So Cheap

So my latest project is building a recording studio in my upstairs guest bedroom.  I’ve decided to call it “Studio Siesta,” (get it?) although I have toyed with the name “Foodio Siesta….”  (get it?)

Don’t worry, this gear is all easy to put away in a flash, so if you need a place to crash in Seattle it can revert to a guest bedroom in a flash.  At the moment there’s a digital piano in here, and I think soon there will be a couch… because couches make recording studios better.  And they help with the acoustic profile, right?

I decided to build this studio as a hobby once I found out how cheap it was.  When I was at ILL I was annoyed that we had to schedule our recordings in a rented studio, which was often not ready when we showed up, gave us crappy quality audio, etc.  Luckily the engineers were cool, and it was great to get out of that damn office.  I missed the old Praxis days, when we recorded whenever we damn well felt like it, and it was always ready to go and it always sounded good.  So I told the guys at ILL, we should build our own studio; they told me “no, we priced it out and it would cost about $10,000 USD.”

Which of course, is a lie, that figure was pulled straight of of someone’s ass.  I sat down and found a website pricing a podcast studio out at under $400 (minus the computer).  They ignored me, of course.

Anyway, don’t ask a young  sound engineer how to build a studio; they’ll fantasize about all the best equipment and all the unnecessary gear that they dream about.  Instead, ask an experienced engineer, who actually records things regularly, works with a budget, and solves problems.

That’s what I did here.

So Studio Siesta cost me just a little more than $400, because once I saw how cheap it was, I decided I could afford to take it up just a notch.  But honestly, it doesn’t take much.

I have a month left of school, but maybe in June I’ll be less busy and might start publishing some personal stuff.  My family is full of characters and stories, so I imagine the first thing you’ll hear from me will be a series of family history interviews.  But then again who knows… maybe I’ll sell all this gear back and buy a pastry shop…

12 thoughts on “So Cheap

  1. Ooohhhh yeaaaah! I’m gonna get ma’ wish for once!

    But i am sure you are right…have you seen, or rather heard all the amatuer podcasts out there? if it were expensive, i’m pretty sure almost half of them would not be out there for download.


  2. You know what you should do? Be the Spanish teacher at Khan Academy. I’ve been listening to old SpanishPod episodes and I think you would be great doing this. Of course, I don’t even know if they’re looking for a Spanish teacher and also, I don’t know if you would even be interested, but I thought I would throw it out there. 🙂 Here’s the site for Khan Academy: I first learned about it at


      • Yeah, that’s what I use. It is a microphone to USB. If you want something that is both USB and has standard audio inputs, you could use the Yeti Professional but it’s quite a bit more expensive because it just came out.

        My show is an amateurish production for now. I use UBUNTU and it’s free audio production software that takes a little bit of time to learn but is totally free and with some very basic editing tools (which are easy to use) really helps it sound like it’s from that 10,000 dollar software studio. (I use a post recording production and limiter plug-in and master the mp3s at 192kbps which helps too.)

        If you’re interested in Ubuntu (Linux) and would like to learn, let me know and I can send you some links to get you started. Linux has a bit of a learning curve but it’s free and you can later boast to your friends that you are an elite computer dude at cocktail parties. haha


  3. Do I see a language podcast in the future…? =O

    Btw, your earlier post with an image of the recording levels at ILL was shocking, to say the least!


  4. Just $400 for that set-up?! We can do that too, perhaps even cheaper! But KalyeSpeak’s in limbo right now. Mickey is in law school and will be doing the lawyer thing soon, Jovitt works out of town, and I’m in China.


  5. Pingback: New Podcast: Acentos « you don't have to read v2.0

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