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Creating a Program

Creating a Studio

How much does the equipment in a recording studio cost?




When I began the process of creating the Educational Guide and the Product Guide for this site, one of the inspirations for doing so was reading that a university had purchased an analog console that cost more than $250,000. Considering the fact that recording studio facilities are in a trend of down-sizing and with the rise of home recording studios and small recording studio venues to see a university program spending so much money on just an analog console was very surprising to me. So, I thought to myself, if I took the products that are in the Product Guide on this website and created a commercial studio using them, I was curious to see how much it would ultimately cost. In order to create this estimate, I actually studied the equipment racks of a legendary recording studio that I had spent a great deal of time in as during my stint in the professional music recording industry and used it as my model for creating this hypothetical cost analysis (However, I also used new equipment in each of the estimates rather than estimating the worth of each of their vintage pieces of equipment, so that you can be certain that when you view this page that the prices in this estimate will be as accurate as possible.). (Also, I chose not to display the names or brands of the equipment, so that there will be no implication of an endorsement of one product or company over another in the Product Guide.) Since so many of the school districts around the country may not be able to have such a budget at their disposal, I also wanted to take a moment to also showcase how much it would cost to create a multimedia production facility based on the home studio of an amazing engineer whose facility I am also familiar with at this point time. It is my hope that this cost analysis will provide those of you who have an interest in the field of music recording with the information about how much it would cost to create a recording studio that could become a competitive commercial facility on the one hand, or a fabulous educational facility on the other. While the university program just purchased a console, this cost analysis will show you that the same amount of money could be used to purchase all of the equipment that would be necessary for a great music recording studio facility. Plus, the cost analysis for a multimedia content production facility will also give you the sense of how much more affordable the equipment for creating a wonderful small facility has become in recent years. Both of these facilities, as it was mentioned a moment ago, could function as great commercial facilities, but would also be outstanding places for students to be able to learn the art of recording great music.


(Special Note-- Keep in mind that these are cost estimates without any sales tax applied to them. There is no sales tax applied to these estimates because educational institutions are normally tax-exempt.)

Traditional Recording Studio-- Cost Estimate Analysis

Studio Equipment— Traditional Recording Studio




$18,500 (2/Tube Condenser Microphones)

$20,000 (28/Condenser Microphones)

$6,500   (30/Dynamic Microphones)

$5,500   (4/Ribbon Microphones)

$1,000   (4/Direct Insert Boxes)


Estimated Cost— $51,500




Microphone Preamps


$3,500  (2/Microphone Preamp Unit)

$4,500  (8/Microphone Preamp Unit)

$6,500  (8/Microphone Preamp Unit)


Equalization Units


$6,500 (2/Stereo Equalization Units)

$4,000 (4/Mono Equalization Units)


Dynamics Processors


$6,500 (2/Stereo Compressor/Limiter Units)

$3,000 (8/Mono Compressor/Limiter Units)

$1,500 (4/Mono Gate/Expander Units)

$5,500 (2/ Compressor/Limiter Units)

$3,500 (2/Compressor/Limiter Units)


Reverb Processors


$3,500 (2/Reverb Units)

$4,500 (Reverb Unit)

$5,000 (2/Reverb Units)

$8,000 (Reverb Unit)


Software Plugins (Hardware Accelerator)


$3,500 (Unlimited Access Unit)


Estimated Cost— $69,500




$6,500   2/Nearfield Monitor Speakers

$6,500   2/Midfield Monitor Speakers

$25,000 2/Main Monitor Speakers

$7,500   Cue System 

$1,000   8/Professional Headphone Monitor Units


Estimated Cost— $46,500


Recording Equipment/Computing System and Professional Software


$10,000  32-Channel Interface and Conversion System

$4,000    Stereo Interface and Conversion System

$3,000    Digital Audio Workstation Software

$14,500  Computing System

$2,000    Computing Storage System

$500       Computer Monitor System

$500       Printer/Scanner/Copier/Fax Machine System


Estimated Cost— $34,500



$51,000 32-Channel Analog Console


Estimated Cost— $51,000


Traditional Recording Studio Equipment


Total Estimated Cost— $253,000

Multimedia Production Studio-- Cost Estimate Analysis

Multimedia Studio/Workstation Equipment




$3,500  Tube Condenser Microphone

$1,000   2/Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphones

$1,000   2/Small Diaphragm Condenser Microphones

$500      3/Dynamic Microphones

$500      2/Direct Insert Boxes


Estimated Cost— $6,500




$3,500  2/Microphone Preamps/w Equalization

$3,500  2/Compressor/Limiter Units


Estimated Cost— $7,000


Monitoring System


$1,500  2/Monitor Speakers

$5,500  Cue System w/headphones


Estimated Cost— $7,000


Recording System


$5,000  Digital Audio Interface 8—I/O

$3,000  Digital Audio Workstation Software Program

$8,500  Computing System w/extra storage space


Estimated Cost— $16,500


Monitor Controller/Digital Audio Workstation Tablet


$1,000  Digital Audio Workstation Tablet

$1,000  Monitor Controller/Interface


Estimated Cost— $2,000

Multimedia Production Studio Equipment 


Total Estimated Cost—  $39,000

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