Recording music at home


Hello the internet!

I’d like to make some home recordings but don’t really have any equipment. I’d like to tell you what I have and you tell me what else I need.


  • acoustic guitar, banjo, double bass.
  • old laptop
  • iPhone 6s


  • some recordings that sound OK, not for anything in particular, just to have knockin about and for a laugh. Also the ability to record with some mates who come round to jam. Don’t require any drum tracks, though that might be fun once I find my feet.
  • what else? I guess a good quality microphone is the main thing. What about software? Or indeed can I get something not abominable on my iPhone and mix tracks on the laptop?

Thanks everyone, I hope you all had a lovely weekend.


Nice one Smee I’ve been wondering about what you need to set up a decent home studio. Most notably how much it’ll cost for equipment (DECENT mics, monitors, software etc.). Hoping about £500 all in. Would like to do it.


Not sure if the iPhone version is the same as iPad (surely it is though), but garageband is surprisingly versatile nowadays. They’ve even added automation finally. I do home recordings with that and the iRig/tascam equivalent which just goes into the headphone socket and it’s… Fine?



i would recommend buying a soundcard and some microphones


hey man thanks for this. can you explain what automation and iRig/tascam are please?



You could try GarageBand on iPhone, it is cheap/possibly free. Not sure if you can record more than one track simultaneously though. Would need an interface, focusrite itrack would work with both phone/laptop. Microphone, the sm57 is the standard one people use which is cheap and good, but for those acoustic instruments you might need a condenser mic, can’t vouch for any myself


don’t even really know what a soundcard is or whether my computer would have one anyway?


If you want something cheap and easy to set up, I’ve just got a tascam dp-008 eight track. Everything you need contained in the one box, onboard mic is pretty good (bit of lofi hiss but sounds fine). You can plug an external mic/guitar lead in as well. Plus you can crank the reverb on everything and it sounds great.

I love mine, no staring at computer screen shit and when you know the controls it’s all really easy.


what so the interface is all actually in that bit of kit? no computer needed?


The Irig plugs into the headphone socket and has a jack input, allowing you to record guitars etc. Garage and has a bunch of amp presets, of wildly varying quality, so you can record without amplification.

You can also get a jack to xlr cable and use it to record mics, the quality of the recording probably won’t be very good though if you do that. The tascam has an xlr AND jack input - let me just find a link to it.

Automation is changing the volume once something is recorded, if there’s very loud or quiet bits you’d like to drop in or out of the mix. They previously didn’t have this feature so every instrument had to be set at one volume and it was infuriating.


yo smee

you running a mac or a pc?




i mean it will do but it will only be a mini jack input and not really suitable for recording. you need an external USB soundcard or something with mic (XLR) inputs, things like this are relatively affordable:

get a couple of cheap mics, SM57s or something. sorted.


Eric is awash with the correct answers. I was just about to put up a link to the scarlett range there.


Yeah, you do the mixdown on it then export it as a wav onto an SD card. I say cheap, I just checked and they are around £200 quid, so not that cheap, but cheaper than getting a new laptop and whatever else is needed. Plus ridiculously portable.


Anyone got any tips for convincing a wife that I need to increase my budget for a new guitar by 200-500 notes?


your old guitar isn’t compatible with your new soundcard




(this was to the compatibility setup)