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Home Recording Studio Gear Basics

Steven Howsley | July 28, 2020

Recording at Home

Can I Create Professional Recordings with a Home Recording Studio?

There was a point in time when if you told somebody you were going to make a professional recording at home, they would laugh at you in the face. The last decade has been instrumental (pun intended) to the music industry, with many of our favorite artists getting their start from a home studio. Despite what people may think, you can totally get a professional track made at home without having to rent out a big budget studio.

Sure it won’t look as cool and maybe it won’t have natural reverb, but 90% of us who are making music at home aren’t exactly striving for the “perfect” recording. What does perfect mean anyway?

Anyway… Whether you are starting your first home studio or are looking to round things off, there are definitely a few fundamental pieces of gear that you’ll want to look at purchasing. Some of the things below are definitely not required to get started, so you can feel free to piece your studio together overtime like many of us do.

5 Must-Have Studio Gear Pieces to Get Started

Assuming you have your computer and digital audio workstation selected (that’s a whole other conversation), here are the top 5 pieces of gear that I’d recommend getting as you’re starting out.

1. A Solid Pre-Amp (USB Audio Interface) That Suits Your Needs

Before you run off and buy six microphones guitar cables and other stuff you don’t need, spend some time thinking about the audio interface you’ll be living with for a while. This is the piece of gear that will be the interface between your microphones and instruments to the computer. Many audio interfaces also supply output options for your studio monitors and in ear monitors for recording.There are some great simple audio interfaces for one or two instruments such as the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. With that being said, if you are going to be recording drums or multiple instruments consider something with more inputs like the Behringer 4-Channel Audio Interface.

2. A Condensor Microphone

Having a versatile microphone as your first mike is super important because it will allow you to record a variety of different instruments (vocals included) without much additional expense. You can get a really good condenser microphone for under $200, I personally really like the AKG P220 or the Blue Spark SL.

3. Studio Monitors

Studio monitors can be quite expensive but are pretty important for Accurate song playback, mixing, and mastering. Luckily since your first home studio is probably not perfectly acoustically treated, we won’t be shooting for super high-end monitors to start at this point. Entry-level monitors like the M audio blank are great for getting started, but you could take things up and arch with some KRK RP5 Rokit’s or Mackie CR5BT (with Bluetooth).

4. Studio Foam

Having a bit of studio foam around is going to be handy. If you’re recording in a bedroom or basement, there are probably some obvious reflections in the room that you can eliminate by applying some basic studio farm. Lucky for you, you can buy a pack of this stuff on Amazon for pretty decent price. Lastly, studio farm will definitely give you that studio feel you’re looking for and take your room aesthetic to the next level.

5. Studio Headphones

There are hundreds of studio headphones on the market, but we really just want to have something that is functional and works well for our immediate recording needs. The reason why you might want to look at studio headphones over a standard pair of headphones is that they typically have a longer cable for reaching your audio interface so that way you don’t have to record directly in front of it.

Lastly, Studio headphones can be awesome for recording or mixing at night time or using as a set of reference speakers. Fortunately you don’t need to break the bank to get a decent pair of headphones, my favorite have been the Sennheiser HD280 Pro’s or the Sony MDR7506’s. Though you could probably search Amazon reviews for the latest and greatest that meets your budget.

In Summary

Okay, you caught me. It’s not really over yet. You still need to get some XLR cables, guitar cables, USB adapters, and everything in between. If you’re seeing a trend here, prepare yourself for the harsh reality that home studio gear never really stops.

5 Home Studio Gear Pieces to Get Started:

  1. Pre-Amp  / USB Audio Interface
  2. Condensor Microphone
  3. Studio Monitors
  4. Studio Foam
  5. Studio Headphones

Written by Steven Howsley


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