Seeing how fast technology is advancing across almost every industry, it makes perfect sense for artists and creators to take more liberties when practicing and improving their craft.
Gone are the days when production studios were an indispensable staple of the music industry as a whole. Nowadays, with the right gear, independent artists can write, produce, and distribute their music from within the comfort of their own homes.
Over the next few minutes, we’ll delve into the many benefits and opportunities that having your own bedroom music studio can give you access to.
Why Should I Invest in a Bedroom Music Studio?
While some are content with making music with whatever gear they have on hand, there comes a time as a musician when you naturally want to improve your craft.
You do this by setting up a dedicated space for all your music recording needs, a place where you can unbridle your creative spirit in a safe and familiar environment. What better place to do that if not your own bedroom?
Provided that you take the time to set up your bedroom studio without cutting any corners, you may achieve a high standard of acoustic excellence at a surprisingly low cost.
Unlike professional studios that require an appointment on a predetermined schedule, a home studio allows you to start recording as soon as you feel a wave of creativity coming.
Things to Consider When Setting up a Bedroom Music Studio
First and foremost, you will need to address the basics of audio capture and recording. In this respect, you need to ensure that your bedroom is spacious enough to store all the cables, hardware, and acoustic equipment required for the job.
If your bedroom is big enough to accommodate such a setup, you’ll have to consider:
Most people don’t realize just how much noise is around us at all times, from cars and planes to birds and noisy neighbors. These noises can severely mess up your capacity to record music at home.
You don’t have to be a music producer to understand the importance of a quiet recording environment, so bear in mind that a bit of soundproofing can go a very long way. So along with the space, consider how loud your room may get during the day.
It isn’t just the neighbors and the environment that makes things noisy at home, but the house itself sometimes. You will notice that a recording studio has special walls and floors designed to reduce noise reflection and vibrations.
To avoid noise pollution of any kind during the recording process, you need to figure out a way to reduce floor noise if you have particularly loud floors.
Know that carpet has a great absorption rate when it comes to high frequencies but not the low ones, which may hurt the bass of any song you might be recording.
Seeing how your average house isn’t meant to be used as a recording studio, you may expect a fair bit of noise interference and poor acoustics from the house itself. In principle, high ceilings and asymmetrical walls considerably affect acoustics.
You should also bear in mind that for your bedroom music studio to work efficiently, you will have to get rid of any irregular surfaces that impact sound reflection and refraction.
A lot of these problems can be solved by filling every unimportant opening with acoustic foam, but this isn’t a long-term solution if you also plan on using your bedroom for its conventional purpose.
What Do I Need to Set up a Bedroom Music Studio?
The first step toward setting up your very own music studio should begin with finding the will to do it in the first place. We say this because you will have to put a lot of hours into overseeing every step of the operation. That aside, you’re going to need:
- A good computer – A decent computer is required to handle the workload. It can be used to assemble samples and blend tracks of your choosing. This also means that you will have to use some kind of recording software, depending on your exact budget.
- A reliable interface – You need an interface if you plan on using real instruments, especially if you use an electric guitar. With a decent interface, you can plug in instruments and create digital signals for mixing purposes.
- A condenser mic – A condenser microphone is required for your recordings to sound great. While dynamic microphones work great for live music, a bedroom music studio requires a condenser microphone to pick up quiet sounds. These mics also possess a greater frequency range.
- Pop filters – No matter how good the mic might be, a pop filter is needed to make the most of it. These filters mitigate burst effects from the air hitting the electronic elements of the microphone itself, which adds extra depth to the vocals. This way, the vocals sound much better and can blend into the background music with ease.
- Studio headphones – A good pair of headphones are required to synchronize properly with the medley. When looking for a decent pair, always look for headphones with a flat frequency response. Needless to say, a good pair of headphones can get rather costly, so you might want to keep an eye out for any special offers or discounts.
- Studio monitors – Although not 100% necessary, you should invest in some studio monitors if you can afford them. Studio monitors are basically loudspeakers in speaker enclosures, which enhance audio levels to bring out richer tones in the mids and highs.
How to Set up a Bedroom Music Studio
You can begin setting up your bedroom studio by taking inventory of all the equipment and arranging the room in the best possible way to accommodate it. Start by:
Soundproofing the Room
Remove any carpeting or fixtures that might interfere with the general acoustics of the room. You should remove any overly reflective surfaces like wall-to-wall carpeting or any cloth surfaces that might absorb sound waves.
Although the most effective way of soundproofing a room would be to build a decoupling structure to isolate internal sound, this might prove costly by most standards.
Instead, you should place your studio monitors and mixing desk against any external walls to remove any unwanted resonance. On a related note, try to increase the thickness of your doors by taping them over with textile materials.
Using an Acoustic Treatment
Once you’ve finished soundproofing the room, you should deal with the excess resonance inside the room that might interfere with the efficiency of your bedroom studio.
A good way to deal with this is to employ foam panels and bass traps which act two-fold by reducing excess resonance and preventing the music from bothering your neighbors.
We should point out that applying any acoustic treatment usually involves foam or fiberglass panels and that this procedure may cost you a lot of money if done professionally.
This can also be achieved by using decent isolating studio monitors available in different shapes and sizes.
Isolating Studio Monitors
When setting up a bedroom music studio, it is advised to isolate your monitors from any surrounding surfaces. This will also isolate the monitors’ surface, which increases the acoustic standards of the room itself.
Bear in mind that monitors don’t just emit vibrations through the woofers but also through the device’s body. Consider employing monitor isolation pads to prevent resonance from reflecting off the furniture.
On a related note, a good rule of thumb is to raise the monitors as far as you can from the desk surface. Even though this reduces your overall studio space, it helps with reducing sound reflection quite a bit.
Furthermore, you should consider investing in a monitor stand. These stands are tasked with elevating your speakers, which not only helps with reducing unwanted resonance but will also help reduce the noise that comes out of your apartment every time you record or play music.
Using Monitors With Small Woofers
Another good way to avoid spending thousands of dollars on high-end music recording equipment is to use smaller, more affordable alternatives to much-needed gear and accessories.
This is the case with some monitors which happen to incorporate small woofers. These smaller woofers will guarantee that your music doesn’t resonate beyond the studio’s walls. This is also why people commonly use bass traps in tandem with their monitors.
Specifically, you want monitors that don’t exceed 5 to 8 inches in size. For these monitors, the woofers are usually sized proportionally, which is about a third of the overall size of the monitor itself.
Tips for Operating a Bedroom Music Studio
Provided that you’re done setting up your bedroom music studio to some extent, you might want to give it a test run first. To ensure that you’re correctly set on your path to becoming a bedroom producer, you should:
Make Good Use of Your Headphones
While some amateur musicians prefer to simply vocalize out loud with no technical support, the reality is that being in tune with the music is much more constructive overall.
So unless you have physical reasons not to wear headphones, you should be wearing them when you record and when you play back your recorded music afterward.
Know that a good pair of headphones will help tremendously with mixing and audio processing as well as helping you keep pace with the medley.
Pay Close Attention to the Volume
Seeing how your average household wasn’t built for recording music, you will need to manage the volume of your music and the bass levels as closely as humanly possible.
Although volume isn’t necessarily a problem when playing acoustic music, introducing hard bass and electric guitars to the mix will cause quite a disturbance.
This doesn’t just help reduce the ruckus that your neighbors hear, but it will also help you considerably manage surplus resonance inside the room.
Use Virtual Instruments and Electronic Drum Kits
Try as you may, your little bedroom music studio will never match what the music industry has to offer, so there’s no point in putting more effort into it than necessary.
A good way to circumvent the expenses of recording music is to make good use of virtual instruments and electronic drum kits.
Bear in mind that virtual instruments may come in the form of software and that, for the most part, they tend to sound exactly like real instruments.
At the risk of repeating ourselves, acoustic music seems to cause the least unwanted noise because of how little bass it involves.
When all is said and done, keep in mind that technology has come a long way over the years. There’s hardly any reason to schedule a visit to a professional recording studio unless you’re a professional musician yourself.
With the advent of new technologies, a bedroom music studio can provide you with the same recording quality that only reputable studios were able to achieve just a couple of decades ago.
In truth, a good setup with a quality mic, sound monitors, and a decent pop filter can set you well on your path to becoming a successful musician without ever having to step foot inside a proper studio.