Creating a great space is harder in the home studio; chances are, your bedroom or basement wasn't designed with a recording studio environment in mind. Recording studios spend thousands, sometimes millions, on perfect acoustics, but that doesn't mean you have to! In this article, you'll learn the basics of acoustics and how you can have your studio sound as good as possible.
Already have your studio space set up? Check out how to start building your equipment arsenal
Choosing Your SpaceWhen selecting and setting up a room for your home studio, your goal should be to use a room that's as neutral as possible. When recording, you want what you lay on tape to be the best representation of what is being played. That being said, you also want a room that's accurate when you're mixing and listening. A room that's neutral is very important. You want to minimize recording the room itself, and when you're mixing, you don't want to be mixing to compensate for the room.
Keeping Your Neighbors HappyIf you live in an apartment complex or townhouse (or just with close-by neighbors), you'll need to worry about the noise escaping your studio. I lived in my apartment with my home studio up and running for nearly a year before I had any neighbors. The first day I tracked drums after they moved in, it was the end of the world to my neighbor. Being courteous of your neighbors and their needs and concerns when recording at home is very important, because nothing is worse than being told by your landlord you can't record anymore because your neighbors can't handle it.
Testing Your IsolationThe first thing to do is listen. Play something through your mixing speakers at the normal volume at which you'd listen, and walk around. If you can hear it outside your recording room when the door is closed, chances are the neighbors can hear it across the hall. If the noise bleed is a big enough problem, consider a pair of high-quality headphones to mix with. Otherwise, work out an arrangement with those around you; offer to keep your recording times to mutually convenient hours.
Now, it's time to build your studio!
Now that your space is all ready, it's time for you to select your gear! Take a look at some of these links; they'll get you started in the right direction to making your masterpiece album at home!