Creating music is a truly enriching experience that can enhance your creativity, improve your state of mind and provide you with other numerous benefits. And the recording process is the final stage that enables you to share your hard work with the world. However, this final step can be extremely challenging if you don’t have an appropriate environment to work in or can’t find a like-minded individual who can record your music. Thus, it’s no wonder that a personal recording studio is a dream of musicians all over the world. And if you have an empty garage, you can make yours come true.
Consider your budget
Transforming your garage into a recording studio can be quite an investment, especially if you’re planning to become a professional music producer and record other people’s music, as well. Therefore, it’s always advisable to start with your needs, plans and, of course, your budget. You should consider everything from remodelling costs and building materials to music equipment and instruments. Nonetheless, the bigger the studio, the higher the price, so make sure that you create a budget and undertake a remodel that you can afford.
Make some room
Your garage will be your recording studio and not a storage room, so make sure to remove everything you don’t need. A lot of work is ahead of you, and you’ll need space for both the remodelling part and the equipment and the finishing touches. You can organise a yard sale for the garage items that you don’t need or donate your tools and other belongings.
Create a floor plan
Having cleared out your garage from everything, you can start planning your recording studio and its layout. Creating a functional floor plan is the first step that will enable you to assess your space and consider different aspects such as ventilation, the size and shape of the room, etc. You can draw a floor plan on a piece of paper along with all the necessary measurements. The shape of the room is actually quite important for a recording studio because it can affect the sound. Typically, a large garage that isn’t a perfect rectangle or square, and without a lot of design curves, will provide you with the best acoustics.
Soundproofing your garage is one of the essential aspects of designing a recording studio. You need to block off the outside noise while keeping your music inside. You also need to make sure that your recording studio doesn’t reflect the sound or make it murky, dull or too sharp. Firstly, you should assess your garage acoustics and implement effective environmental noise control solutions that will help you eliminate any noise problems you may encounter. Furthermore, you should seal unnecessary doors, or soundproof them using sheet block, a special vinyl material that will work as a sound barrier. You can also introduce different design elements to prevent sound from bouncing around the studio. For instance, furnishing your studio with drapery, bookshelves, plush rugs, couches and wall decorations will create great sound absorption.
Light it appropriately
Lighting, both natural and artificial, is another important aspect to consider when transforming your garage into a recording studio. Not only will proper lighting create a specific ambience, but it may also affect your creativity. Thus, it’s important that you maximise natural lighting in your recording studio by installing skylights or solar tubes. Of course, if you install skylights or windows, make sure to soundproof them. A double-pane window offers better sound insulation, so it’s a better option for a recording studio. As for artificial lighting, you should install a flexible solution, such as dimmers, that will enable you to adjust the lights depending on your needs.
Install proper ventilation
Since you need to seal all the doors and windows to ensure the best acoustics in your recording studio, you may find it to be a bit stuffy. In addition, without proper ventilation, high moisture levels may damage your equipment. Therefore, a high-quality ventilation system is of the utmost importance for your studio. However, you need to insulate your vents, as well, so you should install an “S” acoustic box insulated with acoustic foam.
Don’t forget the equipment
Once you’ve converted your garage into a recording studio, you need to consider the equipment you need. Since music equipment can be on the expensive side, you should consider your needs, the type of music you’ll record, whether you’ll work with other people, etc. Nonetheless, some of the essential equipment units include a computer, microphones, a digital audio workstation (DAW), studio monitors, a drum machine as a replacement for drums, instruments, etc. Another cost to factor in is that of computer networking for the space. Equipment like servers, media storage, and switch panels can also come with a price.
Designing a recording studio in your garage can be challenging and pricey, but it will provide you with your own space where you can create the music you love.