Being a podcaster, artist, or actor during the epidemic means having some sort of in-home recording studio. This year, many of us have taken our recording projects into our own homes, but there are times when only studio quality will do. Making a studio at home is not the easiest do-it-yourself undertaking. Without expert advice, you could easily become disoriented and give up. Nevertheless, with enough forethought and effort, you can create professional-grade audio right at home. In order to maximise the acoustic potential of your temporary home, please consider the following suggestions.
Soundproofing existing glass in homes and professional studios is where Stop Noise really shines. We provide a secondary window retrofit system that can help you save money when constructing a home studio, which can be a significant expense. You can easily install the Stop Noise double-paned windows and doors onto your current window and door frames. The system is totally functional for both sanitation and ventilation needs. The enormous area created by the secondary glazed windows in a retrofit greatly reduces the amount of outside noise coming in.
The Stop Noise windows have two acoustic seals installed on their sliding sashes and are constructed from thick, 6.38mm laminated glass and sturdy aluminium extrusions. Laminated safety glass with a wall thickness of 6.38 mm has been used. Our business method incorporates 10.38mm laminated glass for superior noise suppression. A maximum of ten decibels, or roughly a 50 percent reduction in audible noise, will be attained. By increasing the distance between the panes of glass and the thickness of the glass itself, it is possible to significantly reduce ambient noise.
How To Create A Podcast Or Recording Studio In Your Own Home?
It's possible to spend as much as you like on fancy furnishings and elaborate decor for your new room, but you won't need that much to begin going. If you have an interest in creating and a basic understanding of the craft, you're already ahead of the game.
Choose the Appropriate Location
Choosing a suitable location is the first step in establishing a home recording studio. Although you may just have access to a single space, it's important to give careful thought to your selections if more than one is available. Remember that you will be spending a considerable time there. Consequently, it needs to be practical, serene, and pleasurable.
Choose the most peaceful room in the house if you have the option. Think about the outside noises, such cars, neighbours, or family members, that could interfere with your recordings. Noise can be reduced in a number of methods, which I'll discuss below (Step 3).
Allow for future growth by purchasing additional machinery by allocating more space than you now anticipate you'll want. Also, larger spaces have higher acoustics.
Good acoustics can be achieved through high ceilings, asymmetrical walls, and uneven surfaces. While it may be impossible to find a location with perfect acoustics, if you have the choice, pick the one with the most pleasing reverberations.
FAQs About Soundproof A Home Music Studio
Before we get into exactly how to improve the acoustics of your room, a basic understanding of the science behind acoustics is important. When you make a sound inside a room, sound waves project outwards in all directions until they hit different room surfaces. So while your microphone might pick up some direct sound waves from the sound you made, it will also pick up the reflected sounds bouncing off different surfaces in the room. The direct sound is great, but the reflected sounds can cause issues with your sound quality. To combat sounds reflecting off different surfaces, you can install sound-absorbing materials in your home studio. Instead of reflecting sounds, these materials absorb them and help create a quieter environment.
A soundproofed room will keep noises from outside out of your studio, and it will help noises from inside your studio stay in so they won’t disturb your neighbours. One important step is to seal up any gaps as sound is notoriously good at travelling through any space it can find. A simple DIY job will do the trick.
Specialised interior acoustic insulation and acoustic panels such as Autex Quietspace effectively minimise reverberated noise and background echo. Not only do they help keep unwanted sounds out, but they also play a key role in making important sounds have better quality.
Acoustic insulation batts are installed inside the wall cavity during building or renovation. However, if you want a solution that doesn’t require opening up your walls, interior acoustic panels and tiles are a great choice that helps create good acoustics and look good at the same time.
Use Sound Absorption Foam.
The quickest way to set up your home studio is with sound absorption foam if you have a budget to work with. The material resembles egg crate foam, is thick, and comes in a limited range of colours like black, red, or blue (if you want to incorporate a colour scheme.) It is fairly cheap — anywhere from $30 – $60 for a pack of 12’x12′ panels, enough to cover as much as four sq km of space. The good news is you don’t need to coat your walls from top to bottom in foam. “You don’t need to do the whole room. You want to nail the front back and [walls] that align with the microphone,” Bolick says. The best way to make sure you are covering your bases is to draw an X on the wall across from the microphone, both in front of and behind you. The Xs mark areas where the sound will hit the wall and bounce directly back into the microphone, so that’s where you most need to install your foam.
A great soundproofing hack when you are short on big closets or spare bedrooms is to use a small storage box. Make sure the box is big enough to fit your microphone first, line it with sound absorption foam and place the mic inside. This setup works for voiceover gigs, poetry recordings, or emceeing — any recording in which one person is speaking directly into the microphone. Here is the further attached foam to a tri-fold presentation board that covers a larger space, allowing me to record while standing. (A trifold board also allows space for two people to record at once.)
As with any equipment purchase, you get what you pay for. “Unfortunately, the more expensive, the better the foam,” Bolick says. So if you are investing in your business, getting better foam will offer better results. Cheaper foams will work, but more expensive ones can make a noticeable difference when paired with other quality equipment upgrades. Personally, when listening to podcasts, I’ve noticed tit’s harder to enjoy the subject matter when it is difficult to hear, or there is a lot of interference in the audio mix. The better sound quality, the more engaged your listeners will be (especially since there is nothing for them to engage with visually). Higher-quality materials are more important for pro musicians and voiceover actors, as your career will hinge on your ability to produce high-quality recordings.
Invest In The Right Microphone
As with the soundproofing materials, the more money you spend on your recording equipment, the better your end product will be — and you’ll want to start by getting a microphone. You don’t need to break the bank; make sure you get the right microphone for your space, needs, and budget. Try use AKG XLR Condenser microphones to record the voiceover gigs and an entertainment podcast. Condenser mics are easy to find, relatively cheap (as microphones go — $130), and provide great quality sound for the price.
However, condenser mics are very sensitive and require a well-soundproofed room to avoid capturing unwanted noises. For this reason, Bolick suggests investing in a dynamic microphone. Dynamic microphones are less sensitive and will not pick up as much background sound as a condenser microphone. However, if you want an excellent dynamic mic, it will cost you significantly more (anywhere from $500 to $650). You can find some for as little as $130, but you’ll want to do your research beforehand to ensure the quality is up to par.
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, neighbours, 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 neighbours. 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 neighbours.
Hard flooring, such as concrete, tile, or hardwood, is ideal for your recording room. Carpeted rooms often cause problems down the road because studios usually get a lot of foot traffic, and carpet wears out quickly. In addition, carpet absorbs high frequencies but not low ones, which negatively affects room acoustics. You can always lay down a small carpet or area rug for your drum kit to prevent it from sliding. The other issue to look out for is excessive foot noise, especially from the upstairs floors. If possible, choose a downstairs room instead.
A bedroom in a typical family home has poor acoustics for a studio—in the worst way. Bedrooms are small, with a low ceiling, and parallel walls are drywall. A large room with high ceilings, asymmetrical walls, and lots of irregular surfaces is the best, but chances are you will not find a room like that in a typical home. The pro studios have them only because they spend thousands of dollars to design them, so you will have to make a compromise and choose your best option. Then don’t look back.
Transforming The Room
Before we can start adding new things into the room, it is best to take everything that we don’t need out of the room. If the room doubles as a bedroom, living room, etc., you may not be able to clear it out completely. Anything that can be removed should be removed.
The fact is that without acoustic treatment, good recordings are virtually impossible, and many beginners skip this part either out of ignorance or a lack of money and regret it later. So the first things to purchase are your bass traps. There are two types to choose from: either porous or resonant absorbers.
Porous absorbers are like the first defence line when tackling general problems with room acoustics. They can be made from acoustic foam, fibreglass, or Rockwool and are extremely effective at taming common problems such as room modes, standing waves, flutter echo, and speaker-boundary interference response. They are very effective because they offer excellent broadband absorption, meaning they work well across the entire frequency spectrum. Yet despite their versatility, porous absorbers have one big flaw. They can’t absorb the lowest bass frequencies unless they’re built super-thick or spaced far off the wall. The reason is that they can only work effectively where a sound wave is at maximum velocity, which in your room is 1/4-wavelength from the wall. For example, a 100 Hz wave is 11.3’ long, so its point of maximum velocity is 2.8’ off the wall.
Resonant absorbers are like tuned traps and do the opposite by zeroing in on specific problems with bass frequencies and ignoring everything in the mid/upper range. Resonant absorbers work best up against the wall where the sound waves collide because that’s where the pressure is highest. This works great because they occupy far less space in the room. There are two types you should get to know: Helmholtz resonators, which absorb bass frequencies through a small port in an air-tight cavity, and Diaphragmatic absorbers, which neutralise bass frequencies with a vibrating panel or membrane.
In most pro studios, porous and diaphragmatic absorbers work as a team and adjust the ratio, so you can control the type of acoustics you want. For example, a drier “studio sound” can be achieved with lots of porous absorption, or an ambient “live sound” can be achieved with less porous absorption and more diaphragmatic absorbers.
The next step is to purchase some acoustic panels and diffusers. Several manufacturers also offer packages that come with everything you would need. For example, bass traps usually go in the corners of the room because this is where those long-bass waves usually hang out. Acoustic panels and diffusers can be purchased to help balance the reflections from surfaces, too. Diffusers usually break the sound wave up, so it doesn’t reflect from a flat-wall surface.
Recording studios use materials such as high-density porous insulation, acoustic panels, bass traps, and studio soundproofing foam. Special soundproof studio glass is used to allow visual communication between the recording space and the sound engineers without reflecting sound waves back into the space
Get The Essential Gear
Although it's simple to go overboard when purchasing studio equipment, it is possible to set up a respectable home recording facility on a tight budget. Buy only the absolute necessities that are suited to your specific demands. Our recommended essentials for any home recording studio are as follows:
- The more powerful your computer is, the better, but if you're trying to save money, it's likely you already have something that will do. Whether you're more comfortable with a Mac or a PC is up to you.
- If you want to make music on a computer, you'll need a piece of software called a DAW to record, edit, and mix your tracks. Do yourself a favour and get some accessories that work with your PC.
- An audio interface is the piece of hardware that will allow you to hook up your computer toward the other of your recording setup. Both the audio interface and the digital audio workstation can be purchased individually.
- In order to listen to your creations as you work, headphones are a must. For studio use, closed-back headphones are required.
- You may get by OK with only headphones, but studio monitors are great for mixing. They have an acoustically unobtrusive quality that aids in the mixing process.
- Microphones — Depending on the devices you plan on recording, you may just need one or two microphones to get started. While condenser microphones excel at capturing high-frequency detail, dynamic microphones excel at isolating the vocal track, making them ideal for applications like podcasting.
- A "p" and "b" filter, or "pop filter," muffles the harsh noises produced when pronouncing these letters. Although they aren't strictly necessary, they're not too expensive and can make a significant difference in podcasts where there is a lot of dialogue.
Optimise The Acoustics
Since sound is your vehicle of choice, perfecting the acoustics in you basement studio should be a high priority whether you're recording vocals or instruments. It's important to get the acoustics perfect because they have the greatest impact on the overall sound quality.
The secondary window retrofit solution offered by Stop Noise can be used to save costs when setting up a home recording studio. Secondary glazed windows in a retrofit considerably minimise exterior noise, and the system is fully functional for both sanitation and ventilation needs. The Stop Noise windows are made from thick, 6.38mm laminated glass and robust aluminium extrusions, and they have two acoustic seals on their sliding sashes. Doubling or tripling the space between panes of glass, or the thickness of the glass itself, can drastically reduce outside noise. Choose the quietest room in the house and invest in some noise-cancelling tools.
High ceilings, asymmetrical walls, and uneven surfaces all contribute to improved acoustics. Get the very minimum of equipment on a small budget and utilise a digital audio workstation to record, edit, and mix your recordings. It is recommended that you invest in a digital audio studio, closed-back headphones, studio monitors, microphones, and a "p" and "b" filter, all of which are compatible with your personal computer. Improve the acoustics for the finest possible listening experience.
- Make the Right Decision About Where to Go The first thing to do when setting up a home recording studio is picking a good spot.
- If you can pick, go for the quietest room in the home.
- Stock Up On Necessary Equipment
- It's easy to go overboard when outfitting a studio, but a decent home recording facility can be built on a small budget.
- You're free to choose whether a Mac or PC is more your speed.
- If you want to do yourself a favour, invest in some PC-compatible extras.
- To connect your computer to the rest of your recording gear, you'll need an audio interface.
- The digital audio workstation and the audio interface are also available separately.