How to create a budget microphone setup and effect chain (starting under $200)

Assembling a vocal recording setup can be daunting, since there are multiple factors to consider including microphones, interfaces, and plugins.

While it might seem like gathering all of these materials would add up in price, it doesn’t necessarily need to be expensive. In the tutorial video above, we show you how to create a budget microphone setup — that includes everything from the mic itself to the in-the-box effect chain — that you can get started with for less than $200.

Below are the main components of the setup:

1. Microphone: Shure SM58 ($99.00)

The time-tested standard for vocalists, there’s a reason this microphone is widely used across the globe. The quality, durability, and consistency of the Shure SM58 are pretty much unmatched at its price point (with the exception of these other budget microphones).

2. Audio interface: Blue Icicle ($59.99)

In order to connect an external microphone to your computer, you’ll need an audio interface. While there are a lot of options, the Icicle is perfect if you’re on a budget and only need one microphone at a time. It also has a small footprint, and is super portable.

Effect chain: Arturia’s FX Collection ($19.99 / month)

Once you’ve got your microphone and audio interface, you’re ready to record your vocals. Once that’s done, you’ll most likely want to add some effect processing. Arturia’s FX Collection is a great option if you don’t want to buy physical hardware, since you can create effect chains for your vocals using the included preamps, reverbs, filters, delays, and more.

Check out the video to see all of these in action, and let us know if you have any questions below.

February 22, 2020

Katie Smith Katie is an Artist Marketing Manager at Splice and a singer / songwriter under the moniker Lewis Lane.