Intro & Setup (How to start a home studio)

Building a home studio can seem like a daunting task. Whether you are a vocalist, a beatmaker, or any sort of musician, you have probably thought about what it would be like to have your own equipment. A studio to call your own.

I too dreamed of having my own space filled with all of the musical things that make me tick. Over the years I have accumulated a lot of stuff. Some of it I still have, some of it I sold because either I upgraded, or didn’t need it anymore.

The setup I have now suits me very well, and is meant to show beginners that you don’t need any fancy pants state of the art equipment. You can derive great sound from affordable products. Below are 3 shots of my lab in different stages!

Circa 2007

Gear

  • Lextron 19″ monitor
  • Gateway PC
  • Logitech R20 speakers w/ Subwoofer
  • M-Audio Fast Track Pro
  • Korg padKONTROL
  • Roland keyboard (used)
  • Samson C01 (not pictured, it’s off to the right where you see the mic stand)
  • On stage stands MS7701B microphone stand.
  • Fish tank 🙂
  • White bread chair.
  • Old desk from when I was in middle school.
As seen at mom's house, around 2007

As seen at mom and dad’s house, around 2007. I had an M-Audio Fast Track Pro at that time, and a MIDI keyboard. You can also see my original white padKONTROL below the keyboard to the left of the notebook.

December 2014

Gear

  • 24″ used Dell Monitor ($10 at the thrift store, lol).
  • Lenovo Thinkpad T510
  • JBL LSR 305 Studio Monitors
  • Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface
  • Generic computer speakers (for the turntable)
  • Audio Technica AT LP60 belt driven turntable
  • Audio Technica ATHM50 headphones
  • Akai MPD18 drum pad
  • KORG padKONTROL (old & broken/white)
  • Samson C01

 

The lab again!

The lab around 2014 in the same room, near the window and in the corner.

May 2016

Gear

  • Dual ASUS PA248Q Monitors (amazing btw, highly recommended)
  • Lenovo Think Pad T510 (upgraded to 8GB of RAM)
  • Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface
  • Generic computer speakers (for the turntable)
  • Audio Technica AT LP60
  • Audio Technica ATH M50
  • JBL LSR 305
  • Samson C01
  • KORG padKONTROL (new/black)
  • HP DeskJet 3632
  • Nikon D3200 (not pictured)
The Lab in 2016

The Lab as seen in my apt. May 2016

February 2017

Gear

Computer/Monitor

  • Dual ASUS PA248Q Monitors (amazing btw, highly recommended)
  • Lenovo Think Pad T510 (upgraded to 8GB of RAM)

Audio Interface

  • Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface

Studio Monitors/Speakers

  • Generic computer speakers (for the turntable)
  • JBL LSR 305

Turntable

  • Audio Technica AT LP60

Headphones

  • Sennheiser HD600
  • Sennheiser HD25
  • Audio Technica ATH M40x
  • Audio Technica ATH M50 (Old Model)
  • Philips SHP9500
  • Skull Candy Uproar Wireless

Microphones

  • Samson C01
  • Samson Meteorite
  • Blue Yeti
  • Audio Technica AT2020

Guitars/Amps

  • Fender Stratocaster
  • Gibson Epiphone Acoustic
  • Carlo Robelli Classical
  • Fender Mustang I

Drum Pad

  • KORG padKONTROL (new/black)

Headphone Amp

  • Schiit Magni/Modi

Misc.

  • HP DeskJet 3632
  • Nikon D3200 (not pictured)
The Lab

The Lab

The Lab

The Lab

Closeup

Closeup

The guitars

The guitars: Fender Stratocaster, Gibson Epiphone Acoustic, & Carlo Robelli Classical.

Headphones

Headphones

 

The following guide is designed to get you started in the right direction. It is meant to be clear and organized, while giving suggestions about how to start a home studio (with what I know works). The last thing I wanted to happen when I began my journey was to get confused. Although I did on occasion, eventually I figured it out by doing endless amounts of research while in the process having about a gazillion browser tabs opened. I want you to avoid that!

Let’s get started…

[Setup]

First things first. You’re going to want to choose a comfy place to record your sounds or craft your beats. I chose my bedroom, as it is the most convenient and comfy place I know of! Here I can escape the world and drown out all my troubles with music.

The only place I wouldn’t recommend is a bathroom setup. That area is designated for other tasks and wouldn’t be ideal.

Choose some furniture…

My super awesome extra comfy uber soft studio chair!

My super awesome extra comfy uber soft studio chair!

Take it from me, there’s nothing worse than being uncomfortable in your studio space. I’ve experienced some of the worst seating in the business. The feeling you get from sitting in a crappy chair for 6 hours is like sleeping on concrete.

I’d recommend going with something similar to my super awesome, extra comfy, uber soft executive chair that you see to your immediate right. 😛

Next I would decide on a desk. An L shape is ideal because it provides ample room for gear and lots of space for other stuff as well. It also makes you feel like a mother f*cking executive! When i plop down to make a beat, I feel like a king. You should too. I can’t recommend my own desk since I got it so long ago, but you should definitely go with something that makes sense for your particular set up. Always keep in mind the type of room that you will be using.

(Storage)

I have a desk with drawers, but if I didn’t, I would probably invest in some plastic storage containers. They are a great way to keep your miscellaneous wires organized, and can be had for cheap. In addition, you may want to add an over-the-door coat hook. I can’t even begin to tell you how much time was wasted in the past untangling chords and trying to figure out what’s what. Save yourself the trouble.

Continue to Choosing a DAW

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16 Comments

  1. First of all, your website really impressed me on the first glance. Awesome layout and feel to it. Certainly fits your niche.
    Second of all, very good article with even better internal links.

    Keep it up! 😀

  2. Hey Stu,
    Love the look of your site! I have to admit I know nothing about home studios but I wanted to set one up I know where to go. You have everything layed out nicely and easy to follow with so much excellent information.

    Nichole

    • Thanks Nichole! yeah I’m actually in the midst of editing and adding to it as well. Keep checking back!
      -Stu

  3. I have to say your website looks fantastic. It is weird my daughter was just playing me something she mixed for school. I am sure she will love this site you have some great content but I have a feeling it is going to cost me a fortune. 🙂

    • Nah not a fortune Ship! Fortunately, you can obtain the necessary gear all for around $1000. When you take into account that there are single pieces of gear costing a grand, it’s not that bad. 🙂

  4. Hey Stu,

    I love the site. I love the graphics and short paragraphs.
    Keep up the good work!

    Lindsay

  5. You have a lot of good information on setting up a home studio! I’m definitely going to be checking back often since I’m looking to set one up in my spare bedroom

  6. ay good stuff brotha! im going to be picking up a new computer this summer and i might need to come to you for some advice

  7. Thanks for the amazing and helpful info you’ve been sharing with us and btw I too had gazllion tabs opened when i started bro xD .. it’s all for the sake of what we love .. Thanks again

    SanTa

    • Hey there!

      Thanks so much for the kindness and love. I really want to show people that building a home studio isn’t as hard and daunting of a task as people make it out to be. I’m really glad you are enjoying the site. Please don’t hesitate to reach out again, or Contact me!
      All the best,
      -Stu

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