Dealing with noise reduction is one of the issues of working in a home studio. There are several causes and types of noise. However, there are techniques and tips to significantly lessen these issues, many of which are low-cost or free.
You must first ensure that you are only recording the sounds you want – without bothering your neighbors – before you can begin focusing on how the sound is recorded in your studio. Here are some tips for noise reduction in a Home Studio.
The perfect home studio will create a “room inside a room,” which will necessitate the construction of additional walls and flooring. This will substantially reduce vibrations and the amount of noise that enters and leaves your studio.
This is another basic trick that should not be overlooked. Fridges, air conditioning systems, storage devices, and other electronic devices produce noises you do not want in your recordings.
When recording at home, it’s a good idea to turn off these devices for the duration of the recording. Stress it out now and unplug your gear while you are recording; you will have one less thing to worry about afterward.
Another form of mechanical noise reduction is cooling fans from computer equipment. Manually and temporarily disabling them is sometimes possible (at the risk of overheating the equipment). Also, try isolating the noise in another room or using an isolation box.
Yes, there are drawbacks to getting up close and personal with the microphone. A low midrange bump comes immediately to mind, as does a proclivity for eliciting plosives and sibilance. However, these effects can be reduced by using Equalization and proper editing or by using a pop filter.
When you mic yourself from a distance, the room’s sound signature becomes linked to your voice or instrument. Though not impossible, separating room noise reduction from a recording is usually a game of compromises; this game of concessions is largely avoided with tight making.
A sound escapes and enters your studio through doors and windows, which are two of the most common causes. Improve the quality of your doors and windows to address these challenges. Install a hefty door with a tight seal when closed. It’s better if your studio has no windows, but many people love natural daylight, so the windows should be thicker – maybe double-glazed – and well-sealed.
If you’re still hearing unwelcome timbres from the room after all of this, there’s one last thing you could try: baffles. Make improvised barriers between the microphone and the rest of the room. These can be as simple as packing blankets hanging between two boom stands, under which you record your instrument—a type of “chuppa” for the microphone and sound-source marriage.
Baffles, some of which attach to your mic stand and encircle the microphone, are also available from a variety of stores. Of course, these aren’t full iso-booths, but they can improve your sound by around 5% to 10%, give or take.
It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible to record good noise-free audio in your home studio. You can substantially minimize the specter of your room with a little effort and research. When you do, all of your tools—EQs, compressors, reverbs, and so on—will be used less to rectify what you’ve done and more to enhance the intrinsic merits of your project.