You’ve stepped up your game and you got all the right equipment for recording professional quality podcasts, but you’re still recording from home. You’ve upgraded everything, and with each purchase your sound quality has climbed, but you are still dealing with sound reverberating off the walls of your living room. If you don’t have money to burn and your podcast isn’t bringing in serious cash-flow, moving into a professional studio is not an option. Your best option is to build a recording studio at home and it’s not as difficult as you think.
Sound moves as a wave. At the same time it moves from your mouth to the microphone, it is moving all around you. Sound will move until it hits an object, such as a wall and then it will bounce back. This is called reverberation. The recording can pick up this bounce back. The harder an object is, like a wall or door, the stronger the reverberation.
The Right Room
Start by selecting the best room for recording. It should be a small room. Many podcasts are recorded in closets. There is no shame in that. Closets are perfect actually. You may live at home and your bedroom is the only choice. Whether it be a home office, garage, bedroom or closet, you can make any room work. The less furniture and items in the room you have the easier it will be. Sound bounces off of hard surfaces, so you will have to work around everything in the room.
Take a look at the following options to give your room the basic acoustic treatment. All of the items described below can easily be found on Amazon or Google.
There are a lot of options for acoustic treatment for walls. Some are meant to be permanent and some are designed to be put up and taken down. There are foam and other types of panels. Sound blankets work well too. They are heavy blankets you can place over the walls and they reduce the reverberation of sound. Sound blankets are great if you can’t keep your room set up as a recording studio all the time, because they are easy to put up and take down. Some even come with rings which make them particularly easy to hang.
If you are on a serious budget, some people will recommend using simple moving blankets to line your studio. Moving and other blankets can be a little light and won’t be as helpful, but if your budget is tight, they are a place to start.
Since sound can bounce of any hard surface, you will want to cover up furnishings as well. Foam panels are great for this. Use some heavy double-sided tape to put them in place. Place foam panels over any hard surface not covered by the sound blankets. Cover shelfs and cabinets, tables and any surface sound can reverberate from. If this is your home office, use foam panels to cover your printer and mini-fridge. If this is your bedroom, use foam panels to cover your dresser and bed frame. Therefore, it is much easier if you are in small empty room. The less surfaces to worry about, the better.
Nooks and Crannies
When you are chasing the best sound quality possible, you can’t forget about the nooks and crannies. Some sounds, like bass, gets caught in the corners and then bounce back. To reduce these reverberations, you can use bass traps. Bass traps are angular foam pieces which are designed to fit into ninety-degree angles. These fit where the walls meet the ceiling and each other or where a desk or table meets the wall. These can also be put into place with heavy double-sided tape.
Basic acoustic treatments for your home podcast recording studio can be simple and affordable. They offer a great solution if you are recording from home and you want to raise your sound quality.