How to build a music production studio for under $1.000

So you know how to produce but you now want to get started in your own studio, on a fairly low budget. How do you do that? 

Michael Walsh’s home studio

One question we often get asked is, “How much do I need to spend to build a decent home studio?”This is a tricky question because for the audio enthusiasts amongst us, there is never enough sound or enough gear. Creating a home studio can be a wallet-draining hobby. But it can also be a streamlined affair if you know exactly what you want to get done.  All you really need is a MIDI controller of some sort (to play your keys and your beats) and a decent pair of headphones or speakers. If you want to record live sounds such as vocals or guitar, you’ll also need an audio interface and a microphone to get those sounds into the computer.

Speakers vs Studio Monitors

Do you need high-end studio speakers? Not necessarily. I remember visiting a producer friend once and noticed that he was mixing tracks (that were getting published on the regular) with a pair of $20 computer speakers. He could do this because he knew from experience how to EQ his sounds and master his track to rumble a club sound system, so he didn’t need to hear the bass on his home system to know what was happening to the sound. For those of us who don’t have that skill (yet), it is probably wise to invest in a set of speakers that will give you a good idea of what you are creating. This is where the term “studio monitor” comes into our conversation. Studio Monitors are speakers that are made to give an accurate, transparent representation of the sound you are making. Where a pair of home theater or bookshelf speakers may “color” the sound to make it sound more appealing to the ear, studio monitors are made to sound accurate and therefore very flat. At first they may not sound as exciting as your other speakers. This is because you are hearing an honest representation of the music. Continue reading

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