If you had 1000$ what would you start with

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Oh! Henry, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. I'm looking at putting together a small home recording studio and really have no idea where to start. I have a budget of around 1000$. My starting point is a SM58 a Countryman Type 85 DI and a computer.

    The set up would ideally be versatile enough that I could capture everything from vocals, guitars, brass and obviously bass. For drums, I was thinking of going with drum loops as I know micing drums are outta the question for now (at least not for my budget and knowledge)

    Is it reasonable to thing I can get some quality recordings in this price range?
  2. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    you need an interface between the DI and the computer--a unit with digital to analog and analog to digital converters. You'd want a good mic or two, and preamps to power the mic

    I work on a Mac, and I really like the apogee Duet for an interface. IT has good AD/DA conversion and excellent mic preamps For a good inexpensive condenser mic I like the CAD M179. The .standard mic for micing amps is the shure sm57
  3. lakefx


    Sep 14, 2012
    It all really depends on the quality of recording you need. I used to work in live sound and ran a small studio so I know what quality gear sounds like, which is not doable on your budget. Now, I really just want to record rehearsals and put together a demo, which is totally doable on your budget.

    If you want to capture all of those tracks at once, I would recommend getting a Tascam US-1800. They can be had cheap (mine was $200 new) and have 8 mic preamps and 2 instrument preamps. The recording quality isn't quite as good as the Apogee recommended above, but there isn't a whole lot of difference until you get way outside your budget.

    For mics, a few 57s would be a good start. I have used them successfully on just about everything. For cheap condensers, I recently got a pair of small diaphragm condensers from MonoPrice for $100 that work quite well as part of a 3 mic setup for drums. I'm pretty sure they are rebadged MXLs. Get cables from MonoPrice too and you will be well under your budget to start. Not the greatest quality, but good enough to get going and figure out what your doing and where you need to spend more money.
  4. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Another option is one of the small recorders with built in Mics, like the zoom
    They come with very good mics with multiple patterns. They do plug in direct to the PC and work as an interface, but you can also carry it around separately to record moments wherever you're at.
    There's quite a few good mics available for iPad, iPod, ... also interfaces. iPad is not a bad platform at all.
  5. capncal


    Apr 14, 2009
    pro tools.
  6. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    Shopping list:

    Audio interface (USB or FireWire)
    DAW -e.g. Pro Tools, etc.
    MIDI controller - either pads only or pad and keys
    Amp modeler - e.g. Amplitube 3
    Virtual drums - e.g BFD2
    Powered monitors
    Quality Headphones

    There are lots of products available for every item on the list covering a wide spectrum of price. The DAW becomes the basis of the system and requires the most investment in time to learn, plus creates the boundary lines in terms of compatibility and interoperability with everything else you purchase. Reaper is free. Pro Tools is the industry standard. Logic is great but Mac only. Etc.

    Choose wisely. Assume that your budget means your budget for "this month."
  7. Start with a "Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface" and "Mixcraft 6 Pro Studio" software - and two powered studio monitors, and microphone.

  8. mannysilvers

    mannysilvers Commercial User

    Jun 20, 2009
    Engineer, Electro-Harmonix
    I'd argue the most important thing to have from a production standpoint (besides experience) is a good monitoring environment. This includes monitors and room treatment (honestly you can go a long way with blankets, pillows, etc. it just won't look pretty). If you know what you're doing you can make surprisingly excellent recordings with very little expensive gear, but it's very hard to do that with poor monitoring, you gotta be able to hear what you're doing!

    Past that think in the order of signal flow, what ever comes earliest in the chain is most important.


    Obviously having a solid workstation (computer and DAW) is also extremely important, and as far as plug-ins think of the basics. 1 good EQ (most DAWs have a fine one), 1 good Compressor, 1 good Reverb.

    As far as specifics you could probably benefit from getting one solid middle priced mic, probably a large diaphragm condenser. Something that'd be good for vocals, acoustic guitar, and throwing in front of a cab.

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