Home Studio Design
It pays to do a fair amount of planning when you are going to set up a home studio. The reason is that there can end up being a lot of connections and equipment to uproot and rearrange later on if you want to change something.
Case in point.
I was so anxious to start my studio when I bought my first pieces of gear that I just threw everything together in a big rush. It was unbridled enthusiasm at it’s finest.
Later on, I decided that I needed to renovate my room for better acoustics and I was confronted with the specter of having to tear the whole place apart and mothball my recording efforts for 2 months while I did the acoustic treatment.
In retrospect, I would like to think that if I had been given the kind of guidance I am going to dispense in this article I would have taken that advice but something tells me I would not have listened. If you don’t head this warning I understand. The desire for me to just record music to the detriment of all else was very strong. Were not very rational in that state of mind.
Choose Your Room
I have mentioned this in other articles on the site but it warrants repetition. Choose the room you are going to use to mix and record in firstly and wisely. You may be stuck with it permanently once the final coats of paint are dry on your setup. It can be an all-day event just unplugging everything in many cases when you want to make a full-scale change.
Choose a room that you are going to be happy with long term.
I built a custom desk but that isn’t something most people are likely to do so you are going to have to shop around for a suitable desk. This can be a real constraint in many cases due to budget and space concerns. Make sure you plan out things like “ what am I going to do for monitors “ and consider your instrumentation.
For example, if you are a real serious keyboardist you need to consider a desk that has the capacity for a larger midi synth. You may even want to consider a desk that can handle your favourite recording or performing synth. Not all recording desks are equipped to handle a 77 key synth so you may have to shop around and spend a bit more to get something you like.
It will be a real nuisance later on if you have to swap out your desk if you start off with the wrong setup.
Better to delay your startup and get what makes sense the first time. Easier said than done, I know.
It seems trivial, but monitor stands are a factor to consider. For one, they help alleviate some issues with bass translation in your final mix but they can also be a factor in occupying space. Separate speaker stand I prefer because I can position them just how I like in the room and they make mixing your bass levels a lot better by not transmitting bass frequencies through your ask. If you lean on your desk as you listen it’s actually easy to be fooled as to how much low end there is in a track as it radiates the low end through your arms.
By having isolated monitor stands this becomes less of an issue. That is if they are built correctly. See this article for more on how to build them correctly.