Over the course of last summer, voice over talent Curt Palmer completed his first professional-grade home recording studio, going from nothing to something that is serving him very well.
Building a home recording studio takes a lot of thought, planning and the implementation of good advice. If you’ve gone through the process already, you know what I mean!
Learn more about how Curt chose a location in his home, how he constructed the studio and how you can too in today’s VOX Daily.
How Curt Palmer Constructed His Home Recording Studio
After leaving his corporate job in May 2009, Curt Palmer began to lay the groundwork for working as a professional voice over artist full-time.
For two to three months, Curt thought and planned for how he might best prepare himself, drawing upon advice from peers about how efficient and economical home recording studios were. Due to the fact that voice over talent need to record frequently throughout the course of their day, Curt chose to invest in the building of a home recording studio for both convenience and cost savings down the road.
During the summer of 2009, a storage room in his basement gradually transformed into a professional home recording studio, providing both a workspace and creative sanctuary.
The storage room was damp and needed some TLC before a home recording studio could be installed. Fortunately for Curt, a friend who lived down the street, Patrick Greiten of Mainstage Sound, happened to be both a recording engineer and a skilled carpenter!
Here’s a picture from before they got started:
Prior to engaging in this project, Curt did a lot of research on equipment and Patrick was able to consult him on which pieces worked better for his voice, professional needs and studio environment.
The first consideration was most fittingly the sound. How do you make a former storage room in the basement sound just right? As you can see in the pictures, the room was completely stripped and new insulation was added before the drywall was installed.
You may be able to tell from the photo above that Curt used quite a bit of drywall, tape, mud and sand. Apparently there was a lot of mud used and much sanding!
Another one of Curt’s priorities when building his studio was to ensure that there was adequate lighting. The storage room had no windows and therefore no natural light.
In this picture, you get an appreciation for what it takes to install a suspension ceiling! Curt had never hung a suspended ceiling before. For someone who tries to stay away from electrical, this task, and the installation of the track lighting, was somewhat harrowing but also rather interesting.
Nearly finished… a few missing ceiling tiles, acoustical treatment and Curt’s equipment. Note, however, that the main construction is done!
Remember that track lighting? Curt has it strategically placed to emphasize certain areas within the room.
With everything in place construction wise, it was time for Curt to setup the recording equipment. Shown here is Curt’s Neumann mic with pop filter. Note the wall treatments and the use of relatively warm tones paint wise to create a peaceful work environment.
The walls are treated with muslin covered fiberglass board to absorb sound and eliminate reverberation and or distortions.
The addition of a comfortable chair for practicing in and reading also absorbs sound. The chair is also great for when Curt’s family members make the trip downstairs to visit him in the studio.
I asked Curt if he had given his studio a name, and as of yet, it is simply referred to as his studio. His wife, however, has a new name for Curt. She has taken a liking to calling him a Hobbit because of all the time he spends in his subterranean studio!
So there you have it. In just 3 months, an extra room in the basement went from storing household items to an amazing home recording studio.
Curt’s Recording Equipment Includes:
à¹ HP Laptop
à¹ Alesis studio monitors
à¹ Edirol 25EX Analog-Digital converter
à¹ dbx 286 Pre-Amp
à¹ Furman power conditioner
à¹ Neumann TLM-103 mic
à¹ On-Stage mic stand and copy stand
à¹ Auralex studiofoam wedges
Have You Built Your Own Home Recording Studio?
If you have any thoughts for Curt, or would like to discuss your own studio building project, you’re welcome to add your comments and join the conversation.
Photos courtesy of Curt Palmer