Mistakes To Avoid When Building Home Recording Studio

Building your home music production and recording studio will cost you money and time. You do not build your studio every day. For most of us, it is a big monetary investment. So getting it right is a must. You will need to research, learn and implement.

In this article, I am sharing 5 mistakes that most people make when building their home recording studio. Most ignored areas are money management and decision-making. So go through all of them and make sure you do not do these mistakes.

Mistakes To Avoid When Building And Setting Up A Home Recording / Music Production Studio

Here are the five common mistakes that people make while building and setting up their home recording studio:

  1. Starting Without A Clear Vision and Purpose
  2. Wrong Room Selection
  3. Ignoring Budget Planning
  4. Wrong Acoustic Treatment and Isolation
  5. Investing In Wrong Studio Equipment 

Starting Without A Clear Vision and Purpose

Why do you wish to build your home studio?

Before you even begin, spend a good amount of time figuring out the purpose of your studio. Have a vision. Answer the following questions to understand your vision.

  • What sort of music do you produce?
  • Will you create more electronic music, or will it require instruments to be tracked?
  • Will you use your studio as personal space, or will you collaborate with another artist?
  • Are you planning to produce and engineer for another artist at your studio?
  • Are you going to compose and write in your studio, or will your studio be used for tracking, mixing or mastering?
  • What is your vision for your music career?

Answering these questions will help you make wise decisions when you plan and build your studio. For, e.g., if you are an EDM producer, you will need to invest more in the control room and studio equipment. On the other hand, if you are a jazz musician planning to build a home studio, you will need a live room with ample instruments.

All your answers will benefit you in building your vision and building a better studio space. All studios grow with time, and having a clear vision will benefit a lot.

Wrong Room Selection

Room selection is crucial when building a recording and production studio space. Whether you are building a one room home studio design or more than one. Your room will play a very important role. 

Here are some tips to select a room for home recording and music production studio: - 

  1. Bigger rooms are easy to work with. They are easy to treat acoustically and sound better. So bigger the room the better. 
  2. Never use a square room. Complete symmetry is worst case scenario when it comes to acoustics. 
  3. Avoid low ceilings. You should prefer a room with high ceiling. This makes the room sound better.
  4. Workout the legal aspect of your building and town. Before you build, consider the legal implications of your area. Is it legal to build home studios in your region? Do you need any permits? Consider the legal aspects according to your area. 
  5. Evaluate Load Bearing Capacity. If you are going to acoustically treat and isolate your studio, you will need to work out the load-bearing capacity of your building. 

Poor Budget Planning 

Working out a budget is crucial for you to successfully build your home studio. Most home studios are ever-growing, but you need to decide a starting setup and build.

You do not want to overspend in one area and ignore others. There are two broad categories when building a studio budget:

  1. Studio Equipment and Furniture
  2. Acoustics and Real Estate

Studio Equipment And Furniture

You will need to figure out your studio workflow, signal flow and accordingly plan your studio equipment and furniture. Consider your most essential gear and prioritize spending on that.

Figure out the essentials to get started and what can be added later.  Allocating 25-35% of your total budget to studio equipment and furniture is usually a good start.

You do not want to spend a bigger chunk on studio equipment in initial building stages because it is easy to add and upgrade most equipment in later stages. Focus on quality essentials like audio interface, console, microphones, monitor, MIDI, etc. Equipment can always grow with time.

Acoustics and Real Estate

Acoustics and real estate should be your main consideration when building a studio.

Acoustic isolation I.e., soundproofing is the first most crucial aspect for your studio. If your studio is not acoustically isolated, you will not have a good time working. You will not be able to record at will. Your recording and music production process will be hampered by outside word. If this happens, the purpose of building a home recording studio gets defeated. After you have achieved a good isolated environment, you need to treat the room acoustically. Acoustically treating your room alters the way sound behaves inside your room. This is crucial to get better sounding recordings and judgment while monitoring music.

Most home studios are built in a bedroom, so real estate budget considerations are negligible. If you are building a small studio for business, you will need to consider your real estate expenses like leasing etc.

Allocating 60-75% of your budget to this category is a good starting point.

Acoustic Treatment and Isolation

Every music studio should have acoustic treatment and isolation. If you plan on doing soundproofing and acoustic treatment, do it right or just do not do it.

There is no middle ground when it comes to acoustic, especially sound isolation. Installing 5-6 acoustic foam panels will not treat your room. Acoustics is a major expense. So make sure you plan it properly.

If you are on low budget and have less experience, consider skipping acoustics and spend your money wisely on equipment

Even though skipping acoustic is not right. Your room will not be a true listening environment. But you will have the money saved to treat the room in the future.

You can acoustically treat your room in parts, but sound isolation needs to be done all at once. Only consider treatment when you have a good budget to get started. 

Investing in wrong studio equipment

Most beginner artists ignore equipment research. On the other hand, seasoned artists and producers are equipment geeks.

Equipment research is a crucial aspect for music producers and engineers. So make sure you understand the equipment and invest accordingly.

Before making any equipment purchase, research it. Try to examine how it will integrate in your studio. If you invest in wrong equipment, it will frustrate you and hamper your growth. 

To learn more about home recording studios equipment, checkout the home recording studio 101 equipment guides here.

Also Learn What Monitor Size Should you Buy For Your Home Studio by clicking the link.

So these are the most common mistakes that most people make when setting up and building their home recording and music production studio. If you have any other experiences to share and add to these, please do share in the comments below.

In the next article, learn about computer specifications to build music production PC.

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Udeeksh Sood on

Udeeksh is an Audio Engineer. He loves to produce music, research music gear, play guitar, go on treks and road trips.