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  • Writer's pictureIona Catherine


Want to create you own DIY home studio? Here are five pieces of essential music gear that you could get your hands on to get you started.

1: A DAW... Logic Pro/Ableton

A DAW is a 'digital audio workstation'. You will need one on your computer to record into and to produce music. Logic Pro is Apple's solution to all your audio needs. It's what I, a professional music producer, and many of my peers use. An industry standard piece of software that comes with hundreds of samples, digital instruments, plugins, and more. Or if Logic looks a little daunting, try out GarageBand for free. If you don't have a Mac, then Ableton is a fantastic alternative for Windows users, especially the reasonably priced 'Intro' pack version of the program.

2: A microphone... Rode NT1A/NT-USB

You're going to need a decent microphone if you want to record any sound into your DAW. The NT1A Rode microphone pack is an exceptional entry level cardioid condenser mic, perfect for everything from capturing vocals to guitar in your home studio. For an even simpler set up, try the USB version, the NT-USB. It's a less flexible microphone, but equally powerful and much more transportable. Excellent for producing on the go. Both come with Pop Shields too. A device you will need to stop annoying 'plosives' ruining your recordings.

3: An interface... Scarlett Solo

An interface is a device you will need to use to plug microphones and instruments into your computer. The Scarlett Solo is the interface I recommend to all of my students. It is sturdy, easy to set up, compatible with both Logic Pro and Ableton, and takes a microphone and an instrument at the same time. Wow!

4: Cables, cables, cables! XLR and 1/4 inch jack

An XLR cable is used to plug a microphone into an interface. And a 1/4 inch jack to plug in instruments with in-built pickups. You don't need to spend loads of money on these, but do make sure they're braided for longevity. You'll probably need a USB cable for your interface too, as well as either two 1/4 inch jacks or a stereo RCA, depending on the outputs. Check before you buy for what you will need.

5: A good pair of studio headphones... ATH M40x

For under £100 you will not find a better pair of studio headphones than the ATH M40x. These are well balanced, true-to-sound, hardy headphones which will enable you to hear exactly what you are doing in your music projects. Don't be fooled by their low price... I use these headphones in my professional work to this day.

Grab yourself all of the above and you will have a home studio that is ready to take on all of your creative ideas. And remember, if you get stuck, just book in a lesson with me, Iona Catherine, at to talk everything through and get your DAW and your DIY home studio up and running, whatever the gear you choose.

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to share this blog post with anyone you think might find it useful.

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