home recording studio setup

Complete Home Recording Studio Setup Guide for 2020

Do you get jealous and inspired at the same time when you see someone posting a cover or an original track online, and it just sounds so good (or not) that it makes you want to do the same? Hoping that you could have your own home recording studio setup.

 How often do you find yourself saying, “I want to record my own songs” or something like “how I wish I had the same setup at home!”

 The only problem is that you don’t know where to begin, what exactly to buy, and how much to invest.

 Well…

 You are in for a treat because I will guide you through everything that you need, and it won’t be about the most expensive gears on the market. It’s how to build your home recording studio on a realistic budget you can afford.

Home Recording Studio
A Comprehensive List of Things

Home Recording Studio Equipment List

 Expensive gears can give you an advantage, but with enough practice and the desire to improve you will produce a decent sound even with just a few decent gadgets.

 Here is the list of materials you will need to have for your home recording studio.

Now that you have the list, it’s time we elaborate on the essential details about each item on this list.

A Computer

Desktop or Laptop

It's a must!

This one is pretty obvious. You simply can’t do a digital recording if you don’t have a desktop or a laptop to work on. 

 But… How should I know that my computer or laptop specs will be enough to help me get started with my home recording setup?

Desktop or Laptop Minimum Requirement

Instead of discussing how much to spend on a computer or laptop, let’s instead discuss the minimum computing power requirement or specification of the computer or laptop you will need for recording.

 The specs I will be sharing here will only be an average or a general overview of the minimum requirement. The higher the specs you can get, the better.

Regardless if you are a Mac or Windows user, the following should be the minimum specs:

Now that you have these specs visit your local computer shop and ask how much it will cost you to have a computer or a laptop with these requirements.

Mainly, you want to have the fastest computer or laptop that is within your budget.

Audio Interface

home studio recording setup

A crucial part of your home recording setup is a piece of device that captures and produces the sound of your recording. The quality of your recording is entirely anchored on the quality of your audio interface.

“The Garbage In Garbage Out” Concept In Recording

The biggest mistake that beginners commit when they are still starting in their music production is trying to fix everything in the editing phase.

Never do that!

You have to understand that to be able to get a sound output, the input or the capture of audio should be right from the start. Editing is more about enhancing than fixing.

That is why you must invest in a quality audio interface.

The Built-in Audio Interface

Your desktop or laptop computer has a built-in audio interface. I started my recording career with the only audio interface available for me at that moment.

I was able to create some decent output (although not as good as today), but I was ready to start producing music!

For example, you can use Realtek High Definition Audio, which is a pretty common audio device that comes with your desktop or laptop computer.

It’s good to know that you can create recordings of your music with your computer’s audio card if you don’t have the funds to buy an external audio interface for the time being.

The ASIO4ALL Audio Interface Solution

If you find yourself working on your built-in interface and it sounds like crap, don’t despair. There is a piece of software that helps you emulate a proper ASIO to help you create better recordings and help you run your DAW smoothly.

A German programmer who goes by the name of Michael Tippach back in 2003 decided to help those who didn’t have a native ASIO. So, he launched ASIO4ALL

It’s a piece of software that emulates an ASIO environment so that your DAWs will work on your computer even if you don’t have an external audio interface. 

What are the benefits of using ASIO4ALL?

The External Audio Interface

Using an external audio interface for your home recording setup gives you better quality output for your music and more customization settings in capturing your audio.

There are plenty to choose from in the market, but here are two examples of audio interface I have been using over the years.

I am not sure if they still produce this item, but it sure is a powerful single-channel audio interface. I was able to create hundreds of recordings in my early days with this little bad-ass of an interface.

micro usb interface

Focusrite 2i2 Bundle

Focusrite 18i20

Again, there are plenty to choose from in the market today, but I love to use these two devices mentioned above.

DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)

Using an external audio interface for your home recording setup gives you better quality output for your music and more customization settings in capturing your audio.

There are plenty to choose from in the market, but here are two examples of audio interface I have been using over the years.

I am not sure if they still produce this item, but it sure is a powerful single-channel audio interface. I was able to create hundreds of recordings in my early days with this little bad-ass of an interface.

Pro Tools by Avid

Here’s a free version called Pro Tools First

Cubase by Steinberg

Logic Pro by Apple

Studio One by Presonus

Get there free version called Studio One Prime

Garage Band by Apple

Reason

Ableton

FL Studio

Now when it comes to choosing which DAW perfectly fits your need, it all boils down to the following requirements:

There are still a lot of DAWs out there in the market, try which one suits you.

Midi Keyboard For Home Studio Recording Setup

Keystation 88 m-audio

Like we’ve mentioned, most DAWs come with free sampled libraries, and these libraries can be used in your music production using a midi keyboard. 

MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. A midi keyboard allows you to play those sample libraries from your DAW.

We won’t be going into the nitty-gritty side of what MIDI is and where it came from, all you need to know right now is that it can help you produce your music in the recording process. 

You can create an entire orchestration or just a simple piano track using just your midi keyboard.

The one I’m using is an M-Audio Keystation 88

Can I use A Yamaha, Roland, Or Any Keyboard As A Midi Keyboard?

Yes, you definitely can, and all you need is a midi USB interface that will connect your instrument to your computer.  

Something like this.

Best Recording Microphone For Your Home Studio

For your home recording studio setup concerns, I recommend you start only with one or two microphones. Eventually, you will be collecting more microphones as you progress.

The subject of Microphones is a very broad one that it requires an entirely separate post to cover everything. Right now, we only need to know what are some microphones I can recommend for you to use for your beginning home recording studio setup.

What Can You Record At Home Using Microphones

A Reminder About Recording Drums At Home for Beginners

The topic of recording drums is a complicated subject because you need to consider many things.

Unless you already know the nuances of capturing quality sound out of a drum kit, I recommend you use a virtual drum or a drum patch from your DAW’s sample library.

Moving on, here are some of the microphones I’ve tried which you can definitely use at home for those who are still starting their home recording studio.

Condenser Mics That Needs An Audio Interface

Scarlett Microphone

Scarlett Studio CM25

at2020

Audio Technica AT2020

Rode NT1A

These microphones are recommended microphones because they aren’t that expensive, and the sound quality they produce is excellent.

USB Microphones - No Need For An Audio Interface

For people who don’t have the funds to buy an audio interface as of the moment, USB Microphones are an excellent option. They are plug and play microphones that saves you the hassle of setting up more connections to record audio. 

A USB Microphone has the following advantage

Should I Use A USB Mic or an XLR Mic?

The short answer is, it depends upon your personal preference. Most podcasters, beginner producers, and those that want to have a more manageable set up will probably choose a USB Microphone. 

On the other hand, XLR microphones offer more adjustability and capability when it comes to production. Usually, people who started with USB microphones tend to upgrade to XLR as they gain more experience. 

Examples of USB Microphones

Some microphones offer the best of both worlds – both an XLR and a USB Mic

What Are The Main Differences Between XLR and USB Microphones?

If you are currently confused about which type of microphone to buy, here are some considerations you can consider to help you make a purchasing decision.

XLR Microphones
USB Microphones

Pop Filters

When you are recording on a condenser mic, chances are you are going to get lots of artifacts in your recording especially for vocals.

These artifacts can be the sound of a singer’s breath or the plosives you get from certain letters like P or B and sibilance from words that begin with letter S.

A pop filter is the solution for all of these concerns. When you buy a microphone, some mics come with a free pop filter in the package. If it doesn’t then you need to buy one.

By the way, just in case you are interested to learn more about singing, I wrote the following articles.

How To Judge A Singing Competition Accurately
Important Step In Preparing For A Singing Competition

Headphones For Monitoring Or Mixing

Headphones are a crucial part of a home recording studio setup. When you are recording your vocals, you need headsets so you or the singer can sing along with the music. 

There are many brands of headsets out there in the market, each with different features for each brand. 

There are two main types of headsets that you need to know.

Closed-Back Headphones

 – we use this for recording. If you are on a budget, any headphones will do as long as you can monitor the music for recording or any audio for the same purpose.

Open Back Headphones

– we use this for mixing. Although you can also use it for monitoring, it’s mainly used for mixing, and it is more costly than closed-back headphones.

Examples of Recommended Headphone Brands

For a home recording studio setup, most headphones can do the job, but if you do have the funds to purchase a decent one, check out any of the mentioned brands.

Headphones For Monitoring Or Mixing

Open-back Headphones, as we’ve mentioned, are used for mixing your recordings, but if you have the funds to buy studio monitors, then I recommend you do so.

Can I Use Any Speakers At Home for Mixing?

Studio monitor speakers are not your average consumer speakers that already have various tonal enhancements. 

Studio Monitors are calibrated to provide a flatter response than the usual consumer speakers or stereo speakers you have at home. Studio monitors provide a pure, uncolored sound, which is crucial in your mixing decision makings.

How much should I spend on studio monitors?

It depends. Your main goal of purchasing one is to ensure that you hear your audio as flat as possible so that your mixes travel well.

The one I’m using right now at home is an M-audio BX8 Studio Monitor.

M audio bx8

There are a lot of studio monitors out there in the market today and here are a few of them if you want to check them out.

Acoustic Foams or Acoustic Foam Panels

Room acoustics go far beyond placing acoustic foams or related materials on the wall of your home studio. It’s a science of how your room would react to specific frequencies, and these reactions can affect the sound of your mixes. 

We will not be covering that area in this article. For every home recording studio setup, acoustic foams can help control some problematic areas of your room.

In my case, my room would have this little reverb, which gets in the way of my recording, so I had to place acoustic foam to lessen the reverb and get a more dry sound.

Start Building Now

These are my list of of essential gears you will need to start creating music in the comfort of your home. If you are going to ask me how much will you be spending, that will totally depend on the specs of gear you will be buying. Your personal preferences and a bunch of other factors that will help you make that purchasing decision.

So, what do you think should I add to my list that I missed? Let me know in the comments.

money making ideast at home with girls

7 Great Money Making Ideas At Home For Musicians or Freelancers

Invest your currency on the best money making ideas at home when you want to be successful. Someone said that there are only two critical ingredients for success – skill and opportunity. We all know that opportunity only knocks once, or maybe a couple of times, but it’s scarce.

Now, the best thing to do is to improve your skills. Improve as much as you can so that when the opportunity finally knocks, your skill is more than ready to open that door.

Money Making Ideas At Home You Should Try

The world is currently on lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic. Everyone seems to be itching to go outside because of the boredom they are experiencing.

You don’t have to get bored. Right now is the perfect opportunity to learn new skills and ideas that can ultimately lead you to earn money. 

No!

I’m not offering a quick win solution or an abracadabra way to earn. I am offering something that can do the following:

  • Take the boredom out of your lockdown experience
  • Invest in your skills and potentially convert that into an income-generating opportunity.

So without further ado, here are 10 things you can do at home right now, which can potentially lead you to earn money.

Update Your Profile on LinkedIn

First in the list of money making ideas at home is all about how to take advantage of LinkedIn.

If you are active on Facebook and Twitter posting memes and political ideas (which is not bad), then you should be investing your time also building up your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn is a social networking site for professional networking and career development. It’s the most prominent place where the most significant companies go to look and hire people. It is where business owners find possible business opportunities and network.

It’s like Facebook, people can view your profile, but they aren’t there to look for a beautiful photo of you and see how many likes you’ve got. They are there to look at your profile and see if you are a match for their need.

This is my LinkedIn profile.

money making ideas at home

You can see that I have a job description under my profile name. It lets people know what my skills, strength, and if I could be a match for what they are looking for.

You can also create a list of experiences on your profile dashboard.

My profile is a bit long, so I only took a portion of the screen and cropped it. People who visit your LinkedIn profile will know more about your professional background.

So, what if you don’t have much of an experience?

Don’t worry, that’s precisely why this social platform was created – for you to grow. Many companies on LinkedIn are looking to hire freelancers, and that’s a perfect opportunity for you to earn dollars.

So I suggest you start creating and building your LinkedIn profile right now because it can generate money for you in the long run.

Update Your Upwork Profile

Second in the list of money making ideas at home is the use of Upwork. Upwork is the perfect place for freelancers who are looking for a job. It’s a website dedicated to job postings and related stuff.

Thousands or more are always on the lookout to hire freelancers there on Upwork. You can also create a profile and highlight all your skills.

The main difference here compared to LinkedIn is that you have to apply for a job if you are still starting.

Here’s a screenshot of my newsfeed. Unlike Facebook that shows you what people have in their minds or the next meme they created, Upwork is all about jobs and money-making.

Much like LinkedIn, you can also update your profile and give employers an overview of who you are and what your skills are.

I haven’t updated my Upwork account for some time now since I am busy doing other client works.

So, instead of killing yourself with boredom, I suggest you create an Upwork account and start building your profile now.

Learn WordPress and Create Your Website

Stop right there! This is not hard and definitely a part of our money making ideas at home.

No, I’m not saying you have to build a website from scratch and learn all the hard work of coding. Today, people who don’t know how to code can create websites via what we call CMS – Content Management System.

A Content Management System is software that helps users create and update their websites without the need to learn all the complicated technical stuff like coding.

There are a lot of content management systems out there, but I recommend that you learn WordPress. WordPress is a CMS software that lets users create their websites easily. 

So that you know, the WhiteHouse uses WordPress for its website, and Microsoft uses it too to power its blog.

What Kind Of Website Can WordPress Make?

You can create any kind of website with WordPress.

  • Business websites
  • eCommerce stores
  • Blogs
  • Forums
  • Social networks
  • Membership sites
  • …anything that you want to create for a website.

How Can I Make Money With A Website?

There are many ways you can generate funds or sales if you have a website. 

  • Sell a product
  • Join an affiliate program and place it in your site
  • Be a partner with AdSense and put ads on your site
  • You can accept donations through your website
  • Generate leads for other companies
  • And more

To learn more about how to create a website using WordPress, you can check this link. 

Open A YouTube Channel

Now, we are on the fourth of the list of money making ideas at home. If you are a musician, a singer, songwriter, or someone who likes to create videos or content through videos, then you should open a youtube account.

Word of warning, though…

It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

When I say it’s not easy, I mean it’s not easy. Unless you go viral overnight, you usually need to do the hard work to create an income stream from your YouTube Channel.

The Good News – It’s A Passive Income

Imagine making music or doing what you love and creating a video online then get paid for it? That’s precisely how YouTube operates. It’s a passive income that can generate enough money or more if done right.

This is what my YouTube channel looks like, and it’s earnings. It may not be much, but I don’t overthink it. I just upload music videos and now and then I get paid. Mind you; Youtube pays a minimum of $100.

So, How Does It Work?

Back then, the moment you upload a video on YouTube, you are already entitled to their monetization program. This led to a lot of spammers and people trying to manipulate the algorithm.

So to battle the spammers on YouTube, they have set a standard before you get to have your account monetized.

Today you have to have…

A minimum of 1,000 subscribers

A minimum watch time of 4,000 hours

Etc.

So my advice would be to start creating content that can solve other people’s problems but at the same time is something you love to talk about or create.

Doing so will take you away from thinking of trying to monetize your video. Still, YouTube is an excellent way of channeling and investing your time in something that can generate money for you.

Monetize Your Facebook Account

Did you know that you can monetize your social media accounts? Yes! You definitely can! That’s the 5th in our list of our money making ideas at home for musicians or freelancers.

While most people use their social media posting their day to day activities like the food they ate or the places they’ve been, others are using it to generate income.

If you have a Facebook account, here are some things you can do to generate a possible income stream.

  • Sell a home-made product via a Facebook page
  • Offer a tutorial online using your Facebook account
  • When you get to 10k likes or followers, your Facebook page can be monetized just like YouTube so upload some relevant content
  • Make Direct Sales on either your private profile or Facebook page
  • Learn Video Marketing To Attract Possible Customers

These are only a few ideas of what you can do with your Facebook account. The more you dig deeper into how you can monetize your profile, the more you will learn that there are a ton of technical ideas you can do to generate an income stream with your social media account.

Learn How To Blog or Vlog

What Is A Blog?

Moving on to the 6th in the list of money making ideas at home is how to blog or vlog. A blog is a short term for “Weblog,” which is an online journal that contains informational material on a website.

This skill is in connection with having a website. You write information on things that you love to do or something that you know of.

No! You don’t have to be an expert writer (although it’s an advantage). 

What Can You Blog About?

There are many things that you can write or blog about, but I always suggest to offer a solution to someone’s problem.

For example. I wrote this article to solve boredom—the boredom of those who are quarantined at home and make use of their time. So people who need an answer to this specific question will find time to read this article.

You can create the following blogs if you want.

  • Music Tutorial
  • Math Lessons
  • How To Cook
  • How To Play A Piano or Guitar
  • Lovelife Lessons
  • Your imagination is the limit.

What Is A Vlog?

A Vlog is a video documentation of someone’s life. If you are stuck at home and you want your friends and the world to know what you are doing, you can vlog about it.

A lot of celebrities and ordinary people are doing it. It’s fun, and you get to share your daily activities with friends and followers.

Here’s an excellent article explaining further what’s the difference between a vlogger and a blogger.

How Can You Earn Money from Blogging and Vlogging?

You can monetize your vlog or your blog by doing the following:

  • Join an affiliate program for your blog
  • You recommend a product, and the company pays you if they get a sale.
  • Display Google Adsense on your blog

When you display an ad on your blogs, you can earn from the clicks you get and other types of ad products that pay you for posting them. Of course, it’s not that easy as it sounds, but you’ll understand the more you do it on your blogs.

  • Sell sponsored blog posts.
  • Get paid for writing reviews.

The list goes on and on with what you can do to monetize your vlog or blog; you just have to invest time and learn them slowly. They will pay off in the long run.

Be an Influencer – Start Building Followers Online

Finally, the 7th in our list of money making ideas at home is becoming an influencer. An influencer is someone who has the power to affect people and their decisions by posting content online.

It means you are an authority in your area, and people listen to your opinions. You can affect their purchasing decisions, their relationship, and areas where they can relate with you.

There are many ways on how you can be an influencer, and this influencermarketinghub tackles that topic genuinely.

It doesn’t matter if you are a musician or not, if you are reading this article, then you should start building an online presence and gathering followers.

Here are significant reasons why:

  • Your followers will recommend you to other people. They may start small, but if you continually and religiously produce quality products or content, they are the ones who will help support you to other people.
  • Sites like YouTube, Facebook, and other services alike require that you have a certain number of followers to start monetizing your content.
  • If you are on Instagram, the number of followers you have will boost your marketing potentials the same way it does with YouTube and Facebook.
  • Followers are the first people to consume your product, video, or whatever you put online. They are your leading group of consumers.

Conclusion

Right now, we all have one common currency that we can all afford to invest – TIME. Remember the two ingredients to success I mentioned above? 

I recommend that during this time of lock down where people are mostly at home, you spend your time wisely. Find things that you can spend time on and, in return, provide value back to you (hopefully in the form of money too.)

Even after all of these have passed, the things mentioned in this article are still in effect. That is because we are now in the digital age. These things are starting to be the norm for today’s society.

Take advantage of these opportunities. Do yo have some money making ideas at home that I haven’t mentioned? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comment section.