10 Tips on Creating a Quiet Acoustic Recording Environment in Your Home Music Studio

Chances are, you don't have a ton of money to make your home studio into top of the line, soundproof, professional-level, recording studio. Doing so would most likely involve tearing down your whole house and beginning from the ground up with top architects specializing in acoustics. 

Yet, home studios are giving professional studios a run for their money, as professional level consumer software makes the PC (or Mac), one's own audio/video editing workstations.

So, how can you better soundproof your studio affordably? Here are some tips:

FIND THE QUIETEST ROOM IN YOUR HOME/APARTMENT.
Look out for things like air conditioners, being too close to the street, a noisy neighbor, an uninsulated window that lets in outside noise. And, while the garage is great for band practice, for recording, you want to be somewhere that you can control both the temperature (for the equipment) and sound bleeding. 

SOUNDPROOF THE WALLS. 
Whether you have the money to purchase expensive soundproof equipment or not, it is important to soundproof any surfaces that might cause sound to bounce about the room. Heavy rugs and thick towels/comforters can be nailed all the around the room (and ceiling), for a quick soundproof conversion.

INSULATE or BLOCK DOORS/WINDOWS. 
You don't want to spend a heck of a lot of time sound proofing everything, only to have the occasional train or ambulance wreck your recording. Be sure to insulate the windows. You can go to the local Home Depot to get insulation. Heavy fabrics can also block out noise from windows, etc. For doors, keep in mind that the musicians might need to use the lavatory, so keep it portable.

GET A HEAVY RUG
A rug or carpet can muffle footsteps and absorb unwanted sound.

TURN OFF UNNECESSARY APPLIANCES. 
When recording, you want to make sure that you have any unnecessary machinery off during recording. That fan cooling down the drummer, the coffee maker, even the A/C sometimes might be bleeding into the recording.

FIND SITTERS FOR THE KIDS, PETS, and IN-LAWS.
If it's your afternoon to watch little Johnny, it may not be the afternoon for a serious recording session. Instead, work on mixing, or something that does not involve live recording. And, sorry Fido, you are out.

ISOLATE THE BOARD AND COMPUTER FROM THE MICS. 
You don't want a noisy board or the whirrrrrrrr of a PC fan to bleed into the mics. If you cannot isolate the engineer in a different room, invest in portable panels that can provide temporary isolation from loud equipment noise (amps included). Just be sure the engineer can SEE the band.

BUY/MAKE A POP FILTER.
Some podcasters use USB mics, but don't bother with a pop filter. You can either buy a professional pop filter, or make your own using some hose and a wire hanger in the shape of O. Slide the hose over the O-shape, and then use the additional wire to position the filter between the speaker and the mic. It can make a difference, even with lousy USB mics.

RECORD AT QUIET TIMES OF THE DAY.
If you have your studio set up in the barn out back in the middle of nowhere, then you are one of the fortunate few. Avoid setting up recording sessions when the 5:00 train goes by, or the Jacksonville to Miami flight goes over your apartment, or when your neighbor the welder decides to work on his craft. And while 3am might be the quietest time on the outside of your studio, if you have a family or neighbors, that may not be an option.

FINDING ALTERNATIVE RECORDING ENVIRONMENTS. 
Sometimes it is not possible to convert a home studio into a good recording environment. Other places you might want to check out include the local high school or university music department, the local church, or finding a friend who will let you borrow their studio for a barter (if you are low on cash). Remember, with the way that recording is going nowadays, a good amount of the end product relies on good post production. 


Here are some other interesting links that talk about soundproofing your home studio:



How to Construct a Sound Proof Home Studio by Eric Henry at Ezine Articles


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