For several years now I’ve been recording in my “home recording studio.” I actually had a hard time calling it a recording studio though, as it basically consisted of my entire unfinished basement, with a couple of pieces of recording equipment. I had absolutely no sound-proofing, which meant I always had to wait until everyone else was gone or, ask them not to walk across the floor, or flush the toilet for awhile, as I attempted a vocal harmony, etc., one more time. “Just one more time. I’ll be done in just a few minutes. Does anyone have to use the bathroom before I start recording this acoustic guitar track?”
Not only did I have no sound-proofing, but the room wasn’t treated in any way for recording. It was a big room, so that at least helped, but looking back, I feel like although I wrote and recorded some really interesting songs, some of them sound quite awful in my opinion, strictly from an audio quality perspective.
I’ve been wanting to seal off a room in my basement just for recording for a long time now, but something always got in the way. We had a crap load of credit card debt, which we managed to pay off, just before the big recession hit. Then the recession wiped out my private music teaching business. I then landed a really fun job as a web developer, but then lost that job after that company also started experiencing financial difficulties.
Finally my friend Barry Brown told me he’d finish off a room in my basement, if I’d use it to make a recording for his duo. I accepted his offer, and several months later, I now have my home recording studio.
It’s still nothing fancy, but it’s much more professional and effective than what I had before. We insulted the walls and ceiling for sound-proofing, which is something you normally wouldn’t do to a basement room. We used acoustic tiles and created a drop ceiling rather than using sheet rock. The drop ceiling creates dead air mass which helps with sound proofing. Using the acoustic tiles rather than sheet rock helps cut down on sound reflecting off the ceiling.
I couldn’t afford new carpet yet, but we managed to come up with enough carpet remnants to cover the floor. This also helps eliminate unwanted sound reflections off the floor.
Sealing off the recording room made it quieter, but it also made a much more lively, and not in a good way. Basically I now had a problem with sound waves echoing off the sheet rock walls in a smaller room.
After doing quite a bit of research online, I ordered 4 large moving blankets. I bought the largest, and thickest packing blankets I could find. I then had to figure out a way to hang these on the studio walls, without destroying my new sheet rock and paint job. The blankets were quite heavy, about 6 lbs. each, so I ended up using a few small nails.
This seems to have resulted in a really good sounding room for recording. It’s not completely dead sounding, which I didn’t want, but seems to have a really controlled, pleasant sound for recording. So hopefully, now that I have a proper room, I’ll be able to create some better recordings and have more time to record, since I no longer have to worry about the house being completely quiet when I record.