If you’re passionate about music, the chances are you’ll do what it takes to record yourself and get yourself heard. The likes of SoundCloud and social media have made it to distribution is easier than ever, even without a record deal. Naturally, you need something to distribute, and it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.
With that said, you probably don’t want to go to all this effort if you’re not even sure whether you see yourself making much music going forward. If you’re still in the experimental phase, it may be worth booking a couple of hours in a studio to get a feel for it. It might even be worth doing this anyway, as if you see how a real studio works, it may inspire you to do more in the home version.
1. Decide If You Really Need a Bedroom Studio
Some might say that you can make music just as easily with a laptop as you can with a dedicated studio room. You need to consider whether you’re far enough along in your musical journey for a dedicated studio to be worthwhile. Would there be anything more than your laptop and a microphone in there anyway? Do you play multiple instruments? If you don’t require massive amounts of musical hardware, it may not be worth the added expense and giving up a room to create a studio when not having it does nothing to enhance your creative process.
2. Ensure the Room Is Ideal for Studio Space
It might not be the most exciting aspect of setting up a home studio, but you need to ensure that your chosen room is prepared for the basics. Most people visualise their studio in the smallest room in the house, but you need to check whether it can adequately fit the standard studio speaker setup. For the uninitiated, that’s three speakers set up in an equilateral triangle. If you can’t do this, you need to think of something else.
Also, you’re going to need a way to power all your equipment. Is the room packed with electrical sockets? There’ll be plenty to plug in, and you can’t rely solely on batteries if you tend to get into the creative flow and remain there for hours.
3. Consider What Furniture Fits
We won’t make this entire feature about space, but you need a desk and a chair at a minimum. That desk needs to be large enough to hold your favoured equipment, be that a laptop, keyboard or anything else that you use to make music. If you’re limited on space but flush on cash, you may wish to consider a bespoke desk built to your exacting specifications.
4. Does it Still Need to be a Bedroom?
The clue is in the name, and it depends on how many other rooms you have and how much decision-making power you hold in the house. For younger readers, you probably want a studio in your own bedroom – which is also where you sleep. For adults, you may want to check with other family members if they mind losing the spare room. It might discourage family members from staying over and you can make of that what you will.
5. Make it Personal
This is your creative space, and if you’re going to be a star, the chances are your process differs from everyone else’s. Draw inspiration from various sources, but don’t feel the need to copy an existing setup. There are so many options out there by way of colours, equipment and even gear unrelated to music, so make the most of it.
6. Design and Build with Admin in Mind
You probably didn’t decide on a bedroom studio with paperwork in mind. However, when you’ve got a room with a desk, chair and computer, it would be a shame not to use it for related tasks. If you can make space, you can do everything from stream your process on Twitch to file your accounts when your music starts selling.
7. Consider the Needs of Others
If you’ve reached the stage where a home bedroom studio is worthwhile, the last thing you need is for your family or neighbours to demand that you turn the noise down. Consider how the position of your chosen room will affect others, and take the necessary soundproofing steps if required. This is an added expense, but there’s nothing to break the creative mindset like someone banging on the front door and shouting that they’re trying to sleep!
8. Put Work Into Getting the Acoustics Right
The chances are that your bedroom wasn’t designed with sound quality in mind, and you may need to splash out on an acoustic solution. There are things that you can do yourself, kits you can buy and videos you can watch to get this right. However, it is a relatively high effort and expense, and you’ll need a keen ear to notice any significant difference.
9. Don’t Go All In
Many notable artists began their careers in a bedroom studio, especially in the hip-hop and EDM genres. However, we can all but guarantee you that their latest multi-platinum record wasn’t recorded there. If your music takes off, moving on to bigger and better things will be a high priority, so we wouldn’t suggest putting every last ounce of effort and all your savings into getting the bedroom studio right. It needs to be good enough, but not professional quality.
10. Don’t Fall Into the Complacency Trap
Some people find it immensely difficult to get themselves going when they work at home. If your music is already your career, you can’t forget to treat it like a job. Sure, musicians have the benefit of flexibility, and this won’t be a 9 to 5. Just ensure you don’t bypass the studio every morning and not return upstairs until you’ve binged the latest Netflix show.