Seeing pictures and videos of your favourite artists working in a music studio might influence you into thinking, you may need one to start making good music. When you think of your ideal studio, what do you imagine? An acoustically treated control room with a big mixing desk & a whole lot of gear?
While all of that may seem attractive, pause.
Before investing in anything, you should establish the actual need or its importance. After all, it’s not just the gear and acoustic-treatment that defines the quality of production! So here is our comprehensive guide to Music Studios.
What is a Studio?
Any space an artist uses to practice one’s art could be termed as a studio.
A Studio is one’s workspace that may or may not be acoustically treated. A dedicated space to set-up and store equipment; or a makeshift space where you are practising your art-form.
Often one may confuse the term STUDIO with a recording studio, especially for someone who is just starting out as a music producer.
A Professional Recording Studio, on the other hand, is a space that is acoustically treated to Record, Produce, Mix and Master audio. In addition, it has the necessary gear and audio equipment. It may have space separately: small to record a single instrument or a large space for a full orchestra.
So by definition, any space that you decide to use to produce music can be termed as your music studio. You may not necessarily need to acoustically treat the space.
So, do you really need a music studio to start producing music?
You can produce music anywhere but having a comfortable setting which inspires you to create, would be ideal. You could be in an open patio or a comfortable lounge chair and still produce good music. For any technical part of your production process, you may want a dedicated space, but if you just want to start producing music, just start; you don’t need a treated space to conceptualise your ideas in a DAW. Read our Ultimate guide to music production to get you started.
Artists have been known to produce music while travelling on flights, in hotel rooms when on tour and many even have made great music sitting on a deck chair by the pool. Use your mobile studio in your Laptop, namely your DAW and create your next Banger, then take it into a studio to finish it by mixing and mastering; or send it to your engineer to get that perfect sound.
Let’s get you familiarised with these 4 basic terms in Acoustics before we move forward: Reflection, Refraction, Absorption & Acoustics.
What does the term Acoustics mean?
The process of understanding how sound reacts or interacts within a specific enclosed environment is termed “Acoustics”. When sound interacts or comes in contact with any material it may either be absorbed, reflected or refracted. Hence the material with which the sound comes in contact is of utmost importance!
Study the science, read more on reflection, refraction and absorption: Acoustics of Sound and the Science behind it
Choosing the right workspace and equipment should depend on what you actually plan to do in the space. It’s easy to get carried away setting up your ideal music studio, with equipment that you think you may need.
The main factor to consider when setting up a music studio, is purpose; the rest in no specific order are:
- Space and Location
- Acoustics and Treatment
- Furniture Placement
- Gear and Equipment placement
What is a Bedroom Studio?
A Bed Room Studio: Is a workspace in your bedroom that can be used to produce music. Most Bedroom producers or amateur producers start here.
What is a Home Studio?
A Home Studio: Is a semi-pro or professional workspace for professionals-producer-performers to make music. You can choose to read go pro or stay semi-pro based on how much you want to invest and how much you actually earn through music.
What is a Professional Recording Studio?
A Professional Recording Studio: Is pro-level acoustically treated workspace, used for commercial purposes, dedicated to the business of music production, recording, mixing, mastering and/or the related.
To better understand, we have put Music Studios into 3 categories and set up how-to guides for the three.
– Bed Room Studio
– Home Studio
– Professional Recording Studio
Once you start producing; no matter what kind of studio setup you start with, it is important to allow your self to build up-to-the kind of workspace you will require based on the knowledge you have and work you are doing. Don’t directly jump into making an acoustically treated Pro-level recording studio as you may never need it. First, understood all the aspects of music production, figure if you will mix/master your own music and then set up the studio accordingly. Learn/know how to use the equipment and have the skill to provide quality work through it.
If you have decided that you want to invest in a dedicated workspace with acoustic treatment, then start small. Read the studio guides above to get you started. Start with a small manageable bedroom studio and work your way upwards. You don’t want to be stuck with a white elephant that no one can handle.
If you need help in figuring out how to produce music, join a course and get a mentor to guide you through the technicals. If you want our help, contact us.