It’s common knowledge that the average musician can’t afford recording sessions at a studio. It can cost hundreds of dollars for just a few hours of time, and unless you get everything perfect on the first take, you’ll likely need more than that.
Luckily, it’s possible to build a bedroom studio in your own home that can still give you professional quality. This is ideal for those who use music as a form of freelancing.
In fact, these types of studios have become so popular that many people aren’t sure about the future of professional recording studios. Whether you’re an amateur artist or experienced one, you can still benefit from recording in your home.
And, you actually end up saving money in the long run. Not sure where to start? Continue reading for three tips on building your own studio in your bedroom.
1. Room Type
When people realize they can make their own studio in their home, they immediately get excited and begin clearing out the first room they can think of.
However, not all rooms are optimal when it comes to creating your own bedroom studio. In general, bigger rooms are simply better. There’s no other way around it. So, closet space isn’t going to cut it.
Larger rooms are better for a handful of reasons. Not only will they give you more space for your equipment and collaboration with other musicians, they also sound better when recording.
Let’s assume you have a decent sized guest room that will accommodate all of your music equipment. But, before you go forward with the transition, you need to check what type of flooring it has.
To the dismay of many spiring bedroom musicians, carpet is one of the least optimal surfaces to have in a recording room. Having carpet will dampen higher frequencies but won’t do much to lower frequencies.
This can hurt your overall recording because sounds with higher frequencies will be more muffled than lower ones will. Therefore, hardwood or tile are your best options when it comes to flooring.
Something else to consider is the type of music equipment you need in your bedroom studio. If you plan on setting up a full drum kit in there, then you can put an area rug in the room to avoid scratching the floor.
It’s difficult to turn a bad room into a good room when it comes to recording quality, so try your best to use a room with a lot of space and non-carpeted flooring.
2. Acoustic Treatment
This is another topic that recording newbies often don’t know too much about. If you set up your mic and begin recording in any room, there’s a good chance that it will not turn out the way you want.
If you’ve ever been in the studio, particularly one that was set up in someone’s house, you most likely will have noticed foam panels on the walls and ceiling. This helps the quality of recordings by eliminating the natural reverb of the room.
Implementing these is part of the process called acoustic treatment. In an untreated room, there will be plenty of natural reverb that you will be able to hear in the recording. This limits what you can do with the recording during processing.
You should place these foam panels behind your monitor speakers and along the side walls of your bedroom studio. Then, you should place panels in the upper corners of your room.
If the foam is arranged correctly, your recording will have almost no reverb at all on it, which is ideal. This will allow you to add all of the reverb you want during the production process.
If you have set up your studio in your garage, insulated roller garage doors can also have a similar effect when it comes to dampening the natural reverb of the room. The concrete floors of a garage are also ideal for a studio.
Unless you happen to live in a dungeon, most bedrooms have windows. Draping a heavy rug or blanket over the window will help absorb the room’s reverb like foam will.
Once you have all of that taken care of, you can finally move on to…
3. Monitor Speaker Positioning
Some artists run out and buy the most expensive monitor speakers that they can and assume that they will automatically get the best quality. But, positioning is just as important as the quality of the monitors.
It’s so important, in fact, that lower quality speakers that are positioned ideally can sound better than high-quality speakers with poor positioning. It’s also not as easy as measuring the distance between the two speakers.
There are three factors you need to consider: the acoustic treatment of the room, where your walls are relative to your speakers, and where you will be sitting.
This will take a bit of math and effort, but it will be worth it. The shape of your position and the speakers should be an equilateral triangle. This will allow you to perceive the sound from the speakers at the highest quality.
You will also want your monitor speakers to be at least 47 inches off the floor. This will allow for enough space for the sound travel and not dampen as the track plays.
Unless your desk is exactly this height, you want to invest in studio monitor stands in order to get the appropriate height. Last, you’ll want to have some space behind you, so don’t put your chair up against the wall.
Building a Bedroom Studio Can Be Difficult
But it doesn’t have to be. With the proper acoustic treatment and equipment arrangement in a suitable room, you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish without ever leaving your home.
While it may not be the cheapest option at first, you’ll save money as time goes on by avoiding studio costs and handling everything yourself.
As previously mentioned, working as a musician is a great way to freelance. To learn more about what you can do while working from home, check out our blog.