Guest Blogger #502, Entry #1149, May 4, 2012
Whether you’re a record exec looking to branch out and turn some unknown bands into the top-grossing rock stars of tomorrow, you happen to have a band and you can’t afford the cost of studio time to lay down tracks, you run a one-man DJ operation and you’re looking to be the next Trent Reznor, or you simply do freelance voice over work from home, you might be wondering how to go about installing a basic recording studio in your personal domicile. And if you have some free space in your basement, there’s no reason you shouldn’t convert it into the work environment you need (or want). You’ll just need to be aware of a few key elements in order to ensure that you create a viable studio space conducive to fantastic recordings.
Image via: Bruce Palmer Interior Design
The first thing to consider is that you’re really going to need two separate spaces; the sound booth where the actual recordings occur, and the mixing room where the captured audio is monitored and where all of the recording equipment resides. The sizes of these rooms could vary widely depending on the type of recording you plan to do and the equipment you choose to purchase, so you should create a plan before you ever break ground (so to speak) on your renovations. If you’re basement has already been built out (i.e. there are rooms instead of just a large, open space) then all you really need to do is cut a hole between two rooms where the viewing window will go and decide which room will be the sound booth and which will be the mixing room.
Now it’s time to start outfitting your space. The first thing to consider is soundproofing, and for the average home this is going to be a problem because insulation simply isn’t enough to keep outside noises out, not to mention create the ideal acoustic atmosphere required for quality recordings. So you’ll definitely want to install some acoustic foam and diffusers that will help to dispel exterior sound and keep inside noised from bouncing or otherwise becoming distorted. You may have to add several layers of padding, but this depends entirely upon the environment and the quality of materials used.
Image via: Tom Crane
Once you’ve got this necessity in place it’s time to start having some fun. If you’ve been involved in the industry for a while you may already have some musical instruments, mics, or DJ equipment on hand, or at the very least you might have some knowledge of what’s available on the market or the level of equipment you’ll need to get the desired results. In the case that you have absolutely no idea of the size and scope of gear you’ll need to accomplish your goals, you might want to go to a professional studio or chat up some musician friends to see what they recommend. The equipment you get may be subject to space requirements, budgetary limitations, or intended usage, so it’s important to consider all of these things before letting a salesman talk you into buying a pricy, state-of-the-art system that you really don’t need.
Evan Fischer is a contributing writer for Unique Squared, where you can find the best pro audio and DJ equipment, like the Tascam dr-05, at the lowest prices.
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