Everyone wants to be a pop star; everyone thinks they have talent. They ought to think it over a bit. Witness the many amateur TV reality shows and see the hordes of would-be recording artists flocking the stages. Most are bad, even terrible or worse. There are those, however, that reach the heights. Leann Rimes and Brittany Spears were discovered on TV. So was Katharine McFee, Jordan Sparks, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, and Kelly Clarkson, among many others (oddly enough Elvis Presley lost on a local early days TV competition). No wonder people keep trying. There is no greater joy that reaping the rewards a good voice can bring.
That said, you may want to record yourself at home if you have the space, time, and inclination. That way you can keep at it night and day and exert quality control. In spite of the investment you have to make in equipment, it will save you money in the long run on professional sound engineers. Hourly rates can add up. So look around and see where you would put this mini studio of yours. Do you have a room in the basement, a backyard dwelling, or off the garage? If so, you are well ahead of the game.
Your personal studio will have to be soundproof first and foremost. I will devote this blog to that effort and sometime later tackle specific equipment. The reason is that you can do the work yourself, while you will have to purchase the necessary sound gear. Soundproofing isn’t hard if you know what you are doing, and remember it is a must to get a quality recording.
Various materials are designed just for this purpose. Go look at other nearby studios and home theaters for ideas. Do you care about density and color? Does texture matter? Most of the materials are neutral in tone but you can opt for color if you like. It is all about acoustics and that can be tricky. Music generates sound waves that travel through the air. Soundproofing will block them by dampening or absorbing them.
Typical soundproofing consists of heavy thick walls to prevent sound from escaping from your studio. You don’t have to spend big bucks on tiles or acoustic panels. They are reasonable in cost. Sound waves, by the way, have different frequencies so if this sounds too complicated for you, put away your tools now and hire a pro. If not, you can learn about the difference between high frequencies such as cymbals or the upper notes on a keyboard, middle frequencies such as a sax or guitar, and low ones found in a bass guitar, drums, or the lower keyboard notes. It can get pretty sophisticated, but if you are serious about it, venture forth.
Your studio will no doubt produce demos and not final productions. Hence it doesn’t have to be perfect. But you can get close!