Home PC Studio Recording

What do you need for your home studio?

With a budget of $300 to $500 you can set up a home studio to produce
radio quality recordings or backing tracks using your computer.

Hands on Piano
boy singing to codencer mike

Make backing tracks

background arrangements

A musician with a good personal computer can assemble the components for a great home PC recording studio for $300 to $500. Backing tracks can be a great asset for playing venues that feature few musicians with a big sound.

Guitarist, vocalist, percussion or bass players can record in high quality at their home studio, upload samples to their website, and provide the full arrangement at live gigs.

Basic Studio Componants

  • Audio Interface
  • DAW Software
  • Condenser Microphone
  • Studio Headphones
  • Accessories

 

Condencer Microphones

Audio Interface

This is an “audio to digital” converter used to sample various analog sounds to store in a digital format on a computer hard drive. The interface hardware usually has a “pre-amp” that insures the integrity of the signal, low and high impedance inputs, phantom power to drive condenser type microphones, and converters with CD and higher quality sample rates.

This hardware can be found to be bundled with like quality items like:

  1. Condenser Microphones
  2. HQ Studio Headphones
  3. Didgital Recording Software

and other accessories at a “deal” price. Buying the bundle can significantly reinforce the studio budget.

DAW Software

This is your digital audio workstation. A virtual studio that resides on your computer. I assume you have a computer, but if you don’t, you will have to expand your budget and include one. Most computers will handle this software. I suggest getting a laptop because you can take it to a gig. Otherwise, desktops are powerful enough and since they are being overshadowed by new generation laptops and tablets, you can find one for real cheap.

I used “Sonar version 8”, originally a “Cakewalk DAW”. There are newer “lite” versions on the market are amply equipped with “tried-and- true” plugins, that help you create professionally compatible mix-downs.

The software can be bundled with other hardware, like your audio interface or a keyboard controller.

Condenser Microphone

A “condenser mic” has the widest frequency response and the best transient response of the many types of microphones. This electrostatic mic produces the clearest sound for studio recording.

Improvements in the sound recording industry has made this item super affordable, at around $100. Accessories usually bundled with a condenser microphone are: High impedance cable(s), pop filters, microphone stand(s) with boom extensions for positioning the mic.

Sing into Microphone

Studio Quality Headphones

Forget about getting a set of studio monitors right now, and go for a set of studio quality headphones. Using speakers in the recording room will contaminate the mix by spilling previous recorded music onto a new track. You want to isolate your tracks from being crossed over onto previously recorded tracks.

A good set of studio headphones can be bought for about $100 to $130. Isolated tracks and easier to remix in your recording software. Plug-ins that add reverb, echo, compression and many other filters work best when complementing a track that is not muddied with leaked tracks from studio monitors.

Studio monitors are good for playing the recording back to a several people. Having 4 or 5 headphones is not practical and the room will “color” the mix if re-recorded using a live monitor.

The room mix will have to be processed through an equalizer to match the it’s effect on the overall sound. Mixing with speakers will only ensure that problems like latency will only be magnified.

$197.01 & free shipping

PreSonus AudioBox USB 96
* LyxPro Recording Bundle 
* Studio One 3 Artist Software

  • 2 dual-purpose front-panel input channels, each with high-quality mic preamplifiers
  • 2 combo mic/instrument inputs
  • Individual channel-trim controls with 0 to +35 dBu mic gain range
  • LyxPro Cardioid Condenser Studio Microphone (Includes Shockmount, 10 Ft XLR Cable)
  • LyxPro Studio-Grade Mesh Microphone Pop Filter Improves Vocal Recording Quality
sonus 96 bundle

$89.99 & free shipping

  • MULTIPURPOSE: Multipurpose Small-diaphragm Microphone
  • WARM SOUND: Delivers warm sound with more clarity at the top end
  • FET PREAMP: Uses FET preamp with balanced output – No Transformer
  • EXCELLENT: Excellent for recording vocals, pianos and strings
  • IDEAL: Ideal for singers and especially rappers – Hip-hop and Hard Rock
condensor Microphone 770

$249.99 & free shipping​

  • Novation Launchkey 49 MK2 Keyboard Controller with Knox Keyboard Stand and Sustain Pedal

  • LAUNCHKEY: Launchkey is Novation easy-to-use MIDI keyboard controller.
  • ABLETON LIVE: Immediate hands-on control of your session grid, instruments and effects
  • COMPATIBLE WITH DAW: Although designed with Ableton Live in mind, Launchkey also works with any HUI-compatible DAW.
  • MAKE BEATS AND TWEAK YOUR TRACKS:
  • BUNDLE INCLUDES: Novation Launchkey 49 Key USB MIDI Ableton Keyboard Controller with On Stage KSP100 Keyboard Piano Style Sustain Pedal and Knox Gear Adjustable Double X Keyboard Stand
Novation 25 bundle

$164.00 & free shipping

JBL Professional Control 1 Pro High Performance 2-Way Professional Compact Loudspeaker System, Black or white (sold as pair) – C1PRO

Latest 150W Pro quality version of JBL Control 1

$129.98 & free shipping

  • Neodymium magnets and 40mm drivers for powerful, detailed sound
  • Closed-ear design provides comfort and outstanding reduction of external noises
  • 9.8-foot cord ends in gold-plated plug and it is not deatachable; 1/4-inch adapter included
  • Folds up for storage or travel in provided soft case
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz – 20 kHz
  • These large diaphragm, foldable headphones feature a rugged construction, a secure, highly effective closed-ear design
  • Connectivity technology : Wired

$219.99 & free shipping

  • Includes: Scarlett Solo USB audio interface, condenser microphone, headphones, 10’ XLR mic cable, mic stand clip
  • One natural-sounding Scarlett mic preamp with plenty of even gain; one newly-designed instrument input, designed to handle seriously hot guitar pick-ups
  • LIMITED TIME OFFER: Free GROW plug-in from Mastering the Mix and free 6-month license to trouble shooting tool LEVELS until March 7, 2019.
  • Includes Pro Tools | First Focusrite Creative Pack and Ableton Live Lite, Softube Time and Tone Bundle, Focusrite’s Red Plug-in Suite, 2GB of Loopmasters samples, Choice of one free XLN Addictive Keys virtual instrument, all available via download upon purchase and registration
Scarlette Bundle

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