Studio Set-Up Step-Ups … TASCAM Has The Tools to Take Your Home Studio Into The Pro Realm

Once the domain of professional studios and production houses, computer-based recording has become the de facto standard for music production in the twenty-first century. There’s a number of obvious reasons for this; flexibility, convenience, access to outstanding plug-ins and emulations, just to name a few.


When this writer was coming up in the musical world, digital audio workstations (DAWs) were the things you read about in guitar magazines. My young brain could barely fathom how it could be possible to record anything other than MIDI-controlled bleeps and bloops or maybe a keyboard on such a machine. I also probably never imagined that such capabilities would ever be in the reach of the average musician.


Of course, DAWs are probably some of the easiest pieces of software one can acquire. Many computers and outboard equipment like interfaces are pre-loaded with free “lite” versions of popular DAWs that have more than enough power for producing and arranging in a home environment. There are even options out there that are completely free!


So, you’ve purchased a nice piece of kit, like say, a TASCAM 102i interface, which includes the renowned Cubase LE DAW and even some additional plug-ins for tones and mixing. You’ve gotten your sea legs, started laying tracks, learned the virtual mixing board and figured out that, hey, this is A LOT of fun and you want to do more. How can you grow your home setup to keep advancing your skills without breaking the bank?

Tascam Series 102i

Given that TASCAM has been in the professional and home recording business for over fifty years,  they’re the perfect resource to start with.


Max Out Your Mic
Obviously, laying down vocals or recording instruments that aren’t using modelers or emulators is going to require a solid microphone. For guitar players in particular, having a great dynamic mic on hand is a must, even if you prefer the “ones and zeros” approach to signal chains. The TASCAM TM-82 dynamic mic is competitively priced, built tough and features a classic frequency response curve that makes it a perfect utility mic for instruments and vocals alike.


Once you’ve got your dynamic mic bases covered, it’s a great long-term investment to pick up a good condenser mic as well. The TASCAM TM-280 is a top-of-the-line offering is easily accessible price-wise but doesn’t skimp on features. The TM-280 features a -10 dB pad for higher-out sources, a low-cut filter to eliminate mud and rumble and a full range 20Hz to 20kHz to capture all the nuance and detail of vocals, acoustic instruments and room ambience. If the TM-280 is still a bit out of your budget, TASCAM still has you covered with the TM-80 and TM-180 models.

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Shape Your Sonics
Now that you’ve got that nice mic, it’s time to treat it right. Even if you don’t have premium studio-style acoustic treatment in your home facility, a good isolation kit like the TM-AR1 can help eliminate ugly room reflections and bleed from other instruments or the outside world.


If you’re tracking vocals, it really makes a lot of sense to have a microphone pop filter at your disposal. Certain consonant sounds, like “P” and “T,” can overload a mic. Basically, when a vocalist makes those sound, they tend to push a lot of air into the diaphragm of the mic, causing clipping, distortion or other unwanted effects. While there are ways around this, such a re-positioning the mic relative to the vocalist, pop filters eliminate the need to get fussy with position and help save your microphone’s diaphragm.


Check Your Head(phones)
Of course, a good set of headphone monitors is critical. Even if you’ve got a nice set of studio-style monitors, there are lots of times where you’re going to find yourself mixing with headphones, as well as tracking and playback.


There are tons of studio-quality headphones out there, some of them priced as much as some guitars! But you needn’t worry about any of those, TASCAM naturally has you (and your ears) covered. We here at the dig all the offerings but given TASCAM competitive pricing, there’s no reason not to go right to the top of the heap and go for TASCAM’s premium offering, the TH-07. It’s got a fantastic bass response and designed to remain comfortable even during the longest writing and production sessions.

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Even on the most basic of setups, home recording is a rewarding and fulfilling skill to develop. At least for this writer, the opportunity whenever inspiration strikes (at home, at least) strongly encourages creativity in general. Plus, the process itself can spur new directions or ideas.


So, just like you look for ways to upgrade and enhance your guitar’s signal chain, the opportunity to upgrade your home studio shouldn’t be overlooked either. With TASCAM, you can achieve pro-quality results in your home studio because recording pros trust TASCAM, too!

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