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This is not for the gear sluts. So you don’t have the budget to record at Capitol Studios…Big whoop. Elliot Smith recorded “Roman Candle” in his ex’s basement. Part of Rush’s “Power Windows” was recorded in a BARN. Check out these ten recording studio must haves for your home. They’ll look nice next to your lava lamp aquarium. (Yes, they make those.)

1) Pre Sonus ADL-600
You can splurge a bit on your preamplifiers. This hand-built two-channel preamp has been getting good reviews everywhere. I dig the sexy analog VU meter. Oh, and the tubes were designed by Anthony DeMaria, if that means anything to you.

2) Logic Pro 9
LP9 is probably the most affordable, easy-to-use, and jam packed digital audio workstation on the market today. This version is even more idiot proof.

3) Adam A7
There monitors are so detailed—it’s scary. You and your clients will have nothing to hide. The frequency response starts at 45Hz so you’ll have to get a subwoofer in addition.

4) KORG Nano Series
Forget expensive DAW controllers. Pick up this three-piece pack, which includes a MIDI keyboard, faders, and drum velocity pad. They’re travel friendly too.

5) Furman PL-PLUS DMC Power Conditioner
When your electrical system at home is not grounded because of dirty AC power, it can potentially cause unwanted noise in your recordings. Grab one of these, unless you are aiming for that lo-fi sound…

6) dbx 1066 Dual Compressor Limiter Gate
Do all of your compression and limiting in one fell swoop. There’s even an “Auto” button for the compression illiterate.

7) SPL MixDream Analog Summing Mixer
Now this one is for the hardcore home-based engineers out there. When mixing in-the-box (no analog outboard mixer), a summing mixer can be used to give your tracks that analog feel. So snobby…

8) LaCie d2 Quadra Hard Disk
Do not…I repeat, DO NOT save your sessions on your computer’s hard drive. You want the processing power on your desktop or laptop to be solely for your digital audio workstation. This external hard drive works with USB/Firewire 400 & 800 and spins at a proper rotational speed, 7200rpm. Trust me on this one.

9) AKG Perception 420
This is the Swiss Army knife of the bunch. I’ve used this microphone on vocals, guitar, piano, glockenspiel, and drums with good results. The 420 is a cheap but legitimate alternative to the otherwise expensive multi-pattern large diaphragm condenser microphones of the world. I’m not naming names.

10) The Ergo Mesh Medium Back Task Chair
Not exactly necessary to make a great album, but it is for comfort if you’re going to be in front of your desk all day. No massager on this one. One would get distracted, and the noise isn’t too good for mixing.

-Kateri Lirio