If you’re brand new to recording and are a singer-songwriter, then this is the post for you! When it comes to digital recording these days you need a few components, but with so many to choose from it can be overwhelming. Let me help make things super simple for you by outlining two complete studio options for you that will get you up and running with your music making in no time!
Option #1 The Presonus 1Box
Presonus makes a fantastic line of audio interfaces, mic pres, and live mixing consoles and have recently had some great success with their launch of Studio One, their very own DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) recording software. In 2010 they began releasing a package deal on some of their gear called the 1Box, as a complete recording solution for singer-songwriters.
The 1Box retails for $249 and is made up of their AudioBox USB interface, a 2 channel device with 2 microphone preamps built in, zero latency monitoring, headphone and monitor outputs, and is completely bus powered over USB. This gives you all the connectivity you would ever need for vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, even some basic drum recording. Alongside the interface is a large diaphragm condenser mic, a pair of studio headpohnes, a mic cable, and of course the USB cable to connect the AudioBox USB to your mac or PC.
Studio One Artist Included
The final and most important piece of the 1Box puzzle is the included Studio One Artist recording software. This is a completely pro DAW that boasts unlimited tracks, professional mixing effects/plugins, built in loops and virtual instruments, and awesome drag-and-drop functionality. Once you open it up and get a bit more familiar with the software you can honestly be recording, editing, and mixing great sounding tracks in no time.
The only things that you will need to record that are NOT included in the 1Box are a solid mic stand and pop filter. These are necessities and can be had for under $50 total. Don’t be fooled into thinking people just sing into their studio microphones without a pop filter (like the ads might display). It’s just not true. Grab a pop filter and thank me later.
Option #2 The Avid Recording Studio
As a self proclaimed Pro Tools lover you knew I had to include a Pro Tools option. And Avid has put together a super affordable entry into home recording that is great for newbies. The Avid Recording Studio is an aptly named bundle of hardware and software that retails for $119. It’s mainly comprised of an M-Audio Fast Track audio interface featuring USB connectivity, 2 inputs, one mic pre, and inputs for guitar, bass, and keys. Like the Presonus AudioBox it features zero latency monitoring and headphone/monitor outputs.
Pro Tools SE Included
Included in the box is a copy of Pro Tools SE, a simpler version of the popular recording software that is perfect for singer-songwriters. You get all of the recording and editing power of Pro Tools (things like Elastic Audio) along with many of it’s best plugin effects, as well as over 100 virtual instruments (plus tons of loops) to help fill out your arrangements. The big limitation of SE is the total track count (16 audio and 8 instrument), but honestly if you can’t make a great recording with 24 tracks, the problem may not be your software.
Unlike the 1Box bundle this package does not include any other hardware. So here is what you’ll need to round out the studio and get you up and running:
- Samson C01 Microphone – $79
- Mic Stand – $29
- Mic Cable – $18
- Pop Filter – $20
- Studio Headphones – $22
Two Options-Unlimited Potential
I’ve written about it in my eBook, but I’ll say it again. Keeping things simple is super important. Having a few quality components, learning them well, and jumping in are what a new comer to recording needs. The above two studio options are simple and affordable. But they are powerful! Don’t be fooled into thinking you need anything more than this to make killer music in your home studio.
Grab up the basic gear you need, learn the craft, fight the myths, and just get to making music. You’ll be glad you did.