Essential Gear for Producers on a $300-$700 Budget (2023 Ultimate Guide)

As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases. This means that if you click on certain links on this site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

If you are a music producer looking for the best gear to upgrade your studio, this blog post is for you. We will show you the essential gear for producers on a $300-$700 budget in 2023, including microphones, headphones, monitors, MIDI controllers, and more. Learn how to get the most out of your money and create professional-quality sound with our ultimate guide.

 

1. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen) Audio Interface

TOP-TIER AUDIO INTERFACE

Read more

2. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Studio  Headphones

STUDIO MASTERPIECE

Read more

3. JBL Professional 305P MkII Studio Monitors

STUDIO ACCURACY KING

Read more

 

4. Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII                              

COMPACT CONTROL HUB

Read more

5. ART Tube MP Project Series Microphone Preamp

VERSATILE TONE ENHANCER

Read more

6. Audio-Technica AT2020 Condenser Microphone

AFFORDABLE STUDIO ESSENTIAL

Read more

 
 

1. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen) Audio Interface

TOP-TIER AUDIO INTERFACE

Upgraded mic preamps, improved clarity.Enhances detail and adds brightness.
Minimizes latency to undetectable levels.Includes software and plug-ins.
Picture by Focusrite

Picture by Alesis

PROS

  • If you’re a producer on a tight budget, you might be wondering what gear you need to make your music sound professional. One essential piece of equipment is a good audio interface, and the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen is a fantastic option. Here are four reasons why:

    Firstly, it boasts upgraded mic preamps that offer expanded headroom, lower noise, and improved clarity and detail . This guarantees accurate and clean recordings of vocals and instruments, giving you confidence in your sound.

    Secondly, it features a new Air mode that enhances high-end detail, adding brightness and openness to your recordings . This feature is especially beneficial for adding sparkle to vocals, acoustic guitars, or any other source that needs an extra touch of brilliance.

    Thirdly, its USB-C port minimizes latency to undetectable levels. Latency can disrupt your creative flow, but with the Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen, you can monitor your performance in real-time without any noticeable lag or distortion.

    Lastly, it comes bundled with various software and plugins to enhance your productions. You’ll have access to Avid Pro Tools | First, Ableton Live Lite, Focusrite Red plugin suite, and more. These powerful tools will enable you to create, edit, mix, and master your tracks like a pro.

    In summary, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen is an affordable and user-friendly audio interface that delivers exceptional performance quality and features. It’s a must-have for any producer looking to elevate their music without breaking the bank.

2. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones

STUDIO MASTERPIECE

Excellent sound reproduction across frequencies.Durable, comfortable, and portable headphones.
Three detachable cables for versatility.Affordable and highly reputed headphones.
Picture by Audio-Technica

PROS

    • If you are a producer in need of essential gear to upgrade your studio, consider the highly acclaimed Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones. These headphones are renowned for their exceptional sound quality, durability, comfort, and versatility. Here are four key advantages of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x:

      Firstly, they offer outstanding sound reproduction across the entire frequency spectrum, delivering tight bass, balanced midrange, and clear highs. Ideal for critical listening, mixing, mastering, and recording, they feature a closed-back design that effectively isolates sound and prevents leakage .

      Secondly, they boast a robust plastic and metal construction, ensuring longevity even under rough handling. The headband and ear cups are equipped with soft leatherette padding, ensuring comfort and durability. Moreover, the ear cups can swivel 90 degrees and fold up for effortless storage and portability.

      Thirdly, they come with three detachable cables in varying lengths and types: a coiled cable, a short straight cable, and a long straight cable. This provides flexibility and convenience when using the headphones with different devices and in various situations. The proprietary locking mechanism on the cables ensures a secure connection.

      Lastly, they offer excellent value as they are relatively affordable compared to other professional studio headphones of similar quality and performance. Valued at approximately $150 USD, they have garnered a loyal fan base and hold a high reputation among audio enthusiasts and professionals.

      These are just a few reasons why the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones are considered one of the best choices for producers on a budget. 

3. JBL Professional 305P MkII Next-Generation Studio Monitors

STUDIO ACCURACY KING

Wide and detailed sound stage.Powerful, punchy bass response.
Flexible tuning options for producers.Durable, sleek design with style.
Picture by JBL

PROS

  • If you are a producer on a budget, you might be wondering what kind of studio monitors you can get for your home studio. You want something that can deliver accurate and clear sound, without breaking the bank. Well, you are in luck, because we have found a great option for you: the JBL Professional 305P MkII Next-Generation Studio Monitors.

    These monitors are some of the best 5-inch monitors you can get for under $300, and they have many features that make them ideal for producers. Here are four important pros of the JBL 305P MkII:

    Firstly, they have a wide and detailed sound stage. Thanks to the patented Image Control Waveguide technology, these monitors can create a realistic and immersive sound field that lets you hear every nuance of your mix. You can easily pinpoint the position and depth of each sound source, and enjoy a broad sweet spot that covers your entire studio space.

    Secondly, they have a powerful and punchy bass response. The JBL 305P MkII monitors have a 5-inch woofer that can handle low frequencies with ease. They also have a rear-firing port that enhances the bass output and reduces distortion. You can hear the low end of your tracks with clarity and impact, without needing a subwoofer.

    Thirdly, they have flexible tuning options. The JBL 305P MkII monitors have three EQ switches on the back panel that let you adjust the sound to suit your room acoustics and personal preference. You can boost or cut the high and low frequencies, and compensate for the boundary effects if you place the monitors near a wall or corner.

    Lastly, they have a durable and sleek design. The JBL 305P MkII monitors have a sturdy MDF enclosure that can withstand daily use and transport. They also have a matte black finish that looks professional and elegant. The front panel has a glossy logo that lights up when the monitors are on, adding a touch of style to your studio.

    Overall, the JBL Professional 305P MkII Next-Generation Studio Monitors are an excellent choice for producers who want quality sound at an affordable price. They offer a balanced and detailed sound reproduction, with a wide sound stage and a punchy bass response. They also have flexible tuning options and a durable and sleek design. You can get them for around $300 per pair, which is a great deal for such high-performance monitors. If you are looking for studio monitors that can take your production to the next level, you should definitely check out the JBL 305P MkII.

4. Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII

COMPACT CONTROL HUB

25 velocity-sensitive mini keys.8 velocity-sensitive backlit pads.
8 assignable knobs for control.Pitch bend and modulation joystick.
Picture by Akai

PROS

  • f you are a producer on a budget, you may be wondering what kind of gear you can get to improve your music-making capabilities. One essential item to consider is a MIDI keyboard controller, which allows you to play notes, chords, melodies, and drums with your computer software. Additionally, a MIDI keyboard controller provides you with more control over your sounds, effects, and parameters through the use of knobs, pads, and buttons.

    The Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII is one of the best MIDI keyboard controllers for producers on a budget. Despite being compact and portable, this device offers a wide range of features and performance at a very affordable price. There are four significant advantages to using the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII:

    Firstly, it features 25 mini keys that are velocity-sensitive, meaning they respond to the strength of your touch. This gives you greater expression and dynamics in your playing. These keys also include octave up and down buttons, allowing you to access the full range of notes.

    Secondly, the MPK Mini MKII includes 8 MPC-style pads, which are also velocity-sensitive and backlit. These pads are excellent for playing drums, triggering samples, and launching clips. With the included software, you can assign different sounds to each pad.

    Thirdly, the MPK Mini MKII has 8 assignable knobs, enabling you to adjust various parameters of your software instruments and effects. These knobs can also control the built-in arpeggiator, which generates complex patterns and sequences with a single key press.

    Lastly, the device boasts a 4-way joystick that combines pitch bend and modulation functions into a single convenient control. By using the joystick, you can add vibrato, bends, and modulation effects to your sounds.

    The Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII is an incredibly versatile and powerful MIDI keyboard controller that can greatly enhance your production workflow and creativity. It is compatible with most music software and comes bundled with a range of free software and sounds to help you get started. Available for under $100 on Amazon, it is undoubtedly one of the best value-for-money options on the market.

5. ART Tube MP Project Series Microphone Preamp

VERSATILE TONE ENHANCER

12AX7 tube for warmth and richness.Variable input impedance matches impedance.
FET limiter prevents clipping.USB output for digital recording.
Picture by ART

PROS

  • If you are a producer on a tight budget, you might be considering the necessary gear to achieve a professional and polished sound for your music. Among the essential equipment, a microphone preamp stands out as it can elevate the signal of your mic and add character to your vocals or instruments. However, not all preamps offer the same quality, and many can be quite pricey. This is where the ART Tube MP Project Series Microphone Preamp comes in, as it is both versatile and affordable, allowing you to enhance your sound without breaking the bank. Let’s explore four key advantages of this preamp:

    Firstly, it incorporates a 12AX7 tube that introduces warmth and richness to your sound. Additionally, you can effortlessly swap the tube with other models to achieve different tonal characteristics.

    Secondly, it presents a variable input impedance, enabling you to match your mic or instrument’s impedance to the preamp, resulting in optimal performance and reduced noise.

    Thirdly, it comes equipped with a FET limiter that effectively prevents clipping and distortion, even when you increase the gain. The limiter offers a swift attack and release time, ensuring that it does not affect the dynamics of your signal.

    Lastly, it features a USB output, facilitating direct connection to your computer, making it ideal for digital recording. Additionally, an analog output allows for connection to mixers or other audio devices.

    The ART Tube MP Project Series Microphone Preamp is an excellent choice for producers seeking to enhance their sound quality without breaking the bank. It is compatible with any mic or instrument and can be used for various applications such as vocals, guitars, keyboards, and drums, among others. Available at Sweetwater for only $145.99, this preamp is a steal compared to other tube preamps on the market. If you are searching for a dependable and affordable preamp that can provide you with that sought-after tube sound, be sure to check out the ART Tube MP Project Series Microphone Preamp.

6. Audio-Technica AT2020 Condenser Microphone

AFFORDABLE STUDIO ESSENTIAL

Professional sound quality, wide frequency response.Durable, easy to use.
Handles loud sounds without distorting.Affordable and offers great value.
Picture by Audio-Technica

PROS

  • If you’re a producer in search of a high-quality microphone that won’t break the bank, the Audio-Technica AT2020 Condenser Microphone is certainly worth considering. Not only is it ideal for recording vocals and instruments in a home studio, but it also boasts several advantages over other microphones in its price range. Here, we’ll explore four key pros of the Audio-Technica AT2020 Condenser Microphone.

    1. Superior sound quality is a standout feature of this microphone. As a cardioid condenser microphone, it effectively captures sound from the front while rejecting sound from the sides and back. This minimizes unwanted noise and feedback, resulting in recordings that possess exceptional clarity and detail. Moreover, the AT2020 boasts an extensive frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz, effectively covering the entire audible spectrum and ensuring a balanced, natural sound reproduction.

    2. Durability and user-friendliness are also notable aspects of the AT2020. Crafted with a sturdy metal construction, this microphone can withstand daily use and even occasional drops. It includes a stand mount, allowing for easy angle and position adjustments. Additionally, the AT2020 comes with a protective padded carrying case to safeguard it against dust and damage. Its straightforward plug-and-play design eliminates the need for drivers or software. Simply connect the microphone to your audio interface or mixer using an XLR cable and phantom power source.

    3. The AT2020 excels at handling loud sounds without distorting. It boasts a high sound pressure level (SPL) of 144dB, enabling it to faithfully record loud sources such as drums, guitar amps, and brass instruments without any undesirable clipping or distortion. This capability grants you greater flexibility and versatility in your recording options while capturing the dynamic subtleties of your performances.

    4. Affordability and exceptional value for money make the AT2020 an attractive choice. Praised by producers, podcasters, streamers, and singers alike, this microphone offers professional sound quality at a price that won’t break the bank. With an average price of approximately $99 USD, the AT2020 is considerably more budget-friendly than other condenser microphones of similar caliber. Additionally, Audio-Technica backs the AT2020 with a two-year warranty, underlining their confidence in this product.

    These are just some of the reasons why the Audio-Technica AT2020 Condenser Microphone is an essential piece of equipment for producers working within a $300-$700 budget. If you wish to learn more about this microphone, numerous reviews from reputable sources such as SoundGuys, IGN, Sweetwater, and Home Studio Basics can provide further insight. Additionally, you can listen to audio samples and compare them with other microphones on platforms like YouTube. Investing in the Audio-Technica AT2020 Condenser Microphone can significantly enhance sound quality and elevate your production to the next level.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top