Having a clutch work-from-home setup has never been more popular than it is now. Even more, people have really leaned into their passions (and passion projects), since the pandemic. I personally think it was a really interesting exercise in helping people discover what they care about most in life, and how they truly wish to be spending their time. The world saw a big uptick in home recording studios, as creators and aspiring-creators alike took the leap to get themselves set up in a spare bedroom or corner of the house, so they could explore things like making music and podcasting. The world of gear-buying in the recording studio space can be extremely intimidating, as a lot of expensive mistakes can be made, and there's a lot of know-how involved in understanding how all the components work together to be compatible. The studio setup is often complex and costly, but with the onset of tons of new technology, it's actually never been more affordable or accessible than it is now. This post is for the aspiring home studio owners, to get you set up to start making magic quickly, easily, and cost-effectively. Here's what you'll need:
I personally have always used a MacBook Pro for my recording, but these days there are so many good options available. You can even record on a tablet or smartphone! But I would generally suggest a decent laptop, or purchase of a refurbished (more recent for compatibility purposes) used MacBook as a solid starting point.
Some starter purchases online will have devices that come with a free version or included software, as many devices do as well. I started on the free Garageband App that came with my first MacBook, and eventually grew into using my preferred software, which is LogicProX. But you can honestly start with anything that is compatible with your preferred device!
A Recording Interface If you choose to record on a computer or laptop, you'll need this handy little box to connect the signals from your microphone to your computer. This interface is the tried and true, go-to starter interface for creators. It's affordable, and makes decent recordings. Or, if you want to eliminate the need for an interface entirely, you can always get a USB microphone like this one that can plug in directly to a computer, laptop, tablet or phone by itself. (Also a great on-the-go option for people who travel a lot or want to create away from home!)
Every microphone sounds different on every voice. The pricing for mics really runs the gamut, from sub $100 options to over five figures. I've used a variety of mics from all over the pricing scale, and the truth is, more expensive doesn't necessarily mean it's better for you or your usage. This is a good starter mic for the average person getting into recording. Just get what you can afford and upgrade later on if you want! (This is also a great recording bundle pack if you're looking to get some additional accessories on a budget.)
Decent headphones are important so you'll be able to hear yourself and your playback clearly. Again, they can run the price gamut, but these are an excellent option to get you going and get the job done.
Speaker Monitors & Subwoofer
There are so many great and well-known brands for monitor speakers on the market, and this is definitely one of those "upgrade as you grow" things. I have really nice and expensive speakers that I previously used in my commercial recording studio. You do not need those now, or maybe ever. Save some coins and go with something easy to use that works well like this speaker system combo. It lets you plug right into a headphone jack, so you don't need to go crazy with wiring, on top of all the other learning curves you'll be experiencing.
You'll want to have a few decently sized XLR cables on hand (I like the flexibility of a 6'-10' option so I can run it behind desks and such without any trouble), which connect most mics and speakers to your interface, and possibly some 1/4" instrument cables as well if you'll be plugging anything like that in too.
Standard in any studio setting, but not necessarily required to get started, you may want to consider acquiring a pop filter for the microphone, adjustable mic stand with boom or desk stand, a MIDI keyboard if you're making music, a mixer with knobs & faders if you want a more traditional studio recording feel, MIDI drum pads if you're making beats, microphone isolation, sound treatment for your room, and a multi-adapter cable hub will likely come in very handy.
Hope this helps and happy recording, fam!
*Just a reminder that I utilize affiliate links, which means I make a small commission from your purchase (which doesn't affect how much you pay). This helps this mama keep doing what she loves! TYSM in advance for your support! :-)