How To Make Better Music When Your Studio Is Your Bedroom

Unfortunately for music producers, few of us have the luxury of having round the clock access to a first-class recording studio.

Everyone has to start somewhere though and for most budding producers a stripped back set up in your bedroom is enough to start laying down some tracks and learning the ropes.

However, when your studio doubles up as your bedroom you not only need to worry about getting enough sleep but getting enough of a break from your normal routine to recharge your creativity.

On the plus side, you’ll save a packet on expensive studio fees and be able to record at a time that suits your routine, not a studio’s. The reverse of this though, is that you can spend way too much time recording and start obsessing over minor details that the pressures of studio time iron out.

Here are 7 of our top tips for making better music when your studio is your bedroom...

Top tips for making music in your bedroom studio

1 - Treat your room

How To Make Better Music When Your Studio Is Your Bedroom header

Unsurprisingly, most bedrooms aren’t built with music production in mind and transforming your bedroom into a perfectly treated room isn’t a practical option. That being said, there are a couple of steps you can take to help make it a better space for music production.

To get the best listening response in a smaller rectangular room, your desk would be ideally facing a shorter wall with your seat in the centre.

For a quick hack when recording vocals, avoid the temptation to create yourself a booth. Instead, use a sturdy mic stand with a shock mount and pop shield to reduce breath blasts and sibillience, and hang a duvet behind the singer’s back to avoid any unwanted frequencies bouncing back into the mic.

2 - Get a decent microphone

How To Make Better Music When Your Studio Is Your Bedroom Mic

Most vocalists will want to use an eye-wateringly expensive, warm sounding ribbon mic that can capture all of the nuances in the tone of their voice. This is all great when you’re in a top-notch studio with unlimited resources, but for a bedroom musician on a budget, you need to work within your means.

The best mic you can get is one that you know how to use and use well. A Rode NT1A mic is a great pick for vocals, whilst the AKG C1000 or Shure SM58 are adept at just about any recording task whilst also being reasonably affordable.

If you’re recording vocals, make sure you invest in a sturdy stand, shockmount and pop shield or de-esser so you don’t fall at the first hurdle with high levels of sibillience and unwanted noise.

3 - Invest in decent headphones

How To Make Better Music When Your Studio Is Your Bedroom Headphones

If you’re recording music in your bedroom then the chances are that you’ll have neighbours to contend with and you will need to splash out on some headphones.

A decent set of headphones for recording should not leak any audio and give you a nice, flat response which emulates the sound of your recording as accurately as possible, allowing you to recognise any mistakes quickly and easily.

Where possible, you should mix on monitors, but if you don’t have the luxury of expensive speakers then put on your headphones and reference the life out of any records that you like the sound of so you can start to familiarise yourself with the changes in tonality and frequency response.

4 - Eliminate noise sources

How To Make Better Music When Your Studio Is Your Bedroom Noise

Just as unwanted frequencies from your walls and floors can dampen your music, so can the extra gear in your room. Whilst some things might be out of your control, such as traffic noise or flatmates slamming doors, you should look to eliminate as much pesky interference as possible.

An easy fix is to make sure any rumbling monitors are placed on isolation pads or sturdy stands, but a low hum from your beer fridge, interference from your phone or even certain types of bulbs can throw your mix off.

5 - IKEA Hacks

For lovers of vinyl and Swedish furniture, IKEA’s Kallax range has already been used to house LPs for years, but when it comes to hacking the rest of IKEA’s range for music production the possibilities are endless.

Laptop stands can be great for comfortably housing sample pads, entire wardrobes have been upgraded into a synth station and Lack tables can be modified into an effects rack for a fraction of the price of a standard rack.

6 - Plan your sessions

How To Make Better Music When Your Studio Is Your Bedroom Coffee

One of the biggest benefits of having your own studio space is the savings you’ll make on expensive studio time, but for some, this can be a blessing and a curse. If you sit for hours on end at your desk with no creative output then you might start to get wound up and find that creating a song can take days on end.

A good idea is to plan your time into set segments with clear objectives for each session. If you’re struggling to focus, use the Pomodoro technique and set a timer to work in 25 minute chunks and reward yourself with a short break between each one. If you find yourself getting into ‘flow’ then simply carry on working.

7 - Take a break

How To Make Better Music When Your Studio Is Your Bedroom Break

Being cooped up in the same room all day and night isn’t good for your wellbeing so make sure you set aside time to get out and explore. Going to a museum, grabbing a coffee or even just having a walk in the park can break your rut and give that boost of inspiration you need.

Overcoming that creative block can take different methods for different people. Check out our guide to Finding Your Creativity here if you're struggling to break out of the rut.

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