Having your studio is often the dream of every web radio producer. Indeed, the “magic of the radio” works as soon as you install a microphone, headphones and a mixer. How to make a successful studio, what budget to spend on it? What type of equipment should be chosen? This is what we will see in this article. Read it carefully to the end because there is something for every budget!
A studio but what for?
First of all, it is essential to define how you will use your studio. Will you be the only host of your radio station? Will you need it for multi-person programs? Will you be doing public broadcasts? How long will you use it every day? By answering these questions, you will be able to determine your needs and budget. Let’s move on.
Having your own studio is often the dream of every web radio producer. Indeed, the “magic of the radio” works as soon as you install a microphone, headphones and a mixer. How to make a successful studio, what budget to spend on it? What type of equipment should be chosen? This is what we will see in this article. Read it carefully to the end because there is something for every budget!
Which room to choose?
It must first be isolated from external noise. On the other hand, it is necessary to reduce the slightest echo inside. To do this, first, choose a relatively small and low ceiling room, also avoid tiled floors, prefer carpeting. Then clap your hands in different areas of the room to test the echo. If you hear an echo, you will have to acoustically treat the room with, for example, acoustic panels. You can easily find them on sale online.
Choose the right microphone(s)
The choice of microphone is essential. Here are three possibilities:
Shure SM7B: a dynamic microphone with a large diaphragm. Expensive (375€), but really excellent.
Shure SM58 : Excellent value for money at 100€
Shure PGA 48: A very attractive price (50€) and quality that is always there.
At just over 400 euros, the Tascam DP-24 SD has proven its worth. This digital console is used by Radio Compile producers Nicolas and Alexandre Braeckman, in their studio based in Hannut, Belgium. “This console is already digital, just that, is a good argument,” he explains. Digital technology makes it possible to integrate processing at the console’s output while working with the hardware. The console is straightforward to use and allows you to classify the elements better. »
What helmets and accessories?
A cartridge to better control its antenna (beds, jingles etc….)? A good old Akai MPD32 will do just fine. It is a product that has proven its worth for years and that you will find for less than 80 euros on second-hand websites. It has many functions, with 16 pads that can be configured on several levels. It is not too expensive and offers real added value on the air. It is also compatible with software that accepts MIDI, which makes it very interesting.
The Philipps SHP2000 will do just fine. It costs less than 30 euros.
You will also need a headphone amplifier. We recommend the Millennium Pocket Headphone. It is quite basic, can still be improved, but allows you to spread the sound on different headphones. It does its job very well, no problem at this level.
Also noteworthy: headphone switches. They allow each host to control the volume of their headphones without the director having to think about it via the headphone amp. Let’s not forget the audio dispatching either: this small dispatching allows us to hear, on the return, both the input and output quality. Very useful to check that everything is working at the time of broadcasting.
This is a pretty good package, almost too powerful for studio use. But it has the advantage of being able to be used outdoors in large areas. Therefore, a good investment. Here is the link to order it.
And what if I want a smaller and especially less expensive configuration?
Indeed, the various elements can quickly increase the bill, especially if you add to that one or two computers, a sound card as well as the work of setting up your room (carpentry, installation of partitions…). So how can you have fun without breaking the bank? We asked Jérôme, the producer of All Piano Radio, the question.
Hello Jérôme, what do you think is the minimum equipment to have to create your studio?
A computer with a small console and a microphone is enough! A small mixer with a microphone input and a line input (to bring the sound card from the PC) that can be enough. We can already have a small table at less than 100€, and a microphone in the 60€ can give a correct sound…
How is the console connected to the computer that broadcasts live?
The console output is simply connected to the line input of the sound card, and we choose this input to broadcast live (There are also consoles that act directly as sound cards and connect via USB, that’s what I have)
Which live software do you recommend?
If you want free software, I recommend Zara Radio (in English or Spanish), which already allows you to create great programming, send jingles, and has the basic features for radio broadcasting. For a free one, I think it’s very good.
How much do you think the correct console costs?
I bought mine for 200€ (it is worth on average between 200 and 300 depending on the online sales sites). It is a Behringer DX2000 USB that gives excellent results and looks like a pro console. For the price, I can’ t complain!
How do you treat sound?
Just the equalizer of the console, the rest is the treatment offered by Radionomy.
What do you think is the minimum budget?
The minimum, in addition to the computer, for a very small mixing desk and a microphone, I think we can get by at less than 100 euros… Then, for a more comfortable installation, like mine, count between 300 and 400 euros.
More generally, what advice would you give to a web radio creator who wants to have his studio?
Not necessarily needing a huge studio… I am lucky to have a small 8m² office at home that I have transformed into a studio, and that is more than enough for me. A large work surface in which I have integrated my mixer, storage space on each side, and that’s it. Be careful, I added a big carpet to absorb some sound, so it doesn’t sound too loud. But here again, I did this with my means and had no knowledge of acoustics…