Why should you have a home studio? If you’re a musician and you’d like to make some recordings of your music, maybe a demo, or even an album, you have a few choices. You can go into a professional recording studio, or you can do it yourself at home, or maybe have a friend do it. To me the option of recording at home is the best. You don’t have to sit around waiting for someone else to get things ready. You can record any time you want, whenever inspiration hits. You can have your home studio set up, ready to go at any time.
If you’ve tried making any recordings using your computer microphone, then you know what poor quality “telephone” or VOIP microphones have. They’re basically for talking computer to computer, via Skype or something similar. They don’t have the quality to reproduce the nuances of a vocal singing performance or guitar. Your microphone is the first link in your home studio recording chain, and you want it to be a good one. You can go out and get a decent microphone for under $100, but they how do you get it into your computer? Professional microphones use a connector called an XLR connector, and you can’t find them on your average “Sound Blaster” card. In fact none of the Creative Sound Blaster cards offer XLR inputs. You’ll need a card like the Delta 44, or a USB or Firewire Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). That means buying another piece of equipment on top of the microphone.
A pro quality USB microphone is the cheapest easiest way to go. Several microphone companies have USB versions of their standard microphones. They plug right into your computers USB port, and need no extra hardware. (Except maybe a good microphone stand). The quality is miles above your typical Logitech headset mic or internet chat type microphone. You might want to upgrade to a DAW and standard microphones in the future but it’s still good to have a USB microphone in your arsenal. I have one I use with my laptop for mobile recording all the time (mine is a Sampson C01U). I can just plug it in, and the computer automatically recognizes it as an audio interface. Then I’m ready to go. I can make professional sounding recordings for under $100. If you’re just getting started in home recording, a USB microphone will allow you to get your feet wet, and make good quality audio recordings without breaking the bank.