Many of us who have home studios record and mix in one room, as I do as space is a bit of a premium in most domestic dwellings, a separate dedicated live room is a luxury I just can’t afford. I describe my studio to clients as a “control/live room” meaning my studio computer and mixing setup is in the space where we use microphones to record instruments & vocals. This combination can at times be a bit troublesome, especially when I record quiet instruments or soft vocals. The issues I face in my single room studio comes from the fans in my 12 core Mac Pro tower which keep my computer cool and operational. The noise produced by these massive fans and my Pro Tools HDX card together make quite the racket which to be fair isn’t always a problem but there have been several occasions when the background computer whirring has ended up down the mic of a dialogue recording. What’s the solution to this? Apart from buying a new expensive computer specifically designed to be as quiet as possible there really isn’t a lot I can do without building some kind of solution with some basic hand tools and off the shelf materials.
Watch the video below by clicking the image:
I came across this very well presented online video by Ryan Weezna at TrueSoundStudios that brilliantly shows us how to build our very own sound isolation case for studio computers - It’s a must watch!
In this video we see a step-by-step walkthrough of the entire build showing us how to channel cool fresh air into the case and, most importantly, how to vent out the hot air produced by the computer. The video doesn’t give us any clue to how much the materials cost, but if I had to take an educated guess I reckon the total build can be done for well under $100, which is pretty good value for money.
Videos such as these do make DIY projects look easy and achievable. Again, if I had to hazard a guess at what difficultly level this particular style of build would be I would say it’s a 4 out of 10 - 10 being very hard requiring assistance from professionals with specialist tools, 1 being the difficultly of putting together an IKEA flatpack bookcase.
The tools you will need to complete this build would be a an electric jigsaw, drill, an engineers square to get perfect right angles and a screw driver.
Have you built a sound isolation case for your studio computer? If so, let us know your thoughts on this video or if you took a different approach to the design and build of your isolation case.
Another solution - Make A Built In Cupboard For Your DAW Computer
Check out his idea from Mike’s acoustic treatment series where he shows how he created a built-in cupboard fro his Pro Tools computer, interfaces and storage.