Last updated on March 31st, 2022
How much does it cost to build a recording studio?
A professional recording studio with acoustically engineered live rooms will cost millions to build, but indie artists and pop stars alike have been getting release-ready results using little more than a laptop, a microphone and a converted space at home. This article will explain how to capture audio without leaving your house.
What do the White Stripes, Prince and The Rolling Stones have in common? They’ve all recorded hit albums in home studios.
Even before audio production software like GarageBand and ProTools made recording easy for anyone with a laptop and a guitar, home recording studios have been responsible for some great recordings.
A professional recording studio with acoustically engineered live rooms will cost millions to build. But indie artists and pop stars alike have been getting release-ready results using little more than a laptop, a microphone and a converted space at home.
This guide will look at the average cost to build a home recording studio.
How much does a home recording studio cost?
A basic project studio can cost between £1,100 and £4,700, depending on size, equipment and intended audio quality.
Record labels spend big money putting their artists into professional studios because of the quality of the room itself. For example, Abbey Road studios are famed for the ambience and distinctive acoustics in their various live rooms.
Unless you plan on recording an orchestra in your home studio, the acoustic characteristics of the room matter less than the audio equipment. With a decent audio interface that lets you record audio directly to your computer costing as little as £100, you can get great audio without worrying about the room at all.
Recording studio acoustic treatment cost
If you plan on recording ‘live’, you can improve the acoustics of your room using audio insulation foam to ‘treat’ the space. This foam deadens the natural ambience of the room, reducing echos and removing bass traps.
It can cost between £400 and £800 to treat your room with foam, depending on the size and how professional you want it.
You can further improve the quality of live audio by using a vocal booth. These remove much of the room ambience, giving you a clean, dry recording.
You can build one yourself for around £300 using MDF and foam, or buy a multi-position booth for around £800. Pre-built booths, almost like a mini tent on a tripod, can be purchased for around £400.
Pop-shields are a must-have for recording vocals as they protect the microphone and remove plosives – the ‘pop’ when making ‘pah’ sounds with your mouth. If you don’t have one, you can make these on the fly using a wire coathanger and a pair of tights.
Recording studio setup cost
A basic home recording studio setup needs to include nothing more than a computer, audio interface, microphone and monitors. The cost of your studio setup will vary according to your tastes and ambition.
If you want lush, vintage tones you’ll need to invest in a decent mic and interface, costing from £1,000 to as much as £40,000 for quality gear. You can get good results by spending around £200.
Most studios use Apple Mac computers due to their compatibility with the most popular recording software. The more you spend, the more processing power you get.
Prices start at around £500 for a refurbished Macbook Pro.
|Portable vocal booth||£400||£1,200||£800|
Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now
How much does it cost to build a professional recording studio?
If your ambitions go beyond simply converting a room into a studio and you want to build a stand-alone property, even if you’re converting a property you own, it’ll be costly. Expect to pay between £120,000 and £800,000 to spec it out to a level that impresses professional recording artists.
Recording studio cost calculator
Whether you want a basic home set up to record audio or your first podcast, or you need a professional studio for music production and voiceover work, the price you’ll pay a professional to build your recording studio depends on a number of factors.
As an example, if you had a small home office that you wanted to convert into a recording studio, then expect to pay on average around £400 for soundproofing, £500 for a used MacBook and up to £200 for a monitor and basic microphone.
In total, for a basic home set up, you should budget around £1,000, with your specific cost depending on the size of your studio and the desired level of audio quality.
If you’re planning on building a professional recording studio, then you need to factor in a way higher budget (anywhere from £120,000 – £800,00). This includes the build, and some of the higher quality equipment, additional soundproofing, such as a booth, and the purchase or rental of dedicated premises.
Recording studio build quotes
The best way to calculate the cost of creating or refurbishing a recording studio is to get quotes from professional tradespeople who specialise in this line of work.
To get multiple quotes from local soundproofing experts, simply enter your postcode in the free search tool below and they’ll be in touch.
Can I get professional sounding recordings from a home studio?
Due to the recent Covid-19 lockdown, some artists have released music recorded in home studios – however, these won’t have been constructed on a shoe-string. Any studio is better than none, but it’s definitely a case of getting what you pay for.
Can egg boxes improve the sound of my home studio?
Not really. The theory is that the curves and dips on egg boxes provide high-level sound insulation. And although some acoustic treatment material looks like egg boxes, actual egg boxes will provide only very little real sound deadening.
Do I need soundproofing for my home recording studio?
Not necessarily. Soundproofing doesn’t affect the recording. But it helps maintain friendly relations with your neighbours if you plan on recording live instruments like drums.
Do I need non-parallel walls for better sound?
Again, not necessarily, unless you plan on recording live. Non-parallel walls are common in professional studios as they reduce sound reflections and make monitoring more accurate.