7-Step Guide to Building a Complete Home Studio
Many musicians dream of having a home studio that they can build themselves.
17:23 19 July 2021
The reality is, it's not as easy as you would think to build a complete home recording studio on your own. There are many pieces and parts involved with this process, and if you don't know what you're doing or where to start, the whole thing can become overwhelming very quickly! That's why we have created this 7-step guide to build a complete home recording studio.
Step 1: Find the room you will turn into Home Studio
Figuring out how to best set up and configure a home studio is more art than science. Designing a space to build a home studio requires an understanding of some basic principles. Ideally, your room should be as sound proofed as possible from noise at ground level, and it should also have enough acoustic treatment to minimize any reflections or resonances that might muddy the sound you get back in headphones or speakers.
Step2: Soundproofing is very important
It's important to soundproof a home studio because the recording room will be a separate space where you do not want outside sounds bleeding through. Soundproofing is also crucial in your living spaces for making sure that any noise you make does not disturb those around you. If you are not willing to use soundproofing foam but having some other ideas for your home, there are acoustic treatment panels that can be added anywhere in your living space. These panels work by reducing the echoes and reverberations within the rooms and keeping outside noise from coming inside while also retaining the natural warmth of a room.
Step 3: An Efficient and Modern Computer / Laptop
There are two main types of computers for recording music: laptops and desktops. For the purposes of this question, we will assume that your primary concern is how to build a computer for home studio recording purposes. Laptops have many useful advantages such as mobility (you can take it with you so you're always productive), but their sound card quality is not always ideal, especially when playing tracks at high volumes or loading complex projects on them. Desktop units offer better sound quality, more expansion ports/slots, and they tend to handle processor-intensive tasks that require multiple windows far better than laptops do.
Whichever one you opt for, bear in mind that two things to consider about computer hardware for recording-based functions are the CPU and the amount of storage available. A higher CPU will allow one to do more intensive tasks like running ProTools or Logic, and also encourages a faster data transfer rate with high-end audio interfaces. On that note, an abundance of RAM also helps with multitasking applications that may be open at the same time as your software (such as spectral analysis).
Step 4: Invest in Quality Recording and Editing equipment
Recording quality depends on both the equipment you're using and your ability to take advantage of what the equipment can offer. Recording at home is a good place to start because it's much less expensive than renting out professional studio time. You need microphones, preamps, mic stands, audio interfaces, monitors (speakers) with controllers such as monitors and digital compressors. And let's not forget cables!
Step 5: Setting up of the equipment
Once you have all these components in place you need to know how best to use them for optimum performance which includes things like microphone settings, gain staging, and microphone techniques that go beyond plug it in and turn everything up as loud as possible. Professionals often practice these techniques so they don't have mistakes when recording an album. It's important to get things set up properly before you start recording. Clue both the input and output ends of your microphone cords in as close as possible so that they're not prone to be bumped or twisted. Make sure the power cords for any gadgets you're using are plugged into the wall outlet that's nearby and give yourself enough cable slack so that any wires won't drag across dance floor tile or over carpeting when moving around.
Step 6: Good software that suits your needs
A website with great resources is Acoustica.com, which has a nice assortment of music creation, editing, and audio restoration tools.
Hobbyist software includes Audacity (which has the most sound editing features), Daisy Dots, and MusicBee while professional software will be more advanced and expensive such as Pro Tools, Logic Pro, and Cubase.
For a computer-based home recording studio setup, one could install Home Studio Software such as Cockos Reaper or PreSonus Studio One paired with Audio Interface Hardware such as Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface
Step 7: Finishing touches
To complete a home recording studio, it is important to take into account the psychological and ergonomic aspects.
A good music studio should instill a sense of creativity, produce a feeling of productivity and generate holistic balance by following some simple tips. While furnishing your home recording studio, give preference to soft colors and comfortable textures to make room for creative thinking.
Furnishings are also important - having furniture lined up against an exterior wall will make it easier for low frequencies to permeate through and bounce around without being absorbed by the furniture.