Home Studio Setup For Under $300

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The Journey Begins

I love it when people approach me for advice for their first home studio setup for recording. The reason being is because I’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons during my 13 years of experience with running my own studio and I’m glad to lead them down the right path. One thing i’m passionate about is getting the best results in the most financial viable way possible. And I know how discouraging it can be when venturing out to establish your first recording studio only to be greeted by a sea of “experts” who swear you have to take out a second mortgage in order to get “pro” recordings.  This simply isn’t true!

The Game Has Changed

Once upon a time it was not possible for everyday musicians to cut their own records without having to spend an arm and a leg and possibly their first born. But in the last couple of decades this wonderful thing called Digital Audio Recording hit the scene and completely changed the game for everyone! Now all of a sudden people are making professional sounding records in a home studio with very affordable gear! Now with a laptop or even an iPad you can record pristine quality audio on the go! How awesome is that?

Don’t Get Caught Up In The Hype!

But much like any other industry companies thrive on the insecurities of the consumers to try and get them to buy the new and improved and often for expensive version of a product. When in all actuality what the consumer currently has is more than enough. The simple truth is it’s not about what you have it’s about knowing what to do with what you have. All you need is a decent studio setup that allows you to record a clean high quality  signal into your computer. And to achieve this I couldn’t recommend the PreSonus Audiobox iTwo Studio more highly!

It’s universally compatible with Windows, Macs and even iPads. Plus It comes with nearly everything that you need all in one convenient bundle including the following.

  • Audio box iTwo interface with cable
  • Capture Duo recording software for iPad
  • Studio One Artist recording and production software (DAW)
  • HD7 studio monitoring headphones
  • M7 studio condenser microphone with cable

My Favorite Features

Another thing I love about this product is it can plug directly into your computer via USB or even directly into your iPad without the use of one of those clunky power cables! This makes this device ideal for recording at home or on the go. Everything is easily controlled from the front display allowing you to connect your headphones and up to two instruments or microphones. There is also Pre_Sonus_Audiobox_iTwo_Studiobuilt in phantom power for your condenser mic.

I also love the fact that you can control the volume of the headphones from it’s dedicated knob as well. This product was carefully designed to fit the needs of indie artists, podcasters and voice over personalities. And my favorite feature of all is the price point! You can get all of this goodness for only $259.00 which also includes FREE shipping!

In addition to the PreSonus Audiobox iTwo Studio there is a few more affordable items that you will need to purchase.

Samson_MK-10_Microphone_Boom_StandMic Stand

First off you will need to get you a decent Mic Stand that will allow you to record hands free that isn’t going to fall over and bust you in the face! The Samson MK-10 Microphone Boom Stand is the top selling Mic Stand on Amazon due to it’s quality of build and affordable price at only $19.99 which also includes FREE shipping!

Pop FilterDragonpad_pop_filter

You will also need to get you a pop filter. This handy little device will allow you to record more professional recordings by eliminating the plosives in your vocals. The Dragonpad pop filter is the perfect solution to block out those nasty vocal sounds and can be easily mounted to your mic stand. It will only set you back $6.95, includes FREE shipping and is the #1 Amazon seller! How bout that!

If you are only going to be recording yourself then that’s all you need to get started recording professionally at only $285.94 and FREE shipping on everything “at the time that I wrote this“. However if you are going to be recording other artists in your studio you will need a few more things.

Sony_MDRZX100_ZX_Series_Stereo_HeadphonesExtra Headphones

If you’re going to record someone else in the studio you’re going to need an extra set of headphones. This will allow you to monitor the audio recording program and adjust volume levels in the headphones while also allowing the person your recording to hear themselves as well. All you need is a decent set of headphones for your guests to use when they come over and I recommend the Sony MDRZX100 ZX Series Stereo Headphones. They only cost $16.55 but does include shipping and handling but has rave reviews on Amazon. However you might want to look around your local Wal-Mart to see if you can save a couple bucks first.

Stereo Jack AdapterRADIO_SHACK_GOLD-PLATED_1/4"_STEREO_HEADPHONE_PLUG_ADAPTER

Now you may have noticed that the PreSonus Audiobox iTwo Studio only has one headphone output. So how the heck are you suppose to hook up two headphones then? Easy! A Stereo Jack Adapter! This adapter simply plugs into your headphone jack and creates two additional headphone jacks, isn’t that adorable? I don’t recommend you buy this one off Amazon as they have pretty crappy reviews plus why pay for shipping on something this small when you can just pick them up from your local Radio Shack or electronics store for under 8$.

 

Audiobox iTwo Studio /USB/iPad hardware/software recording kit
  • Value
  • Quality
  • Features
  • Price

Summary

You can't go wrong with the Audiobox iTwo Studio
It offers nearly everything that you need to start up your first home studio. The only thing I feel it's missing is an extra headphone output but that's just me being picky. You can't beat the amount of value you get in this bundle and I couldn't recommend it more highly! I hope that you found my recommendations helpful and If you have any questions or comments leave them in the comments section below and I'll make sure to get right back to you.

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User Rating: 5.0 (1 votes)
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Comments

  1. says

    Hey Cole ;) My career has already kicked off, i recently bought this from Amazon for a great price and its just amazing. The tools and everything under the hood with the studio one is so well thought out.
    I think in the next few months i will be able to really kick out some great music.
    Probably the best pieces of innovation to come out for indie artists.

    • says

      Hey Michael, that’s great news man! Congrats on your recent purchase! Yes it’s a great purchase no doubt about it! Wishing you the best on all the new music that’s going to be coming out of your studio. And if I haven’t already recommended you to check out Graham Cochran’s 5 Minutes To A Better Mix video series you can check it out at http://therecordingrevolution.com/5minutes/ and you should check out his video on getting great vocal records in two steps at https://youtu.be/vpEi_B12DtY These videos are GOOD IS GOLD! I hope they serve you greatly! :)

  2. jordin says

    I’m new to all this. Do you record with the beat being played in the background. I have a microphone that hooks up directly USB. But it doesn’t sound good cause the beat is being played in the background. Would I be better off just buying this and starting fresh or do you have tips for what I’m doing.

    • says

      Hey Jordin, thanks for reaching out with your question. If you already have a USB Microphone then you’re almost there already. No do not play the music in the background while recording. You need to play the beat in your recording software on your computer while recording using headphones to hear the beat and to hear yourself. If you don’t have any multi track recording software check out Audacity it’s free! Hope this helps.

  3. says

    Thanks Cole for this article. I plan on buying this but I was wondering should the space I set up in be sound proof and do you have any economical suggestions as I will be recording in my home office at night after everyone is sleep.
    Thank you again – ChristyLove

    • says

      My pleasure Christy, I’m glad that you enjoyed this article! No the area that you setup in doesn’t have to be soundproof. That would be ideal but is very expensive and not economically feasible for most of us. You will be recording your vocals using headphones so you don’t have to worry about the sound of the music causing a disturbance. The only thing you need to be mindful of is your vocals such as how loud you will be when you are recording. If it’s softer vocals you may be fine but if you’re recording something that’s going to be loud you may and want to try and record during the day.

      One thing I recommend you looking into is making a poor mans recording both ~> http://www.palmcitystudios.com/timobrien/music/soundbooth/simplesoundbooth.html

      This will help eliminate a lot of the reflections in the room from bleeding into the microphone and will help keep more of your vocals within that one area which will help a little with not disturbing others. And of course you will want to keep the door shut while recording as well. I hope this helps you out and if you have anymore questions feel free to ask. Take care and I will talk with you soon! :)

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