Every week I get questions about what gear should be used in the home music studio. Many people want to know how little they can spend and still get a professional result.
I've always been a do it yourself type person. This has led me to find the most affordable ways to get great result in a lot of areas. My home recording journey is no exception to this.
Since you may be wondering yourself, I thought I'd list the gear I presently record with (and a few other recommendations). I've also included affiliate links to each product in case you do decide to purchase at a great price (no pressure here).
My favorite audio interface for high quality, affordable home recording is none other than the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4.
I record a lot vocal tracks with the MXL 990s. Another great affordable option in this price range is the Audio Technica AT2020. My favorite mic though is an early model ADK A-51. This mic is an amazing quality for under $200. However, it can be a hard one to find now days.
I also have a few mics that are very versatile and I'll use them from guitar cabinet micing to acoustic instruments. The Shure SM-137 and the SM-58 are 2 of these.
Years ago I was given a pair of Behringer Truth B2031's studio monitors and I still use them to this day. Another pair I'd recommend in this range is the Presonus Eris E8's.
If your budget is a bit tighter take a look at the KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit's. They're a great starter studio monitor and are very accurate for their size and price.
Though I've spent years on ProTools, I do most all my recording today using Reaper. It is by far the most affordable and professional digital audio workstation available today.
One truly amazing virtual instrument that I use to build my drum tracks is Addictive Drums by XNL Audio. You can download and install a limited edition that is fully functional with no timed trial as well. Worth a look for sure.
I've used several studio headphones over the years but I've always had a pair of Sennheiser's HD-280 Pro's. The HD-380 Pro's are also a great buy.
Well I'll leave it there for now so this list doesn't get too large. ;) If you have any more questions about gear don't hesitate to ask.
I’m using Garage Band with my Mac and a Steinburg USB, My Roland A90 keyboard, my Acoustic cutaway plugin, my 110 year old Kohler Campbell upright piano, some compressor and condensor mics, my Yamaha headphones, Peavey PA speaker (gotta get some new studio monitors) and this is all brand new to me!! I’m recording my first cd all on my own with your help David!! I’ve recorded a few instrumentals and a few songs using only youtube tutorials so far and now I’m moving forward with your compressor course. Whew. Lots to learn here!! I’m still figuring the ins and outs of garage band! lol . Not to mention the terminology! I’ve downloaded the Voxengo analyzers and am ready to get started! Thanks for helping us out David! Hope I can keep up! :) . Sincerely, Vera.
I’ve been using Mixcraft Pro Studio 7 as my DAW and love it. It’s never mentioned in any DAW lists I’ve seen, but the UI is easy to use and it has all of the features the big boys have. It’s also fairly affordable and comes with a huge set of pro built-in VSTs.
I recently added a Roland A300 Pro midi controller keyboard to my setup, which not only allows me to more easily play synth instruments in Mixcraft, but it can also control the DAW as a control surface.
Other gear: Audio Technica ATR2100 mic, Shure SM58, Behringer Xenyx Q802USB mixer (my main audio interface with ASIO drivers), Audio Technica M20 headphones, PRS SE Custom electric guitar, Taylor acoustic guitar. I need to invest in a set of good studio monitors since all I have now are powered computer desktop speakers.
Iam presently in the looking stage,but recordings of me playing my drums and recording my vocals is something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.i want to learn everything about recording to get the best sound possible.i hope that I can get something from you progra?
I have been recording the worship at church using A couple of Presonus fire pods into Reaper. Have tried to get a hold on the functionality of Reaper, then I just found your YouTube videos. Thanks for sharing what you have learned. I might be able to put it all together now.
I use nuendo for past 15 yrs. Apollo quad into dangerous d box for summing, into 2 solidstate logic alpha channels into apogee convertors..i basically just record vocals these days..but i also have that model ADK A-51. And a rode nk and nk1..its kool!!
I have used Pro Tools, Cubase, Sonora and Logic…. REAPER ROCKS! I am recording 3 albums using Reaper and can’t say enough great things about it. A excellent DAW and incredibly versatile!
Isn’t this an interesting list?? After about 5 years of experimenting and culling and heading down the wrong roads, my list is very similar to yours.
I use a FocusRite Saffire 6 USB interface. My main vocal mikes are an AT 2020, MXL 990 and an AKG 120. I have a Shure 57 and a Blue 100i for instruments as well as a Shure PG 58 and Wharfdale dynamic mikes for vocals. I use Reaper for my main DAW while I enjoy the looping capability of Ableton Live. My monitors are Equator D5’s. I wish I had had your list 5 years ago! Would have saved me a lot of money and time. Looking forward to the information I can now tap into. Cheers, Nathan
Thank you so much for these informative videos. They have been very enlightening!
Your very welcome Jeffrey!, glad to have been a help.
Thank you for the tips on affordable equipment. I am still awaiting the approval of my BOSS, and beautiful wife of 44 years. I know that makes me ancient but I can still write music and sing. Can’t wait to record in my own studio. I have recorded in a professional studio and made a CD but I want to be in charge of what and how I make my music.
John M. Henderson
Thanks for touching base John and it’s never too late to make music! :)
Also you are to be commended on your marriage of 44 years! Not enough people see marriage as a lifetime commitment nowadays, (been married 16 years to my high school sweetheart myself) and the more couples who model this the better.
Keep in touch and when your ready to start recording again I’m here to help.