So, you’ve amassed an impressive collection of recording gear and spend more hours working on music than not. What’s next? If you’re serious about a career in music production, you’ll need more than an amateur bedroom or basement studio. A high-end recording studio requires much more than microphones and soundboards. For a professional area that doesn’t disturb the neighbors, there are several design elements you’ll need to consider.
Servicing Miami, Florida as well as musicians and producers throughout the world, David Frangioni is an industry leader in recording studio design plans and has worked with Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, Shakira, Kiss, American Idol, and more. To see how the pros do it, consider the following points.
The odds that your home already includes the perfect room for a studio are slim. The best space would be large, with high ceilings, asymmetrical walls, and irregular surfaces. Since that’s a rare find, often the goal is to isolate the studio space from the surrounding house’s structure. This extends to installing double walls, floating floors, and extra ceilings. Ground floor rooms are ideal as they reduce excessive foot noise, have little to no weight limitations for equipment and usually offer the most isolation options.
While studio beginners might enjoy the coziness and intimacy of smaller rooms, larger studio spaces allow for multiple musicians and an ever-growing amount of equipment. Ultimately, multiple rooms for different functions is ideal. Carpeting does absorb high frequencies but not low ones, which hurts acoustics, so you’ll benefit from hardwood or tile floors. If you need a carpet for a drum kit, use a small area rug. There are a lot of elements to consider in order to select and configure the right space.
You can compensate for your room’s shape with acoustic treatments. This step should never be skipped, as the acoustics of your studio is arguably the most critical element.
If you’ve ever stepped foot in a cathedral, you may have noticed how crisp every sound is, from your footsteps down the aisle to the choir singing. That’s because cathedrals are structured to sound beautiful. Luckily, you don’t need a room that extravagant for excellent audio nor do you want the reverb times usually associated with large spaces!
You can eliminate excessive natural decay in your room with acoustic absorption panels on the walls and bass traps. To balance the uncomfortably ‘dead’ sound after successful absorption, diffusers scatter sound reflections so that nothing gets trapped. The combination of absorption and diffusion treatments will leave a quiet but comfortable air in the studio perfect for recording. It also creates, more importantly, that great “vibe” that every nice sounding studio has, sonically. It’s a combination of interior room treatment, aesthetics and isolation, which brings us to…..
While acoustic treatments control sound reflections within your studio, we’ll need to soundproof the space to minimize the amount of noise that travels in and out. Inside the room, you’ll want to eliminate the sounds of computer fans, hardware racks, HVAC systems, and footsteps. Outside, the sounds of people, traffic, weather, and plumbing can ruin a recording.
To soundproof the space, add mass to the walls to prevent vibrations and fill any air gaps that may allow sound to sneak through. To reduce bothersome sounds inside the studio, keep your computer and microphones far apart from each other, and place acoustic treatments behind the performer where the mic is most sensitive. There are special types of drywall that provide great isolation characteristics without taking up large amounts of space.
Audio is a fickle thing, and for the best results in your studio, you won’t want to cut corners. There’s no substitute for a professional installation from a team of experienced technical workspace designers.
If you’re interested in having your own recording studio, get started with your professional studio by contacting David Frangioni today. We’ll set up a personalized consultation to build the studio of your dreams.