7 Home Recording Studio Changes That Can Improve Your Sound Straight Away

The 7 home recording studio changes you find below can all improve your sound to various degrees.  Some are more expensive than others, so cherry-pick the ones you can do at the moment.

Every step you take to get closer to a great room is a step in the right direction because it's vital as a producer to have as accurate a response in your room as possible.

1. Build, or move into, a better room

The best option is obviously to build a room from scratch designed for the acoustic response you desire. OK. So we're not all so lucky or well-off to afford our own build-out.  We need to make do with what we have!

Image of the number 7

Still,  if you can even just move from a small square room with bad dimensions to a slightly larger rectangular room with better dimensions you can likely improve your sound.

Compare both rooms with an online room mode calculator and see which has the sexier curve.  Set up in either room and listen to the same tracks in both. Use your ears and judgement to choose the best room.

You could get scientific about it with measurement devices and fancy analyzers, and that's all fine by me. Common sense and a small bit of acoustics knowledge will however carry you a long way. So, don't get bogged down with theory and just do what you can at first!

2. Fine tune your monitor placement

Way too many aspiring producers and musicians fumble here.  It's like they think high frequencies are best perceived by their stomach! Why else point the tweeters right at their belly? ;-)

They will open a whole new world of sound when they raise the tweeters to point in the direction of the ear.  It'll be like removing a duvet from their head. Sweet revelation!

Now, I know you're not one of them.  Still,  you may be able to improve your own stereo image and ability to mix well with a few monitor position tweaks.

The topic of monitor positioning can make for an article in itself.  Check the 3 great home recording studio resources at the bottom of this page should you want to dig deeper into this area.

3. Treat the room you're in well

Once you have the best room and well placed monitors, you can usually improve your response with acoustic treatment.  Treatment in smaller studios usually includes the use of foam kits with absorbers, diffusers and bass traps.

Learn about how to discover flutter echo, phase cancellation issues, room modes and comb filtering. Next, figure out whether you have any of these issues and fix them when you find them.

Try to avoid the damned overkill and add only enough treatment to compensate for your own room's issues without banning all reflections in the room. Think padded living room more than Apple's anechoic chambers!

Take note however that foam kits will only get you so far.  You cannot expect anything near the results you'd get with a custom build. Any attempt to compensate for sonic flaws in your your room is however better than none at all.

4. Get good monitor stands

You want to avoid resonance which can introduce unwanted sound into what you play back before it hits your ear. Some monitor stands are hollow which allows you to fill them with sand for extra dampening of vibrations that could cause resonance issues.

The stands I just mentioned above can be expensive so consider cheaper stands if the manager of the trust fund is concerned with your spending habits.

5. Add absorber pads under your monitors to decouple.

Add these with or without stands.  Massive difference? I'd say more of a slight change. Think of them as a bit of peace of mind insurance. I can't see how these could hurt your sound though so I say get a pair if you can! They also allow you to angle your monitors which could improve your sound in few instances.

6. Bring in strategic studio furniture

OK, so this is a form of acoustic treatment. I cheat when I make it a point in it's own right. Still, a well-placed sofa, glassless picture frames or stocked bookshelf can add diffusion and possible absorption of higher frequencies. Experiment with it!

7. Upgrade any of your core home recording studio equipment

These include your monitors, AD/DA convertors, pre-amps and microphones.  Get the best you can afford in each of these areas, whenever you can spare some savings or win big at the tables.

Every improvement in your signal chain means you get closer being able to get the sound you want in your home recording studio. Each upgrade however comes with it's own learning curve during which you'll have to find your feet.  So, while it may take a while before you get to the response you want from your room, each little step gets you closer. Just keep plugging away!

I highly suggest, if you're serious about it, that you check out the following 2 books to learn more about how to improve your home recording studio sound:

"Mixing With Your Mind" by Michael Stavrou

"Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio" by Mike Senior

Bonus Audio Play Button Icon

Remember to grab your free audio training to discover the 3 workflow habits every producer must have to crush it. Get your copy of the "Renegade Report" newsletter below right now for instant access:

New! Discover and Cultivate The Mindset and Habits of a Professional Producer...

Studio Flow Leaderboard Link Image

ProducerCode: Studio Flow is here to help you get out of your own way to produce more tracks, more often. As you go through the videos you discover, among other things, how to:

  • Know and beat your #1 music production enemy.
  • Get the right perspective - the perspective that is conducive to productivity in the studio.
  • Find your flow and increase your output to the level where you know it could be.
  • Feel fantastic when you start to crush it in your home studio on a regular basis!

Don't miss out on your chance to level-up your studio workflow and output.  Get ProducerCode: Studio Flow, pour a glass or mug of your beverage of choice and start to upgrade your music production process straight away. See you on the other side!

› Home Studio Improvements