The Best Recording Home Studio Gears for Under $600

Learn how to build an audio home studio for cheap

Build a Recording Home Studio Under $600? Is it Possible?

If you’re lucky and have access to a professional home studio, you may not be interested in this article. If like the vast majority of us, you can’t afford a studio session time every time you need to make a beat, this post may interest you…

Indeed, it’s possible to set up an efficient recording home studio breaking (too much at least) your piggy bank. Discover below the essentials gears you need to build a cheap but efficient home studio (I voluntarily excluded the computer and DAW because you should already have a computer and the DAW ).

Anyway, here is my list of TOP recording home studio gears

1 – Studio Monitors Speakers – $198
2 – Midi controller – $ 49
3 – Audio Interface – $109.99
4 – Microphone – $59.99
5 – Headphones – $140

1 – Studio Monitor Speakers ~ $198

Which speaker monitors buy for a budget under $200

Above all, it is necessary to know that a good pair of studio monitors is probably the most important gear you should have in your studio. 

Indeed, the quality of your monitors will impact sorely the character of the music you’ll produce. In my opinion, this is the single most important tool for achieving a great sound.

Besides, some bad quality monitors (or computer stereo system) will amplify some instruments, which can distort our sound’s perception: for example, we can hear the bass stronger than it really is with some bass amplified monitors. This is why monitor speakers are preferable since they offer a neutral and precise sound that is not amplified and therefore more representative of reality

Studio Monitors: What should I buy?

I own a pair of JBL 305 MKII from a long time now, they are quiet good and I’m rather pleased about them but there is other good studio monitors:

 

KRK RP5G3 ROKIT 5 G3 5
$139.99 (unit)
KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit 5 Generation 3 Powered Studio Monitor
Glass-Aramid Composite Woofer?
Frequency Response?
Multiple Audio Input Connectors?
Radiused Front Baffle?
⭐ 4.5 out of 5 stars?
Purchase
Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor
$193,99 (unit)
Ok, little beat pricey but pure sound
54Hz-30kHz frequency response
45W LF plus 25W HF bi-amp system?
XLR and TRS phone jack inputs accept balanced or unbalanced signals
⭐ 4.6 out of 5 stars?
Purchase

 

2 – Midi Controller – $49

The Akai Mini Play picture

It is not a mandatory gear for a home studio, but it is, in my opinion, a very useful tool for beat-making.

A MIDI keyboard does not produce any sound and is only used to send MIDI data to your Sequencer, which will transform that data into sounds.

Cheap Midi Controller: What should I get? 

Durability, maneuverability, pleasant touch and a minimum of 2 octaves (the equivalent of 25 keys): these are the essential criteria for a MIDI keyboard to be effective. 

Some may have additional options, such as the presence of pads, but these often feature you can do without.

Keep in mind that we are trying to create an affordable and easy-to-use home studio…

🎹 Although I advise you to get my own MIDI keyboard, the famous AKAI MPK MINI ($98) you can also buy cheaper ones. could also do the job the AKAI LPK25 ($52) or the AKM320 ($35) or if you’re reaaally broke

 

N.B: The Akai Mini Play is an upgraded version of the Akai MPK mini. You can play it without a computer connection and it has 128 Instrument & 10 Drum Sounds!

3 – Audio Interface ~ $109.99

The Focusrite Scarlett Solo the best audio interface
Value for money! The Focusrite solo is the best audio interface in his price range!

The audio interface is an external hardware tool whose main purpose is to improve the quality of your sound. It mainly manages the audio inputs and outputs of your equipment, and it is thanks to it that you can record other instruments like the guitar. On the technical side, it is generally connected via an USB socket.

Cheap Audio Interface: What should I get? 

The criterion to privilege in my experience is the latency. 

In short, we do not want there to be too much gap between the moment when we press on our keyboard and the moment where the sound comes out. 

🔌 Without any hesitation, I will recommend the Focusrite Scarlett Solo ($109.99) which, being easy to use, is the most sold in the world. It includes two inputs jack (we can connect an instrument and a microphone for example) and two outputs that are reserved for monitoring speakers. You can also buy the PreSonus AudioBox USB 2×2 ($99.95) or the  Scarlett 2i2 ($139.99) (2 mic preamps if you need another mic preamps for recording voice + guitar for example). If you need more mics AND more analog preamps you can purchase the Scarlett 4I4 ($214) or the Presonus Studio 26c 2×4 (209.95).

 

You may also like  10 must-have music gears for your home studio

4 – Mic ~ $59.99

The best microphone for beatmaking

So yes, I know: how would a microphone be useful for a beatmaker? For three simple reasons: First of all, the beatmaker can use such a tool to record sound effects that can be added to the track like snaps, claps or even foley sounds.

Moreover, thanks to a microphone, you can record an acoustic instrument that can not be connected to the sound card, as is often the case with wind instruments (flute, harmonica…). 

Last but not least, you can record your voice and make some nice vocal effects like trending producers like to do (think of vocal effects made by Travis Scott for example)…

Cheap Mics for Recording Home Studio: What Should I Get?

🎤 In the musical jargon, microphones for home studios are called condenser microphones and must have several features: a faithful reproduction of the sound, a great sensitivity and little noise. Unless you’ll need to rap or sing, you don’t have to  invest in an expansive pro microphone. I advise you to consider several models: The Samson Meteor Mic USB ($59.99), the MXL Mics 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone ($60) or the Bird Instruments UM1 ($55.86). You can also buy the EAGLETONE SENSE 200 ($93) or the CM25 Focuscrite (which, it is included in a pack).

 

5 – Studio Headphones ~ $109

Best studios headphones under $200

For insomniacs who love to make some fire beats at night but are afraid to disturb their neighbors, investing in a good pair of studio headset is a VERY good choice 😉

BUT FIRST, I must warn you right now… your Beats by Dre will not be useful for this one! The latter increases the low frequencies, which is nice to listen because the music sounds heavy, but it really distorts the instrument that is not good for producing…

Then, we must favor a studio headset, which, like the monitoring speakers mentioned above, retains a neutral sound, closer to reality.

Studio Headphones: What Should I Get?

No doubt for me, I recommend buy my fav, the DT770PRO 250 ($140). Accurate and comfortable, this is the one that many beatmakers use and I use everyday to make my all my beats because it allows me to hear the smallest details of the instrument. You can also buy the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x which have good balance in everything!


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