuracy, as those will not help you in choosing the best sound – it is difficult to understand how those affect sound quality anyway.
I will write a few articles on our simple home studio set up – software, equipment, etc. Do not take these too seriously. For one, our studio is the end result of a long line of experiments, not all of which were successful. We bought a lot of equipment and software without too much information and we now know that there is better and cheaper gear out there. Also, you may be looking for a completely different kind of experience. Either way, here is a review of our software.
You probably already know that your room affects the quality of your home recording. Sound is airborne waves which are physical in nature and are thus affected by physical structures. Sound waves in rooms are affected by walls, floors, ceilings, curtains, furniture, televisions, light fixtures, and other. In short, anything that obstructs the path of the sound wave will alter it and will ultimately change the sound that our ears perceive. The end effect of this may be desired or undesired. Typically, since the human ear is used to hearing sound after such room resonances, those may make the sound appear more "natural" and "lively". This is why recording engineers artificially introduce room resonances in sound recordings through reverb units. Without them the recording will sound "dry" and unnatural. So why exactly are our room resonances problematic?
My first foray into reproduced music was as a listener. I enjoy listening to different types of music, and like most people I did not have much musical training as a child. I dabbled briefly with the saxophone and piano. While in college I was introduced to the joys of fine audio reproduction in the home, and it was a staggering difference from the middle fidelity reproduction that I had grown up with as a child listening to the radio and/or mass-market stereo systems.
Welcome to RECORDINGBLOGS.COM! This site is dedicated to the learning about recording in the comfort of your own home with maximum results and minimal frustration. Recording at home became possible only recently. The staff writing on this site have some experience with the home recording process and we will use this site to share our experience with others.