15 Jun

How to make a music studio with a budget of $500

If you ask me, making music is more than a hobby, is a passion for art that needs to be cultivated and promoted more often these days. Some people are lucky, and being able to make a living out of it is not that hard to achieve these days. Making music like a pro in your own recording studio is not a faded dream, it is something that can be achieved with a proper (but not that large) budget. All you need is a voice, an idea and a… recording equipment. Before searching for recording studio equipment for sale, you should know exactly why you need a recording studio.

Why build a home music studio?

Because, before becoming a huge star, you need to be noticed. In order for you to be noticed, people need to hear one of your songs. And for that, you need a home recording studio. From this point on it’s all about being creative, write the best lyrics you can write, compose/acquire the best instrumentals.

So, in this regard, I will present a home recording studio setup priced around $500:

mxl-condenser-mic

Microphone

The condenser microphone is the first piece of recording chain. This means you should get the best condenser mic that would fit your budget. I really think MXL V67G Large Capsule Condenser Microphone is a bargain. With this mic you can’t go wrong, and it’s half the price it was last year ($100).

  • Large 32mm pressure gradient condenser capsule^Gold-sputtered, 6 micron density diaphragm^Solid state preamp balanced transformer output^MXL-57 isolation shock mount available
  • Large 32mm pressure gradient condenser capsule
  • Gold-sputtered, 6 micron density diaphragm
  • Solid state preamp balanced transformer output
  • MXL-57 isolation shock mount available (features via amazon.com)

art-tube

Preamp

Any condenser mic requires a preamp with phantom power. There are two options here: buy a stand-alone preamp or buy an audio interface with phantom power. ART Tube MP Microphone Preamp is cheap ($39) and very clean. You’ll love it.

Scarlett Focusrite

Audio Interface

There are plenty of options to choose from, and manufacturers like M-Audio have great products. But I think you should better decide on Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2 In/2 Out USB Recording Audio Interface. It features award winning preamps, incredible digital performance and the package includes DAW and Effects.

m-audio products

Home Studio Monitors

The monitors are really important because you need to hear at best quality when mixing and mastering your song. Remember that mixing has a major impact on the overall quality of the song, so don’t mess your recording studio setup by getting cheap monitors. I would recommend M-Audio products. Studiophile AV 40 Powered Speakers has great reviews on Amazon and MusicianFriend, so I think is a clever choice. There are cheaper alternatives but, but if you go over reviews you’ll understand my pick.

Laptop/PC

You need a fast computer with large memory. Because I’ve chosen an external audio interface, a laptop will do just fine for this project. I will not include this in our budget because almost everyone has a laptop or a PC these days, so if you are reading this I’m sure you have one. Anything over 1Ghz and 2GB of ram will work. If you don’t have enough storage memory you can buy an external hard drive.

Other Stuff

Remember to buy cables, a pop filter, headphones, a mic stand and connectors. If you’re recording instruments a mixer is needed. You can also treat the recording room with acoustic foam.

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