How To Make Your Own Beat Studio Part 2

How To Make Your Own Beat Studio Part 2

In the last post we began talking about how to make your own beat studio and today we’re going to continue on from there by completing the setup and turning it into a full on home recording beast. Up until now, we focused solely on the production side of things and getting all we need to bang out some dope beats but eventually, you’re going to want to flex your recording muscle too. It doesn’t have to just be to lay down a sick verse or to record your friend of a friends sister that claimed she could sing on your hook. You may also find yourself recording any weird noise you can to create your own sound and samples or gathering your homies to create your own claps and chants. The possibilities are endless once your beat studio has the ability to record.

 

Don’t Forget the Flow

Let’s do a quick recap of the Flow of Audio everything we need to complete our beat studio:

Make You Own Beat Studio Audio Flow Chart - How To Make Hip-Hop.com
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Inputs:

  • Microphone
  • Audio Interface
  • MIDI Controller

Process:

  • Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
  • Computer

Outputs:

  • Speakers
  • Headphones

Today we’re going to go further with microphones as well as important recording tools. This where a lot of moving parts come into play and a lot of elements need to be taken into consideration. Before we even think about all that, though, let’s take a look at the room in which you’re building your beat studio.

 

The Room

Now take a gooooood look around at your beat studio. For most of you this may be your bedroom or even your garage, or maybe you’re in a spare room or office, it really doesn’t matter. What does matter, however, is how much empty space is in it. Now I’m not saying that so that we can fit in a couch, get some girls, some drinks and have a party while making that rap magic. You see, empty space gives your voice more room to travel and allows for more natural reverb and reflections which will ultimately bounce back into your microphone and cause a whole lot of…well…problems.

By Nickkutt – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Now because we can’t spend thousands trying to sound-proof everything, we need less empty space. That’s why bedrooms aren’t so bad. You have “things” in your room. “Things” that take up space and will absorb the sound to kill it and stop it from reflecting, like your bed and pillows. That’s why, if you have the unnecessary space (wait for it), I suggest you get a couch! It’s great for absorbing sound with its thick cushions and your artists will have somewhere to sit too, which is nice. You know what else is in your bedroom? A closet! If you can stand inside it and comfortably rap then why not stick your microphone in that bad boy and start calling it a booth.

Walls and windows are your next biggest threat so make sure none of them are exposed by hanging blankets up (I’m serious) and using thicker curtains. We’ll talk more about insulation in later posts but these are quick fire home remedies to aid in a basic recording.

 

Microphone

Now when it comes to your mic, there’s really only one thing you’ve got to know before you even think about asking “What microphone should I buy?” You see, when it comes to basic models there are two common types that you will encounter: Dynamic and Condenser microphones. These labels simply refer to the type of transducer inside the mic. This determines

By Leonsa453 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

how it picks up sound but let’s forget about all that sciency stuff for now. All you really need to know is that Dynamic microphones are best for recording live instruments and for live performances and Condenser microphones are what you’re after if you’re looking to record vocals in your beat studio (or any studio for that matter…for real).

Now be warned: there are three other items you will definitely need to buy along with your microphone if you’re setting one up for the first time. They are:

  • A Mic Stand
  • A Pop Filter
  • An XLR Cable

These items are inexpensive and you absolutely do not need to ball out and go get the top of the line stuff and the same could be said for your microphone (I mean seriously if you wanna get your DIY on and make a filter and stand then by all means you can). This now brings us to the last pressure point: Budget

Remember earlier when I was talking about the room? Now imagine buying a super expensive microphone that, not only picks up your voice clearly but picks up every little imperfection, reflection and teeny drop of unwanted reverb clearly too. So don’t stress too much about the price and try not to spend more than $100 on a great Condenser microphone. Some are even less than $50. We’ve provided a great selection below this post.

 

Audio Interface

Many people try to skip buying one of these with a USB microphone which is a seriously bad move. Even if you don’t plan on recording much, it’s a great investment for one essential reason: Analog to Digital and Digital to Analog Conversation (here comes some science).

Sound waves are a natural acoustic signal that your computer would never be able to understand without first converting it to a digital signal and then converting it back into an analogue signal so that it can be played out through your speakers and headphones. Now I bet you didn’t know all that was going on hey? So can you imagine how much pressure that would put on your poor little sound-card if you just plugged in a USB microphone? Because after all that, it’s still gotta run your DAW and all the little sound operations on your computer too. See now why I stressed about RAM in the last post?

You’ll only need one channel at a time while recording but many affordable interfaces come with, preferably, two channels, as well as combo channels that can take an XLR cable AND a normal instrument jack for you to plug your guitar or bass directly into your computer (just not at the same time). We’ve provided some great options below.

 

If You Build It…

All these components together with the ones we previously discussed are all you need to start living that producer life inside your very own beat studio. Anybody can do it no matter how old or how musically inclined you may be. Have you made your own studio? Got any more questions you’d like to ask? Then feel free to share your comments and thoughts below.

Peace.

Ryan C. Voller, Recording Artist – Producer – Lead Contributor for HowToMakeHip-Hop.com

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10 thoughts on “How To Make Your Own Beat Studio Part 2

  1. Alex

    I like how thorough this article was. You really did a good job explaining the science we needed to know without boring us with the details.

    I’ve actually seen studios of artists who are now famous and some of them used that same strategies you are suggestion in this article, like using pillows to block sound.

    1. Ryan

      Hi Alex

      Yeah, it’s true there are many things you can do to get yourself off the ground.

      Thanks for leaving your comment.

  2. Marley Dawkins

    Great post on making your own studio Ryan, i really like the detail you give in both part 1 and 2 – when i read about making your closet into a rap booth, that brought back a lot iof memories of being a 13 year old rapping in my friends “bedroom closet booth” lol, great fun 🙂

    I agree with what you said about using couches and things to absorb sound – my friend tried stapling loads of duvets and pillows to his wall, worked kinda well, have you tried that? Good budget option too 🙂

    1. Ryan

      Oh yeah, I’ve tried it alright. I’ve even flipped up my bed and made my mattress do the heavy work. Once we even got two and put them in a V-formation and then tossed a blanket over to make a serious booth. I encourage anybody reading this to try that as well.

      Thanks for leaving your comment Marley.

  3. Shawn G

    Hey Ryan, Just checked out your article on how to make a beat studio pt. 2. It looks like I’m more ahead of the game than I thought. I 100% have the nearly exact set up you described. Even the exact AudioBox shown in it. Could you maybe suggest some studio monitors that are really good quality for less than 500$ a pair? Also maybe some easy ways to make sound dampeners for “the booth”? Thx

    1. Ryan

      Nice to see you again Shawn

      Making your own “booth” is something that can be achieved in various different ways and I’ve tried more than a few so I’ll be sure to cover that in a future post.

      If you’re looking for a great selection of Monitors, head over to How To Make Your Own Beat Studio part 1 where we have a great selection for you to see just below the post.

      Thanks again for leaving your comment.

  4. stacey

    sick site ! one of my good friends is an aspiring hip hop artist and likes to make beats as well i plan on sharing this page with him its very informative and easy to read if my buddy gets successful which i hope he does i might have to learn to make beats my self

    1. Ryan

      I hope your friend will get as much use out of my site!

      Thanks for leaving your comment.

  5. Renato

    Hi Ryan, I am a musician I am looking for some idea how to built a studio home ,believe me I follow to your web site and I found very explicit ease to follow and it give a very good explanation for what you need to make a home studio. I do have a question the room that you want record it needs some sound- proof so your suggesting no to be empty? thank you for your informational web and I will be checking you out more often Renato

    1. Ryan

      Hi Renato

      Yes, that’s the cheapest way to remove a lot of the natural reverb and echo to ‘deaden’ the sound in the room.

      Thanks for leaving your comment.

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