This tutorial/video on how to build a home studio for less than $300 assumes you already own a laptop or some type of desktop computer at home. Whether you are an 18 year old kid trying to explore or a much older person trying to follow your dreams of creating amazing music on a budget – this blog post and video combo is just for you so let’s get right into it.

What you will need

In total you will be needing 4 things… Oddly enough that 4 could become only 2 depending on the type of setup you are going for.

  1. An Audio Interface
  2. Headphones
  3. Software
  4. Mic Stand & Pop Filter

How to Build a Home Music Studio

Audio Interface Bundle

You can get an audio interface from Focusrite that includes a microphone, headphones and the cables you will need as well as a free copy of Protools which will in turn mean you do not need item 3 on this list anymore, or you can also get a bundle that includes a mic stand and pop filter which will mean you won’t be needing items 3 and 4 on this list. I already investigated all these things so here are the links to each bundle.

Scarlett Solo Bundle:  Check on Amazon

Scarlett Solo Bundle with Mic Stand & Pop Filter: Check on Amazon

Focusrite Scarlett Solo

These are of course budget options that work fantastic, you must know that the headphones included in the box are almost nearly useless for anything aside monitoring audio for your talent. If you would like to spend a little more money you could splurge a little more but I suppose it doesn’t need to be said that the law of diminishing returns comes into play with things like this.

Headphones

If you love music so much you want to start producing it I would assume you already own headphones, but you may still need new ones regardless. If you have been using popular brand name headphones like Beats or Shure and maybe even 50 Cents SMS Audio, you may have missed the mark a little bit. Most of those headphones are designed to enhance the listening experience of a consumer as opposed to monitoring flat audio for mixing and mastering. On the off chance that you are in the market for new studio monitoring headphones here are a few options you may want to consider:

Recommended
Best Value
Best Quality
Name
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, Black
Sennheiser HD 4.30G Black Around Ear Headphones
Sennheiser HD280PRO Headphone (new model)
AKG K 240 MK II Stereo Studio Headphones
beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 250 Ohm Over-Ear Studio Headphones in black. Closed construction, wired for studio use, ideal for mixing in the studio
Prime Status
Price
from $129.00
$74.79
$99.95
$118.93
$171.20
Recommended
Name
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, Black
Prime Status
Price
from $129.00
Check on Amazon
Name
Sennheiser HD 4.30G Black Around Ear Headphones
Prime Status
Price
$74.79
Check on Amazon
Best Value
Name
Sennheiser HD280PRO Headphone (new model)
Prime Status
Price
$99.95
Check on Amazon
Name
AKG K 240 MK II Stereo Studio Headphones
Prime Status
Price
$118.93
Check on Amazon
Best Quality
Name
beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 250 Ohm Over-Ear Studio Headphones in black. Closed construction, wired for studio use, ideal for mixing in the studio
Prime Status
Price
$171.20
Check on Amazon

Needless to say, you can probably get these headphones for slightly less money if you are willing to buy used or slightly used… which I wouldn’t recommend as I wouldn’t do it myself. I also would not expect you to mix or master audio with a pair of bluetooth cans or anything ridiculous like that. That would be a really bad joke if you tried.. but please don’t.

Software

Now speaking about software, your options are not limited at all, to each his own like I always say. I have friends who swear by ProTools, me personally I have used FL Studio, Adobe Audition and Cubase in my time but there is really no one way to do it. Watch videos and tutorials and figure out what works for your style and production then pick that. Better still, try multiple softwares or learn how to use them all. No knowledge is a waste.

Here are some top of the line softwares if you would like a comprehensive list:

Pro Tools: Check on Amazon

FL Studio: Check on Amazon

Ableton Live: Check on Amazon

Reason 10: Check on Amazon

Here is a more in-depth comparison table in case you need one:

Name
Image Line FL Studio 20 Producer Edition Mac/Windows
Ableton Multitrack Recording Software (Live 10 Intro)
Avid Pro Tools 12 Academic (Download Card + iLok)
Propellerhead Reason 10 (101000010)
Price
$199.00
$99.00
$329.00
$399.00
Name
Image Line FL Studio 20 Producer Edition Mac/Windows
Price
$199.00
Check on Amazon
Name
Ableton Multitrack Recording Software (Live 10 Intro)
Price
$99.00
Check on Amazon
Name
Avid Pro Tools 12 Academic (Download Card + iLok)
Price
$329.00
Check on Amazon
Name
Propellerhead Reason 10 (101000010)
Price
$399.00
Check on Amazon

Again this is a category you will not need to even worry about if say you buy a Scarlett Solo bundle recommended above or you already had a software you have been practicing or playing with on your computer.

Mic Stand & Pop Filter

This part is pretty much self explanatory, your mic will need to stand on something and you will need a pop filter to reduce/avoid plosives if you did not go with the bundle that comes with both items recommended above. Here are some products we recommend for your convenience:

Neewer NB-35 Microphone Suspension Boom Scissor Arm Stand with Mic Clip Holder and Table Mounting Clamp & NW(B-3) Pop Filter Windscreen Mask Shield & Metal Microphone Shock Mount Kit
  • Kit includes: (1)Black NB-35 Mic Suspension Boom Scissor Arm Stand with (1)Table Mounting Clamp and (1)Mic Clip Holder + (1)Black NW(B-3) Pop Filter + (1)Black Metal Mic Shock Mount Holder. NOTE: Microphone, Foam Windscreen and Audio Cable NOT INCLUDED
  • NB-35 Mic Stand features solid steel construction and adjustable design. Can be easily adjusted to the suitable angle and height to show your perfect voice. *Max load: Approx 53oz / 1.5KG*. PlEASE NOTE: This Stand is NOT Suitable for Blue Yeti USB Microphone
  • Comes with one table mounting clamp. With an adjustable positioning screw, can easily clip to any desktop up to 1.7"/4.5cm thick. PLEASE CHECK the thickness of your table BEFORE ordering
  • NW(B-3) Pop Filter with double nylon net helps you with prevention against plosion and popping to get your best vocal recordings. Features flexible metal gooseneck and adjustable swivel mount
  • Mic Shock Mount isolates most studio condenser mics from physical vibration, floor, and stand noise. NOTE: Fits for mic of 43-46mm Diameter. PLEASE VERIFY your microphone size BEFORE ORDERING
Rode PSA1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arm
  • Amazon as the seller is the ONLY authorized Fulfilled By Amazon Dealer
  • Purchases from unauthorized dealers carry No Warranty
  • Rotates 360 degrees with a maximum reach of 32.5 inches horizontally and 33 inches vertically
  • 3/8-inch threaded mic mount/clip only. If your mic mount thread is 5/8", you will need a mic thread adapter (adapters not included)
  • Designed for the RØDE Procaster and Podcaster, the PSA1 supports most microphones weighing between 700g (1.5lb) and 1.1kg (2.4lb) when combined with shock mount
Sale
Rode PSM1 Shock Mount For Podcaster, Procaster, PSA1, and DS1 Microphones
  • Amazon as the seller is the ONLY authorized Fulfilled by Amazon Dealer, and purchases from unauthorized dealers carry No Warranty
  • The perfect suspension shock mount for the Procaster or Podcaster
  • Provides isolation from external vibrations which can translate as low frequency noise or manipulate the microphone position
  • Provides confidence when using your microphone in environments where there is any movement that may interfere with the microphones performance
  • Rotates 360 degrees with a maximum reach of 820mm (32.5 inches) horizontally and 840mm (33 inches) vertically
Aokeo Professional Microphone Pop Filter Mask Shield, Dual Layered Wind Pop Screen With A Flexible 360° Gooseneck Clip Stabilizing Arm For Awesome Premium Recordings, Broadcasting, Streaming, Singing
  • Double Layered Screen Pop Filters: The first screen blocks air blasts as any pop filter normally would; The gap in between then disperses any remaining air pressure, so by the time it passes the second screen, the blast is easily contained to produce great quality recordings.
  • Universally Compatible: Adjustable screw rotating clamp with scratch-proof gripper can secure variety tubular mounting booms or microphone stands. Eliminates anyone's extra elements that prevents them from recording/projecting their best vocals to the public or their audience.
  • Adjustable Gooseneck: The steel metal gooseneck holder fully supports the filter's weight and keep it in place. You can adjust the angle and distance between the screen and the microphone to best fit your needs for yours lovely voice.
  • Functions: Banish the dreaded hissing and lisping sounds that come when pronouncing the letter "S" and blocks those ugly "plosives" that follows "B" and "P". It is a great item for singers, streamers and actors alike who want help achieving the best possible performance and help protect the spitting all over your personal microphone.
  • Easy To Use: Swivel mount for easy installation, removal and location adjustment. Aokeo Professional High Standard Microphones and Aokeo Premium Quality Stands are sold separately (NOT INCLUDED)

Whatever variety or combination you choose to go with, understand that when you are beginning it is totally OK to skip the expensive stuff and stick to the functional basics. And when you begin to make some money from your music production you can begin to buy the more niche popular and nice to have equipments that make your rig a lot more professional.

Mic stand, Boom arm

We have completely avoided recommending studio monitors and speakers of any kind as those can be quite expensive to start and they are not totally a MUST HAVE if you can master how to use your studio monitoring headphones. We will however compile a guide for studio monitors at a later date and connect that to this section of this post.

While that is in the works though, here is a list of the best selling studio monitors out there right now:

Bestseller No. 1
PreSonus Eris E3.5 - 3.5" Professional Multimedia Reference Monitors with Acoustic Tuning (Pair)
  • The reviews speak for themselves!
  • The only true studio monitor for multimedia, gaming, watching movies, or producing your next hit.
  • Studio-quality industrial design. They look as great as they sound. Protection: RF interference, Output-current limiting, Over-temperature, Turn-on/off transient
  • 3.5-inch woven composite drivers produce a more powerful bass response with a more accurate overall sound.
  • The only monitors in their class with acoustic tuning. This enables you to get pristine sound quality in any room. Crossover Frequency:2.8 kHz
Bestseller No. 2
Mackie Studio Monitor Black w/green trim 3-inch CR3
  • Studio-quality design, sound and performance ideal for multimedia creation and entertainment
  • Professional-grade components for optimized sonic performance.1/8 inches to stereo RCA cable to connect computer output to speakers
  • Ultra-wide frequency range perfect for full-range multimedia (80 Hz - 20 kHz)
  • Choose which side of your desk gets the volume knob with CR3's convenient speaker placement switch
  • Convenient front panel volume knob with lit power ring gives you on/off/volume control and power indication where you need it. Plug your smartphone or other source right into the front of the speakers and listen instantly
Bestseller No. 3
Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers - 2.0 Active Near Field Monitors - Studio Monitor Speaker - Wooden Enclosure - 42 Watts RMS
  • Featuring a 4-inch bass driver and a calibrated, flared bass reflex port, this bookshelf speaker system delivers robust, rich bass notes that are full of presence and depth.
  • Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and Dynamic Range Control (DRC) limits distortion
  • Dual RCA inputs for connectivity to multiple audio sources
  • Wireless remote control for volume adjustment and mute
SaleBestseller No. 4
KRK RP5G3- 59107 NA Rokit 5 Generation 3 Powered Studio Monitor - Pair
  • This Bundle contains 2 items: Pair of KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit 5 Generation 3 Powered Studio Monitor
  • Bi-amped, class A/B amplifier offering large headroom and low distortion
  • Proprietary waveguide optimized for superior imaging
  • 1 Soft-dome tweeter provides pristine clarity and extended response up to 35kHz
  • High-frequency adjustment tailors the system to personal taste
Bestseller No. 5
Edifier R1280DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers - Optical Input - Wireless Studio Monitors - 4 Inch Near Field Speaker - 42w RMS - Wood Grain
  • BLUETOOTH WIRELESS - Popular classic bookshelf speakers now can be enjoyed without the hassle of wires. Simply connection to an iPhone, Android, Tablet, PC or Mac.
  • STUDIO SOUND QUALITY - Naturally fine tuned sound reproduction from 4 inch bass and 13mm silk dome tweeter.
  • OPTICAL AND COAXIAL INPUTS - Digital inputs to enable lossless connection to most TV and computers.
  • REMOTE CONTROL - Adjust the volume and toggle inputs at your fingertips. Bass and treble control located on the side of main speaker.
  • 2 YEAR WARRANTY - Quality components in solid MDF wood housing are built to last. 24 month parts and labor warranty in USA and Canada.

Now with this guide showing you how to build a home music studio for less than $300 you are able to to spend more or less than that budget with informed choices and very smart purchases. If you played your cards right in fact there is a chance that some of the equipment you pick up from the very beginning could stay with you forever. Save for wear and tear. I am still using my wooden Onkyo Studio Monitors from so many years ago and not only are they no longer being produced by the company, they are no longer available to buy used on any website anywhere. Crazy!

I really do hope this post has helped you apply some frugality to your setup – more than that I hope it has actually helped you acquire some quality audio gear – albeit at a very frugal price.

Thanks for reading/watching, if you found this article helpful please do not forget to share.

Kagan

Kagan is a color theorist, filmmaker and YouTuber with an affinity for technology and a very personal approach to product reviews. If you ever need an honest opinion about anything... Send him a tweet.

View all posts