With a home recording studio, you have to make a lot of improvisations. Unless you’ve spent or you’re planning to spend on renovating a whole room, you’re going to have to make do with what you have. There will be a lot of limits, but you’ll still be able to do some quality work. You will need the basics: a working desk and chair, a microphone, your computer with the recording software, an audio interface, and studio monitors.
A recording studio has two main areas: the mixing station and the recording area. Ideally, these two stations are in separate rooms. Though that’s not the case for most home studios, you still get sound recording while having them in one room. It’s all about the arrangement of the furniture and the equipment. Follow these tips to help you get the best functionality and sound quality.
Finding the perfect space
Ideally, you should have a separate room for a recording studio, where you have privacy. It should be a place where you can make as much noise as you want and play at any time of the day. However, not everyone has that luxury. It would be easier if you only had one option, but if you do get to choose, consider the following.
- If your recording studio is just going to be a part of a room, then your best bet is probably your bedroom. Like I said, as much as possible, you want it to be private. You want to avoid accidental interruptions while you’re recording and you also don’t want to disturb others. If you live alone, then this problem is irrelevant, and you can use another room, considering it is still the best choice.
- As a rule of thumb, the larger the room, the better. A larger room gives you space for more equipment, should you wish to grow it. Not to mention, it also offers better acoustics. Avoid low ceilings and narrow walls for better sound quality.
- Avoid rooms that get a lot of noise. It could be from plumbing, neighbors, cars, birds, rain, etc. They might seem small, but you’ll be surprised at how much it can affect your recordings. The less background noise, the better.
- Concrete, tile, or hardwood flooring is ideal for recording. Carpeted floors absorb only high=frequency sounds, which affects the sound quality. If you need it, like for a drum set, you can always just add in a small carpet or an area rug.
- Try to keep the studio downstairs, where there is less foot noise.
Finding and arranging your studio furniture
Everybody wants work to be as smooth as possible. In recording studios, a stable work is partly dependent on the furniture like studio desks and chairs. How they are arranged and how functional affect the efficiency of your job.
As mentioned earlier, a recording studio typically has to stations: a recording area and a workstation. Ideally, you want the furniture to be designed for a studio, but you can also work with what you have. Follow these tips when finding and arranging your studio furniture:
- Consider the shape of the room when setting up your gear. For instance, if your room is rectangular, you want the studio monitors to be facing as far away from the walls. Also, the further away from the back wall, the better.
- Invest in a good working chair, preferably one with wheels. It allows you to move around and be more efficient. You should also find one that’s comfortable and won’t make so much noise when rolling.
- For recording, you will want a comfortable chair as well. It’ll be hard to play the guitar on your work chair because of the arm rests. Find a stool or chair that is adjustable and flexible, so you can use it for other purposes if you like.
- For solo recorders, the equipment is arranged around him or her. This arrangement works well since it allows you to move from the recording to the workstation quickly. However, recording around those equipment doesn’t do well to create reflection, which adversely affects the acoustics. It’s also not as functional for when you’ll record with more people.
Arranging your workstations and equipment
- Your desk and chair are the central part of your workstation so make it as organized as possible. You want important things to be within reach and to avoid too much moving around. Mixing desks are designed for this, but if you’re working on a regular table, you can still make it work.
- Invest in decent studio monitors. It helps so much in the recording and editing process. Check out this studio monitors review for further information. You should also get a good pair of headphones.
- For studio monitors, you want to position them with as much symmetry as possible. If one side is a wall but the other end is open space, the balance will be off. Even something small as picture frames or curtains only on one side can affect this.
- Mic positioning is also important. Put them too close to the computer, and you might catch some fan noise. You will need to do a few mic tests and sound checks to get the best sound.
- If you’re willing to spend, then add acoustic treatments to get the best possible sound.
- Try to organize all cables and wiring properly by using cord and cable organizers. This prevents any accidental and faulty disconnections.
For you to be more efficient and to get the best possible sounds, you need to arrange your home recording studio properly. There are three main things you need to do when setting up your studio. These are finding the best space or room, finding and positioning the studio furniture and proper placement of equipment.