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How to Set Up a Home Recording Studio

Whether you want to record a demo or simply indulge your inner rock star, a home studio has certain requirements.

Instructions

  • Step 1: List work surfaces List the available work surfaces in your studio, such as desks, stackable shelves or even milk crates and two-by-fours.
  • Step 2: Set up u-shaped area Set up a U-shaped area by arranging a desk and a secondary work surface in an L-shape, with a rack or shelves making up the third leg.
  • Step 3: Place swivel chair Place a swivel chair in the middle of your workspace. Test your ability to easily access all of the workspaces from the chair.
  • TIP: Invest in a quality chair that doesn't cause your back or legs to tire easily. And make sure it doesn't squeak.
  • Step 4: Position equipment Position your recording equipment on your work surfaces. Put frequently adjusted things within arm's reach.
  • TIP: Electrical cords can cause audio equipment to hum or buzz, so position components so that wires are as far apart as possible. If they must cross, place them perpendicularly to reduce noise.
  • Step 5: Hang drapes If your studio faces a noisy street, hang the thickest drapes you can find.
  • Step 6: Cover hard floors Cover wood, tile, or cement floors with carpet remnants or heavy rugs to reduce echoes and reverberations.
  • TIP: Stand in the middle of your studio and clap your hands hard. If you hear echoes, cover walls with fabric or sound-dampening foam.
  • Step 7: Mount speakers Mount speakers at ear-level, spaced so that you can sit centered in the sound stream during playback. This may involve building a platform for the speakers on your desk, or hanging them on a wall or from the ceiling.
  • Step 8: Get "bumper" music If you are creating a podcast, you may want to have "bumper" music at the start and end of each broadcast, so you'd need to have a CD player handy.
  • Step 9: Position instruments Position any instruments you may have at the open end of the workspace, where you can access them easily. Ideally, you want to be able to begin recording and playing without much time or effort devoted to moving from one task to the other.
  • Step 10: Start recording Begin recording your future hit!
  • FACT: Boston's self-titled debut album was recorded mostly in band member Tom Scholz's basement studio.

You Will Need

  • Work surfaces
  • such as a desk
  • table
  • stackable shelves
  • A good swivel chair
  • A computer and sound card or a dedicated recording console
  • A six- or twelve- channel mixer
  • A quality microphone
  • A good set of speakers
  • A keyboard stand
  • Graphic equalizers
  • Pitch correction machine
  • A reverb unit
  • Heavy drapes
  • Carpet remnants or heavy rugs
  • Fabric or sound-dampening foam
  • A CD player
  • Musical instruments

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