The Best Home Recording Studio Package for Musicians & Podcasters in 2022

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Editor's Choice
Universal Audio Volt 276 Studio Pack
Universal Audio Volt 276 Studio Pack
  • Get "analog" style recordings with the built-in 1176 style compressor and 610 Tube preamp modes
  • Well-built designs from a company that has decades of pro-audio experience
  • Includes premium software plugins that will help you take your recordings to the next level
For Value
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio Recording Bundle
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio Recording Bundle
  • Quickly get professional recordings from the comfort of your home
  • It comes with a premium plug-in collection and DAW from some of the most popular brands
  • An excellent value for money
For Podcasting
Audient EVO Start Recording Bundle
Audient EVO Start Recording Bundle
  • Getting high-quality podcasts recordings is easy, especially for beginners
  • Easy to travel with
  • Affordable and high-quality build

Recording professional music at home can be daunting, with all the different equipment and options available in the market.

Knowing where to start, what you need, and how everything works together is hard. You could easily spend thousands of dollars on equipment you don’t even need.

Thankfully, recording bundles make building your home studio very affordable and accessible.

This article will help you sort through the noise and find the best home recording package for your specific needs and audio dreams.

Also, at the end, I’ve added a helpful buyer’s guide so you can be confident in your purchase decision.

Let’s begin!

The Best Home Recording Studio Packages at a Glance 2022

Editor's Choice
Universal Audio Volt 276 Studio Pack

Introducing the Universal Audio Volt 276 Studio Pack, the perfect recording bundle for anyone looking to get started in the world of home recording.

This powerful package includes everything you need to start capturing professional-quality audio straight out of the box. The best part is the built-in 1176 style compression and 610 tube pre-amp emulation to help you get recordings that have tons of vibe.

So if you're looking for the most inspiring home studio bundle, then the Volt 276 Studio Pack from Universal Audio is the perfect choice for you.

Universal Audio has been a dominant force in the pro audio community since 1958. They’ve created some of the most iconic studio equipment from the 1176 and LA2A compressors, as well as their revered 610 tube recording console.

In recent years, Universal Audio has become well known for bringing its innovation to the home studio market with its Apollo range of audio interfaces. However, to meet the needs of hobbyists who don’t need the extended features of the Apollos, they released their Volt interfaces in the winter of 2021.

The Volt audio interface isn’t the best performing interface on this list. Still, it comes with some design elements that will inspire your creativity that you won’t find anywhere else for this price point.

First, the Volt 276 is a two-channel audio interface that comes with an XLR input and line level input. This is pretty standard, but what sets the Volt apart is that you have built-in compression and the option to choose a “vintage” mode for your preamp.

The vintage mode emulates the characteristics of their 610 Tube preamp. Tube preamps will add gentle saturation, fatness, and roundness to a source and can help you get a radio-ready polish quickly.

The compressor emulates their famous 1176 design, and you can choose between settings for vocals, guitar, and fast. While I’d like to see more flexibility in the controls, you are getting an excellent style of compression for the price of this interface.

It’s worth mentioning that the compressor and preamp modeling is based on their famous plug-in algorithms. Universal Audio is a leader in vintage gear modeling for plug-ins, and it’s difficult to tell the difference between their software and the actual hardware.

The Volt 276 also comes with Midi In/Midi Out, which you won’t find on any other interface bundle on this list.

As I said earlier, this isn’t the best-performing interface on the list, but the specs for all components are good. There’s a low noise floor, so you won’t have any unnecessary noise in your recordings. The headphone output is plenty loud to power all kinds of headphones, and it has a good dynamic range.

The included microphone and headphones do their job well. Still, they seem like the same mic and headphones that are included in the Focusrite, Mackie, and M-Audio bundles.

One thing I wish they would have done is included a phantom power switch for both channels. The way the Volt 276 is designed is to have one button for phantom power that works across both channels. This won’t be a big deal for most people. Still, suppose you want to record with a condenser and a ribbon microphone in stereo. In that case, you won’t be able to do it without potentially damaging your ribbon.

You also get a copy of Ableton Lite, Melodyne Essentials, and some other premium plug-ins. This ensures you will hit the ground running after purchasing this bundle. I’m a big fan of Melodyne as a vocal editor, and I’m happy to see it included in this bundle.

If you are looking for a home recording bundle that will keep you inspired and will grow with you, then the Volt 276 Studio Bundle is a great option to consider.

Pros
  • It comes with built-in 1176-style compression and a vintage pre-amp mode
  • Very well built and designed
  • It will grow with you as you develop your skills
  • Has a Midi In & Midi Out
Cons
  • You won't have access to Universal Audios plug-ins unless you are on their Spark subscription. However, the subscription doesn't grant you access to their entire library
  • Phantom power isn't isolated by channel
Best Value for Money
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio Recording Bundle

The perfect starting point for any home recording studio. The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface Bundle is the ideal way to get great-sounding recordings from anywhere in the world.

The low-noise, high-headroom pre-amps ensure your recording is clean and distortion-free. Plus, the easy-to-use recording software makes it a snap to get great-sounding recordings without going down the rabbit hole of plug-in acquisition.

You can't beat this bundle for the price, quality, and value. Check it out today!

Focusrite is a company that has loads of history in the audio engineering world. They are famous for making some of the best-sounding recording consoles in history.

In recent years, they’ve brought their audio obsession to the home recording market with fantastic audio interfaces at a great price.

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB audio interface is the heart and soul of this recording studio package. It’s a straightforward and sleek interface that is well-built and feels sturdy with its aluminum casing. It also can be used on both PC and Mac computers with a USB 2.0 port.

The interface is bus-powered, so you don’t have to worry about an external power supply. This comes in handy when you want to record in alternative locations like the back of a bus or cabin off the grid.

The build of the Scarlet 2i2 is terrific. There is a low noise floor, meaning you won’t have a build-up of hiss in your recordings when you compress your audio for mixing. Also, the air button mimics Focusrite’s ISA high-end pre-amps to add a bit of air and lift to your recordings. This is an excellent feature for vocalists trying to get that pop-polished sound from their recordings.

With some budget audio interfaces, you will hear a distracting delay when recording if you try and use plug-ins like reverb, compression, or EQ. The Scarlet 2i2 comes with a direct monitoring button. Direct monitoring will help you record with low latency (or very minimal audible delay), which I find to make performances more inspiring and fun.

This home recording bundle includes an excellent package of premium plug-ins, Ableton Live Lite, and a 3-month subscription to Splice. This gives you everything you need to start making great music fast, and some of these plug-ins in this bundle I’ve personally paid for and still use to this day.

The included condenser microphone and studio headphones work great for the price. However, ensure you have 48v Phantom Power turned off when connecting your microphone to the XLR cable and interface. You will need Phantom Power to power your microphone. Still, the extra electrical current can ruin your equipment if you unplug the XLR cable (hot-swap) with it turned on.

The downside to this home recording studio bundle is you will need to invest in more gear than what comes in the package. You’ll have to buy a microphone stand and pop filter to make your new studio fully operational.

Also, installation can become cumbersome because the software included is by a bunch of third-party vendors. If you need support, you will need to contact the appropriate company.

Suppose you’re in the market for the best value home recording studio packages. In that case, I highly recommend you check out the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface and Recording Bundle. It’s an excellent value at its current price point and comes with some of the best software plug-ins on the market. You won’t be disappointed with this purchase.

Pros
  • The Scarlett 2i2 interface sounds great
  • It comes with some high-quality plug-ins for recording, editing, mixing, and mastering
  • It's an excellent price for the quality of gear you get
Cons
  • You'll need to invest in some extra gear to make your new studio fully operational
  • Splice subscription only lasts 3 months, and after that, you will have to pay for it
Best Value for Money
M-Audio Air 192/4 Vocal Studio Pro Bundle

Looking for an excellent and affordable home recording bundle with top-of-the-line audio specs? Look no further than the M-Audio Air 192/4 Vocal Studio Pro Bundle.

This interface delivers exceptional pre-amp performance at an unbeatable price point. The low-noise floor gives you plenty of dynamic range to work with. This makes your vocals, acoustic guitars, and other live instruments sound natural and open.

Plus, when it comes time to compress your tracks during mixing, you won't have to worry about amplifying any unwanted noise. You won't be disappointed with this bundle!

If you’re looking for the best audio specs from the home recording bundle you purchase, then the M-Audio Air 192/4 is an excellent option.

Honestly, the M-Audio Vocal Studio Pro is tied with the Best Value pick in the Focusrite. The only thing that made the Focusrite stand out as the winner was the included software.

However, the pre-amp performance in the AIR 192/4 audio interface is exceptional for this price point. There is such a low-noise floor that gives you lots of dynamic range. This dynamic range will ensure that your vocals, acoustic guitars, and other live instruments sound open and natural. Also, when you want to compress your tracks during mixing, you won’t bring up noise that can plague recordings with other budget interfaces.

The clarity and gain of the crystal pre-amps make it so you can use all different types of microphones, from dynamic, ribbon, and condensers. Also, you won’t need to invest in an inline pre-amp, like a Cloudlifter, to help get a clean recording.

The steel casing and sturdy knobs make the unit feel classy and built to last. However, the meters on the front aren’t very detailed, and you will have to rely on your Digital Audio Workstation’s meters to get your gain staging dialed in.

The included condenser microphone does its job. It picks up enough detail to be suitable for recording vocals and acoustic instruments.

The studio headphones included are eerily similar in feel and sound to the Focusrite package. This makes me think these are generic headphones that these manufacturers purchase from the same place and slap their brand label on them. They are nothing to write home about.

This recording package also comes with Ableton Lite and some plug-ins to quickly get you up and running. However, the software package isn’t as robust and high-quality as the Focusrite bundle.

There’s much to love about the M-Audio AIR 192/4 Vocal Studio Pro. If you want the best sound quality from a beginner recording bundle, you won’t be disappointed with this purchase.

Pros
  • An outstanding balance of quality and affordability
  • The crystal pre-amps are some of the best performing in its class
  • Classy and sturdy build
Cons
  • It doesn't come with a microphone stand
  • Headphones are generic and nothing special
Best For Engineers and Mixers
Mackie Studio Bundle with CR3-X Monitors

If you're an aspiring engineer or mixer serious about getting great recordings, then the Mackie Studio Bundle is the perfect package.

It comes with a highly versatile and flexible audio interface, the Mackie Big Knob, which gives you much power and control over your sound.

This bundle will give you everything you need to create professional-quality recordings and mixes.

The Mackie Studio Bundle is this list’s most complete recording studio bundle. It comes with a highly versatile and flexible audio interface. Also, it includes a dynamic mic and condenser mic, studio monitors, an on-desk mic stand, and all the cables you’ll need to get started.

If you’re a beginner just starting your home recording journey, then the Mackie Studio Bundle is not a great option. The interface is too complicated, and most of the “monitoring functions” will be impractical for you.

However, suppose you are an engineer recording other artists or an avid streamer. In that case, the insane amount of flexibility offered in the Mackie Big Knob Studio interface puts a lot of power at your fingertips.

The Mackie Big Knob Studio interface has two headphone jacks, two onyx mic pre-amps (with both line level and microphone level inputs), a complete monitor controller, a talkback mic, and flexible audio routing options.

This thing is a beast and will help you develop your mixing and sound engineer skills.

It’s also worth mentioning that the Mackie Big Knob has many flexible audio routing options, making it an excellent mixer for streaming and Zoom calls.

The studio monitors that are included are small. They are 3” drivers, so you won’t be able to monitor at loud levels if you’re into that sort of thing. However, suppose you’re working out of an untreated room. In that case, this lack of volume and size is an asset to your recordings as you will get fewer room reflections wreaking havoc on your mix decisions.

Adding a dynamic microphone to this package is a nice touch for some extra sonic colors you won’t get from the ultra-detailed condenser microphone. However, if you are a solo musician recording your music from home, you most likely won’t use this microphone enough to warrant the extra cost of this bundle.

Also, the studio headphones included seem like the same in the M-Audio and Focusrite bundles, which isn’t a positive thing.

The Waveform DAW and software included with the Mackie will get your studio up and running. Still, it doesn’t have the name-brand value of the M-Audio or Focusrite software packages. It’s a good DAW, but you’ll most likely opt-in to Logic Pro, Studio One, Ableton, or Pro Tools as you get more serious about your music.

The Mackie Bundle is a mid-range option for engineers looking for something that goes one step beyond your traditional interface, microphone, and headphone package. With this bundle, you could make great-sounding music for years and have something you can grow into as a budding sound engineer and mixer. Check it out!

Pros
  • It comes with everything you need to build a functional home recording studio
  • The Big Knob is a feature-rich interface that has lots of pro-audio elements built-in
  • It comes with both a dynamic and condenser microphone
Cons
  • Not beginner-friendly
  • Studio headphones don't match the quality of the other components
Best For Podcasting
Audient EVO Start Recording Bundle

For podcasters, this bundle is an absolute dream come true. The included features make it easy to get great-sounding recordings, no matter where you are. Also, the ability to easily record your guests remotely is an incredible bonus.

If you're looking for a high-quality recording solution that won't break the bank, the Audient EVO 4 bundle is a perfect choice. I can't recommend it highly enough!

 

The Audient EVO 4 bundle is an excellent forward-thinking home studio bundle that is light and travels well.

While any home recording musician looking for studio-quality recordings will find it in the EVO bundle, I think for podcasters, this is the best of the bunch.

Most podcasters are not audio engineering wizards and often interview their guests remotely. This presents two significant challenges for podcasters. The first is getting their recordings to sound as good as possible. The second is being able to record the audio from their guest.

The EVO elegantly solves both problems by incorporating some very “smart” features into its design.

Audient has a feature in the EVO 4 called Smart Gain. Smart Gain automatically gain stages your microphone based on your voice or instrument and sets the perfect level without needing to fiddle around with the settings.

There’s also a button on the interface called audio loopback. This records your computer audio separately in your DAW alongside your microphone inputs. This takes all the guesswork of recording your podcast guest and allows you to easily edit and mix their track without interfering with your talk track.

The lightweight design and smart functions make this interface easy to travel with. Podcasters and professionals won’t miss a beat if traveling a lot and need to setup up shop in a hotel room.

The Audient EVO Bundle comes with Cubase LE and other quality plug-ins to get you started making music. There’s also a free 3-month subscription to excellent online education from the Produce Like a Pro website will help you hone your audio skills without having to sift through 1,000 YouTube videos.

The headphones and microphone do their job well. They are of similar quality to the other home recording bundles on this list.

Suppose you’re a podcaster intimidated by the audio world. In that case, the Audient EVO Start Recording Bundle is your quickest solution to pro-sounding audio. Check it out today!

Pros
  • Easy to use for beginners
  • The interface is lightweight and travels easily
  • Spend less time worrying about sound quality and more time creating content you love
Cons
  • It doesn't come with a microphone stand or pop filter
  • Cubase software may be challenging for some to learn

Buyer’s Guide

I think you will get everything you need with one of the packages recommended in this article.

However, it’s good to talk a bit about the individual components of most bundles and things to consider about things that are included and not included when making your decision.

Audio Interface

Universal Audio Apollo Twin X in Mans Hand

The heart of home recording studio setups is the audio interface. Audio interfaces are, at their essence, external soundcards.

They help turn your analog audio signal into a digital signal to send into your computer and turn your digital signal into an analog signal to send out to your headphone and speakers.

Audio interfaces also include pre-amps for recording, and some come with even more advanced features depending on the model.

For most beginner musicians new to recording music, a simple interface with 1 to 2 pre-amps, an instrument input, and a headphone output is all you need to get started.

While you can find audio interfaces for less than $100, I wouldn’t recommend those. A lot goes on underneath the hood of interfaces that play a significant factor in the quality of your recordings. Bad interfaces will create an uphill battle for your recordings that spending a few extra dollars will help alleviate.

Any options mentioned on this list will get you a great-sounding recording.

Microphone

Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone in Room

All of the most popular home studio kits come with large-diaphragm condenser microphones.

Condenser microphones pick up a lot of detail. They are the most common microphone choice for recording vocals and acoustic instruments.

While each microphone in these bundles will provide a clean recording and get the job done, you won’t get the coloration that is often desirable with more expensive microphones.

Another thing with more affordable condenser mics is that manufacturers sometimes boost the high-end to make it sound more airy and open. This can make the microphone sound more impressive when recording but often leads to a brittle and harsh-sounding vocal on playback.

When shopping for the best kit, understand that you will want to invest in a better quality microphone at some point.

Some kits, like the Mackie Big Knob Studio, come with two microphones, a dynamic, and a condenser. The dynamic is an excellent add-on for recording louder sources like percussion and for some vocal performances.

Both options allow you to experiment with stereo recordings, especially if your interface has multiple inputs.

Digital Audio Workstation & Software

A computer with software on the monitors

These days, bundles include software and a digital audio workstation (DAW).

While getting access to a free copy of Ableton Live Lite or Presonus Studio One Artist is a great perk, be aware that you are getting a stripped-down version. The idea is that you will eventually upgrade to the full suite after working with the limitations.

While there is nothing wrong with these DAWs, Mac and PC have great free DAW options that are easy to use. Mac has GarageBand, and PC has Audacity.

Now the included plug-ins for some of these bundles are where I think the real value lies for choosing particular bundles. For example, the Universal Audio Volt Bundle comes with industry-standard plug-ins from Melodyne, UAD Spark free trail, Softube, and UJAM, to name a few.

I can honestly say that I’ve bought some of these plug-ins included in this particular bundle, and it costs me probably a quarter (if not more) of its price. While I sing the praises of the Volt bundle, all these bundles come with software that will remove any barriers standing in your way to creating a pro-sounding record from home. 

Studio Headphones

AKG Studio Headphone on a Microphone Stand

This is where I think most recording studio packages fall short.

Most of the headphones from these packages seem like they were from the same manufacturer but just had a different label slapped on.

For most beginner home recording studios, you will be doing most of your monitoring through headphones. Having headphones you can rely on is critical to getting recordings that will translate from speaker to speaker.

So while getting a set of headphones included in these bundles is great, you should consider investing in two different types of headphones for your studio at some point. A pair of good closed-back studio headphones for recording and open-back studio headphones for mixing.

Great affordable options are:

AKG k240 (Open-Back)

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x (Closed-Back)

Studio Monitors

A pair of studio monitors against a white back drop

Most studio bundles will not come with studio monitors. Studio monitors are a critical piece for an intermediate to advanced recording studio. However, for beginners, you can record, mix, and master with headphones.

As you develop your skills and want to invest more into your home studio, a good pair of studio monitors (with some room treatment) is an excellent investment.

Plus, listening to music on a proper set of studio monitors gives you that 3D listening experience that is incredibly fun and insightful.

Pop Filter

A microphone in a recording studio with a pop filter

A pop filter helps tame plosives. Plosives are the burst of air your mouth produces with words like pop, pickle, and people. This sudden influx in air gets accentuated by the microphone. It can be very distracting and make your recordings sound amateur.

A pop filter will help even out these plosives and give you a cleaner recording.

Some studio bundles, like the M-Audio AIR 192/4 Bundle, come with a pop filter that can be placed over the microphone capsule.

However, some of these bundles do not come with pop filters, and it would be advised to invest in one if you are recording vocals.

Cables

XLR Cable Coiled on a Desk

Cables are the bane of my existence. Once you go down the rabbit hole of studio recording, they will also become yours.

One of the great things about purchasing these production bundles is they come with every cable you need to get started.

You will need an XLR cable for your microphone, a cable to connect the interface to your computer, and an instrument cable to directly plug your electric or acoustic guitar into the interface. However, instrument cables are often not included in these bundles.

Microphone Stands

Microphone on a stand against an orange backdrop

Most bundles don’t come with a mic stand. So you will need to make this additional purchase to securely hold your microphone during takes.

Some bundles come with on-desk stands, which are great for podcasting, streaming, and recording vocals.

FAQ

How Much Does a Full Studio Equipment Cost?

Studio bundles are great solutions for beginner music producers and home recording artists. A great bundle will cost you around $230-$500.

However, if you get more serious about your recording, you will quickly discover that recording equipment is very expensive.

I wrote an article that goes over building a home studio at all price points, which is a helpful resource for this question. You can check it out here.

Why Didn’t You Include the PreSonus AudioBox 96 Audio Interface Full Studio Kit?

The PreSonus AudioBox 96 Full Studio Kit is a popular recording bundle. It has studio monitors, a microphone, headphones, and an excellent software package.

However, the performance specs of the AudioBox leave much to be desired. For example, the pre-amps are noisy. So, I think you’re better off with Universal Audio, Focusrite, or M-Audio for this price point.

The Bottom Line

So, a recording bundle is the best way to go if you’re looking to start recording professional music at home.

You’ll get everything you need in one package and save yourself some money in the process. Not sure where to start?

Check out the Universal Audio Volt 276 Studio Pack. It’s a fantastic interface, and it’s got everything you need to start immediately.

Thanks for reading!

Editor's Choice
Universal Audio Volt 276 Studio Pack
Universal Audio Volt 276 Studio Pack
  • Get "analog" style recordings with the built-in 1176 style compressor and 610 Tube preamp modes
  • Well-built designs from a company that has decades of pro-audio experience
  • Includes premium software plugins that will help you take your recordings to the next level
For Value
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio Recording Bundle
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio Recording Bundle
  • Quickly get professional recordings from the comfort of your home
  • It comes with a premium plug-in collection and DAW from some of the most popular brands
  • An excellent value for money
For Podcasting
Audient EVO Start Recording Bundle
Audient EVO Start Recording Bundle
  • Getting high-quality podcasts recordings is easy, especially for beginners
  • Easy to travel with
  • Affordable and high-quality build
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AUTHOR
Brad Johnson
Brad is the creator of Song Production Pros. He writes songs and surfs on the weekends when he's not too busy with family or this website. He writes music under the moniker FJ Isles, and can be heard on all streaming services.