I love home recording (for the record, that’s not my studio in the photo). I don’t claim to be any good at it, but that doesn’t make it any cheaper. Here are some tips that may help when money is short…
DIY Pop Filter
A pop filter can mean the difference between a hit or a hiss. Good mic technique is important, especially for a harsh or aggressive style such as metal or rap, but a single hard consonant can ruin an otherwise flawless take. Luckily, with a wire coat hanger, a nylon stocking and a clip or clamp your plosives will go “un-ploded”.
Re-work the wire coat hanger into a circle, leaving length at the base to clip onto the mic stand. Wrap the stocking in around the circle and position it in front of the mic. Presto!
If you’re putting together a new home studio on a shoestring, installing drywalls, fancy insulation and dampening panels are probably beyond your budget – but acoustical sealant (or caulk) might help plug initial sound leaks in your space. It’s cheap and it’s a great start.
It’s time to start collecting. Anything from corrugated cardboard and egg boxes (the two dozen kind cover a lot of surface area), to rolls of foam – from wherever you can get ’em.
Make a day of it. Scout around thrift shops, car boot sales and auctions in your area and you’ll likely find large old blankets, carpets and heavy curtains. These are great for controlling acoustics [in the high-end], and nothing says cosy studio like Persian-style rugs.
Sometimes soundproofing an entire room just isn’t feasible, a cupboard (with clothes still inside) is often more than adequate for recording vocals and other acoustic instruments. Shift those heavy coats aside, but don’t dare take them out.
Those are my three DIY studio hacks off the top of my head, what are yours?