1. Good soundproofing is pretty simple: If you can keep your sounds inside the space, there’s a good chance that outside noise won’t find its way to your mics.
2. If you can, avoid parallel walls: Flutter echoes and other anomalies are a bitch to eliminate!
3. Hire a competent electrician: This isn’t an area where you want any surprises. And double check for ground loops.
4. Determine where sound will bounce off the walls and ceiling: Make sure to add absorbent material there to prevent splash back into the mix position.
5. Spend dollars on good mics and DI boxes: Remember, “Garbage In/Garbage Out!”
6. A-to-D and D-to-A converters have personality: Listen to a bunch and go with what sounds best; no ringing, harshness and other funnies; trust your ears.
7. Borrow a number of monitor loudspeakers: Listen in your studio to commercial CDs; neutrality is the target.
8. Don’t be surprised if mixes sound different at the end of a tracking or mix session than they did at the beginning: It’s called ear fatigue, especially as you start jacking up playback levels. Start again fresh in the morning.
9. Always lay down a guide vocal no matter how basic: Overdubs are so much easier if you know where the song is going.
10. Subtractive EQ works just as well as additive: Try backing off frequencies around the ones you would normally boost; the results will surprise you.
11. And, finally: Bucks spent on having the finished room measured by an accredited acoustician is money well spent. It sounds great . . . but does it translate to other rooms?
Need to know more? Check out an AES Workshop that covers the important facts — not myths — of outfitting a studio in a spare bedroom, a garage, or a temporary environment.
When: Saturday, November 19, 9am – 6pm
Where: Beverly Garland Holiday Inn, Vineland Avenue, North Hollywood, CA.