Setup is Everything: Designing Your Home Recording Studio Layout

home recording studio

With home recording studio equipment becoming more powerful and less costly, combined with the digitization of music, there is less need than ever to use a traditional recording studio. Between 2007 and 2016, there was a decrease of over 15.4% in the number of professional studios. If you want to create great music, then you’ve probably considered working from your home. However, in order to achieve the highest quality result, you’ll have to carefully consider your setup. Read on to find out some of the main things you should consider.

Choosing the Right Room for Your Home Recording Studio

If you’re lucky enough to have several contenders for the recording studio, then you should examine the merits of each. In general, the best room for recording in will be whichever is biggest. This will allow the space for all your equipment and for multiple musicians. High ceilings and asymmetrical walls will help to improve the sound quality of recordings.

If you have two large rooms available, then consider which is the quietest. You don’t want to spend months setting up a studio and recording an album, only to find that traffic noise can be heard in the background. A room away from streets and neighbours is your best bet. The quieter a room is to begin with, the less time and money you’ll have to spend on soundproofing.

Improving the Acoustics

If you’ve got a wide-open room with high ceilings, then you’re already well on your way to creating a great sound. However, you’ll have to take steps to improve the acoustics. Start by de-cluttering the space and remove anything which could vibrate and distort the recording. This means clearing out all furniture and decorations. You should be left at the end with a completely empty space, where sound can travel freely and not be bounced off the furniture.

Some argue that you are best off following a cathedral architecture design by filling the room with foam acoustic panels, bass traps and diffusers. However, this isn’t always the best option as it creates an unnatural echo. Instead, you should work on creating a ‘dead space’, which will soak up any unwanted noise. Be sure to soundproof the room and try to reduce the noise from air conditioning or computer fans. You want a completely silent space, which can be filled with the amazing sounds from your instruments.

Arranging Equipment

The room will need to be split into two sections: a mixing area and a recording area. You should have your desk with the mixing technology, computer and high quality studio monitors at one end of the room and instruments and microphones at the other. The more items you have in the room, the worse the acoustics will be, so only include the equipment you need. Don’t be afraid to switch things up in order to see what works best.

With all the recording equipment on the market, you’d think you could just plug in a microphone and make an album. However, the layout of your studio can mean the difference between something mediocre and a beautiful record. Choose your room carefully, then strip it out. You can use soundproofing, acoustic panelling to your advantage, before arranging the equipment to create the best quality result.

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