Since the move to our much larger studio space we’ve been busy building what we feel is the coolest recording studio in town. Building a recording studio an education in itself; the process isn’t as straight forward as it may seem. Every space has its own acoustic qualities that can aid or hinder most recording studios. We have found that the trick is to take it slowly and build bit by bit, much like creating a great song. So far we have, of course, treated the live room to deaden the space. We’ve also sealed much of the space (2 more windows to go). It’s sounding pretty good so far.
In the control room we’ve added the obligatory diffusers. This is an exact science as you have to sit a lot of sessions to test each set of tiles before deciding whether they work. Did they dampen sufficiently the slight standing wave you can pick up from time to time? Is the low end coming over as it should or is it amplified by the corners of the room? This is where you can sometimes look a little daft, bending into some very strange positions trying to tell if the bass sounds the same as when you’re sitting in the optimum position.
Yes indeed recording studios take some setting up if you’re gonna get it right. But that’s half the fun. And nothing beats that feeling of satisfaction as when you play back the finished piece and it’s good.
Many of my clients are subjected to long periods of fiddling (if you’ll excuse the expression) around before a session – vocal, voice over, acoustic guitar etc – can start in ernest. Mostly they are very polite about it, but you can see the look of bewilderment in their eyes sometimes when I say something like “can you just move your head half a centimetre to the left”.
Any recording studio owner will tell you it’s an ongoing task that never ends, but that’s not such a bad thing.
Over the next few weeks we have a selection of interesting projects going on: voice overs, post audio, song recording, ADR, 5.1 surround sound mix. Each session will present the usual challenges and help us hone down the many parts that go to make our recording studio the unique place it is.
Of course, it’d be nothing without the clients.