By Guest Contributor Cassie Steele, 12/6/2017
An ideal situation for any recording artist is a home studio. Whilst you might need to assemble a team of professionals for a public release record, having the equipment to get a good feel for new material and quickly be able to get a spark of inspiration down is invaluable.
However, recording equipment can be expensive, as can the house design around it. This is especially true for young musicians, as millennials are struggling for cash. Recording equipment needn’t break the bank, though. In this article, we’ll walk through aspects of building a home studio and how you can save - or spend.
The Audio Interface
With the internet now nearly omnipresent and technology available at startup level to nearly everyone, there are loads of great new audio interfaces innovating the market. When it comes to the audio interface, this is especially true. You can buy very expensive products and very cheap ones. Whichever end of the scale you’re on, bear in mind that a good quality audio interface is your best friend. The good news is that an excellent and good interface can cost as little as $125, and the best still under $500. Spending lots of cash aren't necessary to get good quality equipment and avert a recording nightmare.
Insulation is key to every home studio - especially when it comes to percussion. Even digital drum kits can create a mighty din as sticks land on vulcanized rubber. Insulation is another industry that is ever evolving; trying to meet the needs to keep rooms quiet whilst balancing that with the climate of the area. Warmer areas will struggle and run astronomical heating bills if walls are thickly insulated.
The key for a musician or sound designer is to make the walls as aggressive to sound as possible. Eggcups can replace expensive foam-based insulation for a totally free way of insulating; better, you can fill them with paper for an extra level. Some designers have even used water to insulate their homes, which would be the absolute best method and perhaps an option for those with a healthy bank balance.
Key for all non-digital recording (and for some aspects such as live singing) are acoustics. They are all around important to get the proper measure of your music. For those with the money to tailor their area, acoustics can be a doddle - when it comes to hiring professionals and investing in the best materials. For an amateur, however, it’s worth looking into affordable construction materials and investigating in acoustic methods, such as how air transports around your space. With the knowledge in hand, construction is fairly straightforward.
Creating your home studio is a dream situation, but can seem economically chastening. It needn’t be, however. Keep your eyes open and research your options, and you can build your ideal home recording experience or make the most out of your money to get the best results.
Photo Credit by James Stamler, John Hult, Jason Rosewell, James Owen, and Nick Karvounis