A home recording studio is vital if you’re a recording artist, producer, or audio engineer. There are different types of home recording studios. In this article, we’ll discuss how to start a home recording studio for business purposes.
Looking back to the early years of my production career, I remember the excitement of building my first home recording studio. My eagerness took me Guitar Center’s pro audio department, even though my budget was mediocre. All I wanted to do was record music so I could be in the music business, for real. My first studio started small and worked its way up to being worth upwards of fifty thousand dollars.
If you’re planning to build a home studio for the purposes of making money, you’ll need to consider the information in this article. My goal is to inform new recording studio business owners and developers of exactly what to consider when building a business in their homes or in a house.
Studio security should be the first priority on your list, even if you only plan on recording a small group of people. Home recording studios rank extremely high on thieves list of place to break into; therefore, invest a substantial amount of your total studio budget into home security and studio protection.
You’re going to need more than an alarm system if you want to project your investments. Thieves like to come through windows, doors, wall and ceilings. Luckily, there are companies who specialize in protecting a home from break-ins. Shatter proof windows, security locks, lighting, and audio/video surveillance are among some of the things to consider; especially, for home recording studios.
People will be walking in and out of the studio. You’ll be working with recording artist, producers, studio musicians, commercial writers and God knows who else. There can never be too much security when it comes to protecting your studio equipment and other financial investments. And just in case all the security measures you’ve taken are breached, have your studio insured.
The next consideration is the space that you’re working with. A home studio will require a lot of space for recording drums and other instruments. You’ll also need space set aside for a control room. It’s important to have room separation between the studio areas and control rooms.
If your budget allows, you should modify the control room to deliver optimal sound quality to the sweet spot. These steps are absolutely necessary if your goal is to deliver a finished product worthy of purchase. You’re going to need to either hire professionals or DIY when it comes to redesigning a room to be used as your control room. Do not rush through or skip this process because doing so will cost you more money over the long haul.
Consider thing like mic placement, wall mount, sound absorption, and diffraction during the construction phase of your home recording studio. The idea behind having the optimal control room is to isolate outside noise from interfering with the music coming from the studio’s monitors. Recording areas have a bit more leeway, however.
Most producers and recording artist seem to believe the vocal booth is the most important room in a studio. They’re sadly mistaken because the finished recording product is what people are going to hear, not the room that the vocal were recorded in. Most people can’t tell where a song was recorded by listening to a song. All they care about is if they like are hate the song. Yes, vocal booths are important; however, more emphasis should by apply toward the listening environment first.
The control room should be quiet, and I mean quiet. The people inside the studio shouldn’t be able to hear the people outside of it. The same goes for the recording areas. There’s nothing worse that have air conditioner noise on a vocal track; or, hearing your friends or family hooting and hollering about whatever in the background of your song. Accomplishing this good is easier said than done. I strongly recommend working with someone who has experience building professional home recording studios, and not a random carpenter who doesn’t have the ears for sound or studio design.
- Studio Gear
This is the part where most pro audio enthusiasts lose their marbles. Studio equipment is the number one amenity to consider when booking time with a recording studio, which makes equipment selection a top priority. The type of gear you get will determine your ability to get the gig.
Home recording studios are usually much smaller than your commercial recording studios; therefore, they consist of less equipment. Those of you looking to build a home recording studio will need a multi-track mixer. A home studio mixer will need to record a minimum of eight instruments simultaneously. You’re going to need these eight tracks for recording drum sets. You’re also going to need a collection of microphones for recording vocals and acoustic instruments like guitars and brass instruments. A home studio can never have enough microphones.
Also get guitar amps, at least two pairs of studio monitors for mix comparisons, and a computer powerful enough to process the loads of plug-ins and audio information. Like I stated earlier, studio equipment is the number one amenity people consider when booking time with a recording studio. Do research prior to purchasing gear.
The cost associated with building a home recording studio varies based on individual needs. On average you can expect to spend anywhere up to $50k or more, depending on your specific needs for daily operation.
Most music makers lose their motivation when they consider security, location, construction, and equipment cost. To them, the cost is simply too high and they can’t see themselves having the money to spend. Instead, they’ll put their studio ownership dreams to the side. On the other hand, those of you who are not as easily intimidated will find a way to get the money needed. Once you do, you’ll have a great way to make money while networking with professionals and creative music makers. Some of you may want to keep your studios private, which also has its rewards. Whichever way you decide to go, you need to understand that maintenance costs are not included in this quick rundown of building a home recording studio. Your equipment will need repairs at times, electricity cost will be higher the most average bills, and upgrades will come along.
If you’re looking to build your first recording studio, I recommend that you start small and work your way up. After all, there’s no point in having a home recording studio with no understanding of how to use it. The best way to build anything is one step at a time. Therefore, do your research and make smart purchases. Resist buying on impulse and you’ll be well on your way to having a top notch home recording studio.