Being a musician is certainly a struggle if you are on a tight budget. Many talented aspiring musicians did not make it to the top and remained in the quagmire of oblivion because they were held back by lack of financial assistance. Yet, not everything is lost for them, for nowadays, with the onset of great recording apps and powerful computers, they could now record their songs and publicized those recorded songs online. They can also build their own DIY recording studio where they could record and engineer their own compositions.
Making your own home recording studio, however, necessitates a little knowhow on carpentry. Moreover, it requires time and effort on your part to accomplish such a feat. Plus, you need to have the necessary gadgets and equipment to complete your home recording studio. Once done, you would feel a certain sense of satisfaction; plus, you would get to access it anytime you have a fit of inspiration to write and record a new song.
In this article, therefore, we would like to delineate to you the things and elements that you should consider when building your own home recording studio. You should take note of them so that you would be guided appropriately in your quest to make your own home recording studio. Here are these important factors:
1) Studio Flooring
The first factor that you should consider is the flooring of your prospective studio. It should be concrete or hardwood so that your studio will be well supported. You should refrain from using carpet in your studio because it may affect the acoustic quality of your studio.
The flooring should also be able to support your drum kit. You should also ensure that the flooring does not cause much noise because it will surely compromise the quality of your recording. It is ideal to position your studio downstairs instead of having it upstairs.
2) Surrounding Noise
Noise is everywhere, though, more often, we just don’t mind them. Yet, once you engage in voice recording, for example, you would readily notice that they are there. Moreover, once you use the recording microphone, you would readily notice that the microphone absorbs different varieties of noise. Hence, if you intend to make your own home recording studio, you need to consider the noise factor around and near your studio carefully.
So, if you have several rooms, you should choose the room that is most isolated from the surrounding noise. You should also select a room wherein you can record songs and make some music even at the wee hours of the night without disturbing your neighbors. You also need to soundproof that room to make it impervious to noise.
Soundproofing, however, takes time and effort. You would need to shell out some money to make your home studio soundproofed. Moreover, there are basically four tactics that you can employ to soundproof your home recording studio. These tactics are decoupling, damping, adding mass, and filling air gaps. A perfectly soundproofed room will be impervious to outside noise. Soundproofing would also prevent inside noise from coming out of the room.
3) Consider the Acoustics
Another factor that you should significantly consider is the acoustics of the room. A cramped room will surely not have good acoustics. Rooms, however, with high ceilings, irregular surfaces, and asymmetrical walls are perfect for a home recording studio. This is the reason why professional studios are expensive because they need to be appropriately designed. However, since you are engaged in a DIY home recording studio, you don’t need to design a room with high ceilings and variegated sides and walls. You simply need to find the room in your house with the best acoustic property.
Building your Own Room Recording Studio: Simple Steps
Since everything is created twice, first in mind, then, in reality, you should also plan your home recording studio even before you set it up. Here are the simple steps that you can take to build your own home recording studio:
Step 1) Create a Masterplan of Your Home Recording Studio
Plan and then execute the plan! Being able to plan and execute such a plan is a sign of a competent person. Hence, if you intend to build your own home recording studio, you should first sit down and draw a plan. Take a few minutes to sit down and think about your prospective studio. Ask yourself these questions:
The abovementioned questions are simply some of the questions that you need to answer when planning your home recording studio. Your answers to these questions will determine how you will go about with your plan.
Step 2) Clean Your Room
In this you have to clean the room of all that you would not need in your home recording studio. You should do after you have chosen the room is to clean the room of anything that you would not need in your studio. However, at the onset, it is better to empty the room of anything so that you can see if there are cracks or vents where noise can enter and come out.
Step 3) Seal All The Cracks Within The Room
Once the room is emptied, you will surely notice the cracks and vents inside the room. You should seal those cracks to ensure that no noise will enter that room. Remember that your home recording studio should be tightly sealed and packed. If you can replace the door with a tightly sealed door, you should. However, you can remedy the cracks and openings on the sides of the doors by using sealing strips. You can use materials like vinyl, rubber, or foam to seal the spaces in-between the door jambs and the door’s edges.
Sealing the cracks doesn’t mean that you will forget about the ventilation. Make sure that you have enough ventilation inside your room. Hence, you should also install sufficient ventilation so that you would be comfortable when you do your recording inside that room.
Step 4) Work Out The Acoustics of The Room
At the onset, you should follow your plan on how to diffuse the sound within the room. Your room should allow sound to bounce on the wall surfaces nicely. To diffuse the sound properly, you need to soften the bounce of the sound. You can add some sound-absorbing objects inside the room like beanbags, pillows, or a sofa. They can help assuage the bouncing of the sounds.
Moreover, at this point, you can implement your soundproofing plans by adding insulating materials like mineral wool insulation or foam. You can also add a bit of carpet on the floor to diffuse sound. But carpet often fails to absorb low sound frequencies. The vocal sound isolating shield is another acoustic treatment equipment you can add into your room if your room is not fully acoustic treated.
Step 5) Choose Your Favourite Recording Software
The good thing about having a home recording studio is that the recording process nowadays is best wrought via the use of recording software. There are myriads of recording software at hand, but you should go for the reliable and popular ones. You can use the Ableton Live or the Cakewalk Sonar. These two are the most popular recording software nowadays. Go for software that has excellent features and allow you more flexibility when doing a recording. You can research online to figure out the software that would best fit your recording needs.
Step 6) Set Up Your Studio Equipment
In professional recording studios, you would surely see huge equipment and a lot of rooms for isolated recordings of instruments. Moreover, you would see that the recording artists have their own rooms and outside that room, you will see the mixers and other equipment.
You don’t need those elaborate arrangements; however, for, in your home recording studio, you need to simplify everything.
The general setup of a home recording studio should have a place where your computer would be located. It could be a desk where you can mount your computer. On the far side, you can set up the microphones and the instruments. So, you have two areas, one for your computer, and another for the recording area of musicians.
If you have a companion while recording, you should prearrange the area in such a way that the other person will be accommodated into the area. However, if you are doing a recording on your own, you should combine the two areas in such a way that you can easily reach the computer and mic. You should be able to multitask if you are on your own.
The area for recording should have a mic stand, a chair that doesn’t create noise, electronic instruments, and other instruments that you would use. The control area, however, should consist of a simple desk wherein you can arrange your computer, MIDI keyboard, studio monitors, subwoofer, mixer, audio interface, amplifier, studio monitor stands, mic stand boom arm and other gadgets and gears.
Step 7) Set Up The Wirings & Equipment
There would surely be wires and cables in your home recording studio. You should carefully set up these cables and wirings so that they would be positioned out of the way to prevent accidental tripping. You can configure your wire setup accordingly by following your plan. Ensure that no wires are on the way. Hide them from sight and make sure that they would not cause an accident.
On your desk, you can position the computer that would serve as your mixing console. Make sure that you have monitors to monitor the sound that enters the console. Set up the mic that you would use to record vocals. Then, set up the jacks that are connected to your mixer and interface.
Step 8) Test Your Recording Prior to the Actual Recording Session
After all the efforts and time that you’ve consumed to set up your home recording studio, you are now all set to do your test recording. This test recording will allow you to figure out if you’ve set up your studio correctly. This will also help you figure out which aspect of your studio needs adjustment or modification. Once you were able to iron out the minor kinks after doing your test recording, you are now all set for the actual recording of your composition.
Begin to test the mic and the instruments. Test the jacks if they are all working. Listen to the test recording and figure out if there is a need to adjust the acoustics of the room. You can also figure out the best area where you can set up the mic and the instruments. Once everything has been adjusted and corrected, you can now freely record the best of your musical compositions.
Having a home recording studio is a dream of many musical artists. Yet, not all are fortunate enough to have the luxury of having their own home recording studio. However, if you want to have one in your house, you can follow the abovementioned simple steps on how to set up your own home recording studio. We hope that our guidelines could help you in realizing your dream of setting up your own home recording studio.