Do you love to make music and share it with your friends? If so, working on building a home studio is a great idea. Having a home recording studio is much easier and far more affordable than it was in the past. Modern technology allows musicians from all walks of life to capture their talent and distribute it online.
In order to make your home studio a success, you will need to focus on getting high-quality equipment. Trying to skimp on the quality of the tools you use in your studio will create a lot of problems over time. The following are just some of the things you need to remember when attempting to make the recordings coming out of your home studio professional sounding.
Giving Your Home Studio the Right Acoustics
The main mistake most newcomers to the world of home studios make is investing in non-essential equipment before getting the acoustics in their space right. Without a basic acoustic treatment, you are going to have a hard time making your recordings sound good. You will need to start by installing acoustic panels on the side walls of your studio.
Installing a ceiling cloud either just in front of or above your studio monitors is also important. If you are having trouble finding the right monitors, be sure to check out this studio monitor buying guide. Researching the various monitors and acoustic panel options on the market is the only way to get the best sound equipment for your studio.
Remove Your Loudspeakers From the Corners of the Room
Most home studio enthusiasts place loudspeakers in the corners of their recording space to save room. While this is completely understandable, having these speakers in this location can lead to problems. Moving the speakers away from the corners of the room can reduce bass build up significantly.
If you are having a problem with acoustic bass boosts in your mixes, then you will probably be able to fix it by moving the loudspeakers. Having too much bass in your recordings can lead to the other instruments getting drowned out and the overall quality of the music suffering as a result.
Invest In a Sound Pressure Level Meter
Did you realize that 85dB SPL is the frequency at which the human ear flattens its own response? Having a device to measure the sound pressure level in your studio will allow you to make important adjustments. Ideally, you want to hear your mixes at a level that will allow you to pick out every nuance. Also, reducing the volume on your loudspeakers can help reduce the chance of long-term hearing loss as well.
Record Your Music At 24 Bit
Recording the music in your studio at 24 bit is a great way to lower distortion. You will also be able to get a clearer sound, which makes mixing down the final track much easier. Your recorded signals should never go above 18dBFS.
While this may seem like a relatively low setting, it is the equivalent of what a larger mixing console would record. The last thing you want is for every recording you produce to sound distorted and unstable, which is why you will need to be mindful of your input and output levels.
Perform Final Mixes After a Good Night’s Sleep
Another mistake you need to avoid is trying to make final tweaks to your recording late at night. If you have been working on a particular track for hours, your hearing is going to be pretty tired. This means you will be less perceptive of the music you are hearing.
The best thing to do in a situation like this is to turn off your equipment and get a good night’s sleep. So, once you are rested, you will be ready to make the final tweaks. Listening to the recording with a fresh brain and ears can help you pick out imperfections and address them properly.
Use Properly Mixed Music As a Reference Point
While home recording studios are beneficial, you will often need a bit of help when it comes to mixing down your final recordings. This is why using recordings mixed down by seasoned professionals as a guide is important. Dragging and dropping a world-class recording into your editing software will allow you to get an idea of where your bass levels need to be.
By using professional recordings as a template for your mixes, you can avoid distorted bass sounds and other common problems. Be aware that you will probably have to level out the volume of a professionally mixed track because they are often quite loud.
Add Warmth to Your Recordings By Using Secondary Microphones
Do the recordings coming out of your home studio sound a bit hollow? If so, you need to think about using a secondary microphone during recording sessions. Using a ribbon or dynamic mic is usually the best option for a home studio.
These mics will be able to pick up subtle nuances during the recording process that can be helpful during the final mixing stage. If you are on a budget, you can always start with a cheaper secondary microphone and work your way up as your funds increase.
Backup Your Hard Drive Frequently
Nothing is quite as heartbreaking as losing all of your recordings due to a computer crash. The only way to avoid this issue is by backing up your data and recordings on an external hard drive. Using a SATA copy station is also a great option.
With the SATA copy stations, you will be able to clone everything on your main hard drive. In the event of a crash, you will have copies of your hard drive already in place.
Building a home recording studio from scratch will take a lot of time and money. If you are unsure about how to get started with this process, reaching out to recording engineers in your area is essential. These professionals will have no problem giving you the guidance needed to hit the ground running with a home recording studio.