Home Recording – “Just how good can it get”

By Mike Hirsh Esq, audio engineer at www.mcsrecording.com.au Tel 041738-3583, 9312-7391

Well actually, quite good results can be achieved at home if you have a good quality microphone, and a decent A/D to D/A audio interface. Of course the interface can have one, two or multiple inputs of 8. It all depends on your needs and experience. So let’s imagine you want to just record a vocal, piano or guitar in your loungeroom and put in on Spotify or Soundcloud.

The Interface

Should have at least 2 mic / 2 line inputs, like the SSL 2 & 2+

https://www.solidstatelogic.com/music-and-audio-production/audio-interfaces or the Focusrite scarlett-2i


Both are around the same price and are pretty good quality. They both come with software, but the SSL 2+ has additional plugins samples and loops for your computer to get you started.

However, if you have a friend who gives you software like Protools, or Logic Pro, then that’s a bonus. Note. Don’t buy an Interface and mic bundles. Why? – the mics are usually crap and the sellers want you to come back again and spend more money on a decent mic later. So you have been warned 🙂


I am not going to beat around the bush here, but using your Shure Beta 58 mic is not going to cut it. Why? because it’s a dynamic mic, and what you need is a condenser mic.

At MCS Recording Studio we use a few Neumann condenser mics for vocalists, but unless you can afford a $3,500 to $7000 mic, I’d stick with a good, but under $150 mic like the Audio Technica AT2020. https://audio-technica.com.au/products/at2020/. Or, for under $280, the Rode NT1a http://www.rode.com/microphones/nt1-a

By the way, the Rode is designed and built in Australia and comes with a Shockmount and Pop filter and will last a lifetime. Pop Filter is for eliminating S’s & P’s in ya vocals, so don’t forget it…!!!

A word on Stereo mics, please oh please, don’t bother unless you are at the Opera house recording a bloody choir. Why, because you want your single vocal mixed in the centre of the stereo field. I could go into this in greater technical detail as to why, but that’s for another day.

Suffice to say, I know a singer who recently recorded her vocals with a stereo/mono mic and couldn’t work out why the vocal was not dead centre. The answer is, yes you guessed it, she wasn’t standing dead centre of the stereo mic field.

She was moving around getting into the groove etc, poor lass and didn’t realise she had a MONO switch on her mic as well. She switched the mic to mono and to her astonishment, the phase issue was corrected.

Oh and if you record Bass, or Guitar, please do yourself a favour, always record in mono as these instruments are in MONO. Again, I could explain why, but that topic is a technical issue and it’s boring for some. However, for electronic keys, the outputs are Mono Left and Right (Stereo) so use them mono or stereo, depending on your needs live or studio. Check your keyboard manual, and by the way that’s not Manuel, as in Faulty Towers.

“May Your Efforts Achieve the Success They deserve” – Max Abrams 1907 -1995

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