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20Oct

A Complete Guide To Setting Up A Recording Studio - Part 1

Firstly, congratulations on making the decision to set up your own recording studio. You're at the beginning of an exciting road, and a great learning curve! Whether you've got a band and music to promote, or you want to set up as a professional studio and hire out your equipment and services, we've got a guide to everything you'll need to get started.


Image credit: recording studio

Location

Finding the right space for your recording studio takes a little preparation and thought. Firstly, as you're going to be making lots of noise in there, it would be a good idea to use a room that can be sound proofed – a room that shares walls with your neighbours might not be a good idea, for example.

If you want to keep the guys next door sweet, as well as ensure your recordings aren't ruined by outside noise, consider carefully which room will ensure the least amount of noise pollution.

Prepare your room

Setting up your studio won't just mean putting a desk together for all of your equipment to sit on – you need to make sure your environment is right. If your carpets are too thick your vocals could sound dead, whereas if you have wood flooring and a large room there could be too much re-verb. Think Goldilocks and aim for somewhere in the 'just right' category.

As well as the quality of your sound, as we mentioned before you might want to consider soundproofing your room to protect your recordings and your neighbours. Though getting the professionals in is the safest bet, if you want to have a go yourself you have a few options:

  • Soundproofing glue. This stuff converts sound energy into heat, and you'll need to apply it to your wall then stick dry wall on top. It takes around a month to work properly.
  • A false ceiling, which can be created using dry wall and some wooden panels to make 'dead' air space, can make a big difference. Before starting, seek advice to ensure that your ceiling is able to take this extra weight.
  • Acoustic sealant can help with any gaps.
  • Automatic door bottoms can help to seal off your doorway by dropping a neoprene sealant when the door is closed, and retracting it again when it is opened.

If you want to go the whole hog and sound proof your own studio on a budget, I recently wrote a guest post about how to do exactly that, click here to read it.

Equipment

So, your room is prepared – now you need make a start on your equipment. Below, we list the essentials that every home recording studio should have.

Microphone

It's obvious that you will need at least one microphone – but which sort should you choose? There are loads of options available that cater for different instruments, but when you're starting out it's a good idea to get one microphone that will record most things pretty well, and go from there. If you want a versatile option, go for a cardoid, which is a great all rounder and especially brilliant at avoiding feedback from monitors. Alternatively, take a look at this recent post about picking a microphone.


Image credit: microphone

Also, remember that if you are playing instruments like guitars or keyboards, these can be recorded straight to your digital recorder without the need for a mic. However, some bands find that using a mic adds a 'live' atmosphere, so it depends on your personal choice. Click here to see our full range of Audio Technica microphones.

Another piece of equipment you'll need for your microphones is a stand – or should we say stands! Buy several, as you never know when one might break, or when you might get more musicians than you bargained for. The stands can be folded away, so you don't need to worry about them taking up space.

Until Next Time...

That's all for now. In part two we will delve into the rest of the equipment you'll need and a few other tips to help your studio get off to a flying start! Stay tuned. Oh, you can find part 2 here by the way.

Posted at 13:39

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