By the time you finish reading this article, you will have a functioning multi-track digital audio recording studio without having to spend any money. A free homerecording studio? Yes, actually.
Have you ever wished you could record your a podcast, or a song, or create audio for the videos you took at a wedding or graduation? Maybe you want to start a voice over business or even your own record company. Then you come back to reality and resign yourself to paying a “professional” to do all this stuff. Why is that?
I’m guessing you have been reading (and believing;)) some of the “how to set up your studio” articles that talk about the “minimum” amount of gear and/or software you will need to buy BEFORE you even get started learning how to use it all.
Would it change your mind if you discovered that you didn’t need to buy ANY gear? Or that if you did, it was going to be about $5.00? What if in addition to that great news, you also discover that it can be fun and easy to learn home recording? Well guess what? It’s all true.
The fact is that it's much more to do with knowledge and technique than it is with gear. While it is true that you probably can't make world-class audio with a $0.00-$5.00 home recording studio (though you can learn HOW to;)), it is also true that you can make really crappy audio with top-of-the-line gear. The basic advice here is this: get the minimum amount of stuff you need for between zero and five dollars (cheapest mic, if you don't already have one, is about $5.00) just for learning basic audio recording techniques, including multi-track recording and editing. THEN learn how to get the best quality possible from that gear. Only then should you "level up" and get the next level of quality, which should cost you no more than about $30. Keep inching up like this and you'll find the quality level that is sufficient for you, using knowledge, not gear, for the lowest possible cost.
You can find this knowledge in any number of tutorials on line. Also, there is a wiki devoted to documenting the ways to create the best audio in the fastest and easiest way from your home studio. That wiki is: http://101homerecording.com/phpwiki/index.php?HomeBrewAudioWiki