How much does it cost to setup a recording studio?

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Are you considering setting up your own recording studio? There are numerous factors to keep in mind here. One of the most crucial will always be the cost. You need to ensure that your studio is going to match your budget. The cost of a home recording studio compared to a pro commercial setup is vastly different. 

Cost For A Beginner Home Studio

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In terms of equipment, the main element and one of the highest costs is going to be the computer system you choose. You can save by using a tablet rather than a desktop or laptop. However, some doubt whether tablets are powerful enough to meet this type of requirement. Computer systems range between roughly $500 and just over $1000. It depends whether you want a brand new Macbook Pro or something like a Del. 

 

Audio interfaces are another key piece of equipment. They can be used with a PC, MAC or even iOS. They can range from anywhere under $100 to exceed the $1000 mark. The good news is that these will usually come with a DAW (digital audio workshop) built-in. As such, you won’t have to worry about needing to buy this separately. You can pick up a Behringer U-Phoria audio interface for less than $40. 

 

You will need to make sure that you have a great pair of headphones. The cost of studio headphones will depend on the type that you want and whether you need a particular brand. If you opt for Sony expect to pay between $40 and $100 for a solid pair. 

 

Amps could be another key piece of equipment you need. The price you pay will depend on the type of amp that you would. Generally speaking, for a home studio, expect to pay between $40 and $200 for these. 

 

As for your mics, these can vary massively in price. Eventually, you may need to invest in multiple mics. For instance, you can have one for vocals and one for instruments. However, when you’re just getting started, you’ll cope with one easily. There are numerous popular mic brands and one option is the mics from Behringer. These range between $50 and $100. You do need to think about the mic setup because this can add more to the cost. For instance, you could expect to pay over $100 for a dynamic mic from Shure. These mics provide a far stronger pitch. 

 

Acoustic Equipment 

 

Aside from the hardware, you also need to consider adding acoustic foam and panels to your home studio. This can stop unnatural echoing or reverb. You can purchase acoustic foam in twelve packs. This will cost between $20 and $60. If you are looking to invest in panels, expect to pay closer to $200 for just six pieces. 

 

Soundproofing may also be a consideration if you don’t want to annoy your neighbours. Soundproofing is going to depend on the size of the room. For a home studio, you could be looking at approximately $2000. 

 

As you can see, a home studio could cost just a couple thousand in terms of set up and the equipment you need. However, some people may end up spending a lot more to ensure that they get the best equipment and as close to a professional set up as possible. As such, it’s not uncommon for individuals to spend more than $20,000. 

 

Cost For A Commercial Studio 

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As you would expect, the costs for a commercial studio is considerably more expensive. Depending on the size of the studio, you should be planning an investment of between $40,000 and $80,000 dollars. It’s worth noting that this cost will only cover the equipment. This includes:

 

  • Cabling
  • Computers
  • Studio monitors
  • Amps
  • Speakers
  • Microphones
  • Headphones 
  • Mixing Desk 
  • Software

 

On top of this, you will also need to consider a wide range of other bills. You need to think about whether you are renting or purchasing the property. You must explore the utility bills as well as any professional services that you may require including an accountant. It’s also important to think about whether you will need any employees. 

 

Is your commercial studio ready to go or does it need to be converted to match your needs? A conversion including professional soundproofing by a contractor will add at least another $3000 onto your initial costs. 

 

The building for the right acoustics and professional setup could amount to an investment of between $100,000 and $150,000. Don’t forget, this will depend on numerous variables including location.  It also depends on what you want to achieve. For a full, pro set up, you could be looking at spending just north of a million for the doors to be open and ready to go. 

 

Be aware that a lot of the cost here will be based on delivering the setup that recording artists expect. In terms of practical options, you might be able to building a professional recording studio with just a laptop and an MBox. From this perspective, you could theoretically have a pro set up for less than $1000. You just won’t have the look, aesthetic or equipment in place that an artist may expect. 

 

There are, of course, ways to save money even with a larger setup. For instance, you can consider purchasing equipment used and pre-setup with the right plugins. In total, this type of solution could cost you between $3,500 and $5000. 

 

You need to consider the size of the studio you want as well. For instance, if you want 700 square feet of space, this could cost you $10,000 in total. Again, it’s all about what you want to achieve and the level of success or demand that you are aiming for. 

 

Breaking down the equipment costs for a pro studio is also tricky. In some cases, like the headphones, you can use the same equipment that you would for a home studio. For a mixing desk, you could require a more high-end device. These can cost anywhere between $37,000 and $74,000 alone. 

 

We hope this helps you understand just how much you could expect to pay for your recording studio. 

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