Building a home recording studio is a HUGE project…isn’t it?
It takes months of planning, research, and preparation…doesn’t it?
Well most people think so, but the truth is…
Getting started is far easier than you might imagine.
Because REALLY… all you need is a few basic essentials.
And in today’s post, I’ll show you exactly what they are…
As I walk you step-by-step through the entire process of building a basic home recording studio from scratch.
So let’s get to it. First up…
The fact is, not only is it possible to start off with just a simple studio…it’s actually preferable.
Because just like with any hobby, by attempting too much too soon:
And all the time and money you invest is wasted.
So to avoid this fate, just keep it simple. But you might be wondering…
Since home recording can be expensive…musicians often search for the cheapest possible solutions to recording their music.
And that’s fine, except…there is such a thing as “too cheap“.
While it is technically possible to build a working studio for as little as $400-$500…
There are low limits to what can be accomplished in such a studio…and I really wouldn’t recommend it to anyone truly serious about recording their music.
Instead…here’s what I do recommend:
With the following 9 items:
What you have is a simple working studio, perfect for anyone just starting out with home recording.
And here’s why:
Now let’s talk more about each item on the list…
When starting a studio from scratch, the computer is the biggest expenditure by far.
Because as common wisdom states:
Ideally, you want the fastest one you can afford.
But these days, virtually everyone already has a computer of some sort. And virtually all computers are fast enough to at least get you started.
So in the beginning, regardless of your budget, I recommend using what you have for now.
If and when you want to upgrade later on .
If you don’t already know…
The DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) is the software used to record, edit, and mix music on your computer…
And the Audio Interface is the hardware used to connect your computer with the rest of your gear.
These two items can either be bought separately, OR as a combo. But your first studio…I highly recommend the combo.
As your studio matures over time…
You will eventually amass a collection of dozens of different microphones, each for different purposes.
For now though, all your really need is 1 or 2 to get started.
And the ones you choose will depend on the instruments you plan to record.
Most people start out just recording vocals, the “classic” large diaphragm condenser vocal .
When you’re just starting out, most of your time is spent recording by yourself.
Which is why in the beginning, all you really need is one pair of headphones.
For studio purposes, there are 2 very specific designs considered standard:
While open back headphones are considered more of a luxury…for your first studio, closed back headphones are a necessity.
Despite the fact that many home studios now do the majority of their mixing on open back headphones…
Traditionally, mixing has always been done on speakers…
Or as they are commonly known in pro audio: studio monitors, or nearfield monitors.
Compared to consumer speakers, which are designed with various tonal “enhancements”…
Studio monitors have a much flatter frequency response, which provides a more neutral, uncolored sound to objectively judge your mix.
And while they can get pricey…there are still plenty of affordable options for beginners as well.
One day, your studio will have a TONS of different cables…
But for now, you only need 3:
But before you buy monitor cables, double-check that the stereo output of your audio interface has XLR connectors.
Sometimes they use TRS .
While many beginners assume that all mic stands are the same…
The truth is…a solid mic stand is one of the most worthwhile investments a new home studio can make.
However, since mic stands can get pricey, and most beginners are on tight budgets…
A cheap reliable stand is more than adequate when you’re first starting out.
You know that “cliche” scene from the movies…
Where a young beautiful pop star is in the studio…
Recording her vocals through some mysterious mesh screen covering her microphone?
Well that, my friend…is a pop filter.
And its purpose (besides looking cool) is to filter-out an unpleasant vocal artifact known as “popping“…
Which is a low frequency blast of air caused by the pronunciation of “P” and “B” sounds.
Is it a “must-have“ item for your studio? Absolutely not.
But they’re pretty cheap, and they do help. And for some strange reason, many beginners still feel they must have one, which is why I’ve included it on this list anyway.