Music Production in Your Home Studio: Being a Recording Artist in the COVID Era

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the music industry. Venues and recording studios that once hosted scores of musicians and performing acts have closed, limited audience sizes or initiated vaccination requirements for attendance. For many musicians and bands, turning to Zoom concerts or collaborating via online platforms for real-time performances were the only options for a while.

The collapse of the live music industry affected not only musicians but also sound engineers, producers, road crew and security personnel, among others. Some performers focused inward and shifted their attention to songwriting and composition. Others took advantage of the time they had to set up their own recording studio at home.

How Independent Musicians Can Get Creative

When the world went into lockdown in March 2020, music studios closed their doors. When businesses started to reopen, there were no official safety protocols for recording studios to follow, and many of them had to create their own. Since a studio is typically a smaller space, people are routinely in close contact for hours.

Some businesses staggered the arrival of musicians and staff while having mask requirements, implementing sanitation practices and limiting recording sessions to one a day. However, some musicians and music students were resourceful in setting up recording studios in their homes in order to distribute their music online. If you want to get creative and convert a room in your place into a recording studio, here’s some helpful advice.

  • Find a quiet room. If you have a few rooms in your house to choose from, select one with enough space for gear, with minimal street noise. Make sure it includes irregular surfaces. If you only have one room for this purpose, you can make it work with additional acoustic treatment.
  • Get the gear. Make a list of equipment you already have and another for the gear you need. Some of the necessary equipment for a home studio includes a computer, digital audio workstation, audio interface, MIDI keyboard, studio monitors, headphones, microphones, cables, rack case, and acoustic treatment. Your creativity and inspiration will be just as important as the gear.
  • Determine what you need to grow. Some items of recording equipment are more expensive than others. Perhaps a more budget-friendly option will work while you improve your skills if you’re just starting. When you have gained more experience, a high-end piece of equipment will better suit your needs.
  • Arrange the room. Set up the workstation and arrange the recording stations. Whether you’re only recording yourself or having other musicians come in to play, there are a few setup options that can work for your space. The standard solo setup, the dual setup and the hybrid setup are some options that work for solo and group recordings.
  • Keep it simple. It’s possible to make great recordings with a minimal, relatively inexpensive setup. If you attempt too much too soon, you may become discouraged or overwhelmed. Working with familiar equipment and a basic studio is perfect for anyone new to recording at home.

Next Steps

If designing a home studio and making, recording and releasing music is a passion, an online Master of Music in Music Technology – Performance Technology Track may be right for you. Students study live sound, concert production, sound reinforcement, budgeting, legal issues and concert promotion while gaining experience using music service and technology platforms. The program prepares graduates to pursue a career as a studio engineer, music producer, technical sound designer, music director and more.

Learn more about Southern Utah University’s online Master of Music in Music Technology – Performance Technology Track.

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