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  •  The EvO:R-Pedia Musicians Tips Section


    Welcome to the EvO:R Tips Section. We call this section EvO:R-Pedia because it is like a complete reference library for Indie musicians...Just about every tip has been used so you won't find false promises and a series of books to buy after reading each tip. This section was put here by musicians so that people that followed can take this knowledge and use it's power.


    Home Recording Studio Design
    By Blake Mead

    Once you have determined where your home recording studio is going to be, it's time to start the design of the space. Most often a home studio will be confined to a single room such as a garage or a bedroom. If this is the case with your home studio, you may need to divide the room to create some isolation between the performance space and the control room space.

    In traditional professional recording studios, the space is typically divided into several different rooms. The hub of the space is the control room. This is where you will find the mixer, recorders, and other outboard equipment. All the other rooms, called tracking rooms or isolation booths depending on the size of the room, are connected to the control room. While the performer(s) sing and play in the tracking room, the engineer records the performance and monitors the sound in the control room through loudspeakers or headphones.

    This same arrangement can and should be created in your home recording studio. It is important for the engineer to be able to monitor the sounds in an isolated environment like a control room. This is the only way he or she will be able to accurately judge the quality of the sound signal being recorded. If the artists were in the same room as the engineer, the engineer would only be able to hear the live performance and not the signal being recorded.

    The most ideal setup would be for your home studio to have one room be the control room and another room be the tracking room. If this is possible, then setting up the space will be quite easy. Although it would be nice to have a window between the rooms so the engineer could see the artists during the recording process, as long as cables can be run between the two rooms this setup will work just fine.

    If your home studio must exist in a single room, there are a few things you can do to create some isolation between the artists and the engineer. The best way to do this is to build a wall and just divide the room into two rooms. This would provide the most isolation, although it is also the most costly and time consuming method. Another option is to build a sort of isolation booth within the control room. This can be done by setting up screens, hanging heavy curtains, building partial walls, anything to isolate the sound of a vocal or instrument. Having the engineer use headphones to monitor in addition to whatever isolation you can create with a booth should be adequate for most recording in a single room. Of course you will likely be limited by the size of the room to recording just a single vocal or instrument at a time. This method of recording does usually take longer than recording an entire performance at once, but the availability of simple multitrack recording hardware and software should allow anyone with patience and desire to make quality recordings.

    If you plan on just recording yourself as a solo artist for demo purposes, podcasting, or even just for fun, then isolation becomes even less of an issue. If you're doing it all yourself, you will just have to experiment with mic placement and listen to some test recordings until everything sounds right. Once you get the setup right so that the recordings sound clean and accurate, you can then go back and mix it down using whatever effects you desire.

    One last issue to consider when designing your home studio is while the layout of the space and isolation are important when designing a home recording studio, just as important is the "feel" or "vibe" of the space. Your studio should be a place that makes you feel comfortable and inspires creativity. Use some of your own personality to decorate the space. If your studio is drab and uninspiring, the performances within will be too.

    Find more "how-to" articles and great deals on new and vintage recording equipment at http://www.build-a-studio.com

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