Equipment For A Small To Medium Sized Studio

Interactive block diagram:

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This is a breakdown of the gear you need for a typical medium sized recording studio with the capacity to record up to 24 tracks simultaneously.


Detailed Gear List
# Description Recommended Notes
1 Computer HP Quad Core 750GB, 8GB RAM, Windows Vista, dual monitor support. Quad core, CD/DVD Burner
2 Backup Drive (internal) 1TB (1000GB)

This is mainly to back up the computer operating system and current project files. You'll also want one of these for each external drive enclosure you buy (below).

3 Backup Drive (external) USB SATA Enclosure You'll want to get some of these for archiving projects. You'll always want to have at least 2 copies of any project.
4 Video Monitor ViewSonic 22" LCD. Get two of these.
5 Mixer/Audio Interface Yamaha 01V96VCM Gives you 12 balanced inputs and ADAT output. When using 2 of these for 24 tracks, you'll need the MY8AT ADAT expansion card for one of the boards which adds 8 more ADAT channels.
6 Computer Interface RME Hammerfall HDSP 9652 A card for the computer. Supports 3 ADAT in and outs for 24 channels of IO. Good driver support.
7 Optical Cables 16 foot, 6 foot Connects the mixing boards to the computer (RME board). Each carries 8 channels so you'll need a total of 6 of them for a 24 track setup: 3 outputs and 3 inputs.
8 Recording Software Cakewalk SONAR 8 Producer Extremely stable, excellent MIDI support, lots of included plug-ins.
9 Microphones SM57, 4000B, C414 Quantity and model depend on the type of music to be recorded but these are good choices to have. See Microphones.
10 Cables budget, medium, best Have at least 2 for every mic. At least one replacment for every mic.
11 Stands budget, best ,large boom One for every mic a few extras. You may also want some short booms for miking guitar amps and other instruments close to the ground.
12 Speakers Genelec, Mackie Control room monitors: Genelec, Studio monitors: Mackie
13 Headphones Sennheiser HD280 One for each player, the recording engineer and the producer.
14 Headphone Amp PRO-8 HA-8000 See Headphones.
15 MIDI Interface MIDIsport 4X4 For older MIDI keyboards, VDrums and controllers
16 MIDI Keyboard M-Audio 88 Key Trigger samples, record keyboard parts.
17 Patch Cables 8 pack Multi-colored 17" TRS cables for connecting gear.
18 Acoustics Auralex Foam for walls, etc. Adjust/dampen the sound of the room. See Acoustics for more.
19 Isolation SMPro Sound isolation for specific mics. See Acoustics for more.

You also want to consider the following as well:

  1. House instruments - piano, drums, bass, amps
  2. Printer - Sheet music, lyrics, lists, etc..
  3. High Speed internet access - So you can post your clients music to the web.
  4. Web hosting - to post clients recordings (protected and private areas).
  5. Security. Alarm, survelience cameras
  6. Insurance

If you are a working studio with paying customers, you'll want a backup of every piece of gear to ensure that the session can proceed no matter what happens.