"Singing is like a celebration of oxygen." - Bjork
There are a lot of people who’d love to be able to sing professionally but a recording studio with its mics, mixing decks, preamps, etc. tends to be quite expensive.
However, for most of us singing in our cars, it’s not as expensive as you’d think. While it’s not cheap, there are home recording solutions for almost every budget. Let’s have a look at how much you’ll need to set aside to create your home studio.
Whether you’re a tenor, bass, or soprano, you can record and mix your voice for almost any budget.
The Cost of Microphones
How can you record yourself singing without a condenser microphone?
Whether you get a wired or wireless mic, this is the first thing you’ll need to record your voice. This is where your budget can be more flexible and if you’re after something better, you can always spend a little more. All recording starts with your microphone, after all.
While you can find entry-level microphones for around £100, some of the professional models can cost upwards of £5,000! For budding singers, you’ll probably be fine with the cheaper models. There are plenty of decent microphones that you can use.
For around £200, you can get some very decent microphones that are great value-for-money and will do your voice justice. You can choose between static and wireless mics, too.
The Cost of Digital Audio Equipment
To start home recording, you’ll need more than just your new microphone. For example, you’ll need an audio interface to process the audio that you’re recording. With sound cards, audio interfaces, etc., singers will need a few more things before they can start recording.
There are a few methods and solutions when it comes to recording yourself singing. If you already have a computer with a sound card, the simplest way to record will be with software. If you’re on a tight budget, there's recording software like Audacity, which is free. Audacity is quite simple and easy to use and you won’t need to spend a single penny.
If you want better audio quality, you might want to think about investing in a dedicated sound card for recording and music production. You can find external sound cards starting at around £200 and going to upwards of £1,000. It’s up to you to see which ones are best for your recording needs.
While you can spend a lot on a digital audio workstation (DAW) for your audio recording and get plenty of instruments for music if you want.
If you want to record wherever you are, you might want to get a Zoom recorder. For between £200 and £300, you can find devices like dictaphones to record your voice. You just need to plug in one or two microphones and start singing.
Of course, if you want to get the most out of your recordings, there are a few more things you’ll need in terms of recording equipment for your home recording studio.
Let’s see which accessories you can get!
The Cost of Accessories
When you record yourself singing, whether you’re in a home studio or out and about will drastically affect the type of accessories you’ll need. Either way, they’re useful for improving your audio quality and they’ll also make your recordings more professional.
When it comes to recording, it’s the fine details that count. This means there are a few little things that you’ll need to budget for.
Amongst the most essential accessories, there are three accessories that we feel we have to mention.
The pop filter is almost essential for every singer.
This stops the microphone making a popping sound when you pronounce aspirated plosives (like the letter “p” in “pop”) and reduces the noise from winds. You might one day be performing at a music festival.
Depending on the type of microphone you use, the cost of a pop filter will vary. Nevertheless, you can get very effective basic ones for as little as a few quid and professional ones for hundreds.
It’s up to you how much you want to spend but there’s very little in the difference in quality. Generally, your microphone will dictate the type of pop filter you need to use.
Sometimes, we like to feel free when we sing and carry our microphone around with us. Other times, we prefer to put the microphone on a stand so that we can get a balanced sound throughout the recording. Mic stands allow you to put your microphone in the best place to capture your voice.
You can get mic stands for around £10. However, unlike with the pop filter, you might want to invest a little more in a decent mic stand. You don’t want your microphone to fall whilst you’re singing.
When singing and recording, being able to hear yourself is very important. Hearing yourself when you sing might seem strange, but it’s essential for ensuring that you’re singing in tune with the music.
This means that the quality of your headphones is paramount. You can pick up decent headphones for around £150. You have to see what works for you.
Recording yourself is a good way to hear yourself sing but it’s even better when you can hear yourself well. Generally speaking, the speakers built into your computer probably won’t be of very good quality.
This is where external speakers can come in handy. The good thing about speakers is that there are speakers for all budgets. This means that the speakers will adjust to your budget and not the other way around. You’ll probably still want to invest in some decent speakers rather than going for the cheapest ones you can find.
Renting a Studio to Record Yourself Singing
While we were talking about equipment, we never mentioned where you should record. In some cases, you mightn’t be able to set up a home studio with all your equipment.
If this applies to you, then you’ll have to adjust your budget to renting studio time and recording with somebody else’s equipment. Most studios offer different packages:
- With an assistant
- With a sound engineer
- With mixing and mastering
Much like with the equipment, the cost of renting a studio can vary anywhere between £150 and £400 for a day. It’s not just the mics, amps, sound cards, and headphones that count.
In short, renting a studio is probably the best way to record but it isn’t a long-term solution. In the long-term, you’ll save more money getting your equipment.
Getting Lessons for Improving Your Singing
While surprisingly few people in the UK play a musical instrument, things are a little different when it comes to singing. When it comes to singing, people are more likely to say that they’re a “good” singer without having had any training. However, once you record yourself, you might see just how much you have to learn.
Despite thinking that you can sing perfectly in key, once you’ve recorded yourself, you’ll begin to hear each little error you make. It might be useful for focusing on your voice and seeing if somebody can help you with recording it and improving it.
When it comes to getting what you need to record yourself singing, you’ll need to set aside some money. The cost can add up as you buy microphones, sound cards, speakers, headphones, etc. or pay for a day in a recording studio.
Around £1,000 will probably be a good round figure for you to get started. Of course, the more serious you are about it, the more you’ll probably end up paying in the long run.
If you need more help with your singing, consider getting in touch with one of the many talented and experienced tutors on Superprof. There are three main types of singing tutorial available and each has its pros and cons so have a look at what's on offer and see what will work best for you, your learning style, and your budget.
Whether in person or online, a private tutor can help you a lot. On Superprof, for example, you can get singing coaches for as little as £20 per hour. After a few hours of tutoring, you’ll be ready to start recording yourself.