What gear should i buy ?

What software is the best for my studio ?

What i need to start making music ?

What gear should i buy ?

What software is the best for my studio ?

What i need to start making music ?

I get this questions alot from people who want to start their home studio and i decided to try to answer this questions .

First you should know that the gear is not the most important thing in your home studio ! Wait what? Yes , not the gear not the microphone , not the audio speakers , not the software . But what`s the most important thing then?! Simple : YOU !

I know alot of musicians who make music on a laptop and a pair of headphones and they sound great ! First you should invest money , time and hard work in you , in your knowledge .

Money ? Yes , buy some tutorials , some books , go to a music school , etc .

Time ? If you`re serious about making music then you have to know that it takes time to be great at it . It doesn`t happen over night . You need to aquire lots of skills .

Hard work? This goes hand in hand with time . You`ll have to try and try and work more hour after hour , learn from your mistakes and don`t be afraid to experiment .

Now let`s get to it .

What you need for your home/project studio ?

Three basic things :

1.Stability . You need to trust that your gear / software will not fail you . So you`ll need a good operating system , good drivers for you`re hadrware ( eg : video card , audio card etc ) and robust build of your gear .

2.Performance . Speed! You need to work as faster as you can so that you can get your ideeas into your daw very quick and efficient

3.Quality . Of course you need some quality gear to complete YOU so if you have the money don`t be cheap .

First step : Choosing your Workstation

PC / Mac ? It`s a long debate on what`s best for audio , but here`s my opinion : let`s say your budged is 1000$ , if you go with PC you`ll have performace because PC is cheaper that Mac and you can have a more potent processor , more ram , better graphic gard . If you go with Mac you`ll have stability . If you have unlimited budged then you can choose whatever because top end PC`s can compete with Mac`s .

1. Processor – More cores the better ( Dual core , Quad core etc)

2. Ram – Min 4gb Ddram

3. Graphic Card – Min 1 GB ram

4. Harddrive – Min 500 GB

Here`s my configuration :

Operation System : Windows XP SP3 , 32 bit

1. Processor – Amd Phenom II x2 555 ( 3.21 Ghz )

2. Ram – 4Gb – 2x2Gb ( but since my Win is 32bit it can use just 3,25 gb of Ram)

3. Graphic Card – ATI Radeon HD 5700 ( 1Gb )

4. HDD – Samsung 1TB.

Now we have the Workstation . Next thing is to choose a DAW .

Available DAWs : Presonus Studio One , Steinberg Cubase , Propellerhead Reason , FL Studio , Ableton Live , Reaper .

I`m a user of Presonus Studio One and i have to say it`s great . It`s what i need . The workflow is incredible fast . Great Quality . It comes with a complete package ( effects , sounds , presets ) so you`ll be good to go after the instalation . Presonus have a free version of Studio One so you can see if it`s good for you .

Like i said at the beggining of this post the most important thing in your studio is YOU so the DAW doesn`t matter that much . I know people working with Cubase and they make great music , i know people working in Reason and they love it and i know people working in FL and they made some Bilboard hits with it . So it doesn`t matter . Pick what you think it suits you .

We have the DAW – wich is the core of our studio , that`s the place where the ideas come to life . Now we need and audio interface . I recomand an external audio interface ( firewire or USB ).

If you`re planning to record vocals , guitars etc you will need a interface with phantom power for your condenser mic and the interface must have at least 2 inputs ( 1 for the guitar 1 for the vocals ) so this is the first criteria for choosing an audio interface : Inputs and Outputs .

Next criteria is drivers ! Make sure the interface you want to purchase can offer you STABILITY . That means you should check the company website and see if they update the driver regulary , read some forums if they have problems with the interface etc .

In my home studio setup i have : Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 . Key features : Two high-quality award-winning Focusrite preamps , High-quality 24-bit/96kHz FireWire interface, 8 inputs and 6 outputs, Saffire MixControl ultra-low-latency DSP mixer/router, Two Hi-Z instrument inputs, Bus-powered , Dedicated front-panel headphone bus , Switchable phantom power.

Now we need to choose a pair a good speakers ( studio monitors ) . For choosing studio monitors i recomend listening multiple brands before purchase .

I own : Studio Monitors : Krk RP5 . Great pair of speakers for a home studio .

1″ Neodymium Soft Dome Tweeter with Ferro Fluid

Glass Aramid Composite Cone Woofer

Radically curved front plate design virtually eliminates diffraction distortion

Waveguide design provides amazing detail and imaging

Front-firing port provides low freq extension without boundary coupling

New speaker voicing for even more accurate frequency response

Peak SPL : 106dB

Frequency Response 53Hz – 20kHz (+/- 2 dB)

The last think you need for a basic setup is a midi controller . I`m not a keyboard player so i don`t own any keyboard midi controller but own: Native Instruments Maschine ( a hardware + software combination and use mainly for drum patters and sample based instrumentals but it`s very powerfull and you can make full beats with it , it has sounds , drums , instruments , effects etc )

Conclusion and Budged : PC/Mac + DAW (software) + Audio Interface + Midi Controller = Home Studio .

Budged : PC/Mac (2000$ max ) + DAW ( 400$ max ) + Audio Interface ( 300$ ) + Midi Controller ( 200-500$) = Home Studio ( aprox 3000$ )

But i guess you allready have a PC/Mac so you`ll need just the DAW , Audio Interface and Midi Controller . That means with aprox 1000-1500$ you can start a home/project studio .


Iulian , 2probeats.