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  • Customer Kudos "zZounds has a huge variety of equipment at an affordable, working musician's price and their delivery is so fast! I'm going on 3 years now of solid, dependable, beautiful sound from the gear I've bought at zZounds!" - customer on June 8, 2014
    Beginner's Gear Guide: Home Studio
    Ready to build your first home studio? Get rolling with this guide.

    There's no doubt about it: professional studios are no longer the only way to create high-quality recordings. With a computer and few additional pieces of gear, you can have your own fully functional, professional-sounding home recording studio right in the comfort of your unfinished basement or that extra bedroom you never use.

    Follow our guide below to find all the basic building blocks of the home studio: an audio interface to connect your gear to your computer, studio monitor speakers for critical listening, microphones for recording vocals and acoustic instruments, digital audio workstation software, and cables to connect it all.
    Digital Audio Interfaces: Connecting your gear to your computer
    Digital audio interfaces are external sound cards that can connect to your computer with a USB or FireWire cable, delivering cleaner sound than the 1/8" jack you might find on the back of your desktop or laptop. Most interfaces have XLR jacks to plug in microphones, 1/4" instrument jacks for guitar or bass, and line-level inputs for keyboards.

    To choose an interface, make sure it's compatible with your computer and has enough microphone preamps for all the mics you want to record at once.
      Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface
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      PreSonus FireStudio Project FireWire Interface
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      Lexicon Alpha Desktop Recording Studio
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      Avid Mbox USB Audio Interface, with Pro Tools Express
     
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    Studio Monitors: Ensuring your mix sounds the way you want it to
    Once you've plugged in your instruments and mics to your interface's inputs, you'll want to connect its outputs to a good pair of studio monitor speakers. Monitors ensure that what you hear is what you get: they don't exaggerate certain frequencies like consumer-grade speakers do.

    Monitors are generally much larger than computer speakers, so be sure to consider how much space you have. In general, bigger is better: the larger the speaker's woofer cone, the better it will reproduce bass.
      JBL LSR305 Powered Studio Monitor
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      Yamaha HS8 Active Studio Monitor
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      M-Audio BX5 Carbon Active Studio Monitor
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    Condenser Microphones: Record vocals and acoustic instruments
    As a rule, large-diaphragm condenser microphones like the AT2020 or Rode NT1-A are great for recording vocals, whereas small-diaphragm condensers like the Avantone CK-1 or Samson C02 are excellent for capturing the fast transients on acoustic guitars, or hanging over drum kits. Most condenser mics require +48V phantom power to work, so make sure your interface's microphone preamps provide phantom.

    Need help finding the right mic? Check out our Beginner's Gear Guide to Microphones »
      Audio-Technica AT2020 Studio Microphone
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      Rode NT1-A Studio Condenser Microphone
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      Avantone CK-1 Small-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
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      Samson C02 Condenser Microphone Pair
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    Dynamic Microphones: Record drums, guitar amps, and loud vocals
    Do you need to record loud sources like electric guitar amplifiers, kick drum, and snare drum? Try a tough dynamic microphone like the Shure SM57 or Beta 52A. If you're recording loud, aggressive rap vocals (or you're looking for a tighter vocal quality on any voice), try a dynamic vocal microphone like the Shure SM7B or Electro-Voice RE-320.

    Need help finding the right mic? Check out our Beginner's Gear Guide to Microphones »
      Shure SM57 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
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      Shure Beta 52A Kick Drum and Bass Microphone
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      Shure SM7B Dynamic Cardioid Studio Vocal Microphone
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    Digital Audio Workstations: Where it all comes together
    Your digital audio workstation (DAW) software is the heart of your studio. It's the software that allows you to record audio, add effects, play audio back, make edits, and bounce your mix into a file to share or burn to CD. Most DAWs come with samples and virtual instrument plug-ins that allow you to add drums, strings, piano, synths, and more. You can buy more virtual instruments and effects and add them to your DAW (just make sure they're compatible with your computer and operating system).
      Avid Pro Tools 11 Music Production Software
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      Steinberg Cubase 7.5 Music Production Software
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    Cables: Consider your connections
    To connect all this gear, you're going to need cables -- lots of cables. You'll need cables that connect your microphones or instruments to your interface, cables that connect your interface to your computer, and cables that connect your interface to your studio monitors. A typical home studio will need XLR cables for microphones, 1/4" instrument cables for guitars and/or basses, 1/4" TRS cables for (most) studio monitors, and RCA cables for other electronics.
      CBI LowZ Microphone Cable with Neutrik Connectors
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    Need it now but short of cash? All we need is the first payment up front and the rest in easy monthly payments!

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    We'll wait on your money so you don't have to wait for your gear!

    When you checkout, just click the Play as you Pay checkbox to indicate which installment plan you wish to use.

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    on most orders $49+

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    Why fight traffic and pushy salesmen when we'll bring your gear straight to your home, free of charge?

    zZounds free shipping is really free!
    No hidden charges or hassles on returns.
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    We have warehouses on both coasts, so most shipments arrive in 3 days or less.
    We don't collect sales tax. Bonus!
    Only NJ residents pay tax during checkout.
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