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Studio SOS: 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Setting Up a Home Studio

By • Apr 20th, 2021 • Category: new

It’s no secret that many people with a passion for music want to record their own music and songs at home. The technology is now affordable and easy to set up for any independent artist that wants to record a semi-professional album at home.

What’s more, COVID-19 has made it difficult to attend formal studio sessions, with some artists even resorting to recording segments remotely. However, a home recording studio will give you the necessary tools you need to produce excellent results.

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The only downside to setting up a home studio, of course, is that some independent artists that have never done such a thing before could end up making some pretty spectacular mistakes. Those errors could end up costing a lot of time and money!

If you’re planning on setting up a home studio soon and you want to make sure you get everything done right the first time around, the following are some mistakes you need to avoid:

1. Spending Too Much Money on Sound Monitors

Many home studio builders will look to purchase the best equipment for their needs that they can afford. Some people believe it makes sense to invest in high-end studio monitors. However, all such an action will do is lead to frustration and a waste of your money.

That’s because your music might sound awesome on your high-end sound monitors but have a lacklustre feel elsewhere. That’s why it makes more sense to buy some cheaper balanced speakers.

2. Buying the Wrong Loops and Sound Effects

Part of your home studio setup will involve building a suitable DAW (digital audio workstation). Whether you use a PC or Mac, one thing’s for sure: you will buy some recording studio software along with some loops and sounds effects to use on it.

The trouble that some first-time home studio builders have is they end up buying the wrong products. Before you spend any money, conduct plenty of research into the right guitar loops, drum effects, and other add-ons that you’ll need for your music.

3. Forgetting to Sound-Proof Your Studio

It doesn’t matter whether you’re using a spare room in your house or a purpose-built outdoor building in your garden as a home studio. What matters is that you’ve sound-proofed it before you start using it!

Let’s face it: the last thing you want to happen is to hear your neighbour’s kids screaming or someone mowing the lawn and for such sounds to make their way onto your track recordings. Sound-proofing diminishes the likelihood of such an annoyance from happening.

4. Using Inferior Cables

You’ve probably spent a few grand on your DAW, mixing equipment, sound-proofing, and other bits and pieces for your home studio. But are you letting yourself down by skimping on the audio cables for your setup?

It’s crucial to use audio cables that won’t cause interference or loss of sound quality. You might have high-end equipment, but if your cables aren’t fit for purpose, all your work will have been in vain. Be sure to do plenty of research on the various options available.

5. Incorrect Placement of Sound Monitors

From the first point in this list, you already know that buying the right balanced sound monitors is a wise move for your home studio. However, are you aware that the placement of your sound monitors is also important?
If you stick your sound monitors against a wall, the surface will cause the sound to bounce back and result in incorrect sound perception. To avoid that problem, place them at least one-third of the length of your room away from the wall.

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6. Building a Noisy Computer

It’s a well-known fact that PC towers are significantly cheaper to purchase than Mac Pros. You can literally build a PC with a similar spec to the latest Mac Pro and only pay a fraction of the cost.

If you’re building your PC yourself, you should invest in a silent cooling system for it. Motherboard and case fans are generally noisy, even if you opt for high-end components. One way around the problem is by water-cooling your PC’s CPU instead of using a fan.

7. Building a Slow Computer

Lastly, if you’re building a PC for your home studio, it makes sense to invest in components that make it run at lightning speed. Otherwise, you could be waiting for ages for sound tracks to get processed in your DAW software!

Consider using SSD (solid-state drives) instead of hard drives for your storage and buying the maximum RAM possible for your motherboard. Also, consider investing in a dedicated graphics card to take processing strain away from your CPU.

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