This blog describes low-cost recording equipment and simple techniques.

If you have an Android or iPhone, search for multitrack recording apps. Some iPhones have the Garage Band recording app built in. Some apps can synthesize musical instruments.

Record with the mic built into your phone, or use a mic which connects to a smartphone, such as The Nady SCM-700 ($70). Typically place the mic about 8 inches away from the sound source. Experiment with mic position to get a sound you like.

If you have a laptop or desktop computer, and you are recording just yourself, buy an audio interface with 1 or 2 XLR mic inputs. You might use Audacity recording software (free) or Reaper recording software ($60). Use a good inexpensive mic like a Shure SM57, Behringer B-5, or Nady SCM-800. Maybe get a MIDI keyboard controller to play recorded samples of musical instruments.

If you don't like computers, get a hardware multitrack recorder-mixer such as the Zoom R-16.

Headphones cost less than monitor speakers, so get the best headphones you can afford. Check out reviews. While wearing the headphones, try to mix your recordings to sound like commercial recordings of the same genre, at the same listening levels.

If you need an all-in-one book on how to make pro-quality recordings, you might want to read “Practical Recording Techniques 7th edition” (plug). It covers recording equipment, software, techniques, miking, and sound.