The Best Home Recording Setup for Under £300
This week I thought I’d share a super affordable, high quality home recording setup that will help any artist get started with music production, whether you’re just recording some demos, or you’re producing your next EP, this gear will serve you well! A couple of little disclaimers - this has been put together assuming you already have a PC or Mac that handles audio well (most do these days). I’d also just like to say that none of these companies are paying me to put their products out there, this is just based on my own research and experience. Links for each item are in the titles. Right, onto the good stuff...
The DAW - Free
The centerpiece of your studio will be your Digital Audio Workstation, which will allow you to record/edit audio, program software instruments and ultimately, mix your recordings. Don’t overthink this, it doesn’t really matter which one you use and it won’t make a difference to the sound. The important thing is being comfortable using it and learning it’s functions like the back of your hand so you can focus on being creative. At the moment, both Ableton Live and Logic are free on a 90-day trial. These are both really powerful pieces of software that are great for composition and production.
Alternatively, if you’re just starting your home recording journey or don’t want to (eventually) drop a lot of money on software, you should try out Apple’s Garageband. As long as you don’t want to do a lot of advanced mixing, it’s surprisingly powerful and if you do feel the need for an upgrade, Logic Pro X will be a natural progression later down the line.
Focusrite have smashed it out of the park with this. The studio pack includes a large diaphragm condenser microphone (and cable), which will not only be perfect for vocals, but also acoustic guitar, percussion and just about any other sound source you can think of. There’s a set of closed back headphones, ideal for recording without bleed and the centerpiece, their Scarlett Solo interface, which has a mic input, instrument input and an “Air” setting, which emulates their renowned “ISA” preamp. My first interface was a Scarlett 2i2 and I still use it when I’m out of the studio today - it’s built like a tank.
On top of all of this, the bundle also comes with Pro Tools First, Ableton Live Lite, a bunch of software instruments/plugins and 3 months free subscription to Splice. The value here is amazing!
If you’re planning on using software instruments and samples in your tracks, you’ll need a MIDI controller. There are tons out there, but I think this one offers the best value for money. It’s plug and play and not only features a keyboard, but also eight drum pads for intuitive drum programming and performance. You can have a lot of fun with this!
The final things you’ll need are a pop shield and a stand for your microphone! (exciting right?) This stand from Gear4Music is the most affordable I could find, but you might want to spend a little more for something more robust if you’re going to be taking it out gigging.
I hope this helps you to get started with your home studio! If you need any advice with setup or help with your productions, just get in touch via email or through this page.