Being a musician is not just a profession, it’s a way of life. Creating a piece of music that truly connects to your soul, is a fulfillment in itself. However, music production involves bulk loads of work.
Apart from the struggle to hone your creative skills and the countless hours that go into practice, music production, just like any other creative field, also demands both initial and progressive investment.
In the early stages, producers may be overwhelmed by the depth of knowledge required to begin the setup for home studios. It is tempting to go all out and buy things that we feel are the best on the market but there’s a need to be real and extremely cautious in this scenario.
As a beginner, it is more important to learn rather than have equipment and instruments that you’re not ready to handle. The key is to have clarity about your own abilities so that you can do more with what you already have.
More often than not, beginner’s make the common mistake of wanting way more than actually needed. This, in fact, is one of the root causes of disappointment among them.
We are thus going to guide you through a list of budget essentials for your home studio setup.
Here you go!
1. DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)
Having a DAW is the most fundamental requirement for starting a home studio. Without a working DAW all of the recording hardware that you can think of is useless.
There are plenty of options when it comes to picking a DAW. For new producers, Logic Pro X which is limited to iOS and Ableton Live which can be used with both Windows and iOS are the two most reputed DAWs.
Both of these can handle any workload that you throw at them. To be precise, they have their own set of advantages and you cannot go wrong with either of the choices.
2. Monitoring System
Different sound systems present different characteristics. Some have well pronounced high ends, while others have exaggerated lows. You can always rely on your ears to judge the quality of music that you’ve produced but a wise producer always checks it on various monitoring devices.
Professionally, closed-back monitor headphones and near field studio monitors are used to obtain a balanced sound output. Here are some of the pocket-friendly options for beginners.
- Closed back monitor headphones:
- Audio Technica’s ATH M50X
- Sennheiser HD 280
- Near field studio monitors:
- Yamaha HS5
- KRK Rokits
However, you can leave out the monitor if your room has not been acoustically treated for reverberations and noises.
3. Audio Interface
Audio interfaces act as the bridge between your analog instruments and your DAW. Be it a guitar or a microphone, you’ll need one of these to record into your DAWs.
For beginners, interfaces with two inputs are sufficient and fortunately, there are plenty of budget friendly interfaces which meet this requirement.
Some of the good options are:
- Focusrite Scarlett solo
- Presonus Audiobox itwo
- Presonus studio 24c
- MOTU M2 and M4.
However, these products boast industry-leading lowest latency and thus, have slightly higher prices.
Everyone knows that a microphone is used to record sounds but not a lot of people are aware that to record different types of sounds, different microphones are better suited.
In their price range, both Shure SM57 and Audio Technica AT2020 are the smartest choices available. For a beginner using either one, it is going to be a straight-out-of- the-dreams experience. Yes, they’re that good for their price range!
Setting up a home studio takes up a lot of time. You can always opt to upgrade your equipment as time progresses.
But before that, just ask yourself, if you have never played piano even for a day in your life and yet you go ahead and buy a 400$ MIDI keyboard, what will it do apart from gathering dust in your studio?
Being real with yourself and your abilities is of utmost importance. Just remember, it’s not the equipment but sincere practice that makes you perfect!