My Story on a Budget Home Studio Setup – Even today I remember the first day when I decided to set up my own home studio. I was so curious about the things that were necessary to buy in a budget home studio setup.
I was told many things that were important for the setup but later I found out that all that was just unnecessary. You don’t require a lot to start making music from your home.
To make music, your budget home studio setup could be minimum. Huge investment isn’t necessary if you are a beginner in the field. Because when you are starting something, the most important thing at that time is just to learn new things and keep on experimenting with your talent.
And in the learning period, you don’t necessitate to invest or I can say waste your money without thinking if it isn’t necessary.
I’ve written below the essential lists down in such order that even if you buy the first product on the list, you can start with the music production. With reaching further in the list, the quality of your music will increase.
So keep in your mind that if you don’t have the budget, start with the first item on the list. But if you are capable to buy all the 6 essential things on the list for a budget home studio setup, that will be better. It all depends on your financial budget and talent.
The first and the most important thing that you need for your budget home studio setup is a Computer or a Laptop in which You are going to install your DAW.
These days, everyone has a computer at their home. Generally, every computer or Laptop is capable to handle the DAW.
You can start making music right now from the computer that you have at your home. But if that machine is not that tough, it might start lagging in between.
So a computer with less power can only be used for the beginning process in music-making. In the future, you definitely need to do the up-gradation of the same.
If you don’t have a laptop or computer at your home, try to buy the second hand from various websites that provide second-hand service in your area. Buying a second-hand PC will be cheap to buy and can be sometimes the last longing.
And also, if you have a good budget, you can go with MacBook or a powerful Laptop.
Now while selecting the machine, the option that comes here is whether to choose portable laptops or a desktop computer. Both have their own pros and cons. So let me show you to whom each of them will suit.
Desktop Computer VS Laptop
- A desktop computer is best if you aren’t going to use your pc for touring purposes. Because the desktop requires a specific space for itself.
- Mostly, desktops are used in music studios. Here you don’t need it to move here or there. Also, it gives a sense of power in the hands.
- So, if you want to create a studio in your bedroom itself and have no plans to move your machine anywhere else, a Desktop Computer is the best option.
- A Laptop is usually what you can carry anywhere.
- Often laptops are used for touring purpose and you can also create music from any corner of your room
- It doesn’t matter if you are sitting at your home or travelling in an aeroplane, you can start with your creativity from anywhere.
- You can get the Desktop Computer in your budget.
- The decent PC start from around $650. And with more investment in a desktop computer, you will get more value for your money.
- you can also opt for other spare parts that you can get second hand easily around.
- Though you have to pay a little high price in order your your convinience.
- There are ,any laptops that you can get second hand at a low price, but the laptops that are for beginner level, might not handle the DAW if used heavy plugin.
- For those heavy one, you have to invest on only bibg budget powerful laptops.
- Desktop is way more powerful than the laptop that you will get at the same point of price.
- High ram helps to handle the load of your DAW and pluugins that you will be ging to use in future for your music projects.
- Best thing about using a desktop is that you can always upgrade your ram or other parts and that makes desktop computer more powerful than the laptops in a budget.
- In laptops, you have to invest a lot in order to get the decent amount of power.
- As more you’ll invest, more you will get the RAM and Processor.
- The Mac book will be the best laptop option for you to consider buying if youhave really giid budget as it has all the power needed to be in the music producers laptop.
- Well here there isn’t any comparision between both the devices on the basis of their reliability.
- But I can say that desktops are quite more reliable than the laptops as it’s not move around a lot and thus the living life of the desktop increases.
- When considering the beginners budget laptops, you won’t get such warranty as they may start lagging as soon you use it for producing.
- But with the macbook, pr any other high budget windows laptops, you are not going to face any sort of lagging or any other problem.
- Both are durable and can be last long as per your ways of using them.
I would recommend Desktop Computer. Well you can choose anything, or build your own PC. I am recommending some below. But, If you have a good budget, I would suggest going with Mac Book Pro. They are quite powerful and are seamless to do work on.
I told you above that if you have only one thing on the list, you can start with your musical journey. Well, obviously you can not start making music with just computers in your hand. To move further in the process, you’ll require a DAW.
So what is DAW?
Basically, DAW(Digital Audio Workstation) is computer software that allows you to create music by installing it into your desktop computer or laptop.
There are various DAWs available in the market that provide you can use for yourself. Some are free while some are paid. Obviously, the paid ones will be having a lot of features compared to those free DAWs.
You can choose any according to your budget and suitability. Various people will suggest different DAWs, but before purchasing or installing any, keep in mind that music is made with creativity and not with DAW.
Any DAW isn’t gonna help you to make your music sound great. It’s you who have to work hard to bring life to your music. The only thing you have to do here is whichever DAW you choose, make sure you feel comfortable with its options and you should know all the tricks of that DAW.
Learning each system of DAW helps you to use it more thoroughly and you don’t have to keep on looking for the things when needed.
If you are a music producer who is at the beginning of your career and don’t have much to spend, going towards the free plugins is the best way.
There are many DAWs available in the market that are free to use and have great options. You can use them and start your journey. Later you can always switch onto the paid ones.
Here are some of the Free DAWs that you can use in your music production career.
- Waveform Free
- Cakewalk by BandLab
- Studio One Prime
- Pro Tools | First
- MPC Beats
- Podium Free
With paid DAWs, the options in your music-making get increased. You get more open to the world of creating professional music. You become serious about your profession cause you are investing.
So below, there are some recommended Paid DAWs that you look for
- FL Studio 20
- Studio One 4.5
- Steinberg Cubase Pro 10
- Garage Band
- Pro Tools 2019
- Logic Pro X
- Ableton Live 10
- FL Studio 20
3. Audio Interface
Audio Interface is a device that you use with your mic and other gears like guitar, keyboard, etc at a time. It converts analog signals into digital audio which helps in getting a more clear voice.
You have your computer, DAW, Headphones, and Microphones ready with you. Well, you can start making music from there itself.
Audio Interface helps you bring quality sound and makes it easier to record many instruments at a time with minimum latency.
Below are some of the recommended Audio Interfaces that you can look into before buying for your budget home studio setup. The budget for Audio interfaces comes from between $50 and $200. You can choose according to your budget.
After you got your DAW, the next thing that you need in your home studio is headphones and Monitors. In the beginning, if you can afford just either of them, choose headphones. Because initially, when you’ll be producing music from your bedroom, I don’t think you will be the only one in there.
You will have to listen and mix your song sitting in your bedroom only without disturbing others. So yes, Headphones will be the better option for you there.
If you have space and room where you can play loud music, you can go for monitors.
Use of Headphone/Monitors
With just a computer and DAW, you will just be able to make music, but how will you make it sound good? Here comes the headphones for our budget home studio setup. They help you to listen to the music deeply and to identify whether it’s matching with other instruments and the tracks or it’s just abrupting the whole track.
When you are listening to your track through any normal headphones or speakers, it will sound good. It’s because those gadgets available in the market are made in a way to provide you the best quality sound. You can not judge your song using them.
Headphones/Monitors made for the studio purpose are defined in a way that gives you the correct frequency of the sound. You get all the highs and lows perfectly.
Also Read: Best Studio Monitors & Speakers
Choosing b/w Headphone and Monitors
As I already mentioned earlier, for beginners, who are just starting up and are making music from their home, the headphone is the better option for them. While the monitors, you can use it if you have your own space and no one around to get disturbed.
While headphones are portable to use and also are cheap compared to the monitors, but in the mixing quality-wise, Monitors are more effective than headphones. You get extra details of the track that will help you in the mixing and mastering process.
In the conclusion, I want to state that if you are a singer yourself and are going to mix your song on your own, go with the headphones. Because for the recording purpose, you will definitely need the headphones. And if you are just into producing increase your budget a little more and go for the monitors.
The next thing that comes in the list of Essential things needed for a budget home studio setup is a Microphone. Well, two types of microphones are widely used for different purposes. So accordingly you can pick your kind of microphone for your budget home studio setup.
Both the mics have their own applications and are used in different environmental conditions. Those two kinds are Dynamic Microphone and Condenser Microphone.
If you are a singer and music producer or want to up your game in the field of producing music, buying a microphone is a must.
You must have seen the dynamic microphones in live performances or in front of the drums. It’s because these mics are made in a way to bear the wear and tear in any way.
The quality of these microphones is tough and can survive through the hit by drumstick or fall on the stage.
One of the main reasons why dynamic microphones are used in live shows is because they aren’t very sensitive in terms of recording the vocals. This helps in not capturing the voice of the audience coming from the front.
Some Dynamic Microphones are
Condenser microphones are sensitive in nature. These are used in studios where there is no echo or surround sound. While recording with condenser mics, everything should be quiet. They can capture even the low frequencies.
Condenser microphones are bidirectional. That means they can record vocals from both sides. These are used in studios cause they promise to give a quality sound than that of condenser microphones.
If you are a Vocalist, a Condenser microphone will suit you the most, and if you play any instrument such as drums or do live shows, a Dynamic microphone will be the better option.
Some Best Condenser Microphones are
6. MIDI Keyboard
The full form of MIDI is Musical Instrument Digital Interface. So basically, it is an instrument that transfers the data into already MIDI-enabled devices to produce sounds in a controlled parameter. This is how music is made using MIDI Keyboard.
Unlike Piano or Digital Keyboards, MIDI Controllers do not have any sound of their own. Whenever a person presses any key of MIDI Keyboard, data releases from it and passes through the Software which produces the music. The Synthesizer produces Music that gets amplified through the Studio Monitors.
Using Piano, we can only produce a single type of sound that it already has of its own. But with the help of MIDI Keyboard, there is no limit to variations in the sound. It all depends on the Synthesizers and how you want your music to sound.
Types of MIDI keyboards
25 KEY MIDI Keyboard
25 Key MIDI Controllers are basically used by beginners as it doesn’t require a huge place to keep. The keyboard contains 25 keys with 3 complete octaves. They are also available with drum pads on them which makes them easy to use as a drum kit.
If you are entering into music production, and don’t know how to play piano, go for a 25 key MIDI keyboard. Below are some of the best 25 key MIDI controller Keyboards that you should look into.
32/49 KEY MIDI Keyboard
These MIDI Keyboards are used for those music producers who know to play piano a little bit but are low on the budget. You can easily practice your piano here in these 32 or 49 keys MIDI Controller Keyboards.
These keyboards are mostly used for home studio purposes whereas they also can be seen in some studios. If you know how to play piano and want to use a MIDI keyboard as the instrument while making music, this is the best option for you.
Some of the best 25 key MIDI controller Keyboards that you should look into are:
61/88 KEY MIDI Keyboard
Also Read: Best 88 Key MIDI Controller Keyboard
Well, for the budget home studio setup, these keyboards are the options. 61 and 88 keys MIDI keyboards are generally used in the professional studio.
But if you are a professional piano player, you can go for these. as a large number of keys are going to give you the best feel of the piano.
If you aren’t a pianist and looking for the budget MIDI keyboard for your budget home studio setup, I would recommend you the 25 key MIDI keyboard. Below I am presenting some of the best 61 and 88 key MIDI controller Keyboards: