Looking to do some recording from the comfort of your home? The following guide explains the steps of how to turn your closet into a recording studio.
Step 1 — Choosing the Right Closet
First things first, you need to choose the right type of closet for the job. Most houses have a few closets to serve different purposes. What you’re looking for is a small enough closet that’s not in use.
For such a project, a lot of folks prefer to pick a closet that’s located under the stairs or on the top floor. Both setups have their advantages, so it’s up to you to decide.
For example, stair closets are typically pretty small and tucked inside of the house. For the most part, this means you won’t have to deal with much external noise.
However, the issue you may come across is the stairs themselves being noisy if anyone is going up or down.
On the other hand, an upstairs closet won’t give you as much hassle when it comes to sound compared to a closet downstairs.
This situation is similar to living in any sort of shared space or apartment. It’s quite easy to hear what’s going on upstairs, yet very hard to hear what’s happening downstairs.
The same goes for choosing a closet to turn into a recording studio. Picking a closet on the top floor will save you some money you’d otherwise spend on soundproofing materials downstairs.
Step 2 — Prepare the Closet
After settling on a closet to house your recording studio, you should start the process of preparing it. This involves clearing out the space before any building or soundproofing.
Start by removing any clutter in the closet. Also, if there are shelves or racks attached to the closet walls, be sure to take them down.
Your goal in this step is to end up with a completely clear room so you can comfortably do whatever you want inside. Decluttering the closet won’t just free up space for equipment, but it’ll also help you produce the clearest possible sound.
While you’re preparing the closet for the upcoming transformation, don’t forget to consider the possibility of adding lights. If your closet is already fitted with lighting solutions, this won’t be something you need to worry about.
However, if your closet isn’t so lucky, you should add lights beforehand since it can be tough to do that once all the soundproofing and equipment are set up. Addressing this issue early will save you a lot of hassle down the road.
Step 3 — Make the Closet Soundproof
Now that your closet is all prepped up with spatial adjustments, smooth out the wall surface so you can begin the process of soundproofing the room. There are various ways you can go about this step, here are the most common ones:
- Using a blanket — this can either be a packing blanket or a sound blanket that you can buy online or from your local hardware stores. This method involves a very easy simple setup and the blankets look very similar to ones meant for beds.
All you need to do is simply drape it over specific spots of the closet to reduce sound and boost the acoustics. A lot of people choose to drape at least one over the door to prevent most of the sounds from leaking in and out.
- Using egg crate foam — you can easily purchase egg crate-shaped foam from pretty much any department store for an affordable price. This solution can work either temporarily or permanently, depending on how you install it.
Some people will just stick egg crate foam in areas that produce more sound than others. These work well for a certain without professional setup, but to make it more permanent, you’ll need to attach the foam to the closet’s walls and ceiling.
- Using acoustic panels and sound foam — if you’re planning to record in your closet consistently, then why not consider a more serious soundproofing solution that’s meant to give you professional-grade performance?
This is where acoustic panels and sound foam come in. Both of these options are higher quality than the previous ones, and more pricey as well. This is why many people prefer using acoustic panels on small closets rather than full-size rooms as it costs less money.
Acoustic panels and muffling foam can effectively absorb sound and general diffusion. Although echo isn’t usually an issue in closets due to their small size, it can still cause a few problems when recording. As such, if you set up these solutions properly, you’ll notice a significant improvement in sound quality.
While you’re buying your chosen soundproofing method, make sure you also get the necessary nails, tacks, or adhesive to apply the solution to the closet’s door, walls, and ceiling.
If you’re working with a closet featuring hardwood floors, be sure to purchase a rug or place some carpet on the floor. You should cover as much surface area as possible for vocals, but if you have more “acoustic” needs, leave a little space visible.
Step 4 — Add Equipment and Run Tests
With your closet soundproofed, you can move on to adding your equipment. Here’s what you’ll probably need for the inside of your closet:
- A mic
- A mic stand
- A music stand
- A stool
- A pop shield
- Some headphones
- An XLR cable
When you place your equipment inside the closet, you need to make sure their positions allow them to reach the interface or mixer. You may require cable extensions to do that.
After you put everything in its spot, you should listen to your equipment inside the closet before finalizing the product. This gives you clues as to whether or not you need to do some modifications.
So don’t forget to run tests, record some samples, and listen carefully to the playback. Once you’re satisfied with how everything sounds, you can start recording right away!
There you have it, a simple guide on how to turn your closet into a recording studio. The task may seem complicated at first, but just do it one step at a time and you’ll be done before you know it!