How To Make A Hip Hop Album Without a Recording Studio


Youíre making a start on putting together your songs for a rap or hip hop album and have found a great collection of beats for sale you can use, but money is tight. Therefore, you do what many people who are starting out have to do - you make a home recording. The good news is that it is possible to do it on a budget.

It is completely possible to find plenty software online to record your music home and make it sound professional. Some artists like to do as much home recording they can and then just rely on a pro-studio to just record their vocals when the time comes.

Top 5 Home Recording Software Packages

You will of course need decent software to make a start on laying your beats. You really donít have to spend a fortune and in many cases some packages will offer a free 30 day trial before you have to spend anything at all.

Garage Band (free to Mac users)
Reaper (free 30 day trial, before you pay for it)
Dubturbo (costs around $40)

Install your software, instruct it to recognise the following other pieces of equipment and you're good to go:

The Rode NT1A is a great mic if clarity is your bag and you want your vocals to sound slightly less grimy than the norm. This is perhaps not the best choice to go for if youíre a rapper who has a slightly louder technique or style, but is still worth considering.


Youíll need 'studio style' speakers which can be plugged into your PC via a USB cable and will give you an honest appraisal of your sound. This is probably the one area you shouldnít cut costs on. Look to brands like Samson for the best sound quality.

A Mic

Typically you could expect to get a pretty decent one for around $100 (you can pick up a brand like Blue Microphone Snowball for about $70). Also check out our run down of the best mics for a dirty hip hop sound. The beauty of hip hop is that a lo-fi sound is better, make it too clean and you'll sound like the next hip POP act on a vocoder. We ain't like that at LaCantinaProductions.

Audio interface

Everything you use needs to be connected to your PC with an audio interface. Check on the used market for something like the Apogee Duet, which can often work out cheap and last a lifetime. A bad quality audio interface is something that can let the whole home recording down, so it pays to be savvy here.

A Digital Keyboard

If you want to add sounds and sampled instruments to your recording youíll need one of these. Again, look on theused market, a brand called Keystation 49 offer a decent product for not much money, with a really good sound.

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