First, what money can not buy.
Creativity, passion, the will to learn and to find what you and your clients are searching, then improve, song after song.
How to build A Budget Recording Studio
It’s absolutely possible to start a very basic solution with a small budget to get the essential recording studio.
It probably is the best way of start, no unnecessary investment in products that one do not have the certain if they are a must-have in the studio, that confirmation will come with time.
So what can be the basic setup for a budget recording studio that still can deliver great results to clients.
You need a good and cool place to put your computer keyboard, the studio monitors, the pc monitor, you need a desk.
Some desks are affordable and some are not.
They come in different sizes, shapes, prices and if you don’t want to spend too much on a new studio desk to seat all your recording studio equipment, you can always go to the second hand market.
It will probably surprise you the amount of good desks, in great shape, perfectly adaptable to your music studio, that cost a fraction of a new desk.
A used desk will save you a lot of money.
Buying Desk Tip 1
When buying your desk, it will help to get one that has a back frame or some sort of solution that helps to hide and placing all your cables orderly.
The Smart Recording Desk Tip 2
If you can get one with small wheels, might look crazy, but there’s an explanation.
As time passes you may find yourself with a desk full of stuff, one or two pairs of audio monitors, a keyboard, a pc monitor, and when you notice your desk might be too heavy for a clean and secure push.
If your desk has wheels, you can easily take all your setup from one wall to another, from left to right and explore the best place to get the best from your studio acoustics.
Laptop or desktop, no need of the top specs.
While a daw and most audio plugins will require just a fraction of the CPU power to process your mixes, some virtual instruments and effects will claim a bigger part.
And when you open another instance of that vsti plugin, the CPU power demanded increases.
A regular 6 core will carry out the job, an 8 core will give you the peace of mind for a long time not letting you down in front of your clients.
Get a decent ssd size for the OS and to install all software, daw and plugins.
A second, budget drive, might be useful to have a backup of all your stuff, software, vsts, vsti’s and all your clients recordings.
Daw, you will need one, despite if it’s for mac or pc, if you go for full versions you will need to spend some more money.
Cubase, Studio One, Protools, Logic, among others, full versions will make you pay good money, but if you already know which one your comfortable with, maybe it’s a good idea to simply buy the professional version and have all the tools you need for your music production and for your clients.
So, plugins are one of the places where one can spend money without an end.
Before starting spending, make sure of all the potential of your daw, all music software is shipped with a ton of tools, from eq to distortion, from delays to reverbs, from virtual instruments to drum samples.
And if you don’t find what you need, which will certainly happen, there’s a full list of vst plugins free, available for you to download and start to use.
No way around this, you must at least have one microphone.
Depending on your budget there are many inexpensive mics that won’t cost you a lot and that will put you straight in the business, start minimal and when the time comes you will increase your mic collection.
The super inexpensive ATH 2020, or the more costly Rode NT1, are among many other inexpensive microphones you can buy for great results.
Remember some of Billie Eilish songs were recorded with an Audio Technica AT2020, 80 dollars, 100 euros in Europe, who needs a thousand dollars mics.
Yes, a great mic can do wonders, but some budget mics can take your music from the ground and if you know what you are doing you can extract magic from those budget microphones.
Recording Vocal Booth
This one is tricky.
You will find many people recording in most different conditions, but focusing in a budget solution, eventually in a one room recording room where the equipment lives, recording a microphone might be a challenge.
Non treated rooms and even acoustically treated rooms tend to print their own qualities with the recorded vocal performance file.
This means that unless you know what you are doing, it’s very easy to have recorded vocals that will make you spend hours trying to repair because the reflections of the room are also captured by the mic.
The solution here is a booth, even a small booth is better that most untreated or partially acoustically treated rooms.
Nothing big or fancy, no need for expensive materials, but a well-designed small booth will control most of the recorded vocal performance problems.
If you go to a shop or search online you will find lots of audio monitors, it can be very difficult to understand among the huge offer what might be a good, standard solution.
Small audio monitors are not what will give you the best results.
5 inches monitors sell a lot, but they lack the ability of a more complete audio spectrum, the woofer is not the best on displaying the low mids and the low frequencies.
While you may find different solutions, one that is consensual is the Yamaha HS8.
A good entry level, not very expensive, they deliver consistent and trustable results and will take you very far in your audio mixes.
Later, after you acquire more experience, you might update them.
That 8 inches woofer will help you to hear the low frequencies, you will be able to make better decisions about your kick and bass sounds, you will gain over small monitors.
And the best, they are active 2-way nearfield monitors, no need for an external audio amplifier, you just switch them on and start mixing.
The budget Yamaha HS5 are one good choice, check them, affordable, not bad looking, more important, you can rely on those speakers sound.
If you want a more complete speaker, check the big brother Yamaha HS8.
They are on the lowest side when compared with many others.
The woofer is an 8 inch, so you will hear the bass and the kick, you will mix it better.
Clients will be happy with the results.