Imagine yourself recording your first track in your home studio, what do you see? You’re probably envisioning state of the art gear: Your Ams-Neve 88RS soundboard with scoring panel, stem maker, joystick pan and expanded patch. Accompanied by your 34 inch Acer Predator X34 desktop monitor connected to your duel KEF X300A speakers. And to finish off your setup you are recording with one of the slickest microphone in the business, the Neumann U87 to capture every particle of sound on set. This is the ideal set-up although most of us don’t have thousands of dollars to throw down for our ideal home studio. To compensate for our loss here are 3 cheap alternatives for recording at home.

Digital Audio Workstation 

The first essential to producing a track is a platform to mix it with. This is referred to as a Digital Audio Workstation and comes in forms of computer software applications and soundboards. The cheapest form are computer softwares and the best part, they are free. Mac users are offered the application Garageband. It can be downloaded from the app store and is known for its user friendly format. PC users are offered the application Audacity which can be downloaded from Audacity’s website. The downside to Audacity is it’s complicated format, although with a little bit of practice anyone can use it like a pro. And don’t worry both of these applications are used universally by beginners and professionals, so don’t think that you are getting a watered down version of software.


The second essential to producing a track is a microphone to record with. A widely accepted misconception is only quality equipment will produce a quality product. There are plenty of bands and solo artists that don’t use top notch gear to record their music. Many artists will use single microphone recordings, using the built in microphone in there computer or smart phone. A Lexington, KY band, Jovontaes, have produced many albums and singles under Woodsist Records, Hello Sunshine Records, and Sophomore Lounge Records. They have released multiple cassettes of recordings using only an iPhone. They also produced their second full length album “Paranoia Makes a Crazy Gift” with primarily single microphone recordings with the built in microphone in their iPhone. There fans love their one microphone recordings and if you are still skeptical check them out for yourself on Bandcamp.


The third and final essential to producing a track are headphones to help you mix. You don’t need big, heavy headphone to help you mix your track. All you need are headphones that allow you to hear all the essentials of your track. If you have an iPhone chances are you have the apple earbuds that come with it. Those are perfect for helping you mix your track. If you don’t have apple earbuds do your best to find earbuds that come close to an equivalent. There are many websites like Ebay and Craigslist that will give you some cheap options, but make sure to read and double check that they are in good condition. A general rule to keep in mind, any headphones are better than no headphones.

The recap the 3 essentials to cheap home recording: a platform to mix your tracks, a microphone to record with, and headphones to help you mix your track. There are cheap methods out there you just have to be resourceful and know how to use them. Good luck to all with producing your next track.


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