The Best Home Studio Set-Up for Podcasting, Meditations, Etc for Between $500-2000

So you want to get into recording your own audio at home, but don’t have a big budget? No problem!!

We can get you setup and recording your creativity for a mere $500.

Yes, you can easily purchase an inexpensive USB microphone kit for under $100 (like this one: https://www.amazon.ca/Neewer-Microphone-Suspension-Broadcasting-Recording/dp/B07DK89QZS/ref=sr_1_18?dchild=1&keywords=usb+mic&qid=1617390025&s=musical-instruments&sr=1-18) but the old adage “you get what you pay for” very much applies to the world of audio recording equipment!

And I find (from my 20+ years of experience) that it’s not necessarily the audio quality that you get from the $60 mic, but the microphone’s build quality and longevity!  It might last a year if lucky before either it breaks, or you outgrow its functionality.

This is why I would NOT suggest investing in a USB style microphone IF you are serious about your home studio.  I’m a huge fan of future-proofing our equipment investments, even if it costs a little more today.  Growth is part of life (and a goal in your business right?) so it’s good to count that into the equation.

So with that all in mind, I put together 3 levels of HOME STUDIO EQUIPMENT SETUPS, making sure each level will cover “the essentials” when it comes to audio recording at home: 

  1. Microphone (self explanatory… I should hope!)

  2. Audio interface (to covert the analog signal from the microphone into the digital realms of your computer and editing software)

  3. Acoustic treatment (to keep those pesky, unwanted room reflections from entering the microphone and making your recording sound amateur)

  4. and necessary accessories (mic cable, mic stand, pop-shield)


LEVEL ONE:  $500 

In Level One we are trying to balance quality with price.  Not always an easy thing to do, but manageable when you know what to look for! I have used the Behringer C1 for years (and still do) and it’s a nice full range microphone and an incredible price point. It’s not necessarily the “best” microphone as there are many with a smoother, richer sound, but you have to pay for that sound as well.

The C1 is built well, and is standing the test of time for me.  And when you eventually save up for a higher quality mic, this one will still be there ready to come out when you might need a second mic for a podcast, guitar, or simply as a backup.

For the interface I HIGHLY recommend the Focusrite lineup for their incredible sound, build quality and price point.  Their preamps have a very high “noise ceiling” which keeps the electric fuzz from entering your recordings, and the 3rd gen Scarlett series as well as the Clarett series have an amazing “AIR” function that gives the recordings more life and clarity.  I own both the Scarlett 4i4 for gigs and the Clarett 8preX in my studio, and the Focusrite 2i2 (found in Level Two) also boasts the title of world’s best selling interface (and for good reason!)  Here we enter the Focusrite family with their single preamp Scarlett “SOLO” model.

Now, to keep the sound of your untreated room from entering into your recordings, we turn to what is commonly known as a Microphone Isolation Shield. Think of it like an affordable, portable vocal booth alternative!  No matter how expensive your microphone and interface are, if your room-sound enters your recordings you are going to sound incredibly amateur!!  Let’s avoid that at all costs… or atleast the cost of a handy mic shield!

As for essential accessories, we will need a mic stand, mic cable, and the always necessary microphone pop shield to keep the destructive “plosives” from redlining your precious recordings (plosives are words with the letters P, T, F, B or any other that moves too much air into the microphone and makes the recording unusable… for professionals like you and me that is!).


LEVEL TWO: $1000

At this level we are moving away from the Microphone Isolation Shield, and beginning to treat the room itself using the amazing London Series sound dampening panels from Primacoustic.  This frees us up to use cooler microphone boom arms that don’t need to hold up the isolation shield anymore!

For Level Twl we upgrade the quality of our microphone to the renowned Rode NT1-a which is a favourite among sound engineers and podcasters alike.  We also upgrade our interface to Focusrite’s Scarlett 2i2 which offers an extra microphone preamp, future-proofing us towards having two microphones recording at the same time (future podcast interviews?!)


LEVEL THREE: $2000

Level Three follows the direction we started taking in Level Two and continues to beef up the quality of our gear.  The world-renowned, industry-go-to, podcaster-favourite microphone is undoubtedly the Shure SM7b!  It’s not only iconic in appearance, but delivers the rich, silky smooth vocal experience everyone is aiming for in their voice recordings.  As a bonus it comes with a built-in pop shield, however it does require what is known as a microphone activator to help boost it’s lower signal levels into proper recording levels your interface desires.

For the interface we upgrade to Focusrite’s Clarett series which is built with the companies highest quality preamps and circuitry resulting in audio quality that rivals units 3x the price!  The 2pre still only offers dual microphone preamps for recording up to two mics at the same time.  Need more inputs?  Focusrite does offer units within either the Scarlett or Clarett series with more preamps, but the 2pre includes an ADAT connection on the back that allows you to connect 8 additional mic preamps with the Clarett OctaPre, or other ADAT expansion unit (again thinking forward towards future-proofing our equipment!).


CONCLUSION:

As you can probably see now, there are many, many options to consider when building your ideal home recording setup.  These recommended “packages” have been made mainly to guide you towards making the proper choice, but it is still up to you to choose based on your unique scenario (type of recording, number of mics required, size of room, etc).  You can of course mix and match from these 3 levels to accommodate your individual needs, and I highly recommend taking an hour each day over the next few days to read up on the equipment your are leaning towards purchasing, as well as their review and comparison articles (youtube is full of review and comparison videos too if you prefer that information medium).  I am also available for personalized studio setup consultations, equipment setup guidance and recording lessons to make the most of your equipment if any of that might float your boat.  Happy creating!

Written by Blair Francis at BlairFrancisMusic.com

Supernatural

The weekly newsletter that helps you access your hidden magic, grow your dream business, and stay inspired every step of the way.

No spam, no sales funnels, no BS!