How to Turn a Corner of Your Room into a Music Studio


Have you ever wanted your very own music studio at home? If your answer is yes, but you don’t know where to start, you’re in luck. I had that same problem when I was starting to build my bedroom studio. I had done a little research on what to buy and how to transform a small corner into a fully functional recording sanctuary.

First of all, you need to consider your budget. If you do not have any of the essential equipment, you will need a bigger budget. Secondly, determine which part of your room will be most suitable for your home studio project. And lastly, if you do not have enough space, you must figure out which items in your room you need to let go.

AMOUNT OF SPACE

First of all, you’re going to need a desk to place your essentials. The office you need is something that is ergonomically designed for your height when you are sitting down. Sitting down for hours in front of your computer may cause your body to fatigue. I know recording music is fun and you could do it for hours, but please don’t forget to take care of your body. Ergonomics is something most people do not consider.

To learn more about music studio ergonomics, click here.

A desk is going to take up most of the space. Once you have your office set up in your corner, that is pretty much all the space you will need for a recording setup in your bedroom corner. The extra space you will need is somewhere to record vocals. You can always set up a wall with an acoustic panel to face when recording vocals.

You will also need a comfortable chair cause music production, especially the mixing and mastering part could take hours of sitting down. Sitting down for hours is not fun on an uncomfortable chair.

If you already have a suitable desk and chair, that is perfect. All you need to get is the essential recording equipment. If you have a desk with unnecessary clutter that does not relate to any of the music production you will be doing, consider finding a different spot for them.

HELPFUL TIP: If you have a small bedroom, it is okay. Consider making boundaries on the bedroom side and the music studio side. This separation will help you get more productive when you are working on producing a new song.

SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO?

If you have a small bedroom, I bet you have tons of your belongings inside it. The hardest part is to throw out some of the things that have value to you. This step will probably be the hardest part of making a studio inside your bedroom.

You’re lucky if you do not have a lot of things like a minimalist. Your room will probably have less clutter to worry about when making room for studio equipment.

One useful technique I figured out is you can use your television as an extension to your monitor. That makes one less problem to worry about. If you have to re-arrange your room to create enough space for studio equipment, consider placing your television somewhere you can use it for recording and casual watching.

Free as much space as possible. A music studio might fit in the corner of your bedroom, but you still want some space to move around. Cluttered rooms can affect the thought process for most people. An optimized workspace can also optimize workflow.

Helpful tip: In saving space, you can always find a place in the house for most of your stuff. For stuff with a lot of sentimental value, you do not have to throw it out. You can always rent a storage unit for most of the things you can’t let go.

While writing that last paragraph, I thought about something. Now I am wondering if you can legally use a storage unit as a music studio. That seems like a good idea because it is much larger than most bedrooms and It has enough space. I’ll probably do some research on that topic and write about it in the future.

ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT

The most critical piece of equipment you will need is a computer or laptop. A computer alone can be a whole studio by itself when you combine your creativity to it. The essential equipment for space is a desk and chair, and everything else is just things you can add to improve the quality.

 Here is a list of products you can start with. I chose the most compact products that do not necessarily have a lower price tag, but equipment that is compact, and will surely fit in your small space. 

If you do not have a desk or chair to use, take a look at these products:

DESK AND CHAIR

  • FURINNO 14054BK/GYW

(Price: $40.19) AMAZON 

For people who like minimalistic types of furniture, this would be a good fit. It has a small upper deck for your monitors, and a bottom deck for your CPU if you have a desktop, and a small amplifier could fit in there as well. For the low price of 40 bucks, this is not a bad choice.

(Dimensions: 31.6 x 33.5 x 17.9 inches)

  • FURINNO ECON MULTI-PURPOSE DESK WITH BIN

(Price: $30.16) AMAZON

For a meager price, this desk seems to have it all, a bin for your unused gear, a middle deck on the bin for a CPU or an effects rack, and a top deck for monitors and an audio interface. That’s just the side of it. The main deck has the essential keyboard slider and top deck for the laptop or computer monitor. For a low price, I may question its durability.

(Dimensions: 42.9 x 15.75 x 34.1 inches)

  • CYRUS WORKSTATION

(Price: $169) AMAZON

With its attractive cherry finish and black accents, this slightly longer desk looks way more expensive for its actual price. It has a glass top, a sliding keyboard deck, a bottom deck, and an upper deck for your monitors. With the extra sliding deck, you will have more extra space for your midi keyboard.

(Dimensions: 48 x 26 x 36 inches)

  • AMAZONBASICS MID-BACK DESK OFFICE CHAIR w/ ARMRESTS

(Price: $64.99) AMAZON

This chair is contoured with mesh for breathability, and it has height adjustment and 225-lb weight capacity. It looks good and is pretty cheap for an office chair. It’s a good chair to work in or rock your back in.

(Dimensions 25.2 x 24 x 35.6 to 40.3 inches)

  • FURMAX OFFICE CHAIR MID-BACK

(Price $44.99) AMAZON

This chair has an ergonomic design that is reliable for lumbar support that provides a comfortable experience for sitting down for long periods. This chair is also BIFMA certified, reliable, and sturdy for doing hours of working on your tracks.

(Dimensions: 23.2 x 11 x 22.8)

  • OWLN ERGONOMIC HIGH BACK MESH OFFICE CHAIR

(Price: $99.99) AMAZON

This chair has features like adjustable armrests, a headrest, and a recliner. Yes, a recliner. Recording can be stressful at times, and having a nice chair is essential for your productivity. This chair is durable and weighs about 40 pounds. The price exceeds the maximum comfort you will get with this chair. You can get this chair in a variety of colors.

(Dimensions 29.5 x 25 x 13 inches)

ESSENTIAL RECORDING GEAR

LAPTOP

  • Apple MacBook Pro

(Price: $1,299)

If you want a smaller Mac Computer that is good for recording, the MacBook Pro is one of the best Apple laptops. The newer versions are much thinner than, the older models but still has the same powerful processor. The thinner versions, however, stripped-down CD drives and USB ports, which doesn’t affect the functions if you’re going to use the computer for recording.

Specifications:

  • 32GB RAM perfect for operating data-heavy recording software
  • AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20 graphics
  • The 15.4-inch screen that suitable for a laptop
  • 4TB maximum storage to store all of your recording files and stems
  • 4.2 lbs. light so it is easy to carry around

AUDIO INTERFACE

  • M-AUDIO M-TRACK 2×2

 (price: $99.99)

This device is a high-quality signal capturing audio interface. It is compact so; it won’t take a lot of space on your desk, and you can also use it for mobile recording. The low-noise feature is essential for getting the most out of your record.

Specifications:

  • 2 inputs
  • XLR input
  • Crystal power preamp
  • ¼” guitar input
  • 24-bit/kHz response
  • FOCUSRITE SCARLETT SOLO

(Price: $99.99)

This brand has been well-known throughout most professional music producers. It has low latency, a preamp, and outstanding qualities for its low price. The 24-bit sample rate is best for recording guitars and vocals.

  • 2 inputs
  • XLR preamp input
  • ¼” guitar input
  • Indicator lights for levels
  • Gain Control
  • 24-bit sample rate

MICROPHONE

  • MXL 990MIDNIGHT

(Price: $100)

This microphone is an excellent choice for recording vocals. The design is beautiful. It has a vintage look that would look good set up in your bedroom/music recording studio. It has a lot of good reviews based on its looks and performance.

  • AUDIO-TECHNICA AT2020 USB

(Price: $129)

Unlike the original Audio-Technica 2020, this one is connected via USB and does not require Phantom Power from an Audio Interface. If you don’t plan on recording any guitars, you can save a lot of money with this.

  • SENNHEISER MD 441-U

(Price: $900)

This dynamic microphone is an excellent versatile mic for recording and for singing live. People use dynamic microphones for recording louder audio like guitars, bass, drums, and piercing vocals.

This mic has excellent feedback rejection to make you sound cleaner live. The excellent pick-up of this mic can capture even your dynamic whispers and tones.

The five-position roll-up switch gives you numerous sound options. The five different modes add a lot of fun to this mic.

MONITORS

  • MACKIE CR5 5-INCH MONITORS:

(price: $229.99)

This set of monitors will look great for your small studio space. It has Bluetooth connectivity so you could eliminate the use of wires.  Furthermore, its 50W power of clear and articulate stereo audio allows you to get the best out of these monitors. These monitors are very compact and will not take a lot of space in your corner music studio.

  • PRESONUS SCEPTRE S8 STUDIO MONITORS

(Price: $1,199)

These monitors are not the most expensive, but they hold up against any monitors three times their price. They are not quite famous monitors, but they have good reviews.

The PreSonus’ sounds very pure and natural. It has a punchy bass that is suitable for small bedroom studios. These monitors might look different in large rooms, but for your bedroom, they won’t disappoint. The mid and high frequencies sound good as well.

Despite the minimalist aesthetic of these monitors, it has a very crisp and powerful sound that you can feel when you are listening. The highs and lows are easy to distinguish because of how clean these speakers sound.

HEADPHONES

  • AUDIO-TECHNICA ATH-M20X

(Price: $50)

These headphones are an excellent choice for monitoring your audio tracks. It has enhanced low-frequency performance so you can hear the lowest bass frequencies. The single-sided cable is convenient and won’t get in the way when working. The design is elegant and tasteful.

FLOORING

The flooring of your room will affect the sound of recording vocals and guitars through a microphone. Most beginner music producers do not consider this, but apparently, carpeting does have a subtle effect on the outcome of recording a track.

The flooring of your room will affect the sound of recording vocals and guitars through a microphone. Most beginner music producers do not consider this, but apparently, carpeting does have a subtle effect on the outcome of recording a track.

Being on the top floor can also affect the people underneath you. If you do not want any noise complaints, consider installing any floor treatment. Most bedroom music producers do not use acoustic drums. I guess it won’t be a problem for most of you.

The most common types of flooring in music studios are:

  • Hardwood Flooring
  • Vinyl or Tile Flooring
  • Corkwood Flooring
  • Laminate Flooring
  • Carpet Flooring

Laminate and Hardwood floors are the ideal surfaces for a music studio. Hardwood gives out a reflective sound that is warmer when you give it a listen. Laminate floors are a mixture of sound vibration absorption and diffusion. Each level varies in-room sound characteristics.

But I do not suggest that you should go through the hassle of spending time and money to replace your perfectly good carpet floor. You can improve the sound of carpet floors with the right acoustic treatment.

Helpful tip: Carpet flooring is better for soundproofing because of the layers of padding beneath the rug.

To learn more about flooring and how it affects the overall sound quality, click here.

ACOUSTIC TREATMENT

In a bedroom music studio, minimal acoustic treatment is required because of the size of the room. Please don’t neglect acoustic treatment because even the slightest adjustments can have the most significant impacts on the overall outcome of recording vocal tracks.

Acoustic treatment is the process of controlling the sound inside of a room. In bedroom music studios, the best treatment you can do is install a couple of foam panels on the wall where the singer will be facing while recording vocals.

The foam will absorb the sound instead of bouncing around randomly in the entire room, creating unnecessary fluttering echoes.

Here are some products you can purchase for improving the acoustics in your bedroom corner:

  • MIC ISOLATION SHEILD

(Price: $30- $50)

The ambient and reflected sound that comes from vibrations can distort the audio when recording vocal tracks. A mic shield can help block and filter unwanted sounds from blemishing your track so you can produce better quality audio whether your recording a podcast or vocal tracks. You can buy a foldable isolation shield if you want to save space when not recording vocals. 

  • BXI SOUND DIFFUSER

(Price: $120)

This large panel is a suitable diffuser panel you can install in your music studio. This high-quality wooden panel is made from anti-aging and corrosion-resistant materials. The designs and patterns of this diffuser are not only functional but also decorative as well. You can use this panel to remove acoustic defects such as flutters and echo. (Product Dimensions: 26″x 25.5″x 4.4)

  • ACOUSTIC FOAM PANELS 12 PACK

(Price $20)

This pack is excellent for setting up a better acoustic environment for your studio. You can install them in the vocal booth, and the control room where you will be monitoring your sound. Remember that the improving acoustics will not only improve your recording, but it will improve monitoring as well. (Product Dimensions: 12″x 12″ x 1″)

  • JBER ACOUSTIC WEDGE CORNER STUDIO FOAM

(Price $30)

This product is used for the corners where the wall meets the ceiling or floors. It can reduce unwanted noise and fluttering echo that will improve your music studio’s acoustics significantly. It has sound dampening that reduces waves and reverb. ( Product Dimensions: 16.9″x 12.4″x 2″)

  • NEW LEVEL BASS TRAPS

(Price: $27)

Bass traps are specially designed to absorb low bass frequencies. However, they can absorb medium to high rates as well. I would suggest that you purchase and install bass traps in your music studio first because of its all-around acoustic treatment qualities. It eliminates a whole lot of reverb and fluttering echoes. This tool is what you need if you want to use software to control the reverb in your music studio.

If you eliminate the reverb in your room, you can use software to emulate reverb from real recording studios. You can use this free software to try it out:

  • TAL AUDIO REVERB II

(FREE)

The TOGU AUDIO LINE or TAL Reverb II is one of the best reverbs you can download for free right now. You can sculpt your frequencies with its built-in EQ while creating a room reverb with the tone of your choice. For a free reverb software plugin, the TAL REVERB II exceeds all expectations.

SOUNDPROOFING

Bedroom music studios do not usually produce much loud noise, because most bedroom producers record guitars and instruments directly to an audio interface. While recording guitars or bass, you can monitor yourself with headphones to lessen noise.

What you can do is to seal any gaps in your room to rap the sound inside your room. Check the doors, windows, and fill the small holes with materials that are dense and have a lot of mass.

RELATED QUESTIONS

Non-Instrument Accessories you can Add

There are several accessories you can add to your bedroom studio that are not instruments. Some helpful accessories that you didn’t realize you needed:

  • POWERED USB HUB

Having a lot of gear that is powered by USB can be frustrating; you got your hard drives, midi, audio interface, etc. Sometimes the USB ports of your computer are not enough. You can connect all of your essential gear to your computer simultaneously without having to remove anything. Especially nowadays, when most of your equipment is USB powered, and you need to connect your hard drives.

  • POWER SURGE OR POWER STRIP

Out of all the stuff, that you didn’t realize you needed; a POWER STRIP is the most commonly overlooked. It powers up your equipment and also protects the gear by not potentially damaging power surges. Not only can you plug in your electronic devices to power them, but you can also set up your music studio anywhere in the room away from the wall plugs. A power strip acts as an extension cord and also safeguards your thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment from a short circuit.

  • CLIP-ON GUITAR TUNER

Another useful item for your bedroom music studio, this small CLIP-ON TUNER can help you tune your guitar without having to plug anything. Just clip it on the headstock, pluck  E-A-D-G-B-E, adjust the tuning machine heads and you’re all set! This tune will work on any string instrument, like a ukulele, bass, banjo, and even a violin. They come with batteries, but if you need to replace them, you’re going to need 1 CR2 battery.

  • GUITAR HANGER

Small but effective, These handy bedroom studio accessories can help you save a lot of space. Imagine the space you keep hanging your guitars instead of having a guitar stand, and I know you own more than one guitar am I right? Plus it can also be a decoration for your room/ studio.

How to Record Drums in the Bedroom

 Some bedrooms might have enough space to fit an electronic drum kit or even an acoustic drum kit. However, in small rooms, you might not have enough space to accommodate a full drum kit. Music producers sometimes use pre-made samples for their drum tracks, while more advance music producers edit drum tracks with the use of plugins and the Midi piano roll on your DAW.

You can use a Midi Drum pad or analog drum machines to record drums. With the pads on your keyboard midi controller, you can trigger drum samples to record. Here are some of the options you can choose from:

  • AKAI Professional MPD218

(Price: $99.99)

The Akai MPD is an ultra-portable midi drum pad. By connecting it to your DAW, you can assign drum samples to your pads from different VST plugins. The pads on this controller are thick and very responsive. There are three banks that you can switch out so that you have a total of 48 pads.

Key Features:

  • 18 fully assignable velocity-sensitive drum pads
  • Assign samples, drums, and effects to pads
  • 18 fully assignable potentiometers
  • MPC note repeat and full level controls
  • USB/ Midi connectivity
  • Compatible with mobile devices
  • KORG Volca Beats Analog Drum Machine

(Price: $150)

The Volca Beats is an analog type of drum machine that creates real analog sounds that resemble classic rhythm machines. The unique keyboard style of this drum machine can be either a trigger pad for samples or use it as a keyboard and press to play.

Key Features:

  • 16-step style sequencer
  • Built-in speaker
  • Optional battery power for on-the-go playing and mobile recording
  • 6 editable parts
  • One knob per function for more straightforward editing
  • Stutter function for repeating triggers in different styles
  • Roland Rhythm Composer TR-08

(Price $380)

The TR-08 is the ultra-light and compact version of the classic Roland TR-808 drum machine. This drum machine retains the sound, aesthetic, and overall character of the Roland TR-808, but in a smaller and compact build.

Key Features:

  • Hands-on control of tone, level, tuning and decay
  • Added effects like compressor, gain, tune and Pan for selected instruments
  • Programmable trigger keys
  • Battery operated
  • 10 separate outputs
  • USB output

Another option is a compact drum kit. Small drum kits do not have the same drum feel like an electronic drum kit, but it can do the job. You can always adjust and quantize your drum mistakes in your DAW.

  • ALESIS COMPACT KIT 7

(Price: $169)

The Compact 7 by Alesis is an all-around compact drum it that will surely fit in your corner bedroom music studio. It has 7 assignable pads plus the essential high-hat pedal control and a kick drum control pedal. It has some built-in presets. You can always connect it directly to your DAW if you want more drum sounds from plugins. This kit is ultra-portable, so you could throw it anywhere after using it. You won’t even notice this in your studio.

Key Features:

  • Seven pads, Two pedal controllers
  • Authentic drum response
  • 45 presets
  • 5 user banks
  • 265 voices
  • Seamless DAW integration
  • Battery power option for portability

If you do have a bigger space in your bedroom studio for full-sized e-drums here are some options:

  • ALESIS COMMAND X MESH HEAD

(Price: $799)

The Alesis Command X is a 9-piece mesh head e-drum kit. It has adjustable pads for a realistic feel.

The package includes:

  • Three tom pads
  • Four cymbal pads
  • One snare pad
  • One kick pad
  • LCD module
  • 50 built-in presets
  • 20 user presets
  • 600 different sounds
  • Line input
  • Headphone jack
  • USB and midi inputs
  • ROLAND V-DRUMS TD-1DMK

Roland is known for making revolutionary electric drum machines. The quality of the built-in drum sounds in a Roland is better than most of the virtual instrument plugins out there.

The TD-1DMK includes:

  • One snare pad with dual trigger
  • 3 PDX-6A toms
  • 1 KD- Kick drum
  • 3 CY-5 cymbals
  • One hi-hat control pedal
  • 15 quality drum presets with the Roland standard

Kick pedal not included in the package.

If you want a real drum set in your studio but do not have enough space, there are small kits you can buy. What I used to do in my bedroom studio, is fold the drums after using them to save space. I assemble them whenever we needed to use it.

Soundproofing and Acoustic Treatment (What’s the difference?)

One of the common mistakes beginner music producers make is differentiating acoustic treatment from soundproofing. These two ideas might work hand in hand, but they are two different concepts.

Soundproofing is the stopping sound from traveling outside a room. It is like sealing the noise inside the room and slapping a lot of foam on the walls will not help as you might think. The best way to soundproof a room is finding the gaps where sound waves might travel through and seal them wind heavy and dense materials.

Acoustic treatment, on the other hand, is the process of controlling the room’s overall tone. It is the process of increasing or decreasing the reverberation inside a bedroom with the use of insulators and diffusers such as wall panels and foam pads.

CONCLUSION

No matter the size of your space, you can transform it into a recording studio. Make sure you get the equipment you need. Get the right size of equipment that will not clutter the whole space. If you have a smaller space, do not purchase a lot of gear. A laptop can be your very own studio by itself, so you can literally set up a recording studio as long as you are comfortable in the space. With resources available in small sizes, the only limit is your creativity. Have fun building your bedroom corner studio!

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