Finding the right music recording equipment is not a challenge if you know what you’re looking for.
It simply requires knowing the right tools, gears, and the best places to find them.
So in this post we’ll take a look at what your choices should be in a few categories.
Let’s take a look!
More helpful articles:
- Music Production Courses Online, Songwriting Ideas for Beginners, Getting Better Vocals, Professional Mixing Tips
The person that’s reading this post (you) are either an aspiring:
- Music producer, beatmaker, or composer
- An audio recording or mixing engineer, or
- 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!
This list will cover the essentials of what you need no matter who you are.
#1. Laptop or Computer
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.
Read: Best Laptops for Music Production, Best Desktops for Music Production
#2. Digital Audio Workstation
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 arrangements into a high-quality song
Read: Best Digital Audio Workstations
#3. Audio 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
Read: Best Audio Interfaces for Home Studio
#4. Studio Monitors
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.
Read: Best Studio Monitors for Music Production
#5. Studio 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
Read: Best Studio Headphones for Music Production
If you plan on doing any recording, you need at least one of these. There are three types of microphones to choose from:
- Condenser microphones – preferred for home studio; very sensitive; high-quality recording; requires external power
- 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
- Ribbon Microphones – high-quality recording; warm sounding; great for vocals; highly sensitive/fragile
Read: Best Studio Microphones, Best Vocal Microphones, Best Drum Microphones
#7. MIDI Controller
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.
Read: Best MIDI Controllers
#8. Music Production Training or Tutorials
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
Read: Best Music Production Courses Online
Bonus – Some essential Home Recording Equipment Accessories You May Need
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
- ✓ Laptop or Computer
- ✓ Digital Audio Workstation
- ✓ Audio Interface
- ✓ Studio Monitors
- ✓ Studio Headphones
- ✓ Microphone
- ✓ MIDI Controllers
- ✓ Lessons
- ✓power conditioners
- ✓ acoustic treatment
- ✓audio cables
- ✓ microphone stand
- ✓ microphone pop filter & reflection filter
- ✓ USB hub station
- ✓ electric or acoustic instruments (optional)
2 Comments on “8 Music Recording Equipment for Beginners – Home Studio 101”
What is the best Audio Interface and Software for a complete beginner who is just messing around at home. I have a bass and accoustic guitar, and my daughter has a keyboard. We’re just looking for something so we can record the noise we make, and perhaps improve it a little bit.
The software shouldn’t be too complicated, as I am the sort of person that will give up if I can’t get the hang of it in 10 minutes.
If you’re on a mac, you can just use Garage Band. If you’re on a PC, Studio One Artist. You can read about them here. As for audio interface, get the entry level versions found here.