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What do I need to buy for a home music studio?

Updated: Feb 11, 2023

MIN $ TO BUILD A STUDIO? I wanted to weigh in on this because it is a common question, especially with people who are new to music production. And especially since I have owned a lot of different studios since I first started producing a 1991.

Budget/ Costs average.


Laptop - $500-1000

DAW - $100-300

Monitors - $100-300

Controller - $50-100

Audio interface - $150-300


——

$1,000 on low/used side; $2,500 on high/new side. Figure another hundred dollars if you are vocalist and need a microphone.


With either rig an experienced producer could produce a hit song without any additional plugins. If you went super minimal, you could remove the monitors, controller, audio interface and just use royalty free samples and step sequencing to compose the song; then record the vocal on your phone or through a cheap usb mic and give it a cool effect.


You could actually monitor with the laptop speakers or cheap consumer headphones. I know this might sound insane, but combined with visuals, once you hear enough reference tracks through the speakers or headphones your ear will adapt. Then you could do checks on a home or car stereo.


No, it’s not ideal, but it is certainly possible for someone who is ambitious. (I mean, if you were ambitious enough you could probably make a great song on a smart phone).


I used to make songs with an Ensoniq SD1 keyboard, a little reverb module, and a yamaha 4 track recorder—I got good at bouncing). Then at one point I had to sell my keyboard because I was broke, and all I had was a little casio keyboard. I made two of my best songs with cheap little thing.


Of course with all the amazing technology available today, if you have the money, then of course get high-quality equipment. My only point here is to say that if you don’t have money, don’t let that be a deterrent. Even a decently-powered laptop with Reaper and free plugins could suffice if you set your mind to it.


Bottom line: It’s truly not about the gear, it’s about the engineer. If you only have a little money, you are better off investing it to learn the craft of mixing and mastering then you are on equipment (although you can learn on youtube for free). Because you can have the best equipment in the world, but if you are not a talented producer you won’t produce great sounding music. Conversely, if you are a talented producer, you can make great sounding music with nearly anything.


Just food for thought. Again, I don’t mean to diminish high-quality equipment. I’m just saying don’t let the absence of high-quality equipment deter you from your dreams. If there’s a will, there’s a way. 👍

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