With a decent cell phone camera, you can record content from anywhere. However, if your social media hobby turns serious — like into part-time or full-time content creation — you might need more than just your phone.
A professional camera, solid lighting, and a distraction-free space can make all the difference in your creation process, letting you bring higher-quality content to your growing audience. Here’s everything you need to know about building a home studio setup that works.
Can a Home Studio Be Affordable?
Home studios don’t need to be expensive. The cost of your workspace depends on how much gear you need and the quality of the tools.
If you usually film and edit content on your phone, you’ll only need a few extra tools to take it to the next level, like a ring light or high-quality headphones. If you want a more extensive setup that includes a professional microphone, expensive camera, or soundproofing equipment, you’ll obviously spend more.
To save money, you can set a budget and limit how many new items you buy. Here are some average prices for common home studio items to help you plan:
- Microphone — $100 and up
- Ring light — $50 and up
- Professional camera — $300 and up
- Tripod — $20 and up
- Headphones — $100 and up
- Soundproofing equipment — Depends on the size of the space, but $50 and up
- Green screens and other backdrops — $50 and up
3 Ways To Save Money on a Home Recording Studio
If you’re on a budget, you can still find high-quality gear. You just have to know where to look. Here are a few tips for shopping smart and lowering the cost of your recording studio.
- Only buy what you need — Avoid buying expensive equipment you won’t use. Make a shopping list, and start with only one or two items. That way, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars at once, and you can buy something new if you need it later.
- Do research — Don’t purchase the first thing you see. Take note of what you want to buy and compare the prices at different retailers. If you’re lucky, you might find a good deal or a sale, saving you money.
- Get used gear — Instead of shopping in-store, scan sites like eBay or Facebook Marketplace for secondhand equipment. You could find items that are in great condition for a significantly lower price than they would be new. Just look at the items in person to make sure they work before purchasing.
6 Essentials for a DIY Recording Studio
If you’re starting from scratch, here’s a guide to typical home studio equipment.
Remember, this list will be different depending on what kind of content you’re creating. If you’re recording songs to post on TikTok, you might prioritize a good microphone instead of lighting. If you’re showing off products, your lighting might be more important to you than your sound. It’s all up to you.
1. A Quiet Space
This isn’t something you can buy, but a quiet and distraction-free space is essential for any creator’s recording process. It doesn’t have to be a dedicated room — a clear area in your living room or bedroom is more than enough. The goal is to have a space where nobody will interrupt you.
If you make visual content, you may want a space with a solid-color wall so you can easily remove the background. You’ll also need a convenient place to put your camera or phone on a tripod. If you’re recording audio, soundproof a closet or room for the highest-quality sound possible. Soundproofing foam, or even a blanket on the wall, will muffle any unwanted noises.
The right lighting can boost a video’s quality and make your cell phone recording look more professional. A ring light is a solid option for content creators who want to invest in something that’s easy to transport and plug in. Plus, you can usually change the colors of a ring light from warm to cool, which gives you more control over your video’s tone.
If you create content on your phone, you don’t necessarily need professional editing software. Instead, use an app like Captions to edit. You can download it on both your phone and your computer, and from there, you can trim together clips, cut out mistakes, and remove background noise quickly. Using AI, Captions can also instantly add subtitles to your videos which can increase engagement and save you hours of editing.
If you’re creating longer videos or want to spend more time editing, you can buy professional software like Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, or DaVinci Resolve Studio. Just keep in mind that there is a steeper learning curve and it can take time to learn how to use these effectively.
In general, your phone or computer’s microphone doesn’t capture the best audio. It might sound fuzzy or pick up awkward background noise. Instead, buy a microphone that captures crisp sound. Even a cheap one is usually better than your default mic, and some options can plug into your phone so you don’t have to worry about trying to match your video and audio later.
If you’re recording audio-specific content, like podcasts or voiceovers, it’s a good idea to invest in a high-quality mic. The Blue Yeti X, Movo UM700, and Amazon Basics Desktop Mini Condenser Microphone are all great options, and they plug into your computer via USB.
It’s hard to tell how good your content’s audio is without a pair of headphones. When you play video or audio from your phone or computer out loud, you don’t get the full picture of what it sounds like. Any headphones can work for this purpose, but getting a high-quality pair will help you spot and fix every little spot and background noise.
Headphones with a cable tend to get better quality than cordless ones, so if you’re recording music or a podcast, consider buying ones you can plug into your computer or phone. You might want to get headphones with a microphone built-in, too. These can help record better sound quality on videos without needing a separate microphone.
6. External Hard Drive
Videos often have large file sizes — which can add up. If you record a lot of content, you’ll likely run out of space on your computer, making it run slower and potentially deleting your content when it can’t store more.
Invest in an external hard drive — a data storage device you connect to your computer. You can save additional audio and video content to this hard drive, freeing up space on your computer so you can work without glitches and save information as you go. You also have a file backup in case you lose or break your computer.
3 Tips for Setting Up Your Home Studio
Buying the right equipment is just one ingredient in a home studio setup. You also have to find a distraction-free space that adapts to your needs. Here are a few more tips for creating the best content possible at home:
- Choose an open space — Open spaces without many objects are best for recording both audio and video. Busy rooms with lots of clutter distract viewers and can affect your sound quality. Before you record, tidy up and find a blank background (like a white wall) for cleaner clips.
- Use natural lighting — If you can, choose a room with a big window or other source of natural light. Enough bright, indirect sunlight looks just like a professional ring light, and sometimes it looks even better.
- Stay flexible — When you’re growing as a creator, your studio will, too. Your setup should be flexible so you can move things around when you need to, whether you’re switching rooms or need to make space for a collaborator. Don’t glue sound-absorbing foam to the wall or paint the whole room green for a green screen — you might regret it later.
Level Up Your Content With Captions
No matter how professional your home studio setup is, Captions helps you make social media content 10x faster. With AI tools that improve your sound quality, add music, or correct your eye contact in just a few taps, you won’t need to spend thousands to make your videos look high-quality and professional. Add Captions to your home studio today.