My Home Studio - Construction and Design
When my garage was vacated by my son's punk band, I inherited the space. Years ago we built a room within a room - stuffed with insulation, and so on, in the interest of keeping peace with our neighbors, and keeping track of what the kids were up to. It was a great investment, and it was fun having the band around, but having some peace and quiet has been nice, too!
After an initial period of enjoying the thought of parking our cars inside again, we began to think maybe we could use the space for ourselves. Eventually we decided it could be a music room, giving me the opportunity to create a home recording space and practice space.
I've outlined what I did here in hopes it is useful to others who want to build their own recording space.
My studio is meant for myself, for recording solo acoustic guitar, which greatly simplifies the requirements. I don't need drums, vocal booths, and separate control rooms. Here are the goals I set out with:
- A single room should serve as both recording room and control room
- Good recording sound is more important than control room sound, as I can always mix or master elsewhere
- Should be fun to play in as well as record and be a pleasant place to hang out
- As we may want to tear it out someday, nothing permanently destructive to the garage. We've already built a set of inside walls in the garage, that at least in theory can be removed with minimal effort.
- A pro studio would deal with sound isolation, keeping noise from both leaving and entering the studio. I'm not going to worry about this. My acoustic guitar isn't going to bother the neighbors (we already managed to have a punk band with Marshalls going full blast in this room without bothering anyone) and I'll just live with the incoming sounds and work around them when I'm recording.
Before and After
Lets jump to the end and see how it turned out.
The photo on the right is what I started with, with the garage occupied by my son's band. That's my Wingert guitar and recording rack wedged in during time they weren't using the space, which is how I recorded my Laurel Mill CD. On the right is the same corner after the studio was completed. These days, there's usually a comfortable over-stuffed recliner in this corner!
Here's a view of the recording setup (left), with a desk, monitors, computer screens, and a gear rack. On the right is the studio in use, Steve Baughman and Anton Emery on a break during the recording of Anton's Noone Lasses CD (2009).