You have decided it is time to set up your own home recording studio. You have so many musical ideas you want to put down on recorded tracks, but you don’t have the money to buy studio time and pay a professional audio engineer and producer. Setting up your own studio seems like the best option.
There are ways to get around the high cost the professional recording and production. But if you are determined to set up your own home studio, understand this: the first choice you will have to make is the room. Where you decide to set up your studio will make or break the quality of your finished productions.
You Need a Dead Room
New York City-based Supreme Tracks says there are three things to consider when choosing a room for your studio. The first one is the deadness of the space. The best way to understand this is to imagine sound waves traveling around the room and bouncing off objects. This happens in every room to some degree. Your goal is to minimize it.
A dead room is a room without much echo. In a professional studio, deadness is achieved by using sound-absorbing materials and designing spaces with high ceilings and wood floors. You may be limited as to what you can do in your own home.
That said, choose a room with as few windows as possible. A walk-in closet would be perfect. If the room has too much natural echo, consider investing in some cheap sound-absorbing panels and hanging them on the walls. Then, to whatever extent is necessary, soundproof the room.
Choose the Quietest Location
The deadness of the space itself is just one consideration. Another is how the room is impacted by ambient sounds. For example, can you hear the HVAC unit when it kicks on? Is the room you are considering right next to the kitchen? If so, you might be disturbed by someone making lunch.
Ambient sounds that your ear and brain miss might not be missed by your microphone. You would be surprised how many things show up in recordings that you didn’t hear while you were recording. Just like the camera, the microphone doesn’t lie.
Make Sure You Have Ample Space
Your third consideration is the amount of space you have to work with. A walk-in closet would make an ideal recording studio, but it wouldn’t be ideal for engineering and post-production. So any plans to utilize a walk-in closet would probably mean setting up your workstation right next to it, in the master bedroom.
There are two reasons to consider the total amount of space you have. The first is workflow. If your space is too small, you might find yourself tripping over mic stands, instruments, and computer equipment as you are trying to record. It is too easy to get frustrated with a cluttered studio, to the degree that you lose your creativity.
You also have to consider your own comfort. Supreme Tracks says you are going to be spending a lot of time on engineering, which means a lot of time sitting in a chair and working on the computer. Being uncomfortable will only cause you to rush things and settle for less-than-optimal quality.
Setting up your own home recording studio will involve plenty of choices covering everything from computer hardware to studio mics. But the most important decision will be the room you ultimately settle on. Choose wisely. Everything from sound deadness to ambient noise to comfort will play a role in the quality of your finished productions.