Having a home recording studio is becoming increasingly common among music producers, artists, content creators, and even hobbyists. It’s also a perfect start if you are planning on becoming an online music producer. The thing about today’s modern recording studios is that you don’t need a lot to start producing music. The digital age technology enables us to deliver outstanding results from a home studio built on a limited budget. As long as it works, you’re better to start with the basics. It is essential to set a specific goal.
- Are you taking up music production as a hobby?
- Or are you planning to make a living out of music production?
Keeping in mind these two fundamental questions, we have started the research and combined a list of ten essential yet cheap products for you to buy and create the home recording. Below are these ten essentials for you.
- A computer for music production:
Your computer will be the center of your studio. From recording, composing, to mixing – you will do most of the work on the computer. Frankly speaking, a laptop or desktop PC with at least 16GB of RAM running a Core i5 processor is a good start. The next question that will pop in your head will be, should I go for the desktop computer or a laptop. The answer to the question differs regarding your need and job description. But to help you better, we have created a list.
Get a Laptop for Music Production If:
- You are planning to record and create music on the go.
- Want to use the same laptop on which you produce music – for performances, DJ-ing, etc.
- Music production as a hobby, then your computer will be the heart of your studio.
Buy a Desktop PC for Music Production If:
- Producing more significant scores or music requires more CPU firepower.
- On a budget, and don’t mind giving up on mobility.
- Prioritize future upgrades.
- Digital audio workstation:
Your DAW is the software you use for recording, editing, mixing, and producing music. If you have a Mac desktop, it already comes with a free DAW, GarageBand. You can update to the next version called Logic Pro X, available at the Apple Store for $199, which — honestly, one of the most complete DAWs on the market — is widely used by music producers.
Here are some DAW recommendations for beginners:
- Logic Pro – If you use Mac, then definitely get Logic Pro. These are the complete DAWs for $199.
- Reaper – it is affordable and highly customizable for Windows, Mac, and Linux too!
- Audio Interface:
It is important to think of the audio interface as an external soundcard that allows you to connect a microphone and instruments (analog audio) to your computer to record digital audio. The audio interface has the best analog-to-digital (ADC) and digital-to-analog (DAC) converters, making it essential for high audio quality recording and mixing. You will need an audio interface.
Some popular audio interfaces for beginners are:
- Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Generation) –This USB-powered audio interface comes equipped with two ins/2 outs, one mic preamp, one instrument input, and a slew of bundled software programs for Macs and PCs.
- PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 – At less than $100, you can get a 2-in/2-out audio interface, a MIDI I/O, and an awesome version of the PreSonus Studio One Artist DAW. A serious deal.
- MIDI controller:
When it comes to composing music on your computer, unless you have a MIDI controller, you’re missing out on being able to play almost thousands of instruments on your computer.
Here are three cheap midi controllers for beginners:
- The Alesis V49 – A slim-profile 49-key MIDI controller with eight drum pads and four assignable knobs and buttons gives you enough flexibility to play any virtual instrument and control DAW.
- AKAI MPK Mini MK3 – At the amount of $119, the MPK Mini is a USB-powered mini MIDI controller that you can take with you wherever you go
You can buy several microphones for your studio – depending on the type of recording you plan to do, such as music or podcast production.
Here are some beginner studio microphones I recommend:
- SE Electronics X1A – At just $104, the X1A will get beginners far. We use a similar one at work. The mic has a basic frequency response, handles a very high SPL at 150dB
- MXL770 – One of the most affordable condenser mics on the market, this $70 mic comes with a free shock mount and a rigid carrying case for safekeeping
To monitor while also recording or perhaps mix and master music on the go, you’ll need a good pair of headphones (sometimes called a ‘can’) that make the sound as colorless as possible.
If you’re just starting, check out these options:
- Sony MDR-7506 – One of the most widely used headphones by recording studios across the globe, the Sony MDR-7506 will give you accurate sound at a pretty affordable deal.
- Audio Technica ATH-M40X – Another affordable headphone from a well-known brand, the Audio Technica ATH-M40X, comes with decent build quality, complete with accessories and a detachable cable setup.
- Studio monitors:
The studio monitor is an essential piece of studio gear that you can’t give up. Studio monitors are outlined to be flat-sounding (without EQ or color) and reproduce your music as accurately as possible.
Here are some excellent entry-level studio monitors to contemplate:
- Yamaha HS5 -it is recommended by most mixing engineers and music makers; the Yamaha HS Series is the best industry standard that will give you accurate references with exceptional features for the price.
- KRK Rokit G3 6″ – Another player in the studio monitor game, the KRK has a neutral frequency with back-panel controls that let you balance the low-end.
- Acoustic foams:
More often than not, most beginners start by purchasing expensive gear before acoustically treating their room or home studio. Although buying acoustic foam may seem like the last thing for your studio – it will go a long way, especially if you plan to mix and master it on your own.
- External hard drives:
As you move into the world of audio recording and music production, you will have to deal with many files. You might think that your computer has enough storage. Or maybe you naively believe that it will be enough to rely on cloud storage.
- Cables and other accessories:
The last item is your recording accessories. These main focuses may not be when setting up a studio, but you’ll be surprised at how often you’ll need them. Not having the required adapter or cable kills creativity and mood Learn More