We’re often answering vital questions on our Instagram to our readers, here’s the transcript of the very popular topic about home studios. Make sure to follow us on our IG so you can ask questions and we can answer them!
All questions were answered by our co-founder and synth geek Ashwin Baburao
A: The best recommendation is one that you try and rest for your particular room with the configuration. Start by choosing a spot that you’re more likely to be comfortable working in rather than starting with acoustics in mind. Then try switching your seat and moving the speakers a little at a time until you get a balanced sound that’s not too heavy or sparse on the low end. Use tracks that you know very well for a good reference.
Most important: start getting used to your room and understand it over time rather than constantly trying to “fix” your room acoustics.
- Kali Audio
- Focal Audio
- Adam Audio
- Barefoot Audio
Truth bomb: Just start with what you can afford, the quality of your ideas is not proportional to the output of your speakers.
How important is room treatment using acoustic foams for normal rooms?
The companies that sell you acoustic products always make it seem like they’re the most important thing in the world, especially if you’ve spent a lot on your monitors it only makes sense to spend on acoustics, so as a rule of thumb maybe don’t spend more than 25% of your monitoring cost on acoustic treatment. Just spend more time understanding your room than treatment
Pro tip: A room correction software like Sonarworks can be very helpful.
I wanna record my veena into Ableton, what recording equipment would you suggest??
We would highly recommend the Audient Evo 4 audio interface. Aside from its super high-quality recording converters and a very good price, it’s a super easy-to-use device and has the best value for money.
Suggestions for the best home studio setup?
Not sure what domain of suggestions you’re seeking. But if you say in general, make the space feel comfortable, a setting where you want to spend a lot of time. On that note, starting with a really good chair and lighting is a good idea
Studio monitor speakers or headphones?
Breakfast or dinner? You need both at different times of the day for different purposes, the same way headphones are great to find detail but uncomfortable in the long run, monitors are subject to room acoustics but can work for longer hours. It’s what you hear rather than what you’re getting from, so get the one that fits your budget and needs. Maybe you can always borrow headphones to check your mixes.
How to build a home studio?? Is it too expensive?
You can build a really nice one for under 30k
– audient Evo audio interface 11,900
– Arturia Microlab MIDI keyboard 7,250
– PreSonus Eris E3.5 monitors 11,990
Of course, you’d have to take into account the cost of your computer and DAW.
Can studio monitors be connected directly to the laptop or audio interface is necessary?
You can directly plug your computer’s built-in output as long as your monitors are active and not passive (it’s very rare that studio monitors require amplification).However, the audio interface of your computer may not produce the best quality of sound and is likely to add a load on your CPU.
Truth bomb: We can ascertain as producers, we’ve written, arranged, and mixed tracks with nothing more than the laptop and headphones
Do room calibration products like Sonarwroks really make a difference? Is it worth the money?
Yes, it makes a huge difference, especially with problematic rooms that have too many reflections or standing waves, but again there’s only so much software can fix. In fact, it will allow you to identify some basics issues like speaker distance and placement, allow you to correct all that, and then finally apply that room EQ
If it comes down to spending that money, suggest you use it on what you need the most.
What headphones + interface would you suggest around 20-25k?
- AKG K171 MK2
- Audio Technica ATH M40
- AIAIAI TMA2
- Beyerdynamic DT880
- Sennheiser HD2o6
- Sony MDR7506 Shure SH1560
- PreSonus Audiobox
- Native Instruments Komplete Audio
- Focusrite Scarlett
- Fluid Audio SRI2
- Behringer Uphoria
- Evo by Audient
- Audient ID14
Marshall Kilburn II speakers for a home studio. Are they recommended?
These are really good listening speakers for your room. Would definitely not recommend them for studio use since they’re first of all Bluetooth which is subject to a little audio degradation while beaming and secondly they will be highly colored to enhance a wide variety of music.
Can we achieve professional mix and mastering just with Ableton stock plugins?
Yes, you can! There are in fact plenty of racks available within Ableton and other DAW’s as well that have good combinations of EQ, Compressors, Limiters, etc. With a little bit of learning and over time, you surely can make masters that are good enough to test your track in clubs and other sound systems.
Recommend some good mics for home recording?
- Samson RS12
- Behringer SL8
- Audio Technica ATR1300x
- Prodipe TTI
- Tascam TM80
- Samson Meteor
- Zoom Shotgun
- Shure SM48
DIY Query: Glasswool or Rockwool for creating acoustic panels?
Rockwool is better suited for its density. Usually, 60kg/m3 is the standard for use in studios.
Does adding a sub help or open another can of worms?
Most often it can open up a can of hibernating worms from all the walls and the ground of your studio! It’s evident that the low frequency is the hardest range to tame in any room, subs also have to be paired correctly with the existing monitors for cross-over cuts, etc.
So, unless you really know you need a sub or you can test one out first, don’t jump on that.
What’s a good setup to have knobs for channel volume mixing and multiple instruments tuning with Ableton?
Would highly recommend the Allen & Heath Xone Ki (or the K2 with an audio interface).It has all kinds of knobs, faders, encoders, and buttons as well which will surely be very handy. But if you really just need knobs or faders then consider the Korg Nano series
Would 8″ or 5″ monitors be better for a 10×12 room size studio?
You’d rather go with the 8″ which mostly can deliver a slightly better low end and always run them at the right volume level for your room. This is often a very ignored fact of working at the right volume.
How to decide the right volume? I have KRK ROKIT
Start off by setting the minimum volume level where you feel you can hear everything, now as you turn that up slowly and walk around the room or shift around your seat you may start to notice anomalies in the sound, like the bass booming or phasing. It takes a little bit of patience and really critically listening and making notes to be sure. Just stick to working at the softest possible volume that you’re comfortable with and don’t keep changing the levels during a mix or project
Is there a possibility to mix a track perfectly in the bedroom studio (Non-Treated)
Yes, there is, we just answered a very similar question about mixing only using stock plugins, you may refer back to that. Short answer, yes you can just understand your room like you understand yourself!
Does the audio interface help in reducing CPU usage? I have Good specs but CPU usage goes mad, why?
Yes, an audio interface can take away the processing load from your CPU. Sometimes your DAW might still go crazy with certain plugins that oversample or have a very heavy interface or gigs of sample libraries.
I’ve been a DJ since 2001, having played at prestigious clubs, festivals and other dance music events, I head the DJ department at Beatworx. I’m a technology enthusiast, and love sharing my knowledge and experiences here.