I’m guessing you’re probably reading this blog post for either of the two reasons:
It’s either you’re finalizing on the process of setting up your first home studio, and you just don’t want to test the waters – you want to get it right from the start.
Or you have an established home studio, but everything seems to be in a mess – you’re not pleased with the sound coming out from your recordings, and you want to fix that ASAP!
Well, the good news is that you’re in the right place. In this post, we are going to show you the three serious mistakes you should avoid when setting up your studio monitors and how to fix them.
Without further ado, let’s look at the:
3 Serious Mistakes To Avoid When Setting Up Your Home Studio
1. Purchasing Over-Hyped Monitors
You may be fast to think that studio monitors that improve the sound of your music are the best, but you’ll be disappointed when you hear your track sounds from outside – you may feel like biting the bullet.
On the contrary, your objective is to get a flat frequency response like that of Lucia that’ll recreate your music as accurately as possible.
But listen to this: Some studio monitors are designed to enhance your music to sound better; which make it difficult to judge whether your music has a low-end or high-end. Avoid such studio monitors.
If you had already bought such a studio monitor, don’t fret, you can still rectify that by lowering the end to make your track weaker and thin – if you’re listening from outside your studio.
If you were in the process of setting up your home studio monitor, consider purchasing a more balanced pair rather than an over-hyped monitor, then spend some time to habituate yourself to the way your new device sound in your home studio.
2. Being Tempted to Place Your Monitors Against the Wall
The chances are that you’re going to turn your minimalistic room into a home studio and you’ll probably be tempted to create some space to make room for your monitors; placing them against the wall, or even worse, in one of the corners of your room.
But it’s not wise to position your monitors next to a reflective surface because doing so will make the sound bounce back. In a nutshell, when your studio monitors are too close to the wall, they become less effective.
Besides, situating your studio monitors against the wall can influence your decisions about the mix. Therefore, position your monitors some few feet from the wall, for example, a third length from the walls.
3. No Acoustic Treatment
This is where things get interesting. Did you know that the main difference that lies between a home studio and a pro studio is how the room you’re using for your audio activities is the design?
Pro studios are designed professionally to match the needs of a studio; from high ceilings to no parallel walls, acousticians make sure they have a design a room that will match the requirements of a professional studio.
Let’s be honest; it’s not going to be a walk in the park – “you’re going to require more than egg cartons” on your studio walls to get the professional sound records that appeal to you.
You’ll need professional acoustic treatment to solve some of the problems in your room, for example, you’ll not require carpets on your studio walls, you’ll want to do away with any foam on the ceiling, and probably eliminate any blankets draped near your studio. Don’t test the waters – go for materials like rock wool, mineral wool or fiberglass.
Usually, most acoustic problems result in bass frequencies that are trapped from your studio corners – though you can solve this. Position the bass traps along the edges of your room; and continue positioning these bass traps in all the eight corners of your studio room – from the floor to the ceiling, until you can feel that the low-end is perfect.
You’re trying to make a pro studio here, so you need everything to be perfect. So once you have solved the low-end problem, the next thing is to give your full attention to the reflection points. The reason why you should address this is that music bounces back off the walls from the monitors – which is one of the causes of acoustic problems such as comb filtering and flutter echo.
Identifying the reflection points isn’t going to be easy, and as such, you are going to require some help. Get a friend to help you hold a mirror against any of the walls while you sit in the sweet spot. Let your friend rotate the mirror across the wall and if they see a reflection of your studio monitors, ask him or her to stop. The last step is to mark these points and treat them acoustically.
Setting up your studios as you can see isn’t a walk in the park, but with professional guidance, you can get things rolling in a couple of hours.
Now that you are aware of the most severe mistakes people make when setting up their studio monitors, you can now avoid them by implementing the suggestions.