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How to Set Up a Home Recording Studio

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Uploaded on Feb 15, 2008

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Whether you want to record a demo or simply indulge your inner rock star, a home studio has certain requirements.

Step 1: List work surfaces
List the available work surfaces in your studio, such as desks, stackable shelves or even milk crates and two-by-fours.

Step 2: Set up u-shaped area
Set up a U-shaped area by arranging a desk and a secondary work surface in an L-shape, with a rack or shelves making up the third leg.

Step 3: Place swivel chair
Place a swivel chair in the middle of your workspace. Test your ability to easily access all of the workspaces from the chair.

Tip
Invest in a quality chair that doesn't cause your back or legs to tire easily. And make sure it doesn't squeak.

Step 4: Position equipment
Position your recording equipment on your work surfaces. Put frequently adjusted things within arm's reach.

Tip
Electrical cords can cause audio equipment to hum or buzz, so position components so that wires are as far apart as possible. If they must cross, place them perpendicularly to reduce noise.

Step 5: Hang drapes
If your studio faces a noisy street, hang the thickest drapes you can find.

Step 6: Cover hard floors
Cover wood, tile, or cement floors with carpet remnants or heavy rugs to reduce echoes and reverberations.

Tip
Stand in the middle of your studio and clap your hands hard. If you hear echoes, cover walls with fabric or sound-dampening foam.

Step 7: Mount speakers
Mount speakers at ear-level, spaced so that you can sit centered in the sound stream during playback. This may involve building a platform for the speakers on your desk, or hanging them on a wall or from the ceiling.

Step 8: Get "bumper" music
If you are creating a podcast, you may want to have "bumper" music at the start and end of each broadcast, so you'd need to have a CD player handy.

Step 9: Position instruments
Position any instruments you may have at the open end of the workspace, where you can access them easily. Ideally, you want to be able to begin recording and playing without much time or effort devoted to moving from one task to the other.

Step 10: Start recording
Begin recording your future hit!

Did You Know?
Boston's self-titled debut album was recorded mostly in band member Tom Scholz's basement studio.

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