So, you want to start your own recording studio in your home, but limited funds are holding you back. You have priced out the equipment and the software, and you’ve tallied the cost – and you just don’t have the budget to make your dream become a reality.
Well, fear not! You don’t have to have unlimited funds to create your own home recording studio. While yes, the primo, top-of-the-line equipment can cost you a pretty penny; however, if you shop wisely, you can actually find some pretty decent equipment to get you started, and you won’t have to blow your budget out of the water. Once you get things up and running, you can upgrade to the pricier equipment with all of the money you’ll be bringing in.
Why Starting Out Simple is Best
Sure, your dream may be to open your own incredible studio where smash hits by the top artists are recorded; however, keep in mind that you are just starting out. For now, stick with the simple stuff. If you go with the big-name brands and the super-techie equipment and software, you could actually end up:
- Overwhelming yourself
- Getting in over your head
- Getting discouraged, and…
- Throwing in the towel
Don’t let your dream turn into a nightmare. To avoid this fate, start out simple. With that said, you are probably wondering what type of simple equipment you should opt for to get the ball rolling.
To get you started, here are some must-have items you should purchase. But remember; you don’t have to break the bank and purchase the best-of-the-best.
- A Computer. The hub of your operation is going to be a computer. Fortunately, you don’t need to shell out big bucks to get a decent computer for your start-up home recording studio. In fact, you may not have to spend any money at all! If you already have a computer, and it has a decent amount of memory, put it to use! If you don’t have a computer, purchase one; but don’t go for broke. Remember, you want to keep things simple and as budget-friendly as possible. You can always upgrade later.
- A Microphone. This is another vital piece of equipment. You’re starting a recording studio, the very essence of which is to record audio. Starting out, a basic microphone will do you just find. You can actually find some pretty decent options for under $100.
- DAW/Audio Interface Combo. A Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is another important piece of equipment you’re going to want to have. The DAW is the software that you will use to record, edit, and mix the music on your computer. The Audio Interface is the hardware that connects to your computer to the rest of your equipment. You can purchase them separately; however, if you want to save some money, opt for a combination unit. They are cheaper than individual components and you only have to buy one item instead of two.
- Headphones. Headphones are another must. When you’re starting out, you only need to purchase one pair; however, make sure that you choose one of these two designs:
- Open-back, which are used for mixing, and they offer great sound quality.
- Closed-back, which provide great isolation.
Closed-back are a necessity, while open-back are more of a luxury, especially in the beginning phases of your home recording studio.
- XLR Cables. When you’re getting started, you only need to have three types of cables:
- 2 short XLR cables for your monitors
- 1 long XLR cable for your microphone
- Studio Monitors. To the layman, studio monitors are known as speakers; however, there is a bit of a difference: Studio monitors hook up to your computer and are specifically designed for recording purposes. Unlike traditional speakers, that maximize certain sounds (usually bass or high-pitches), studio monitors give you a sound that’s more closely resembles the real thing.
- A Stand for Your Mic. You have to put your microphone somewhere, and a mic stand is the best place to put it. It’s stable and sturdy, and the height can be adjusted accordingly. Like all other recording studio equipment, mic stands can be pretty costly. For starters, choose a basic one that offers a sturdy place to hold the microphone.
Once you’ve got all of your equipment, the next thing you need to do is hook it up. Once everything is hooked up and ready to go, you can start your exciting new adventure with your home recording studio. The most important thing to remember is this: When you’re starting out, basic is always the best option. It will cost you less money, and allow you to get your dream up and running.