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  • Writer's pictureTina Van

How to Build a Home Studio on ANY Budget

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

You may or may not have thought of making a home studio but it is the PERFECT solution if you are a musician, an artist, an aspiring producer, or if you just want to get your ideas professionally recorded without having to spend extra time or money going into a recording studio. Building a home studio is not as tricky or expensive as you might think. In fact, it is the opposite – simple and very inexpensive to do. The fact is that you can get budget equipment that sounds amazing without having to empty your wallet. Let’s dive in to the items that you need!



#1 – COMPUTER


First things first, if you have a working computer or laptop – you are already ahead of the game. As long as your computer has a USB, Firewire, or Thunderbolt input, this is all you are going to need for the next piece of equipment which is the audio interface.


#2 – AUDIO INTERFACE


Audio Interface
Audio Interface

The audio interface is going to turn the analog signal (your voice, a guitar, or whatever you’re recording) into digital form so that it can be manipulated within the computer. Before purchasing an audio interface, I’d recommend checking how many inputs you are actually going to need. For example, if you are a solo singer-songwriter and are only going to be recording yourself and a guitar, you’re just going to need one or two inputs at the most. On the other hand, if you are wanting to record bands or bigger ensembles, you will probably need more inputs. This is good to keep in mind when purchasing an audio interface so you don’t make the extra expense for inputs you will not be using.


In my case, I started off with a two channel input audio interface because I was only recording myself and a guitar but then later upgraded to one with more inputs when I decided to start recording with more microphones. So I’d advise to purchase within your means because you can always upgrade later!


Great Budget Options:

#3 – DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)


Logic Pro X Main Window
Logic Pro X

This is the software you will need in order to edit and record audio. The great thing about this software is that it is usually bundled with an audio interface already when you make the purchase so that you don’t need to make the extra expense. Some audio interfaces even include audio plugins bundled as well so that you can get crazy creative with your new gear!

FREE DAW Software Options:

  • AVID Pro Tools First

  • Garageband (Included with Mac Computers)

  • Abelton Live 11 Lite


#4 – MICROPHONE

Audio Technica AT2020 Microphone
Audio Technica AT2020

There are so many awesome budget microphones out on the market that sound great and will get the job done. I’ve used so many microphones throughout my years as an audio engineer costing upwards of $10,000 to as little as $15 dollars and let me tell you – there are some killer budget microphones that can compete with even the most expensive models. So – no need to go crazy here spending a ton of cash on microphones! I’ve included some great options below. Large-diaphragm condensers are a great choice for starting out because they sound transparent and can be used to record virtually anything.


Awesome Condenser Mics to Consider on a Budget:

#5 – STUDIO MONITORS AND/OR STUDIO HEADPHONES



You can generally get away with having a great pair of studio headphones if you can’t afford to get a pair of studio monitors so don’t think that you need monitors right off the bat. A pair of quality headphones are great for starting out especially if you live with family or have a neighbor you don’t want to disturb in an apartment complex! Studio monitors or headphones are going to be different than your typical consumer speakers/headphones. So – they are not going to sound like Beats by Dre - where the low end is accentuated for a better listening experience.


Studio monitors/headphones are designed to sound transparent so that you can hear every little detail from your recordings and mixes. This is why a good pair of studio monitors or headphones are important to have in your studio because when you listen back to your recordings or mixes, you want to be able to hear everything exactly as it sounds without any color added. This will ensure your music translates to other places such as a car stereo or the speakers in a coffee shop for example.


Excellent Budget Options:


#6 – CABLES

Black XLR cable
XLR Cable

This will not be the most glamorous purchase you make for your studio by far but it is definitely necessary to connect all the equipment listed here. The three cables you will need are going to be:

#7 – MICROPHONE/BOOM STAND


Microphone stand

I’d recommend grabbing yourself a solid boom stand. A boom stand has three legs on the bottom with an adjustable arm to make placing a microphone a lot easier for recording. Nothing too tricky in this area but you will want a sturdy enough stand so that it can hold the microphone in place without worrying about it falling over from the weight. Some boom stands even come bundles with other things such as XLR cables so be sure to look out for those deals as well!


Here are a few options:



#8 – POP FILTER


microphone pop filter

This is a good item to keep in your home studio and its primary purpose is to reduce or eliminate plosives (the “p” sounds) when recording vocals. PLUS – they also look pretty cool in front of a microphone don’t you think? If you’ve ever seen a singer or a vocalist in the studio then you’ve probably noticed this thing in front of the microphone. They are not placed there just to look more official, they are also there to serve a purpose! So get yourself one of these because it will make a big difference when recording vocals.


#9 – MIDI CONTROLLER (Optional)


This item is completely optional and is not necessary to get started but it is VERY functional. I included this on the list because having a MIDI controller greatly increased my productivity and creativity when I started out producing music. It is also great to have if you’d like to have more control over virtual instruments within you DAW such as pianos, synths, electronic drums, etc.


A MIDI controller will make using those instruments a breeze because you can use the piano style keys to play each instrument. Some MIDI controllers even come with drums pads to make playing virtual drums easier and more fun than just using your computer keyboard. I’ve listed some great budget options below.


Great Options All Under $60:


There you have it!


These are all the items you will need to get started with your home studio. As you can see it doesn’t take much to get started and you don’t need to spend loads of money to get quality gear. Thank you for checking this blog post out. I’m excited for you on this journey because the possibilities are truly endless once you get started!


What are you excited to do in your home studio? Are you an artist, musician, aspiring audio engineer or producer? Let me know in the comments because I’d love to get to know more about you!


FREE Home Studio Gear Guide


If you need a printable guide explaining everything you need to get started in even more detail – I have just the one for you. Simply click the button below to get a FREE copy of my home studio gear guide.


It will provide you with more of my personal recommendations on any budget along with tips on what to look out for when making purchases.


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