So you want to start a YouTube Channel. But don’t know where to start. You are in the right place. Because I have a lot of experience with this subject. I’m going to tell you how to set up a home studio for YouTube Videos.
Here is what I will cover in this article How to Setup a Home Studio:
- How to Setup a Home Studio for YouTube
- What Equipment to use
- Setting up lighting
- Best Audio equipment
Like I said this is going to cover everything to get you up and running. This is the Ultimate Guide when it comes to How to Setup a Home Studio for YouTube Video’s. And at the most cost effective way.
How to Setup at Home Studio
The first thing you need to think about is where. That’s right what location. You need a place that you can transform into a studio. That will be setup for making videos. A room that once set up can stay setup.
You don’t want a part time studio. Because it takes a lot of work to get everything situated. From setting up the camera tripod, at the correct height. To the lighting aluminated at the exact spot for the room.
Also the needs to be in a place that is less used for other things. So that when you need to shoot a video you are not going to be interrupted. A quiet location as audio mics can pick up all sorts of unwanted sounds. This will be covered later.
That’s why I choose to make my basement into a home studio. There is less traffic and noise.
How to Take the echo out of the room Cheaply
Now that you have chosen the room you want to transform it. And make it your personal studio. Let’s look at some of the things you will need that will help with the sound quality.
You might want to put up some acoustic panel to get rid of any echo in the room. Now a days the panels come in all different colors. And can compliment your home studio.
Sound reverberates off of everything. So the more that can cushion the sound then the less echo will be in the room. Here are some ways to reduce the echo in the room.
- Floor- Carpet
- Walls – Acoustic Panels
- Sound Proofing
- Windows – Shades
These are all relatively easy things that you can do yourself to keep the cost down.
If you have windows the glass will not absorb the sound waves. You can consider hanging drapes and window Shades. So that the sound will be absorbed off of the curtains.
Then you need to think about the hard surface of the walls. Just another cause of the sound reflecting and bouncing. Of course the more furniture in the room the sound will bounce off of it.
But acoustic panels will definitely do the job. When it comes to getting rid of that big empty sound of the room. This will help reduce the echo. Take a look at some tasty art decorative acoustic panels that you can buy on Amazon using this link.
This artsy look will spruce up your studio. And give you a 3D look on the walls. The panels are pretty big. 6 panels covers 32 square feet. Click here for current pricing on Amazon.
Now a days you don’t have to sacrifice eye appeal for acoustic wall panels. Take a look at these catchy acoustic staggered panels. They are grey and charcoal in color.
Make Your Studio Pop
6 Panels can make your studio pop and remove the echo at the same time. See the current price on Amazon.
Sound Proof Your Studio
Maybe your studio is located on a busy street or there is some outside source that is causing you anguish. You need some peace and quiet so you can make your video. Maybe you are in an apartment or condo. And you don’t wan’t your studio bleeding over into the neighbors place.
There are lots of reasons that you might want to sound proof your room. I actually did a complete post on how to sound proof a room. Which is a D.I.Y, step buy step easy guide to sound proofing.
What Items Do You Need When Setting up a Home Studio
Now that you have covered the walls, windows and floor. What’s next? This is strictly up to each individual person. But you are going to be spending a lot of time in this studio. You need it to be as comfortable as you want it to be.
Like for me I need a comfortable chair. A desk for my computer. Stands for guitars. And the list goes on. Which all the essentials I will cover later in this article. But for now think about what is going to make your studio so comfortable that you want to spend the night in there. Because sometimes you might have to put some time in.
Since my studio has to have a guitar chair. Meaning a chair without arms so that I can play my guitar when recording I investigated what some of the best chairs for playing guitar are. Here is a link to an article about the Best Chair for Guitar Players: Studio, Gig, & Your Lifestyle
The Nitty-Gritty of the Home Studio
There are some things that you must have. But starting out you can produce video and recordings relatively cheap. Here is a list of what you have to have to get started.
- Audio interface
- XLR Cable
- Speaker Monitors
- Canceling Headphones
- Recording software
- Video editing Software
Related Article: Guitar Lessons for Old Beginners (Online).
Microphone for Recording Music
The audio is one of the most important things if not the most important things in your studio. Yes it is a video you are making. But without good audio, people will just move on to the next video. So you want to get this right.
There are two different kinds of microphones. One is a Condenser microphone. The other is a Dynamic mic. The Condenser mic has to have phantom power. Which simply put it has to get power from an outside source to work. 48 volts. These microphones are good for singing. And speaking into. I Use the MXL 990 Microphone for singing. If you want more info on that mic, check out the Recommended Gear.
The Dynamic mic that I use and recommend is the SM57 by Shure. This microphone has a heavy metal casing that will last for years to come. It is at a very nice price, and does the job. I use the SM57 dynamic microphone for mic-ing my amp. If you want to hear how good it sounds watch this video. (FYI the Hissing is my Fender).
You will more than likey want to get a pop filter for your microphone. What that does is fastens to the mic and when you talk or sing into it. You don’t get the spitting sounds of letters. Such as P’s and S’s.
Also microphones don’t usually come with the Boom or mic stand or the XLR cables. Which you need both of them. I have found a kit for you . The Bundle comes with the Dynamic Microphone, Boom Stand, XLR Cable,
Get the Bundle!
It comes with the SM57 Dynamic Microphone, Boom Stand, XLR Cable, Mic Clip & Bag. See the current price on Amazon.
Best Audio Interface
There are lots of interfaces out there that can do the job. But two things that I look at when I choose my Audio interface was the cost of the product, and the simplicity. I want something that is reliable and does what it is suppose to. But it has to be easy to use because I don’t have a lot of time to be fiddling around.
The two interfaces that I have used. And can assure you that they are of good quality and work well. Are the ones I am getting ready to tell you about. And of course they are very affordable.
But first if you are not into the technical side of this. Let me in layman’s terms tell you what an audio interface is for. Basically you are taking an analog signal. That of a guitar for an example. And changing the signal to digital. So that you can connect to your computer or iphone.
When starting out you can use an interface that is very cheap. That of the IRig pre. Which is a pre microphone preamp. It goes right into your phone. And your mic Connects to it. This is great for starters it works on iOS devices, Mac, PC and Android. Which covers pretty much everything.
It has inputs for your guitar, your phone or computer. Your headphones hook to it. This is a mobile interface. Which starting out works great. The thing I didn’t like is when it is set up. There is one dial to adjust for Clipping. So that the sound is not so loud that it becomes distorted.
The downside of this is you can not tell how it is set. So you may be recording with a lot of unnecessary disturbance in the audio. Also it is powered by 9v. So you are constantly dealing with batteries.
But I dealt with it for years. Until I got the Focusrite Scarlet 2 the 3rd generation. And I love it. It is so simple there is no change for clipping. You just adjust the dial until it goes to green. And your all set.
The Focusrite Scarlet 2i2, 3rd Generation
Focus Rite is the leader when it comes to audio interfaces. Like I continue to say. Quality, Simplicity and very cost effective.
When I was looking for my audio interface I choose the Scarlet 2 because it made sense for what I wanted to do. As far as recording. The scarlet 2i2 by Focusrite has two inputs on the front. The inputs can be used to hook your 1/4 inch guitar cable directly to the focus rite.
Or if you have the XLR Cable that is used on microphones it will fit the same input whole. It’s great! What I mostly use them for is. I have two microphones one for speaking and singing. The other is in front of my Amplifier. Both XLR cables are connected to the front of the Scarlet 2.
Like I mentioned before. One of my microphones is a condenser mic. Which needs 48 volts of phantom power. No problem there is a button on the front of the Focusrite to turn the power on.
For each input you can adjust the gain. When it is illuminated red its a no go. Simply dial in the Gain. By turning the knob until it turns green. It’s that simple.
On the back of the hard rugged unit is two balanced monitor outputs. And an easy dial on the front of the Focusrite 212 to dial the volume up or down. Then there is an input for your headphones. And a Volume control for them also.
When I use my focusrite 2i2 in the Studio I mostly use the headphones.
When you buy the Focusrite it Includes free software. Pro Tools | First Focusrite Creative Pack, Ableton Live Lite, Softube Time and Tone Bundle, Focusrite’s Red Plug-in Suite. What I have found on the lite versions of the Software you can’t get the job done so you need to upgrade.
Best Digital Work Stations (DAW)
|Camera||Audio Interface||Video Editing Software||Recording Software|
|Iphone||IRIG||KineMaster (Edit on Your Phone)||Pro Tools|
|Ipad||IRIG||KineMaster (Edit on Your Phone)||Ableton Live|
|Canon M50||Focus Rite 3rd Generation||Adobe Photo Shop (for PC or Mac)||Garage Band|
When you are recording in the studio you can record live or you can use a work station. When use use a work station you can take a plain sound and get a plugin that is in the work station. This can allow you to create a master piece.
For example take the analog sound of the guitar and plug it into the focusrite 2i2 It still just sounds plain. But with a DAW you can create any sound you want. Providing the workstation has that sound.
Now you take the same input of the guitar and add to it. Distortion, Tremolo, Fuzz Pedals. Change the Amp to make it sound like a Vintage amplifier. And the list goes on. It is really amazing what you can create with a Digital Work Station.
Some of the most popular for IOS Devices is Garage Band. Then there is pro tools first. All use the same concept, but some are better than others.
Like Ableton live you can get the latest price on Amazon by clicking this link.
Best Camera for YouTube Videos
Some think you have to have a camera when shooting a video. Well yes you do. But you would really be surprised with the quality of the camera that you carry with you every day. That’s right I’m talking about your phone. The technology has come so far that you can should a good video by just using your Iphone or Android. But is it the best well you know what they say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
If your ready to take the next step you don’t need to spend a lot of money to make a great looking video. You just need the Canon M50 camera.
I could go over all the specs with you and if I did I would know what I was telling you as I am not that savvy when it comes to cameras. But this is one of the cheapest 4k cameras out there. It also has a flip screen that faces you so you can see what your filming. This comes in handy when making a video. Click here to see all the specs on Amazon.
Lighting for A Home Studio Setup
Lighting is a critical part of the studio setup. You Don’t have to spend a lot of money you just need it set up properly. What I am about to show you. You can try it for yourself, and you will find that it will make your video warm and clear.
When you are setting up your studio you want the lights in the exact spot they are going to be in. Every time you get ready to start filming you are not going to want to have to adjust the lighting. This is important to get it just right and leave it.
The key fundamentals of lighting is to light your subject first. So if you are the subject in the video that’s what you want to light first. What ever the focus of the video is light first.
Then use the rest of the lights to light the room and back ground.
Lighting the Subject first
It is always best if you don’t have any lights to use natural lighing. AKA the Sun! Just sitting by a window helps. You want to face the subject. If it’s you facing the window. Not your back to the window.
But if you are like me and you choose a spot to build your studio that has no windows then. The next best thing is lights.
If your room has ceiling lights this will help brighten the room. But you have to be aware of those lights casting shadows. The best practice is not to position yourself directly under that light.
If you can’t turn off the ceiling light try to position yourself in front of the light so that the light is actually casting light onto your back and shoulders.
- The main light is in front of you facing the subject.
- Second light should light up the background.
- Or if you only have two lights. Have them both face you.
If you are using two lights and they are lighting you the subject up. Spread them apart at about a 45 degree angle from where you are standing.
The primary light should be the brightest light on you. This means that one side of your face will be lighter than the other. Which will have some shadows. To counteract this, use the smaller less powerful or bright light on the other side of you.
3 Point Lighting Set Up in the Studio
This is where the subject is in the middle with the brightest light. The key light will be shining on your face, or the Subject. Then on the other side is a fill light. A light that is not as bright as the primary light. And it will fill in some dark spots and shadows.
Next the third light. It is behind the subject and positioned up high.
This sort of lighting maybe a little over kill for a YouTube Video. Two lights are sufficient and once you have them set up and in place your ready to start filming.
Now if you don’t already have some lights I recommend the Budget lights by Neewer 660. They are solid construction lights. Bright and work great. The 660 stands for 660 led bulbs. There are two panels that come with the lights.
The Barn doors that are mounted on the light come with the lights. The doors are great for controlling the direction of the light.
There are diffusion plates that come mounted on the lights. That can be removed by pushing on the plastic fastener on the side of the light.
The lights come with a case. This way if you decide to take your video to a different location you can get the lights there with ease. And no damage.
The lights come with two power cables and adapters to plug into the wall. The kit also includes two light stands.
Neewer 660 are Bi-color Led Lights.
The Neewer 660 are bi-color Led lights. Which means that out of the 660 bulbs half of them are a white daylight color. temperature. And the other side are a warmer lighting. That you would see at evening lighting.
When you go to buy lights you want to make sure the lights have a good CRI. Which is a color rendering rating. If that number is lower. Typically the light kit is of lower quality. And will effect the color in your videos.
The color rating should be right at 95, 96, or 97. These budget friendly lights CRI are at 96.
The lights are construction are sturdy. The stands can go as low as 26 inches and all the way up to 75 inches. The kit comes with two lights, stands, and cases. If your ready for some well designed light kits order them on Amazon today.
You Need a Computer for a Recording Studio
Most of all of what you are going to be recording. You will use a computer to edit the video. Use a computer to edit your audio. And then you will need to use your computer to upload your content. This is hard to say which is better Mac or a PC. I use a PC for most of my editing. But I use my Iphone for editing and making images.
I would say one is not better than the other. But it is all personal preferences. You will definitely need at the bare minimum 32 gigs. And that is just to be able to actually upload a video. My PC has a terabit and 4k video.
What ever you choose make sure your computer has enough storage. Because video takes up a lot of space.
What’s the Best Tripod for Using in a Home Studio Setup
Another item that is often over looked is a tripod. Another product that is instrumental in making your video. But that does not have to be expensive. Depending what set up you have will depend on the tripod you will need. If you are using your phone as a camera you can get a 51″ extendable tripod stand on Amazon.
I use an extendable tripod in my home studio. It sits nice on the table. The tripod is already adjusted to the correct height for filming a video. I simply need to make very minimal adjustments to it. This kind of tripod is very inexpensive.
If you are using a camera to take the video there are several models to choose from on Amazon. Primarily they all do the same thing. See the current price of this light wight 60 inch Tripod and it comes with the bag.
Why spend hundreds when you don’t have to!
Home Studio Speakers (Studio Monitors)
When you plug your guitar and microphone into the Audio interface. You will need to be able to hear what it sounds like. There are two ways to do this one is with headphones and the other is connecting speakers to the back of the audio interface.
If you listen to music with headphones and then with monitors. You will be able to hear that the monitors sound different and better. This is why you would want to listen to the play back on studio monitors. For a more pleasant sound.
Today’s monitors are self powered. Meaning the power amp is built into the monitor. You can get affordable monitors for a home studio.
These speakers can range in price from $100 to $999. I like good quality speakers that are inexpensive that’s why I recommend the Budget Monitor Speaker. See current pricing on Amazon.
Best Headphones for the Studio
There are a lot of good headphones. And When I was looking for a set of headphones I really did some digging and investigating to find the best headphones. And I also wrote an article on the Best headphones.
The Incidentals of the Studio
A couple of things that you don’t think of. But you are definitely going to use. Are the electrical outlets. You never seem to have enough. I recommend getting extention chords or a power station that comes equipped with USB and regular household sockets.
You may find that there are wires everywhere. If it bothers you, you can always get wire ties to make things nice and neat.
I always need pen and pad when I’m in the studio. And can never get enough Water. I never can record one time. So by the 82nd take I’m parched.
If you are using a guitar interface or any item that needs battery’s. Make sure you always have extra on hand. There is nothing more annoying than having to stop in the middle of recording. And going to get battery’s.
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