Everything You Need To Build A Budget Home Studio

If you’ve read our article on why you should have a home studio, you already know that building a home studio is one of the smartest investments you can make as an upcoming hip-hop artist.

There are tons of artists that don’t have a home studio and practice their craft in a professional studio. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that if you have the money for it. But, if you’re like most upcoming hip-hop artists, you don’t have the amount of money necessary to practice often and efficiently in a professional studio. So, I’m going to show you all the equipment you need to build a budget home studio.

PS: I’m going to assume that you already own a computer and will leave that out of this list.




Your microphone is what you’re going to use to record your vocals (obviously). What’s not obvious is which one to buy. There are tons of microphones out there to choose from and each one has a different sound.

We’ve already discussed the best microphones for recording rap vocals when on a budget. However, to save you time – I’ve listed a recommendation below for you as well.

Condenser microphones are more suited for vocals than dynamic microphones. If you start between the $150-$300 range, you should be able to get a relatively good microphone.

My Recommendation

Rode NT1-A – http://amzn.to/2b40NtN

Want To Keep It As Inexpensive As Possible?

AT 2020 – http://amzn.to/2bq5p1g

Additional Accessories You Should Purchase

Pop Filter – http://amzn.to/2b44TC5 – Included free in the Rode NT1-A Above
Microphone Stand – http://amzn.to/2bpaJ6f




Audio Interface / Microphone Preamp

The next thing you’re going to need is an audio interface / microphone preamp. The main purpose of the audio interface is to give you a higher quality sound, provide power to your microphone, and give you different ports for connecting equipment. In my opinion, your audio interface is one of the most important pieces of your home studio.

My Recommendation

Scarlett 2i2 – http://amzn.to/2bq25mR




Studio Monitors and/or Headphones

Afterward, you’re going to need studio monitors (speakers) or a pair of headphones. The choice between the two is mainly based on your preference. Some people say you can’t mix your music well with headphones, while others say you can.

I think it’s a skill just like anything else. Regardless if you use studio monitors or headphones, you’re going to have to learn you equipment. And, skilled mixing engineers are usually able to create good mixes regardless of the equipment.

I’d personally recommend you pick up some headphones for a few different reasons:

1. Since you’re going to be recording rap vocals, headphones are going to be necessary so that you can hear the music while recording (and prevent the sound from bleeding into the microphone).

2. Good headphones are cheaper than good studio monitors.

3. If you get too frustrated with your mix, you can always send your song off to get mixed by an engineer at a studio.

My Recommendation

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X – http://amzn.to/2b1Pnq5

Want To Keep It As Inexpensive As Possible?

Behringer HPS3000 – http://amzn.to/2b44yPU


Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

The next thing you’re going to need to get started with your home studio is a Digital Audio Workstation (aka DAW). This is simply the program you’re going to use to record your music. This includes Adobe Audition, Pro Tools, Logic, FL Studio, and more.

Whichever DAW you choose will mainly be based on preference. I’d recommend you try a demo of each one and see which one you like better. Keep in mind that depending on your computer’s specs, some programs may run better than others.

My Recommendation

Adobe Audition – http://www.adobe.com/products/audition.html


That’s All You Need To Start

That’s really all you need to start and get a high-quality sound. There are other things you can purchase to help increase quality and efficiency, but they are not necessary to start.

In my opinion, it’s always best to start small and work your way up. A big part of getting a professional sound out of your home studio comes from your skill set and knowing your equipment. Don’t fall into the trap of buying a ton of “good” equipment, only to create songs that sound unprofessional due to your skills.

If you have any questions about building your home studio, leave a comment below and I’ll answer.


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5 thoughts on “Everything You Need To Build A Budget Home Studio”

  1. thanks for your article.

    regarding DAWs- i bought a scarlett solo 3rd gen interface that came with the pro tools first DAW, for about $100. i use audio audacity freeware to record and add free plug-ins, and pro tools first to arrange and use compressors, reverb, delay, and equalizer. this combination has a learning curve, but has been worth it.

  2. Good article! It covers everything an artist needs with familiarize themselves with the recording process. As far as a DAW recommendation, I would choose either Pro Tools or Logic Pro. Since a lot (or most) engineers use these 2 DAWs for recording, mixing, mastering, it would be easy for artists to record send their projects to engineers to work on.

    Lastly, I would include a small pair of speakers. Hearing yourself playback on a pair of speakers and headphones give a different perspective.

    Once again, thanks for sharing a great article!

    • Good suggestions Alex!

      I was thinking of suggesting Logic Pro at first (That’s what I currently use). However, it’s one of the few reasons I haven’t built a more powerful computer and switched to Windows. I started with Adobe Audition and although it’s not my favorite, it’s more than capable (regardless of what computer you use).

      I do agree with you on listening to music on different systems for perspective. Any budget speakers you’d recommend with a sub $100 price tag? Everything I’d recommend would be ~$300 minimum.

      • Darius, I started with the M-Audio BX5 monitors. They’re about $150 each monitor. They sound good on the highs and lows.

        • good article here, I use M-Audio BX5, payed £139.99 for the pair in the uk. quite bass heavy but if you make sure your mixing properly then you account for this when mixing by turning the lower frequencies down a touch. if you try to get more bass on these you will drown out the rest of the music when played with through other devices. so make sure that your vocals are turned up enough but not too much. like I said these speakers are very bass heavy you do not want to be mixing them to these speakers if you are not used to them first, spend some time comparing this with other headphones so you can hear the difference.

          also can find some really cheap acoustic foam on amazon for about £24.99 for 8 pieces, makes a big difference. can also improvise by using canvases (or photo frame but canvas is best) and wrapping carpet around them. this works really well for the lower frequencies.


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