Two Singer-Songwriter Studios For Under $300

2011 Feb 21, 2011

[This post was UPDATED in March 2015 to reflect newer options available]

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 AudioBox USB Studio

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. The combination is a killer deal.

The core of this studio is the rugged and great sounding AudioBox USB 2 channel interface ($99). It comes with two mic pres and zero latency monitoring on board.

Pair this interface with a studio quality mic, stand, cable, pop filter, and pair of headphones and you’re set hardware wise:

Studio One Artist Included

The final and most important piece of the PreSonus studio 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.

PreSonus Audiobox USB Studio Total out the door cost = $284

Option #2 The Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio Pack

Another fantastic (and even cheaper option) is the Scarlett Solo Studio Pack from Focusrite. This package centers around another two channel USB interface (although with only one mic preamp), the Sclarlett Solo and ships with a studio mic, pair of studio headphones, and a mic cable. All for $199 US!

The remaining hardware would be a mic stand and pop filter (see above).

Cubase LE and Focusrite Plugins Included

On the software side of things – this bundle ships with a light version of Cubase, a very mainstream DAW, that will work just as well as Studio One Artist.

Again, you get a feature rich DAW with pro plugins for both recording and mixing, all inside the box. No other software needed. And the great thing about a DAW like Cubase is the user base is huge, so you are not lacking for online training content and help.

Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio Total out the door = $248

Additional Free DAW Options To Consider

With either of these studios you aren’t limited to just the DAWs that shipped with them. In fact you are open to many free and paid options.

On the free side of things, if you are a Mac user, look no further than the DAW that shipped with your computer: Garageband.

This piece of software is absolutely no joke and can be a legit home studio platform contender. It was crazy good 5 years ago, and it’s even better today.

Also, coming very soon is the a brand new FREE version of Pro Tools (my platform of choice) called Pro Tools First. This gives everyone a chance to record, edit, mix, and master their music on one of the world’s most well known software platforms.

No iLok is required and it runs on Mac or PC.

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.

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