If you’re interested in setting up your own home studio, you might wonder how much it will cost.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be very expensive.
How much does a basic home studio cost?
You’re looking at between $200 – $1,000, according to Music Studio Insights, but this number will vary depending on your situation and if you already own some equipment.
However, the thing to bear in mind is that paying a few hundred dollars for a home studio is not going to break the bank.
It’s probably a big relief that you don’t have to shell out a lot of money. That said, it should be spent on some important things.
What Do You Really Need In Your Home Studio?
The tricky thing about having your own home studio is trying to balance not paying a lot of money with getting all the gear that you need in order to produce professional music.
So, let’s take a look at some of the biggest essentials for your home studio and how much you can expect to pay for them.
To give you an even more in-depth report of how much your home studio will cost you, we will feature three home studio setups: Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert.
What The Beginner’s Studio Looks Like
You might be running your home studio out of your garage or bedroom.
Maybe you’re short on space and don’t have a big budget. That’s okay because these are the main essentials you’ll need:
You’ll need a solid computer for various music tasks and software, so you should invest in a computer that has a strong CPU, good speeds, and lots of storage.
Whether you use a laptop or a computer, you don’t have to spend a lot of money but make sure you look for specs that you’ll need for recording music.
- 8GB of RAM (or higher)
- The processor of at least 2.5Ghz or higher
- 1TB of hard drive memory
Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) Software
You’ll need to download software to help you record and edit your music.
Luckily, you can save quite a bit of money when it comes to software by making use of free software from the internet.
An example is an Audacity, which enables you to record music from a mic, via live-streaming audio, and even though the line-in jack.
Another example is Jokosher, which is a Linux alternative to GarageBand, so it’s great if you’re using a PC in your home studio.
That said, you can start with one or two and build up your mic collection as you go. Your mic is one of the most important elements in your home studio.
What mic should you buy?
You should stick to an all-purpose mic if you’re starting out as this should cover most of what you need to do.
In addition, one of the best microphones to buy if you’re a beginner is a condenser mic. This microphone is very accurate and can deal with frequency ranges. It has strong power and sound.
If you’re looking for a mic you can mainly use for live performances, then your best bet would be a dynamic microphone.
Now, of course, if you’re interested in both, you’d do best to buy both. For a quality condenser microphone, you can expect to pay between $100 and $1,000.
On the other hand, a dynamic microphone can cost between $15 and $100.
Now that you’re sorted with things like your computer and mic, you need to find a way to connect them! That’s where an interface comes in.
This piece of equipment will also enable you to connect your studio monitors so that you can playback the music that you record, and it’s valuable for mixing.
You can expect to pay around $200 for a quality interface, but because it’s so important you shouldn’t skimp on it.
You might not think of them as a necessity but you’ll need them to help you gauge the quality of the sound you’re producing.
There are two types of headphones that are quite important for recording music in a home studio. These are:
- Closed-back headphones that are used for tracking. Their biggest benefit is that they help to isolate external noise.
- Open-back headphones, which are used for mixing.
Which one is a necessity that you should spend money on right now?
Definitely go with closed-back headphones. You can expect to pay around $150 for a pair of these headphones, but they’re worth it, especially if you’re starting out.
Desk and Chair
These are real basics that you’ll certainly need in your home studio. You should make sure that your desk is large enough to hold all your gear and computer, as well as monitors.
Your chair should be comfortable and ergonomically-designed if possible, especially if you’re going to be spending lots of time in it.
You can expect to pay between $100 and $800 for a good office chair. However, you might already have an office chair that you can use, which will save money.
As for a desk, most office desks will cost between $275 – $1,200.
Intermediate Home Studio: Some Extra Features
Now, all of the above essentials for beginners will also apply if you’re more than a beginner.
However, there will be some extras that you will probably want to invest in as your music production becomes more serious. These include:
You might want something with more features than what you can find in free software, but your DAW software doesn’t have to be expensive.
Here are some of the best DAWs you can find, along with their prices.
- Pro Tools by Avid. This is considered to be an industry standard, and you can expect to pay $300 for a yearly subscription to use it.
- Logic Pro X. This will be used on your Apple device and you can use it for most music genres, so it’s great if you want versatility. It costs $199.99.
If you’re serious about preventing sound interference to make your recordings of higher quality, you’ll need to buy acoustic panels that can be applied to the walls.
These prevent sound from bouncing around and creating distortions, so they’re a valuable asset in your home studio. Acoustic panels cost around $30, but high-end ones will cost around $200.
These are vital for your monitors because they ensure that they’re at the right angle for the best quality of sound.
Best of all, they’re adjustable so you don’t have to worry about being stuck with your monitors on your desk or a shelf.
You can expect to pay anything from $40 to more than a few hundred dollars for these stands, based on your studio requirements.
This is a valuable piece of equipment that enables you to play virtual instruments.
It’s vital to use a MIDI controller for this purpose because it’s smoother to use than if you’re relying on your computer keyboard and mouse.
You can find a MIDI controller that costs less than $100.
Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS)
Imagine recording music when the lights suddenly go out. It’s no fun. You’re creating music you cherish and you don’t want to lose it, so you want to be able to bypass electrical problems.
That’s where a UPS comes in, which is basically a device that contains a backup battery to give you a few extra minutes of power so you can save your work. You can find one for around $100.
Your DAW probably contains some software plugins, but you might want extras.
Third-party plugins can add more effects to your music, but don’t buy them until your current setup really needs the extra boost.
There are tons of plugins out there, such as EchoBoy ($199) and FabFilter, which offers a plugin bundle that costs $999.
Advanced Home Recording Studio: Finishing Touches
Now that you’ve got the basics and some extra features, you really don’t need much more for your advanced home studio.
Here are two tools that you’ll love if you’ve made it to the professional leagues.
DAW Remote HD
This is an iPad app that gives you much easier access to your DAW because you can control your recordings with it. It costs just under $16.
It’s great if you want to go wireless, but you’ll be pleased to know it’s also compatible with USB and MIDI cables.
Stand-Alone Digital Master Clock
If you want to achieve professional sound, timing is important to ensure high-quality recording. A master clock puts your sounds in sync.
While choosing an audio interface with a master clock built into it is expensive, you can upgrade to a stand-alone master clock when you’ve gone pro, such as Big Ben by Apogee ($1,495).
This will sync digital equipment so that your recording results are clear and accurate.
Don’t let untidy cables get in the way of your polished, professional studio. Purchase snake cables to keep everything organized.
You can expect to pay anything from $50 upwards, but it’s worth it if you want to maintain a clear, uncluttered workflow.
Is a more expensive microphone better?
It’s not true that a pricier mic will perform better than a budget-friendly one.
It depends on the situation you’re in, such as if you want to play music live or in the studio, which is why choosing the right mic for your needs can make the difference in its quality.
This matters more than cost.
What cables are required for your home studio?
Get basic cables for MIDI controllers, mics, and monitors. Cable extensions are valuable if your gear cables are short.
Look for quality cables, such as those with tougher coverings and strong connectors to resist wear and tear.
Starting your home studio doesn’t have to be overwhelming or burn a hole in your pocket.
You can definitely cut costs as a beginner. On the other hand, if you want an intermediate or expert home studio, these will contain more gear and frills, so you can expect to pay more but you’ll also get more that you need.
The choice is yours, but as long as you have the essentials in your studio, you’ll be able to pump out quality sounds and start living your dream.