Tech Tip:Edward Douglas: Digital Recording and Home Studio Specialist: Why a Home Studio? / Factors to Consider




Edward Douglas is a one-man customer support department for all technical questions regarding digital recording technology and ways to help musicians use computers to write and record songs. This interview highlights selected wisdom from the mind of Edward Douglas. Why are so many musicians investing in home studios?


Edward Douglas: First of all, many musicians can't afford to go to commercial studios because they can be very expensive. They can't necessarily afford to have a full production/engineering team either. The fact that they can buy some equipment and work at home where they are comfortable and can work at their own pace -- that's very appealing to people. They don't necessarily need to put a band together when they can turn on their computer, pull up some drum sounds and then play whatever instrument they want to play over it; They can come up with a pretty decent song this way. That's why just having a studio at their house, rather than having to go somewhere, book time, and pay an hourly rate seems to be more appealing to musicians these days. What is the most appealing aspect of home recording?


Douglas: It allows you to do a lot in a very small amount of space. You can do all of your recording, mixing and some editing, all in one place with just a computer and some software. When you're done, it's very easy to give a CD with all of your songs on it to another person, so they can listen to it or put the CD in their computer and continue to work on your songs. There's a lot of that kind of collaboration these days, where musicians can trade and work on songs together without shipping tapes across the country. What factors do you have to consider when buying a home studio?


Douglas: Portability can be important to some. For example, if you need to record drums at a friend's house or at a rehearsal studio, and then you want to add some instruments to those drum tracks at home, you may need to have some sort of set-up that is portable. Another thing to consider is whether you're a single person doing everything as opposed to being a musician in a band. If you're doing everything yourself, you can usually get one microphone and do everything one track at a time, and you don't need as much physical space. With the whole band you need to have quite a bit more space, and you'll also need to have more microphones. These are just two of the things to consider, but it's also important to set a financial budget for your home studio.