Putting together a home studio for the first time isn't as complicated as it may seem. And it doesn't require any extensive research either. In fact it's a lot simpler then you think. Once you understand what the basics essentials are. You'll be able to move forward with confidence and enjoy the process at every step of the way. Understanding what your needs are earlier on can help determine the direction of your budget. Will you be building your recording setup for future expansion? Or will you be building a setup for your current needs? Building for current needs is fine when your just starting out. As it will take you some time to learn and develop techniques. As for building for future possibilities may depend a bit more one your budget. To give you an idea of what you'll need to get started. I've put together a list of the top ten home recording essentials for beginners.
1.Computer-This is the most important component to a studio set up and is easily one of the most costly additions as well. We all know the benefits to having a fast and responsive computer at your disposal. But in most cases today whether its mac or PC virtually everyone owns one and it's just enough to get you up and running. Before spending any cash on a new one I'd recommend checking your current system specs and comparing it to the latest DAW requirements before moving forward.The chances of you running an updated system are pretty fair and should be enough to get you started for now.
2.Digital Audio Workstation- This is where the recording, editing, mixing, mastering and beat making process takes place. You won't have to spend too much on a DAW in the beginning. If your buying the entry-level version of a program like Studio One 3 Artist. Where the price ranges from $99 USD for Artist (entry-level)and $400 for the full version. Other programs with similar pricing are Propeller head’s Reason, Steinberg's Cubase , cakewalk sonar and Cockos Reaper .
3.Audio interface -This is what will be processing your audio signals to and from your DAW. Can cost you any from $99.00 to $4000.00. The more you pay the more features, I/O's and audio conversion quality you'll have to work with. PreSonus AudioBox USB -$99.00 / SaffPro40-$399.99/Motu - AudioExpress-$395
4.-External Hard drive- Losing all your sessions can be a nightmare. So its important to save your work to more than one hard drive. In the event of hard drive failure you'll want have a back up of your sessions. Having a few external hard drives comes in handy when preventing data loss. Amazon/Newegg/sweetwater
5.-Reflextion filter – Providing helpful absorption that would likely reach the back and sides of the mic. As well as it catches and absorb sound from a vocalist, while keeping unwanted reflections echoes or reverberant sound from the mic signal. Reflection filter -$99.00 ,
6.-Microphone- The type of mic you decide to get will depend on the type of music you'll be making. If your going to be recording instruments and vocals then you'll only need 1 or 2 microphones. Since most people start with recording vocals a good mic to start out with : Rode NT1-A $229.00
7.-Headphones- Starting out you'll be spending most of your time recording by yourself. And you'll only be needing one pair of headphones. There are two types of headphones for the studio use, open back, and closed back headphones. These two are designed for specific use, with open back you get optimal sound quality at the expense of lesser isolation used for mixing. While closed back headphones offer the most isolation at the expense of lesser sound quality ideally used for tracking. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO, 250 ohms /Audio-Technica ATH-M50
8.-Studio Monitors- In most home studios mixing is done on headphones,but in pro studios mixing is always done on near field monitors. What speaker size should you choose? With speaker sizes in 5, 6, 8 inches choosing the right one will all depend on your room size. Krk rp5 with stands
9-Pop Filters/Mic stand -You'll be able to find combo deals with these items. Pop filters are important to the recording process. This helps by Keeping plosives from being picked up in the recordings. you'll also need a mic stand to hold your microphone in place. Mic stand/ Pop filter
10-Audio cables -Finally make sure you get cables for your monitors, Microphone and instruments.Audio cables