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
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:
2 – Midi Controller – $49
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…
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 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.
4 – Mic ~ $59.99
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?
5 – Studio Headphones ~ $109
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.