Does music flow across your veins? Do you record for yourself or others? If any of these answers is a YES, A DIY home recording studio is maybe on your next hit list. So, the question is- how to build a professional recording studio that doesn’t cost a fortune?
Well, all we want from you is- a break of a few minutes from whatever you are doing. Grab a cup of coffee, and go through the whole post. We’ve broken down 4 steps of building a professional studio on yourself.
Table of Contents
Why Build Your Own Studio?
As long as you are a musician, there are both high-end and low-end commercial studios open for you. Among which, some might offer you a cheap price that won’t break your bank.
So, why on earth you would go for a DIY studio of your own?
Here are the reasons-
- Music and song ideas can cross your mind anytime, even at 3 am in the morning. But alas! The studio is closed by then, and the idea is not going to stay over for the rest of the night. Solution? Well, with a studio of your own, you’re free to jam 24 hours a day.
- Dressing the studio up and decorating it as your preference is every musician’s dream. This might not seem to be a great perk at first. But trust me, an environment that’s created as per your wish will boost you up by some great extent.
- You can give your recordings and tracks as many tries as possible. There are no hourly charges of the studio, and you can always come out with the best output.
- This one is quite a psychological point. Recording on your own at your own studio can really empower your experience and comfort. At the very beginning, it will be overwhelming, but over time, you will find the comfort zone yours.
Steps of Building Your Own Recording Studio:
If you’re motivated enough to build your own studio, prepare yourself for a hectic process. It might take a lot of elbow grease, and a few days of restless works.
Step 1: Find The Perfect Location
The title might lead you to raise an eyebrow, but it’s a really important step that you can realize later on.
As you are going to spend a lot of time inside your studio, it should be somewhere convenient and comfortable. Also, make sure that the place is not so far from where you live. A basement or the guest room can be a couple of ideal examples.
No matter whichever space you chose, make sure that space has a basic environment facility like ventilation, light, air conditioning, etc.
Based on the size and number of equipment you are going to use, you can set the room size. Also, keep the number of users in mind. We mean, if you are a band which has four other members to jam with, it should be spacious enough. If you want to use the recording studio on a solo basis, a smaller room might seem okay.
Keep these tips in mind while selecting the room size and location-
- Calculate the minimum space you need, and keep a few more spaces than that. It will help to create a nice comfort zone out of it.
- Make sure that the space you’re selecting, is quite enough. Don’t go for a roadside room, or a room that has a crowded lobby.
- Make it certain that the room has a high ceiling and an irregular wall surface. Because that’s what produces the best quality sound echoes and experiences.
Step 2: Seal the Room in Every Way
As the studio is going to be the place where you will record all your vocal and instrumental tracks, the room is MUST be sound-proof. Now, this is the stage where most of the beginners stuck at.
As you are done with finalizing the room, go for finding the leaks and every chance of isolation of the room with the surroundings.
Make sure that the room is tightly packed in terms of the window and door. If you have to replace the current door with a new one, bring on a new door that’s made of a soundproof material.
Seal the open spaces up with sealing material like strips, vinyl, rubber, foam, etc. These are easily available materials available at the store next door.
Step 3: Elevate The Floor
After you are done with isolating the walls and doors, it’s time to elevate the floor.
A beginner musician might wonder why. But think about the heavy vibrations that a drum kit is going to make. Definitely, you don’t want this to bother your neighbors, right?
The way of creating an elevated floor is quite simple. You can manage to cut woods to lie across the foam blocks. The foam blocks are going to be underneath the wooden part of the floor to provide maximum protection from vibration and noise.
Once the wooden blocks are set up, make sure that the placement of the blocks is safe and sound. Otherwise, it might lead to severe accidents and mishaps.
Step 4: It’s Time to Gear It Up
This is the most important step in the whole process, and it’s going to define the whole effectiveness of creating the studio indeed.
Yeah, you guessed it right. It’s setting the gear up into the room.
Now, there are a number of options when it comes to the list of gears that you need to select. We’ve divided them into four types of recording studios, and the respective gear list that you need to have.
Have a look on them one by one-
Type 1: The Bedroom Studio
There are many musicians who love to have it all just by their hands. The idea of a bedroom studio is solely for those guys.
However, when you’re up for a bedroom studio, these are the list of gears that you might aim for-
- A computer setup.
- A digital audio workstation(DAW).
- An audio interface.
- Microphone stands.
- Studio monitors.
- Cables and accessories.
- Pop filters for the microphones.
Type 2: The Dedicated Home Studio
Once you are done with your initial recording days in the bedroom studio, you might want to go an extra mile with it. The little things that used to interrupt your recording, might be needed to be taken care of.
And the only way to do it is to update it to a dedicated home studio. If your budget lets you do that, aim for a dedicated home studio at the very beginning.
However, the gear list for a dedicated home studio goes as below-
- A complete workstation on the desk.
- A set of chairs for the musicians or audiences.
- Bass traps for bass recording.
- Acoustic panels.
- Filters to deduce reflections.
- Diffuser set.
- Isolating pads for the monitors.
- Stands for the studio monitors.
Type 3: The Semi-Professional Studio
We’ve just entered into the studio type that will lead you to not only jamming and hobbyist music but also to professional recording. But as they are not full-form professional studios, we’ll rather call them semi-pro recording studios.
But make a note of one thing. And the thing is- you can’t record for more than one person at a time in this space. It’s limited in terms of space and equipment.
That being said, here is the list of equipment that you need to have for a semi-professional recording studio-
- A Power conditioner device.
- A rack mounts for accessories.
- A headphone amp.
- A microphone pre-amp.
- MIDI controller.
- Management tools for the monitor.
- Virtual Instruments.
- Surface for controlling.
- A drum kit(electronic or normal).
- Essential software and soft tools.
- A power source to provide uninterrupted power.
- Direct box.
Type 4: The Professional Studio
The last one is the best kind of studio that you might think of. To be honest, only a tiny percentage of hobbyist musicians can go for such a setup. And the overall building process of this kind of studio is way harder than the other three kinds.
No need to mention that, you need a complete and isolated room with enough space to make this studio. Once you are done with room selection and noise isolation, these are the extra gears that you will need-
- Digital converters.
- A set of analog hardware.
- Master clocks.
Thanks for being till the dead bottom of the article on how to build a professional recording studio. To be honest, there are a lot of sub-steps and individual processes within these four steps. But a clear conception of these four steps will lead you to further precision and excellence to work.