How to Set Up a Simple Recording Studio at Home

Recording Studio
Recording Studio | Source

This article is a simple guide on how to set up a studio.

If you intend to set up a recording studio, this article will tell you what to consider when planning, or making your choice.

Your recording studio must not only make studio recording easy for you, it must also be good enough to impress your clients as well.

A well set up recording studio can save a lot of precious time in a shooting schedule, so in order to set up an efficient studio space, either for a client, or for you, there are 3 basic things to consider.

  1. Size
  2. Electricity
  3. Sound

Studio Space Size and Features

The size of the studio space is the first thing to consider when building a recording studio. A recording studio that is too small is as good as not having one at all.

The recommended minimum space to consider is 20ft by 20ft (610cm X 610cm) of floor space, and a ceiling with a minimum height of 10ft (305cm).

A room for a recording studio set up with these minimum sizes will reduce light spills from the walls and ceilings, and ensure that your talent has the 'freedom to move'.

The next thing to consider is the interior features of the chosen space.

For example, does the studio space have a suspended ceiling or mounting points for lighting trusses? Is the colour of the room conducive for a recording studio set up? Are there adequate lighting points? etc.

RELATED: Studio Lighting Basics For a Recording Studio Set Up

(The ability to control the colour and quality of lighting can turn an ordinary looking recording into a masterpiece)

Ceiling

If it's a home recording studio set up, and the only room available has a suspended ceiling, you have two options.

The first option will be to disassemble the suspended ceiling panels, to allow for extra height to install your lighting gear and trusses.

The other option is to make use of butterfly clips to hang lightweight fixtures from the ceiling beams and tees.

The only disadvantage of this option is that butterfly clips tend to bend the suspended ceiling beams, and this may put the fixture close to the ceiling tiles, causing unpleasant discolourations over time.

Though the height of suspended ceilings may pose a problem, they do have their advantages.

A suspended ceiling makes it easy to hide or install electrical cabling, and they are perfect for hanging lightweight cloth or backdrops. They can also be utilised for the installation of recording studio style LED lighting panels.

Finally, if you are planning on making a lighting grid, you need to know where the ceiling studs are located, so that you can know where to hang the light trusses for your studio lighting fixtures.

Colour of the Walls and Ceilings

The next important thing is the room's colour, especially if it's a smaller studio than normal. it’s good to paint the walls or ceiling in a dark colour, or even black.

You can also hang up dark material along the studio walls, as this ensures you control your studio lighting more effectively.


RELATED: 3 Point Lighting For Professional Studio Lighting Effects

(Three point lighting should be the most basic of studio lighting setups you should use if you hope to get professional looking scenes of whatever subject you are photographing or filming)

Electricity

The electrical wiring layout in the room must be perfect; otherwise it can make or break a recording studio.

A recording studio set up without adequate power to tap from will limit the kind of lights you can use.

So, you need to first check the electrical panel to see how many circuits your potential recording studio has, as well as the amps available on each circuit.

If you'll be using incandescent lights or quartz halogen light bulbs, you will more than likely require a minimum of 30 to 40 amps of power so that you don’t overload your electrical system.

You also need to find out which outlets and switches are connected to which circuit. This way you can label each outlet to ascertain the amount of power you can draw from each outlet before it overloads.

Also, if you plan on hanging lights from the ceiling studio, you may consider hiring the services of an electrician to help you install power outlets on the ceiling, or at the top edge of the walls, so you don’t have to run unsightly cables down to the floor.

It is advisable to have a 10 amp circuit for every couple of lights you'll be plugging in to, so that you don’t have to walk back to the circuit breaker every ten minutes during a shoot.


RELATED: Basic Cinematography Tips for Driving Scenes

(In film making, up and coming cinematographers seem to have a love/hate association with shooting scenes that involve driving a vehicle)

Sound

One of the most important things to consider before setting up a recording studio is both external and internal noise.

Try to make sure that your studio isn't next to a train station or railway line, express-way, or airport. But if you have no choice, you will need to build a soundproof inner wall in your studio to keep unwanted noise out.

But the biggest and most common culprit for noise in any studio almost always comes from the heating ventilation and air-conditioning systems, or the HVAC.

These units tend to add a low hum to your audio, and it's always a real challenge to remove during editing.

As such, you need to know that you can turn off your HVAC units during any shoot. Alternatively, you can hire a professional to soundproof the HVAC.

Though this might set you off a bit of money, you'll be assured of a clean, clear and professional audio sound output.

Setting up Recording Studios Is a Great Investment

This simple guide on how to set up a studio can help you set one up in little or no time.

Creating a place for your recording studio in your home is one of the best investments you as a can ever make

Building one for you or for a business venture will ensure that all your recorded scenes are well produced, without you having to spend so much money and precious hours of your time doing them elsewhere.

© 2011 viryabo

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Comments 14 comments

lasky12 profile image

lasky12 5 years ago from Bensenville, IL

neat studio awww


viryabo profile image

viryabo 5 years ago Author

Thanks lasky.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Wow! This was such an awesome hub in a different direction than what you've recently done it was a pleasant surprise. I have a nephew who loves music and wants to record. I bookmarked this and will show it to him...I actually never considered having him create his own studio and yet that may be a perfect project for him. Thanks!

I rated it up/useful and awesome. I love the books you've mentioned here and will investigate them.


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

A very informative and well laid out hub, I think that many people will find this very interesting! Up/Awesome.


viryabo profile image

viryabo 5 years ago Author

Thank you Denise, i really appreciate your referring this article to your nephew. Its a good way to start up a recording studio in an easy and straightforward manner. Tell him i said 'best of luck'. I'm sure he'll be proud of setting one up by himself.

GodBless.


viryabo profile image

viryabo 5 years ago Author

Hello Cloverleaf, thanks for your inspiring comments and for the visit.

Blessings.


GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 5 years ago from California

COOL VIRYABO! Enjoyed this one as well as the lighting one for studios....as you know.....music and photography VERY close to my heart. Anyway, very informative article.....enjoyed it! all the best, G


viryabo profile image

viryabo 5 years ago Author

Hi G,

Thank you so much. I know its within your field too, so i appreciate your nice comment.

GodBless


unvrso profile image

unvrso 3 years ago from Mexico City

Very interesting tips on how to set up a recording studio!

Voted useful!


viryabo profile image

viryabo 3 years ago Author

Thank you unvrso.


Ronnie Pistons profile image

Ronnie Pistons 2 years ago from SC

Very informative, lots of helpful tips.


montaznehise profile image

montaznehise 22 months ago from Slovenia

Nice, thanks for this..


viryabo profile image

viryabo 22 months ago Author

Thank you Ronnie. Glad you find it helpful.


viryabo profile image

viryabo 22 months ago Author

You are welcome montaznehise

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