6 Tips for Setting Up a Home Studio while Saving Money

So you want to set up a home studio but you don’t have the money to assemble the best equipment there is out there? Not to worry, like yourself there are a lot of people that started off recording and mixing their music at home with basic equipment and had incredible results that helped them earn enough money to upgrade. The trick is not your financial power, but your will power and your skill in finding good items at reasonable prices.
1 - The Right Room
Before setting up your own home studio, you have to have the perfect room. Even if a number of people start off in their own bedroom, the best room is always one that is free from air-conditioning, ventilation ducts and a room that is not perfectly square and a little higher than normal. A garage, in most cases, is the ideal. For best quality recording, choose a corner to minimize any wave reflection or hang heavy drapes on the walls to absorb as much reflection waves as possible. An alternative to the heavy drapes are plastic or cardboard egg containers, but apart from being highly flammable, the latter is a perfect attraction to cockroaches, which you don’t want to have around at all, especially when you start having people come to your studio to record their music. Install a thick, fitted carpet, properly grounded electrical equipment and wires to reduce interference as much as possible.

2 - PC-Based Recordings
The most basic and cost effective set up is by using a PC. Obviously, you have to spend a few hundred dollars to get a PC which is powerful enough and with a big hard disk of minimum 120GB and RAM possibly of 512MB. There are numerous music recording and mixing software packages available and price ranges considerably. Try to find software that is compatible to your computer, be it PC or MAC, and that is flexible enough to be used for all your needs without spending too much money on licensing.
3 - Recorders
Recorders can be very expensive, especially the high end type, but with some perseverance you can easily find second-hand top class multi-track recorders for a very good price. While you’re at it, very good USB memory cards are very cheap and owning one plus a card reader would give you the chance to transfer your work to your computer without affecting the quality, even if you worked on your PC using a less than adequate sound card.
4 - Mixers
Even if you might not need one, most recorders only take up one instrument and one microphone simultaneously. There is no need for anything fancy, a portable mixer with a small preamp can easily be purchased for or even less than a hundred dollars.
5 - Microphones
Professional microphones can be very expensive to purchase, but will give incredible results in the end. Even if eventually you will need to consider such microphones, at first you can start by purchasing a reasonably priced microphone to get you started. Some brands sell good quality microphones plus clips with a good price and would give you a descent sound quality for both instruments and voice recordings.
6 - Headphones
Any decent and respectful recording studio needs to have a good set of monitors of special speakers designed to be listened to at close range. Once again, price range for monitors is wide, but most of them are extremely expensive. If you can afford a pair of monitors, they should be placed at ear level in a shape of a triangle. If on the other hand you cannot afford them, you could always consider opting for a second-hand pair or a very good pair of headphones.
With a little bit of luck and a good look around shops that sell unbranded material and used equipment, you should have the home studio ready and running for a very reasonable price to start with. Once you master your studio, you might consider hiring your studio to record other people’s music and make enough money to start upgrading and getting proper, high-end, top-quality mixing and recording equipment to help you grow.