I've always wanted to have a home studio and I figured that with around 10K I could build a semi-descent setup. I'm interested in everybody's opinion on what is the best (Pro Tools preferably) setup I can put together for under $10.000?

Thx in advance!

  • 5
    It depends on a lot of things. Start with what kind of music you plan on recording, what kind of microphones you wish to use (do you already have some particular in mind?), how many channels you are going to need to record simultaneously, do you want to use an analog mixing board, do you want to treat your studio and/or control room accoustically etc. $10K is quite a lot of money, and you can get quite far with it, but since you have a lot of options, think a bit more specifically about what you actually want.
    – Pelle ten Cate
    Commented Dec 8, 2010 at 9:07
  • 1
    What do you need the setup for?
    – ddeimeke
    Commented Dec 8, 2010 at 10:13
  • 2
    Welcome to Audio.SE and thanks for your question. But I have to close some of these "product recommendation" requests while we're still early in beta. What we are looking for is users to elaborate and get very, very specific about the situation you are trying to solve. You can see by all the "it depends" answers on this system why "expert answers" will come from very specific questions that can be answered at least somewhat objectively. Please feel free to try again. Thanks. Commented Dec 8, 2010 at 17:56

3 Answers 3


This is going to be HUGELY subjective based on what your needs are.

Do you need to record a full band, or just yourself? You'll want to consider how the acoustics of the room affect what you're doing and whether you have enough mics, preams, and channels on your recording device. Do you have some particular instrument in mind? You'll want equipment that relates well to that instrument. Will you need an isolation booth? Will you be recording direct? Will your neighbors throw a fit? All of these things matter.

You can build many fantastic setups for less than $10K and the "best" one will be the one that serves your needs the best.

The things I'd consider useful for any project studio would be:

  • At least one really nice sounding preamp or interface. I'm partial to tube preamps.
  • One dynamic and one large-diaphragm condenser mic. Between these two you can make a good attempt at most simple/straightforward recording situations. If you're going to be doing most of your recording through these mics (as opposed to direct), don't skimp on these. Choose mics suited to things you want to record. Make sure your preamp has phantom power if you have a condenser.
  • One nice pair of good nearfield monitors with a reasonably flat response. You want to mix on these, not host a party with them (that's what home stereos are for!)
  • A great DAW. Sounds like you want Pro Tools, which is an excellent computer-based DAW.
  • Micstands, XLR cables, maybe 1/4" instrument cables, and other such accessories.
  • Great friends to work with.

Pro tools is great, but I wouldn't go for pro tools if I don't buy the pro-tools hardware.

Reaper(DAW) is awesome, works on many platforms (windows, mac, linux) and works great with any hardware. Best of all it's ridiculously cheap and very easy to learn.


I would definitely spend $120 or so and get a multi-effects processor for the guitars. I've been using a DigiTech RP 255 and couldn't be more pleased. I can get any sound I want by turning a few dials and its got some great pre-sets. It can be the equivalent of hooking a chain of effects together but without all the wires and space needed. Simulates different amps too.

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