There was a time just a few decades back when building a private recording studio was prohibitively expensive for the vast majority of people out there. However, over the course of these three decades it’s the plummeting price on electronics that has led to a boom in musicians and artists building them.
A basic personal desktop computer for instance would have run you about $7000 back then and it had a fraction of capacity that your average $300 model has today. The same thing goes for speakers, musical instruments, and even things like the new ultra sound absorbent insulating materials.
Everything is cheaper and many things is better now. So step one for getting started on your own personal music studio is to come to terms with whether you can put it together where you want. Yes sound absorbent materials are a whole lot better than they used to be, but they still aren’t perfect.
So if you’re, say up on an upper floor of the multi-unit housing complex you might give it any thought and run a few sound tests to make sure that you aren’t going to be put out of business as soon as it’s done.
If it ends up bothering somebody try to keep in mind that running a commercial business like this in a residential dwelling means that an annoyed neighbour would have no trouble at all getting you shut down for code violations if you do plan on making money with it.
So then step two after you’ve cleared step one is to blow insulation into any of your existing exterior walls if they aren’t already insulated. In most states in the US insulation was not standard code in new construction up until around the mid-70s. So if you’re building is over 35 years old there’s a good chance that the walls are hollow. Cellulose insulation works best for blowing in and most hardware stores will lend you the blower for free when you buy the insulation.
Make sure to drill a hole at the top and bottom of each wall cavity so you can feed the installation in at the bottom and vent air out the top as it fills a cavity.
After that has all been done its time to build your interior walls and you’ll need to frame in a sound booth and a monitoring room for your mixing board. Then there’s also the option of a separate room for a drum set, and maybe a break room with a few chairs, a sofa, coffee table and perhaps a small refrigerator.
Make sure to use 2X6 framing lumber rather than 2X4s when you frame in these walls because you’ll be able to fit extra insulation into the larger cavities. Then after you frame in all the walls it’s time to buy a covering for them.
Most people tend to gravitate towards natural wood for its acoustic benefits, there are new materials now that are also recognized for the acoustic qualities. Materials that are far more affordable than wood because it really has taken any big jumps in price in recent years.
Then when it’s time to cover the floor common thick pile carpeting with good high-quality foam padding works great for eating sound in rooms where you’re looking to deaden it.