Your Guide to Setting Up a Home Recording Studio
If you’re reading this guide, one thing may be for certain: you are drawn to the attractive and exciting benefits that can come with working as a voiceover artist from home. What can be an extremely lucrative career will not be an easy one to start. As with any career, there are logistical and financial elements to consider.
Our friend Gary Terzza is renowned in the voiceover industry and he has helped countless professionals harness their talent and get the most out of their career. Here, he has offered his top tips on setting up a recording studio from home. Check out just some of the basic steps and equipment you must consider below.
There are of course many microphones on the market. If you are just starting out in the industry, you may have financial considerations and opt to record on your phone, laptop or tablet. But if you want to really make a go of establishing your home recording studio, investing in a quality microphone is a great place to start.
Gary recommends using something called a condenser microphone. These capture a larger frequency range and have a good transient response, which is the ability to reproduce the "speed" of an instrument or voice. These will help pick up a lot of notes in your voice, including higher frequencies, mid range and notes with more bass.
There are two sorts of condenser microphones: an XLR and USB. If budget is a determining factor, a USB is a good place to start. They can be a cheap and cheerful, plug and play option. However, they do tend to be noisy and emit white noise, not possessing the detail a standard XLR has. An XLR is the preferred microphone type used in professional studios. These give you better quality recordings and less internal noise. They cannot connect directly to a laptop, so you will have to purchase an interface that powers the microphone. Companies to consider are RØDE, Focusrite interface, Steinberg, Audient and more.
You have the gear, but what is next? There is no use investing in high-quality equipment and recording in a subpar location. Recording in a room (such as a kitchen or bathroom) with high reverberation levels will do you a disservice. It is optimal to record in a space with soft furnishings that absorb sound. Important furnishings to consider are: acoustic foams, duvets, blankets, pillows and curtains. Surge curtains are thick and, although at a high price point, will make your recordings sound intimate.
What headphones are you planning on using? Investing in a great pair will allow you to monitor your recordings and listen to them live. Not to mention they must fit snuggle over your ears. Opt for headphones that are encased or enclosed, otherwise you will get unwanted feedback from the microphone.
It is also wise to consider purchasing a pop shield or pop filter - these stop plosive consonants. They help filter out and diffuse the air, so you don’t get unattractive B and P sounds.
Treat this as your basic introduction to the equipment you will need for setting up your recording studio, whether you are using it for fun, to create a voicereel or complete professional jobs. We post hundreds of incredible jobs for voiceover artists on our platform each month, and you could be one of our talented members who makes incredible steps in this lucrative career. Good luck and happy recording!