Each home studio is unique and scalable. It took me four years to build one that really suits my (constantly changing) needs, my workflow and makes me feel comfortable with creating music. I’ve enjoyed the journey so far and I know my setup is going to keep evolving as I develop my music production skills. So, take your time!
How much should you spend on your home studio?
There are only two scenarios to me. If you are getting started, you should spend very little money on gear and take your time to learn and have fun. On the other hand, if you know you are passionate about music production, and you’ve been doing it long enough with a budget set up, you should not upgrade little by little all year long, you should save your money and invest in quality products.
What to get? Know your needs.
To tell you the story, I got inside a music store by chance four years ago and randomly purchased a 50$ mic and a 100$ audio interface (that I won’t name because I wouldn’t recommend them).
That very first setup was all I needed at that time:
I would only make music every now and then,
It happened to be complicated enough for me to have fun for a good while (I couldn’t get my levels right and the result would sound worse than a recording on my phone).
I spent two years slowly getting better and building a decent minimal home studio to record covers (using instrumentals I would find on YouTube). I didn’t need anything to produce.
In case you want ideas for a good beginner recording setup, I had:
An audio interface: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
A condenser mic: AT2020
A decent pair of headphones: ATH M30x
A pop filter (It took me some time to understand how important that is.)
Free DAWs: Ableton Lite and Audacity
But, I’ve always loved to write songs. Making covers and sharing them timidly on Souncloud was a great place to start, but I then realized I wanted to make my own music: my own beats, my own melodies, my own lyrics (in a foreign language!) So, I needed to improve my setup accordingly and took two more years to get to my current setup, that enables me to produce, record and mix.
In case you're interested in my current music production setup:
A great audio interface: Apollo Twin Duo USB3
A condenser mic (to record): Neumann TLM 102
A dynamic mic (for everything other than recording): Shure SM58
A quality pair of monitors: JBL LSR 305
A pair of headphones: Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO
A midi keyboard: Korg Taktile 49
A budget DAW: Ableton Intro
Virtual instruments: Native Instruments Komplete Select
Besides your motivation, I’d say the audio interface is the most important piece of your home studio. It enables you to record a signal, amplifies it with the preamps and converts it to digital. I would recommend going with either the Scarlett 2i2 or the Apollo Twin, because I’ve used them for a long time and they’re awesome: you get great quality preamps, a reasonable number of inputs/outputs (including two mic inputs) and great plugins (EQ, compressor and reverb).
Well, I hope this article helps someone. Have fun!