Hi and welcome to the "How to build a home recording studio" page.
If you're interested in doing a quality home recording ,then you've come to the right place, 'cause having your own home studio is quit an exciting experiment..
Here I'll explain all things that matter or could matter when building your own studio or you want to record your demo at your own place.
Nothing better than the calms of your own trusted home. No clock is ticking, no hours to look at. Work at your own schedule and tempo. Taking a break whenever you want, or not. It's all up to you. Live is beautiful! Let it stay that way, and I haven't mention anything about the hiring price of a professional recording studio.(You can have abyroad studio London for £500 one hour)
However, let me remind you on the fact that there is still quit some work to do after the home recording is done (when all the instruments and vocals are recorded).
First of all there is the mixing of the instruments and the vocals and than there is the mastering of the demo recording. For the mastering , you probably need some help.
You can find a mix-and master-engineer in the yellow pages and of course in a recording studio. You can always phone them and ask to speak their master engineer. If he is willing to help you, he won't work for free. A mix-and mastering engineer can start from $ 50 par hour and higher.
Every song can take about 5 to 8 hours for mix-and mastering to a perfect master demo. With some mix- mastering lessons, you can always try to do the job yourself, but, make sure that you make a copy of the recorded instruments an vocals, in case things are going wrong, nothing has lost. It can save you a lot of time and money if you all the recordings have to be re-done.
How to make a fantastic sounding demo recording!
Is recording your songs on a twenty year old cassette recorder in your bedroom. O.K., you can make use of a fantastic computer, with an amazing professional sound cart and soft ware that really knocks your socks of.
You still will hear the annoying noise in the background of street traffic, dogs or an air plain that flying over. There is only one thing that you can assure yourself of a perfect noise free demo recording. For that purpose there are two solutions!
For that purpose there are two solutions! First solution.
You can buy an home recording studio and let it be build by a team of professional studio builders.
Advantage, you are now the owner of a perfect home recording studio.
Dis advantage: This will cost you a fortune ( or almost).
Let's say between : $ 10.000 to $50.000. That's a lot of money,specially when you just starting up. If you really can afford and money isn't an issue,then I probably would do the same and let it have been build by the pro's .
However,the most of us are not so fortunate and shall do it or try to invent something else.
Easy? Maybe ..Let's move to the...
Second solution. Building your own home recording studio!
And that place will be, let's say, the attic, where there is still plenty of room left(for a home recording studio I surely hope so). I'm not going to give to many details, because every place you want to build a recording studio, it Will be a different situation. Depending of how much space there is that you can use.
Also, try to find some one to help you. Some one who has experience with building things. ( and two heads know more than one) Be careful with the electricity.
Ask advice to people who know what they are doing. If you haven't the experience with electricity, than leave it the professionals who knows their job and I'm sure you love your home and live. Isn't it?
sound insulation material!
Insulation prevent that sound and noises from out side infiltrate into your studio, and on your recorded demo.
These materials are:
Rock wool, acoustic mineral wool, glass fiber wool, special insulation material ( for an even better sound insulation), rubber mats.
For strength and stability we need:wooden press plates, plane wooden balks
Depending of your residence, every country shall have a different price I suppose. Find it out in your local home-improvement shop, or in a sound insulation material shop.
Tip: When you use fiber glass or rock wool, make sure that you wear a mouth mask.
That' s to protect your longs against very small floating fibers.
Every side of your studio need to be insulate. Also the floor...of course..
When we want a sound insulation as good as can be, we have to work with layers.
Layers on the floor, layers of plates and isolation material for the walls and layers for the ceiling. It's works like a silencer of a pistole or the silencer of a car. Layers prevent that sound transmit trough the air.
The insulation material absorbs the sound. If your home recording studio looks a bit out of hook. Don't bother about it, parallel walls reflect sound better and that's not so good for a home recording studio. Or you must place absorbing materials against the walls of your studio ( after your studio is finished)
Then we'll starting with the floor.
You can use old carpets (vinyl ) and use it in multiple layers . At least 4 or more.You can also use rubber mats if you find them, that would be even better ( rubber is an excellent sound absorber).
Upon the layers of carpet you must make one layer of balks, wooden plates and insulation material, so-that you have a space where you can put the cables trough for the electric devices.
Nail or screw the balks to the wooden plate, and fill the spaces with sound insulation and use glue to fix the material.If you wish, you can now lay the electric wires that you'll need in your home recording studio( this is much easier than the put them later on).
Make sure that the floor is water-level. That's important for the studio that you can build the construction upon a water- level floor.
Next step....the walls!
When the floor is ready, and now we can build the home recording studio itself. First of all, decide where the door of your studio will come, and leave of course the space for the door open.
Again, work in layers and use screws. This takes a bit more time than nailing but the construction of your studio will be more solid and make it easier to separate the pieces and build it up again (if you want to move or if you want to make the home recording studio bigger). If you use an electric screwdriver it's all done in a few ......( but don't forget to load the battery)
I have made a plan of
the design on how the walls are build and how the construction can be placed. I use two layers of insulation and wooden plates. This will be sufficient enough for keeping noises out and in.When all the four walls are build, then you need to make the door-post and the double doors with insulation material on the insides.
On the edge of the doors , on the inside, you have to put rubber strips too. It makes a complete air and noise free entrance. Make sure you have calculated how wide your door-post and doors will be.
brown= wooden multiplex plates
When rubber is placed on every wall, the ceiling can be build. Starting on the same principles as the walls. One layer at the time.
The first plate fixed with screws on the walls covered with rubber strips, this will shut of the studio completely. So you build up the roof, layer by layer as the walls where build.
When all the layers (3) are build then you have to put some wooden plates on the rim of the roof, so everything is shut of properly.
Not to forget : You need Air!
The rubber makes the whole home recording studio sound free and also air free. Of course , you will need the air if you wish to stay alive, incase you wish to stay in your home recording studio for a while.
So, you need to make a kind of ventilation system that sucks the air in and that keeps you alive .
How to make such an air- ventilation system?
I do it my way, and I do it like this. Two sides of the studio must be perforated with holes(3 or 4). Every hole 1,5-2 Cm Those holes will allow to flow the air in on one side and the other side to escape out of the studio and noise free too.
The problem is, how to make this system without the disturbing noise from the ventilator?
There can come noise trough too. How we can prevent that noise comes in. First saying that you have to put plastic(electric) tubes into the holes, to prevent that little pieces of the isolation material comes into your studio( nasty for the longs as I mentioned previously).
Cover the holes with layers as you would build a wall, but let the holes open, of course. Use rubber instead of glass fibers or rock wool to insulate these layers. Make that the layers go down to the floor and close these layers 10 centimeters above the attic floor or your own made floor with carpets and wooden plate.
Put a rubber strip(as you have done with the walls of your studio) so-that everything is completely sealed and shut-of from out-side noises.
After that,you have to make a hole into the layers (or make the holes before you make the layers of the air-bridge) Then,you have to connect a plastic tube to the hole. On a distance from about one meter or so, the other site of the plastic tube goes into a box where a ventilator blows air out and sucks air into your studio at the same time.
Because the system is completely closed, air comes in from the other tubes on the opposite site of the studio. On the opposite side,where the other holes are , you make the same construction for keeping the noise outside and letting the air inside.
However, the testing can take some time before your studio is completely noise-free .
But at last...Now your home-recording studio is ready to proof drive . First of course, you have to install all the recording equipment ( computers and mix-tables, microphones, amps..) that you need.
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