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I Designed The Ultimate Dream Studio: Money’s No Object!


When designing a dream studio, some crucial factors are location, design style, and what kind of audio equipment you would invest in. Even though most people (including myself) will never have the funds to design and build their ultimate dream studio, there’s nothing wrong with entertaining the thought.

Designing A Dream Studio

Imagine if you had an unlimited budget to design your dream recording studio. What kind of gear would you invest in?

You never know when a long-lost relative will leave you a fortune in their will, so you must think about these things.

Through recording and producing music for about ten years, I have had plenty of time to think about what my dream studio might look like.

In this article, I will show you how I would design my dream studio if money were no object!

I Designed The Ultimate Dream Studio


Location is the first thing to consider when building a dream studio with no budget.

I decided to convert an old mansion in upstate New York for my studio. Think of the estate in Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut but less culty.

Some other close contenders for my studio location were a private island, the top of a mountain, or a yacht that I would turn into a floating studio. 

My current choice seemed the most practical.

Design Specs

Let’s dive into the design specs of my New York mansion studio.

I plan to convert an entire mansion wing for studio purposes and have one main recording/control room with several other auxiliary studios in different rooms.

Tracking Room

My main tracking room is in my mansion’s former library or ballroom. Something big enough to host anything from a four-piece band to a sizable orchestra. My goal would be to keep as much of the original look from the former room as possible. 

Because my space would have very high ceilings, I would suspend some acoustic treatment with adjustable height. This would make it so I can change the acoustics of my room depending on the project.

I also want several smaller booths to host vocal tracking sessions or solo musicians within my tracking room. 

Turning a room like this into a studio would require sufficient acoustic treatment and modifications to the space, but it would be worth it.

Control Room

I would build my control room in a bird’s nest suspended over my tracking room on either side of it.

Because this is a space where I spend many hours composingproducing, and running sessions, I want it to be very comfortable and inviting. It would also need to be spacious enough to host other musicians and collaborators.

Control room

For the aesthetic style of my control room, I would rely on the old gothic look of the mansion itself. 

It would not be cheap to build a control room such as this one, but with no budget, the sky’s the limit!


Now that we have established our studio location and basic layout, let’s dive into the gear that will inhabit it!


The console is the brain of any good studio, and I would not cut any corners for my dream studio.

For my studio console, I would go with the legendary NEVE Montserrat. Only three of these consoles were made, and they are a staple for recording many of the greatest hits of all time.

Here are just a few artists who have recorded records using this console:

  • The Police
  • Paul McCartney
  • Guns N’ Roses
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Ringo Starr
  • U2
  • Rush

Am I right in a world with no budget restraints, go big or go home?


Of course, not all of us can afford a NEVE Monsterrat. An audio interface is usually the way that most producers record music. Please read our article on what audio interfaces professionals use.


Although I would try to record out-of-the-box primarily using my NEVE console, I would probably still have some hybrid setup. Therefore, I would still need a computer.

apple computer

For my computer, I would go with a supercharged Apple Mac Studio.

Here are some specs that I would shoot for:

  • Apple M1 Ultra Chip with 20-core CPU48-core GPU, and 32-core Neural Engine
  • 64GB RAM (Random Access Memory)
  • 1-2TB storage
  • Plenty of ports

I have always loved Apple’s operating system so that I would stick with this brand even in my dream studio.


I see no need to change from my current setup for my DAW.

I recommend using REAPER because it is a great music production software. It has all the tools and flexibility you need to do anything in recording and music production. 

REAPER session

Because budget would be no issue, I would have access to most DAWs in my studio, such as ProToolsLogic ProAbletonCubase, etc.

Even with unlimited funds, REAPER would still be my DAW of choice. 


Let’s talk about hardware.


For saturation in my studio, I use an Elysia Karacter 500 and an SPL Frontliner AD to have some variety at my fingertips.

elysia Karacter 500

Both saturation units/channel strips would sound incredible, but they’ll be unstoppable.


Let’s talk about EQs now. 

For my dream studio, here are the EQ units that I would use:

  1. Manley Massive Passive EQ
  2. Manley Massive Passive Mastering EQ
  3. Heritage Audio SYMPH EQ
  4. A-Designs Hammer EQ
  5. Elysia Xfilter Stereo EQ

Manley Mastering Version Massive Passive Stereo EQ

Because EQ is possibly the essential tool when mixing, I want plenty of variety.


When it comes to compression in my dream studio, I will grab a few different units:

  1. Manley Stereo Variable Mu Compressor
  2. Manley Stereo Master Compressor
  3. Heritage Audio Tubesessor Optical Tube Compressor
  4. Universal Audio 1176LN

Manley Mastering Version Stereo Variable Mu Limiter Compressor with HP SC Included

It’s good to have options for compression, and these units will cover my bases.


For my reverb unit, I would go for the Bricasti Design System 4.

Bricasti is the manufacturer of debatably the best reverb units of all time. They find use in the top studios all over the world.

The Bricasti Design System 4 is a fantastic reverb unit; its price also reflects that.

Delay and Other FX

For delay and other FX processing, I would secure an Eventide H9000R.

Eventide H9000R Multi-channel Effects Platform

This incredible unit gives you access to not only great delay but many other audio effects as well.

It is steep, but this FX processor from Eventide is incredible!


On the topic of headphones, I would score two different pairs. It’s good to have several other listening options for playback and production.

I would use a pair of Focal Stellia Headphones and Sennheiser HD 820s.

Focal Clear MG Open-Back High-Fidelity Over-Ear Headphones

These headphones offer uncompromised sound quality from recordingmixing, and mastering to writing and composing


It would be best if you had some severe projection regarding your monitors for a studio control room the size that mine will be in this dream studio.

Dynaudio Acoustics M3XE 3-Way Main Monitor (Right Side)

For this reason, I use the Dynaudio Acoustics M3VE for my main left and right studio monitors.

On top of these, I would have a pair of Adam Audio A8H monitors/subwoofer as support.

ADAM Audio Sub12 12 Inches Powered Studio Subwoofer

Finally, to have a 5.1 surround system, I use these Dynaudio BM15As as my monitors behind me.

(2) Dynaudio BM15A 10 inch Powered Monitors, Ultimate Support MS-90/36B Stands Bundle

Between these three pairs of high-quality monitors, I would have all the projection I need in my New York mansion studio! 


Are you currently debating whether or not you need studio monitors? Check out our article on the necessity of studio monitors.


Let’s look at some microphones I would acquire for my dream studio.


Here are the drum microphones that I would score for my dream studio:

  1. DPA Large Diaphragm Microphone Set
  2. Earthworks DK7 Drum Microphone Set
  3. Telefunken DC7 Drum Microphone Set


As a drummer, I would spare no costs on drum mics in my dream studio.

Other Instruments

Let’s take a look at some great microphones that you can use on just about anything from the guitar to sitar:

  1. Telefunken Small Diaphragm Mic Bundle
  2. Neumann Condenser Mics
  3. Soyuz SU-013M Mic Pair

Telefunken ELA M 260 Small Diaphragm Condenser Tube Microphone Tri-Mono Set

You can mic up just about any ensemble or instrument between these three microphones.


Finally, here are a few top-notch vocal microphones that I would have for use in my studio:

  1. The Neumann U87
  2. The Manley Reference Gold
  3. The Sony C-800 G

Neumann U 87 Ai Set Z | Multi Pattern Condenser Microphone Set

These vocal microphones are absolute beasts. There’s no denying it!


Finally, let’s look at some synthesizers I want in my dream studio.

Take a look at some of these incredible synths:

  1. The Minimoog
  2. The Oberheim OB-X8
  3. The Sequential Prophet-10
  4. The Roland Jupiter XM
  5. The Behringer Eurorack Modular Synthesizer

Moog Minimoog Model D Analog Synthesizer

This list of epic synthesizers would give you more than you need in terms of incredible sounds and production opportunities.


Lastly, let’s consider the aesthetics of my New York mansion studio.

I’m not fond of studios that feel cold and industrial with nothing but music gear. I prefer something more cozy and homey to work in.

For this reason, my studio would keep as much of the original vibe of the mansion that it is in as possible.

I’m talking about antique wood paneling, imported rugsluxurious curtainsvintage furniture, etc.

I want my studio to have the looks and feel of a mansion fit for royalty while also having uncompromised sound quality.

Related Questions

How Much Money Do You Need To Build A Beginner Home Studio Setup?

This will depend on what level of gear you are looking to acquire and if you plan to record live instruments in your studio.

Another significant factor is whether or not you already have a computer that you can use for music production or if this is a part of your shopping list.

You can build a beginner studio for between $500-$1500 (not including the cost of a computer). 

What Gear Do You Need For A Beginner Home Studio?

Here is a list of essential gear for a beginner home studio setup:

– Computer
– Audio interface
– Headphones/studio monitors (or both if you can afford them)
– Microphone(s) (if you plan to do any live recording)
– Cables, mic stands, etc.

This is an essential gear list; a home studio always has room for expansion.

Do You Need A State Of The Art Studio To Produce Quality Music?

No, not necessarily.

These days, a skilled and savvy music producer can create professional tracks in a home studio.

In modern music production, knowledge, experience, and skill are much more important than what type of gear or facility you have.

What Are Some Low-Budget Microphones Worth Investing In?

Here are some low-budget microphones that I recommend for beginner audio engineers/producers:

The Shure SM57 is a great and widely used all-around instrument microphone. I have four or five of these and still use them in my studio.

Shure SM58 This microphone is very similar to the Shure SM57, but it is for vocals instead of instruments.

The Sennheiser e604s are some ubiquitous and reliable clip-on drum microphones. I have used these for both studio and live purposes.

Audix D6 This bad boy is my go-to kick drum microphone!

Shure SM7B This last one is a bit pricier than others, but it is a great vocal microphone if you can stretch your budget a bit.

You can always upgrade your microphone collection over time, but some of these might be an excellent place to start.

Is Acoustic Treatment Important In A Home Studio?

Yes, although you can get started with music production without a properly treated home studio, you will need to invest in it with time.

A non-treated room will result in lower-quality audio recordings, phase issues, etc. 

Final Words

To sum it up, my studio would be in an old gothic/victorian mansion in upstate New York, loaded to the brim with the best audio equipment that money can buy. In addition, it would have a very classic and cozy design. Talk about a dream studio!

As you can see, if money was no object, you could quickly put together a genuinely epic dream studio setup.

What would your dream studio be?


Now that we have discussed building a studio with no budget, let’s look at the other end of the spectrum. Check out our article on how to build a studio on a budget.

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