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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Logic PRO 2018 > Create a studio on a budget

Create a studio on a budget

Want to create a recording studio? Have limited funds – or even unlimited funds? In this special feature, we reveal studio options at different budget levels for several different types of producer…
This studio was created for a slightly larger budget than we discuss here and is owned by More Accurate Consultants who have featured in MT’s Show Off Your Studio…

It is probably the question we get asked the most: ‘I have £XX amount of cash, and I want to make XX type of music, so what do I need to buy?’ The answer, of course, can vary, but we think we have narrowed down some pretty good ideas of studio setups for various types of producers, with varying amounts of funds to spend.

Over the following pages, we’ll look at these different musicians – dance-music producers, singer/ songwriters, soundtrack composers, band recordists, mobile musicians and more – and reveal the best current setup for producers within those areas. A couple of caveats, of course. Our recommendations only include products that we have actually reviewed here at MusicTech and, of course, these are not set in stone. Where we recommend one DAW, for example, many more will do the job – this is just general advice based on a wealth of experience from our team of writers, so don’t go throwing your music tech out of the pram because your favourite gear is not here (but by all means, write in and vent if you wish!).

Secondly, we are assuming you have a computer – or, at the cheaper end of the scale, some kind of mobile/iOS device. We’re therefore concentrating on the key extras that you’ll need: an interface, a microphone, something to make sound, and some speakers to hear it back. So, without further ado, we’ll start with that most current of genres, the electronic music producer…

The Dance Music Producer

You will want electronic sounds, decent speakers and simple interfaces. You might start at a budget level on an iPad, but with more cash in your back pocket, you will opt for a ‘proper’ synth. Here are three options for producing electronic dance music at three very different budget points…


SOFTWARE: Korg Gadget


Gadget put iOS electronic music making on the map with its superb touch sequencing and vast array of synths and drum machines. It is, quite simply, one of the best DAWs out there and now available for Macs. Gadget allows you to quickly create tunes from a great array of virtual instruments – mostly electronic in nature. If you want to start making dance music, there is no better or cheaper way. Simple as.

SPEAKERS: IK Multimedia iLoud Micro


There’s an argument to say that with an iPad you could be using headphones to monitor – and we explore this option later on in this feature, with a section on headphones. However, we’d always suggest ‘proper’ monitors and to spend as much as you can on them. We think, however, that we have the ideal compromise here with the IK Multimedia iLoud Micro monitors, which boast being the smallest studio monitors in the world, so they give you that compact feel, but do sound great for their size. When we compared them to monitors costing three times as much, we concluded: “Where the more expensive monitors won out was in the upper mids and tops department, where the shimmer wasn’t quite there on the IKs. Yet, often, we would compare track-by-track across both and question which was playing what – they are that good for their size and money. So we approached this review almost wanting to knock the Micro Monitors because of ‘that’ claim, but we really can’t. They’re great.” Other options: Yamaha HS5, Samson Resolv SE5 and Fostex PM series.

Korg Gadget
IK Multimedia iLoud Micro


We’re not even at £400 of our budget yet – dance music really is that easy and cheap to make. For the remainder, consider a tonne of apps, including synths from Arturia (iSEM and iMini) and the Props’ Thor plus the Yonac Magellan. We’d also highly recommend the Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator series of calculator-style gadgets (£50 a pop) and for the remainder of this budget, you could get two of them!

We said: “these units sound fantastic, they are incredibly fun and, more importantly than anything else, they are as cheap as silicon chips.” Other options: Korg Volca range

Focusrite iTrack Dock, Dynaudio LYD 5
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