Should You Set Up A Home Recording Studio? 6 Reasons Why

reasons to set up a home recording studio

Whether you want to hone your skills on music production or, better yet, start on that music career you have always dreamed of, having some place to do all your recording is always a welcome thought. However, here is the problem: getting affiliated with a local recording studio (if there are any in your area) can be hard especially if you don’t have the connections and the money.

So what’s your next best option, then? If the answer is still not apparent, it would be to set up your own recording studio. And, most preferably, you can set this right where you eat, sleep, and live and at a budget that anyone would find to be manageable.

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6 Reasons To Set Up A Home Recording Studio

When deciding where you will set up a recording studio, you should always look at the advantages such a place will bring to you. With that in mind, what makes a home one of the best places to set up your recording studio at? Here are some features that a home can offer to you and your recording needs.

1. Convenience

The biggest problem that many musicians, seasoned or otherwise, face is in terms of logistics. When you have to rent a professional studio, you will have to deal with the fact that you and your friends will have to lug all that equipment around for every recording session.

At home, you can instantly pick up and play your instruments. It also helps that being close to creature comforts helps the brain quickly come up with more imaginative songs and tunes.

2. Cheaper

A surprising thing about music production is that you can get rid of a major portion of your usual expenditures and still produce music that is decent to listen to. One major expense artists and music producers constantly deal with are rental fees for their studios which are usually by the hour.

By having your studio at home, you can get rid of all those insane hourly fees. This means that you should have more money to invest on things that will make your music better like instruments, recording equipment, and others.

3. More Flexibility

Arguably, one of the best benefits of having a home recording studio is that you can be your own boss. You no longer have to deal with deadlines (unless you impose them to yourself) and you can schedule recording sessions whenever you want.

Also, you can charge other artists for the use of your studio and you would no longer have to split the proceeds with a manager. And since you no longer have to deal with complicated bookings and reservations, you and your friends can immediately get to the nitty-gritty of producing actual music.

4. An Opportunity to Learn

For those that are quite serious about music, home recording studios offer an opportunity to further hone their skills. After recording, you can immediately listen to your work and check for areas for improvement.

And if your experience with music is limited to only writing songs, singing, and playing instruments, a home recording studio will give you a crash course on music’s more technical aspects. From blending to acoustics, a home recording studio will allow aspiring musicians to get an idea as to how to improve on their music.

5. Easy To Set Up

Back then, setting up a recording studio can be as labor intensive as it is expensive. It’s because you need different pieces of heavy equipment to do different technical tasks for producing your music.

Now, there are smaller and lighter recording equipment that can perform a wider range of functions. In fact, you can even create a small home recording studio with a laptop, the right kind of software, and even a few basic recording equipment (More on this later).

6. A Smart Investment

A home recording studio is not just something for your exclusive use. You can have the place rented for other producers and artists for reasonable fees.

Basically, a home recording studio allows you to earn while also building the right kind of connections to survive in the industry. It’s a win-win situation no matter how you see it.

Essential Equipment for any Home Recording Studio

Before learning about the basic tools for your recording studio, you have understand one thing first: Simple is always better.

Just like any hobby, attempting to do too much with your recording studio can be overwhelming. And if you are overwhelmed, you have a tendency to get discouraged and stop investing in your music altogether.

Also, with a simpler setup, you can save on a lot of money while still producing music that is technically competent at least.

So what does every home recording studio need? Here is a rundown of the essential tools for your trade.


This is by far the biggest expenditure on your recording studio but it also the most important. Without it, you can’t expect to record sounds, edit them, and combine them to form your track.

The rule of thumb with computers is to always look for the fastest model within your budget. You do not need an ultra-spec PC just to record music. All that is necessary is for your computer to properly record and process data to come up with something worth listening to.

If you have a computer that you can use, that’s great! There’s no need to get a new one, unless your current one is too slow to run whatever software you need.

Keep in mind that both desktops and laptops have their own pros and cons:

  • Desktop – This is your typical PC and is comparatively more expensive than its mobile counterparts. However, desktop computers have better performance than most standard laptops and can capture, process, and optimize sounds at a better rate.Also, desktop PCs are modular in nature. This makes them easy to repair, upgrade, and clean.
  • Laptop – Although not as powerful as some high-end desktops, laptops offer a greater degree of mobility and convenience. If the power goes out or you have to travel, you can still work on your music through the device.

Digital Audio Workstation/ Audio Interface Combo

The computer might be the one doing all the heavy lifting, but it is the DAW that makes music production possible. It is basically the software program you choose where you can record, edit, and mix songs in your computer.

The Audio Interface, on the other hand, is the hardware that allows you to connect your instruments and gear to the computer.

Both of these devices can be bought separately but they can also be bought as a bundle. It would be better for you to pick the latter since:

  • It’s cheaper than buying them separately.
  • This will ensure compatibility and support for both devices.
  • You immediately cross off two items in your must-buy list for your home recording studio.

Companies like Avid and Presonus offer DAW/Audio Interface Combo packs with ports that can connect to no less than 8 different equipment at once. For bands and DJs, these bundle offers will come in handy once you start recording.


When you are starting out, you might just have one type of microphone in your studio. However, you would only need 1 or 2 microphones to get your studio up and running.

The types of microphones you will need depends on the kind of music you want to record.


The “classic” microphone model i.e. the large diaphragm condenser vocal mic should suffice. To record multiple voices, the “boom” microphone with its larger stem is necessary.

High Frequency Sounds

For guitars, pianos, cymbals and other instruments with a high frequency, you should use a small diaphragm condenser mic like the MXL 770 or the AKG P170.

Low Frequency Sounds

These sounds come from instruments like the bass guitar and the kick drum. A microphone ideal for these instruments would be something like the AKG D112 or the Sennheiser e602 II.

Mid-Frequency Sounds

These come from instruments like drums, electric guitar amplifiers, and some percussion instruments. A microphone like the Shure SM57 or the Miktek PM11 are ideal for capturing these sounds with clarity.

There are other specialized microphones out there that will undoubtedly allow you to capture better-quality sounds. However, for starters, these types of mics are all that you need for now.


Since you are most likely going to do the recording all by yourself, you will need one p[air of headphones. However, for music recording purposes, you need to look for two specific headphone designs.

  • Closed Back – These headphones offer a comparatively decent sound quality but are great for isolating sounds. This would come in handy when you are trying to look for ambient noises.
  • Open Back – These headphones are not as effective in isolating sounds but offer better recording sound quality. These would make them great once you are editing and finalizing your tracks.

Also, open back headphones are more expensive than their closed back variants. If you have a limited budget, it is best to start with closed back phones and then save up for the open back variant.

Microphone Stands

The way you position the microphone and how close it is to the object it is recording sounds from will make a lot of difference in terms of audio quality. This is where a mic stand comes into play and your studio should have at least 1 or 3 of it on standby.

The basic 3-legged stand should suffice as they offer optimum stability on the base. This means that the chances that microphone gets knocked off are low even if the stand is extended at weird angles.


Ever seen those mesh screen like things they put in front of microphones like you sometimes see in music videos? That is what is called a Filter and it is designed to drown out that weird “popping” noise that people make when singing. This often happens when the letters P and B are forcefully pronounced.

This is not essentially a must-have for any starting home recording studio owner. However, it does make the vocals of your music cleaner, reason why you should invest on it.

XLR Cables

These cables allow you to set up your microphones and instruments in the studio regardless of how far they are from the Audio Interface ports. However, keep in mind that the sound quality being transmitted through monitor cables decreases the longer the cables are.

If you happen to have a studio with a 10×10 area, you only need 1 long cable for the microphone and 2 standard length cables for the monitors. If possible, have a cable like the Mogami Gold and Silver cables or the Planetwave Classic cable.

Studio Monitor

It is important that you can hear yourself while you are performing/recording in your studio. An open-back headphone will not be enough in this instance since they emit a more “enhanced” tone.

A studio monitor speaker, on the other hand, will make you hear sounds with a flatter, neutral quality. This should allow you to better gauge the quality of the sounds that the vocals or the instruments are producing, so you can adjust accordingly.

Monitors like the Mackie CR series or the Yamaha H5 are undoubtedly expensive additions to your studio. In fact, they may even be more expensive than your computer.

Fortunately for you, there are some monitor speakers in the market which are budget-friendly. You can even purchase a secondhand monitor and it would still be reliable in helping you mix your studio sounds.

Is it Okay To Go Cheap On Equipment?

The answer, surprisingly, is no. When you are setting up a recording studio, whether its inside your home or not, you’ll still need to allot a suitable budget, particularly for the equipment you need. You may be encouraged to not overspend with your recording tools but there is a threshold that you must not cross.

This threshold lies somewhere in the $200.00 to $300.00. It is practically impossible to get a decent computer plus all the recording equipment with a budget in between those figures. The quality of the music you will produce with equipment at bargain-bin level prices is dodgy at best.

If you are really serious with setting up a decent home recording studio, you must prepare a budget at $350.00 at the very least. This should allow you to buy most of the basic equipment you need for your studio.

Keep in mind you’re not necessarily loosing money here. Imagine all the money you would have spent to rent studios in the future!

Setting Up Your Home Recording Studio

Once you have all the equipment for your studio, it is time to start setting it up. This is not something as straightforward as putting up a man cave or a baby’s room, however. There are a few considerations you have to keep in mind so that your recording studio is at the best possible place in your house.

Choosing a Room

A standard house is made up of 3 to 6 different rooms. However, only half of those rooms are actually ideal for your recording studio. When looking for a room for your studio, there are 4 things that you have to avoid at all costs.

Small Spaces

Big spaces allow artists to move about the studio freely. This also allows for easier set up of all the equipment. Also, a wider space means that you have more room should you want to add more equipment later on.

The size of the space will also impact on your recording; thus, this leads fittingly to the next case in point.

Poor Acoustics

Sound travels from wall to wall and from top to bottom. If you don’t want all those sounds to clash with each other, pick a room with a high ceiling and enough width that would allow 5 people to move about freely.

Also, pick a room with a standard square-shaped layout. The fewer surfaces sound has to bounce into, the less chaotic the music you are producing will come out.

Proximity to Noise

A downside to having a home recording studio is that the noise that normally doesn’t bother you gets amplified by 10 times or more once you put on those headphones. Once you are recording audio, you’d rather not have the slightest of auditory distractions ruin the quality of the sound.

Pick a place that is the furthest from the street, sidewalks, the boiler room, the kitchen, and, if possible, rowdy neighbors. If any of these cannot be avoided due the layout of your home, you can always opt to “sound-proof” the room (find out more about this as you continue reading).

Bad Flooring

Never pick a carpeted floor to set up your recording studio on. This is because carpet do not absorb low frequency sounds like those coming from bass guitars and drums.

Also, you can expect that your studio is going to generate a lot of foot traffic. This means you have to expect that you are going to disturb everyone down below if you place your recording studio on the higher levels of your house.

If possible, set up your recording studio in a room where the flooring is made of raw concrete, hardwood, or ceramic tiles. These materials can absorb sounds at various frequencies without wearing down like carpet. For the drums, it is better to enclose it with area rug instead of a carpeted sheet.

Clearing Things Out

Before adding things into the room, it is recommended that you take out everything that you don’t’ need for your recording studio. First, take out every other unnecessary furniture and fixture, so there is more available floor space.

Also, you have to expect that the room is going to vibrate a lot. As such, remove everything fragile hanging on the walls or dangling from the ceiling. This includes decorations and picture frames.

Lastly, remove any hollow object in the room like vases. Sound is going to travel at every surface and these objects would vibrate a lot, ruining the acoustics.


In order to make your recording studio less of a nuisance to other people living in the building, you would have to sound-proof it. You can do this in four ways.


You have to make sure that every small crack, hole, and crevice in your room has been filled up. This will block off all possible avenues from where sound can escape through.

The easiest way to do this is to apply acoustical caulk over holes in walls. Also, you can place sound-dampening door bottom sheets directly beneath the doors of the room.

Adding Mass and Thickness

Sound travels through walls less if the walls have a certain mass to them. Since your home recording studio will be placed on an existing room, you can artificially make your walls heavy by placing a dense sheet over it. Vinyl or sheet block is ideal in this situation as they can absorb a lot of sound waves going through the wall.


Aside from making sound waves travel through thicker walls, you can also make that energy dissipate by making it convert to heat. Green glue is the best material for this part as it was designed to isolate sound and convert it into small amounts of heat.

Two tubes of Green glue must be used for every 4×8 area in your room. Fortunately, the material is readily available online and at cheap prices too.


This process simply involves reducing vibrations by “softening” contact points where two different surfaces meet. You can do this by using rubber isolators on the floor or by applying joint gasket tape at outlying studs over the walls and ceiling.

Any of these tricks will reduce vibrations around the room and limit resonance only to the source of the sound.

Setting Things Up

Now that you have an empty sound-proof room all to your own, you can then start arranging your equipment in it. The easiest layout you can do is the “One Man Studio” design.

Here, the computer will be placed at one side of the room. Then, all the equipment must be arranged in a way that it “surrounds” the artist in an X formation. The instruments can be placed in the northeast, the microphones opposite to that, the monitors and controllers on the southeast, and the Audio Interface rack at the northeast.

Of course, you can play around with this set up by changing the positions of the four areas. The point is that everything that the artist needs must be available within their sight at a turn of their head.

In Conclusion

If you do it right, you should have set up a home recording studio complete with the essentials that you need to produce good music. The point is that the setting up a decent recording studio at home is possible even if you don’t have that high of a budget.

So as long as the placement of the studio is good and the equipment you purchased is reliable, your studio can become a major source of income and an avenue of your creativity for as long as possible.

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