The Best Cheap Studio You Can Buy (from Amazon)

You deserve the best cheap studio you can buy.

I can give you a walkthrough on what gear you need and why, but sometimes the K.I.S.S. model works best: Keep It Simple, Sasquatch.

Here are links to the exact items you’ll need to get started with. As always, upgrade later. To get started, get these.

(Again, as a disclaimer: I do receive affiliate commissions from these links. It costs you nothing and tips me for providing good service. Thank you!)

Looks Like This Is Actually Called This Costs This Much
  BM800 Microphone

The best deal on a large-diaphragm starter mic anywhere. I’ve written about it extensively on other pages. Treat your budget. Start with this.

Behringer UMC22 Interface

There’s one $10 cheaper (the UM2) but the preamp is not as nice. This one has what you need to get started with. See other options here.

10-Foot Mic Cable

You can save $1 by going down to 6 feet, but why? And you can spend an extra $7 and get 25 feet of cable to record from across the state, but again, why?

Tabletop Mic Stand

You have lots of options here, but let’s start with one you can use in a couple of circumstances. Most tabletop stands are 12-13 inches tall. This goes over 20. And the boom arm angles the mic out to you! Can’t get better for the price.

inexpensive pop filter Pop Filter

Make your p’s and b’s not explode and sound like an amateur! Everyone should use one of these unless you want to stand four feet from the mic and yell at it, and if you’re doing that, then this isn’t the hobby for you. (-:

Total $84

Of course, anything that you already have access to can get you started and save you a little scratch. Check with your local church, they probably have something you can borrow. Mic stands, in particular, usually get moved to a closet and get forgotten.

Moving forward, you may want to pick up some headphones (usually around $20 to start) just to hear things clearly, but for the sake of recording your voice and sending it out to the world, focus on the capture of sound more than the tweaking of sound.

Lastly, as a reminder, shop around Amazon. Specifically, take a look near the bottom of each listing at the “similar items.” Once I saw a new brand selling the BM800 for only $10; they sold out within a week. Two months later, there was another new brand selling them for $13. Then the week after that, I saw someone selling for $9, claiming they had “better frequency response” than the other makers of the BM800. I can’t speak to that. I can speak to getting that mic for $9, though, heck yeah! (The deal went away; I can’t link you to it anymore).

Buy these. Get started. Do good work!


  • Joe


I desperately want to spend some time walking you through the recording process, capturing the best sound possible and making awesome mixes.

I absolutely love teaching people how to put their stuff together, tweaking mic placement and coaching the best ways to run gear together. I deeply enjoy shooting videos, making sure that we get the right angle to display exactly what you need. I’m fascinated by the gleam in a person’s eye when an idea really catches them, you know? I’ve shown so many people how to work with 3-band or 4-band EQ knobs on sound boards, and watching them grasp exactly what each knob does and how they can use it…  that spark that fires through them, it’s incredible. And I want to share that with many more folks than I’m able to in-person, so a video series on running sound and doing studio or live recording would be ideal.

The bad news: I don’t have the time to record all of the videos you deserve.

The good news: I am not the only human on the planet.

I think you should start with Graham over at RecordingRevolution.

Graham Cochrane has been doing professional studio work for over 15 years and has a lot to share with you, particularly on his YouTube Channel.

He has a series on getting started in the home studio which is fantastic. He also has video series on how to record from scratch, how to mix from scratch, and many other super-helpful series.

If you only follow one guy for learning how to use the gear you’re starting with, follow Graham. He won’t lead you astray.

His website also offers a series of free downloadable PDF guides that walk you through a lot of things, if videos aren’t your forte. One of those guides is for starting a home studio under $600. Skip that one. You’re here.

For the actual processes of recording, mixing, and mastering, you can’t beat Graham’s series. Check it out.

For deeper understanding on managing your DAW, I am a huge fan of following the MusicTechHelpGuy.

Now, a word of warning: almost everything he does is based in Logic Pro X, a paid-for DAW for Apple.

That being said, a good life lesson for you if you haven’t learned it already is that what you learn in one area or on one system very often translates into skills that apply elsewhere. In the studio world, this is more literal than in other places. For example, a class on improv acting can help you become a better negotiator in the workplace. A ballet course can teach a football player how to balance in strange positions and keep light on their feet. Studios are even simpler: adjusting gain and setting up buses works in every DAW. Learn your skills in Logic for free on YouTube. Apply your skills to literally any DAW worth its salt.

One of the most impressive things to me is that whenever I run into an issue or have a question, I will google my problem (i.e. “how to crossfade in Logic Pro X” or “how to sync framerates of video and audio”) and usually, his videos are on the first page of my search results. He has consistently shown me how to fix a multitude of problems.

There are more great resources, and I’m sure I’ll link more as time goes on, but to get you started, check out their work. It’s all great, and it will not be a waste of your time.

Go do good work.


– Joe

Best deals on sound boards for studio AND live sound mixing

This mixer has 8 XLR and 8 instrument-level inputs. For $400. And it’s all digital mixing in-the-box with USB output for the computer.

What a great deal for a sound board that will run live AND studio setup!

Get it, son.

Note: the down-side is that you will actually be doing all of your mixing from an iPad or Android device. However, you’re probably already using one of those, right?

And for an extra $50, you can have all 16 channels dual-purpose: XLR or instrument.

What a beautiful world we live in:


I could drag this out. I could write on this for ages, comparing about twelve “budget” boards. But why would I do that? I don’t want you to buy twelve boards. Dangit, just buy the best one to start out with, and go from there. It’s that simple.

I saw a four-channel USB board for $180, but upon further reading, it turns out that the USB only outputs one copy of the Master track, not even the four separate tracks separately. An interface can do that with a DAW for your board. Stop wasting money. Buy one of the above boards. Trust me.

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