You can quickly transform your room into a recording studio with a few modifications and decent equipment. Focusing on audio treatment and eliminating outside noise sources are good starting points, and the sky is the limit from there.
I’m Donovan, and I’ve been a musician since I was a kid. I’ve worked in the music industry as a recording artist and producer and pursue this passion with most of my free time. I know through first-hand experience how to make a home studio.
This post will show you how to make a recording studio in your room. I’ll give you some solid information on all the basics alongside the key factors to consider as you start your build. My goal is to help you get your studio up and running quickly and easily.
Let’s dive in.
- Key Takeaways
- Music Studio Design Requirements
- How to Make a Recording Studio in Your Room
- Final Thoughts
- You don’t need to spend a ton of money or do a massive remodel to make a basic recording studio in your room.
- Focusing on a few simple things, such as sound treatment and external noise sources, will go a long way towards aiding you in home recording.
- Modern home studio equipment makes it pretty easy to get everything needed to make a decent studio without spending a lot of money.
- The sky is the limit for how involved you want a home studio to be, and you can create anything from a very basic recording room to a near-professional-level space.
Music Studio Design Requirements
There are many different ways to make a recording studio in your room. Modern audio equipment makes it easier than ever to get started with this, and you don’t need all that much experience or know-how to build a decent recording space.
That said, you can approach things from a basic level or go all out and attempt professional-level capabilities, all from home. There are many different home studios out there that have produced excellent recordings, and they all are a bit different.
But there are a few basic design requirements that everyone should consider before getting started with your build. Keeping these in mind will help you make decisions with your setup, allowing you to make better recordings.
I’ll break this down into a basic and more professional recording setup to give you an idea of what you might need and want, depending on your situation or experience.
Remember that these aren’t all hard requirements, as there is much room for customization and experimentation in studio design.
Basic Recording Studio Setup
A basic recording setup can be really simple, and you could technically get by with your cellphone and whatever instrument you play. But most people reading this want to get beyond that very beginner level.
Here is the equipment you should have for a basic recording setup that will still give you solid capabilities and more options. You don’t need to spend a ton of money, but getting the equipment below will go a long way and can be expanded upon later on.
- Laptop with digital audio workstation (DAW) of your preference
- Audio interface
- Reference monitors (speakers)
- At least one good microphone
- Studio headphones
In addition to all the basic equipment you need, a few primary considerations that will help transform a room in your house into a good space for recording.
- Monitor placement for ideal reference
- Audio treatment to absorb unwanted sound reflections
- Elimination of external noise sources
I’ll break these down in-depth in the section below to give you a better idea of how they impact recording.
Professional Recording Studio Setup
It’s also possible to achieve a more professional recording studio setup in your room, but you’ll need to get better equipment and more of it. You also might need to invest some money in a remodel of your room.
If you really want to get professional results, you need to dedicate an entire room as the recording studio. And you’ll likely want a control room and at least one recording room that are separate from one another.
Having a control room and a recording room allows you to live record musicians while also better isolating them as you do. It will also enable increased capabilities because you have more space for equipment and people.
Here is a short list of the equipment you’ll want for a professional studio setup:
- Powerful laptop or desktop computer with DAW of your choice
- Audio interface with at least 8 channels
- High-quality reference monitors (possibly two pairs for pro-reference)
- Many different microphones to match the recording situation
- Multiple studio headphones
- MIDI keyboard or other controllers
- Lots of instruments
- Cables, adapters, connectors, etc.
There is not one extensive list of gear you need, but that gives you a decent start to achieving professional results. As you get more experience, you’ll start to collect the gear you want, and it will likely differ from someone else.
In addition to all that equipment, you’ll want to incorporate any or all of these factors into your design:
- Room remodel for sound isolation and electrical (floating floors/walls, having enough outlets, etc.)
- Audio treatment with bass traps, absorption, acoustic foam, etc.
- One control room and at least one recording room.
How to Make a Recording Studio in Your Room
In this section, I’ll walk you through all the steps to making a recording studio in your room. I’ll keep these suggestions more on a basic level without going into details of a complete room remodel for professional-level studios.
If you want to go that route, there are entire books written about building a home studio. They go in-depth into the engineering and construction used to achieve world-class results. I recommend exploring that route if you’re a professional or desire to be one.
Step 1: Choose Your Room
The first step to making a recording studio in your room is deciding which room to turn into your recording space. You might only have one option for this, which makes the choice easy. But if you have multiple options, there are some considerations at play.
You don’t want to choose a room that is too large or too small. A medium-sized bedroom is often a good option for the average house. If it’s too large, you might get unwanted echo or reverb; if it’s too small, you won’t have enough space to operate.
Also, consider any external noise sources when you are picking a room. If one room is next to a loud kitchen or busy street, it’s not ideal. A basement room or bedroom away from the main living area will likely be quieter.
Ultimately, you can make any room work, but keeping those simple factors in mind will help your recordings sound better in the long run.
Step 2: Prep Recording Room
Once you have your room selected, it’s time to prep it. I recommend giving your new recording space a good clean before you start hauling in your recording equipment, furniture, instruments, and anything else you want in there.
Emptying the room and starting with a blank canvas is a good starting point. This way, you can easily move things in and out without tripping while also cleaning everything up more easily.
If you use a room with large furniture like a couch or a bed, you don’t necessarily need to remove them as they might be useful for audio treatment and sound deflections. But if the room is full of clutter, clean and organize before you build.
If you are going the professional route, this is the step where you’ll want to get your remodel done. Don’t bring in any expensive equipment until you have completed construction.
Step 3: Audio Treatment
Next up is audio treatment. This is where you take a good look at your room and make some design choices with acoustic reflections and sound waves in mind. Selecting your space is the first step in audio treatment, but a lot can be done from there.
Audio treatment can be as simple as putting a couch in the back of a room to act as a bass trap. You can also put up baffles or acoustic foam to help absorb unwanted reflections. Furniture (couches, chairs, pillows, etc.) can work as treatment material.
You can get really precise about audio treatment, and there is a science to it. But you don’t need to be an expert to get started. You just don’t want a completely empty room with flat walls in your control room because this will result in too many reflections.
Step 4: Set Up Control Space
Once your room is cleaned and treated, it’s time to start setting things up. This is when you’ll want to put in your workspace equipment, like a desk and chair, alongside all the other larger gear you’ll use for recording.
If you have a lot of equipment, sketch out a rough idea of where you want to place everything before you haul it into the room. That will help you stay organized and prevent you from setting things up and rearranging them multiple times.
Don’t plug in or connect any of your gear until you are sure it is in the desired position. Once you have cables running all over the place, it’s more difficult to make minor adjustments with positioning larger items.
Just bring in your main working desk, speakers, interface, and control surface for now. This is the heart of your recording space, and you’ll set up the rest of the room around it.
Step 5: Position Monitors
Now it’s time to position your monitors. You want to set them up so they are at your ear level as you sit in your main working location. You might want to consider using adjustable speaker stands so you can make easy adjustments.
The monitors should be slightly angled in so you can hear everything before reflections occur. A direct line from the speakers to your ears is ideal, and remember that this might be different than how you typically set up speakers for a stereo.
You can also position your subwoofer if you are using one. Getting this off the floor is a good idea so you don’t get too many low-end vibrations. You can use an acoustic foam platform or place it on a small low table.
Step 6: Set Up Recording Space
Setting up the rest of your recording space depends on how much equipment, gear, and anything else you have. Bring in mic stands, amps, guitars, or whatever else you want to include as part of your studio.
If you didn’t include these items in a rough design sketch, you should spend of few minutes thinking about where you want everything to be located before bringing it in and setting it up. A home studio can get cluttered quickly, so it’s best to stay organized if you can.
I always like to have a section or corner of the recording space with a somewhat different vibe than the rest of the room. If you can use a separate room for a recording space, that’s ideal. But you can still achieve this in just one room.
Step 7: Connect and Power Up
Once you have all your equipment, furniture, and anything else you want in your studio, it’s time to get them all connected and powered up. Try to stay organized with this because you don’t want too many exposed cables running over the floor.
Depending on how much equipment you have, it might be easy or complicated to stay organized. But just take things slowly, and it’s possible. You might not care about scattered cables, but I prefer a tidy studio.
It’s also a good idea to run power to one piece of equipment at a time. That enables you to check connections before everything is plugged in, which helps troubleshoot if you run into any issues.
Velcro cable wraps, snakes, gaff tape, and even string can be used to keep cables bundled together and out of the way.
Step 8: Press Record
At this point, you’re ready to rock. You can fire up your workstation and do a sample recording session to ensure everything is operational. Check for sound from your monitors and that any mic lines are giving a signal.
After a new setup, I wouldn’t dive into an important recording session on the first attempt. You will likely run into at least one minor issue that needs adjustment. Just approach this step as a test run to ensure your studio functions as you want it to.
Step 9: Make Adjustments as Needed
During the test recording session, you can make any adjustments as needed. This might be small things like moving your monitor position or switching out a bad cable. Pay attention to the details here so you don’t need to make more adjustments later.
You also might need to make a big adjustment, such as moving your desk or another large piece of furniture. And you might find that you’ll be tweaking the space for several days or weeks as you get used to the new setup.
Even if adjustments are needed, your new studio is essentially complete now. Have fun, and enjoy the process as you dive into all your recording projects!
Here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to making a recording studio in your room.
How do I set up a studio in my room?
The basic setup for a home studio in a small room is a laptop and monitors. You should think about where you place your speakers for the best audio and can add any equipment you want in addition to the basics.
How do I set up a room for recording audio?
When setting up a room for recording audio, you should eliminate external noise sources and treat the room for unwanted sound reverberations and echos. You also want to position your monitors so you hear your music projects accurately.
What do I need to record music in my room?
You can get by with just an instrument and your iPhone for basic recordings. But getting an audio interface and some decent monitors will help you create more music. It’s also a good idea to think about how you position your speakers for echo and reverb.
Are high ceilings good for recording?
High ceilings can be good for recording audio if you want a lot of reverb and echo, but they can also cause problems when you are trying to mix and edit audio. When mixing and mastering, you want a room without too many sound reflections.
What room is best to record music in?
For home studios, it’s best to choose a room that isn’t too big or too small. This will help you achieve a relatively neutral recording space regarding echoes and reverb. A bedroom can be a good control room, and a living room can be good for recording tracks.
Is it better to record music in a closet?
It’s not really better to record music in a closet unless you have it set up for sound isolation, like a vocal booth. You can certainly use a closet as a recording room, but it might be too small or cramped to record instruments or multiple musicians.
Setting up a home recording studio is relatively easy and a great way for anyone to begin making and recording music from home. With some decent equipment and a little attention to detail, you can be on your way to excellent home recordings quickly.
Walk through the steps mentioned in the post as you set up your studio. There isn’t one right or wrong way to go about it, but keeping all the tips and tricks in mind will help you get a recording room that is ideal for whatever projects you’re involved in.
Do you have any other tips or suggestions for making a recording studio? Let me know in the comments below.