Most people seem to think that building yourself a home recording studio is a huge project that will take months of planning and preparing. However, getting started is much easier than you’d imagine. All you’ll really need are a few basic essentials to get you started. In fact, it’s preferable to start simple. Why? Because going too big too fast can be seriously overwhelming, discourage you, and possibly lead to you quitting. Of course, all that money and time will be wasted for no reason. To avoid all that, keep it simple. Even though you don’t want to spend a ludicrous amount of money on gear, there is such a thing as too cheap. So, let’s talk about what you definitely would need to get you started:
When you’re starting a studio from scratch, the computer is the biggest expense, by far. You want to get the fastest one you can afford. However, when you’re just beginning, it’s recommended to use what you have and work from there. If and when you want to upgrade later on, a Macbook Pro is always a good bet.
DAW/Audio Interface Combo
Just in case you don’t already know, the DAW is the software used to record, edit, and mix music on your computer. The Audio Interface is the hardware used to connect your computer to the rest of your gear. You can buy these two items separately or as a combo. For a first studio, a combo is highly recommended.
Despite the fact that a lot of home studios do most of their mixing on open-back headphones, traditionally, mixing has been done on speakers. While they can be pricey, there are still plenty of affordable options as well.
One or Two Microphones
As your studio matures over time, you’ll eventually have a collection of dozens of different microphones, each for a different purpose. For now, however, all you’ll need is one or two to get started.
As you’re starting out, most of the time you’ll be recording by yourself. For this reason, you’ll only need one pair of headphones in the beginning.
A Few Cables
One day, your studio will have a lot of different cables. For now, you’ll only need three: a long XLR cable for your mic, and two short ones for your monitors.
One Mic Stand
Many beginners assume that all mic stands are the same, but that isn’t the case. A solid mic stand is one of the most worthwhile investments a home studio can make. Still, a mic stand can get pricey, so a cheap and reliable stand is a great way to start out.
A Pop Filter
The purpose of a pop filter is to filter out unpleasant vocal artifacts known as ‘popping’. This piece of equipment is pretty cheap, so you won’t have to worry about that.