The Buyer’s Guide To Creating A Starter Studio

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Welcome to our new feature in the MusicTech Essential Guide, where we choose a starter studio for a specific task or budget. We start by detailing some great studio setups for an £800 budget…




Monitors

Good monitors are a must for any studio – you need to hear the music you’re producing as accurately as possible. Here are four budget models.





Focal Alpha Range
Price £185
Contact SCV London 0330 122 2500
Web www.focalprofessional.com
We said: “The clarity, accuracy and sheer audio quality this monitor provides is rare indeed at this price point.”

IK iLoud
Price £279.99 pair
Contact IK Multimedia 01223 234414
Web www.ikmultimedia.com
We said: “ The best desktop speakers you can get, simple as.”

Tannoy Reveal 402
Price 402: £99 each; 802: £189 each
Contact Music Group 0800 917 8926
Web www.tannoy.com
We said: “Fine-sounding monitors with a range of connection possibilities and plenty of power.”

Mackie CR Range
Price CR3 £100; CR4 £119
Contact Polar Audio 01444 258 258
Web www.mackie.com
We said: “A pleasing sound with plenty of flexibility and amp power.”

Microphones

The better your source recording, the less you’ll have to do in the mix later… that’s the theory anyway. Here are four ways to get that sound.





RØDE NT1 USB
Price £129
Contact Source Distribution
020 8962 5080
Web www.rode.com
We said: “Give your recordings a pro sound for a non-pro price.”

Aston Orgin
Price £249
Contact Sonic Distribution
Web www.astonmics.com
We said: “The Origin is a refreshing twist, and a superb-sounding mic for a variety of tasks.”

Shure MV88 phone mic
Price £135
Contact Shure UK 01992 703058
Web www.shure.co.uk
We said: “Great phone mic – and you get some vintage Shure vibe, too.”

Audio Technica AE2300
Price £249
Contact Audio Technica 0113 277 1441
Web www.audio-technica.com
We said: “The AE2300 has the makings of a modern classic and is a bit of a bargain, too.”

Interface

Finally, you’ll need a decent interface to get your signals in and out. Here are four great examples for budget studio setups.

Audient iD14
Price £190
Contact Audient 01256 381944
Web www.audient.com
We said: “Focuses on audio quality rather than gimmicks. This is attractive, sonically impressive and fiendishly useful.”

Novation Audiohub
Manufacturer Novation
Price £159
Contact via website
Web uk.novationmusic.com
We said: “The way to go for the desktop DJ and producer, offering several interfacing and connecting solutions in one box.”

Steinberg UR44
Price £229
Contact Steinberg, via website
Web www.steinberg.net
We said: “Great monitoring and DSP features combined with top-class sound quality and easy setup. Useful.”

Focusrite Saffire PRO 26
Price £259
Contact 01494 462246
Web uk.focusrite.com
We said: “Versatile, compact, easy and reliable, Saffire PRO feels like a trustworthy old friend, ready to solve any interfacing problems you may have.”

DAW

The DAW is the central component in any studio. Here are four options that won’t break the bank…





Reason
Price £49 to £289
Contact via website
Web www.propellerhead.se
We said: “We strongly recommend Reason to anyone who’s getting into electronic music production.”

FL Studio
Price $89 to $189
Contact via website
Web www.image-line.com
We said: “If you’re into electronic or loop-based music, FL Studio offers everything you need.”

Apple Logic
Price £199
Contact via website
Web www.apple.com
We said: “Few other DAWs match the usability and sheer sonic dexterity that Logic Pro X offers.”

Reaper
Price $60-$225
Contact via website
Web reaper.fm
We said: “Reaper is simply one of the cheapest and best ways to get into professional music making.”

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