If you love making music, you no longer need to travel into professional studios. You can make a home studio.
When done right, you can get all the equipment you need to produce a hit album for yourself. But how much will this process cost?
Here you will find a rough guide to some of the biggest costs when it comes to building a studio in your home.
P.S. If you want to learn how you can get started making electronic music for the lowest price, check out my article called How Much It Costs To Make Electronic Music. 🙂
Basic Studio Costs
One of the most affordable ways to make music at home is with a computer. The best part is you probably already have everything you need to get started.
Here is a breakdown of all the potential options you have when budgeting out how much it will cost you to create music at home using a computer:
You will quickly notice that only two things are really required to start creating electronic music:
- A half-decent computer
- Recording software for your computer
Everything else can definitely help you make better music or make creating music more fun, but it is completely optional.
In fact, there are dozens and dozens of free instrument and effect plugins out there for you to sink your teeth into. You really don’t need to invest a lot of money when first starting out creating electronic music.
To be honest, starting off as simply and cheaply as possible is what I would recommend. This lets you dip your toes into the world of making music without busting the bank.
If you enjoy it, you can slowly upgrade over time. If you don’t enjoy it, you just saved a lot of cash.
Preparing the Studio
The first thing that you need to do is make sure that you are getting a good studio space. You will need to pick a room that is big enough to house all your musical equipment.
Once you have the right space, you’ll need to insulate it, to make it sound-proof. Often, this will mean adding some sound-absorbing materials to the walls.
The cost of soundproofing can vary. If you are paying someone to install the materials for you, it can cost between $2,000 to $3,000.
However, if you are doing it yourself, you might only need to pay $1,000 to $1,500. This article gives you some tips on how you can insulate your room.
Buying the Necessary Equipment
Once you have soundproofed the room, you need to start adding in the equipment. What you will need will depend on the type of music you intend to create.
However, there are a few universal types of equipment that you will need to use.
Regardless of what type of music you want to make, you’ll need to get a high-quality microphone. There are plenty of options to choose from.
You should be able to find a good one for between $100 to $300.
The next thing you need is a MIDI keyboard. This will allow you to replicate any musical instrument. It can also come in handy during the editing process, as you look to add sound effects.
There are a few types of MIDI keyboards that you can use. If you have enough space, you might want to get a 54-key or 61-key version. But if space is limited, or you are looking to save money, you can get a 25-key version.
As this will be one of the most commonly-used tools in your arsenal, it’s important to make sure that you are getting a good one. There are a few things you should be looking for.
First, you might benefit from a keyboard that comes with pads. These can be linked with effects. It can also help to have clear controls.
Things like pressure-sensitive keys respond to the amount of weight you are putting on them. This will change the volume and intensity of the note.
My favorite MIDI controller is definitely the Ableton Push 2 since it is super high quality, has music theory hacks built-in, and is tightly integrated with the Ableton Live software.
If you play on using Ableton Live as the DAW in your studio (more on this later), then I’d highly recommend checking out my article called Is Ableton Push 2 Worth It?.
If you need some help narrowing down the right choice for you, check out this guide to 25 key MIDI keyboards.
These can cost between $50 to $500.
If you are going to record and edit your music, you will need to use a computer. It will need to have enough processing power to hook up all your devices and run the necessary software.
To get this, you might have to budget between $500 to $1,500. Or you can save some money and use an existing computer.
The next thing you need to do is find the right Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). This is where your music will be recorded. It’s also where you will edit your music.
There is a huge range of DAWs on the market, so it’s best to be selective. Here are some of the ways to find the right one for you. It’s also a good idea to check that they are compatible with your MIDI.
These come with a range of price tags. Sometimes, they will be free. For more advanced programs, though, you can pay around $100 to $250+.
With that said, my favorite DAW is Ableton without a shadow of a doubt.
When starting to learn Ableton and music production for the first time, it is important to know how long it will take to learn Ableton and see some good results.
This is why I put together an article that explains what is so unique about Ableton and how long it will take you to learn it called How Long It Takes To Learn Ableton (& How To Learn Faster).
P.S. If you don’t yet have a copy of Ableton but would like to get one, make sure you check out my article called Does Ableton Ever Go On Sale? before spending any money. 🙂
Computer-Free or DAWless Alternative
There are 3 ways to make beats without a computer: using a completely DAWless setup, a hybrid setup, or a tablet-based setup.
A DAWless setup uses absolutely no computers, a hybrid setup only uses the computer to process sounds and/or record your jams, and a tablet-based setup uses an iPad or Android tablet in place of a computer.
Each method has different degrees of “computer-escapism” depending on how much you want to distance yourself from the computer or if you simply want to distance yourself from the computer’s screen.
If you are want to ditch the computer in your home studio (either completely or partially), check out my article called How To Make Beats Without A Computer.
When you are recording and editing your music, it’s important to make sure that you have a good pair of headphones. This will allow you to hear every aspect, removing any imperfections.
These can cost between $150 to $750. You might also want to get some high-quality speakers, which can cost another $300 to $1,000.
Accessories Like Cables
There will naturally be odds and ends that you need to account for in your home studio like cables and stands.
The best cables for studio monitors depend on if your speakers require a balanced or unbalanced cable. To find this simply check the product page or manual for your speakers.
To make things as simple as possible for you, I’ve looked up the best cables for some of the more popular speakers and studio monitors out there, as well as found the best cables at a variety of different price points.
To learn more about this, check out my article called Best Cables For Studio Monitors.
Adding the Costs
Now that we have a better idea of some of the most common items in a home studio, we can start to add the costs.
This will give us a rough idea of how much creating it will cost.
If you want a basic setup, you might be able to get away with spending $3,000 to $5,000. But if you are trying to create a top-of-the-line option, you might need to spend $30,000 to $40,000.
Summing Things Up
A home studio doesn’t have to be a big expense. For a few thousand dollars, you will be able to get everything you need.
This will allow you to record professional-level audio and make quality mixes of your songs.
Once the room is set up, you will be able to start recording your music. So, build your home studio today and share your music with the world.
Once you’ve built your home studio and recorded some sweet music, you might want to look into getting those tracks up on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.
Thankfully, it is actually 100000X times easier to do this than it was 10 years ago.
Sure, when you look at how much Spotify pays per stream, it is not too much but it can definitely add up. Plus, it’s pretty cool to have your music available where everyone can hear it and it takes your musical project to the next level.
To get started, all you will need is a “music distributor” to get your music uploaded to all the popular streaming services and stores.
My top suggestion for a music distributor is definitely DistroKid because you get unlimited song uploads for a small annual fee (it’s also what I personally use).
With that said, I’ve compared DK to other popular services if you would like to search around first to find the right digital distributor:
- DistroKid vs TuneCore
- DistroKid vs CdBaby
- DistroKid vs UnitedMasters
- DistroKid vs Ditto
- DistroKid vs Amuse
- DistroKid vs SoundCloud
Or, if you would like a more detailed look into what DistroKid has to offer, you can check out my big fat DistroKid review. 🙂
In that review, I go over quite a bit, including deep dives into DistroKid pricing as well as everything you will need to know about DistroKid wait times.
P.S. If you also want to learn about music publishing and make sure that you are not leaving any money on the table with your music distribution setup, I’d recommend checking out these 2 articles: