So you’ve finally moved into an apartment or house that has enough space for a home studio. Whether it’s a spare bedroom, cellar, basement or shed out in the yard, things are going to get exciting very soon. A home studio means you can unleash your creative genius whenever it comes calling – no need to wait until you get to the studio downtown.
A music recording space needs to fulfill a whole lot of criteria; as well as being a stimulating creative space; it needs to work on a practical level.
Keep it to yourself
You don’t want to annoy your family, housemates or neighbors with loud music, so soundproofing is essential. Using materials that soften and absorb sound limits audio spill outside the studio. Fix acoustic mineral wool to walls and cover with fabric, quilting or even carpeting. In the old days, low-tech solutions such as cardboard egg boxes effectively broke up the sound waves and deadened noise – you could also try studio foam to disperse sound. If you have a decent budget then check out studio-build suppliers who will have a range of acoustic panels, bass traps and diffusers to create the best sound environment and soundproof the space.
Basement studios are ideal because there are no neighbors below. If your studio is above other rooms, lay thick underfelt and carpet on the floor. In classic recording studios, wooden surfaces have always been coveted for their great properties in promoting a warm and earthy sound. If you want happy ears, get as much wood in the studio as you can. From a paneled wooden ceiling, wooden monitor stands and sound desk to wooden shutters to help reduce noise, invest heavily in this music-friendly natural material.
Furnishing facts and interior ideas
A sofa on which to lounge will be one of the most popular pieces of furniture in the studio. A comfortable, ergonomically designed chair for the sound engineer is essential, as they will be spending long hours bent over the recording desk. A messy studio inhibits creativity, so plan adequate storage for all the equipment, cables, music and media stuff that will accumulate. Reserve a corner for a coffee maker and a fridge stacked with cold beers. Time flies when you’re making music, so place a clock on the wall. Good lighting over the recording desk is essential, but elsewhere create a relaxed mood with low lights and lamps. Color schemes should not dominate but should be muted and relaxed – pale shades work best as they make smaller rooms feel more spacious.
With lots of technical gear in a room, you need to make adequate provisions for power supplies. Do not overload plugs – if necessary, employ an electrician to fit extra sockets and run a safety check over the studio. Make allowances for the room that cables take up – the mass of wires that cascade from the back of a mixing desk take up enough space to merit their own zip code.With the home studio soundproofed and sorted, soon you’ll be able to start laying down some tracks and letting the creative juices flow.