The Secrets to Building Your Own Recording Studio
If you are serious about your music then you’ll know that to record you or your band, you will need a facility where you can record your music. Hiring studio time can be very expensive, especially for bands just starting out, whereas playing in your home, garage or bedroom is not only acoustically flawed, but also likely to make you less than popular with your friends, family and neighbours.
So if you have your recording studio in your cramped bedroom or garage, with empty egg boxes stuck to the wall (which is an urban myth anyway), then you’ll probably love to know how you can build yourself the ideal recording space, without requiring a budget of hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The good news is that it can be done with a little planning, a relatively modest budget, the correct tools and materials and a lot of skill and patience!
Disclaimer – There is more than one way to tune your room!
While we are going to give you a brief guide to how to set up a workable and affordable studio in a relatively modest space, we are well aware that there are a number of different methods people can use to achieve a similar effect.
While the following article gives you one way to achieve the studio you need, there are plenty of other ideas out there which may be more suited to your situation and requirements and as such, we strongly advise that you research the topic thoroughly before making any decision about what studio set up would suit you best.
A great resource for this is the Promates.com website. This site is written by many professionals in the sound, light and video industry and has a dedicated section about building home studios.
Here you can find lots of great advice about how to build a set up that may well be better suited to your needs as well as lots of other tips about the equipment you will need to outfit your studio to the highest quality.
So by all means, read the article below, but don’t forget to check out this site audio pro for lots of great information and advice to help you decide on the final look for your studio.
Designing your Studio – The Key Issues
1. The Space
For some people, who may be using an internal room, the space may already be predefined. If you are going to build your studio in a shed however, you can buy different sizes of shed to suit your needs.
Remember to consider how many of you are likely to be in the studio at any one time. If you are a solo artist, then you won’t need as much room as a band with four or more members. There’s little point going to all the expense of outfitting a studio if you find that you can’t get all your band-mates in there with you comfortably.
If you have space outdoors, then a sturdy garden shed is a great option, provided you get it big enough for your needs and of sufficient quality to make the myriad of improvements you are going to need to turn it from a garden storage facility, to a state-of-the-art studio.
Finally, if you are going to be thrashing the drums and wailing guitars, then consider where you locate your studio. The further it is away from neighbouring buildings (not just your own home) then the less likely you are to receive a visit from the Noise Abatement Society!
Many people feel the fewer windows in a studio the better as windows are not great insulators of sound, in truth, that isn’t always the case. In vesting in some quality acoustic glass will offer a much better solution, allowing light into the room while keeping the room soundproofed.
It is vital you want to come to the studio to play and record, so making it less like a prison cell and more like a pleasant working space, is vital.
The best way to soundproof your room is to create a ‘room within a room’. Here you can use a number of different materials such as high-density concrete blocks, MDF, Loft Insulation, Plasterboard to create a double skin for your studio.
This does shrink the size of the room but in doing so, is the biggest step towards successfully soundproofing your room.
Remember all holes must be filled and you should pay particular attention to insulating the door as even just a small hole can compromise the quality of the soundproofing by a considerable amount.
4. The Air
Once you have insulated your studio then it is going to be vital you get the air circulating, not just to make the space more comfortable, but to also remove excess moisture from the air which can affect instruments and electrics.
As such an air-conditioning unit is a vital purchase as it will give you a steady supply of fresh air, while maintaining the soundproof integrity of your studio.
The key thing to remember when installing the electrics is that cutting chunks out of your plasterboard will potentially jeopardise your carefully constructed soundproofing. Run your electrics into the studio without making big cuts into your walls externally and then covering them using a cable cover or similar.
Mount fittings onto objects, rather than by cutting into the walls as although this takes up more space, it protects the soundproofing in your room.
Once your room is almost complete you’ll want to see how it sounds but even a high quality soundproofed room conversion can sound acoustically poor initially. To improve this you need to tune your room . This can be as simple as adding carpet, or a bit of furniture to help create a more natural sound, but there is also plenty of professional equipment, such as Aurelex ProFoam, which can significantly improve the acoustic quality of your room until you have the sound just as you want it.