Best At-Home Studio Equipment, According to Former Why Don’t We Member Corbyn Besson

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Corbyn Besson has entered his solo career with the release of his first single “Love Me Better,” which offers just a hint of what’s to come. Getting those crisp, quality sounds don’t require a professional studio though. According to the former Why Don’t We member, an at-home studio can capture professional-quality audio if you have the right equipment like studio headphones and tech similar to podcast equipment.

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“You can go jot [songs] down professionally and kind of get the hardest part of creating your idea out of the way very quickly, which is really nice and you have access to it 24 hours a day,” Besson tells Billboard.

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Plus, he adds if you have a spur-of-the-moment idea, then you can go straight to your in-house studio and put it down rather than have to wait until you can get into a professional studio.

To help you create your own quality at-home studio, the “What Am I” singer broke down how to set up your own home studio, tips on getting started and what to expect from this new chapter in his music career.

What Are the Best At-Home Studio Equipment?

Building your own at-home studio will most likely be different for everyone, Besson says.

“Music equipment is expensive,” he says. “It’s crazy, I’ve been discovering that a lot more lately after building our home studio and me and my boys have been just really trying to budget and make sure that we need these pieces.”

If you’re looking for the absolute necessities, the pop singer recommends six pieces of at-home recording equipment that he deems are absolutely essential below.

black microphone

Amazon

Shure SM7B Dynamic Vocal Microphone

$399

$399.99

The Shure SM7B microphone has gained not only Besson’s stamp of approval, but pop singer LÉON as well for its quality, versatility and handheld design that allows you to take it basically anywhere.

“People use it for podcasting, live streaming, but it’s also a really amazing demo microphone — and it’s handheld, so you can walk around with it,” he explains. “You can be super casual with it, so if you do need to record a finished vocal or even a guitar or really anything, the SM7B is very processable. I’ve gotten some really great recordings out of that microphone.”

black studio yamaha speaker

Yamaha HS8 Studio Monitor

$398.99
$572.00
30% off

$398.99

The singer also believes a good pair of monitors to be “super important because you want to be able to hear what you’re doing.”

He personally uses the Yamaha HS8 Studio Monitors, which is eight inches and comes with an eight inch cone woofer to help prevent sound distortion and has a power consumption of 60 watts. It’s also been labeled as an Amazon Choice for studio audio monitors by Yamaha.

6 Best At-Home Studio Equipment, According to Corbyn Besson

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen Audio Interface

An absolute non-negotiator is to include an audio interface. If you’re new, then the Scarlett interface is very entry level, according to Besson.

“The interface is super important because you plug the microphone, the computer and the monitor speakers into it, and it becomes the hub for all of your audio controlling,” he explains. “Without it, you have nothing to plug the microphone into or the speakers into, so you can’t do anything.”

6 Best At-Home Studio Equipment, According to Corbyn Besson

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

$199
$249
20% off

$199
$249
20% off

Not looking to splurge on speakers? Besson suggests investing in a pair of quality headphones as it’s important for listening to any audio your record. He personally uses AirPods, but also advises you should playback your audio on a variety of listening devices like computer speakers, headphones and monitor speakers to get a fell for how it sounds out of various music players.

“When I finish a song, I listen on my AirPods, I listen on my [AirPod Max], I listen to my car, I listen on my regular phone speakers, I do a listen on just my computer speakers and then I listen on my monitor speakers,” he says. “It just gives you a lot of perspective on how your song is going to sound to a wide variety of listeners. And if it sounds good on all of those, then you’re in business.”

brown acoustic guitar with strap and carrying case

Fender Squier Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Sunburst Bundle

Aspiring singers, according to the “Let Me Down Easy” singer should also consider picking up an instrument. Besson has been playing the acoustic guitar as well as dabbling in a nylon string guitar to test out sounds and melodies. Beginners can take advantage of this guitar bundle by Fender that includes a guitar, carrying strap, guitar picks and a tuner to kickstart their instrument learning.

“I start most of my tracks on the guitar, I like playing acoustic, but I’ve just started experimenting a little bit more with nylon string guitars because they have a little bit of a different flavor, and they’re pretty cool.”

6 Best At-Home Studio Equipment, According to Corbyn Besson

Apple 2023 MacBook Pro

$1,399
$1,599
13% off

Investing in a computer is also a must-have for Besson as that’s where song files and mixing lives. In his opinion, a MacBook is easier for iPhone users to send and transfer files with ease.

“I think the MacBooks are just super powerful and super easy, especially if you have an iPhone,” he says. “My favorite thing about working on a Mac with the iPhone is how easy it is to sync files and final bounces and final masters of stuff. I save all of my songs in my files app, and it’s all synced to my iCloud, so if I save something on my computer I can leave, go get in my car, and it’s already on my phone. I can go listen to my car, and I don’t have to do anything else. I think with PCs sometimes it gets dicey because you got to email yourself links.”

What At-Home Recording Equipment Is Worth the Splurge?

If you’re looking to really spend money on one piece of equipment, the “Fallin’” singer has two tech essentials he would recommend picking from.

“Having a powerful computer really makes it easy to create without having to worry about your computer exploding,” says Besson. “The second, for singers, is investing in a great microphone. A great microphone can make all the difference in the world for a singer, because recording is all about confidence, and if your microphone sounds great, and if you think you sound great coming through that microphone, it makes your performance so much easier.”

Where Is the Best Place to Set Up An At-Home Studio?

Besson emphasizes that anyone can set up their own studio even if you live in a small space. The

“I’ve set up studio equipment on kitchen tables, I’ve set up studio equipment on the kitchen island, I’ve set up on an outdoor pool table,” he explains. “Really anywhere that your laptop can fit because nowadays, what’s really cool about just music creation software and just technology in general is companies are doing their best to make creating music easy. We live in a time where, as musicians, we’re very lucky to have the technology that we do because a long time ago, it was not possible and it was very expensive. Nowadays, you can make really great music for pretty cheap, which is really cool.”

Any Tips for Beginners Just Starting Out?

The biggest piece of advice the singer has for both aspiring and more experienced artists is to not take your in-studio moments too seriously.

“I think the more that I create, and especially now as I create from a much more personal place than I had in [Why Don’t We], is it can be very easy to get lost in the moment,” he says. “And if lyrics aren’t coming to your mind or if you’re singing a bunch of melodies, but none of them really feel good, it can be really easy to kind of fall into this, like, ‘oh my gosh, am I even good at music? Should I keep doing this? Do I suck?’ I’ve had this kind of philosophy for a long time, and it’s that no idea is a bad idea. In my experience, some of the objectively worst ideas have turned into some of the best ideas, because you just never know what you might say or think or sing into the room.”

Who Are Your Biggest Music Inspirations Right Now?

As a pop singer, Besson has a mix of current and classic artists that continue to influence and inspire his music.

“I’ve always listened to Justin Bieber. He was, like, my biggest inspiration growing up,” he says. It’s like, how do I be that guy? I listen to a lot of Post Malone — huge influence, he’s amazing. Then I’ve been listening to some more R&B music to kind of find what’s popping these days and what people are making that’s new. The new Justin Timberlake records are really cool. Been listening to some Ne-Yo classics, even some Troye Sivon — and then SZA is one of my favorites forever. She’s just so incredibly good, it’s ridiculous.”

How Does It Feel to Have Your First Solo Single Out & What Can Fans Expect Next?

“I’ve had [‘Love Me Better’] in my vault for almost two years, so it’s just been sitting there and I’ve been waiting for the people to hear it,” Besson says. “It’s been a little nerve wracking because the project I’m building now is much more personal to me than really any of the Why Don’t We stuff was. When you’re in a group, you’re storytelling from a different perspective. It’s very tailored to be like, you’re the boy band and you’re writing love songs for your girlfriends. Although we did write from personal experience a lot, it’s just a different perspective. Now being solo and writing from a place that’s 100% just me, my opinion, my stories, my words, there’s a vulnerability to it that I hadn’t experienced in music before.”

And in terms of new music, the “Just Friends” singer teases fans can expect his songs to express his maturity as an artist and person as he shares his real-life experiences.

“There will be some love stories, there will be some stuff about feeling the pressure of the world,” he says. “I really want people to feel good when they listen to my music. A lot of this stuff is pretty positive and happy and just fun. It’s going to feel a little more mature than some of the stuff that the group had done in the past. I’m working on a couple of moments to tug on the heartstrings and also just tell the truth about growing up and feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders and trying to figure it out. I think a lot of my fans, and even the group’s fans, have gone through a lot in the last seven, eight years.”

For more product recommendations, check out our roundups of the best portable recording booths, best speakers and the best over-ear headphones.

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