Category Archives for Building your home studio

The 6 best Studio Monitors on a Budget

The 6 Best Studio Monitors on a Budget
The 6 Best Studio Monitors on a Budget

While Studio Monitors are an essential part of your home studio set up, they don't have to kill your budget.

The best studio monitors must be able to deliver that neutral sound that you need for mixing your tracks.

They should be able to deliver a balanced and natural spectrum response, low distortion and superior stereo imaging.

And of course, you'd like to add some clear midranges, a tight bass and crisp highs...

Now, you might think that finding cheap studio monitors that offer all those features is impossible ?

So, you keep on mixing with your headphones .... 

But, even the best studio headphones, can not reproduce frequencies at the exact response rate as studio monitors and you can't exclusively rely on them.

You will also lose stereo balance when mixing down your tracks with headphones and you will eventually have to make corrections with your monitors.

​Now, I have some good news for you!

Some Studio Monitors do offer all those features and they will not ruin your budget!

Find your best match from The 6 best Studio Monitors under $100 to max $200!

Mackie CR Series CR3

Great quality for an affordable price!

Compact and lightweight, these versatile monitors deliver clear, crisp and natural sound.

Lacking some low-end​

M-Audio AV32

M-Audio AV32

Great value for multi-media purposes

Detailed sound, clear crisp highs and tight accurate bass.

​Less adapted for music production.

Behringer ms16 studio monitors

Behringer MS16

Do price and size matter?

Cheap and compact self-powered monitors.

Not ideal for mixing purposes

Presonus Eris e4.5 Review

Presonus Eris e4.5

The Top of low budget monitors!

Great value high definition studio monitors for a clear, neutral sound and punchy bass!

Lacking some low-end​

JBL LSR305 studio monitor


The right sound@The right price

Most accurate sound for price range!

Impressive sound quality and excellent stereo imaging.

  KRK Rokit 5

Music Producer's favorite! And mine..

Optimized, rich and defined stereo imaging.

Clear mid-ranges, high, crisp highs​ and tight bass.

Any questions? Or maybe you want to add YOUR FAVORITE to the list?

Please, feel free to leave a comment below!

And don't hesitate to spread the word!

What is an Audio Interface?

What is an audio interface

  • What is an audio interface

  • Why do I need an audio interface

  • What is the best audio interface

  • How to choose an audio interface

  • which one do I recommend

What is an Audio Interface?

An audio interface is a piece of hardware that connects microphones, musical devices and other signals to your computer and converts external sound from an analog format to a binary digital format and the other way around.

Types of audio interfaces:

USB Audio interface: Those are the most common audio interfaces and mostly the cheapest. The advantage of an USB Audio interface is it’s universal connectivity. USB interfaces are easy to install as you can connect them directly to any usb port on your computer without having to use external drivers or other software. They are a perfect option for most of the applications of a home based producer.

Fire Wire Audio Interface:  They are typically used for audio/video purposes. Fire Wire audio interfaces support a higher bandwidth and can send data faster than an USB interface. This increases the stability and performance of your recordings. They are commonly more expensive than USB interfaces and not supported by all types of computers. Your computer configuration must have a card bus, PCMCI or an express card slot to connect a Fire Wire audio interface.

PCI Audio Interfaces : Have the format of an expansion card and need to be mounted in a PCI slot in your computer. Overall more complex to use and most basic computers don’t have a PCI slot. The advantage is that they offer a fast transfer speed and that they are expandable by simply adding more cards. They don’t have analog inputs so you need to buy them separately and connect them with the card using an external ‘breakout box’.

PCM-CIA : Or PC card, is a flat and compact extension that’s inserted in a card bus slot in your computer. They are less common and hardly used anymore.


Why do I need an Audio Interface?

They are an essential part of a music studio. An Audio interface will improve the sound quality from your recordings and allows you to record several external devices simultaneously through multiple input and output options.

Sound quality

You can make music without an audio interface because every computer has an built up sound card but they have a lot of limitations. The drivers of your built in sound card won’t reproduce the same sound quality as an audio interface.

To record, master and mix your music you need the most pristine and transparent sound possible in order to achieve professional results, without jitter and interferences that you have with a built in sound card. Most audio interfaces include effects such as EQ, Reverb and compression that will help you improve the quality of your mixes instantly.

An audio interface will expand the sonic potential of your studio set up and offer you a more professional environment for your recordings.

Expanding or building your home studio

The more you will grow, the more professional your music studio will become in which case, using an audio interface will be mandatory.

Unless you want to continue working with your built in speakers and sound card you’ll eventually need an external output device to connect your monitors and/or headphones.  

If you don’t use any external software but just your computer, VST Plugins and samples it is ok to start out with a sound card but if you want to bring your music to another level, you might want to acquire more professional equipment and buying an audio interface is an essential part of any music studio.

Read more : Electronic music for beginners part 2: Building your home studio

What is the best Audio Interface?

That question might be difficult to answer. There is huge choice of audio interfaces to choose from and prices might vary a lot. Like I have already mentioned before, you will need to consider which one suits your personal needs and preferences.

You need to identify the amount and quality of inputs and outputs, pre amps and other features that you need based on different aspects:

  • your budget
  • what exactly you are using an audio interface for 
  • how you use it

Let’s have a closer look at some of the aspects you might need to think of before you buy an audio interface by explaining some of the most important components and some technical features of an audio interface, the most important one being it’s configuration.

This will help you make a choice and understand better how an audio interface works and which one you should go for !

How to choose an Audio Interface?


The best audio interface will be that one that reproduces the most accurate playback without any latency or distortion and how well it handles input level signals. Like any other audio device, exceptional sound quality comes with a price!

The more digital convertors and the higher the quality standards of those convertors, the more expensive. Same goes for the amount and quality of mic preamps and in-and outputs available on a specific audio interface.

There are some great values out there for an affordable price though ( see ‘Which one do I recommend’ down the page )


There are some technical features that you need to take in consideration before you buy an audio interface and the configuration is the most important one.

what is an audio interface

  • I/O configuration

The amount of in-and outputs ( I/O configuration) you need depends on the amount of external devices you have to connect. If you are home based producer with just a keyboard, you’ll obviously need less inputs that if you are band with 2 keyboards, an electric  guitar and a singer.

The most basic audio interface has a two-channel desktop, an XLR and a ¼” socket and gain level control. They are ideal for most basic studio purposes and are easy to carry when you are a musician on the road.

More complex audio interfaces can handle hundreds of level signals simultaneously and can be served by combination sockets and super channels that enable you to deal with any kind of signal. Some even include effects like Reverb, EQ and compression on every output channel.

  • Audio and Midi I/O

If you are a Singer and/or acoustic guitar player, you will need only 2 pre amp inputs, which is a basic setting for most of the most affordable models and sufficient to handel mic signal level inputs .

If you are using a good quality condenser microphone, be careful to check for Phantom Power, to get the most optimal sound out of your mic.

This configuration is enough to handle mic and line in like inputs from acoustic and electric guitars and digital pianos.

If you need to add a keyboard or an other midi device you will need to have a midi I/O . The inputs must be capable to handle both in line and instrument level signals.

As a beginner you might choose for the cheapest option but I’d recommend to go to a model that offers a superior I/O configuration from what you might need right now, in order to have the configuration that you will need later when you build up your home studio and when your music skills improve. This will spare you from having some bad surprises!

  • Bit and sample rate:

Bit Is the resolution. The more bit rate the more accurate the play back will be. Check out to choose an audio interface with a min of 24 bits , which is a standard for most audio interfaces. The sample rate is represented in Hz is is the amount of units from a signal and how they interact to recreate the sound that we hear. This is quite technical and I will not elaborate more but it can useful to understand when you buy an an audio interface.

Which one do I recommend?

I am using the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2 2 out usb recording audio interface.scarlett 2Why?

A producer/friend recommended me to use the Scarlett Audio Interface when I showed him my studio. He is DJ/ Producer for 15 years and has an extreme knowledge of music software and he can talk about audio interfaces for hours, so I trusted him and I don’t regret my choice. It’s definitely a great value and I can recommend it without any hesitation!

To give you an idea of how my home studio configuration looks like:

I am using Ableton live 9 Suite and Ableton Push ( which is connected to an usb port in my I Mac).

Besides that I have 2 KRK Rokit 8 G3 Monitors and Audio Technica ATH-50x headphones.

This is a quite basic home studio but I am using a lot of VST Plugins as well and a mic sometimes.

For my needs, the Scarlett 2i2 audio interface is a great value and I would definitely recommend it for this kind of studio set up and for beginners. If you recognize yourself with this description, you will not regret your choice!

The reasons why I’d recommend the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2 2 out usb recording audio interface above any other USB audio interface?

  • The 2 award-winning pre amps
  • Gain knobs with LED Halos
  • The headphone amp and 2 volume knobs for monitors and headphones
  • The direct monitor switch
  • The effects
  • Can handle line in level signals and instrument level signals
  • Authorization code for Ableton live ( but compatible with most DAWS)
  • Easy installation.


focusrite scarlett 2i2 2 2 out usb recording interface

Complete review and price here

I hoped his helped you understand better what an audio interface stands for and why you need it in your home studio.

Good luck !

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The best studio headphones under 300 $

The best studio headphones under 300 $

Good quality studio headphones are a MUST for any music producer or DJ.  

Finding the best studio headphones at an affordable price can be tricky, though...

Let's find your match and discover the 10 best studio headphones under 300$

You already know how to compare headphones  and how to choose professional studio headphones analyzing the different types, features and specificities.

Your ideal studio headphones are most certainly out there!  So, discover them now!

 Audio-Technica ATH-M50x professional headphones 

Capture d’écran 2015-09-24 à 17.53.13


Complete review and price

The Audio- Technica ATH-M50 is the follower of its big brother, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50. It is one of the best professional headphones for music producers and there are many reasons why! They are the best-rated headphones under 200$ and my personal favorite!

Type: Closed back

My opinion: Excellent quality/price, solid built up, good noise isolation and a well balanced, flat and neutral sound. Best value for the price!

Read More

Sony MDR-7506

sony mdr 7506

Complete review and price 


Sony MDR-7506 are used in professional studios all over the world and create great enthousiasm to every one who tried them. People who tried the Sony MDR-7506 claim that once you get used to the 7506, its hard to go back to using any other headphones that cost less that twice their price. They are at least as good, and probably better, than anything else for the price…read more 

Type: Closed back

My opinion: Excellent value for the price, a reference in music industry,well balanced and accurate sound, good isolation for passive noise canceling headphones

Rating: 9,5 / 10

Complete review and price: here


Sennheiser HD 280 Pro


Complete review and price 

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro are solid and rug closed ear headphones designed for  professional monitoring applications and are Sennheiser’s most significant closed headphones to have been presented over the last years. They can be placed under the best headphones under 100 $….Read more

Type: Closed back

My opinion: They are solid and comfortable, very good noise isolators and good value for the price

Rating: 9/10

Complete review and price: here

Shure SR H240

shure srh240A

Complete review and price

The Sure srh840 professional headphones are among the best professional monitoring headphones on the market. They are build like a tank and have an unbeatable sound quality, reproducing the most accurate and well balanced, warm sound with little mid range emphasis. Sound quality is their signature and makes the Sure srh840 one of the best audiophile headphones under 200 $…. read more

Type: Closed back

My opinion: Solid built up and comfortable , fantastic sound quality

Rating: 9,5/10

Complete review and price: here


Beyerdynamics DT 880 pro 250 Ohm

beyerdynamics dt 880

Complete review and price

The newest version of the Beyerdynamics DT headphones are combining the sound quality of  open headphones with the strengths of more powerful, closed headphones. They are among the best professional studio monitoring headphones on the market and they are fantastic for mixing purposes! read more

Type : semi open

Rating : 9,5/1o

Amazing performances for mixing and fantastic sound quality, comfort and advantages of both open and closed headphones

Complete review and price

 V Moda Crossfade lp

v moda

Complete review and price

The V-Moda Crossfade LP are probably one of the most eye catching headphone out there. The Crossfade LP It is a very sophisticated headphone with revolutionary design, comfort and great sound that will enthusiasm every audiophile, DJ or producer. It’s no surprise they are among the top-ranked headphones on Amazon. read more.

Type: closed back

Rating: 8/10

When fashion meets function! Fantastic design and built up for a clubby sound

Complete review and price: here


 Sennheiser hd 25 1-II

sennheiser hd 25

Complete review and price

Sennheiser HD25-1 II Closed-Back Headphones  have been an industry standard for decades now. Used by the most respected DJ’s for years, they kept on following the newest generation of DJ’s which still makes them one of the best headphones ano 2015. More than that, they are iconic! read more

Type: On-ear

Rating: 9,5 / 10

Excellent choice for DJ/ producers, light weight and solid, outstanding sound qualities and isolation.

Complete review and pricehere



AKG K 240 MK II 




Complete review and price

AKG K 240 MK II are professional semi open headphones. They have been a standard in many studios for more than 3 decades now and are one of the world’s most used professional headphones. The MK II offer an unbeatable sound quality for a very affordable price. They are one of the top choices for a producer on a budget. read more

Type: Semi-open

Rating: 9/10

My opinion: well balanced and detailed sound, great sound imaging and very good price/quality value

Complete review and pricehere 



Grado Prestige Series BR 80e

grado 3


Complete review and price

The Grado prestige Series headphones are open back on-ear professional studio headphones .Even if they are not my first first choice when it comes to studio headphones ( I’ll explain why later ) and I hesitated to put them in list at first, I was thinking about how worth they are considering their price. As I know many beginners or even more advanced producers are tight on budget.When it come to price/quality they are almost unbeatable! Most of the headphones I presented so far, are more expensive and maybe too expensive for some of you.The Grado’s are not THE best headphones on the market but definitely one of the best headphones under 100 $. read more!

Type: On-ear

Rating: 8 /10

My opinion:  well balances and nuanced sound for a great price/ quality value

Complete review and price:  here


KRK KNS8400 Studio Headphones




complete review and price

KRK KNS8400 Studio Headphones are truly a real value of professional studio headphones for an affordable price.The sound quality they deliver can hardly be beaten by other headphones in the same price range. They offer an accurate, clear and neutral sound, with low distortion and excellent frequency response. A very good choice for a ‘beginner’ or for any producer on a budget! read more 

Type: closed back

Rating: 8/10

My opinion: amazing sound quality for the price ,a  very good choice for producer on a budget

Complete review and price: here



Made you choice between the best professional headphones under 300 $ ? I am sure you did! If not…


I’d like to hear from you! So don’t hesitate to talk to me 🙂


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Electronic music for beginners part 2: Building your home studio

Building your home studio

Building your home studio? But don’t know where to start? In part 1 of How to make electronic music for beginners  you have learned the 5 steps to start making music right away.


Lets’s go to the next step and let’s set up your home recording studio!


Monitors + Monitor Stands + Monitor acoustic isolation pads                                         


Ultimate support jsms 70 monitor standsPeople tend to think that building your home studio is an expensive matter and this is mostly true, but there is no hurry in putting to much money at first. The truth is that a lot of famous tracks have been produced in the most basic studio settings. Meaning a laptop, a DAW and headphones.

You might want to remaster with headphones but let’s be honest, those capable of doing so are exceptions and even thought there are quality headphones out there you will eventually need to invest in a pair of quality monitors and they are an essential part of your recording studio.


You have setup your computer, you have chosen  the DAW you are going to work with and you have a decent pair of headphones. See ‘how to make electronic music for beginners’. Now it’s time it’s time to complete your home recording studio set up with a good pair of monitors!

I will introduce you to  the best speakers for music production according to most home based producers and professional reviews and I’ll show you the essentials to combine within order to have the best quality sound possible for producing, remixing and remastering your tracks!




rokit 8

The most important software an electronic music producer needs are good monitors!

There is a very high variety of monitors going from affordable to very expensive and your definitive choice will depend on different aspects. Knowing that you are most likely to produce electronic music if you are reading this post, it is a the good thing to know is that most monitors have similar transparency requirements and frequency response, whatever genre you are likely to produce. Whether you are searching for ‘the best monitors to make Dance music’ or the ‘monitors with the lowest distortion’ most monitors possess similar basic features.

An other important thing to consider is the size of your room. There is no point in buying 12ich monitors if your room is about a big as your home studio itself …

To start with, I would recommend buying a more affordable model and grow to a more expensive one int he future, unless you have the budget to afford an expensive model right away.

The most acclaimed professional music production monitors for an affordable price are the KRK Rokit 8 G3, the 3 generation audio speakers from KRK. There are 3 models. The Rokit 5 G3, The Rokit 6 G3 and my personal favorite and the one I am using on a daily basis are The KRK Rokit 8 3 generation.


Read more : Comparative review Rokit 5 G3, Rokit 6 G3 and Rokit 8 G3


There are many reasons why The KRK 3 generation monitors are the best-selling and most acclaimed monitors for music production and even The Rokit 5, 6 and 8 possess similar features there are differences and your ultimate choice will be based on your personal choice and needs, preferences and budget.

I will give a complete overview of the features of Rokit G3 studio monitors and my opinion so you will be able to compare each model and price and find the monitors that best suit you… there is certainly a Rokit that fits you!


To connect your Monitors ( and just because it is the next essential part of your studio)  you’ll eventually need an audio Interface. I am using the Focusrite scarlett 2i2 2 2 out usb recording audio interface which is a great value for my recordings.

Not sure what an audio interface is ?

Read more  What is an Audio Interface?



Monitor stands 

monitor standsYou might need monitor stands if you don’t have enough place on your workspace Make sure to buy adjustable ones with a stable platform and a low profile base.

The model in the picture is the  Ultimate support js ms 70

I use the Ultimate support speakers stands because they are the best adjustable height monitor stands for an affordable price. You won’t find cheap monitor stands that have the features of the Ultimate support jsms speaker stand  and are capable of supporting high weights. This is definitely the best price/ quality monitor stands when you are on a budget.


Please read complete review and price here




Monitor acoustic isolation pads 


With or without the stand it is recommended to have isolation pads.

Monitor acoustic isolation pads prevent sonic resonance and coloration from the monitors on their resting surface providing a clearer and more articulate sound.



I recommend The Auralex MoPad monitor Isolators with it’s 5 different positioning options. Mo Pads have been designed to support any type of monitors…


Read more review and price





scarlett 2

The audio interface 



More to come soon : 

  • MIDI Keyboard/Controller
  • microphone
  • studio Isolation


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 Music production: Tips & Tricks


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