Creating a space where you can record voice work is a common goal for the voice talent community as a majority of voice actors work from their own locations, often their homes. While a home or office space can be less than ideal due to various external noise sources, there are small changes you can make that won’t break the bank to make almost any space suitable for recording.
First, you will need to make sure that you have all of the proper equipment in order to get your recording space set up for producing high-quality audio.
In the final part of the Voices.com studio build series with audio expert, Bob Breen from Armor Pro Audio, you will find out how you can best set up your voice over recording studio while sticking to your budget.
These four studio build hacks will help you to achieve the best sound quality, while saving money. Additionally, Bob reveals his tricks of the trade – illuminating where you can save money and where you should spend a little bit more, in order to produce the best voice over recordings.
Voice Over Home Studio Build Tip One: Get the Best Microphone You Can Afford
When it comes to building a studio, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with the tech and gear that’s on the market. So if you’re wondering where to start, Bob recommends beginning with the gear that matters most to voice recording: your microphone. Shop around to find the right microphone for your voice.
“Spend a bit of money on your microphone, as this is one of the most important pieces of equipment you will need,” says Bob.
After you’ve acquired a great mic, move on to finding good quality cables and a preamp. These important pieces of equipment will play a large role in the quality of sound you are able to capture in the studio.
Voice Over Home Studio Build Tip Two: Skimp on Software
While the software you are using to record your audio is important, there are many different types of software available at affordable prices that you can easily download. This is one area of the studio that Bob believes you can save money on.
When it comes to expensive software versus inexpensive software, the price doesn’t necessarily play a major factor in how the software operates. They all essentially perform the same functions, so this is one area where you can cutback on your costs.
Voice Over Home Studio Build Tip Three: Get a Great Set of Headphones
Next is the output of the audio. You will want to spend a bit more of your budget on a decent set of headphones.
“It’s great to record with headphones on so that you can hear exactly how your voice will sound,” says Bob.
Using headphones will allow you to hear if you are making any unwanted sounds with your mouth or if there is any other interference in your voice recording.
Voice Over Home Studio Build Tip Four: Save on Speakers
The next thing you will need is a set of speakers. This is also a place where you can save some money. Bob mentions that all speakers essentially function the same, so whether you spend a lot or a little bit of money on your speakers is entirely up to you. However, you’ll want to experiment with the placement of your speakers in your room. Eighty percent of what you hear is going to be the room noise, so Bob recommends experimenting with where the speakers sound best.
Bob suggests focusing on things like the microphone and preamp before other pieces of equipment like your computer or software. You can always upgrade anything else at a later time once you at least have the main components.
Other Tips and Tricks for Building Your Own Recording Space from Bob
Having the right setup and the right equipment is key to building out a successful voice over recording studio. Bob Breen details how your setup should ideally be created.
- In order to soundproof your space effectively, make a fabric panel and put a layer of insulation behind it. You can probably get away with spending under $300 to do this, depending on how big or small your studio space is.
- Bob advises against using eggshell foam insulation, which tends to be a popular choice in terms of trying to soundproof a studio space, because they take away the high-end sound that you need.
“You’re just as well off to put some insulation in the corners and hang blankets on the walls,” recommends Bob. “If you do hang a bunch of blankets around the room, just be sure to space them out about 1 inch apart from each other.”
- Make sure you seal all the way around the doors so that no sound gets out. You can buy an inexpensive plastic sweep for under your doors from your local hardware store.
- If your air conditioner or heating is making a lot of noise, you can replace your metal ducting with flex tube that has insulation on it. This is a fairly cheap way to cut down the airflow noise.
Building a voice over recording studio that works well for you, and gives you great quality sound recordings doesn’t have to be an expensive project. There are simple fixes to locking external noise out of the room, and providing you with budget-friendly soundproofing.
Remember, your focus should be on getting a good quality mic that highlights your talent, and everything else can be upgraded once you start to turn your voice over work into a lucrative career.