Nowadays, people don’t really like bulky equipment for their recording needs. “LESS IS MORE” is the trend these days for most bedroom musicians and people in general.
To start, you are only going to need these SIX things:
- Midi keyboard
- Audio Interface
These SIX pieces of gear are sufficient enough for a minimalist approach to your bedroom music studio
The Music You Want
First things first, the recording will depend on what genre or what type of music you would want to create. For hip-hop, EDM, Dubstep, House, Techno and POP, this minimalist set up will be all you need.
For rock music, although you can record everything with this setup, rock musicians tend to like the sound of organic drum kits better. However, you can still emulate the drum tracks with the right set of skills, a good ear, and the right plug-ins.
Laptop- The Brains of the Operation
Of course, you’re still the real brains of the operation, but the laptop will run the whole thing. It will run the programs you need and store all the files.
For a minimalist setup, you’re going to want to choose a thin, space-saving laptop with a simple design, but still can run memory-crunching software.
For this, I would want to pick up a MACBOOK AIR, or a MACBOOK PRO.
The sleek and simple design of a MacBook looks very elegant for a minimalist bedroom recording setup. Despite having a simple design, the MacBook has serious processing power and is effective and efficient to supplement all your recording needs.
(PRICE: $1,299- $2,799)
That is pretty pricey for a laptop, but that’s only my own opinion. If you are on a tight budget, I would suggest any new laptop that has at least 8GB of RAM. Anything below that might not be able to run the programs needed and crash.
DAW or RECORDING SOFTWARE
Now that you have chosen a laptop, you’re going to need recording software and plug-ins to get your sounds. Since we are talking about minimalist setups, we are going to look at Digital Audio Workstations or DAWs.
DAWs are the computer software that lets you record, edit, and mix audio tracks to produce a song or podcast.
LOGIC PRO X (price: $199.99)
Logic Pro X has a very minimalistic user interface. The design is straightforward, user-friendly, and can do what most digital audio work stations can like recording a track, editing, mixing, and producing music.
REAPER (price: $60)
Like Logic Pro X, Reaper also has a minimalistic design. It looks effortless to use and could probably be the most effective DAW for its price range.
GarageBand for MAC (FREE)
Garageband is also an excellent choice. The user interface looks nice and user-friendly. If you chose to buy a MacBook for recording, it comes with the computer for FREE.
MONITORS/SPEAKERS- THE EARS OF THE OPERATION
Monitors are essential in recording music. Before releasing your song on YouTube, Spotify or SoundCloud, you’re going to want to mix and master the tracks. To do this, you have to hear how it sounds through good speakers.
In recording audio tracks, the sound is more important than the aesthetic. I’m sure there are monitors out there that not only sound great but look good and are the right size for the minimalistic setup you want.
MACKIE CR5 5-INCH MONITORS (price: $229.99)
This set of monitors will look great for a minimalist studio set up. It has Bluetooth connectivity so you could eliminate the use of wires. Furthermore, its 50W power of clear and articulate stereo audio allows you to get the best out of these monitors.
They also have the MACKIE CR3 which is 2 inches smaller, but anything smaller will not bring out the BASS as much. Remember we are going for a minimalist approach, but it also has to be effective for good quality recording. Also, the 3 -inch doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity. (price: $99.99)
MIDI KEYBOARD- THE MUSCLE
Midi keyboard controllers are essential for a home music studio. They do all the heavy lifting. You can assign the midi controller to play the notes and tweak the parameters and effects of the tracks and plug-ins in your DAW.
Here are some midi keyboards that are perfect for a minimalist setup.
AKAI MPK MINI MKII (price: $99.99)
The low price of this midi keyboard exceeds all expectations. It has 25 good-looking keys with different colorways. This controller also has eight midi pads and 16 assignable knobs for tweaking.
AKAI PROFESSIONAL LPK25 WIRELESS (price: $189.99)
This very minimalistic midi controller with 25 keys, no pads, and knobs, features a wireless Bluetooth system. Eliminating the use for wires, this would look perfect for the minimalist setup you’re going for.
ROLI SEABOARD BLOCK WIRELESS KEYBOARD CONTROLLER (price: $299.99)
The ROLI Seaboard Block is the best choice. Its elegant all-black design is perfect for a minimalist studio setup. The Roli has a block system, which means you can connect it to other Roli devices just like LEGO blocks to build a perfect keyboard rig.
AUDIO INTERFACE- THE SMOOTH OPERATOR
An audio interface is a device that lets you record audio straight from a microphone and/ or guitar. At this point, you have a laptop, speakers and a midi keyboard. Now it’s time to choose a mini audio interface to record your vocals and guitars.
IK MULTIMEDIA iRIG PRE HD (price: $99.99)
This tiny interface can take on a number of bullies. Besides it being literally mini, it can record fantastic audio. It can also connect it to your mobile phone and record music wherever you are if inspiration strikes.
M-AUDIO M-TRACK 2×2 (price: $99.99)
This fantastic interface has a cool design, and for its size, it produces massive audio. It is good for the minimalist set up you are planning.
FOCUSRITE SCARLETT SOLO (Price: $99.99)
This brand has been well-known throughout most professional music producers. It has low latency, a preamp, and outstanding qualities for its low price.
I would pick the Scarlett Solo for a minimalist studio just because of all the good things I hear about it. Unlike the other interfaces I mentioned, the Scarlett Solo has two inputs, an XLR input for Mics and a ½ inch input for guitar. With this audio interface, you can record two tracks simultaneously.
MICROPHONE- THE BOSS
Now, I say that mics are the boss because of how expensive they are. At this point, you are nearly done picking out the right stuff. Choosing a good microphone is crucial. For minimalist bedroom music studios, you will need something that can filter unwanted audio and get the most out of your vocals.
NEUMANN TLM 102 (price: $699)
This microphone is one of the best microphones out there, it’s kind of pricey but is as good as it gets. The Neumann company has created some of the world’s best microphones. This product is well-designed, and it looks very classy.
RODE NTK PREMIUM (price: $529)
This microphone has very impressive reviews. The design has a vintage look, and the condenser is just great with recording vocals and acoustic instruments.
SENNHEISER MD 421 II (price: $379)
This microphone is the black sheep of the mics I mentioned, just because of the design it looks grungier and more rock and roll than the others. It features a 5-position bass roll-off switch and has precise sound reproduction.
I’m having a hard time choosing a microphone for a minimalist set up, but I would prefer the Sennheiser MD 421 II. It is the right choice for its precision audio recording and the lower price.
HEADPHONES- THE DECOY
The decoy, headphones are essential for mixing and mastering. Although you could also do it with monitors, having on-ear headphones gives you a closer listen. For minimalist setups, I would only list down a couple of Bluetooth headphones that I find to have good quality and has a suitable simple design.
BOSE QuietComfort 35 (price: $349)
These headphones have a straightforward and elegant design. Very minimalistic with no extra unnecessary designs. It’s very comfortable with exceptional noise cancellation.
SONY WH100XM2 (price: $348)
Very neat and tasteful, the design of these headphones look perfect for the minimalist set up you desire. It has a long battery life and has great sounding mid-range and bass.
For headphones, I would choose the SONY WH1000XM2 because I like the design better. The matte black elegant design is beautiful, and it looks a lot more durable. The frequency range is better for quality mixing and mastering.
THE MINIMALIST VIBE
To get that minimalistic vibe that you want, choose a place in your room, you want to set up your gear that has no clutter. Make sure the space is always neat and has an empty desk.
The aesthetic of your minimalistic bedroom music studio is just the start. After you get all the equipment you need, the most important thing is that you are happy with your gear and that it helps you create the music you want.
There is a desk I found on Amazon. If you don’t have one yet or want to get a new desk that is simple, you can check the ZINUS JENNIFER MODERN STUDIO COLLECTION DESK (Price: $72.99). Its design is very minimalistic. A simple desk-top that perfect for the minimalistic look you want in your studio.
SHOULD I ADD MORE GEAR?
There are a couple of things and accessories you could add to improve the aesthetic, quality of the recording, and workflow. Click here to read a separate article about 7 useful accessories for your bedroom music studio.
Not only are they neat and tidy, but MINIMALIST STUDIOS is also quite effective when it comes to efficiency. That’s it! I hope you learned something after reading this article! Go out and make music! Or should I say, GO in and make music!