It’s quarantine season due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and I’m sure that most of you are tired of staying at home with nothing to do. Well, if you are an active or aspiring voice actor then this article is just for you! With nowhere to go to it might seem discouraging at first to accelerate your progress in voice acting, however, that does not mean that it’s the end of the line at all.
A home recording studio is exactly what you need to make your voice acting dreams come true at these times! While it may be slightly pricey to begin with, it will surely bring out the best in you and at the same time if you’re planning to make it a business it might bring you some extra profits on the side. We are looking at around $2000 to $5000 of investment to the studio depending on what equipment you are planning to purchase.
Room Design and Sound-Proofing
So let’s start with the basics, a room! Of course you need to start off somewhere, a recording studio takes A LOT of space, and trust us on this. Mello Studio is currently functioning within two rooms and yet it feels weirdly cluttered… The recommended ratios of a recording studio room goes as follows: Hight > 1, Length > 1.6, Width > 1.25. For example, a room with a height of 10ft should have a length of 16ft and a width of 12.5ft. As a common rule of thumb, you should try to avoid cubic rooms that have the same length and width as that brings about a lot of space restrictions and reverberations as well as echoing that could hinder your sound quality.
As a recording studio you are actively trying your level best at sound-proofing your work area. After all, echoes and background noise are a voice actor’s worst nightmare. To help you in increasing your audio quality, make sure the room that you will be recording in has no windows or spaces where sound can escape. While setting up a room to do so, make sure the main recording room has a fully carpeted floor as well as insulation such as foam on the walls to help with eliminating the possibility of sound bouncing across the room. As a result, this will eliminate any echoes. After applying your sound-proofing options, do the ‘clap-test’ and listen to any echoes that might result and adjust the room depending on how much echoing there is. More echoing often means that there is a loss of sound-quality.
Now that you’re done with choosing a room for your own home recording studio, it’s important to think of the gear and expenses that you will have to invest into the studio. This includes microphones, computers, instruments, etc. We’re assuming that you want the best bang for your buck and in that case you would want durable equipment that also has great quality and at the same time, not too expensive. Some essential gear to start off with includes a microphone, a pop filter, an audio interface, and a recording and editing software. Other add-on gears would include a music stand to help with holding your clients scripts, headphones, and a hard drive to back up your important files. Going over to Sweetwater or Amazon is our recommendation for finding high quality and not-so-expensive products!
Of course, you might also be wondering what microphone would work best for you? Well, there really isn’t a definitive answer for that. Some mics work better with different sounds. Some mics such as a large diaphragm microphone work well with lower frequencies while the smaller diaphragm ones work better with higher frequencies. If you’re looking to do voice overs, a common choice would be a microphone that limits ambient noise, in that case you would need to find a cardioid mic. You can find a list of the best voice over mics here.
Now after finding the hardware that works best with your studio, you’d want to look for an audio recording software. A common free and efficient option is Audacity, while a high quality but more expensive option is Pro Tools (There is also a limited but free version called Pro Tools First). There are other options as well such as Adobe Audition for those familiar with Adobe’s style of software. Adobe is known for its ease of use and professional quality. Heading over to the aforementioned software’s websites will provide you with some more details on them to help you pick out what works best for you!
Congratulations! You’ve just set up your first recording studio at home. You now have your very own studio to help you with achieving your goals. Make sure to keep the studio clean at all times (especially during these times) and also keep maintaining it to make sure that your studio does not fall behind in quality. For more tips on how to run your studio make sure to visit Mello Studio, we have a lot more articles that could potentially help you out!