How to Set Up a Home Recording Studio for $1300 or Less

Home Recording Studio

As technology has become more advanced and affordable, it’s finally possible to set up a recording studio in your home. Even better, you can do it right from the comfort of your home. All you need to do set up one of the rooms in your home for use as a studio, and procure the proper equipment from This article explains how to do both.

Get your home recording studio equipment

1.      Computer

Macbook Pro Music Recording
Macbook Pro

These days, virtually everyone owns a computer of some sort, so we’re not going to include this in our total cost of setting up a home studio.  And most (if not all) modern computers are fast enough to process your raw audio files. I’d recommend that you use the computer you already have now. But if it’s too aged, you might want to upgrade. A classic example of the Macbook Pro. Other computers that are excellent for music production include the HP Envy and Dell Inspiron.

2.      DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)

The Digital Audio Workstation refers to the main software used to record, edit and mix music on a computer. Studio software was originally designed to resemble the working of analog mixing boards that were used before the digital revolution.

Currently, Pro Tools is the most popular Digital Audio Workstation, ideal for all purposes of music production. However, it’s not your only option. Other great recording studio software includes Cakewalk SONAR, FL Studio, and Ableton Live.

Pro Tools
DAW – Pro Tools

Pro Tools, the household name in audio production, goes for $599, with annual renewals worth $99 after every 12 months. This software is simple enough for beginners, and yet rich enough for seasoned producers.

3.      Audio Interface

Now that you have the software, it’s time to get your audio interface, which is a hardware device that provides the connections to send your music IN to your computer for processing. The Audio Interface also provides connections OUT of the computer for playback. With most audio interface devices available in the market right now, you also get a ton of other features, including DI boxes, digital conversion, mic preamps, headphone amps, and monitor management.

Focusrite Scarlett Solo
Audio Interface – Focusrite Scarlett Solo

The Focusrite Scarlett Solo (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools, which goes for $99 on Amazon, is ideal for your home studio.

4.      Microphones

Neewer NW-700 Studio Microphone
Neewer NW-700 Microphone

Microphones are a recording studio essential. Professional studios use different types of microphones to capture different sounds from different situations. But at this level, you don’t have to worry about these variations. The Neewer NW-700 Professional Studio Broadcasting Recording Condenser Microphone, available on for just $33.99, is ideal for your home recording studio. Even better, this microphone comes with its own stand, so you don’t have to spend more procuring a separate stand.

5.      Headphones

Sennheiser HD280PRO Headphones
Sennheiser HD280PRO

For the headphones, you’re well served by the Sennheiser HD280PRO, which is lightweight, and comfortable. This pair of closed-ear headphones goes for …

6 Tips to Writing Great Rap Lyrics

Rap is one of the most widespread forms of modern poetry. Lyrics are what distinguish between a good and a bad rapper. Good rap lyrics are personal, and flow, blending into the song and making a profound theme. Writing great rap lyrics is a precise art, and it takes patience and practice to master. However, anyone can get started creating some decent rap lyrics by following the easy tips in this article.

1.      Brainstorm

The first step to follow when writing great rap lyrics is to brainstorm so you can come up with a theme for the song. There’s no limit to what your lyrics can be about. A lot of rappers create lyrics on something that’s happened either recently, or in the past. You might also want to create lyrics for a dance-type song, or talk a little bit about yourself. Basically, it’s all just about your preferences, as well as an understanding of what might be lyrics for a good song. Keep in the mind that the title of your song should indicate the theme. But don’t let the title tie you down, you can always come up with this later.

Start writing a draft story for your lyrics. Story-raps have been popular since the birth of hip-hop, but you’re not actually restricted to telling a story. Your lyrics can just as well be non-story. The important thing is to take the listener on a journey through the lyrics.

2.      Know your Beat

Choose a beat that you know you’ll be comfortable with. If you rap pretty fast, then you definitely want to settle on a fast beat. If on the other hand you’re a slow rapper, then choose a beat that can match your pace. Start by listening to the beat a couple of times to get the rhythm and absorb the mood of your song.

3.      Write awesome lyrics

Now that you’ve thought about your song’s theme/story, and familiarized yourself with the beat, it’s time to get to the lyrics. Build the ideals you collected above into lyrics, and keep in mind to maintain the rhythm. For some rappers, it helps to listen to the beats as they write the lyrics.

4.      Keep it personal

An important rule of the thumb is not to lie about who you are. If you’re trying to get a certain point across, consider using hyperboles (extreme exaggerations). Usually, lines in a rap rhyme, but the words you put in there don’t have to match precisely. Anyway, it all depends on how you say them. Keep your audience in mind always, and cultivate a unique, personal angle.

5.      Organize and memorize

Once you’ve got a good idea of what you want your lyrics to be (you should by now), it’s time to organize the ideas so that they make sense and flow. Break your ideas into verses keeping in mind the layout. This done, you’ll also want to memorize the lines so that you can internalize the rhythm and flow of …

Top 8 Hip Hop Artists in the Market Right Now

Has there ever been a better time for the independent hip hop artist to thrive?


Independent artists can easily connect with fans, get invitations to live shows, and make money while at it. Unlike about a decade ago, when most new talent needed association with industry bigwigs and producers to really break the glass ceiling, one can easily make a website, and start cultivating an audience right from day one. All an independent rapper needs to create, distribute and promote their music is a laptop, and some determination.

In this article, we’re going to look at the top 8 hip hop artists in the game right now. This list is a combination of well-known veterans, talented new comers, savvy business minds, and lyricists from New York, LA, Atlanta, and all over the country.

The artists who’ve been featured to this list embody the grind, hustle, entrepreneurial spirit and determination that represents hip hop culture.

1)     Tech N9ne

This is the number one hip hop artist in the game today. Tech N9ne has proved himself to be the true king of the independent hip hop game for years on end, and nobody has really come strong enough to unseat him. This hip hop artist from Kansas City, along with the likes of Mac Miller, is one of very few independent rappers who’ve made it to Forbes yearly Hip Hop Cash Kings list. Others to have made it to this hall of fame include Eminem, Puff, Birdman, and Hov.

Tech and Travis O’Guin, his partner and Strange Music CEO, have built a very powerful organization that’s raking in 8 figures each year. Most of their profits come from touring merchandise and music sales. To be independent means being able to do things by yourself, to cut the middleman and create, distribute, organize, book, promote, negotiate and market for yourself. If there’s anyone who’s been able to do this super-well, that’s Tech N9ne.

2)     Chance The Rapper

Chance The Rapper is always shutting down major label deals and sticking to his own independent grind. Based on a Complex article on the cost of booking rappers, it appears that Chance is doing a $35,000 fee per show. That’s enough money to easily rake in between a million and three million in annual income, even after subtracting expenses. And this is notwithstanding all the money he makes with endorsement deals, feature appearances, and writing music for other artists.

Chance is faring quite well on his own, and there isn’t any chance why he might want to sign up with a label (unless, of course, the label is offering 100% creative control – which is highly unlikely – and an obscene amount of money).

3)     Joey Bada$$

Joey Bada$$ is no less than the shining star of the New York hop scene. Aged just 21 years, this guy has got a lot of vision for his brand. Joey has managed to cultivate a loyal fan base who’ll follow him everywhere he goes. His debut album, …


Zilla Rocca is one of the most profound independent hip-hop artists in the game at all times. The producer, emcee, and pulp aficionado has made his name in his Philadelphia proving grounds, as well as on the national stage. About a decade ago, back in 2006, Zilla Rocca formed the 5 O’clock Shadowboxers together with Blurry Drones, a producer based in Seattle. The two cultivated the stylized, sharp sound that they’ve now come to refer as noir hop.

After his 2010 global debut with Bad Weather Classic EP, Zilla Rocca followed up with a number of solid singles, which all culminated to the release of the Nights&Weekends flagship. He also worked with Wrecking Crew Cohorts Small Professor and Curly Castro in 2012, helming their top-rated Wu-Tang Pulp mix tape.

Since 2013, Zilla Rocca has knuckled down with his own imprint – Three Dollar Pistol Music, where he has continued to release top-notch independent solo music. Zilla has also engage in collaborative work via his re-invented Group Project – Zilla Rocca & the 5 O’ Clock Shadowboxers.…