How to Set Up a Home Recording Studio

Home recording studios can range from simple to complex, depending on your needs and your budget.

How to Set Up a Home Recording Studio

Whether you are planning on recording a music album, or do production, the limits are endless.

Decide what kind of studio you want. If you are going to record from a microphone, you need to set the room up with the appropriate acoustics. If you plan to record an entire band, you will need enough space to accommodate the entire setup.If you are doing production or voice-overs, you don't need to worry much about space, but you need to be aware of the acoustics.Once you know what kind of studio you need, you can plan from there.

Set up the studio basics and your inputs. Having an understanding of signal flow is essential. The best way to set up your recording studio is to build outward from your audio console. Set your console where it will stay, since you likely won't move it again, and begin to plan the wiring of your studio.If you are doing production, each audio source should be connected to the console in the input you want it in. If you are recording multiple sources, a cable snake should be run from the board to where you will connect your microphones later.

Set up the outputs from your console. Connect your console to your monitors and recording device. If you are using a computer, connect to your computer hardware. If you are using a recording deck, connect your outputs to it. Be sure to use one of your outputs from your console for your speakers.After connecting your outputs, you will need to connect back into the board to monitor that audio. Your computer or recording device will then become an input on the audio console. This will allow you to monitor what is going through those sources after they go through the board.For example, if you want to record your voice from a microphone, it will run from the mic into the console. From the console, the signal will travel to your computer, where you can record and edit your voice. In order to hear your audio, it will have to be brought back into the console. This is the signal flow of your studio.

Add any inputs that you'd like to your setup. If you are recording from microphones, you can add as many as you need, or at least as many as you have the inputs to accomodate.

Take care of your acoustics. If you are building a serious studio for professional use, it is a good idea to contact a professional to help you analyze your needs and design an acoustically friendly room.If you are building a home studio for production and you're not in a position to completely remodel for acoustic purposes, there are many home solutions to alter your studio's sound.You can buy many acoustic products that will improve the sound of your room, including items such as diffusers and dampers. Smooth walls and reflective surfaces are a recording studio's biggest enemy. If you don't want to spend much to improve the sound, you can use carpet or egg cartons on the walls. Another DIY option would be to hang curtains or sheets all over the room to cut down on reflections.There are many ways to improve the sound quality in your home studio, depending on your budget.

Things You Will Need

  • Audio console
  • Audio cables
  • Work desk
  • Speakers
  • Microphone(s)
  • Computer and monitor - or -
  • Recording device (tape or digital)

Tips

  • Always build your studio with the idea that you will add things. You will eventually, and you're better off being set up for it.
  • Label your cables as you connect them. It will make things much easier later.

About the Author

Luke Roberts has been a professional in the media for his entire career, working in radio and also as a writer. Educated in philosophy and history, he has worked mostly covering sports, a combination that allows for a well-rounded knowledge base. He also is a certified personal trainer.