How to build a budget computer-based recording studio
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Tweak's Guide
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Introduction

For Noobs

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Signal Flow

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Mac vs. PC

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Buy Gear 

Writing Music

Inspiration

Recorders

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Controllers

CC Events

MIDI Routing

Mixers

Understanding your Mixer

Digital Mixers

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Mixer Hookup

Control Surface

Microphones

Mic Preamps

Converters

Monitors

MIDI Modules

Effects

Sequencers

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Soft Synths

Audio Plugins

Synth Prg Tips

MIDI to Audio

Cables

Impedance

Patchbays

Studio Setup

Room Acoustics

War on Hum

Quiet Room

Dual Monitors

DJ studio

Networking

16 vs 24 bit

Word Clock

Timecode

Build a DAW

Tracking

Record Vocal

Session Tips

Vocal Editing

AutoTune etc

Using EQ

Harmonizers

Guitar Tracks

Guitar Tone

Drum Tips

Drum Patterns

Hip Hop Beats

Cymbals

Sampling

Samplers

Compressors

Pan, Vol, FX

Mixing 101

Mix Methods

Mastering

Field Recorders

Archiving Songs

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Surround

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Podcasting

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How to Build a Budget Studio   

This is the cheapest computer-based rig that sounds decent!

Welcome to TweakHeadz Lab! TweakHeadz Lab has the following resources to get you started building your recording studio.

In the Guide, Tweak takes you through classes that cover all the basic of putting together a home studio.  You'll see what components are needed or the simple mixerless studio to advanced multi-track recording rigs for large bands.  You can see the gear that is used in many popular studio rigs that people use today to produce music at home. 

The guide will take you through classes on Which Soundcard or Audio Interface, help you pick out a keyboard or MIDI module and covers microphones, mixers, compressors, effects, sequencers, software synths, samplers, plugins and mastering processors.

Components of a Budget Studio

Here's the cheapest studio I would attempt to record with.  To be sure, you can find cheaper mics and a cheaper audio interface, but they sacrifice on sound.

Here's a simply flow chart of how pieces connect in a basic mixerless home studio.  This type of studio is the simplest and the cheapest, and it relies on the power of your computer for recording and playback. 

 

Here's some products that will get you going at decent quality, but as cheap as possible.  Note that you get software bundled in with the Tascam, a budget version of a well known sequencer.

 

Tascam US122 MKII USB 2.0 Audio Interface


TASCAM has refreshed its best-selling USB interface with better audio specs and a fresh new look for the US-122mkII. The US-122mkII starts with two great-quality XLR microphone preamps with phantom power for condenser microphones. There's also a pair of balanced line inputs and a guitar-level in for direct recording of electric guitar or bass. The stereo signal is sent to your computer at up to 96kHz/24-bit audio quality. (includes Cubase LE!)

 

M-Audio KeyRig 49 49-Key USB MIDI Controller


The M-Audio KeyRig 49 turns your Mac or PC into a versatile keyboard workstation. Featuring a 49-key, synth-action USB MIDI keyboard and the award-winning Key Rig software for the PC, KeyRig 49 makes it easy to start composing and performing music with a computer. Use KeyRig 49 to play Key Rig's virtual instrument sounds, or audition loops and compose songs with M-Audio's Session, Apple's GarageBand, Ableton's Live Lite (included) or other music-creation programs. The KeyRig 49 keyboard also includes professional features like pitch and mod wheels, an assignable volume slider, octave +/- buttons and sustain pedal input. It's powered via a single USB cable and works instantly with computers running Mac OS X or Windows XP. 

AKG Perception 120 Studio Condenser Microphone


The AKG Perception 120 is a .667-inch diaphragm true condenser microphone that offers solid build quality, outstanding performance, and excellent value. The low-mass diaphragm delivers a clear sound with accurate sonic detail. A switchable 20 dB preattenuation pad and bass cut filter make the Perception 120 an excellent choice for a wide range of recording and live sound applications.

 

Here's the cables and stand you need

OnStage 7700 Tripod Boom Microphone Stand
The On-Stage Spotlight Microphone Stand is the ideal tripod boom stand for countless stage and studio applications. With its durable construction of hybrid sheet metal and high-impact plastic leg housing it holds up to repeated use and abuse. A cast steel mid-point clutch also locks down the boom to secure your microphone. The boom arm can fold flat for easy storage and is removable for those times when a boom is not required.

 

CBI LowZ Microphone Cable with Neutrik Connectors
The CBI MLN Performer Series mic cables are extremely flexible and durable cables. They are constructed with Beldens 22-gauge, 2-conductor super low noise, ultra flexible audio cable, then fitted to Neutrik male and female XLR connectors.

Hosa Nickel-Plated Dual Cable (Dual RCA to Dual RCA)
Precision molding of all plastics and high-tolerance tooling ensure tight, positive connections for all Hosa RCA connections. Hosa's Limited Lifetime Warranty expresses their confidence in these RCA cable assemblies!

KRK RP5G2 Rokit Powered 2-Way Active Monitor
The KRK RP5G2 Rokit G2 Powered Studio Monitor takes this KRK design to new heights.

 

Some of the advantages:  As of this writing The M-audio Key Rig comes with Ableton Live Lite.  TheTascam comes with Cubase LE.  Both of these are really pretty good software packages to get started on.  Naturally, there are other ways to do this.  I suggest you check out Tweak's Guide for detailed info on every one of these components.

Feel free to drop by the forums and ask a question


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