8 Music Recording Equipment for Beginners – Home Studio 101

music recording equipment for beginnersFinding the right music recording equipment for beginners is not a challenge if you know what you’re looking for, and what you’re getting.

It simply requires knowing the right tools, gears, and the best places to find them.

In this post I will narrow down your choices to the bare essentials for you.

Want to get into music production and/or make a home studio? Keep reading…


Desktop with audio recording software

If you’ve followed my various guides, you’d realize that there’s a whole host of different tools to get started as a beginner music producer or sound engineer. But starting a home studio from scratch can seem like an overwhelming attempt.

That’s why I’ve simplified it down to the essentials. The best thing to do is to break it down to the essential gears that you need to get, based on what it is you’re trying to accomplish for your home studio.

But first, let’s figure out who you are, shall we?

The person that’s reading this post (you) are either an aspiring:

  1. Music producer, beatmaker, or composer
  2. An audio recording or mixing engineer, or
  3. A musician or a singer-songwriter

If you are none of the above, then you probably know someone who fits into those categories, whether a friend or a family member. If so, quickly, share this post with them now!

Moving along…


Top 8 Music Recording Equipment for Beginners – Intro to Home Studio

This list will cover the essentials of what you need no matter who you are.

#1. Laptop or ComputerMacbook Pro

What makes a laptop or computer great for home studio recording?

  • Hard drive Capacity – Get a laptop or computer that has at least 250 GB of storage, Minimum. The ideal is 500 or 1000 GB. Get a solid state drive if you can.
  • Memory Size – Get a laptop or computer with at least 6 GB of RAM. 8GB is better, and 16 GB is awesome.
  • CPU Power – Intel i5 and i7 processors are the best. They come in dual or quad cores. If you’re getting a laptop or computer with an AMD processor, try for the A10 quad-core series.
  • Ports – As standard, you should have a couple USB ports, an HDMI or VGA ports for additional monitors. A Thunderbolt port offers the fastest connection.
See my guide on Laptops for Music Production for Home Studio – Or Best Desktop Computers

#2. Digital Audio WorkstationAvid Pro Tools

This music production software is where you arrange, mix, and edit your music. It is the central workstation of your entire music studio. In a digital audio workstation, you can:

  • Record and create audio tracks
  • Make song arrangements
  • Edit and mix your song arrangments into a high-quality song
See my guide on Digital Audio Workstations for Home Studio

#3. Focusrite USB Audio interfaceAudio Interface

An audio interface allows your instruments, microphones, MIDI controllers, and monitors to connect seamlessly to your computer’s digital audio workstation. Your home recording studio’s audio interface will:

  • Provide Connections for your Microphone and Instruments and MIDI Controllers to your Laptop Computer
  • Connects to your Studio Monitor for real-time high-quality your audio playback
  • Bypasses your Computer’s soundcard for low latency monitoring

See my guide on Audio Interfaces for Home Studio

#4. Studio MonitorsKRK Rokit studio monitor pair

Essential for every home studio. A pair of studio monitors are different from normal consumer stereo speakers. This is because they don’t boost or equalize bass or treble.

A pair of studio monitors will only provide a flat response for honest monitoring across the frequency range.

See my guide on Studio Monitor Speakers

#5. Studio HeadphonesStudio monitoring headphones

Goes without saying, a pair of headphones can make or break your mix. A pair of studio headphones will:

  • Provides a flat response for honest monitoring across the frequency range
  • Portability – you can carry your music making, mixing, and recording, anywhere with you 
  • Gives another perspective of how your audio sounds
See my recommendations of Studio Headphones for Home Studio

#6. MicrophoneStudio Condenser microphone

If you plan on doing any recording, you need at least one of these. There are three types of microphones to choose from:

  1. Condenser microphones – preferred for home studio; very  sensitive; high-quality recording; requires external power
  2. Dynamic Microphones – preferred for on-stage use; very rugged; great for recording kick drums or other extreme dynamic range instruments; doesn’t require external power
  3. Ribbon Microphones – high-quality recording; warm sounding; great for vocals; highly sensitive/fragile
See my guide on all the best microphones for home studio recording.

#7. MIDI ControllerMIDI Controllers

The vast majority of home studios consist of at least one kind of MIDI controller. What is a MIDI controller? You use it to controller the software VST instruments in your DAW or computer. This means that with one controller, the potential is limitless as to the instrumental performances you can come with in your home studio. A MIDI controller is an invaluable tool in your music making arsenal.

See my guide on finding the ideal MIDI Controller for you studio (and the VST plugins to use them with)

#8. Music Production Training or Tutorials

Point Blank music production classroom
Image source Point Blank Music School

Learn how to navigate your own home studio effectively, efficiently, and without breaking anything! Some basic tutorials that are essential are:

  • Audio Engineering courses – for learning how to use your gear for mixing and recording audio
  • Music Production courses – for learning how to use your music production software to make music
  • Music Lesson courses – for learning music theory, ear training, song making and composition
  • Music Business – for learning how to make money and negotiate fair deals in the music world
See my guide on Online Music Production Courses
Bonus – Some essential Home Recording Equipment Accessories You May Need

Home Recording Equipment accessories It goes without saying, you’re going to need to get some home recording equipment accessories to get things working smoothly. Here is a list of a few other things you’ll need:

  • audio cables
  • microphone stand
  • microphone pop filter & reflection filter
  • acoustic treatment 
  • USB hub station
  • electric or acoustic instruments (optional)

Music Recording Equipment for Beginners Checklist

EssentialsChecklist clipboard

  1. ✓ Laptop or Computer
  2. ✓ Digital Audio Workstation
  3. ✓ Audio Interface
  4. Studio Monitors
  5. ✓ Studio Headphones
  6. Microphone
  7. MIDI Controllers
  8. ✓ Lessons

Accessories

  • power conditioners
  • acoustic treatment 
  • audio cables
  • ✓ microphone stand
  • ✓ microphone pop filter & reflection filter
  • ✓ USB hub station
  • ✓ electric or acoustic instruments (optional)

And there you have it, a complete checklist to start a home recording studio for beginners.

If you have any comments or questions, please leave them down below. Otherwise, share this information with your friends or family, anyone you think will find this useful.

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