Adventures In Audio
Does your studio look like a studio, or just another room?

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of Adventures In Audio.

Friday January 22, 2010

I think we all aspire to have a studio that really looks and feels like a 'proper' recording studio.

Except me... I've had one. It was very nice and I've moved on. But I still remember exactly how I felt when I wanted it, and how I felt when I eventually got it - FANTASTIC!

Most of us start out using any room that happens to be handy as a studio. So it's just any old room in the house or apartment that doesn't happen to have any other use. Or maybe it does have other uses and you only sometimes use it as a studio.

In the 'olden days' of recording, it was easy to make a room look like a studio. Just put the gear in there.

Believe me, when a room has got a huge great mixing console in the middle of it, it's a studio!

The rack of outboard effects helps too, and an old-fashioned analog 24-track tape recorder adds the final touch.

But those were the old days. We generally don't have that kind of equipment now. We have a computer and audio interface, a microphone, a keyboard and a couple of instruments...

And lots and lots of plug-ins!

But plug-ins don't make a room look like a studio. And if you want to record the best talent around, you really do need to make them feel that they are working in a pro environment.

So what is it these days that has replaced the old bulky equipment in making an ordinary room 'studio-y'?

Well I reckon it's acoustic treatment.

Going back to those 'old days' again... (Notice I didn't say 'good old days' because there was a lot that wasn't so good about them, mainly the cost of everything.)

In the old days of soundproofing and acoustic treatment, we would go down to the local builders' merchant and buy sheets of plasterboard (gypsum board), bales of mineral wool, and roam the roofing supplies section for suitable flexible materials to make low-frequency absorbers with.

Now, although plasterboard (gypsum board) is still very cost-effective for soundproofing, all manner of acoustic treatments are available off-the-shelf, and don't take any building expertise to set up.

And they look good, and studio-y, too!

So if your recording room doesn't look like a professional studio, it probably doesn't sound like one either.

And when you install your acoustic treatment you will kill two birds with one stone. Properly installed, your room will sound much better.

And it will look much more like a pro studio. You're bound to make better recordings right away!

If you would like to share photos of your studio with the world, please send them to

Don't forget to tell us who you are and what your studio is called. Any other information on what you do would be great too. We will publish as many responses as we can.

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