Why Build a Recording Studio?
First, whether you are working on a podcast, voice overs for movies, videos, ads or making music, a recording studio is necessary to create quality original audio.
First Podcast Recording Studio
Although this can be applied for music, ads, videos etc. I was asked to build a studio specifically to launch the first podcast, This Job Sucks for AIC Hotel Group . AIC Hotel Group is a Sales & Marketing firm in the luxury hospitality space.
Being that the studio will be built in an office setting, sound proofing and acoustics are critical.
SPREAD THE SOUND
Depending on the materials, the walls were built with, you may not be happy with the way your music sounds. When sound bounces off the studio’s surfaces, does it echo?
To get an idea of this principle, think of how differently sound carries in an echoing warehouse versus a cozy, intimate room. As you can imagine, it’s likely that you’re going to want to spread the sound.
In addition, a way to help “soften” the sound quality is simply to add objects to the room, like a sofa, beanbag, and/or pillows. That will help cut down on the “echo chamber” effect of a barren space. Additionally, you can cover your walls with mineral wool insulation, or pick up a product like Pro-Foam.
Having carpeted floors also helps to spread sound. Just be wary of a few facts:
First, Carpet doesn’t absorb low-frequency sounds.
Second, carpet will quickly wear out under chairs and in areas with heavy foot-traffic.
PICK YOUR RECORDING SOFTWARE
Obviously, you’re not playing to a live audience when you’re in the studio – you’re recording. Therefore, you’ll need the assistance of recording software. There are multiple software options, but two of the most popular are called Cakewalk Sonar and Ableton Live.
In my case, Pro Tools First was bundled with the audio interface. Its free and very powerful. As a music industry standard, I recommend learning Pro Tools.
INSTALL AN AUDIO INTERFACE
An audio interface lets you hook up instruments and microphones to your computer, via a mixer. Also, the audio interface will replace your computer’s sound card.
CHOOSE AND BUY THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT
The fun part, instruments aren’t the only pieces of gear a musician needs (though they’re probably the most fun). If you’re at the stage where you’re looking into building a recording studio, you may already be fully equipped – but just in case you aren’t, some important items to have for your studio include:
- A Computer
- Make sure computer meets Pro Tools requirements
- Audio Interface Combo
- Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 (2nd Generation) USB Audio Interface
- Comes with Pro Tools First Recording Software
- Studio Monitors
- Sterling Audio MX5 5″ Powered Studio Monitor
- Two Microphones
- They already had in stock. Otherwise I would have recommended Samson C01 Condenser mics.
- Two Headphones
- Audio-Technica ATH-M20x Closed-Back Professional Studio Monitor Headphones Black
- A Few Cables
- XLR Cables for Mics and Audio Monitors
- One Mic Stand
- In stock mics came with tripods
- A Pop Filter
- Musician’s Gear Double Pop Filter 6 in.
Alternative Equipment Guidelines
Headphones – Look for pro-grade musician headphones, not tinny, leaky consumer earbuds. This is one place where you don’t want to skimp.
Microphones – Condenser microphones and dynamic microphones are your best options.
Monitor Speakers – Not to be confused with stereo speakers.
Building your own home recording studio isn’t always quick, and it isn’t always easy. But with a little patience, a few YouTube tutorials, and possibly some trial-and-error, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a recording studio that’s open around the clock – and that can eventually pay for itself.
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