Home Recording Studio For $150
If you’re trying to acquire your first home recording studio on a budget that’s tight as spandex this is how you can do it around the $150 dollar mark. All things mentioned in this article will work for both Mac And PC users. The setup I’m about to share is meant for someone who just needs to capture good quality recordings of themselves on their computer. If you are planning to record other people in your studio this setup up may not be ideal for you and I would recommend you check out this setup instead.
Eliminating The Audio Interface
The trick to eliminating a chunk of the cost of what a home recording studio would typically run you is eliminating the need for an audio interface. Audio interfaces are great if you need phantom power for condenser microphones, multiple headphone outputs so you and another person you’re recording can both hear everything while recording, and xlr and 1/4 inch connections to connect studio monitors “speakers” and instruments such as guitars. But if all you are needing is to capture high quality vocal recordings unto your computer then the audio interface can be bypassed all together.
The way to get around the audio interface is to use what is called a USB Microphone. Basically it’s just a microphone that is plug and play that uses the power from your computers power supply to power the microphone. One thing I have noticed with many USB Microphones is that though they are able to give you good quality recordings but are typically designed with the podcaster in mind. They typically come with a very small tripod that you sit on your desk which is cool but might not be ideal if you prefer to use a mic stand and a pop filter in a more traditional home recording studio manner.
Audio Technica ATR 2500
After much digging and research I discovered the Audio Technica ATR 2500 which is only $65 and though it comes with a small tripod it can also be used with a traditional mic stand. The ATR 2500 also has an adjustable headphone output built into the mic so that you can hear yourself without any delay and records using a cardioid pattern which eliminates most sound that isn’t directly in front of the mic just like a traditional condenser microphone does. It also has built in high quality analog to digital converters. This is a very affordable and quality mic to get you started in your home studio. Feel free to check out what others have been saying about it on Amazon.
In order to get the ATR 2500 to play nice with a mic stand you will need to snatch you up a Samson SP01 Spider Shockmount. Currently they’re going for $21.93. Basically a shockmount is what holds the microphone in place while it’s connected to the mic stand. All you have to do with the ATR 2500 is simply slide it into the Samson SP01 shock mount and fasten the plastic cylinder mechanism on the shockmount to the microphone and then you will be ready to connect it to a mic stand! Check it out here
Now it’s time to connect the shock mount to a mic stand. Mic stands are fairly inexpensive and they can make your life much more easier while working in the studio! I recommend picking up a Samson MK-10 Microphone Boom Stand which is only $20.
One way to dramatically increase the quality of your vocal recordings is by using something called a pop filter aka a popper stopper or a wind screen. Basically this is a simple and cheap device that blocks plosives which are the bursts of air from your mouth from being recorded. Check out the Dragonpad pop filter it’s only $7.12.
Now you’re going to need a decent pair of headphones so you can actually hear what you’re doing. If you don’t already have a proper pair of headphones check out the Sony MDRZX100 ZX Series Stereo Headphones. They’re only 17.99 and many people claim that they are the cheapest pair of high quality headphones on the market!
What’s a D.A.W.? It means a Digital Audio Workstation. If you are still confused it’s basically software that allows you to do recording, editing, and mixing. This is another area where people typically spend a few hundred bucks. But you’re just trying to get your feet wet in the recording world right? Why pay for something if you’re not sure that you want it? What if I told you I can get you your own very personal Digital Audio Workstation for FREE and you wont have to do anything illegal! lol Check out the very generous people at Audacity who offer a very straight to the point DAW that will do everything you need and it’s absolutely FREE!!
The prices of all the items mentioned in this article will fluctuate from time to time but as I write this you can get everything I mentioned for $131.10. Now keep in mind you still need to consider shipping and handling on some items, and also consider picking up what items you can locally to save you a couple of bucks. But all in all this is how you can get a home recording studio setup for right around $150 bucks! Pretty cool huh!? Always remember it’s not about what you have it’s about how you use what you have!
How Did I Do?
Did you find this article helpful! Did I miss something? Have any feedback? I’d love to hear from you so make sure you drop your 2 cents in the comments section below!
Hi Cole. This is a cool article. And yes it can be even in an expensive country as Denmark. I got a mic stand, pop filter, a half circle sound absorber and a usb condensador mic with a direct plugin to the headphone. But I keep having one big problem. The ecco still gets in the mic. I can turn twards PB or twards mic, on the mic. But what ever I choose I cant seem to make a clean vocal recording. What would be your recommand? Best regards Artur / PMC.
I’m glad that you enjoyed this article bro! record in the center of you room as far away from the walls as possible. Follow the guidelines in this video to get the best vocal recordings with your setup. You may need to turn down the gain on your mic pre amp as well as demonstrated in this video. Let me know if you have any better results. You may also want to look into the Kaotica Eyeball as well. Let me know if this helps 🙂
Im going to utilize this information
Awesome Terry! I’m glad that you found this information helpful and thanks for commenting as well!! 🙂
I’m going to invest in this setup, Thank you
My pleasure Lana! I think you will really enjoy it! Simple, to the point and easy on the pocketbook 🙂
I have an Dell Laptop would this all be working on it…
Yes this setup is compatible with Dell Laptops.
My pleasure! 🙂
It does not requries tempo calculater machine???
no, the software you record in also known as a D.A.W Digital Audio Workstation will be able to detect tempo and you can also manually set it as well. If you want to learn how to find the tempo of songs check out this article
Thanks sir 🙂
You’re welcome! 🙂
God bless you
God bless you too Typhain! 🙂
Without the inter face can I still play a beat while I’m recordimg
Yes, this setup bypasses the need for interface as the USB mic plugs directly into your computer and you can hook up your headphones to the mic it’s self and hear the music being played from your computer as well.
AM HAVING CINDENSER MIC,and pc,can a mixer be the center of ma signal path btn the DAW in pc and a microphone,now what about the quality of the sound?
Technically yes you can record straight into your DAW from using the output signal of your mixer going into the line in connection on your PC. I’m not sure what your sound quality will be as there’s many factors that play a role in sound quality such as room acoustics, microphone gain, good cables that don’t have any hum in them etc.. Just give it a shot and see how it comes out 🙂
thanks cole, very helpful I’ll invest, but I just wanted to know if we are going to need a mixer