Billie Eilish’s Bedroom Studio Costs Less Than $3,000 — What’s Your Excuse?

Billie Eillish Bedroom Studio
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Billie Eillish Bedroom Studio
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Photo Credit: crommelincklars / CC by 2.0

Billie Eilish swept the 2020 Grammys, taking all four major awards. Her bedroom studio where those hits were created cost less than $3,000 to put together — on the high end.

Eilish’s success proves you don’t need top-notch studio access to create today’s biggest hits. Instead, Eilish works with her brother Finneas O’Connell from a small bedroom studio in their parents’ home.

Finneas says he prefers that space for creating work because it offers natural light. He also confirmed the bedroom setup was a bid to avoid being beholden to a costly studio.

“We just don’t want to be bound to a studio to who we’d have to pay untold sums to,” he told NME. In another interview, Finneas gave a detailed rundown of some of the equipment in their bedroom studio. The setup includes:

  • Yamaha HS5 Nearfield Monitors — $200
  • Yamaha H8S Subwoofer — $450
  • Universal Audio Apollo 8 — $1,000-$2,000 (depending on if used or new)
  • Apple Logic Pro X — $199
  • Audio Technica AT2020 Mic — $99

The enclosed setting may have lent to the album’s intimate feel. Most songs feature Eilish’s haunting voice as a whisper that seems as though its right next to your ear. Part of that also comes from the album’s mixing, which engineer Rob Kinelski handled.

The result is the album, When We Fall Asleep Where Do We Go?, which garnered not only Album of the Year, but also Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. Finneas also earned the Producer of the Year, Non-Classical for his work on the album.

Eilish’s sweep of the Grammys this year proves you don’t need a professional studio to create hit music. The barrier for entry into the world of music is much lower than in the past. High quality, affordable equipment makes it easier than ever to produce award-winning material, right out of your parents’ bedroom.

The same is true for a number of marketing and online chores.  Just ten years ago, for example, creating an artist website was an expensive and complicated undertaking.  Now, with a decent laptop and wifi connection, building a music website is relatively simple and inexpensive.

“This is for all the kids who make music in their bedrooms,” O’Connell said while accepting the Song of the Year Award. Indeed, with setup costs plunging, there will likely be many more success stories like Eilish’s in the future.

31 Responses

  1. guy on the net

    u can get an apogee duet for like 700 and be in equally good shape. lots you can do without spending much nowadays, absolutely. much less needs to be spent than when my band started in 05

  2. Sincere

    The music itself is good. That’s it. It has nothing to do you yamaha or UAD or apple. She could’ve used any DAW, any monitors. She is not the only one in the world with a bedroom studio. So what’s everybody else’s excuse to not have so many grammys? 🙂
    In all seriousness, the product itself (the music) IS good. Then, top notch mix+mastering, major record label outreach, promotion, budget. It’s not like she dropped it on soundcloud and it happened overnight, no money being spent.
    The credit does not go to these companies (uad yamaha apple), but to the artist and label!

    • Anonymous

      I can so see her drag and dropping some audio clips being like „yeah the music just comes to me

  3. dzny

    Yes, if you write great songs and arrangments, your style is electronic, and if you’re really good with a DAW, by all means do it yourself and get it mixed by a pro. But that’s almost nobody and despite the fact that this article could have been titled “Why you never need professional recording services, collaborators, engineers, producers” a lot of times you still do. Lots of amateurs think they need to do it all when they are not equally strong in every area…. partially due to articles like this.

  4. Johnny

    Some kid in Bakersfield came up with music much better than Sgt. Pepper and better than ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ working out of his bedroom! WOW! He played all the instruments himself, was in charge of the arrangements and production, plus did all the Mastering himself. Amazing, eh?! Sadly, Interscope records know that they can promote any old crap and the kids will buy it (if they hear it on the radio often enough). We used to have Beatles, Eagles, Led Zep, Queen and now we have ……………… but the people don’t seem to notice the difference!! They want more Britney’s, Millie’s, Katy’s and Miley’s (you know QUALITY, LONG LASTING MUSIC!)

    • Bud0423

      This is the dumbest bunch of nonsense. First, I have an apollo 8, and good luck getting one for 1k (wtf really) also, the plugs for it are not cheap either… or free which this article assumes. Next, you mention apple logic but dont put the cost of the friggin apple. No mention of cables etc.. This is just a bunch of misinformation by someone who has no clue what they are talking about.

  5. Noc

    “Universal Audio Apollo 8 — $1,000-$2,000 (depending on if used or new)” >> it was new.

    Music was Mixed and Mastered in professional studio not in their bedroom.
    *You know, the one with over 100k worth of analog gear.

    Research for this article was lazy to say the least….

    Click-bait at its finest.

    • Ryan

      No mention of software.. vsts aren’t cheap sometimes and I bet dollars to donuts he’s got all the major players.. gimme twenty grand and I could blow it all on software today.

  6. Vail, CO

    Really you are missing the point. Yeah, the major also added $3 MM in marketing costs,so they’re gonna bring in a pro mastering crew. Yeah. But the point is this starts with 3k in gear.

  7. Sir Poopster

    You’re going to need two studio monitors unless your record and mix in mono.

    • Regis

      This is a lot of shit, missing some gears from a mix engineer. ********

  8. MrMacay

    There’s a lot of people working at their home studios and i agree there’s talent, but the article totally skiped how was the marketing campaign done , mix n master costs and way more things, nowadays is all about how is the product (song) delivered, the strategy.

  9. Sylvester Stewart

    I like your articles most of the time but in this instance you simply don’t have the understanding of the marketplace or production process to even make an educated guess about what this record cost to make. Rob Kinelski and John Greenham are some of the living greats…their participation added, what, $50-60k? More? They deserve every penny, by the way, but I mean seriously, what’s good? Did Billie have a crack of Soundtoys or what? Was Finneas torrenting sample packs? Don’t tell me this record was made for $3k – it wasn’t.

  10. Vail, CO

    Wow you guys are REALLY missing the point! Of course there’s expensive mixing, marketing… I mean her Gucci dress was $30K for crying out loud! That doesn’t negate that her bedroom studio (IE, the one in her BEDROOM not the professional major label mixing studio) costs $3K.

  11. Elias

    Absolute bullshit. The Yamahas cost 200$ each. And you are not counting room treatment, the computer and the cost of the plugins and synths that were used. Not to mention Rob Kinelski’s fee. Shameful article really…

    • Vail, CO

      Elias, get your head checked! I mean, you can also email on that laptop. But what about the cost of the house, which has the bedroom!? $900k? $1.9Mln? What about the cost of Billie and Finneas educations? It cost $1 million to raise a kid right?

  12. Kris

    What about all the plugins? Uad plug-ins, spectrasonic synths and all other soft synths?

  13. Stuart

    To imply that Anyone with talent and 3k can sweep the Grammys is deliberately dishonest. Yes, wonderful records can be made for cheap in a bedroom. But please don’t pretend like many thousands in software, 10s of thousands in pro help, and 100s if thousands ( or millions) in marketing did not give her an edge over the average kid with a 3k bedroom studio.

  14. RonRonDaDon

    I never heard any of her music or didn’t know about her recording process but don’t forget Soulja Boy the rapper did make $10 million Using a demo version of FL studio

  15. clickbaitisobviousclickbait

    how did they manage to run the software without a computer?

    did they only use free VSTs and no outboard instrumentation?

    how did they manage to record vocal pop music without a microphone?

    what sort of free mastering plugins were they using?

    Did they do the mixdowns and mastering themselves, on their home studio setup?

  16. Stu

    It’s really good to have a mouth and tongue: it’s important to feel really good while you’re being mislead regarding the music creation and production process. What bunch of bull-shit this is! NO; I’M NOT POLITICALLY CORRECT; OR FILTERED!