Should you record at home or in a studio?

by Josh Fisher, Metro Music Makers instructor

When it comes to creating your own music recording it can be a very tricky process, especially where quality and price are concerned. There are two ways to get your song tracked and ready to be heard. The first is in a home studio, done by yourself, and the second is at a professional recording studio, by an engineer.

Whether you record at home or in a studio, it’s important to realize that it will be expensive, that is if you want quality. You can find free programs like Audacity online to record sound, but you won’t be able to mix and master enough to create an album-ready song. To invest in a solid recording program, it will cost you between $300 and $1,000. On top of that, you will need to invest in plugins, which are third-party programs that help clean up your sound clip, each in different ways. You will also need an audio interface and microphone preamps, which are external hardware boxes that you can run your audio through before it gets to the program to manipulate the sound. These preamps are not completely necessary, but if you want your audio sounding like it was done professionally, you will need some. If you already have this equipment and software, and you know how to edit music, then working out of a home studio is your best choice. It would cost less per album of songs than a recording studio, and there is no middle man changing your music to how they want it to sound.

The other option is to record in a professional studio. This will cost you around $120 per 2 hours, or $600 or so for the entire day, but the prices will go up depending on the studio. The upside to this option is that they have all of the equipment already in place to make your track sound as professional as possible. The engineer will also most likely have a lot of experience and training in music and the recording process, which can help your song sound better. In addition, the rooms that you record in will sound better, as they were likely specifically designed to be an isolation room or recording room. In my personal opinion, it is always worth the price to go to a professional to have recordings done. It’s worth the extra money to make your song sound better and make it something you’re proud of. Another advantage to recording in a studio is that you have a cut-off for editing time. If you record and edit by yourself, you will probably never be happy with how the song sounds, but if you go to a studio, the song will eventually sound like a hit if you’ve invested enough money.

No matter how you decide to record, however, enjoy the process. It’s a beautiful thing to share your music with the world.

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