A well-designed room can make the difference between smooth sailing and major headaches down the road. With today’s technology, it doesn’t take thousands of dollars to get the gear needed to set up your home audio studio. Here are a few things (six steps) you should know before you start so that you can spare yourself some months of frustration and get it right from the very beginning.
Step 1: Choosing the Right Space
In the average household, you may have a selection of rooms to choose from. If you have only one option, that choice is simple. Choosing a room is more about avoiding bad qualities than choosing a room with good qualities. Some things to avoid are a cramped space, because the general rule of thumb is the bigger the room, the better. This also provides you with more space for multiple musicians and more space for your ever-growing collection of gear and instruments. So, be smart and choose the bigger room because it will work best for you in the long run.
Step 2: Noise
We sometimes forget how much noise is around us every day, but once you hear it through a microphone, all that noise is magnified one hundred times, and more, in some situations. Here are some sources to look for and avoid: cars, neighbors, plumbing, birds, crickets, wind, rain, and even room air conditioners and generators. All of these common sources of noise can ruin your recordings easily, so pay close attention to which rooms are the worst noise offenders and choose the quietest one with the fewest neighbors. Furthermore, you will want a silent space where you can make as much noise as you want, any time of the day or night. Although some soundproofing may be required for you to create a useable workspace, the process of soundproofing a room is accomplished using a combination of four tactics such as adding mass, damping, decoupling, and filling air gaps. When a room is perfectly soundproofed, outside noises stay outside and don’t disturb your sessions, and inside noises stay inside and don’t disturb your neighbors.