If you’re considering selling your voice for a living, you should invest in a home dubbing studio.
Assembling all the tools you need to dub scripts upfront helps cut the amount you spend on studio expenses.
Moreover, a home dubbing studio helps you master the art of dubbing much faster because you have the tools to practice time and again.
But how do you start transforming a section of your house into a dubbing studio? Perhaps even more crucial, how much will this project cost you?
Discover the truth on that and more in this manual about creating a home studio.
At a glance;
- What do you need for your home studio?
- Choosing the right location for your home studio
- Steps to set up a home studio
What equipment do you need for your home dubbing studio?
Before setting up an ADR recording studio, you must first gather all the essentials you need.
Tools may vary depending on your project’s complexity, but these stand out as the most critical factors for a home studio project.
Here’s everything you need to start doing basic dubbing projects from your home’s comfort.
1. A Laptop/desktop & Dubbing Software
A computer is perhaps the most expensive tool you need. Luckily, most of us already own these gadgets.
Your laptop hard-disk should serve as the storage zone for all your dubbing work. You may also want to use a backup storage zone for all your files, e.g., the cloud or an external storage device like a flash disk. Keep in mind that hard disk drives are less reliable than flash drives and can start making a clicking noise.
Remember, a computer allows you to send the completed project to your freelance website or directly to the client.
Because you need the right software to perfect all your records, you should search and install the right software. These tools help you capture sound, edit and clean all your recordings. Newbies can consider free ready-to-download online tools like Audacity.
Such tools are also less complicated. They make the dubbing and cleaning process much more comfortable and serve as a training tool before advancing to more sophisticated ones.
If you intend to do intricate dubbing work, consider purchasing an all-inclusive software with professional tools.
2. A Microphone
Condenser microphones are the best for dubbing projects because they have a robust audio signal and can pick a more comprehensive sound range. You also require a stand for your microphone, which often sells along with the microphone. For experts, purchasing this type is a must-have.
However, newbies can try other styles like the USB Microphone. Though this won’t deliver top-quality sounds like the former, it is useful for an expert on the move and can plug straight into your computer.
With a USB microphone, you won’t need this next tool in your dubbing studio.
3. An Audio Interface
This machine acts as the connection between your laptop and the microphone.
To connect the two, plug the mic into the Audio Interface with the XLR cable you buy and the audio interface. This will help convert the sound waves from the mic into digital sound waves on your laptop.
A USB mic can help you operate minus an interface, but the latter shouldn’t be considered an after-thought for long.
For beginners, A USB mic is the best way to go, especially if you don’t have a huge budget.
You can also boost your project’s quality using tools like Audacity.
4. A Pop-sound Shield
This round mesh-like tool is placed in front of the mic to minimize or eliminate any popping sounds, mainly when recorded using a smartphone.
A pop shield is an excellent way to add clarity to your dubbings.
This is one of the areas to consider quality because you’ll be putting on these for hours.
You can choose between wired types and Bluetooth headphones. Though wired headphones are the best, you can find equally competent Bluetooth headphones.
Home Dubbing Studio: How to Choose a Location
You want to create a dubbing studio at home but don’t know where to start?
Search a strategic position for your studio because silence is vital in achieving clean recordings. Plus, these projects require a certain level of concentration which might not be possible with kids running around.
Space is also a key factor because equipment arrangement matters. But room size shouldn’t be a stumbling block because a well-thought-out layout will still work for you.
Consider the following factors when choosing a home studio location;
1. Move away from distractions
Your studio must be hidden away from activity-packed zones or movements that may steal away concentration.
For instance, set aside some studio space if your bedroom is large enough because this zone is often private.
If your area is full of noises from traffic, a factory, etc., it’s best to move your studio to lesser distraction.
Spacing is a crucial consideration, but there’s no standard size for a home studio.
While some have plenty of space, those with limited spaces can set up their studios even in less-active corridors.
While a large space helps you achieve the correct studio layout and equipment arrangement, using what you have is an excellent way to begin a freelancing career, make more money, and move to a larger house.
Large studios are way better than small ones, so don’t hesitate to go for it if you can change one of your large rooms to a studio.
A studio room must be empty and safe for the equipment you need to do your projects.
Before you start, empty the room. Eliminate all clutter and clean up anything that can make you counter-productive.
Windows can affect acoustics and affect the quality of your dubbings.
Be sure to cover these with curtains to avoid such challenges. Also, block potential noises from outside by closing them.
Concrete, wooden, and tiled flooring are excellent for studio spaces.
However, it is advisable to eliminate any carpets as these could absorb high frequencies and affect acoustics.
How to set up a Home Dubbing Studio
Now that you know nearly everything about setting up a home studio let’s embark on the building process.
Remember, you don’t need a professional to help you do this. If possible, call a friend to assist with your DIY project.
However, some technical stuff like adding acoustics may need professional help.
Follow these steps to build a studio for your freelance career.
STEP 1: Pick the Best Space
You’re probably thinking of one or two areas to consider for this project as you read through. When deciding, consider factors like space, farness from distractions and noises, arrangement, flooring, and so on.
Hence, when picking a room, avoid the following;
- Tiny spaces. Use a large room if possible. Small rooms can affect the quality of your dubbing.
- Noise- avoid virtually all sorts of noises that could compromise the clarity of your dubbing.
- Carpeted flooring. Eliminate any carpets as these could absorb high frequencies and affect acoustics.
- Bad acoustics. Avoid small, low ceilings and opposite walls built of drywalls as this affects acoustics.
- Rooms on higher floors. Always go for the ground floor because of the echo that comes with footsteps during staircase-climbing causes significant noise.
STEP 2: Declutter the Room
With the right room in mind, your next move is to arrange it for studio purposes.
But first, you must declutter and remove anything you don’t need from the room. When decluttering, you’ll need to;
- Declutter all the floor space
- Remove wall decorations and so on
- Do away with anything that vibrates
However, if you’re building your ADR recording studio into your living room or sleeping area, remove what you can get rid of only
STEP 3: Include Acoustic Features
Because sound waves can hit virtually anything and bounce back into your microphone, it’s essential to do some acoustic treatment. This means preparing your room to ensure the best quality sound.
You must also understand how sound travels in your studio to master this. Once you speak, the sound can move in all directions. Some waves (direct sound) move in a straight line to enter the mic. The rest (reflected sound) travels randomly between any surfaces they come across. Soon after, these reflections bounce back and reach the mic.
Thus, adding acoustic absorption and stuff like diffusers can help your voiceovers provide the best recording environment.
STEP 4: Plan Your Work Area
After achieving an empty room with the right acoustic treatment, you can begin arranging recording equipment in your new dubbing studio. Because your chair and desk will dominate the center of the space, start with those two.
Though any furniture can suffice for your studio work, it’s best to consider a more professional appearance. Consider ergonomic furniture that will offer comfort throughout the dubbing process.
For desks, consider selecting studio-style desks because these can help carry all your equipment.
STEP 5: Organize Your Recording Area
Because this single room serves as your recording and mixing studio, you want to go for the best arrangement possible.
In essence, you should have two stations:
- A mixing area for editing purposes
- A recording area to capture your voice
Remember, a music studio setup may not work for you. Do further research on the correct layout for a home voiceover studio.
The Bottom line
Setting aside an ADR recording studio helps one boost their dedication as a freelancer. It also allows one to focus on growing your skills as a dubbing artist. By assembling all the tools you need to dub scripts upfront, you can cut the amount you spend on studio expenses.
Many job opportunities await if you plan to sell your voice for a living. So investing in a home dubbing studio isn’t a bad idea after all.
Join the dubbing team at Bunny Studio and get access to troves of projects.