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home recording studios in small spaces

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by mambo4, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    I just moved, and would like to transform a closet into a recording space -not a vocal booth but a tracking / monitoring station.

    I saw thread a long time ago (maybe here) where people showed off their home studio setups in small spaces. search is not turning it up.

    so if anyone has clever solutions to small home studio spaces, please share. :)
  2. adamaarts


    Apr 19, 2001
    Corona, CA
    Beta tester Source Audio, demos/reviews of many others
    Check YouTube , there's quite a few closet studio tours on there.

    I have the luxury of having a dedicated room for all my music needs. At our apartment I just had a desk setup in the living room and 2 basses on the wall.

    Work with what you got.
  3. It will probably sound terrible and probably too small to put enough treatment in there to make it sound decent. A good set of open ear headphones (like AKG K702s) would be the best way to monitor, and if you need to mic anything up move into a larger space in the house.
  4. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    In a closet type space you will probably have better results tracking via DI instead of a mic'd signal, especially if you're expecting the mic'd configuration to add spacial "room noise."
  5. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    Yeah I'm not think of a closet acoustic space for recording so much as fitting a rack, pc , amp, monitors, storage, mackie ect ect into a small space. No illusions about room sound.
  6. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    In this unusual situation you'd probably be better off monitoring with Quality, relatively flat, open back headphones.
  7. FerruleCat


    Mar 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    If I were doing this from scratch, I'd buy a Zoom R16, a couple of AT2020 condensers, an SM57, Sony MDR V6 cans and a pair of Yamaha HS80M monitors. I'm not sure how good the Zoom's onboard amp modeling is, but I'd give it a chance.
  8. Interceptor

    Interceptor Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2005
    Madison, WI
    Treat the heck out of every surface you can with the best products you can find. Get a grip on the math of absorption - you need all you can get. Massive overkill is almost enough. Don't overlook the ceiling. It can be turned into a big bass trap. Headphones are the ticket for getting the low frequency stuff smashed into order. Consider using low frequency restricted monitors like NS 10's or even Auratones.

    The biggest problem in a small space is how fast the first reflections get to you and mess up everything, that makes the absorptive demands on any treatment that much more important. Time and distance (path attenuation) are your friends in this - and that's what walls farther away get you. Since the distances are so tight, the best countermeasure is going HUGE on treatment.
  9. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    Ok, I'll take a start at this...seems that you were getting responses that didn't address that you want the closet to be your control room for the engineer. That is what I was getting out of it.
    1.Visual into any of the studio space(where the music is actually performed). Strictly audio is fine but there are lots of times whoever in the booth will be wondering, "*** is going on in there". A window into the main/largest space will help alot. But that causes a problem for...
    2.Your computer monitor. You'll want as much monitor as possible, so you can see and control your track efficiently. But a big monitor could very well block your window(above). And you need room for...
    3. Your mixer. Between a modest 16 track mixer like a PResonus 16.4.2 or an Allen & Heath ZED16 AND some room for using a computer mouse you are going to feel very cramped without at least 3.5 feet of width. And that would be super tight and probably lead to some work inefficiency. Between the monitor and board you will need a minimum of 2 feet of depth PLUS about 3.5 feet for a pull-out keyboard tray, your body and room to move your chair back. Other gear could be shelved above & below your work area but that will always be hard to get to and might lead to overheating if you don't ventilate properly.

    You'd need a closet with a minimum of 4 X6' of floor space....and that would be really claustriphobic and hard to work in. You'll need to bring in ventilation for you and the gear and placement of lights so you don't have shadowing issues might be tricky. On the lights I'd suggest a multitude of small, weak lights so you can spread them out to get away from the shadow issue - LEDs are a charm for that, the Chinese make all sorts of strings, webs and nets of LED lights that are cheap and product little heat.

    A manufactured, steel computer station might be your best bet, since the steel structural parts take up little room compared to say 2X4s and one with shelves above and below might accommodate all your gear. I have something like that in my home studio but I actually have lots of room and just wanted to use the computer stand. :)

    Oh, consider active-powered speakers wherever possible, since that will spare you the space of dedicated power amps.

    Hope this helped or gets the ball rolling.