Put Together a Home Studio for Under $500
If you're a professional musician, you need a lot of pricey equipment to perform, record and produce your music. Your studio is full of expensive equipment that gives you everything you need to create the best work possible.
If you're a hobbyist interested in putting together a home studio, you may be hesitant because of the potential cost. Sure, you could spend thousands of dollars on equipment, but you can also create one on a budget.
Here's how you can put together a home studio for less than $500.
Don't Sacrifice Quality
When you're planning on putting together a home studio, it may be tempting to buy the cheapest equipment that you can find. On the surface, this seems like a good strategy — when you're paying less for each piece of equipment, you'll be able to buy more equipment. Sounds good, right?
Not always. There are ways to save when making a home studio, but when you go as cheap as possible, you're usually not getting good quality. Buying cheap equipment may actually cost more in the long run. If you buy something that craps out in a year or less, you'll have to replace it — and you'll probably want to buy something better so you won't have to replace it again so soon.
When you spend a little more, you can see a huge jump in quality. You'll be able to create better music when you're using better equipment and can use the equipment for much longer.
Get the Basics at First
There are all kinds of equipment that you can get for a home studio. However, much of that equipment and many of those accessories aren't necessary. When you're just starting out, you should stick to the basics. If you get too much, you can get easily overwhelmed.
The first piece of equipment you'll need is a computer. Either a laptop or desktop computer will work great. We're working from the assumption that you probably already have your own computer, and won't be calculating its cost into our $500 budget.
Here's our suggested baseline equipment to get you started in your home studio setup:
- DAW Software: Your DAW, or Digital Audio Workstation, will give you one place to record, mix, master and complete other tasks for your music. You can save when you choose a slightly older version or simpler software. We suggest the PreSonus Studio One 3 DAW download. It has a simple interface and all the tools you'll need. ~$100
Microphone: Whatever genre of music you play, you'll need a high-quality microphone to get the most out of your recordings. Check out the PROformance P755 USB Condenser Microphone. It comes with its own cable and stand so you don't have to buy a separate mic stand. ~$100
- Audio Interface: This piece of equipment is often forgotten, but it's crucial to helping you create the best sounding tunes. The audio interface includes a preamplifier in it. This helps amplify the microphone's signal and will also connect your mic to your computer if you have other microphones that don't have a USB. Check out the Steinberg UR12 Audio Interface. ~$100
- StudioMonitors: You could also pick a good set of headphones, but a pair of studio monitors will give you the crisp audio quality you need for your studio. And these aren't just your regular computer speakers — they don't have the extra components that computer speakers have that enhance the sound. This gives you a clearer idea of what your music really sounds like, giving you the objectivity to make it exactly how you want it to sound. These Studio Monitors are a great pick. With the Bluetooth capability, you won't have any extra cables around your workstation either. ~$150
With these four pieces of equipment, you're ready to start producing music in your own home studio.
Save for the Future
Once you improve your skills, you may want to start adding pieces of equipment to your setup. If you're still on a budget, prioritize things that you want to get and begin saving up for them. You can slowly but surely begin expanding your home studio without breaking the bank.
All of the equipment we suggested is in our online inventory. Check out that equipment and more online or in-store for great deals and service at Bananas at Large®.