Recommended Gear for Home Recording For Beginners

Now let’s start with Audio Interfaces


Recommended Audio Interfaces Around $100 Info/Price
1. PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 This little box has two microphone inputs
connects via USB to your Mac or PC
and is built like a tank. Great for beginners.
2. Focusrite Scarlett Solo If you only need one microphone input,
this box is a great option as it allows you
to record at even higher sample rates
than most budget interfaces.
3. Moukey  MSc1 USB 3.0MSc1 is an entry-level audio processing interface launched by Moukey. Although small in size, it has all the basic functions required.
PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 25th Anniversary Edition with Studio One Artist and Ableton Live Lite DAW Recording Software
  • Value-packed 2-channel USB 2.0 interface for personal and portable recording.
  • 2 high-quality Class-A mic preamps make it easy to get a great sound.
  • 2 high-headroom instrument inputs to record guitar, bass, and your favorite line-level devices, plus MIDI I/O.
Focusrite Scarlett Solo USB Audio Interface (3rd Generation) + Samson SR360 Over-Ear Dynamic Stereo Headphones, Cables and Accessories
  • Capture your music anywhere by simply plugging your guitar straight into one high headroom instrument input and monitoring directly for latency-free foldback.
  • The high performing 3rd generation Scarlett mic preamp is the best yet for miking up guitars or recording vocals.
  • The 24-bit/192kHz high-performance converters allow you to record and play back audio at studio quality. Air mode breathes life into vocals, adding unique high-end detail.
Moukey USB 3.0 Audio Interface, Microphone Preamps with 48V Phantom Power, 24 Bit, Support Smartphone, Tablet, Computer and Other Equipment Recording - MSc1
  • 48kHz/24-bit: As an entry-level audio processor, the 48kHz/24-bit recording format ensures lower noise and achieves high-quality audio reproduction, meeting the key functions required by contemporary music and producers. Newly designed microphone preamplifier with +48V phantom power (need to be turned on when using condenser microphones but only support condenser microphones without build-in sound card)
  • Smart phone/tablet computer live broadcast: Equipped 3.5mm audio output interface (please bring your own conversion cable) for you to live broadcast at anytime and anywhere.(Note:If you don't want the real-time monitoring function, please turn the "PHONES" button of the Audio Interface to the lowest, and do not click the monitoring button of the software.)
  • USB3.0: The USB3.0 interface is new and adopted, which greatly improves the transmission speed with the computer and reduces the loss rate when recording audio. (Note:If you input audio source is stereo,please press the "MONO/STEREO" button. If you input audio source is mono, please do not press the "MONO/STEREO" button)

Recommended Audio Interfaces Around $250 Info/Price
1. Apogee OneProbably the smallest interface I’ve
ever used, this little 2-channel USB box
gives you great sound, portability, as well
as a built in microphone!
2. Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 While only having two built-in mic pres,
at this price point, you have a total
of 8 available inputs so you can hook up additional preamps to it and record
up to six tracks at once.

Check out how this Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 compares with Komplete Audio 6 MK2 here!
Apogee One - Audio Interface for Vocals and Instruments with Built In Studio Quality Condenser Microphone for iOS, Mac & Windows PC, Headphone DAC for audiophiles, Made in USA (Silver)
  • 2 in x 2 Out audio interface with built-in microphone
  • Usb 2.0 connection for Mac or PC with 24-bit/96kHz AD/DA conversion
  • Direct monitoring, complete input/output control with apogee’s Maestro software
Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools | First
  • Two of the best performing mic preamps the Scarlett range has ever seen, now with switchable Air mode to give your recordings a brighter and more open sound. Two high-headroom instrument inputs to plug in your guitar or bass. Six balanced line inputs for connecting synthesizers, drum machines, and other line-level sources. Four balanced outputs for clean monitoring and sending audio out to effects pedals or other outboard gear.
  • High-performance converters enable you to record and mix at up to 24-bit/ 192kHz.
  • Easy start tool to get up and running easier than ever

Recommended Audio Interfaces Under $500 Info/Price
1. PreSonus Studio 68c Perfect for being able to track a full
drum kit with four mics, this box gives you lots of inputs for the space.
2. Focusrite Clarett 2Pre This little USB interface comes with
amazing sounding pres that even
have a second circuit built in so
you get two pre sounds in one.
Plus it has near top of the line
converter specs and super low
latency recording so you can
track through plugins.
3. Behringer U-PHORIA UMC1820 If you can get over the brand snobbery
that comes with mentioning the word
Behringer in audio circles, this is the
best deal on the planet right now.
You get 8 mic pres built in + ADAT
expansion for up to another 8
pres all for less than $300.
And it records up to 96k. And in
case you’re wondering, yes
I’ve recorded with Behringer gear

Check out to see how the Behringer 1820 compares with the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 here!

PreSonus Studio 68c 6x6, 192 kHz, USB Audio Interface with Studio One Artist and Ableton Live Lite DAW Recording Software
  • 4 pristine award-winning XMAX Class A mic preamps to capture every detail and make getting a great sound a breeze
  • 2 high-headroom instrument inputs to record guitar and bass and 4 balanced TRS line inputs to connect your favorite synths
  • Cue Mix A/B function that toggles between two mixes while monitoring through headphones—perfect for DJs and electronic musicians
Focusrite Clarett 2Pre USB 10-In/4-Out Audio Interface
  • Two Air-enabled ultra-low noise Clarett mic pres / inst. inputs; ultra-low distortion and up to 119dB dynamic range. Four balanced outputs including a dedicated stereo pair, headphone output with dedicated gain control; MIDI I/O, ADAT input (expand up to 8- additional inputs and outputs)
  • Precision 24-bit/192Khz A-D and D-A conversion for the ideal signal path; high-headroom instrument inputs for recording super-hot pickups with no unwanted distortion
  • Included standard USB and USB Type-C cables connect to PC or Mac
BEHRINGER U-Phoria UMC1820, Black, 8-Channel
  • 18x20 USB2.0 Audio/MIDI interface with ADAT I/O for recording microphones and instruments
  • Audiophile 24-Bit/96 kHz resolution for professional audio quality
  • Compatible with popular recording software, including Avid pro tools, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, etc.


All the microphones I’ve listed below are great all around mics that can take you far, whether you use them for vocals, drums, or acoustic guitars. In an ideal situation, you will one day have lots of microphones to choose from so you can match the perfect microphone to the voice/instrument in that situation. But in the typical home studio, most of us start out with one mic and use it for everything.

I’ve built this list of mics to accommodate the one all-around microphone choice. That being said, here are my top picks for your “go-to” mic if you can have only one.

Recommended Microphones Under $100 Info/Price
1. Samson C01 This little guy sounds amazing on drum overheads
and vocals. I know because I’ve used it on
both with great success. One of the
best buys out there, in my opinion.
2. Behringer B1 The first condenser microphone I ever
bought! I still own it and use it today.
It’s bright, clear, and up front – perfect
for vocals. It even has a high pass filter and 10db pad.
3. Audio-Technica AT2020 A classic in the home studio world.
Countless students of mine use this mic day in and day out with great success.
4. Shure SM57 This little dynamic microphone is a beast.
Great for loud or aggressive vocals,
drums, guitar amps, or even the occasional
acoustic guitar (I’ve done it) – it is a staple in home and pro studios alike
Samson C01 Large-Diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Microphone
  • Multi-purpose studio condenser microphone with large 19mm diaphragm
  • Cardioid pickup pattern with excellent off-axis rejection
  • Perfect for vocals, guitars, stringed-instruments, drums and more
Audio Technica AT2020 Condenser Studio Microphone Bundle with Pop Filter and XLR Cable
  • Specially Priced Package includes Audio Technica AT2020 with all items as packaged by Audio Technica, PLUS:
  • (1) Pop Filter to filter out plosives while recording vocals or speech
  • (1) 20 ft. Balanced XLR Microphone cable for connecting the microphone to a recording interface or mixer.
Instrument Dynamic Mircophone, SM57-LC (SM57-LCE)
  • Contoured frequency response for clean, instrumental reproduction and rich vocal pickup
  • Professional-quality reproduction for drum, percussion, and instrument amplifier miking
  • Uniform cardioid pickup pattern isolates the main sound source while reducing background noise

Recommended Microphones Under $250Info/Price
1. Blue Microphones Spark One of the coolest looking mics I own, it
sounds as good as it looks. Vocals sound
focused, up front, and amazing. It has an
interesting “Focus” button on it that changes
the EQ curve of the mic for a different sound.
2. Rode NT1-A (or NT1) I own three of these mics. They are one
of my all time favorite mics for quality,
dependability, and low noise. Nothing fancy – just great sound from a great company.
Blue Blackout Spark SL XLR Condenser Mic for Recording and Streaming, Large-Diaphragm Cardioid Capsule, Shockmount and Protective Case
  • Custom Blue Condenser Capsule - Delivers Blue’s legendary broadcast sound quality with depth and clarity
  • Detailed, Transparent Sound - Spark SL excels in focused, transparent sound with superb detail
  • XLR Connection – Perfect for computer audio interfaces and mixers
Rode NT1-A Anniversary Vocal Cardioid Condenser Microphone Package
  • Large diaphragm 1” gold-sputtered capsule
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Ultra-low noise, self-noise of only 5dB (A)

Recommended Microphones Under $500Info/Price
1. AKG C214 Using the same capsule as its bigger brother
the classic 414, this is a great all around
microphone. I’ve used 414s for vocals and
drum overheads with great success so the 214
would work just as well.
2. Rode NT2-A With that same amazing Rode sound and
build quality as the NT1-A, the NT2-A adds
multiple polar patterns, a high pass filter,
and a pad. This gives you a lot of flexibility
in the studio.
3. Shure SM7B So many rock singers have used this dynamic
mic in both stage and studio applications.
It has a way of focusing the sound of aggressive vocals while also sounding amazing
on melodic singing.
Rode NT2A Anniversary Vocal Multi-Pattern Dual Condenser Microphone Package
  • Large 1 inch HF1 gold sputtered capsule
  • Three position variable polar pattern: Omni, Cardioid & Figure 8; all controlled on the mic
  • Three position variable high-pass filter: Flat, 40 Hz or 80 Hz
Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone for Broadcast, Podcast & Recording, XLR Studio Mic for Music & Speech, Wide-Range Frequency, Warm & Smooth Sound, Rugged Construction, Detachable Windscreen - Black
  • ONE MICROPHONE FOR EVERYTHING - Studio Recording, Home Recording, Podcasting and Streaming. The SM7B Is Trusted By The Worlds Leading Vocalists, Podcasters and Streamers.
  • STUDIO VOCAL RECORDING - The SM7B’s Dynamic Cartridge With Smooth, Flat, Wide-range Frequency Response Produces Exceptionally Clean and Natural Reproduction Of Both Music and Speech.
  • PODCAST and BROADCAST - Found In The Top Podcasting Studios Around The World, The SM7B Air Suspension Shock Isolation and Pop Filter Eliminate Both Mechanical Noise And Breathiness. So Words Get Through And The Rest Stays Out Of The Mix.


Recommended Monitors Under $300 (pair) Info/Price
1. KRK Rokit 5 One of my favorite pairs of monitors, the
Rokit 5s are a great home studio choice.
While no 5-inch speaker will give you a ton
of low end, you can get a great mix with
these bad boys.
2. PreSonus Eris E5 I’ve mixed quit a few projects on PreSonus Eris speakers and they sound great. Silky smooth
and clear. Exactly what you need a studio
monitor to be.
3. Behringer Truth B1030A Another pair of great speakers that I’ve
mixed some projects on – these versions
of the Behringer Truth line of speakers
are FAR better than their older stuff.
Very easy to mix on.
KRK Classic 5 Professional Bi-Amp 5" Powered Studio Monitor
  • High/Low-frequency controls contour your sound for environment, preference, and music style, and the custom bi-amped, class A/B amp offers large headroom and low distortion
  • Soft-dome tweeter with optimized waveguide provides smooth, pristine and articulate highs up to 35kHz
  • The low-resonance enclosure minimizes distortion and color, and the lightweight, glass-aramid composite woofer delivers clear midrange and tight bass
PreSonus Eris E5 XT 5.25" Near Field Studio Monitor with EBM Waveguide (Single)
  • 5-inch woven composite low-frequency transducer offers deep lows.
  • 1-inch ultra-low-mass, silk-dome, high-frequency transducer boasts smooth highs.
  • Now comes included with Studio One Prime and Studio Magic plug-in suite, over $1000 USD worth of music production software.

Recommended Monitors Under $600 (pair) Info/Price
1. Yamaha HS8 If you have a bigger room (like a basement
studio, or larger garage space) and want
to step up to an 8 inch speaker then
I’d recommend the Yamaha HS8s.  When
I think of studio monitors, Yamaha
always comes to mind. Mostly because
every studio I’ve ever been in has a pair
of NS-10s. These HS8s are a home studio
version and are quite popular.  I own
and mix on these guys as my main monitors.
2. Focal Alpha 50 Focal makes amazing speakers, and to get
a pair at this price is stunning. Many mixers I know swear by Focal, and that’s for a reason.
3. KRK Rokit 8s. Lots of speaker for the price and you’ll get
more accuracy in the low end than a 5 or
6 inch monitor.
FOCAL Alpha 50 Studio Monitor (Single)
  • General Size: Near-field System type: Active Configuration: 2-way Drivers Low-frequency driver: 5" Mid-frequency driver: Not applicable High-frequency driver: 1" Full-range driver: Not applicable Driver type: Polyglass Sound Frequency response: 45Hz - 22kHz Max peak SPL: 103 dB Amplifier class: AB Output power: 103W Onboard Features Input connectors: XLR, RCA Standby mode: Yes A
  • The Focal Alpha 50 is a versatile studio monitor with quality components and design
  • It serves beautifully in a variety of capacities, performing just as well with instrumental music as with electronic music
KRK 8S2 V2 8" 100 Watt Powered Studio Subwoofer
  • 8" glass aramid composite woofer
  • Bass extension to 30Hz with a max SPL of 112 dB
  • Footswitch control enables/disables sub and crossover filter (footswitch not included)

4. Recommended Headphones

I personally don’t recommend investing in any headphones under $100 if you will be doing the majority of your mixing work on them. That being said, you don’t need to spend much to get quality. Here is my top choice:

KRK KNS8400 – My absolute favorite headphones, I use these for tracking and mixing day in and day out. They are clear, powerful, and balanced – and under $150.

KRK KNS 8400 On-Ear Closed Back Circumaural Studio Monitor Headphones with Volume Control
  • Detachable in-line volume control
  • Voiced to remain true to the character of KRK’s class leading studio monitors, developed with 25 years of years of experience in studio sound.
  • The latest reference quality frequency response for closed-back, circum-aural dynamic headphones.

Turn-Key Startup Studios

Now if you don’t like to pick and choose what you need for your studio, allow me to recommend some complete home studio setups that would pair nicely in different budgets. These setups will get you up and running right away and still leave room for some expansion (via more mics, upgraded software, etc) in the future.

Basically if I were to start over today owning nothing, here is what I would buy depending on my budget.

Complete Home Studio For Under $350 Setup
This home studio setup would be
perfect for the singer/songwriter
who can play everything him/herself.
For the mic cable, stand, and pop
filter feel free to go with any brand
you like.
Focusrite Scarlett Solo  – Comes with
Pro Tools First and Ableton
Live Lite software. So no
need to buy an additional
DAW to get started.
● Samson C01 
● KRK KNS 6400 
● Pro Co XLR Cable 
● On-Stage Mic Stand 
● Gator Pop Filter 

Complete Home Studio For Under $750 Setup
This home studio setup would be
perfect for the band or artist that
wants to record more than two
inputs at a time and still have
some room for expansion up to
4 inputs. You also get two very
different sounding and versatile
microphones. For the mic cable,
stand, and pop filter feel free to
go with any brand you like.
PreSonus Studio 6|8  – Comes
with Studio One Artist software,
so no need to buy an additional
DAW to get started.
Blue Spark 
● Shure SM57
● KRK KNS 8400 
● Pro Co XLR Cable 
● On-Stage Mic Stand 
● Gator Pop Filter

Complete Home Studio For Under $1500 Setup
This home studio setup would be
perfect for the band or studio
wanting the flexibility to record 8
channels of drum mics or a full
band live. You also get three very
different sounding and versatile
microphones plus we’re adding
a pair of monitor speakers. For
the mic cable, stand, and pop filter
feel free to go with any brand you like.
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20  – Comes with
Pro Tools First and Ableton Live Lite
software, so no need to buy an
additional DAW to get started.
Rode NT1-A 
Blue Spark 
Shure SM57 
KRK KNS 6400
KRK Rokit 5
Pro Co XLR Cable
On-Stage Mic Stand 
Gator Pop Filter 

And there you have it!

Last update on 2021-10-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


I'm Vinnie, and I'm here to support you to create your own studio at home, whether it’s for photography, recording audio, podcasts, or videos!

Recent Posts