In this lesson we will look at some
fundamentals of building a home recording studio. There are lots of
backyard studios all over the world. You don’t need to go to
expensive recording studios anymore to pull a great sound. With a
good Audio Interface, some good mics, and a decent sound space you
can get great sounds from a very modest budget.
If you’re going to build a studio in your home or backyard, your primary concern is to not annoy the neighbors. If you do, they can complain to local council, and worst case scenario - bring your home studio days to a grinding hault. So, initially you’re trying to find effective ways of not letting the sound escape from the room.
Here is a common misconception people always get wrong. Because we know that soft materials absorb sound INSIDE a room, people assume they will also stop the sound getting OUT of the room. They will not, and you’re still going to annoy your neighbors!
It is HARD materials that stop sound getting out of the room. My studio was basically a garage conversion job. It was a pre existing brick structure, so I already had a small amount of potential sound reduction there. Being an older house though, I needed to go around all the walls and meticulously check for any air gaps, and fill them with caulking compound.
One really annoying thing about sound proofing, is that even the tiniest gap can leak a huge amount of sound. You have to be really pedantic about filling ALL the gaps in the walls. What we did was stud out all the walls and the ceiling, then we framed it right out. Next, we stuck Rockwool into the walls, which has an 80% NRC (noise reduction coefficient). On top of that we also used a layer of sound board, called "Sound Check", and finally regular 4 mil ply for the aesthetic touch.
So once again, to stop sound getting out, you need to use materials that will stop sound, and the majority of these are hard, such as: brick, bricks filled with mortar, sound board, gypsum board etc
THE FLOATING STUDIO
Ideally you would make a studio that has both floating walls and a floating floor. If you were building your studio inside your house, you basically want to build a box inside a box. The idea is that the inside box (the actual studio) doesn’t make contact at any point with the outside walls (the house), because if they did, vibration (ie sound) would be imparted through the walls, and this would be counter productive to sound proofing.
ACOUSTICALLY TREATING THE ROOM
We want an even and non bias frequency response from the room. We don’t want one particular frequency peaking or booming more than the rest. There are a few inherent problems with certain frequencies on any room.
A lot of high frequencies tend to build up in the ceiling. Walk into any completely room and clap your hands, you will probably hear some high frequencies above you. likewise bass frequencies tend to build up in corners of rooms, hence why you see Bass Traps placed in the corner of a room. But not only corners down low, corners up high also.