Since it's introduction, Avid's Pro Tools has maintained it's lead as the preferred digital audio workstation platform for professional studios. While it's not the only game in town, it's the most widely-used recording and mixing software, and having that common compatibility with other studios will really help you if you ever need to leave your home studio -- and especially if you wish to take on paying clients, which will always demand having the most latest industry standard.
Here's a list of the items you need to start a Pro Tools studio on a budget. Enjoy!
The brains of the Pro Tools system is the Digidesign MBox 2; coming in at right around $450, this is the perfect way to get started in recording. The best part about the MBox 2 is that it contains all the bundled software you'll need to get started on a PC or a Mac, including plug-ins and the Pro Tools recording software itself. For more information about the MBox line, check out my look at the MBox 2 Mini
, the MBox 2's little brother. Also, for more information on the power behind Pro Tools, check out our Pro Tools tutorials.
Every good studio needs a great small condenser microphone. The Oktava MK012 is an excellent value-priced option; based on a famous German microphone, and designed during the days of Soviet Russia, this microphone sounds like it costs three times as much. This is a perfect microphone for recording guitar, percussion, or drum overheads. Available for less than $200, this microphone is detailed more fully in my Top Microphones Under $200 article
To round out the studio, check out the Fostex PM0.4 Studio Bundle. You're getting everything you need to round out the studio, all for around $499. You'll get a pair of powered monitors with a subwoofer, for mixing; a pair of headphones, to use while recording; a microphone stand; an AKG Perception large-diaphragm condenser microphone, ideal for recording vocals; and all the cables you'll need to get started. This is a perfect
all-in-one package to add to your MBox 2 system.
For more recommendations of must-haves, check out our list of 5 things every studio needs.