It no longer costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce an excellent sounding mix and master. Thanks to breakthroughs in recording technology, we wanted to show that you can build a professional sounding studio for $5,000.
In our previous post, we made recommendations for an interface, hard drive and DAW. Here, we’ll recommend monitors, mics, room treatments and a MIDI controller.
You’re going to need a pair of reference monitors to do your mixing and mastering. The JBL Pro Active SLR308s are a great option. They feature new "waveguide" technology for optimal stereo imaging and can be purchased as a pair for under $500.
While it’s best to have a variety of mics to choose from when recording, starting out with a matched pair of large diaphragm condenser mics can suffice for a wide range of recording necessities. You can record most any instrument, including drums in stereo when needed.
The AKG C214 is an excellent all around microphone that’s been long trusted by producers. Whether you’re recording vocals or acoustic guitar, it will give you a clear, rich print of your signal.
With the countless high-quality virtual instruments available today, having a proper MIDI controller is essential. Many virtual instruments can be purchased for much less than their real counterpart, while still providing a studio quality tone.
The M-Audio Axiom 49 is a solid choice for MIDI controllers. The 49 keys, along with faders, knobs and pads, coupled with a sturdy construction, makes it everything you’ll need to start programming and mixing MIDI tracks.
Almost certainly, you’ll want to do some sort of acoustic treatment in your studio. Every recording and mixing space has its own sonic signature that can interfere with your ability to hear and mix the way your music truly sounds. The answer is to create as frequency-neutral of a space as possible.
The London 8 kit from Primacoustics is a good starting point for treating your room. It gives you four large sound absorption panels and eight small ones. The material is a much higher quality than foam, too, which is prone to deaden upper frequencies and harmonics while not affecting bass.
With top monitors, mics, room treatments to go along with your interface and DAW, you’ll have everything you need to create great sounding mixes, all for $4,835. You can even use your leftover cash to pick up a few high-quality virtual instruments.