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Building your own home studio is a great way to begin creating and producing inspiring music. It can be music that you have composed or tracks that other artists have created. Either way, having the necessary tools will enable you to produce clear mixes suitable for both headphones and home stereo systems, whilst giving you as much creative freedom as possible. This article will identify key audio components you will need to record in a home studio; however, the principles discussed can also be used in larger, more professional rigs should you want to expand.
Speakers, Monitors and Headphones
Speakers, monitors and headphones differ greatly from one another. A pair of B&W speakers have a different function to a set of studio monitors, for example, which have differing frequency responses. Monitors can come in speaker or over-ear headphone form, and are designed to offer a neutral frequency response. That's to say that they don't boost any frequency ranges and allow you to manipulate the equalization (EQ) yourself.
If you're unsure what EQ is then, look on your own audio device settings; you'll notice an EQ setting that can provide bass boosts or special settings for rock or jazz. This is important because certain instruments sound more pleasing at certain frequencies. For example, rock music often has a higher and lower boosts with the middle range trimmed away, offering big heavy bass sounds in support of the drums and bass guitar and higher range support for guitars to help project solos and chords. If you were to mix a track that was already boosted (by using commercial speakers), you'd end up over exaggerating the frequencies, leading to distortion when playing through different speakers with less bass response.
Having a set of monitors, good quality commercial speakers and headphones will enable you to mix initially, and then test the mixes on different platforms until you create something that is pleasing to the ear and ready to be played in the home. Contact professionals at companies like Tivoli Hi-Fi Pty Ltd to learn more about what equipment you need.
Mixing for Optimal Sound
Mixing can result in listening fatigue quite quickly. This is where it's difficult to identify sounds because you have become accustomed to listening to the music so many times. This is easily remedied and requires you to have regular breaks from the studio. Just like when working at a computer, try to take a break whenever you feel fatigued, or pick a regular time slot where you go and find a quiet space to relax and give your ears a rest.