All thanks to technology, DAWs and virtual instruments have changed the way of recording music. In this article, we see whether you should record your music in a home or professional recording studio.
Nonetheless, the way of recording an artist or a band has certainly changed over the last decade. More and more producers and mix engineers prefer a home studio instead of a professional recording studio environment with flashy synths, drum kits, vocal booths, and other high-quality studio gear.
But the question we are faced with in this age of technology is, are professional recording studios worthy of well-crafted home studios?
Professional studios usually give a more polished recording than a home studio as it offers proper sound isolation, high-quality recording gear, and expensive instruments. However, due to the rise in virtual instruments, it is within reach of anyone to get the most out of home studios.
So, after this quick answer, let’s deeply analyze both types of studios and how each one offers a unique flavour to recording music.
Professional Vs Home Studio
Let’s begin our discussion with comparing the two types of studios and see pros and cons associated with them.
Recommended Home Studio Gear List
Audio interface – Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
Studio Monitors – Presonus Eris 3.5
Studio Headphones – Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro
Professional studio grade dynamic microphone – Shure SM7B
Also Read: Focusrite scarlett 2i2 review!
Home studio Pros
A huge advantage of a home studio is that you are the boss. You can use the studio as you wish, and no one will bother you for as long as you wish other than your family members or roommates!
2) No time constraints
This is a considerable advantage associated with owning a home studio. Spend as much time as you wish without worrying about the gigantic fees that professional studios charge per hour.
With a lot of time in your hand, it becomes easy for producers to experiment with different musical ideas and mixing techniques. Additionally, you get ample time to learn the art as well.
3) Invest as you wish
A good thing about owning a studio is that you have full control over what comes in and goes out of the studio.
This lets you invest your resources in important studio equipment that gets you in action as quickly as possible. To me, this is one of the reasons that we are seeing a wide surge of home recording studios.
4) Rent it out
You can rent your studio out depending on how big of a studio you own with different facilities like the vocal booth, high-grade studio gear, and different instruments.
It all depends on how well you scale up your studio and at what time. The equipment also decides whether your customers will come back or not.
This is where you will see a good return on investment, especially if you have a good studio setup with proper soundproofing, decent studio gear, instruments, drums, and partitioned areas for different recordings.
Home studio Cons
1) Not all home studios are same
Setting up a home studio depends on many factors. It includes but is not limited to space, equipment, instruments, and quality of gear.
Therefore, a smaller studio will offer less space to put together different pieces of the puzzle. Hence, you may not be able to create a studio that you’ll be able to rent out.
2) Weak points
Every home studio has a weak point. Be it less space or poor space management, you must carefully analyze what can and cannot fit in a home studio.
Unlike home studios, professional studios are carefully built to cater to different needs during recording or mixing sessions.
Speaking from an investment point of view, the more money you put in the studio, the better it gets. Investing more and more in your studio will give you access to better equipment like audio interfaces, studio monitors, studio headphones, and other related gear.
However, not all people can spend the same money on their studio. A college graduate can put in much less money than a salaried employee.
Professional Studio Pros
1) Professional environment
I don’t know how but working in a professional environment forces your mind to stay disciplined throughout the process. And more often than not, it forces you to make quick decisions that can speed up your process.
Also Read: 15 Recording Studio Tips for first timers!
Touching the instruments, mixing boards, mics, and other things in the studio puts you in a different state altogether.
You are inspired to keep experimenting in a professional studio with high-quality studio gears like synths, compressors, mixing desks, microphones, and proper monitoring.
Also, it feels heartwarming to work in a place where numerous track records were built from scratch.
Nonetheless, it opens you to socializing with other artists in the industry and sharing your knowledge with them.
Leaving it to chance, the probability of collaborations is quite potent in such environments.
3) High quality instruments and recording gear
You will see expensive stuff in a studio. Be it furniture, chairs, couch, or recording equipment, everything blends with each other.
You get what you pay for, and the higher you pay, the more premium stuff you will get. All that expensive gear will surely reflect in your recordings.
Professional Studio Cons
The cost of Professional studios ranges from anywhere between $100 – $500 per hour. However, some studios cost way too much than this range. It depends on various factors such as place, popularity, studio gear, and waiting list.
Therefore, if you want to record in a studio, be ready to spend your savings on this luxury.
2) Time constraints
The next downside when recording in a professional studio is that you have limited time on your hands. Here, time is money.
The time limit can hinder your creative side and may force you into distractions. For some people, deadlines may prove productive, but for most, they will create anxiety and a lack of creativity.
Therefore, keep a checklist of everything you wish to complete in an individual studio session. Only in this way will you be able to squeeze productive studio sessions.
How to stay productive in Professional Studio environment?
Having discussed the advantages and disadvantages of both home and professional studios, it is now time to see some of the best practices to keep in mind while you book a session for a professional studio.
1) Do your homework
Time is of the essence in a professional studio environment. To stay laser focused, you must prep for your studio session and things you must accomplish.
A tip here is to do your homework properly like we all did in school. Make your to-do list and aim to get that done in your studio time. If its your first time, don’t get lost in the beauty rather get things done first.
2) Get to know the studio beforehand
Before you book your slot, take a tour of the studio and get to know the types of equipment. This way, you’ll not waste your time hanging around the studio.
Additionally, it will help you save time in your studio hours.
Going to the studio packed with the knowledge of gear is very important, especially if it is your first time.
3) Get your hands Dirty!
Also, another important thing to keep in mind is to request a demo of the synths, drums, and studio equipment. It will let you know the gear before you start your booked session.
You will usually get the hands-on demo for about 10 – 15 minutes if the studio is not too busy.
In this post, we saw that both types of studios, i.e., home and professional recording environments offer a unique set of options for a music producer or mix engineer.
Should you record music at Home or Professional Recording Studio? As we say, the choice is all yours.
However, in this age of technology, it is quite easy for anyone to set up a budget-friendly and close-to-professional quality home studio.