How To Create an At Home Podcast Studio
Location. Location. Location.
Where is the best place in your home to record?Think rooms with lots of soft surfaces: carpeting, cushy couches and chairs, drapes, etc. Better yet, rooms that don’t face the street or have windows and adjoining walls. Finished basements are often good for this reason.
If you are thinking garage, kitchens or bathrooms, think about the many hard surfaces and reverb you are likely to encounter. Not the best at home podcast studio ideas. Most podcasters don’t have optimal recording spaces, but nearly every home has bedrooms and closets!
You would be surprised how many podcasters use their closets to record podcasts. Even This American Life host Ira Glass has been found recording in the closet! Closets are ideal because they are usually laden with sound absorbing clothes, often carpeted and in less lived-in rooms like bedrooms. Walk-in closets are excellent for achieving clear audio without echos.
Once you’ve picked a place, take some time to listen, really listen to what you hear in that space. What is the ambient noise? Can you hear the ice maker or the fan? Listen for white noise that you don’t usually notice but could be audible on a recording.
Then, record a minute or two in your space and listen back to see what you are picking up. This will give you a baseline from which to build, providing insight into the level of sound blocking material you need, or not.
Sound Proofing Your Recording Studio
Once you have chosen your location, you’re going to want to try out some sound treatment tactics to see what works best to improve the audio quality of your podcast.
Acoustic Treatment Tips, Levels 1 & 2
These tips may sound pedestrian at first, but they do the job without expense and can be used in any location you’ve chosen.
- Surround yourself with pillows or cushions
- Put a blanket over your head
Now, do an audio quality test again.
Does it sound better than your first recording? Do you still feel like you need something more? You might find that facing one way or moving to a different part of the space makes a difference. Or, you might find that the podcast sound quality is echoey or there’s too much reverb. All of this information will help determine your podcast studio setup.
Here is a shortlist of soundproofing equipment to help you slowly improve the sound quality in your space. All very doable and not terribly expensive.
- Acoustic Wall Panels: You can find all kinds of YouTube tutorials on how to make acoustic panels, or you can buy them at many levels.
- Studio Microphone Shield: Fairly inexpensive, compact, and can be used in a variety of ways.
- Kaotica Eyeball: A super fun product that can be the right tool for the job.
Note that if you will have a co-host or guests with you in the same physical space, this changes the game. During your testing phase, make sure to recreate what you will be doing during your episodes as best as you can. Two or three voices is a totally different animal than one.
If I were to leave you with ONE thing about setting up a podcast studio, whether it is for recording yourself or multiple people, it’s this: test, test, test! Test your podcast sound quality and your podcast recording space, changing and adjusting until you get it right.
And cut yourself some slack. You don’t have to make it perfect right out of the gate.