Not all good music is recorded by massive labels in large recording studios. Some of the best music is recorded from the comfort of home. Albums such as Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska and Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago prove that great music can be produced in a home recording studio.
In the face of lockdown, a growing number of producers, musicians, and production sound mixers look into building a home studio. If you’re considering building a home music studio from scratch or upgrading an existing one, here are some essential tips to help you set up an awesome recording studio at home.
1 – Choose the Perfect Room
While your home may not have been designed to accommodate a recording studio, some rooms in your house are more suitable than others.
In general, the larger the room, the better. Large rooms provide more space for equipment and musicians. If possible, choose a room that’s not shaped like a square. Square rooms tend to create standing waves that disrupt your recording session. Instead, choose a room in your house with an odd shape or rectangular layout. If constrained to a square room, proper acoustic treatment will be essential.
Another tip is to rule out rooms that are exposed to outside noises. Noise tends to be amplified by your microphone. The last thing you want is to hear traffic or your neighbors in the background of an amazing recording session. Similarly, you might want to avoid rooms with carpet flooring. Ideally, a home recording studio should have hard flooring because soft flooring like carpet can interfere with the natural acoustics in the room.
2 – Soundproof the Room
Investing money to soundproof your home recording studio is always a good idea. If your budget allows for it, a soundproof treatment for your home music studio is ideal. This minimizes the amount of outside noise interference in your recordings and allows you to achieve the same high-quality sound as large, professional studios. It can also save you a lot of time re-recording and editing your sessions.
Permanent soundproof structures can be incorporated into just about any room by adding mass to the walls and closing up the air gaps. Rigid insulation and new wall layers can be constructed to help reduce noise.
Alternatively, portable sound isolation booths are an excellent alternative to permanent soundproofing techniques.
“Although professional soundproofing is not a cheap investment, it’s definitely a worthy one for your home music studio,” advises Allison Walling, a lifestyle blogger at Britstudent and Nextcoursework. “It ends up paying for itself in the long run.”
Unless you live by yourself, the sound from your sessions might bother other members of your family. If you want to be considerate to other people in your household, professional soundproofing is the solution.
3 – Invest In Acoustic Treatment
Unless you’re fortunate enough to have a room in your home with natural acoustics, you might want to invest in acoustic treatment. If acoustic treatment is out of your budget, there are plenty of DIY solutions to improve the acoustics in your home recording studio.
Another tip is to choose a room with hard flooring for your studio. The acoustics in the room might be absorbed by flooring like carpet due to its poor acoustic qualities. However, acoustics will bounce off of hard floorings such as concrete, wood, or tile and give you a natural sound that you can treat with acoustical techniques. For instance, you can use area rugs, absorbers, and diffusers to balance out the reflected sound frequencies.
4 – Prioritize Equipment Election
Equipment is expensive. But you probably already knew that. So instead, remind yourself that there is no rush to own every piece of equipment you want immediately. There’s nothing wrong with starting off with the equipment you absolutely cannot record without and gradually adding more to your home recording studio.
5 – Power Supply
It might be a good idea to separate your power supply from the rest of the house. If you want to avoid as much interference as possible, invest in a power conditioner or opt for a transformer-isolated power supply.
6 – Create a Space Conductive to Creativity
While planning your home recording studio, try your best to create a space that sparks inspiration. Depending on your creative process and attention span, it might be a good idea to remove all possible distractions from the room.
“While designing your home music studio, the aim is to create an environment that works for you,” explains Robert Feltner, a writer at 1Day2Write and Write My X. “Not against you. Your space should nurture creativity, not inhibit it.”
7 – Ensure Gear is Accessible
Ideally, you want to place all gear in an accessible spot. This can save you a lot of time setting up and tidying up after each session. If you’re planning on filming while you record, this might affect your gear placement in your home recording studio as well.
8 – Invest in Good Seating
You’re probably going to spend most of your time in your home recording studio sitting down. Therefore, it’s important to invest in high-quality seating. Consider a chair with ergonomic support to make long hours in your home recording studio more comfortable for your body.
A well-designed recording studio can be the difference between creativity and a headache. By following these tips, you can create the best possible recording studio in your home. In the same way that there are no perfect albums, there will never be a perfect home recording studio. Just do the best you can with the space and resources you have.
Michael Dehoyos is a lifestyle writer and editor at Dissertation Writing Service and Academic Brits. He loves finding ingenious solutions to life’s problems. You can read his other music tips and life hacks at Case Study Help.
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