Requests for an in-home recording studio might not seem unusual for remodelers in and around Los Angeles, but what about the rest of the country? This type of project is popping up in markets throughout the country as the musically inclined are turning basements and garages into high-tech studios. Matt Jans, president of Starfire Homes in Palatine, Ill., attributes the growing interest in home studios to the evolution of recording equipment.
“The equipment has come down to prices that people can afford, and the quality of the digital equipment has gone up,” says Jans, whose company has completed several remodeling projects involving in-home studios.
An in-home studio makes sense for a serious hobbyist or part-time professional who would otherwise have to book studio time at hourly rates of $35 to hundreds of dollars.
A basic studio remodel, sans equipment, can be had for about $10,000, but an almost-pro studio will run about $20,000, Jans says. “You have to contain the sound so it doesn’t transmit to other parts of the building,” he explains.
At minimum, Jans uses a double row of studs — the first row absorbs vibrations so that the second row doesn’t. Resilient channels, typically used on common walls in townhomes, work well for in-home studios and help keep project costs down.
A typical ceiling involves suspended acoustic panels packed with sound-absorbing insulation. On a more sophisticated project, Jans might cover a concrete floor with furring strips, install a layer of insulation and lay a hardwood floor to improve sound quality.