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$1,000 Complete Studio Setup Challenge
Old 8th June 2016
  #1
Here for the gear
 

$1,000 Complete Studio Setup Challenge

Hey gearslutz,

What if I walked up to you and handed over exactly $1,000...

What would you purchase to get a complete up-and-running home studio? (strictly vocal recordings). Let it be a given than you have solely a Macbook Pro, nothing else.

...Choose wisely

GO!
Old 8th June 2016
  #2
Gear Nut
 

avid fast track solo, rode nt1000, M-Audio AV42 Speakers, 225 energy drinks
Old 8th June 2016
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Sorry, $1000 just wont get you a brand spanking new new full blown pro quality "studio". So start saving or start digging around local used classifieds, try before buying, get the basic good quality core pieces first (workhorse mic, recording/processing software bundle, interface w/passable preamp, flat headphones would be a good start) and then buy/sell/trade/add/replace later as your budget allows.
Old 8th June 2016
  #4
Gear Addict
 

I think u can do a lot with 1000 these days.. sure not high end but Great music has been made on less..

Recent pensado's place talked about how some coldplay guitar tracks were recorded through the built in laptop mic on the macbook.

That being said if you're just starting out and the engineer makes the biggest difference so regardless what gear u buy practice and knowledge is going to be your biggest factor for a while.

Check ebay.. there's some decent interfaces you can get for a few hundred used to put you in a good spot.. I'd spend a few hundred and make some diy acoustic panels.
Old 8th June 2016
  #5
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BazzBass's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bombilo View Post
Sorry, $1000 just wont get you a brand spanking new new full blown pro quality "studio".
To be fair, I don't believe the OP was asking for a fully blown pro quality studio for their $1,000. I believe his words were "a home studio".

And only for vocals so only 1 input needed. One mic. One pre amp. One mic stand. TWO monitors.

$100 for a Scarlett 2i2 interface,$400 for Yamaha HS5s. $100 for headphones. Add a mic for $300,take your pick.
Old 8th June 2016
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by BazzBass View Post
To be fair, I don't believe the OP was asking for a fully blown pro quality studio for their $1,000. I believe his words were "a home studio".

And only for vocals so only 1 input needed. One mic. One pre amp. One mic stand. TWO monitors.

$100 for a Scarlett 2i2 interface,$400 for Yamaha HS5s. $100 for headphones. Add a mic for $300,take your pick.
You'd also need a mic stand, cables, and pop filter, so spend $100-200 on the mic so you can budget for those things.

Find some blankets, hang them on the walls. It'll help.
Old 8th June 2016
  #7
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parkay909's Avatar
For what kind of music or for post?
Old 8th June 2016
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parkay909 View Post
For what kind of music or for post?
Any vocal recordings! Rap, hip-hop, r&b, etc!... all you've been awarded is $1,000 and a laptop. This isn't in relationship to mixing and mastering, I'm just interested to see what gear everyone would pick up for a home studio setup with limited cash! Take your time to think about it though it's tough! Go-to's would be like U87, C800G, etc., but let's see how well everyone will budget each item!

I already know what I would get, I'll post my setup once more people post! Cheers!
Old 8th June 2016
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BazzBass View Post
To be fair, I don't believe the OP was asking for a fully blown pro quality studio for their $1,000. I believe his words were "a home studio".

And only for vocals so only 1 input needed. One mic. One pre amp. One mic stand. TWO monitors.

$100 for a Scarlett 2i2 interface,$400 for Yamaha HS5s. $100 for headphones. Add a mic for $300,take your pick.
Dont forgot the cables! Also wouldn't you pick up a Solo instead of 2i2 if you only need the one mic input? Might save a couple $ for something like the mic!

Keep it going guys!
Old 8th June 2016
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechacaseal View Post
avid fast track solo, rode nt1000, M-Audio AV42 Speakers, 225 energy drinks
why not use the laptop speakers, screw the AV42's and pick up more energy drinks!
Old 8th June 2016
  #11
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parkay909's Avatar
Mojave MA-200, Avid Fastback Solo, and a Cuisineart coffee maker.
Old 8th June 2016
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BazzBass View Post
To be fair, I don't believe the OP was asking for a fully blown pro quality studio for their $1,000. I believe his words were "a home studio".

And only for vocals so only 1 input needed. One mic. One pre amp. One mic stand. TWO monitors.

$100 for a Scarlett 2i2 interface,$400 for Yamaha HS5s. $100 for headphones. Add a mic for $300,take your pick.
OK. Well, to be fair, the thread title and post description does include the word "complete". So is that "complete" garbage or "complete" quality? I think its safe to assume that everyone wants big bang for buck. Champagne dreams on a beer budget. Anyway.

Your shortlist of items is incomplete and entry level amateur hobbyist home studio at best. Sure, it will work, but lets be real, it will also sound like crap. Yes, it is possible to get great results on a budget, we've all heard the stories, but the reality is he'll be extremely hard pressed to get any sort of consistent pro quality vocal recordings w/out a good rig and room to work in. If he isnt after pro quality, then just use your phone to record and sock away that grand for something of more importance.

My point to the OP is that buying a "complete home studio" ala "kmart's amazeballs studio in a box pack for $999.95!", skimping on each essential item will sound exactly like that. Without a great mic and great preamp at the core, he will quickly regret blowing that $1000 on junk.

He is better off buying one great piece of used kit at a time. In fact, if I were the OP I'd spend the full grand on just a mic and figure out a temporary DIY solution until I could buy the next piece.. for now use your laptop, home stereo, buds, demo/express softies, iphone or whatever to record ideas. If the OP wants a "complete", long lasting, quality studio setup, expect to spend between $5-1000 for EACH item on the list.

Sorry, $1000 just wont get you a QUALITY "complete up-and-running home studio" solution. And it's better to be upfront and honest about these things than to sugarcoat it giving him high hopes.
Old 8th June 2016
  #13
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bowzin's Avatar
I'll bite:

$100 to treat your room with rockwool/fiberglass insulation acoustic panels/bass traps: $50 for a big bag of "Roxul Safe N Sound" rockwool from Lowe's and another $50 for the wood/MDF and fabric. Skip auralex foam, you'll get better results with rockwool/fiberglass and it will cost far less.

Mic stand - $25

Mic cable - Mogami "Silver" or 2549 cable - $25 from Brian Rainwater on ebay Brian Rainwater, Mogami items in Rainwater Sound store on eBay!

Monitors - tough call, millions of threads. How about Presonus Eris E8's for $400 off ebay for a pair. Could also look at Presonus Sceptre S6's and Equator Audio D5's etc.

Headphones - Sony MD 7506 for $75 on ebay. An upgrade is the Sennheiser HD600's for (effectively, considering the $150 Amazon gift card) $250 on amazon Amazon.com: Sennheiser HD 600 Open Back Professional Headphone: Musical Instruments

Mic - 3U Audio Warbler MK1 - $270

Audio Interface - Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 - $100 or less on ebay. Other choices, Audient ID14.

Total: $995 not including tax/shipping
Old 8th June 2016
  #14
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parkay909's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bombilo View Post
Sorry, $1000 just wont get you a QUALITY "complete up-and-running home studio" solution. And it's better to be upfront and honest about these things than to sugarcoat it giving him high hopes.
I could blow over $1000 on a single channel preamp...
Old 8th June 2016
  #15
Gear Nut
 

all of these posts in a matter of minutes while I was writing my reply... so this is just a fun n games test after all. Well, my answer was $1000 for one used mic.

And you guys listing out these "complete" $1000 rigs somehow keep overlooking essential software... last I checked, even secondhand licenses will take up at least half of the given budget
Old 9th June 2016
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bombilo View Post
:facepalm
And you guys listing out these "complete" $1000 rigs somehow keep overlooking essential software... last I checked, even secondhand licenses will take up at least half of the given budget
A recent MacBook will have GarageBand installed. Or you could get a reaper for $60.
Old 9th June 2016
  #17
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bombilo View Post
OK. Well, to be fair, the thread title and post description does include the word "complete". So is that "complete" garbage or "complete" quality? I think its safe to assume that everyone wants big bang for buck. Champagne dreams on a beer budget. Anyway.

Your shortlist of items is incomplete and entry level amateur hobbyist home studio at best. Sure, it will work, but lets be real, it will also sound like crap. Yes, it is possible to get great results on a budget, we've all heard the stories, but the reality is he'll be extremely hard pressed to get any sort of consistent pro quality vocal recordings w/out a good rig and room to work in. If he isnt after pro quality, then just use your phone to record and sock away that grand for something of more importance.

My point to the OP is that buying a "complete home studio" ala "kmart's amazeballs studio in a box pack for $999.95!", skimping on each essential item will sound exactly like that. Without a great mic and great preamp at the core, he will quickly regret blowing that $1000 on junk.

He is better off buying one great piece of used kit at a time. In fact, if I were the OP I'd spend the full grand on just a mic and figure out a temporary DIY solution until I could buy the next piece.. for now use your laptop, home stereo, buds, demo/express softies, iphone or whatever to record ideas. If the OP wants a "complete", long lasting, quality studio setup, expect to spend between $5-1000 for EACH item on the list.

Sorry, $1000 just wont get you a QUALITY "complete up-and-running home studio" solution. And it's better to be upfront and honest about these things than to sugarcoat it giving him high hopes.
I know what you mean! By "Complete" studio, I basically mean fully functional and operating. I never said it has to create professional studio quality records, the point of the thread is basically for this type of scenario --> Alright, lets say you have a laptop in your backpack with protools / logic / (whatever your preferred DAW is) on that laptop. You went over to a friends house for a bit and played him some tracks you've been recording and mixing out of your home studio. Later, you get home, just to find out that your house caught fire while you were gone and all your pretty mics and pres and cables are toasted. All you have is a laptop and $1,000 in your savings acc. Your friend says you can live with them, but now you need to get together a functional home studio to start recording again! What would you buy?

I've had mics from Rode's to Shure's to Neumann. This isn't a thread to boast about how much money you blow on preamps and mics, etc. Its just a fun thread to see what everyone would do with the above question! Thanks everyone!
Old 9th June 2016
  #18
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bombilo View Post
all of these posts in a matter of minutes while I was writing my reply... so this is just a fun n games test after all. Well, my answer was $1000 for one used mic.

And you guys listing out these "complete" $1000 rigs somehow keep overlooking essential software... last I checked, even secondhand licenses will take up at least half of the given budget
Hey! I just replied to a similar comment below yours feeling the same way! This is what I replied with! Thanks!

"I know what you mean! By "Complete" studio, I basically mean fully functional and operating. I never said it has to create professional studio quality records, the point of the thread is basically for this type of scenario --> Alright, lets say you have a laptop in your backpack with protools / logic / (whatever your preferred DAW is) on that laptop. You went over to a friends house for a bit and played him some tracks you've been recording and mixing out of your home studio. Later, you get home, just to find out that your house caught fire while you were gone and all your pretty mics and pres and cables are toasted. All you have is a laptop and $1,000 in your savings acc. Your friend says you can live with them, but now you need to get together a functional home studio to start recording again! What would you buy?

I've had mics from Rode's to Shure's to Neumann. This isn't a thread to boast about how much money you blow on preamps and mics, etc. Its just a fun thread to see what everyone would do with the above question! Thanks everyone!"
Old 9th June 2016
  #19
This thread reminded me of this video from the recordingrevolution YouTube channel that was floating around on music blogs last year. Although he set the bar at $300, not 1K, and he produced some music with it to prove his point.

Old 9th June 2016
  #20
Gear Nut
 

i wouldnt get headphones. those things fall apart. ive had my m-audio studio monitor speakers for like 8 years now and besides some mild humming they work great still. my headphones fell apart within a year and before fully falling apart one side stopped working and it was becoming impossible to use and i didnt treat them badly. they were m-audio brand i believe but i know for a fact headphones fall apart usually. dont bother...

i think you can make music with a at2020usb and some monitor speakers and fl studio.
Old 9th June 2016
  #21
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MickeyMassacre's Avatar
Steinberg UR44 $300
SM57 (two) $200
AT2020 (two) $200
JBL LSR305 (pair) $300

$1,000 You could record a drum kit, and it would sound just fine, you can use the 57's and 2020's on just about any source and it'd be more than useable.
Old 9th June 2016
  #22
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3rd Degree's Avatar
 

If I had to:
Propellerhead Reason 8 ($400)
M-Audio Oxygen 49 ($150)
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 ($100)
Tascam TH-200X Studio Headphones ($35)
Rode NT1a ($230)

That would leave me with $85 if my math is right for CA sales tax. An alternative would be to skip the headphones and mic and buy some cheap monitors. That would actually get me by, with software. Everyone forgets software in the such and such price range, count that out and I would have a very usable setup for the money. Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of singular pieces of gear that cost well over that entire budget but that could get me buy. This would be for Hip Hop and vocal tracking but it would work for most digital music where you only need to record one source at once. I am not sure I would ever be willing to downsize to that but I would be very happy starting off with that, compared to what I started with, similar price range, worse gear.

I honestly thought I wouldn't be able to put something together without a major hole, starting out, I could do without monitors but I couldn't do without software, or without a controller, this setup assumes you have a computer but you don't need anything more than what the average person already owns.
Old 9th June 2016
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autotuneangel View Post
Alright, lets say you have a laptop in your backpack with protools / logic / (whatever your preferred DAW is) on that laptop. You went over to a friends house for a bit and played him some tracks you've been recording and mixing out of your home studio. Later, you get home, just to find out that your house caught fire while you were gone and all your pretty mics and pres and cables are toasted. All you have is a laptop and $1,000 in your savings acc. Your friend says you can live with them, but now you need to get together a functional home studio to start recording again! What would you buy?
Wait, that's not why you started this thread, is it?! That would be tragic...
Old 9th June 2016
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerogomer View Post
Wait, that's not why you started this thread, is it?! That would be tragic...
Not exactly just improvising
Old 9th June 2016
  #25
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monkeyxx's Avatar
Tascam UH-7000, $300 on eBay
Shure SM57 $100, TAB T58 transformer $90 from Zen Pro Audio. Soldering iron - priceless.
Polk RTi A3 used $200 if you can find them. Tissue paper over tweeters if you find them bright.
Emotiva power amp on winter sale $300
$120 for a box of fiberglass to start you on your treatment. cheap fabric to cover.
Reaper DAW - demo indefinitely for free.

you're going to need stands and cables and stuff, all that adds up, but I think you could get great sounds for roughly $1000 with this setup. I cheated and put some used and sale prices on there. You would probably also want a cheap condenser mic or a second dynamic to make 2 channels but you said just vocal, so I stuck with one mic.
Old 9th June 2016
  #26
Gear Nut
 

OK but without the added "just for fun" disclaimer some people will read this thread today, next year or five years from now and buy the stuff listed thinking they'll get a great sounding "complete up-and-running home studio"... which they wont.

Without a great mic, preamp, adda, and monitoring, they're going to need some seriously good itb processing plugins to even get close to passable recordings imho. iirc garageband and reaper don't have these, so expect to fork out at least a few hundred (i.e., izotope nectar). Otherwise, get ableton suite, cubase ($3-500 secondhand license) or the like which will have the plugin bundles you'll need for processing those rough sm58/2i2 recordings. Without good monitoring, obviously you wont be able to hear what the hell is going on.. perhaps the dt880's, spirits (around $300) or similar will serve you well enough until you can afford some nice monitors and room treatment.

As for the hypothetical scenario, I know lots of singers who own nothing more than a laptop/daw, phones and 1 mic. But that 1 mic is their dream must have never leave home without it mic that they take around to studios, be it low budget friends house or world class. SO.. no question the mic is where I'd immediately invest that $1000. and that'd just be the down payment with a no interest 24 month type of payment deal.... one and done, mic for life.
Old 9th June 2016
  #27
Gear Nut
 

Warbler 1 $270
Scarlett 2i2 $150
Gap Pre-73 $280
LSR305s $300
HD280 pros $75

I think I went a little over. Oh well.
Old 10th June 2016
  #28
Gear Addict
 

So.... did my free laptop get lost in the mail?
.
Old 10th June 2016
  #29
Standard Gear Slutz Answer.........

1) Audient ID22
2) SM7B or AT4040
3) Room Treatment
Old 10th June 2016
  #30
Gear Addict
 
divine source's Avatar
 

Lets play, but in Euro land will make it €1000 instead of $1000 :

Used Apogee Duet - €200
Focal Alpha 50 - €260
Rode NT1-A complete vocal recording €185
Mic stand - €10
Extra Cables - €20
Monitor Stands - €50
Logic Pro X - €200

Total - €925

Plus €75 for home made acoustic, or midi controller or blow job, drink and pizza to start the night

That should be a nice starting point for home recording studio.

PS - if Logic (or any other DAW) is part of your MBP, i would invest the rest of the money (€275) on acoustics or headphones (Focal Spirit Pro - €260 or used AKG K-712 Pro - €250).
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