Building a home studio is one thing but first, you need to have home recording gear to record music. There are several essential gears that every recording studio needs.
You don’t need much but whatever gear you buy should be high quality. You will be able to record and mix great music at your home studio.
In this guide, you will find all the necessary gear that every home recording studio needs from musical instruments to gear accessories.
In a recording studio, there must be musical instruments. You will need the most used instruments like guitars and basses but sometimes you will need other instruments too. Make sure to have at least one of the musical instruments listed here.
The first instrument you need in your studio is a guitar. Because the guitar is used almost in every song, it’s a first in the essential home recording gear list. And you need to have different types of guitars.
The recording studio should have at least one electric and one acoustic guitar. And if you have different types for each guitar, it’s better.
You can have one acoustic guitar and it’s fine. It’s up to you what kind of acoustic guitar you want. You may buy an acoustic-electric.
Also, if you have a budget, the classical guitar will be a great addition but it’s not mandatory.
But as for electric, it will be great if you have two electric guitars – one with single coils and one with humbuckers. You will be able to create more diverse sounds.
For home studios, any affordable electric guitar will be enough. For single-coil guitar, you can buy a Squier guitar and for humbuckers, you can get affordable Les Paul-style guitar.
The next home recording instrument you will need is a bass guitar. Fortunately, many brands have great-sounding, affordable bass guitars and they are easy to find.
Unlike guitars, you don’t need a couple of basses. But what you want to do is to find a high-quality and diverse bass guitar.
Your bass should be able to record different types of sounds. Your studio bass guitar should have a rich clean sound and also it should have good heavy tones. Especially if you record rock and other heavy-style music.
Squier has several great-sounding, affordable bass guitars. Also, you can try StingRay basses. They are amazing for every style of music and work great as recording instruments.
An amplifier is another essential home recording gear. Although we live in a digital recording era and we can record only with plugins, your studio should have at least one guitar and one bass amp.
The amp you choose for your home recording studio should have a high-quality sound and must be a great recording amp.
It’s better to buy a tube amp but if it’s expensive for your budget, then you can go for modeling or solid-state amps.
Try to find an amp that can produce both sounds – clean and dirty. You don’t need separate amps for different types of sounds. Just one that can produce different tones.
Keyboards are also very important for recording studios. With MIDI keyboards, you can record virtual instruments, and virtual drums, and also control your DAW. If you manage, you can get a digital piano too.
But you need to have at least one MIDI keyboard. And there are hundreds of amazing keyboards from different brands that come in different features, sizes, and prices.
Try to find a MIDI keyboard that has at least 49 keys and decent features. One that comes to mind is M-Audio Oxygen Pro.
Guitar effects pedals are optional but if you are using an amp as your main recording device, then you will need a couple of pedals too.
You don’t need too many pedals. Some kind of overdrive, reverb, and delay should be enough. Also, you can add a compressor and modulation pedals.
But if you use only amp sims for guitars and bases, then probably you won’t need effects pedals and spend that money on other recording gear.
Like pedals, acoustic drums are optional for home studios. It’s not essential home recording gear but it’s nice to have it. Especially if your room has enough space to place drums there.
Alternatively, you can have an electronic drum. They take up less space and they are easier to record in a home recording environment.
But if you want to save money, you can use VST drum plugins such as EZDrummer. They sound great and have a huge sound library.
Of course, you need recording gear to record and mix songs at your home recording studio. There is plenty of great equipment that you can buy at affordable prices. You don’t need much but always try to buy good equipment for your studio.
An audio interface is a device that lets you record instruments. It connects to your PC and DAW. Without it, you can record anything. Also, sound quality depends on it.
So, you need to have a high-quality audio interface in your studio. Fortunately, there are many good audio interfaces with great features.
Depending on how you record music, you can get a one-channel audio interface or a multi-channel one. A multi-channel lets you record several instruments at the same time. They are great for recording a whole band.
But if your main clients are singer-songwriters or you use a studio for yourself, then you could have a one or two-channel audio interface.
Make sure it has low latency, phantom power, and good sound converters.
A microphone is an essential gear for any recording studio. Microphones are used for vocals, acoustic guitars, amps, etc. It means you will need at least two different microphones.
You can use one as a vocal microphone, and another one for instruments. But if you have additional microphones, it’s better. You will be able to blend two mic sounds and create a richer sound.
Also, what you want to do is to get different types of microphones. You will need at least one dynamic mic and one condenser mic. Both are great for vocals and instruments and produce different sounds.
Good studio monitors are critical for home recording studios. Without them, the studio won’t have good sound. So, a pair of high-quality studio monitors are mandatory.
There are plenty of awesome monitors you can find these days. Different brands offer different types and quality monitors at different prices.
Studio monitors are very important in mixing and mastering. You can use headphones while recording and sometimes in mixing. But having top-quality studio monitors will help you to make better-sounding records.
Another essential home studio gear is headphones. Like studio monitors, headphones are necessary for mixing and also recording sessions.
If you have different types of headphones like closed back and open back, better.
First, you can mix and master songs with headphones. But they should be good-quality headphones with flat frequency response. Headphones are also great for recording purposes.
But the best reason to have good studio headphones in your home studio is the option for reference.
You can mix tracks with studio monitors but then listen to them with your headphones.
This way you will be able to hear how your mixes sound in different speakers and environments.
Digital Audio Workstation
Of course, every studio needs DAW. It’s software that lets you record, mix, and master tracks.
Today we have a huge variety of different DAWs and you can choose whichever you like and feel comfortable working with.
There are industry-standard DAWs like Pro Tools but you don’t need them because there are many great alternatives. Also, there are many great free DAWs.
Every DAW works the same way and comes with default plugins that are necessary for recording and mixing. Some DAWs even include instrument VST plugins with the sound library.
One of the best DAWs for home recording studios is Reaper. It’s professional, easy to use, and very affordable compared to other digital audio workstations.
Although your DAW may have all the plugins and tools for recording and mixing, you will need some third-party plugins.
Plugins are very essential home recording gear. Especially virtual instrument VST plugins because in general DAWs are not equipped with many VST instruments.
You will need some kind of drums VST plugin to record drums. If you frequently use other instruments such as violin, cello, synth, or pianos, you will need plugins for that.
Also, you may need guitar and bass amp plugins, effect plugins, or more powerful mixing tools like EQ and compressor.
Like many products, you can find free plugins that sound great. There are countless good-sounding, free plugins for guitars, basses, drums, etc. Also, amazing tools for mixing and mastering.
You have to have a collection of different plugins in your home studio to record different types of sounds and bands.
When you have studio gear, they need accessories. Other than that there are several accessories you will need to have in your recording studio to avoid any issues during recording sessions.
Of course, you need to have microphone stands in your home studio. And studio needs to have a couple of different stands for mics.
A good home recording studio needs to have a mic stand for vocals. If you use real amps, then you will need additional stands for amp mics.
It’s better to have different types and sized mic stands in your home studio for convenience. In general, microphone stands are cheap and you won’t need to have a big budget for them.
The next home recording gear accessories your studio needs are cables. And you will need a lot of them because every instrument and gear needs to have its own cable.
Guitar and bass need different mics, microphones will need separate cables. Also, if you use an amp head and cabinet, you will need cables for them and so on.
Don’t buy just one cable for each instrument or gear. Have multiple cables. In case one breaks you will have a spare one.
There are countless other accessories home recording studio needs. It can be an instrument accessory or something that is needed for recording and mixing.
Although it’s not necessary, it’s always good to have a guitar wireless system just in case. Especially, if you are a gigging musician.
Some of the most used accessories you will need for your studio are:
- Pop filters
- Mic mounts
- Drum sticks
You need to have them lay around in your studio in case you need them. You have to have a complete package for convenient recording sessions.
Your home studio should look like a professional recording studio. You need to have a great-sounding room with high-quality equipment. For that, you need to have essential home recording gear. This way more musicians and bands will work with you and you will generate great income. You can transform your little room into a full business.