Essential Home Recording Studio Components Guide!

Building your first home studio is a challenge, the gear is expensive, it’s very time consuming and unless you really know what to buy, you can definitely make some mistakes which could end up costing you a lot.

In this post I will go into the basic gear you need for building your first home studio as well as the recommended or ideal gear you should get in case you’re interested in building a more professional one.

I will cover what I consider to be the bare minimum at first and then what would be the ideal.

Basic Home Recording Studio Gear

Here I will be focusing more on affordable but still good equipment, since most people have a limited budget.

Table of Contents

  • Computer
  • DAW
  • Audio Interface
  • Microphones
  • Headphones
  • Cables
  • Microphone Stands
  • Studio Monitors
  • Power Conditioner
  • Midi Controller
  • Acoustic Treatment
  • External Storage Device
  • Audio Engineering Courses

1. Computer

Let’s start with the most important component which would be your PC.

In order to use a DAW properly, you will need a PC.

For someone who is on a budget I’d definitely recommend a desktop computer.

You could get a refurbished one on Amazon for next to nothing.

It doesn’t even need to be a very powerful computer. I used to be able to mix like 30 tracks on my old PC, which had a very cheap processor and only 2gb of ram, without any issues.

If you don’t want to purchase a desktop PC and Laptops are the ones you like the most, then I’d recommend something like this.

2. DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)

A Digital Audio Workstation is absolutely essential, without it you won’t be able to mix any song properly.

There are dozens of good ones available, some are free while some others will set you back up to $1000.

You don’t really need to spend a lot on a premium DAW when you can get Cakewalk, which is free, that is extremely powerful and capable of doing everything a paid one can.

Another free one is Audacity, but I’d definitely recommend Cakewalk.

If you actually want a premium one, then you should definitely check out Cubase and also Reaper.

I bet you are already familiar with Cubase, since it’s right up there with Pro Tools.

Reaper, on the other hand, isn’t as well-known but it’s definitely growing in popularity.

It’s an amazing DAW with loads of included features and you can download it for free, try it out and if you like it, you can then purchase it for about $60.

Many Audio Interfaces, even the budget ones, come with a free version of Cubase of Pro Tools.

The free version of these DAWs aren’t as powerful as the full ones, but they will definitely get you started, and should you want to upgrade later on, you can do so.

Links to Audio Interfaces which are affordable and have included free DAWs will be listed under the Audio Interface section.

My top DAW choices would be Cakewalk and Reaper.

This is because one of them is free and the other one costs next to nothing when compared to Cubase and Pro Tools.

Most of these DAWs, free or paid ones, come with a variety of stock plugins that will get the job done in most situations.

However, there are some Third-Party Plugins which you could purchase, like the ones from Waves, Native Instruments, etc.

But if you’re on a budget, I’d hold off on buying them until much later.

3. Audio Interfaces

Luckily, Audio Interfaces have become extremely affordable over the years and most of them, even the really cheap ones, sound terrific.

For anyone on a budget I’d recommend the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 or the Behringer UMC204hd.

Both of them will allow you to record up to two simultaneous tracks.

If you feel like only two inputs aren’t enough, then the next best option would be the Behringer UMC404HD and the Focusrite Scarlett 6i6.

All of these Audio Interfaces are extremely good options to consider, especially if you don’t want to spend too much.

However, the Audio Interface is one of the most important elements of a home recording studio, and in many cases it’s better to spend a little extra and get one that you won’t need to replace in the future.

Here is my list of the top Audio Interfaces under $300.

I would recommend one that comes with an optical input, like the Audient iD14 or Presonus 1810, which means that you can expand the amount of inputs by connecting an external device.

This way, if you need to record a whole band, you can use the Inputs on the Audio Interface plus the ones you get through the optical input.

4. Microphones

When it comes to the amount and the type of microphones, I’d suggest at least one large diaphragm condenser mic, which is primarily used on vocals, even though you can definitely use it for anything else, like acoustic guitars, etc.

The Audio-Technica AT2020 is the best budget large condenser microphone on the market considering its really low price.

Next you would need at least one dynamic microphone.

Dynamic microphones can be used to record literally anything, from electric guitar amps, to vocals, drums, you name it.

For recording instruments I’d absolutely recommend the Shure SM57.

This mic can also be used for vocals, but since it doesn’t have a grille like the Shure SM58, you would need to purchase a pop filter.

The best options for vocal microphones would be the Shure SM58 and Shure SM48, since they offer the best value.

However, I would only use the Shure SM48 for backup vocals, since the Shure SM58 will do a better job at capturing the lead singer’s performance.

Finally, you will need some pencil condenser microphones. 

These are not as essential as the other two types, but if you want to record acoustic or classical guitar, piano, overheads, etc. properly, these will get you further than a large diaphragm condenser microphone.

You can read more about pencil condenser microphones in this article I wrote.

My recommendation for beginners here would be the Behringer C-4 Stereo Pair.

You can find them under my Recommended Gear section.

5. Headphones

You can mix an entire song on headphones without the need of Studio Monitors, this isn’t the ideal case but it’s definitely doable.

The ones that I like the most are the Sennheiser HD650, which are open back headphones and sound great! However, they are quite pricey.

Their price changes constantly, I’ve seen them much lower, so keep an eye out.

The ones that I would recommend for people on a budget are the Grado sr80e.

They are also open back headphones, which provide a great sound quality overall, making them ideal for mixing.

The Grado sr80e are fantastic considering the price so if you can get your hands on a pair, you absolutely should.

You can find both of them on my Recommended Gear page.

6. Cables

Even though you could get some really cheap XLR cables, I’d strongly suggest that you invest just a little more and get ones that are actually good.

You don’t want them to break or add noise.

Of course, you don’t need to spend a fortune, just get some like these on Amazon and you will be set.

7. Microphone stands

Microphone stands are an absolute necessity for any Home Studio owner, but you really don’t need to go crazy here.

While you could get really expensive ones, I’d just recommend these instead.

The reason for this is that they will do what they are meant to do, plus in a Home Studio setting, they won’t be subjected to a lot of wear and tear, this means that they should last you forever.

8. Cheap Studio monitors

To be honest, I’d much rather spend my money on good Headphones rather than on sub-par Studio Monitors.

However, if you do have the budget for both but the only ones you can afford are something like the PreSonus Eris E3.5, then absolutely, go for it and purchase them.

Having both the monitors and the headphones will be much better overall than just having one, but if you had to choose between one or the other, get the headphones first.

9. Power conditioner

Ok, now that you have spent a considerable amount of money on your Home Studio, it’s time to protect that investment by purchasing a power conditioner.

What is a power conditioner?

A power conditioner is a device intended to improve the quality of the power that is delivered to electrical equipment, it’s basically where you are going to plug all your recording equipment in.

You could get a simple power strip at any local shop which will give you plenty of outlets, probably more than enough to connect all your gear.

But, since you spent so much money on gear, would you really entrust all your gear and your PC to this cheap power strip?

I hope not!

A good power conditioner will do two things for your gear; it will protect it from electrical surges, and it will help with noise filtering.

Of course, the most important function of the power conditioner is to protect your equipment from electrical surges.

The noise filtering part, even though it’s less critical, will still be a helpful addition.

Have you even been listening to music and then someone turns on the air conditioner, or the vacuum cleaner, and all of a sudden you can hear some hiss coming from the speakers?

This also happens with your recording equipment, normally at a much lower level, making hiss and buzz less noticeable, but it will raise the noise floor of your entire system.

I would recommend the Furman Conditioners, since they filter the power before it reaches your components, as well as filtering it in between every component that’s plugged into the same power conditioner.

I cannot stress the importance of a power conditioner enough, you should always protect your gear as much as possible and a power conditioner is the best investment you could make in this regard.

I think that this would be the absolute minimum you need to create a home recording studio, it will allow you to record and mix without any issues and with proper sound.

However, there are a few other things that could really be beneficial, so I’m going to list those now.

10. Midi Controller

If you plan on using virtual instruments in your productions, a MIDI controller/keyboard is essential.

While manually setting up the MIDI track in the DAW is doable, a MIDI controller will allow you to do this much quicker, since you are actually playing in real time, which in the end is faster and much more musical.

If you’re having trouble keeping time, you can always correct it afterwards within the DAW.

A MIDI controller is essential for home recording artists who don’t want to record real instruments, for instance; Drums.

It’s much easier to load up the drum samples and simply use the controller to record them.

My Recommendation; M-Audio Oxygen 25 MK.

11. Some basic acoustic treatment

At first, acoustic treatment seems like something that you can get by just fine, but it really isn’t.

While you can record audio without it, and even pretty high-quality audio for that matter, the difference can be noticeable.

It will make you recordings sound more professional, you will hear less of the rooms natural reverb and overall sound.

If you have some spare money after you’ve invested in everything else, you should try to get some acoustic panels like these.

Here’s a complete guide on how to soundproof a home recording studio by soundproofanything.com

Another fantastic option is to manufacture them yourself using towels, this would be way more affordable, and it works really well!

Here’s a video by DIY Perks, showing from start to finish, how to craft them.

Definitely give the towel acoustic panels a try, you will only be spending a couple of bucks, plus you can make them look however you want, even allowing you to use them as part of your home’s decoration.

12. External Storage Drive

If you ever had an issue with your PC’s hard drive, which made you lose all the data stored on it, then you should understand the importance of an External Storage Device in a home studio.

Not only will it help you free up space from your PC’s internal storage, but it will also make losing all your data more difficult.

I’d recommend having at least two external drives, “at least” being key here.

You should constantly back-up your files and having them in at least three different storage units is necessary to ensure your data is protected, since hard drive failures are more common than you’d think.

13. Training Courses and free Stems

Getting the right gear for your home studio is just half the battle, the next step is to learn how to use it properly and how to mix and master songs.

To be honest, there is no real need to enroll in a paid course today when you have YouTube at your disposal.

Anything you want to find out about mixing, be it mixing vocals, guitar, which mistakes to avoid, etc. can be found on YouTube and it’s 100% free.

If you are, however, looking for a course, I’d recommend this introductory one from the Berklee College of Music, which you can find on Coursera.

This course comes with a free 7-day trial, after those seven days are over, you’d need to pay $39 to continue.

My recommendation; try it out and see how you like it, you can cancel the subscription at any moment before those seven days are over anyway.

The best way to practice mixing, in my opinion, especially if you aren’t recording a lot of tracks on your own, is to download free stems.

You can download fully well-recorded songs which haven’t been mixed yet, allowing you to really practice mixing.

You can check the Cambridge-Mt website for some free stems, or the ones from Telefunken-eletroakustik.

Otherwise, a quick google search for “free stems for mixing” will give you a lot of good results.

You don’t need that much or even really expensive gear to get started, especially if you are recording at your own place.

Really expensive gear becomes a necessity when you are building an actual studio where you need the highest audio quality, but also where you need to be able to record loads of separate tracks at the same time.

In your bedroom recording studio, you can get by just fine by using an affordable Audio Interface and a couple Microphones.

Ideal home recording studio components

This next part is mostly aimed at people who already know a thing or two about home recording and who have a simple home recording studio set up and would like to upgrade.

The idea here is to get higher quality components, the ones that will allow you not only to record a huge number of tracks simultaneously, but to also do this while achieving the best sound possible.

Table of Contents

  • Computer
  • DAW
  • Third-Party Plugins
  • Audio Interface
  • Mixers
  • Microphones
  • Microphone Preamp
  • Studio Monitors
  • Headphones
  • Headphone preamp
  • Power conditioner
  • MIDI controller
  • Acoustic Treatment
  • Cables
  • Microphone Stand
  • Pop Filter
  • External Storage Device

1. Computer

The PC is the most important component of any studio, without it you aren’t able to record, process, mix and master any songs.

In order to be able to do this properly, you should at least get a PC that can handle heavy workloads. This means that it should have loads of RAM and processing power.

Here you need to ask yourself two questions;

Do you want a MAC or PC? And do you want a Laptop or Desktop PC?

MAC or PC?

This is an age-old debate which tends to get pretty heated most of the times, the reason for this?… unknown!

If I’m being completely honest, it doesn’t matter which one you get, both will work perfectly.

There are 4 things that you need to take into consideration though, which are of great importance:

  1. The price: Windows PC’s are much more affordable than a MAC, so if you are on a slight budget, just go for a PC.
  2. What softwares do you plan on using? If you want to use Sonar, which is PC only, then there is no need to get a MAC, while on the other hand, if you want to use Digital Performer, which is MAC only, then thinking about a PC isn’t the way to go.
  3. Customization: A Mac computer is far less customizable, upgrading any of their components is much more of a hassle than doing this on a PC.
  4. The OS: If you like iOS more than Windows, or vice versa, then just get the one you feel more comfortable using.

It really doesn’t matter which one you use, if you put both a MAC and a PC with similar specs under the same workload, the performance will be almost identical.

Laptop or Desktop?

In this particular case I am actually in favor of Desktops for a couple of reasons;

  1. A desktop PC is far more affordable. You can get a very powerful one for half the price of a Laptop.
  2. Customization: Upgrading components on a Desktop computer is extremely easy.
  3. Desktops are generally faster: Since they are larger, they offer room for much more processing power. If you compare a Desktop PC with a Laptop that has the exact same specs, a desktop will definitely outperform the laptop.
  4. In’s and out’s: A Desktop PC will provide a lot more In’s and Out’s than a Laptop.
  5. Noise: Desktops are much more silent than Laptops, especially under heavy load, and you could also keep the PC in a separate room.

The one Huge Pro I would give to the Laptop is portability.

If you only record music at your home studio, get a desktop PC, but when you want to record while travelling, or even record a live gig at a small venue, it’s much easier to just take a Laptop with you.

Important note: If you decide to go for a Laptop, make sure that it comes with backlit keys, otherwise in a live setting, where it’s dark, you won’t be able to see them.

Ok, let’s look at some options…

Mac Desktop Computers

Here are the basic choices for Desktop Mac computers.

The iMac Pro; The iMac Pro is the overkill version of the iMac. If you ask me, you don’t need this one at all, unless you expect to take full advantage of its capabilities.

The iMac; If there has ever been a standard Recording Studio computer, it has to be the iMac.

You will see one at almost every studio, and to be honest, it’s a great machine.

Mac Mini; This would be the most affordable Mac option out there, it’s not the most powerful computer of the bunch, but it will work, plus it offers all the benefits of having the Mac OSX at a reduced price.

PC Desktop Computers

Here you have two options, build one yourself, which is a bit cheaper and actually quite easy, or you could buy one that’s already been built on Amazon.

A couple of options are;

The Acer Aspire high performance Business PC,should be able to handle the workload of any DAW.

An even better option would be the HP ProDesk 600 G3 Premium, which is a far better PC at a higher price.

Mac Laptops

The Mac Laptop options are basically three;

MacBook Pro: This is the most common home recording studio laptop and probably, the most common laptop in general.

It’s a great option if you like Mac computers.

The Macbook Air and also the Macbook are a very close second to the Macbook Pro, they are both fantastic computers, light, fast, have loads of inputs and the screen is of extreme quality.

If you can afford a Macbook Pro, go for it, but if you can’t, just go for one of the others.

PC Laptops

The great thing about PC Laptops is that they come in all shapes and sizes, this means that you have loads of options.

A Laptop tends to be more expensive the lighter it is, this is because of portability reasons, however, if you don’t really need an extremely light Laptop, you could get a very powerful one at a very affordable price.

This is why I invested in a gaming laptop, because for the same price I got a much better computer overall, the only difference is that it’s a bit heavier.

A big plus for gaming laptops is that they all have backlit keys which useful for live performances.

My top two recommendations for PC laptops are;

ASUS VivoBook which is a great looking laptop and also a very powerful one.

Acer Nitro 5, yes this is a gaming laptop, but I honestly like them better, bigger screen and backlit keys at the cost of being a bit heavier? Sign me up!

2. DAW

Earlier I gave you a list of the best Free DAWs out there, but in most cases, if you really want to get the most out of your DAW, you’ll be better of with a premium one.

Pro Tools

This is the most famous DAW out there, it’s used in most professional recording studios and many of your favorite songs have probably been recorded, mixed and mastered with Pro Tools.

It comes with a variety of stock plugins which are quite good, except that it doesn’t come with a multiband-compressor.

This shouldn’t be a big deal though, since you can download a free one like OTT by Xfer Records, or even purchase a separate one.

Pro Tools is a fantastic investment for any home- and even professional- studio.

Cubase

Cubase has been my go-to DAW since I can remember, not because I think that it’s the best one, but simply because it was the first one I ever used.

Just like Pro Tools, Cubase is the industry standard.

It can do everything Pro Tools can, and to be honest, choosing between one or the other comes down to preference and not the DAW’s quality.

It also comes with a variety of stock plugins which are good for everyday use, however you might want to get some Third-Party Plugins also.

FL Studio

When it comes to electronic music, FL Studio is considered to be the standard by many.

It’s extremely easy to use and very intuitive.

One thing that I really like about this DAW is that it’s visually pleasing, everything is colored, when you change the room size on the reverb it shows a visual representation of the size.

FL Studio is great for music composition, for creating arrangements, editing, mixing and mastering.

If you are into electronic music, or if you want a good DAW that will make writing music a bit easier, definitely check out FL Studio.

Reaper

It took me a while to get used to Reaper, since it doesn’t look good at all and it really doesn’t feel as intuitive as other DAWs, like FL Studio.

However, if you can get past the way it looks, Reaper is an insanely powerful DAW and the best thing about it is the price.

You can download it for free, try it out for 60 days and after this, if you want to purchase it, it will only set you back $60… which is nothing, especially with everything this DAW has to offer.

It comes with a huge arsenal of plugins, which are honestly great!

Reaper is a phenomenal DAW, it’s one of my top recommendations.

Cakewalk

The only Free DAW I would recommend, in this particular case, is Cakewalk by BandLab.

It’s got all the features of a premium DAW, but it’s completely free. T

he one HUGE issue though is that it’s PC only, if you have a Mac you will need to look at other options.

Cakewalk comes with a good variety of plugins and features.

This is a DAW that could easily be sold for $500 considering the variety of plugins and just the quality of the whole DAW, but they decided to give it away for free, which is even better!

Make sure to check out Cakewalk, but remember, if you are a Mac user, this one isn’t for you!

My recommendation here would be to start with Cakewalk or reaper and see how you like them, you could always switch to Pro Tools or Cubase later on.

If you are into electronic music, however, just start directly with FL Studio, you won’t regret this decision.

3. Third-Party Plugins

Every single DAW comes with some stock plugins, and while they may be really useful to start with, you wouldn’t want to have to stick to them forever.

Getting some Third-party plugins, or some premium ones, is a must.

A lot of companies create plugins which you can then use in your DAW, you can get bundles which include a couple of plugins, or you could simply purchase a single one.

An example of these companies would be Waves, Universal Audio, Native Instruments, Slate Digital, etc.

Make sure to check their websites to find some awesome plugins to add to your collection.

4. Good Audio Interface

The Audio Interface is what allows you to record the sound onto the DAW, it works as a translator. To get the best sound quality possible, you will need a good Audio Interface.

Read more about best Audio Interfaces under $300 here.

Two inputs should be enough for any small home studio, however, having a couple extra doesn’t hurt.

If your Audio Interface has the ability to accept extra inputs though an Optical Input, then, if you need four or even eight extra ones, you can expand.

5. Mixers

Soundcraft Signature MTK 22
Soundcraft Signature MTK 22

I honestly love Mixers, using faders instead of knobs and being able to EQ, compress, etc. right on the board is an amazing feeling.

Most Mixers, however, are designed for live performances and only have a stereo out, which means that if you are recording 20 tracks, only a stereo file will be sent to your DAW… this isn’t ideal.

However, there are Mixers with USB multi-track recording capabilities which are able to record individual tracks at very high quality and send them directly to your DAW.

Read more about Mixers with USB multi-track recording capabilities!

6. Microphones

Microphones come in all different shapes and sizes, and with such a huge amount on the market, it can be quite tough to choose the ones that are right for you.

For a good home studio, I’d recommend at least two large diaphragm condenser microphones, two dynamic microphones and lastly, a pair of good quality stereo pair or matched pair microphones.

Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphones

Read more about my choices of microphones on this article I wrote: Best microphones under $300.

My top choices would be the Audio-Technica AT4040 and the Rode NT1a.

Both are affordable, sound great and are built like a tank, they should last you a lifetime.

Moving on…

Dynamic Microphones

Dynamic microphones are wonderful for a home studio environment, especially if it’s lacking in acoustic treatment, because they are much better at rejecting noise and picking up ambient sounds.

The most common ones are the Shure SM57 and Shure SM58, which are very affordable and still are being used in almost every studio in the world.

You can find my top choices for dynamic microphones in this article: Best microphones under $300.

Two other excellent, yet more expensive options, are the Shure SM7B and the Heil PR40.

Pencil or Small Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

Small diaphragm condenser microphones are excellent at recording instruments, especially acoustic or classical guitar, pianos, drum overheads, and even choirs.

They have a very flat frequency response, which means that the recording you get will be a very accurate representation of how the instrument actually sounds.

My recommendation would be the Rode NT5, which you can find in my Recommended Gear page.

If you want to explore further options, read this article about the best budget stereo pair microphones.

7. Mic preamp

What is a microphone preamp?

A preamplifier is either the circuit within a device (Microphone, Audio Interface) or it can also be a dedicated external device that has the same circuit inside.

The objective of a preamp is to increase the level of the signal coming from the microphone, since they are usually too weak to be transmitted to a recording device with adequate quality.

Do you really need a Mic Preamp?

A Microphone preamp can definitely enhance and improve your sound, and honestly, not costing you too much either.

The ART Pro MPAII can be a good, yet simple, option.

8. Studio Monitors

Studio monitors are extremely important, and I honestly think that you should get at least a pair of DECENT ones, don’t waste your cash on really cheap and bad-sounding monitors, in this case, you’d be much better off purchasing good quality headphones.

KRK RP5G3 NA

These are a standard in today’s music industry, they sound great, have excellent build quality and best of all, they are quite affordable.

Even though these are “entry-level” studio monitors, you won’t be able to find bad reviews of them, which is amazing because most of the affordable studio monitors receive quite the amount of complaints.

You’ve probably seen home studio pictures, and more often than not, the monitors in that studio are the KRK RP5G3 NA.

These would be my top pick of the more affordable studio monitors.

If you’re looking for a step up in quality, here are the…

Yamaha HS8

The Yamaha HS8 are based on the old monitors from the 70’s, the Yamaha NS-10.

These monitors have a unique mounting system which I find can minimize vibration noise and improve performance this way.

These would be the cheapest professional studio monitors you can find.

They are a bit pricier than the previous ones, costing nearly twice as much, but they are well worth it.

If you really want to get high-quality monitors, get the Yamaha HS8.

9. Headphones

Headphones are essential to mix properly, they allow you to pick up certain noises that monitors don’t, and you should definitely get open back headphones, especially good ones.

Open back headphones are better for mixing, but what about closed back headphones?

Closed back headphones also play an important role in a studio environment, not so much for the mixing stage, but for recording.

When it comes to closed back headphones, you don’t need to get the best ones out there, since they will mostly be used to record not for mixing.

They are great for recording because they keep sound from bleeding all over.

This means that it’s not as essential for the sound quality to be the best.

Sennheiser HD650

These are some of the most famous Open back headphones out there, and for good reason.

They sound fantastic, very warm and accurate, and the great thing is that they aren’t even that expensive.

Everything on these headphones can be manually replaced, so if one thing breaks, you don’t need to purchase a whole new set.

You can find them on my Recommended Gear page.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

These are extremely good Closed back monitor headphones.

The cables are interchangeable, which is a nice feature, especially because cables tend to be the first to break.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are one of the best pairs of closed-back headphones out there and will be for a long time. They’re just simply reliable.

10. Headphone Preamp

A headphone amp is a low-powered amplifier that raises the low-voltage audio signal from a source device to a level such that it can be converted into sound waves by the speakers inside your headphones. 

Most headphone amps include a digital-to-analog converter or DAC, which converts the digital signal into a low-voltage signal that the amplifier then amplifies.

Why do you need a headphone amp?

For two reasons; Impedance and sound quality.

Impedance; Some Headphones, like the Sennheiser HD650, have high Impedance, which means that if your Audio Interface doesn’t have a very powerful Headphone Output, it won’t be able to provide enough power to drive the headphones properly.

They will probably work, but not at the intended volume nor provide the same sound quality.

Sound Quality; The better the signal source, the digital-to-analog conversion (DAC), the amplifier and the Headphones, the better the sound will arrive at your ears.

A good Headphone Amp will help keep the signal as clean as possible, providing the best experience for the user.

Here are two options; The most affordable one would be the FiiO e10k DAC Headphone Amp.

The second, and far more expensive option, is the Beyerdynamic A20 Headphone Amp.

Even though it might be a great amp, I would much rather keep the difference, purchase the FiiO E10k and spend the rest on other gear..

11. Power conditioner

Ok, now that you have spent a considerable amount of money on your Home Studio, it’s time to protect that investment by purchasing a power conditioner.

What is a power conditioner?

A power conditioner is a device intended to improve the quality of the power that is delivered to electrical load equipment, it’s basically where you are going to plug all your recording equipment in.

You could get a simple power strip at any local shop which will give you plenty of outlets, probably more than enough to connect all your gear.

But, since you spent so much money on gear, would you really entrust all your gear and your PC to this cheap power strip?

I hope not!

A good power conditioner will do two things for your gear; it will protect it from electrical surges, and it will help with noise filtering.

Of course, the most important function of the power conditioner is to protect your equipment from electrical surges.

The noise filtering part, even though it’s less critical, will still be a helpful addition.

Have you even been listening to music and then someone turns on the air conditioner, or the vacuum cleaner? And all of a sudden you can hear some hiss coming from the speakers?

This also happens with your recording equipment, normally at a much lower level, making hiss and buzz less noticeable, but it will raise the noise floor of your entire system.

I would recommend the Furman Conditioners, since they filter the power before it reaches your components, as well as filtering in between every component that’s plugged into the same power conditioner.

I cannot stress the importance of a power conditioner enough, you should always protect your gear as much as possible and a power conditioner is the best investment you could make in this regard.

I think that this would be the absolute minimum you need to create a home recording studio, it will allow you to record and mix without any issues and with proper sound.

However, there are a few other things that could really be beneficial, so I’m going to list those now.

12. Midi Controller

If you plan on using virtual instruments in your productions, a MIDI controller/keyboard is essential.

While manually setting up the MIDI track in the DAW is doable, a MIDI controller will allow you to do this much quicker, since you are actually playing in real time, which in the end is faster and much more musical.

If you’re having trouble keeping time, you can always correct it afterwards within the DAW.

A MIDI controller is essential for home recording artists who don’t want to record real instruments, for instance; Drums.

It’s much easier to load up the drum samples and simply use the controller to record them.

My Recommendation; M-Audio Oxygen 25 MK.

13. Acoustic treatment

Acoustic treatment is a very important step to take when building a home studio, and you should do it properly.

It will make you recordings sound more professional, you will hear less of the rooms natural reverb and overall sound.

Here’s a complete guide on how to soundproof a home recording studio by soundproofanything.com

You should get many of these acoustic panels and place then strategically in the room.

Proper acoustic treatment can be quite expensive and time consuming, but it is well worth it!

14. Cables

Even though you could get some really cheap XLR cables, I’d strongly suggest that you invest just a little more and get ones that are actually good. You don’t want them to break or add noise.

Most cables will work just as intended, but at least get ones that you know will last you a while.

Of course, you don’t need to spend a fortune, just get some like these on Amazon and you will be set.

15. Microphone stands

Microphone stands are an absolute necessity for any Home Studio owner, but you really don’t need to go crazy here.

While you could get really expensive ones, I’d just recommend these instead.

The reason for this is that they will do what they are meant to do, plus in a Home Studio setting, they won’t be subjected to a lot of wear and tear, this means that they should last you forever.

16. Pop Filter

While you can record vocals without a pop filter, I would advise against it.

A pop filter will get rid of the unwanted plosions that happen when the air hits the mic a bit too hard, this tends to happen after the you make a “t” or “p” sound.

Cleaning a track to remove popping sounds is an absolute pain, if it can be done at all.

I’d recommend at least one good quality pop filter.

If you decided to purchase the Rode NT1, then you don’t need to worry about this since it comes with a very good one included.

For all other microphones I recommended, you should get this pop filter.

17. External Storage Device

If you even had an issue with your PC’s hard drive, which made you lose all the data stored on it, then you should understand the importance of an External Storage Device.

Not only will it help you free up space from your PC’s internal storage, but it will also make losing all your data more difficult.

I’d recommend having at least two external drives, “at least” being key here.

You should constantly back-up your files and having them in at least three different storage units, is necessary to ensure your data is protected, since hard drive failures are more common than you’d think.

Conclusion

There are way too many components available, which makes it extremely hard, especially for a beginner, to choose the right gear to purchase.

I hope that this extensive guide did at least help you pick the right gear, or at least helped you avoid wasting money on something you didn’t need.

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