Do you want to know which gear you need to create professional sounding music without spending too much money? After a few photos of my home studio setup got reposted by several Instagram accounts, quite some people have been asking me how I built my home studio, what kind of gear I am using and why. In this article I will share some information with you on how I chose my equipment and what my experiences are with these products.
1. MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Mid 2014)
Processor 2,6 GHz Intel Core i5
Memory 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
I chose to go for a strong laptop instead of a desktop computer, because I like to be able to work in different places and bring my projects with me wherever I go. This MacBook has been working out great for me. I am using the same MacBook for almost 5 years now, and it still works flawless. I got the standard edition, because I didn’t want to spend too much money at the time. However, if you’re planning on using several editing programs, I would recommend you to consider buying one with more storage capacity. Because of this, I had to cut down on the amount of editing programs I work with to only Adobe Photoshop and FL Studio 20. To extend my working space, I have bought two solutions which I will discuss next.
Buy or read more about this product via https://amzn.to/2YsESVI
2. Transcend 128GB JetDrive Lite 330
My first solution has been this storage expansion card. I really like the fact it blends in perfectly with my MacBook. It gave me some more “air to breath” as a place to save my files. These days, they are also selling a 256 GB version and the price is quite reasonable. I would say it’s a good and quick solution if you’re just coming short with your storage capacity, and don’t want to bring an external hard drive with you all the time. It also has a low risk to get damaged, because it fits perfectly inside of your MacBook. The only downside I’d say is that you can’t flexibly use your SD card slot, so if you’re using this port a lot for importing photo or video footage f.e. that might be a bit annoying. For me, the 128 GB extra storage wasn’t enough eventually and I needed a bigger solution.
Buy or read more about this product via https://amzn.to/2JOyapM
3. Samsung Portable SSD T5 1TB
This external solid state drive caught my attention because of its compact size and great storage capacity. Although external hard drives with large storage capacity are really affordable these days, I chose to go for a SSD because of its speed and smaller chance to get damaged. After doing some research and checking out some reviews, I went for this one and I am very happy with it thus far. It’s really fast, has a lot of storage capacity and is super easy to bring along.
Buy or read more about this product via https://amzn.to/2Eg0ugn
4. Focusrite Scarlett 18i6 USB Audio Interface
For me being able to record good quality vocals, I am using this audio interface. It’s very easy to turn the recording function on and off. It works great for sound checking and switching between monitors and headphones, which is very important to me during mixing.
Buy or read more about this product via https://amzn.to/2Qy0eOG
5. MXL 2006 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
I bought this microphone for over 10 years ago and it still works great. Only thing I had to replace is the rubber band once, because it got weak. The mic comes in a case together with two kinds of pop filters.
Buy or read more about this product via https://amzn.to/2JI7hTL
6. sE Electronics RF-X Reflexion Filter
I saw a lot of music artists recording songs in their hotel rooms and some music producers, such as Chuki Beats, claimed all you really need is a reflection filter. So instead of building an entire vocal booth, I wanted one of these. I feel like it has improved my vocal quality a lot. It has made the recordings sound a lot more thicker, because it concentrates the vocals. I have also received some questions whether I don’t get bothered by ambient noises. I don’t have any problems with this, but I must say I have built in extra noise isolation inside of the walls when building the room. Therefore, I can’t really compare it fairly against a vocal booth but if you don’t have a lot of trouble with ambient noises I think a reflection filter should do the trick.
Buy or read more about this product via https://amzn.to/2VJYV5e
7. KRK Systems Rokit 5 G3
A lot of music producers I looked up to when I just started out making music were using these iconic black-yellow speakers, so I figured they must be great. And they are. I have loved these studio monitors since the moment I got them, and they are still working perfectly. When I haven’t been home for a long time, I just look forward to hearing music through these bad boys as soon as I get home. Besides their performance, the looks are very nice as well. They have some knobs to adjust the volume and bass levels, but I just keep this unchanged to get the most realistic sound as possible. If you want, you can also easily switch between your audio interface and AUX cable (to your smartphone f.e.) by switching the cable input at the backside of the monitors.
Buy or read more about this product via https://amzn.to/2Hj7GKy
8. KRK Systems KNS-8400 Studio Headphones
Since I was very satisfied with the KRK studio monitors, I really wanted a studio headphones from the same brand. These were decently priced, had good specs and looked cool. I think the details in the sound of this headset are great for mixing. I usually start out mixing on the KRK monitors and then go further with the headphones. The headphones have a lot less bass than the monitors and also than mainstream headsets like Beats by Dre, so it’s a good reference to get a clean sound. I also have these for over 5 years right now and they’re still working great. The only thing which is getting a bit weak right now is the headband cushion, but it’s no problem and it’s reasonable looking at the time I have been using it.
Buy or read more about this product via https://amzn.to/2WiDTLl
9. Apple EarPods with 3.5 mm jack connector
I like to use as much reference points as possible and since half the world is using Apple earphones, I think it’s a great reference point. To be able to use these with my audio interface, I need to have the original ones with the 3.5 mm mini-jack connection.
Buy or read more about this product via https://amzn.to/2YA8v7s
10. Akai MPK Mini MK2 USB MIDI Keyboard Controller (White Version)
My latest addition to my setup is this small, but very functional, USB keyboard. I was looking for a keyboard I could easily bring along, and this one fits great into my Northface backpack and it is very light in weight. What I also really like about this keyboard is that it has a small drumpad. The piano keys are pretty small, so if you’re used to playing on a bigger keyboard or piano this might be something to get used to. The range is also quite small, but you can easily extend the range with one push of a button. It’s very easy to install, just plug and play and it should work. It’s a great keyboard to play simple melodies and drum patterns.
Buy or read more about this product via https://amzn.to/2LLe3KW
To me, this is basically all the gear you need to create high quality music. I hope this article has given you a better understanding of which products you need to build your own home studio setup. If you have any questions or remarks, please let me know in the comments and I will answer them as soon as possible.
All products recommended in these blogs are selected by myself. Some of my posts include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, I may earn an affiliate commission.