Everyone is unique and has their workflow, passions, and projects. When designing your home studio, you may want to consider the type of studio you want to create. Here are some examples of studios with a particular purpose and some considerations accompanying them. I don’t mean this to be an exhaustive or overly accurate list, just something to get you thinking about some possibilities.
Studio A: Teaching Studio
In this type of studio, the primary focus is on delivering students’ music lessons. A studio like this usually has a small resource library with many books to teach various instructional levels and a good quality instrument for teaching and demonstrating. It’s common in this studio type to have a computer for office work and a filing cabinet for student files. It would be no surprise to find educational props for demonstrating various music concepts. If it’s an online teaching studio like mine, you’ll find the addition of cameras, monitors, mics, lights, and a graphic tablet. There can be much more to these studios than meets the eye, depending on what the instructor is teaching and the instructor’s teaching style.
Studio B: Music Production/Project Studio.
This studio style is highly technical, with a powerful computer and lots of music software. You’ll find audio interfaces, monitors, software controllers, mics, and acoustic room treatments. The primary purpose of this type of studio is to record and produce acoustic, electric, or computer-based music anywhere from bands and EDM to orchestral mock-ups. You may find some mics and possibly a built-in or portable vocal booth. You usually see a collection of audio and computer cables. This style of studio focussed on performance, creation, and sometimes mixing and mastering.
Studio C: Recording Studio
A recording studio takes all the elements of a music production studio and usually adds a multi-channel digital or analog audio interface or mixing consol. This studio type can be small or large, depending on how many musicians you want to record simultaneously. You’ll often find mic stands, cables, a powerful computer, wall treatments, and baffles to separate instruments or musicians. You can find a filing cabinet in this type of studio to keep track of clients and projects, especially if you’re leaning towards the pro end of studios.
Studio D: Synth studio
A synth studio is a slightly different beast again because this type of studio primarily focuses on hardware synthesizers. A studio like this usually has much of the same gear as the other studios mentioned above; however, add way more cables, possibly power conditioners, and shelving and storage space. Depending on the type of synthesizer used, this type of studio can have guitar effects pedals, amps for reamping, and older vintage gear like reel-to-reel tape recorders and uncommon tone generators. The music created in a studio like this can be from EDM to experimental. Look no further than a synth studio if you want many buttons and knobs.
Studio E: Mixing Studio
A mixing studio can be small or large. However, the emphasis is placed on acoustic room treatments because so much of the work in these studios focuses on the need to hear an accurate representation of the music being mixed. You often find high-quality audio monitors, expensive audio interfaces, and a collection of outboard microphone preamps and audio compressors in studios like these. These studios will have a full-on analogue or digital audio mixing console or some version of a software console controller with or without motorized faders. Usually, you won’t find instruments and mics in these studios, as their primary purpose is dealing with prerecorded tracks submitted for mixing. You may discover office supplies and a filing cabinet if the studio runs as a business.
Studio F: Mastering Studio
A mastering studio, similar to a mixing studio, lacks instruments and mics however emphasizes proper acoustic treatments, monitors, and outboard gear to master the music being sent to them. The critical listening environment, to my knowledge, tends to be the highest quality in these types of studios. The audio adjustments a mastering engineer makes are generally minor and require a very exact critical listening environment to hear them. The outboard gear in these studios tends to be of very high quality. These studios are all about sound quality.
The above studio descriptions are not overly detailed. The types of studios addressed in this article are very general because many studios like mine are a combination of the studios that I discuss here. There are also Voice-over and folly studios, which I know very little about, so I won’t discuss those. Hopefully, this has given you something to think about while you explore your studio design; I’m just a music teacher having fun; catch you on the next one.