Recording Studio Build
Recording studio construction and operation is an expensive business. People often ask when they come in to our Recording studio, Crash Symphony Productions, what was involved in getting it all happening. I thought that this article would be a good way to answer that question. Hopefully the answer will lend some perspective to those who are looking to build their own home studio or a larger operational space.
The hardest thing to attain is the real estate. You’ll need a space where you can comfortably alter the interior and install a large amount of acoustic treatment and equipment. I would say that this is the hardest part of any recording studio. Usually you need to OWN THE SPACE!
Next, you need to get the room analysed and treated. If you’re really serious, like we are in our recording studio, then you’ll want to get a specialist acoustics engineer to come and evaluate your space. These people charge like Spanish bulls and the guy we got was charging out at $500/hr! They let you know what needs to be done to alter the interior acoustic response of the room and also how to stop external noise getting into the room.
This requires purchasing the materials to alter the room. Now is when the money really starts to haemorrhage! If you’re going to operate as a professional recording studio, you’ll need to make sure that it looks really good, and does the job that it is supposed to do. To alter shapes and surfaces you’ll need to get lots of materials, like wood, specialised foams and sound panels.
In some situations, where isolation of the external world is super important, it requires initially building another room within the room that you already have, and mounting it on a kind of vibration-absorbing system. In our Recording studio, this wasn’t required. Basically, acoustic-altering materials and construction labour will cost a fortune, and take a lot of time.
The Computer. The Heart!
Once this is done, you will want to look at the computer. This can be anything from a laptop upwards. If you want to compete commercially, you’re going to need the latest super-computer. In our Recording studio, we deal with a lot of clients and very CPU-demanding projects. We spent a huge amount of money making our computer the fastest and most powerful available.
Then comes the hardware. This includes microphones, compressors, preamps, sound monitors, microphone stands, headphones and any musical instruments. That’s just to mention the obvious items! To put things in perspective, our U47w microphone (singular) cost AU$12000. So it’s very easy to drop a lot of money on each piece of Recording studio hardware.
Software in the Recording Studio
Lastly, you’ll need to buy the software. The software is markedly cheaper than the hardware, but it doesn’t last as long. As different programs and operating systems are updated they cease to function in conjunction with each other, so you’ll find yourself being forced to upgrade. That means spending more money.
As you can see, a Recording studio is a very expensive operation. Whether it is a home studio or a commercial recording studio, it is a big effort to make the whole thing work well. For artists, I strongly recommend being careful about getting too caught up in wanting to buy lots of gear. It can be a big distraction for your art and a big time-guzzler. In the long run, it is probably better off to let someone else deal with the operation of a large facility. For aspiring engineers who want their own studio… Buckle up, get a big bank loan and get ready to drop some coin!