Garage Home Studio

ikemusiclive8

New member
I'm new and haven't built a home studio yet and need an at-home, garage studio easy but effective guide to follow.

Is it okay to setup my home studio and record in my garage? If so, what are your recommendations based on the photos I attached? Acoustics, considering the walls and ceiling,; reverb, etc. Not sure on all the specs? But overall, again, I would very much appreciate expert advice on how to tailor my garage studio to work?
 

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Folkcafe

Active member
I'm new and haven't built a home studio yet and need an at-home, garage studio easy but effective guide to follow.

Is it okay to setup my home studio and record in my garage? If so, what are your recommendations based on the photos I attached? Acoustics, considering the walls and ceiling,; reverb, etc. Not sure on all the specs? But overall, again, I would very much appreciate expert advice on how to tailor my garage studio to work?

Home studios encompass everything from a laptop & mic in a bedroom to full on professional level spaces. In the end, we are only limited by circumstance or budget. So lets talk about those things. Permanent conversion? Dimensions? Isolation requirements (both keeping noise out and in)? Usage? Live drums & screaming guitar amps? Neighbors, traffic? See where I'm headed with this?
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
What are you going to be recording? (Vocals, acoustic guitar, full band, etc)

Are you leaving the door as is, or boarding it up?

What recording gear do you have now?

What you are going to need is lots and lots of full-frequency traps (sometimes called bass traps). Compressed fiberglass or rockwool (not foam).
 

ikemusiclive8

New member
What are you going to be recording? (Vocals, acoustic guitar, full band, etc)

Are you leaving the door as is, or boarding it up?

What recording gear do you have now?

What you are going to need is lots and lots of full-frequency traps (sometimes called bass traps). Compressed fiberglass or rockwool (not foam).
Recording vocals and mixing hip hop music predominantly and possibly mastering as well. As for the door I'm not sure what you mean? Unless you are talking about the sectional garage door that I just had risen up to take a picture and have you see the size of my garage?

Recording gear I have includes a condenser mic/accessories for it, midi keyboard, retina display MacBook, logic pro ableton live, pro tools and an audio interface so far.

As to the bass traps that's what I imagined I needed I just couldn't think of what they were called. I do need help understanding how they work, how many I should have and based on the pictures I provided where they should be placed? Furthermore, does it matter the position I set my recording space with my desk, etc.? Is it okay to be in that corner area (see attachment I arrowed in red) or in the middle of the garage? Reason I ask is for receiving best efficiency in the acoustics/reverb. Does it matter if my garage door is up to let fresh air in or have it closed? Questions like that.
 

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ikemusiclive8

New member
Home studios encompass everything from a laptop & mic in a bedroom to full on professional level spaces. In the end, we are only limited by circumstance or budget. So lets talk about those things. Permanent conversion? Dimensions? Isolation requirements (both keeping noise out and in)? Usage? Live drums & screaming guitar amps? Neighbors, traffic? See where I'm headed with this?
 

ikemusiclive8

New member
If by conversion you mean I permanently turn my garage into my studio space it's likely not to be my permanent living situation but it will suffice for now until I move into another situation.

Iso requirements not too sure how too articulate a response to that because I'm not familiar with what is best keeping the noise out or in?

Usage I don't imagine will be specific for rock band and guitar amps, etc. I am doing hip-hop related music. But am open to other instrumentation that will complement that. Neighbors and the noise would have to be figured out with using base traps and working with how garage wall sounds work I need help with understanding further.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
What he was referring too was can you remove the garage door and frame a wall in or does the garage door have to remain? Goes along with my question regarding permanence of the space.

The question about noise and neighbors remain. It'd be the first question John Brandt or any designer would ask. Where the studio is and how much isolation required plays the biggest part in the design and costs.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
Neighbors and the noise would have to be figured out with using base traps and working with how garage wall sounds work I need help with understanding further.
Sound treatment and soundproofing are two very different things. Keeping noise out and in is the number one issue to resolve before anything else.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
Here would be my approach to starting. Get an SPL meter app for your phone and start taking some measurements. Go outside your garage on a busy day in your neighborhood and measure how loud it is outside and then inside your garage as traffic and the normal life continues. This will give you some idea of a starting point. I live in the middle of nowhere and needed very little isolation from the outside and don't have close neighbors.

Next get out a pair of monitors in the garage and play some music a bit louder than you think you are going to work at. Walk around and listen and use the SPL meter to measure.

Unless it is unusually windy out, I am the loudest thing in my studio. My SPL meter doesn't register till the mid 30db range. It kicks in when I breathe. For the curious, it's about 36-37db A weighted. I'm in the low 40's C weighted which includes lower frequencies.

As a teenager, I had the police at the house a lot when we recorded in the basement in our crowded little neighborhood. We all start somewhere.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
What you could do is leave the door working, and build a new wall across inside, but your questions suggest you're not yet up to speed on how these things are done. Essentially, you need to isolate - and the normal way is to build a room within the garage space - the layers of plasterboard on walls and c ceiling and the concrete floor can reduce e sound getting in and sound getting out - depending on the thickness. The sound treatment to make it sound nice inside is totally different. Usually you stop the transmission, then make it sound nice in two separate stages. So much depends on how good your DIY skills and available tools are. There are plenty of proper books (not online suspect material) from people like Rod Gervais. This is it the book on amazon.

With care, you can produce a garage studio that can have thump bass played loud and only just detectable outside, at night. Years back, I discovered my teenage son had his mates in my studio many nights when I was in bed and I never noticed! Sheet material has audio specs you can find on the net - but for a room within a room - two or three layers of 12mm plasterboard (US sheetrock?) is a good starting point. Timber framing is still the simplest and most forgiving.
 

ikemusiclive8

New member
What he was referring too was can you remove the garage door and frame a wall in or does the garage door have to remain? Goes along with my question regarding permanence of the space.

The question about noise and neighbors remain. It'd be the first question John Brandt or any designer would ask. Where the studio is and how much isolation required plays the biggest part in the design and costs.
I'm renting. So I can't make any changes to property without consent. I don't think the garage door shoul be removed
What you could do is leave the door working, and build a new wall across inside, but your questions suggest you're not yet up to speed on how these things are done. Essentially, you need to isolate - and the normal way is to build a room within the garage space - the layers of plasterboard on walls and c ceiling and the concrete floor can reduce e sound getting in and sound getting out - depending on the thickness. The sound treatment to make it sound nice inside is totally different. Usually you stop the transmission, then make it sound nice in two separate stages. So much depends on how good your DIY skills and available tools are. There are plenty of proper books (not online suspect material) from people like Rod Gervais. This is it the book on amazon.

With care, you can produce a garage studio that can have thump bass played loud and only just detectable outside, at night. Years back, I discovered my teenage son had his mates in my studio many nights when I was in bed and I never noticed! Sheet material has audio specs you can find on the net - but for a room within a room - two or three layers of 12mm plasterboard (US sheetrock?) is a good starting point. Timber framing is still the simplest and most forgiving.
Have you read the book you recommended? If so, would it be adequate to put this together? I'm a visual learner.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Yes I got it years ago for clues on my own builds. It explained a few of my previous errors and have me some ideas. It’s a bit American for a brit and the sizes annoy but the basic ideas are sound. A room within a room is best for renting, but some things like ventilation can be tricky if you can’t make holes. However, the cost can be quite high. Over the last covid summer I built a garage one for a friend. It turned out really nice To work in but it cost over five grand for materials and your space looks bigger. This was a budget build. Lots of things not done for cost reasons. If he moves, it would revert to a garage with a couple of skips going to landfill.
 

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mjbphotos

What?!?
Generally, you do not want to set up in a corner. Bass notes bounce around in corners, which is why corners all need to have bass traps in them (floor to ceiling.

What's your budget?
 
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Folkcafe

Active member
"build" in the loose definition of the term, seems to essentially be, put together a makeshift studio. As a renter, you're not exactly building structure so lets focus on reusable infrastructure. Bass traps, gobos and absorptive panels. The next question is, how handy are you with tools?
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Interesting, I've always considered these things a bit pointless if the room itself lets in noise, and most importantly lets it out. Standing outside a lovely sounding room at eleven PM with the thud thud thud leaking from the garage door won't endear you to anyone. I have always followed a few rules since my first in 96 - no parallel walls, and with a room in a room, that's not too difficult, and just changing 90 degrees to 100 makes a much less boxy sounding room. Then when done, use whatever treatment is needed. That picture I stuck up has soffit mounted speakers - never done that before, and the ADAMs speakers have specs that allow soffit mounting and the compensation for the increased bass - but the diagonal panels in the corners created a great space where the lower section ended up as traps. With the garage being not huge I decided to risk adjusting the centre line symmetry. I adjusted the diagonal panels away from the same angle just a little, and we also spent some time adjusting the vertical angle too so the tweeters aimed exactly at Ben's nose when he was at the desk. This tilt also helped make the small room sound not small at all. The ceiling had to be parallel with the floor, so absorption was really necessary and we did it with acoustic discs - essentially foam - that were tilted away from horizontal slightly. The result was a lovely neutral with hardly any strangeness at the bottom. There were some reflections form the sides - so some acoustic panels - simple frames with fabric covered rock wool - did the trick there.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
Interesting, I've always considered these things a bit pointless if the room itself lets in noise, and most importantly lets it out. Standing outside a lovely sounding room at eleven PM with the thud thud thud leaking from the garage door won't endear you to anyone. I have always followed a few rules since my first in 96 - no parallel walls, and with a room in a room, that's not too difficult, and just changing 90 degrees to 100 makes a much less boxy sounding room. Then when done, use whatever treatment is needed. That picture I stuck up has soffit mounted speakers - never done that before, and the ADAMs speakers have specs that allow soffit mounting and the compensation for the increased bass - but the diagonal panels in the corners created a great space where the lower section ended up as traps. With the garage being not huge I decided to risk adjusting the centre line symmetry. I adjusted the diagonal panels away from the same angle just a little, and we also spent some time adjusting the vertical angle too so the tweeters aimed exactly at Ben's nose when he was at the desk. This tilt also helped make the small room sound not small at all. The ceiling had to be parallel with the floor, so absorption was really necessary and we did it with acoustic discs - essentially foam - that were tilted away from horizontal slightly. The result was a lovely neutral with hardly any strangeness at the bottom. There were some reflections form the sides - so some acoustic panels - simple frames with fabric covered rock wool - did the trick there.
Let's see, newb's first studio in a rental garage. Sure, build a room within a room only to tear it all out at the end of the lease. Makes a lot of sense.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Better than being evicted for making noise? My video premises are on a lease. At some point I will leave. I have a large freestanding grid to hold the drapes lights and other stuff. Cost quite a bit, but it’s scrap, and the extra partitioning and insulation will have to go too? With rental property it’s your choice. My landlord is totally happy as long as on exit, it goes back to how it was. Same applies in a home. Early in the topic it was asked about sound treatment or sound proofing. Garage doors leak like sieves. How can you make music if everyone around can hear everything you do? Some areas might generate strong letters, others could be bricks and others would break in and steal your kit!
 

Folkcafe

Active member
Better than being evicted for making noise? My video premises are on a lease. At some point I will leave. I have a large freestanding grid to hold the drapes lights and other stuff. Cost quite a bit, but it’s scrap, and the extra partitioning and insulation will have to go too? With rental property it’s your choice. My landlord is totally happy as long as on exit, it goes back to how it was. Same applies in a home. Early in the topic it was asked about sound treatment or sound proofing. Garage doors leak like sieves. How can you make music if everyone around can hear everything you do? Some areas might generate strong letters, others could be bricks and others would break in and steal your kit!
I brought up all of the issues of noise and isolation. The OP seems disinterested or at least, very uninformed.
 
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