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My workspace up until now has been putting my laptop on my dresser drawer, an SM57 w/ boom arm, and a MCA SP1 condenser mic balanced within one of the dressers.

My aim is to set something up something cheap and basic, yet that can provide professional results.

I only really need to record voice, acoustic guitar, and plugged guitars (bass, electric guitar).

Looking for tips on how to best utilize my space to create professional recordings.

Can anyone point me in the right direction to get started? - like what might be the best way to arrange my room for recording music? Where to put sound deadening panels? Best way to setup a vocal booth in my closet?

My plan currently is to:

Build a desk, to go right next to the closet. There's about 73 inches (185cm) from the closet to the bed, so I was thinking of using most of that space for a desk (~70 inch desk).

Rig up some sort of vocal booth in the closet. Use hanging clothes as sound insulation, and perhaps put egg cartons on the walls all around the hanging clothes. Open to suggestions if there is a better solution.

Not sure what else to do in the room to ensure good results. Any suggestions?

Here are pics of the space:

Alternate bed positioning:


paulears Fri, 05/05/2023 - 07:29

It was going well till you said "egg cartons". That's a kind of studio old wives tale. They do vert little bar soak up the very Hugh frequencies and most nowadays don't even do that very well.


Stand in your room and clap your hands. That simple technique will enable you to hear how the room acoustics work. Try it in the kitchen, bathroom and living areas, and things like large wardrobes. One thing to determine is is this permanent or temporary? A couple of boom mic stands in a T shape with a simple duvet hung over them can work remarkably well - but of course look rotten. Small cupboard type spaces sound exactly like they are - small and boxy. 


What monitor speaker have you got and what do they sound like. If you don't have any and use headphones - are these truthful recording friendly types or flattering hifi ones? 


The upshot is that with your two mics, you need decent headphones or monitors and then you will hear your room, and how moving the mics and adding absorption change it.

QuestionAsker Fri, 05/05/2023 - 21:35

In reply to by paulears

paulears wrote:
It was going well till you said "egg cartons". That's a kind of studio old wives tale. They do vert little bar soak up the very Hugh frequencies and most nowadays don't even do that very well.

Thanks Paul - I now realize egg cartons are a bad idea. Probably better as they don't look too good either. 

There is some reverb in my room - indeed in all of my apartment. 

One suggestion I got, which seems like it could be a good solution, is hanging a duvet against the closet wall, and singing into a pop filter isolation ball, with my back to the closet wall (+ duvet). I would be facing the sliding glass door that way (which has a busy street beyond it). 

Do you think that would be a good solution? 

Boswell Wed, 05/17/2023 - 05:35

You crucially do not say how many sound sources will be concurrently active. For example, are you intending to sing and play acoustic guitar at the same time? With a poor room acoustic, it would be better to lay down the tracks one by one, making sure you set up the microphone at a markedly different position in the room for each acoustic track so the room reflections do not reinforce.

When I've been asked to see if I can sort out mixes done from home-recorded tracks, I've often had to say that these ones can't be mixed to any reasonable standard because the mixing aspect was not given any thought at the recording stage.

I've sometimes used the original recordings to make scratch mixes in a "music minus one" fashion, i.e. each mix with a track missing. I then send these back to the performer(s) and tell them to re-record a track at a time, using the scratch mix that has the present instrument missing as a headphone cue, and with the new instrument or voice live in the phones. Doing it this way gets you separate tracks with much reduced bleed from others, and, if you put a bit of thought into your microphone placement, you end up with tracks that are much more mixable.

Good luck!