- Audio interface: An audio interface will give let you use high quality microphones and studio monitors. More importantly; it’ll let you record audio. Focus on low latency, noise-reduction and compatibility with your operating system.
- Cables: Connecting all your hardware is essential and you would need an ample amount to get setup. Most hardware comes with connectors for USB and power-supply. What you need depends on hardware. Consider jack-cables and XLR – but if you plan to work with MIDI or the likes, you may need a more diverse collection of cables. Plan out your setup and be sure you have the ability to connect everything.
- Studio-monitors: Choosing studio monitors is crucial because this will enable you to hear audio details and correct imperfections when found. Clean and honest sound is important, if you wan’t a chance of getting good sound when people playback your productions.
- MIDI Keyboard/Controller: Virtual instruments usually need this gear – at least you will benifit from it; making automation easier. They are not expensive so you won’t have to cash out a lot just to obtain this equipment.
- Microphone(s): There may be built-in microphones in your computer or you may have a cheap USB-microphone laying around, but buying one of decent quality will increase the overall quality of your music especially if it involves a lot of vocal and instrumental recording.
- Digital Audio Workstation: you’ll need some kind of interface to work with recorded audio. A digital audio workstation (DAW) is software that makes projectmanagement easy. You can check out how to choose a DAW and a selection of options here.
The above are the essentials. Grabbing virtual instruments and effects (VSTi and VST), popfilters and instruments are worthwhile additions to your studio setup, but in reality you don’t NEED these in order to record.