Whether you’re an audiobook recorder, voiceover artist, streamer, or any other type of spoken word artist, it’s critical to have resolutions for the numerous issues that recording from home presents. We all want to produce outcomes that are so excellent and polished that no one can know they were recorded in our bedrooms.
Previously, starting a voiceover studio was a costly endeavor. To have quality recording equipment back in the day, you’d need tens of thousands of dollars.
Today, the situation is vastly different. With just a portion of that, you can begin your voice-acting career. If you’re on a tight budget, you’re undoubtedly thinking about where to put your money and how to distribute the assets you have. This post will provide you with some useful information and guide you throughout the process.
How much will my DIY Voice Over Studio at Home Cost?
The answer to this question is, unfortunately, it depends! However, you don’t need to spend a fortune; for less than $150, you may have a fully equipped voice recording studio.
You can utilize a closet, an empty utility room, some well-placed furniture to hold up some sheets for your voiceover recording space, or you can build your own home voice-over booth from scratch to create a totally isolated recording setting.
Of course, the more money you spend on it, the better, but if you’re on a tight budget, you can build a fully functional voice recording studio for as little as a few thousand pounds or as little as $150.
Choose a Space
Of course, the location you choose to convert into a voiceover studio is crucial. The place itself should be your primary concern as a voiceover artist, and the room in which you record is the most critical thing to consider. It’s more important than your microphone, interface, high-end preamps, computer, and software. No amount of pricey equipment will be able to compensate for poor acoustics if your sound is degraded before it ever reaches your microphone.
If you have the option of choosing the room where you will record, start with the largest, most dry space you can find. Larger rooms are less likely to have acoustic issues. With larger distances between walls, the phase of sounds becomes less important, and standing waves, comb filtering, and flutter echos become less of an issue. Often, walking around and clapping and listening for an area with no flutter echos or excessive tail is a smart method to identify a decent recording space. Drop ceilings and carpets are always a wonderful place to begin, but the fewer parallel walls you have, the better.
If you notice that your home is unusually echoey, try adding some extra furniture to absorb some of the sounds. Many people are unaware that clothing, blankets, and pillows can help to soundproof a room. There are many of inexpensive methods to turn your room into a studio area if you can commit some time and thought.
Soundproof the Space
After you’ve chosen a location for your home recording studio and examined the room’s sound quality, the following step will almost certainly be to find out how to soundproof a room and what soundproofing materials you’ll want.
Soundproofing is a standard procedure that all recording studios follow. However, if you notice any echos or unacceptable sounds on your playback test recording, you should soundproof immediately. Fortunately, soundproofing does not require extensive modifications and may be completed on a budget.
Add Insulation and Drywall to your Space
A second layer of drywall can be installed on top of the existing walls in the Voices studio to help minimize sound transmission. This is a less expensive option than ripping out your existing drywall, adding extra insulation to the walls, and then putting them back together. So, if your budget is tight, you may simply install another layer of drywall on top of your existing drywall. Another quick and easy approach to soundproof your space is to place bags of insulation in various locations throughout the room — it may not be the most aesthetically beautiful solution, but it works! Fabric panelling can also be used to absorb some of the high-end sound frequencies.
Filter Out Unwanted External Sound
The first thing we recommend doing when setting up the Voices studio is looking at the door. While it may seem self-evident, it’s important to remember that entry points into your room are also entry points for sound to enter and exit.
If the place you plan to capture has doors or windows, investigate them to ensure that there isn’t a lot of external noise entering the room or gaps where interior noise can escape.
If you have the budget, you can try installing a more professional-looking door sweep that automatically plugs the gap with rubber or use a long, horizontal pillow that can easily be pushed right below your door to cover cracks under your door. Any thick door insert will suffice, but one that is dense enough to effectively block out noise is ideal.
Handle the Remaining Noise
If the sound quality in the room is still an issue, you might invest in a noise reduction device that provides a filter that removes undesired sounds from your final recording.
Pick a Mic That Fits
When your space is complete, we may move on to the first piece of recording equipment: the microphone. The price of your microphone is crucial, but it’s the last thing you should think about when purchasing one.
The first thing to think about is what kind of microphone will work best for you.
Before purchasing a microphone, you should be aware of two primary mic classifications: connection and polar patterns.
The polar pattern of a microphone describes how it catches sound. Omnidirectional, Cardioid, and bidirectional patterns are the three main types.
Bidirectional mics collect sound from both the front and back of the mic, whereas omnidirectional mics pick up sound equally from all directions.
Cardioid microphones pick up sound from directly in front of them while rejecting sound from behind. Other types of cardioid exist, such as super-cardioid and wide cardioid, but they all work on the same concept.
If you’re doing voice acting on your own, you should use a cardioid microphone. It’s also a smart choice because it rejects sound from off-axis. There are a few other considerations to consider when selecting voice-over mics, some of which are unique to your budget and demands. This means that microphones aren’t one-size-fits-all.
Whether you’re interested in studying the fundamentals of voiceover recording science, converting a closet into a voice-over studio, or creating your own home voice-over booth from the ground up, this is the first step toward getting started with voiceover.
If you’re completely new to voice recording and voice acting, we have a series of posts that have helped hundreds of aspiring voiceover performers get to grips with the complicated world of voice acting and develop their vocal and DIY skills.