Making a home studio sound professional is a goal of a lot of beginner producers, artists or engineers. In this post we will discuss how to make your home studio sound professional on the home studio budget with a few tips and tricks.
Proper Room Treatment
The reason why “room treatment” is number one on our list is because this is a tip that many people sadly over look! They think “all I need to do is have the best condenser microphone or the best studio monitors and I am good to go!” – WRONG.
The funny thing is, you can actually have the best condenser microphone or the best studio monitors but If your room is not treated properly, everything will sound like CRAP.
A common saying in the music industry is “you can’t polish a turd”.
If you are hearing this for the first time, this means that if the recording sounds terrible from the beginning, then there is no amount of processing you can do to the recording to make it sound great.
You are essentially putting glitter and all the fancy stuff on a turd. Don’t do this. Instead, take time to get your recording sounding correct with proper room treatment.
Before you go and purchase some acoustic panels, learn about your room and learn where its strengths and weaknesses is. What is the shape of the room? Is it a perfect square? is is rectangular?
Where are the speakers placed? Can I move it away from a corner or do I have no choice?
These are all questions you need to ask yourself before you decide what you need.
Check out this video on acoustic panel placement
Microphone selection is a key factor in getting a professional sound out of a budget studio because your microphone can determine if the recording will be good or not.
A lot of home producers and engineers have the mentality that “hmm, the vocal sounds weird…. ehh, ill fix it in mixing.” or “mastering will take care of it!”.
We will bring up the phrase from above…. “you cant polish a turd”! Remember this and you will make sure things sound good from the start!
So how can I make sure that I have the right microphone or if the microphone I have is quality? We created a post here that you can check out on the Best Microphones for Singing.
Although the guide is for singing, the same principles apply to any use case when it comes to recording.
You want to make sure the microphone you select is quality, professional, and proven to deliver the results.
Once you step up your mic game and take the microphone selection seriously, you will thank yourself years down the line when you hear the beautiful recordings from those microphones.
The Right Studio Monitors and Studio Headphones
The last important factor on how to make a home studio sound professional is your studio monitors and/or studio headphones.
These are important because this is how you hear your sounds!
Studio monitors allows you to hear how the music sounds in a real room with the sounds bouncing off the walls and such. Studio headphones allow you to listen to even finer detail of the recording. With these in mind, it’s important that the right studio monitors and studio headphones are selected.
What to look for in studio monitors
When selecting studio monitors, make sure they have:
- great bass response
- excellent highs
- a balanced sound
- a minimum driver size of 5 inches
What to look for in studio headphones
When selecting studio headphones, make sure they have:
- a great stereo image
- great bass response
- a balanced sound
- clean but balanced highs
- comfortable to wear for long periods of time
All these tips listed are ways that you can get that professional studio sound on a small budget. The great news is, these tips can seriously and dramatically transform your sound night and day. Even some of the big boys with the expensive studios don’t understand speaker selection or proper acoustic treatment.
With these factors in mind, you can be sure that you are on your way to great recordings and a professional sound.