Five Critical Things All Musicians Need to Consider Before Making a Home Studio
Whether you want to produce music videos for the internet, cut a demo tape or help others record, you need a music studio in your home. Making one isn't necessarily simple or cheap, but it still may be easier than you think. Here are five things you need to consider before you get started:
If you have a shed or an unused garage, that is a perfect place to convert to a studio. Alternatively, you can use an extra room in your home. Regardless of which location you choose, you need to insulate the space.
A well insulated space keeps sound in, meaning you don't unnecessarily annoy your neighbours, but it also keeps noise out, ensuring sounds of traffic, doors slamming, children playing or other noisy elements do not intrude on your recording.
2. Room within a Room
You can use insulated panels installation directly against your wall – in fact, musicians trying to create a studio on the cheap may line the walls with bookshelves, carpeting, blankets or other thick materials that can absorb sound. However, if you truly want an effective space, you need to create a room within a room.
If you have a large sprawling garage or shed, you can build a small self-contained studio in that space, but you can also build a room within a room in a smaller room as well. To get started, you need to build a new layer of interior walls a few centimeters from your existing walls.
The space between these walls creates a layer of air, and that absorbs sound so that it cannot easily enter or leave your studio.
3. Floating Floors and Ceilings
Creating air between the walls is not enough. Ideally, you should create a layer of air between the floor and ceiling as well. You can achieve this with a floating floor or a dropped ceiling, and you can heighten the effect by adding extra insulation between these layers as well.
4. New Door
Obviously, you need to enter and exit your studio, and to that end, you need a door. Now that you have spent a lot of time insulting the rest of your space, you need to think about your door.
Hollow core doors, commonly used in many homes, allow copious amounts of noise to seep through them. If you are building a room within room, and you have plenty of room around it, just add a new door to your little studio room.
However, if you are building a room within a room that is positioned close to your existing walls, consider replacing your existing door. Look for a soundproof security door or at least a thick wood door. If your studio is in your garage, you can insulate your overhead garage door with a spray cellulose insulation.
While sealing everything up, do not forget that you need to breathe. To make that easier, you have a few options. Instead of covering windows with sheetrock and insulation or blocking them with your studio walls, leave them intact and cover them with a sheet of acoustic glass, but make sure that you can still open the window as needed to air out your studio.
Alternatively, just link your studio to your existing ventilation system. If you are building a room within a room, remove the vent cover or grille from the existing vent in the room. Then, cut a hole in your new wall across from the existing vent.
Buy a small piece of vent and run it between the existing vent hole and the one in your wall. Then, attach the grille to the hole in the new wall.