It’s that time of year again! School is back in session, and instead of notebooks and pencils, we’re going to help you start building your home studio. Here are five items that can help you get started.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface
A reliable interface can be crucial to the recording process, and also live performing. It is the main hub for all audio signals flowing in and out of your computer, and facilitates connections from your microphone, all the way to your headphones or monitors. The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Interface ($189.99) can be great to start out with. It has two inputs, plus headphone and stereo monitor outputs. This interface has high quality mic preamps, extremely low latency, and is incredibly convenient and portable. Focusrite also creates interfaces with four inputs and four outputs, if you are looking to upgrade to more potential!
Audio Technica AT2020 Condenser Microphone
Next on the list is an exceptionally affordable and high quality condenser microphone. Condenser microphones can be used to record vocals, acoustic guitars, amplifiers, and much more! This type of microphone is the most versatile in a recording setting, making it a necessity when beginning your home studio. The Audio-Technica ($99) is an ideal choice for a starter microphone due to its affordability, flexible dynamic range, and ability to minimize unnecessary noise.
Beyerdynamic DT 990 Open-Back Studio Headphones
Moving into post-production, it is essential to have a dependable pair of headphones for mixing and critical listening. Open-back headphones are good for mixing due to their more natural sound, as the open backs allow air to pass through, which prevents certain frequencies from building up. The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Open-Back Studio Headphones ($169) are affordable and also very comfortable!
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Closed-Back Studio and Live Monitoring Headphones
While open-back headphones can be helpful for mixing, you also might want a pair of closed-back headphones for tracking. Because closed-back headphones are completely sealed on the back of the ear, the sound is a lot more isolated. This can be incredibly helpful for recording audio. The Sennheiser Closed-Back Headphones ($99.95) are comfortable, affordable, and great for live tracking.
Novation Launchkey Mini Controller
The final item on our list is the Novation Launchkey Mini Controller ($109.99). It is so helpful for the creative process to have a midi controller, as this speeds up the process of getting ideas down when they come to you. The Launchkey Mini is especially useful due to its Ableton functionality, and can be a helpful tool in live electronic performance. It is portable, has many features, and you can even connect it to hardware synths and other external gear.
Finding the right equipment for your home studio can be an overwhelming process, as there are so many options available. It is important to remember that recording and producing music comes down to the quality of the music itself. While it can be exciting to have top notch and up-to-date equipment, it’s not always necessary to create great songs, and you don’t need to break your wallet to develop your ideas!
What are some of your favorite pieces of gear? Drop your recommendations in the comments below!
Written by Sadie Azersky
Edited by Nan Macmillan