Hello everyone! We’re back with another FAQ Friday! Today’s featured question is: What kind of equipment would I need to be a mobile recording studio?
The equipment you will need to set up a mobile recording studio will be pretty similar to the equipment you would have in a home studio, rehearsal room, or some other kind of small environment where you need to record live bands.
There will be a few differences between that small studio set up and recording a live gig! In that small studio, you could maybe get away with 8 inputs – micing the kick, snare, having two overheads, bass guitar, electric, keys, and vocals – though you may want a few more for overdubs.
In a live situation, you would definitely want to have more options available to you. You will likely want to close mic the toms because of the high potential for bleed. In a nicely isolated situation, you may be able to just use your overheads, and then compress everything a little bit in order to bring out the toms, but if you try to use only overheads in a live situation, you will likely bring out a ton of bleed from every instrument on the stage. So with all of these extra mics becoming necessary, an 8-input system really does not work.
In order to determine exactly how many inputs you will need, you should be asking yourself what your client base will be. If you are recording folk artists who only have a few band members, with acoustic guitars, and some background singers, you may not need as many inputs, but if you are going to be recording bands, I think a minimum of 16 inputs makes sense.
If you got a 16 channel input mobile rig – meaning you are using interfaces with mic pres built in – then you could cover most situations. If you needed more inputs, you would then be able to expand to 24 when the situation arises.
While this option will be great to get you started, a small console would be a great option as well, if your budget will allow for it! Having a small console will allow you a little bit more creativity. You will have a fader driving straight to your DAW with an input gain with some EQ on the front, which will work wonders.
In terms of monitoring, most of it could be done on a pair of headphones you trust, but if you are fortunate enough to do a mobile recording and have a separate room to work out of, or even have a little van to set u in, then of course you can use speakers!
These are some great options to get you started, but in the end, it is most important that you know your budget and the kinds of things you will be recording so you can choose the equipment that will be the best fit for you. Think about what you will be recording, where you will be recording, and how big of a budget you have available to you, and then do your research to find out what will work best!
Watch the video below to see the full answer and answers to other FAQ Friday questions!