Either you work at home or in the studio, treating your work place cannot be neglected. You think your super gear alone can help you create an awesome track? No dude, you’re wrong. The recording environment is the first element that would decide your product will go up, or down. Here is a couple things you’d better check out when you arrange your recording room.
- Stay away from hard surfaces: Hard surfaces, such as walls, could be the biggest enemy for home recording. Concrete walls, hardwood floors, counter tops and tiled walls are all reflective. They play your sound like a ball bouncing around the room, and this process makes those echoes that misguide and can be heard in your track. Curtains, carpet, fabric and rounded furniture and opened closet are nicer, having your room more acoustically sounded. So remember, any hard surface is reflective, which means windows and slat blinds are part of what make your track bad, full of echoes and noises. Use those curtains and cover the glass (it is highly reflective!). If you have a completely bare room, meaning it has no curtains, no carpet, only hard walls, you should think of having those hanging or it’s gonna be… um… useless.
- You can buy reflection shields that are made to help minimize sounds picked up from the sides and back the microphones. It would be best if you are using a strictly omni-directional mic, but I know most of you, in your home studio, are with a cardioid mic (one with forward directional) because it leaves out most noise coming from the sides and back. But, what you may not know is that the cardioid mic is most sensitive to noises formed behind singers. So what now?
- So all problems come from the reflection, so we are gonna have some DIY acoustical treatment. The best and most common way of doing this is to hang thick blanket on those reflective surfaces: walls, closets, windows, especially those behind the singer so that we can reduce the unwanted noise. And like I said, avoid those hard surfaces as possible, or you may not be able to accomplish what you want. And one more thing, bass frequencies are “infamous” for building up under your desks.
- What position you should never stand to record? In the middle of the room. Here frequencies are built up, waves pass by, and you would get “hit”
- “Then where should I stand now?” In my opinion, you should stand closer to the covered wall and further from the opposite wall. Just don’t be in the middle. Open your closets and let your clothes absorb the sound. Now there is less reflection that could be made.
- Make sure that you have eliminate as much as possible background noise. Turn off the AC, and the TV, the microwave, the fan, the washing machine, the microwave … Well technically anything that could “speak”, turn them all off. And keep your pets away from your mixing room, please.